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purpose, raising himself from the station of a poor Sicilian lacquey to that of a sumptuous and extravagant count. The noise of his exploits appears to have given rise to this work of Schiller's. It is an attempt to exemplify the process of hoodwinking an acute but too sensitive man; of working on the latent germ of superstition, which exists beneath his outward scepticism; harassing his mind by the terrors of magic-the magic of chemistry and natural philosophy, and natural cunning,-till, racked by, doubts and agonizing fears, and plunging from one depth of dark uncertainty into another, he is driven at length to still his scruples in the bosom of the Infallible Church. The incidents are contrived with considerable address, displaying a familiar acquaintance, not only with several branches of science, but also with some curious forms of life and Human nature. One or two characters are forcibly drawn; particularly, that of the amiable but feeble Count, the victim of the operation. The strange foreigner, with the visage of stone, who conducts the business of mystification, strikes us also, though we see but little of him. The work contains some vivid description, some passages of deep tragical effect: it has a vein of keen observation; in general, a certain rugged power, which might excite regret that it was never finished. But Schiller found that his views had been mistaken: it was thought that he meant only to electrify his readers, by an accumulation of surprising horrors, in a novel of the Mrs. Radcliffe fashion. He felt, in consequence, discouraged to proceed; and finally abandoned it.
Schiller was, in fact, growing tired of fictitious writing. Imagination was with him a strong, not an exclusive, perhaps not even a predominating faculty in the sublimest flights of his genius, intellect is a quality as conspicuous as any other; we are frequently not more delighted with the grandeur of the drapery in which he clothes his thoughts, than with the grandeur of the thoughts themselves. To a mind so restless, the cultivation of all its powers was a peremptory want; in one so earn-, est, the fove of truth was sure to be among its strongest passions. Even while revelling, with unworn ardour, JAN. 1824.
in the dreamy scenes of the imagina tion, he had often cast a longing look, and sometimes made a hurried inroad, into the calmer provinces of reason: but the first effervescence of youth was past, and now, more than ever, the love of contemplating or painting things as they should be, began to yield to the love of knowing things as they are. The tendency of his mind was gradually changing; he was about to enter on a new field of enterprize, where new triumphs awaited him.
For a time, he had hesitated what to choose; at length he began to think of History. As a leading object of pursuit, this promised him peculiar advantages. It was new to him; and fitted to employ some of his most valuable gifts. It was grounded on reality, for which, as we have said, his taste was now becoming stronger; its mighty revolutions and events, and the commanding cha racters that figure in it, would likewise present him with things great and moving, for which his taste had always been strong. As recording the past transactions, and indicating the prospects of nations, it could not fail to be delightful to one, for whom not only human nature was a matter of most fascinating speculation, but who looked on all mankind with the sentiments of a brother, feeling truly, what he often said, that " he had no, dearer wish than to see every living mortal happy and contented with his lot." To all these advantages another of an humbler sort, was added, but one which the nature of his situation forbade him to lose, sight of. The study of history, while it afforded him a subject of continuous and regular exertion, would also afford him, what was even more essential, the necessary competence, for which he felt reluctant any longer to depend on the resources of poetry, but which the produce of his pen was now the only means he had of. realizing.
For these reasons, he decided on commencing the business of historian. The composition of Don Carlos had already led him to investigate the state of Spain under Philip II.; and, being little satisfied with Watson's clear but shallow work on that reign, he had turned to the original sources of information, the writings
of Grotius, Strada, De Thou, and many others. Investigating these with his usual fidelity and eagerness, the Revolt of the Netherlands had, by degrees, become familiar to his thoughts; distinct in many parts where it was previously obscure; and attractive, as it naturally must be to a temper such as his. He now determined that his first historical performance should be a narrative of that event. He resolved to explore the minutest circumstances of its rise and progress; to arrange the materials he might collect, in a more philosophical order; to interweave with them the general opinions he had formed, or was forming on many points of polity, and national or individual character; and, if possible, to animate the whole with that warm sympathy, which, in a lover of freedom, this most glorious of her triumphs naturally called forth.
