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properly the exponent of low things; that | pieces, which here and there breathes of the which first renders them poetical to the mind. very highest region of Art. Nor are the na The man of Humour sees common life, even tural or accidental defects we have noticed in mean life, under the new light of sportfulness his genius, even as it stands, such as to ex and love; whatever has existence has a charm clude him from the rank of great Poets. for him. Humour has justly been regarded as Poets whom the whole world reckons great, the finest perfection of poetic genius. He who have, more than once, exhibited the like. Milwants it, be his other gifts what they may, has ton, for example, shares most of them with only half a mind; an eye for what is above him: like Schiller he dwells, with full power, him, not for what is about him or below him. only in the high and earnest; in all other Now, among all writers of any real poetic provinces exhibiting a certain inaptitude, an genius, we cannot recollect one who, in this elephantine unpliancy: he too has little Hurespect, exhibits such total deficiency as mour; his coarse invective has in it conSchiller. In his whole writings there is temptuous emphasis enough, yet scarcely any scarcely any vestige of it, scarcely any attempt graceful sport. Indeed, on the positive side, that way. His nature was without Humour; also, these two worthies are not without a reand he had too true a feeling to adopt any semblance. Under far other circumstances, counterfeit in its stead. Thus no drollery or with less massiveness, and vehement strength caricature, still less any barren mockery, of soul, there is in Schiller the same intensiwhich, in the hundred cases, are all that we ty; the same concentration, and towards find passing current as Humour, discover similar objects, towards whatever is Sublime themselves in Schiller. His works are full of in Nature and in Art, which sublimities laboured earnestness; he is the gravest of all they both, each in his several way, worship writers. Some of his critical discussions, with undivided heart. There is not in Schilespecially in the Aesthetische Briefe, where he ler's nature the same rich complexity of designates the ultimate height of man's culture rhythm, as in Milton's, with its depth of linked by the title Spieltrich, (literally, Sport-impulse,) sweetness; yet in Schiller too there is someprove that he knew what Humour was, and thing of the same pure, swelling force, some how essential; as indeed, to his intellect, all tone which, like Milton's, is deep, majestic, forms of excellence, even the most alien to his solemn. own, were painted with a wonderful fidelity. It was as a Dramatic Author that Schiller Nevertheless, he himself attains not that height distinguished himself to the world: yet often which he saw so clearly; to the last the Spiel- we feel as if chance rather than a natural tentrieb could be little more than a theory with dency had led him into this province; as if him. With the single exception of Wallen-his talent were essentially, in a certain style, stein's Lager, where, too, the Humour, if it be lyrical, perhaps even epic, rather than dramasuch, is not deep, his other attempts at mirth, tic. He dwelt within himself, and could not fortunately very few, are of the heaviest. A without effort, and then only within a certain rigid intensity, a serious enthusiastic ardour, range, body forth other forms of being. Nay, majesty rather than grace, still more than much of what is called his poetry seems to lightness or sportfulness, characterizes him. us, as hinted above, oratorical rather than poWit he had, such wit as keen intellectual in- etical; his first bias might have led him to be sight can give; yet even of this no large a speaker, rather than a singer. Neverthe endowment. Perhaps he was too honest, too less, a pure fire dwelt deep in his soul; ana sincere, for the exercise of wit; too intent on only in Poetry, of one or the other sort, coula the deeper relations of things to note their this find utterance. The rest of his nature, at more transient collisions. Besides, he dealt in the same time, has a certain prosaic rigour; Affirmation, and not in Negation; in which so that not without strenuous and complex enlast, it has been said, the material of wit deavours, long persisted in, could its poetic chiefly lies. quality evolve itself. Quite pure, and as the all-sovereign element, it perhaps never did evolve itself; and among such complex enre-deavours, a small accident might influence large portions in its course.

