BLTC Press Titles

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Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

A course of lectures on modern history

by Friedrich von Schlegel


circumstances so difficult J yet the real root of the evil was not removed, and indeed could scarcely be removed by an ecclesiastical council. The concord between philosophy and the Christian faith, which had been interrupted, was not re-established; even the organization of scientific institutions, and the constitution of the universities and ecclesiastical corporations, to whose hands the higher scientific education was intrusted, were not radically reformed; the germ of the evil was left intact. The abuse of philosophy and freedom of thought, which had produced so much intellectual discord and such unhappy consequences, now led to the opposite evil—to the shackling and the suppression of philosophical inquiry. The mere suppression of a falso philosophy, of the abuse of freedom of thought, where the evil is not plucked up by the roots, where something better is not substituted in its place, will ever produce a still more fatal and dangerous reaction. This reaction, accordingly, has universally ensued, and has stretched its wide-spread influence even over the revolutions of our own days.



To be misunderstood is the ordinary lot of true greatness. Extraordinary energy and activity, directed towards the furtherance of mere vulgar, grasping, and selfish views, are indeed easily apprehended and universally admired. Caesar finds more admirers among the multitude than Alexander, because the former was coldly calculating and the latter enthusiastic. This misunderstanding, however, still more frequently occurs when extraordinary energies and activity are inspired exclusively by great ideas, and, in order to carry them out, strive oftener to battle with the world than to make use of it; when the deep sense of the magnitude of the objects sought after produces a certain inequality in outward acts.

Hence the many contradictory, unfavourable opinions, or such at least as are far beneath the true dignity and greatness of the mighty emperor Charles the Fifth. The calumnies of hatred and prejudice have obtained such currency, even up to our own times, only because all men have not sense and feeling for the ideas and actions of a spirit so far exalted above the ordinary standard. To judge, moreover, correctly the workings of his mind requires a minute and comprehensive knowledge of his age, because he took part in and was mixed up with all its great events and occurrences; an age, too, that was one of the most complicated and eventful in the annals of mankind.

Fortune had lavished favours upon Charles even before ho was of sufficient age to act for himself; either absolutely, or in almost sure expectancy, she had accumulated upon his brow the noblest crowns of Europe, in order to form the matchless heritage. In the destinies, however, that encompassed his boyhood and youth, there was also much that was sorrowful, much that threatened danger. His father, Philip the Fair, a chivalrous, noble-minded, well-meaning prince, but passionate and wholly devoted to pleasure, who, after a short enjoyment of his beautiful kingdom, was snatched by a premature death from the hopes and the love of his faithful Castilians, committed Charles, still a child, to the guardianship of strangers. Both the grandfathers of the latter, Maximilian and Ferdinand the Catholic of Arragon, lived for the most part estranged from each other. Love and jealousy had thrown his grandmother Joanna into a state of melancholy, which, on the death of her husband, terminated in a silent imbecility, that rendered her indifferent and insensible to everything save anxiety and tenderness for the dead body of her husband, which she carried about with her in the bier and watched over with jealous care. The younger brother of Charles was educated abroad in Spain, and by the first capricious disposition of his grandfather, as well as by the love of some Spanish grandees, had been destined to inherit the Spanish throne. This circumstance must have converted into anxious and distrustful reserve the brotherly love of the youthful Charles towards that very Ferdinand, who afterwards in all state affairs and perils ever proved himself his most faithful friend. Even his two tutors—the learned Adrian, who was afterwards pope, and Chifivres, a Flemish statesman, the former of whom initiated Charles into


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