In the filling up of such an outline, there was scope enough for diligence. But it was not in Schiller's nature to content himself with ordinary efforts: no sooner did a project take hold of his mind, than rallying round it all his accomplishments and capabilities, he stretched it out into something so magnificent and comprehensive, that little less than a lifetime would have been sufficient to effect it. This history of the Revolt of the Netherlands, which formed his chief study, he looked upon but as one branch of the great subject he was yet destined to engage with. History at large, in all its bearings, was now his final aim; and his mind was continually occupied with plans for acquiring, improving, and diffusing, the knowledge of it.
Of these plans many never reached a describable shape; very few reached even partial execution. One of the latter sort was an intended History of the most remarkable Conspiracies and Revolutions, in the middle and later ages. A first volume of the work was published in 1787. Schiller's part in it was trifling; scarcely more than that of a translator and editor. St. Réal's Conspiracy of Bedmar against Venice, here furnished with an extended introduction, is the best piece in the book. Indeed, St. Real seems first to have set him on this task: the Abbé had already signified his predilection for plots and
revolutions, and given a fine sample of his powers in treating such matters. What Schiller did was to expand this idea, and communicate a systematic form to it. His work might have been curious and valuable, had it been completed: but the pressure of other engagements, the necessity of limiting his views to the Netherlands, prevented this, for the present; it was afterwards forgotten, and never carried farther.
Such were Schiller's occupations while at Dresden: their extent and variety are proof enough that idleness was not among his vices. It was, in truth, the opposite extreme, in which he erred. He wrote and thought with an impetuosity beyond what nature could always endure. intolerance of interruptions first put him on the plan of studying by night; an alluring but pernicious practice, which began at Dresden, and was never afterwards forsaken. His recreations breathed a similar spirit: he loved to be much alone, and strongly moved. The banks of the Elbe were the favourite resort of his mornings: here wandering in solitude amid groves and lawns, and green and beautiful places, he abandoned his mind to delicious musings; watched the fitful current of his. thoughts, as they came sweeping through his soul in their vague, fan-" tastic, gorgeous forms; pleased himself with the transient images of memory and hope; or meditated on the cares and studies, which had lately been employing, and were again soon to employ him. At times, he might be seen floating on the river in a gondola, feasting himself with the loveliness of earth and sky. He delighted most to be there, when tempests were abroad: his unquiet spirit found a solace in the expression of its own unrest on the face of nature; danger lent a charm to his situation; he felt in harmony with the scene, when the rack was sweeping stormfully across the heavens, and the forests were sounding in the breeze, and the river was rolling its chafed waters into wild eddying heaps.
Yet before the darkness summoned him exclusively to his tasks, Schiller commonly devoted a portion of his day to the pleasures of society. Could
he have found enjoyment in the flatteries of admiring hospitality, his present fame would have procured them for him in abundance. But these things were not to Schiller's taste. His opinion of the "fleshflies" of Leipzig we have already seen: he retained the same sentiments throughout all his life. The idea of being what we call a lion is offensive enough to any man, of not more than common vanity, or less than common understanding; it was doubly offensive to him. His pride and his modesty alike forbade it. The delicacy of his nature, aggravated into shyness by his education and his habits, rendered situations of display more than usually painful to him; the digito praetereuntium was a sort of celebration he was far from coveting. In the circles of fashion, he appeared unwillingly, and seldom to advantage: their glitter and parade were foreign to his disposition; their strict ceremonial cramped the play of his mind. Hemmed in, as by invisible fences, among the intricate barriers of etiquette, so feeble, so inviolable, he felt constrained and helpless; alternately chagrined and indignant. It was the giant among pigmies; Gulliver, in Lilliput, tied down by a thousand packthreads. But there were more congenial minds, with whom he could associate; more familiar scenes, in which he found the pleasures he was seeking. Here Schiller was himself; frank, unembarrassed, pliant to the humour of the hour. His conversation was delightful, abounding at once in rare and simple charms. Besides the intellectual riches which it carried with it, there was that flow of kindliness and unaffected good humour, which can render dulness itself agreeable. Schiller had many friends in Dresden, who loved him as a man, while they admired him as a writer. Their intercourse was of the kind he liked, sober, as well as free and mirthful. It was the careless, calm, honest effusion of his feelings that he wanted, not the noisy tumults and coarse delirium of dissipation. For this, under any of its forms, he at no time showed the smallest relish.