These observations are to point out for us the special department and limits of Schiller's excellence; nowise to call in question its ality. Of his noble sense for Truth, both in speculation and in action; of his deep, genial insight into nature; and the living harmony in which he renders back what is highest and grandest in Nature, no reader of his works need be reminded. In whatever belongs to the pathetic, the heroic, the tragically elevating, Schiller is at home; a master; nay, perhaps the greatest of all late poets. To the assiduous student, moreover, much else that lay in Schiller, but was never worked into shape, will become partially visible: deep inexhaustible mines of thought and feeling; a whole world of gifts, the finest produce of which was but beginning to be realized. To his high-minded, unwearied efforts what was impossible, had length of years been granted him! There is a tone in some of his later

Of Schiller's honest, undivided zeal in this great problem of self-cultivation, we have often spoken. What progress he had made, and in spite of what difficulties, appears, if we contrast his earlier compositions with those of his later years. A few specimens of both sorts we shall here present. By this means, too, such of our readers as are unacquainted with Schiller, may gain some clearer notion ` of his poetic individuality than any description of ours could give. We shall take the Robbers, as his first performance, what he himself calls "a monster produced by the unnatural union of Genius with Thraldom;" the fierce fuliginous fire that burns in that singu lar piece will still be discernible in separa ed passages. The following Scene, even in the

yeasty vehicle of our common English version, has not wanted its admirers; it is the second of the Third Act.

Country on the Danube.

THE ROBBERS.

(Camped on a Height, under Trees: the Horses are grazing on the Hill further down.)

MOOR. I can no farther (throws himself on the ground.) My limbs ache as if ground to pieces. My tongue parched as a potsherd. (Schweitzer glides away unperceived.) I would ask you to fetch me a handful of water from the stream; but ye all are wearied to death. SCHWARZ. And the wine too is all down there, in our jacks.

Moon. See, how lovely the Harvest looks! The Trees almost breaking under their load. The vine full of hope.

GRIMM. It is a plentiful year.

MOOR. Think'st thou?-And so one toil the world will be repaid. One?-Yet over night there may come a hailstorm, and shatter it all to ruin.

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SCHWARZ. Possible enough, it might all be ruined two hours before reaping.

MOOR. Ay, so say I. It will all be ruined. Why should man prosper in what he has from the Ant; when he fails in what makes him like the Gods or is this the true aim of his Destiny?

GRIMM. Out on it!

MOOR. My innocence! My innocence !See, all things are gone forth to bask in the peaceful beam of the Spring,-why must I alone inhale the torments of Hell out of the joys of Heaven? That all should be so happy, all so married together by the spirit of peace!-The whole world one family, its Father above-that Father not mine!-I alone the castaway,-I alone struck out from the company of the just; in-for me no child to lisp my name,-never for me the languishing look of one whom I love; never, never, the embracing of a bosom friend (dashing wildly back.) Encircled with murderers,-serpents hissing round me,-rushing down to the gulph of perdition on the eddying torrent of wickedness,-amid the flowers of the glad world, a howling Abaddon!

Moon (lost in the view.) So dies a Hero!To be worshipped!

GRIMM. It seems to move thee.

MOOR. When I was a lad-it was my darling thought to live so, to die so- -(with suppressed pain.) It was a lad's thought!

GRIMM. Pooh! Pooh!

SCHWARZ. Cheer up. Look at the brave landscape,-the fine evening.

Moon. Yes, Friends, this world is all so lovely.

SCHWARZ. I know it not.

Moon (with piercing sorrow.) Oh, that I might return into my mother's womb,-that I might be born a beggar!-No! I durst not pray, O Heaven, to be as one of these day-labourers

GRIMM (o the res.) Patience, a moment.

Moon. Thou hast said well; and done still better, if thou never tri'dst to know it!-Brother, I have looked at men, at their insect-Oh! I would toil till the blood ran down my anxieties, and giant projects-their godlike temples to buy myself the pleasure of one schemes and mouselike occupations-their noontide sleep,-the blessedness of a single wondrous race-running after Happiness;-he tear. trusting to the gallop of his horse, he to the ose of his ass,-a third to his own legs; this The fit is passing. whirling lottery of life, in which so many a creature stakes his innocence, and-his Hea-weep-O ye days of peace, thou castle of my ven all trying for a prize, and-blanks are father, ye green lovely valleys! O all ye Elythe whole drawing, there was not a prize in sian scenes of my childhood! will ye never the batch. It is a drama, Brother, to bring come again, never with your balmy sighing tears into thy eyes, if it tickle thy midriff to cool my burning bosom? Mourn with me, Nalaughter. ture! They will never come again, never cool SCHWARZ. How gloriously the sun is setting my burning bosom with their balmy sighing. yonder! They are gone! gone! and will not return!

