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and alone, to seek his fortune in the little while, "are now dissolved. The great market of life.
public is now all to me; my study, my The Grand Duke Paul of Russia, sov’ran, my confidant. To the public I with his young princess, niece to the from this time belong ; before this, and Duke of Würtemberg, was visiting no other tribunal, will I place myself; Stuttgard. All the city and neigh- this alone do I reverence and fear, bourhood were astir with the festivi- Something majestic hovers before me, ties. In the midst of these-on the as I determine now to wear no other 17th of September—the flight was fetters but the sentence of the world, planned. Among Schiller's friends to appeal to no other throne but the was a young, generous-hearted musi- soul of man.” cian, by name Andrew Streicher. This Our fugitives reached Manheim in young man had become Schiller's con- safety. Fearing to remain so fidant, and enthusiastically sharing the Stuttgard, they pushed on to Frankfeelings of the poet, accompanied him fort... With scarcely means to meet the in his flight; and 'the vehicle which expenses of the journey on foot, early contained our adventurers rolled away one morning they set off
, over one of through the darkest of the city gates. the most striking roads in Europe. At At midnight, on the left, about a mile last, however, they reached Frankfort, from the road, by the light which where Streicher received thirty florins streamed from the illuminated windows from his mother. The two friends of the ducal castle, Schiller could now took up their residence at an inn clearly perceive the home of his parents. at Oggersheim, sharing one chamber A suppressed “O meine mutter !” es- and one bed. Here Schiller wrote caped him, as he sank back in the “ Cabal and Love;" and, also, in Nocarriage. So fled Schiller from the vember, completed his “Fiesco,” already capital of Würtemberg, empty of partly composed. These were both pubpurse and without hope, careless lished in 1783, and soon after were whither he went, so that he got beyond represented in the Manheim Theatre the reach of turnkeys and Grand with universal admiration. Dukes, and commanding officers.” The While Schiller was residing at Oggrating thraldom of his youth was now gersheim, a generous lady, Madame among the things of the past-the Von Wolzogen, whose sons had been deliverance for which he had long fellow students of his, offered him the sighed was completed. Schiller was shelter of her home at Baurbach. now in his twenty-third year.
Thither Schiller was but too glad to Such were the circumstances of go. His only sorrow was that he Schiller's early life. Through these- must part from the faithful Streicher. and who shall say to what extent by The friends bid each other farewell. the help of these ?-he grew to be the “ After fifty years,” says a German man he was. And was not that ordeal biographer, “ the musician was filled worth undergoing which presented in with sadness when he recalled the mothe end so noble a result ?—this puri- ment in which he left that truly kingly fication worth the purchase of all that heart—the noblest of the German suffering ?. Yes, surely; a thousand poets-alone, and in misfortune.” times, yes!
On a December evening, 1782, our
homeless poet was received beneath “Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate;Who ne'er the mournful midnight family were from home, but no comfort
the hospitable roof at Baurbach. The hours, Weeping upon his bed has sate,
was wanting to him. Reinwald, the He knows ye not, ye heavenly powers." bookseller, who knew his secret, sup
plied him with books, and occasionally And now, after a childhood nursed enlivened his solitude with his comin an atmosphere pure, healthy, holy- pany. Madame Von Wolzogen soon an atmosphere of affection, and piety, returned, however, and with her her and joy ; after a youth of hardship and daughter Charlotte. This girl presuffering ;-Schiller is at length a free sently found a place in our poet's man-a poet, with God's great universe fancy. There was a kindly feeling on before him. This he is now and hence- both sides, but it does not seem to forth, to the end of his pilgrimage. have culminated in any abiding at“ All' my connections,” he wrote in a | tachment.
The success of the dramas "Fiesco" becoming so, but rather, they had reand“ Cabal and Love” brought about ceived a new direction, a direction, if some change in the estimation in which not the highest, yet that in which Schiller was held by his superiors. there was the greatest liberty and the The Duke relinquished the idea, of widest scope. Laying down for himfurther persecuting a man whose writ- self and others (as we are told he did) ings had gained him the esteem and the principle that the stage should affection of every true German: and take its rank with the church and the the Count Dalberg perceived that the school among the primary institutions time had come when he might, at one of the state ; he felt proud of his own stroke, second the pretensions of a connection with the theatre, and man whom he still called friend, and exerted himself to the utmost in progive his theatre the advantage of a moting its ends. connection with the most popular dra- Here, situated thus pleasantly, and matist of the day. Schiller was ac- intensely occupied with manifold cordingly invited to Manheim as poet to studies, the image of Charlotte Von the theatre. He addressed himself to Wolzogen ever hovered in his memory. the duties of this post, with all the He longed for a perfect union with ardour and determination of a long- some being, in whom he could repose cherished ambition. Here at the all his thoughts and emotions. house of Meir, he once more beheld be linked to one,” he writes, “who Streicher—this time with a joyful shares with us joy and sorrow; who countenance and words of hope and meets us in our emotions and supples congratulation.