A visit to Weimar had long been one of Schiller's projects: he now first accomplished it in 1787. Saxony had been, for ages, the Attica of
Germany; Weimar had, of late, become its Athens. In this literary city, Schiller found, what he expected, welcome and brotherhood with men of kindred minds. Goethe was absent on his travels at the time; but Herder and Wieland were there. Both received him cordially; with the latter he soon formed a most friendly intimacy. Wieland, the Nestor of German letters, was grown gray in the service: Schiller reverenced him as a father, and was treated by him as a son. "We shall have bright hours," he said; "Wieland is still young, when he loves." Wieland had long edited the Deutsche Mercur: in consequence of their connexion, Schiller now took part in contributing to that work. Some of his smaller poems, one or two frag ments of the History of the Netherlands, and the Letters on Don Carlos first appeared here. His own Thalia still continued to come out at Leip→ zig. With these for his parerga, with the Belgian Revolt for his chief study, and the best society of Germany for his leisure, Schiller felt no wish to leave Weimar. With the place and what it held, he was so much contented, that he thought of selecting it for his permanent abode. "You know the men," he writes, "of whom Germany is proud; a Herder, a Wieland, with their brethren; and one wall now encloses me and them. What excellencies are in Weimar! In this city, at least in this territory, I mean to settle for my life, and at length once more to get a country."
So occupied and so intentioned, he continued to reside at Weimar. Some months after his arrival, he received an invitation from his early patroness and kind protectress, the Frau von Wollzogen, to come and visit her at Bauerbach. Schiller went accordingly to this his ancient city of refuge; he again found all the warm hospitality, which he had of old experienced, when its character could less be mistaken; but his excursion thither produced more lasting effects than this. At Rudolstadt, where he staid for a time on occasion of this journey, he met with a new friend. It was here that he first saw the Fraulein Lengefield, a lady whose attractions made him loth to leave Rudolstadt, and eager to return.
Next year he did return; he lived from May till November, there or in the neighbourhood. He was busy as usual, and he visited the Lengefield family almost every day. Schiller's views on marriage, his longing for "a civic and domestic existence," we already know, "To be united with a person," he had said, " that shares our sorrows and our joys, that responds to our feelings, that moulds herself so pliantly, so closely to our humours; reposing on her calm and warm affection, to relax our spirit from a thousand distractions, a thousand wild wishes and tumultuous passions; to dream away all the bitterness of fortune, in the bosom of domestic enjoyment-this is the true delight of life." Some years had elapsed since he expressed these sentiments, which time had confirmed, not weakened: the presence of the Fraulein. Lengefield awoke them into fresh activity. He loved this lady; the return of love, with which she honoured him, diffused a sunshine over all his troubled world; and, if the wish of being hers excited more impatient thoughts about the settlement of his condition, it also gave him fresh strength to attain it. He was full of occupation, while in Rudolstadt ardent, serious, but not unhappy. His literary projects were proceeding as before; and, besides the enjoyment of virtuous love, he had that of intercourse with many worthy and some kindred minds.