MOOR. There was a time too when I could

GRIMM. Art thou going crazed? Will Moor let such milksop fancies tutor him? MOOR (lays his head on Grimm's breast.) Brother! Brother!

SCHWARZ. There now-that's right. Moon. This Earth is so glorious. GRIMM. Right,-Right-that is it. MOOR (sinking back.) And I so hideous in this lovely world, and I a monster in this glorious Earth.

GRIMM. Come! don't be a child,-I beg-
MOOR. Were I a child!—Oh, were I one!

SCHWARZ (to the rest.) How is this? I never saw him so.

GRIMM. I hope so, truly.

Moon (draws his hat down on his face.) There was a time-Leave me alone, comrades. SCHWARZ. Moor! Moor! What, Devil?How his colour goes!

lute, and walks up and down in deep though!.) Who shall warrant me?-Tis all so dark,-perplexed labyrinths,-no outlet, no loadstar-were it but over with this last draught of breath-Over, like a sorry farce. But whence this fierce Hunger after Happiness? whence this ideal of a never-reached perfection? this continvation of uncompleted plans?-if the pitifu.

GRIMM. Ha! What ails him! Is he ill? Moon. There was a time when I could not sleep, if my evening prayer had been forgot-pressure of this pitiful thing (holding out a pis

ten

tol) makes the wise man equal with the fool, the coward with the brave, the nobleminded with the caitiff?-There is so divine a harmony in all irrational Nature, why should there be this dissonance in rational? No! no! there is somewhat beyond, for I have yet never known happiness.

Or take that still wilder monologue of Moor's on the old subject of suicide; in the midnight Forest, among the sleeping Robbers:

(He lays aside the

FASTOLF.

LIONEL.
God forbid!

Think ye, I will tremble? spirits of my murdered ones! I will not tremble. (TremO day of wo! (Lionel enters.) bling violently.)-Your feeble dying moan,- Look what a sight awaits you, Lionel! your black-choked faces,-your frightfully Our leader wounded, dying! gaping wounds are but links of an unbreakable chain of Destiny; and depend at last on my childish sports, on the whims of my O noble Talbot, this is not a time to die. nurses and pedagogues, on the temperament Yield not to Death; force faltering Nature of my father, on the blood of my mother-By your strength of soul, that life depart not! (shaken with horror.) Why has my Perillus made of me a Brazen Bull to roast mankind in my glowing belly?

(Gazing on the Pistol.) TIME and ETERNITY -linked together by a single moment!-Dread key, that shuttest behind me the prison of life, and before me openest the dwelling of eternal Night-say-O say-whither,-whither wilt thou lead me? Foreign, never circumnavigated Land!-See, manhood waxes faint under this image; the effort of the finite gives up, and A post arrived even now with th' evil news Fancy, the capricious ape of Sense, juggles our credulity with strange shadows.-No! No! It becomes not a man to waver. Be what thou

Paris is the Dauphin's:

It had surrender'd.

LIONEL.

wilt, nameless Yonder-so this me keep but true. This Sun is growing loathsome to me.
Be what thou wilt, so I take myself along with
me--Outward things are but the colouring
of the man-I am my Heaven and my Hell.

What if thou shouldst send me companionless
to some burnt and blasted circle of the Uni-
verse; which thou hast banished from thy
sight; where the lone darkness and the mo-
tionless desert were my prospects-for ever?
-I would people the silent wilderness with
my fantasies; I should have Eternity for
sure to unravel the perplexed image of the
boundless wo. Or wilt Thou lead me through
still other births! still other scenes of pain,
from stage to stage-Onwards to Annihilation? |
The life-threads that are to be woven for me
Yonder, cannot I tear them asunder, as I do
these?—Thou canst make me Nothing ;—this
freedom canst Thou not take from me.
loads the Pistol. Suddenly he Stops.) And shall
I for terror of a miserable life-die?-Shall I
give wretchedness the victory over me?-No,
I will endure it. (He throws the Pistol away.)
Let misery blunt itself on my pride! I will
go through with it.-Act IV. Scene VI.

