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Schiller. Aside from the interest immediately attached to the opinions and manner of thought which characterize the works of a powerful author, there is always an equal curiosity to know his life and character; to trace through the various vicissitudes peculiar to his situation, the corresponding and progressive forms of his will and disposition, his feelings and taste. The simple volume of his works, though beautiful everywhere with the gems of thought, fancy, and passion, is insufficient to show the internal sources of his power as a man; sources, not all native, not all peculiar to him as a minister of truth, but many of them moulded by suffering, many by labor, all by hope; hope, too, not founded only on the conscious possession of genius, but partly on sympathy with universal weakness, partly on the ever-present ideal of a universal and glorious destiny. Whatever is the legitimate effect of genius alone, is admirable in itself; but those changes, of will and energy, that gradual waning of enthusiasm, as the whole man is developed by his fellow-men and culture, these are ties that bind him to us all. Among men of genius there is, perhaps, none whose life affords a fuller gratification to this curiosity than Schiller. Indeed, it is almost impossible in him to separate the author from the man. It is necessary, in a great measure, VOL. XIX.
to unite them. As in his culture and his works, there is traceable a continuous progress, so in his life there are circumstances associated with, and influencing each step of his mind. Properly to appreciate either, we must know both ; both known, the value of such a man is beyond all estimate.
In 1773, at the early age of fourteen, our author was sent, at the solicitation of the Grand-Duke of Wurtemberg, to a school instituted by the latter, and designed as a sort of National Academy for teaching all professions by the mental and physical tyranny of military discipline. Under this discipline Schiller read medicine at Stuttgard. The original sketch of “The Robbers” was completed here in 1778, and probably owed much of its fiery discontent and restless desire of change and freedom, embodied in the hero, to the irksome situation of the Franz von Moor at Stuttgard. “The Robbers,” however, was not published till he had completed his studies in medicine, and received an appointment as surgeon in a regiment. He then published it on his own responsibility. In the design of the work itself there is no blow deliberately aimed at virtue or society, if we judge from the tenor of the author's life and character; but, filled as it is with all the ammunition of disordered passion and immature thought, that it should have been considered a magazine of innovation is not strange. The people praised it ; the Grand-Duke did not. Schiller's father, at the bidding of the Grand-Duke, censured it. Goethe, very naturally, abhorred it. “If,” says he, “I were a God, and deliberating whether I should create the world, and foresaw that in that world Schiller's ‘Robbers' should appear, I would not create it." So much for the design and effect of “The Robbers." Yet more. The Grand-Duke insisted that the young author should plod at medicine. The youth rebelled and left, and hence we have, instead of Schiller trying to tie up bones and arteries, and making pills for digestion and headache, Schiller the Poet, not confined to one science, but ever darting forth the swift arrows of thought into all arts and sciences, assimilating all into the strong muscle and the delicate vein of genius. After a secret visit to Manheim to see his tragedy represented, he thus writes to the manager: “If Germany shall one day recognize in me a dramatic poet, I must date the epoch from the last week.”
But there must be an escape from Stuttgard and the jealous friendship of the Grand-Duke. The people are in the tumult of a public festival. The Grand-Duke Paul of Russia has come! Everybody is delirious with joy. The master and the apprentice, the master and the schoolboy, all are at the festival. The pomp and splendor of nobility are arrayed at