140 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE hardly say that they fulfil Goethe's summary direction to trans- lators: Schoner!) but they have the distinction and dignity of his own verse. French critics charge him with a wilful shaping to his own image of the poets he translates; thus Baudelaire was to him first and foremost the hieratic poet sundered by virgin austerity from the barbarians, and therefore he tones down by skilful mani- pulations the perversities and cynical pessimism of the Flowers of Evil. There is more to be said against his later translations of Dante (1912; Vols. X/XI of Collected Works), because he translated those parts of the Divine Comedy which he could identify with his own visions of the Realm of the Blest, and of Shakespeare's son- nets (1909; Vol. XII of GesaMt-Aitsgabe), because what he brings out is the Georgean cult of male beauty (to quote his Introduction: 'die weltschaffende kraft der ubergeschlechtlichen Hebe9}. Few would deny that among George's most beautiful poems are those which give an angel-like semblance to some boy or other: Der Infant., Der Ringer, Der Saitensphler, Der Tag des Hirten, Sporenwache. It is hard to see the angel in the figure of Algabal; but Algabal is, like all the other boys, the projection into an image of Stefan George himself as ephebos. Rilke projects his soul differ- ently: his maidens image his soul in its virgin purity quivering for conception and creation; but both Rilke and George finish by fashioning their double rather than their image (though a double is of course identical) in the shape of a divine form. Rilke says 'angeP, George cGod'; and it is almost incredible that George presents his 'God' in the person of a beautiful boy he discovers in Munich - Maximin. Of Maximin in the flesh all we know is that in addition to his physical beauty he was unspotted from the world ('rein von alien Anwurfen der Zeif\ heroic, that he had in his eyes the mystic glimmer of the far-away, and that he died young, leaving George inconsolable.1. . . The discovery of the God came at a time of mental stress: three of his disciples, Wolfskehl, Schuler, and Klages, had staged an incipient revolt: as a result of their antiquarian studies they had discovered that man at the dawn of history, and still more when he was a dweller in swamps, was the 1 'Wir wanden uns in sinnlosem schmer^ dass mr nlemals meder diese hande be- riihren, dass mr niemals wieder diese lippen kussen durften.* George told the story of Maximin (a kind of vita nuova - and he stresses the fact that he met the ephebos 'in the midway of this my mortal life') in his Maximin-Gedenkbucb, printed 1909 and then reprinted separately from the third Attslese aus den Slattern fur die Kunst.