to our humours ; at her breast to reHere, at length, ke had reached his lease our souls from the thousand distrue distinction. Here was work of tractions, the thousand wild wishes which he felt pleasure, and a holy joy and unruly passions, and drown all the in the doing-a furthering impulse, bitterness of fortune in the enjoyment not a harsh restriction, to the free of domestic calm ;-ah! such were the development of his inmost nature. true delight of life.” For him, he At any rate, Schiller could now live, now thought, the chosen one and was even in a fair way of realising Charlotte Von Wolzogen. He openly the life poetic. Surrounded by a circle proposed for her to her mother, but of friends who honoured him, acknow-without success. The happiness of ledged a subject of the Emperor Pala- the girl could not be entrusted to one tine-thus no longer having any cause in whose worldly position there was to fear the duke, and well satisfied still much to excite doubts and fears. with the moderate income awarded Convinced at last of the hopelessness him, Schiller looked forward into the of his case, his passion sought a new future, with new eyes and a lightened object, and presently found one in the heart.
person of Margaret Schwan, the In Germany the theatre holds a very daughter of the bookseller to whom different place, in relation to society, he had sold“Fiesco” and “Cabal and to what it does in this country. It is Love." She was of a cheerful disposithere regarded as a moral and educa- tion, and beautiful person, “rather tional agent, here simply as an appa- devoted,” say the German biographers, ratus for amusement. Consequently to the world, to literature, and to art, there its exhibitions are attuned to than to the tranquil domestic joys." the tastes of a higher and better culti- She was then nineteen years old, and vated class than here. They talk of it it was about the autumn of 1784 that as “a lay pulpit, the worthy ally of she first“ gained possession of a heart the sacred one.
Schiller participated still somewhat too inflammable for in this universal feeling, the bent of constancy.” Indeed, it appears that his genius laying so completely in that some wilder and less spiritual passion direction. He had high conceptions than either Margaret or Charlotte had of the vocation of the poet; and; the inspired, had influenced him in the theatre was to him the proper, the interval. To this he alludes with reonly available medium between the gret, in one of his letters, some years poet and the world. His early long afterwards. ings for the priesthood had never be- About this time appeared the first come extinct; they were not now number of the “ Reinische Thalia," en
riched by three acts of “Don Carlos." brought forth, is altogether beyond our The new journal was principally de- present design. voted to dramatic literature, such as The charms of Manheim, once to theatrical criticism, essays on the him so great and alluring, began to drama, poetry, and the details of re- fade in the eyes of our poet. Notpresentation, the history of the theatre, withstanding that his amiable nature, &c. A portion of its pages were open his genius, manliness, and virtue, had to general literature and poetry. It endeared him to a large circle of was continued up to 1794. This peri- friends ; notwithstanding that Dal
: odical, without yielding Schiller any berg was still his warm friend, and great pecuniary advantage, by no that he saw and conversed daily with means increased his favour with the Schwan and his Margaret, he began to actors. The freedom of his strictures view his situation with less and less was highly displeasing to them; he in content. The theatrical world turned turn being greatly offended by the out to be quite other than the paradise manner in which his verses were man- he had imagined it to be. He wished gled on the stage.