And now with these ferocities, and Sybilline frenzies, compare the placid strength of the following delineation, also of a stern character, from the Maid of Orleans; where Talbot, the gray veteran, dark, unbelieving, indomitable, passes down, as he thinks, to the land of utter Nothingness, contemptuous even of the Fate that destroys him, and

"In death reposes on the soil of France,
Like hero on his unsurrender'd shield."

TALBOT.

In vain the day of Destiny is come
That levels with the dust our power in France.
In vain, in the fierce clash of desp'rate battle,
Have I risk'd our utmost to withstand it:
The bolt has smote and crush'd me, and I lie
To rise no more for ever.

Rheims is lost;

Make haste to rescue Paris.

TALBOT.

Here, set me down beneath this tree, and you
Betake yourselves again to battle: quick!
I need no help to die.

(The scene changes to an open Space encircled with
Trees. During the music, Soldiers are seen hastily
retreating across the Background.)
TALBOT, leaning on FASTOLF, and accompanied by
Soldiers. Soon after, LIONEL.

LIONEL.

TALBOT (tears away his bandages.)
Then flow out, ye life-streams;

TALBOT.

Conductress of the Stars, who art thou, then,

Madness, thou conquerest, and I must yield:
Against Stupidity the Gods themselves are powerless.
High Reason, radiant Daughter of the head of God,
lei-Wise Foundress of the system of the Universe,
If tied to th' tail o' th' wild horse, Superstition,
Thou must plunge, eyes open, vainly shrieking,
Sheer down with that drunk Beast to the Abyss ?
Cursed who sets his life upon the great
And dignified; and with forecasting spirit
Lays out wise plans! The Fool-King's is this World.

Fastolf,
Convey him to the rear: this post can hold
Resistless comes the Witch, and havoc round her.
Few instants more; you coward knaves, fall back,

LIONEL.

(He Oh! Death is near! Think of your God, and pray!

TALBOT.
Soon it is over, and to the earth I render,
To th' everlasting Sun, the transient atoms

It is the sixth Scene of the third Act; in the Which for pain and pleasure join'd to form me;
heat of a Battle:
And of the mighty Talbot, whose renown
Once fill'd the world, remains nought but a handful

of flitting dust. Thus man comes to his end;
And all our conquest in the fight of Life
Is knowledge that 't is Nothing, and contempt
For hollow shows which once we chas'd and worship'd.

TALBOT.

'T had been but Fortune's common fickleness:

Were we, as brave men, worsted by the brave,
But that a paltry farce should tread us down!—
Did toil and peril, all our earnest life,

Deserve no graver issue?

LIONEL (grasps his hand.)
Talbot, farewell!
The meed of bitter tears I'll duly pay you,
When the fight is done, should I outlive it
But now Fate calls me to the field, where yet
She wav'ring sits, and shakes her doubtful urn.

Farewell! we meet beyond the unseen shore.

Brief parting for long friendship! God be with you! [Erit.

SCENE VII.
Enter CHARLES, BURGUNDY, DUNOIS, DU CHATEL,
and Soldiers.
BURGUNDY.

The trench is stormed.

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Off, Burgundy! With the aspect of a Traitor
Disturb not the last moment of a Hero.

In his smaller Poems, the like progress is visible. Schiller's works should all be dated, as we study them; but indeed the most, by internal evidence, date themselves.-Besides the Lied der Glocke, already mentioned, there are many lyrical pieces of high merit; particularly a whole series of Ballads, nearly every one of which is true and poetical. The Ritter Toggenberg, the Dragon-fight, the Diver, are all well known; the Cranes of Ibycus has in it, under this simple form, something Old-Grecian, an emphasis, a prophetic gloom, which might seem borrowed even from the spirit of Eschylus. But on these, or any farther on the other poetical works of Schiller, we must not dilate at present. One little piece, which lies by us translated, we may give as a specimen of his style in this lyrical province, and therewith terminate this part of our subject. It is entitled Alpenlied, (Song of the Alps,) and seems to require no commentary. Perhaps something of the clear, melodious, yet still somewhat metallic tone of the original may penetrate even through our version:

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That Bridge with its dizzying, perilous span
Aloft o'er the gulph and its flood suspended,
Think'st thou it was built by the art of man,

By his hand that grim old arch was bended?
Far down in the jaws of the gloomy abyss
The water is boiling and hissing-for ever will hiss.