Among these, the chief in all respects, was Goethe. It was during his present visit, that Schiller first, met with this illustrious person; concerning whom, both by reading and report, his expectations had been raised so high. No two men, both of exalted genius, could be possessed of more different sorts of excellence, than the two that were now brought together, in a large company of their mutual friends. The English reader may form some conception of the contrast, by figuring an interview hetween Shakspeare and Milton.The mind of the one plays calmly, in its capricious and inimitable graces, over all the provinces of human interest; the other concentrates powers as vast, but far less various on a few objects; the one is catholic, the other is sectarian. The first is endowed with an all
comprehending spirit; skilled, as if by personal experience, in all the modes of human passion and opinion; therefore, tolerant of all; peaceful, collected; fighting for no class of men or principles; rather looking on the world, and the various battles waging in it, with the quiet eye of one already reconciled to the futility of their issues; but pouring over all. the forms of many coloured life, the light of a deep and subtle, intellect, and the decoration of an overflowing fancy; and allowing men and things of every shape and hue to have their own free scope in his conception, as they have it in the world where Providence has placed them. The other is earnest, devoted; struggling with a thousand mighty projects of improvement; feeling more intensely as he feels more narrowly; rejecting vehemently, choosing vehemently; at war with the one half of things, in love with the other half; hence dissatisfied, impetuous, without internal rest, and scarcely conceiving the possibility of such a state. Apart from the difference of their opinions. and mental culture, Shakspeare and Milton seem to have stood in some such relation as this to each other, in regard to the primary structure of their minds. So likewise, in many points, was it with Goethe and Schiller. The external circumstances of the two were, moreover, such as to augment their several peculiarities. Goethe was in his thirty-ninth year; and had long since found his proper rank and settlement in life: Schiller was ten years younger, and still without a fixed destiny; and for both these reasons the great framework of thought, the leading views on all subjects, though formed, were less likely with bim to be chastened and matured. In such circumstances, we can hardly wonder that on Schil ler's part the first impression: was not a very pleasant one. Goethe sat talking of Italy (from which he was just returned), and of art, and travelling, and all things under heaven, with that flow of intelligence, sarcasm, humour, and good nature, which is said to render him the best talker now alive. Schiller sat over against him, in quite a different mood: he felt his natural constraint increased under the influence of a man. so opposite in nature; so potent in.
resources, so singular and so expert in using them; a man whom he could not agree with, and knew not how to contradict. Soon after their interview he thus writes:
On the whole, this personal meeting has not at all diminished the great idea, in truth, which I had previously formed of Goethe; but I doubt whether we shall ever come into any close communication with each other. Much that still interests me has already had its epoch with him. His whole nature is, from its very origin, other wise constructed than mine; his world is not my world; our modes of conceiving things appear to be essentially different From such a conjunction, no secure and substantial intimacy can result. Time will try.
Time, in fact, soon showed that, in this first impression, Schiller had been wrong. Goethe was not en tirely the man he had been taken for; nor had his feelings correspond ed to those of his new acquaintance. Under the embarrassment of Schiller's manner, Goethe had not failed to observe the strength and nobleness of heart, which equally with genius distinguished the former. Rightly appreciating this retiring delicacy of nature, and not loving him the less on that account, he determined to make the first advances to a friendly union; and was not long in gaining the affectionate esteem of a man, whom he had before impressed with reverence, and whom he now courted by kind services. A strict similarity of characters is not necessary, or perhaps very favourable, to friendship. To render it complete, each party must no doubt be competent to understand the other; both must be possessed of dispositions kindred in their great lineaments: but the pleasure of comparing our ideas and emotions is heightened, when there is "likeness in unlikeness." "The same sentiments, different opinions," Rous seau conceives to be the best material of friendship: reciprocity of kind words and actions is more effectual than all. Luther loved Melancthon; Johnson was not more the friend of Edmund Burke than of Doctor Levitt. Goethe and Schiller met again: as they lived together at Weimar, and saw each other oftener, they liked each other better; they became associates, friends; and the harmony of their intercourse, strengthened by
many subsequent communities of object, was never interrupted, till death put an end to it. Goethe, in his time, has done many glorious things; but few on which he should look treatment of Schiller. Literary friendback with greater pleasure than his ships are said to be precarious, and of rare occurrence: the rivalry of interest disturbs their continuance; a rivalry greater, where the subject of competition is one so vague, impalpable, and fluctuating, as the favour of the public; where the feeling to be gratified is one so nearly allied to vanity, the most irritable, arid, and selfish feeling of the human heart. Had Goethe's prime motive been the love of fame, he must have viewed with repugnance the rising genius, advancing with such rapid strides to dispute with him the palm of intellectual primacy ; and if a sense of his own dignity had withheld him from offering ob structions, or uttering any whisper of discontent, there is none but a truly patrician spirit that would cor dially have offered aid. To being secretly hostile and openly indif ferent, the next resource was to enact the patron; to solace vanity, by helping whom he could not hinder, and who could do without his help. Goethe adopted neither of these plans. It reflects much credit on him that he acted as he did. Eager to forward Schiller's views by exerting all the influence within his power, he succeeded in effecting this; and what was still more difficult, in suffering the character of benefactor to merge in that of equal. They bes came not friends only, but fellowlabourers; a connection productive of important consequences in the history of both, particularly of the younger and more undirected of the two."