for a wider sphere of action, and one At this period, says his biographer, in which he should not be dependent Schiller knew not what it was to be on the vicissitudes of the public taste, unemployed. Yet the task of compos- or subject to the harassing annoying dramatic varieties, of training ances of inefficient representation. players, and deliberating in the thea- Accordingly he determined to leave trical senate, or even of expressing Manheim, and an opportunity soon philosophically his opinions on these presented itself. The first number of points could not wholly occupy such a his “ Thalia” happened to arrive at mind as his. There were times when, the court of Hesse Darmstadt, while notwithstanding his own prior habits, the Duke of Sachsen Weimar was and all the vaunting of dramaturgists, there. That prince, being introduced he felt that their scenic glories were to the genius of Schiller by the perusal but an empty show, a lying refuge, of the first acts of “Don Carlos,” exwhere there was no abiding rest for pressed his delight with the production the soul. The “Thalia,” besides its by transmitting to the author the title dramatic speculations and perfor- of Councillor of the Duchy of Weimar. mances, contains several of his poems, The honour paid to men of art and which indicate that his attention, literature, at the court of Weimar, though officially directed elsewhere, excited Schiller's admiration, and gave was alive to all the common concerns a new turn to his ambition. of humanity; that he looked on life newly acquired dignity strengthened not more as a writer than as a man. . . this feeling, and doubtless accelerated While improving in the art of poetry, his departure from Manheim. At in the capability of uttering his Leipsig resided some of the poet's thoughts in the form best adapted to most substantial friends, and a vast express them, he was likewise improv- number of ardent admirers. This ing in the more valuable art of thought town, moreover, was the centre of itself; and applying it not only to the activity both in commerce and literabusiness of the imagination, but also ture ; it seemed to offer a wide field to those profound and solemn inqui- for the noblest endeavour , and hither, ries which every reasonable mortal is accordingly, he directed his steps. called to engage with.”* “ The Philo- Previous to going he wrote to his sophic Letters," written about this time, friend Huber contain evidence enough of the truth "This, then, is probably the last of this last statement, and the addi- letter I shall write to you from Mantional advantage of presenting Schil heim. The time from the 15th March ler's intellectual powers in a somewhat has hung upon my hands, like a trial new point of view. To give any ac- for life : and, thank heaven! I am now count, however, of Schiller's numerous ten whole days nearer you. And now, writings, beyond recording the mere my good friend, as you have already fact of their publication, and the pecu- consented to take my entire confidence liar circumstances in which they were upon your shoulder, allow me the
pleasure of leading you into the inCarlyle’s “Life of Schiller.” terior of my domestic wishes.
“In my new establishment at Leip- had touched everybody's heart. His sig, I purpose to avoid one error, which feelings respecting this manifestation of
I has plagued me a great deal here at his popularity were not all of a pleaManheim. It is this: no longer to sant character. Writing to Schwan, conduct my own housekeeping, and he says, “ It is a peculiar thing to have also no longer to live alone.
The an author's name. The few men of former is not by any means a business worth and mark, who on this account I excel in. It costs me less to execute offer their acquaintance, and whose a whole conspiracy, in five acts, than esteem confers a pleasure, are too to settle my domestic arrangements greatly outweighed by the swarm who, for a week; and poetry, you know like flesh-flies, buzz around the author yourself, is but a dangerous assistant as a monster, and claim him as in calculations of economy. My mind colleague on the strength of a few is drawn different ways; I fall head- blotted sheets of paper. Many cannot long out of my ideal world, if a holed get it into their heads that the author stocking remind me of the real world. of the “ Robbers” should be like any
As to the other point, I require for other mother's son. They expected at my private happiness to have a true, least a cross, the boots of a postillion, warm friend, that would ever be at and a hunting whip!”+ hand like my better angel ; to whom After some alternations respecting I could communicate my nascent ideas the adoption of some other profession in the very act of conceiving them, not than literature, he determined to comneeding to transmit them as at present, plete his “ Carlos,” and continued his by letters or long visits. Nay, when contributions to the “ Thalia ;" among this friend of mine lives without the which latter may be mentioned, as four corners of the house, the trifling having been written at this time,—the circumstance that, in order to reach “Hymn to Joy,” the most beautiful him, I must cross the street, dress and spirited lyrical production he had myself, and so forth, will of itself yet achieved. Meanwhile he had vendestroy the enjoyment of the moment, had ventured to ask the hand of Marand the train of my thoughts is torn garet Schwan. The letter, freighted in pieces before I see him.
with this request, and written in å "Observe, my good fellow, these are manly and right noble spirit, may be petty matters; but petty matters often read 'in “ Carlyle's Life of the Poet.” bear the weightiest result in the Margaret and he, however, were not management of life. I know myself destined for each other. Whatever better than perhaps a thousand mo- Schwand's reply might he-and about thers' sons know themselves ; I under- this authorities are disagreed—it is stand how much, and frequently how certain no further steps were taken to little, I require to be completely bring about the marriage. The friendhappy. The question, therefore, is, ship existing between all parties conCan I get this wish of my heart ful- cerned continued unabated. filled in Leipsig?