241

Thru Gate through the rocks is as darksome and drear,
As if to the region of Shadows it carried:

Her

A diamond crown encloses;

The "Power-words and Thunder-words," as the Germans call them, so frequent in the Robbers, are altogether wanting here; that volcanic fury has assuaged itself; instead of smoke and red lava, we have sunshine and a verdant world. For still more striking examples of this benignant change, we might refer to many scenes, (too long for our present pur-The Sun with his darts shoots round it keen and hot, poses) in Wallenstein, and indeed in all the He gilds it always, he warms it not, Dramas which followed this, and most of all in Wilhelm Tell, which is the latest of them. The careful, and in general truly poetic structure of these works, considered as complete Poems, would exhibit it infinitely better; but for this object, larger limits than ours at present, and studious Readers as well as a Reviewer, were essential.

Yet enter! A sweet laughing landscape is here,

Where the Spring with the Autumn is married.
From the world with its sorrows and warfare and wail,
O could I but hide in this bright little vale!

Four Rivers rush down from on high,

Their spring will be hidden for ever;
Their course is to all the four points of the sky,
To each point of the sky is a river ;
And fast as they start from their old Mother's feet,
They dash forth, and no more will they meet.

Two Pinnacles rise to the depths of the Blue ;
Aloft on their white summits glancing,
Bedeck'd in their garments of golden dew,
The Clouds of the Sky are dancing;
There threading alone their lightsonie maze,
Uplifted apart from all mortals' gaze.
And high on her ever-enduring throne
The Queen of the mountain reposes;

head serene, and azure, and lone

Of Schiller's Philosophic talent, still more of the results he had arrived at in philosophy, there were much to be said and thought, which we must not enter upon here. As hinted above, his primary endowment seems to us fully as much philosophical as poetical; his intellect, at all events, is peculiarly of that character; strong, penetrating, yet systematic and sche lastic, rather than intuitive; and manifesting this tendency both in the objects it treats, and in its mode of treating them. The transcendental Philosophy, which arose in Schiller's busiest era, could not remain without influence on him; he had carefully studied Kant's System, and appears to have not only admitted but zealously appropriated its fundamental doetrines; remoulding them, however, into his own peculiar forms, so that they seem no longer borrowed, but permanently acquired, not less Schiller's than Kant's. Some, perhaps, little aware of his natural wants and tendencies, are of opinion that these speculations did not profit him: Schiller himself, on the other hand, appears to have been well contented with his Philosophy; in which, as harmonized with his Poetry, the assurance and safe anchorage for his moral nature might lie.

"From the opponents of the New Philosephy," says he, "I expect not that tolerance, better seen into than this: for Kant's Philewhich is shown to every other system, no sophy itself, in its leading points, practises no tolerance; and bears much too rigorous a character, to leave any room for accommodation. But in my eyes this does it honour; proving how little it can endure to have truth tampered with. Such a Philosophy will not be discussed with a mere shake of the head. In the open, clear, accessible field of Inquiry it builds up its system; seeks no shade, makes no reservation; but even as it treats its neighbours, so it requires to be treated; and may X

be forgiven for lightly esteeming every thing but Proofs. Nor am I terrified to think that the law of Change, from which no human and no divine work finds grace, will operate on this Philosophy, as on every other, and one This last seems a singular opinion; and may day its Form will be destroyed: but its Foun- prove, if it be correct, that Schiller himself dations will not have this destiny to fear; for was no "healthy poetic nature;" for undoubtever since mankind has existed, and any Rea-edly with him those three points were "serious concerns and necessities;" as many portions of his works, and various entire treatises, will testify. Nevertheless, it plays an important part in his theories of Poetry; and often, under milder forms, returns on us there.

son among mankind, these same first principles have been admitted, and on the whole acted upon."-Correspondence with Goethe, I. 58.