Finding that Leipsig did not answer “If it were possible that I could all his expectations, and perhaps to make a lodgement with you, all my solace himself for the disappointment cares on that head would be removed. in which his courtship of Margaret I am no bad neighbour as perhaps you had ended he yielded to many invitaimagine; I have pliancy enough to tions, and took his departure for suit myself to another, and here and Dresden towards the close of the sumthere a certain knack, as Yorick says, mer. Schiller here found warm friends at helping to make him merrier and in Körner and his wife Minna Stalk, better. Failing this, if you could find who had been lately married. Körme any other person who would un- ner's house was romantically situated dertake
small economy, everything on the banks of the Elbe, near Loschwould still be well."*
witz. A summer-house in the garden, Schiller arrived in Leipsig at the surrounded by vineyards by vineyards time of holding the world-famed fair. and pine-woods, became Schiller's His name got abroad, and the populace favourite place of resort, and was sureagerly pressed to see the man who | rendered to his use. Here the com
Carlyle’s Life of Schiller."
† “Bulwer's Sketch of the Life of Schiller."
pletion of “Don Carlos was effected. tinguished a poet the means of widenOn its publication it was received with ing Julia’s already lucrative notoriety. immense enthusiasm. In the closet Schiller was accordingly lured into an and on the stage it equally excited the intimacy which occasioned the most pleasure. and approbation of learned serious anxiety to his friends. and unlearned.
“They, however, did their best to “ Amidst all this popularity," says dispel his infatuation and tear him his biographer, he was still drifting from a connection which they conat large on the tide of life; he was sidered disgraceful to his name, ruinous crowned with laurels but without a to his means, and injurious to his proshome. His heart, warm and affection- pects: finally, they succeeded in their ate, fitted the domestic blessings which appeals. He appears, indeed, to have it longed for, was allowed to form no become aware of the treachery pracpermanent attachment; he felt that tised on him, and, after many a struggle he was unconnected, solitary in the between reason and passion, at last he world ; cut off from the exercise of tore himself away."* What are these his kindlier sympathies ; or if tasting anecdotes worth? what do they illussuch pleasures, 'snatching them rather trate ? Simply," as Carlyle says, than partaking of them calmly. The " that love could' excite even Schiller vulgar desire of wealth and station to madness, as indeed all gods and never entered his head for an instant; men.” but as years were adding to his age, Having in the interim written the the delights of peace and continuous romance of the “Ghost Seer,” many comfort were fast becoming more ac- pages of which owe their vivid colourceptable than any other; and he ing to the fair Julia, he began to looked with anxiety to have a resting- think of history. His mind was place amid his wanderings,-to be a already tutored to its requirements by man among his fellow men.” The the historical studies he had undergone only chance of realizing these strong in the composition of his plays; and desires, Schiller knew lay in the his tendency to the vocation of the most persevering diligence in the voca- historian was, doubtless, further augtion he had chosen. He never plied mented by the necessity which he his tasks with more ardour than increasingly felt for some substantial at Dresden; but his enthusiasm was basis of fact--some external realityrather fretted away on a multiplicity on which he could repose his mind of minor performances than concen- amidst his manifold conflicts and wantrated on any great work. The most derings. “ The love of contemplating famous of his lyrical pieces written things as they should be began to about this time was the “Free think- yield to the love of knowing things as ing of Passion." It is said to have they are.” The poet, therefore, rebeen inspired by an attachment to solved to become a historian. The deSophy Albrecht, a young actress whom signs which he meditated in this he had met previously to his visit to department of human inquiry were Dresden. She was now one of the vast and comprehensive, -too great most celebrated actresses of the town. indeed for any one writer to achieve. Schiller visited at her house on familiar Many of them, we are told, never terms; and there one evening, after reached a describable shape, and very the play was over, another entangle- few even partial execution. What he ment was thrown across his dubious did accomplish worthy of record, we path. The poet was introduced to a have in the “Revolt of the Netheryoung, blue-eyed stranger, of exquisite lands,” and the “ History of the Thirty form and fascinating expression of Years' War.” countenance. The girl smiled, blushed, To visit Weimar, 'the Athens of kissed her bouquet, and threw it to Germany, had long been one of SchilSchiller, who, unsuspecting, received it ler's earnest wishes. He arrived there with enthusiasm. Her mother," says in July, 1787. Göethe was not visible one of his biographers, " was by all (why, will hereafter appear), but Her
, accounts an artful and abandoned der and Wieland received him with person, who did not scruple to put to open arms. With the latter was profit 'the beauty of her daughter. She saw in the admiration of so dis- * “ Bulwer's Sketch of the Life of Schiller.”