:

Schiller's philosophical performances relate chiefly to matters of Art; not, indeed, without significant glances into still more important regions of speculation: nay, Art, as he viewed it, has its basis on the most important interests of man, and of itself involves the harmonious adjustment of these. We have already undertaken to present our readers, on a future occasion, with some abstract of the Esthetic Letters, one of the deepest, most compact pieces of reasoning we are anywhere acquainted with by that opportunity, the general character of Schiller, as a Philosopher, will best fall to be discussed. Meanwhile, the two following brief passages, as some indication of his views on the highest of all philosophical questions, may stand here without commentary.servation we must make before concluding. He is speaking of Wilhelm Meister, and in the Among young students of German Literature, first extract, of the Fair Saint's Confessions, the question often arises, and is warmly which occupy the Fifth Book of that work: mooted: whether Schiller or Goethe is the greater Poet? Of this question we must be allowed to say that it seems rather a slender one, and for two reasons. First, because Schiller and Goethe are of totally dissimilar endowments and endeavours, in regard to all matters intellectual, and cannot well be compared together as Poets. Secondly, because if the question mean to ask, which Poet is on the whole the rarer and more excellent, as probably it does, it must be considered as long ago abundantly answered. To the clear-sighted and modest Schiller, above all, such a question would have appeared surprising. No one knew better than himself, that as Goethe was a born Poet, so he was in great part a made Poet; that as the one spirit was intuitive, allembracing, instinct with melody, so the other was scholastic, divisive, only partially and as it were artificially melodious. Besides, Goethe has lived to perfect his natural gift, which the less happy Schiller was not permitted to do. The former, accordingly, is the national Poet; the latter is not, and never could have been. We once heard a German remark that readers till their twenty-fifth year usually preferred Schiller; after their twenty-fifth year, Goethe. This probably was no unfair illustration of the question. Schiller can seem higher than Goethe only because he is narrower. Thus to unpractised eyes, a Peak of Teneriffe, nay, a Strasburg Minster, when we stand on it, may seem higher than a Chimborazo; because the former rise abruptly, without abutment or environment; the latter rises gradually, carrying half a world aloft with it; and only the deeper azure of the heavens, the widened horizon, the "eternal sunshine," disclose to the geographer that the "Region of Change" lies far below him.

However, let us not divide these two Friends, who in life were so benignantly united. With

"The transition from Religion in general to the Christian Religion, by the experience of sin, is excellently conceived. * * * I find virtually in the Christian System the rudiments of the Highest and Noblest; and the different phases of this System, in practical life, are so offensive and mean, precisely because they are bungled representations of that same Highest. If you study the specific character of Christianity, what distinguishes it from all monotheistic Religion, it lies in nothing else than in that making dead of the Law, the removal of that Kantean Imperative, instead of which Christianity requires a free Inclination. It is thus, in its pure form, a representing of Moral Beauty, or the Incarnation of the Holy; and in this sense, the only aesthetic Religion: hence, too, I explain to myself why it so prospers with female natures, and only in women is now to be met with under a tolerable figure." -Correspondence, I. 195.

in the long run, all speculation turns, may in truth afford such a nature matter for poetic play, but can never become serious concerns and necessities for it."-II. 131.

"But in seriousness," he says elsewhere, "whence may it proceed that you have had a man educated, and in all points equipt, without ever coming upon certain wants which only Philosophy can meet? I am convinced, it is entirely attributable to the aesthetic direction you have taken through the whole Romance. Within the æsthetic temper there arises no want of those grounds of comfort, which are to be drawn from speculation: such a temper has self-subsistence, has infinitude, within itself; only when the Sensual and the Moral in man strive hostilely together, need help be sought of pure Reason. A healthy poetic nature wants, as you yourself say, no Moral Law, no Rights of Man, no Political Metaphysics. You might have added as well, it wants no Deity, no Immortality, to stay and uphold itself withal. Those three points round which,

But, without entering farther on those complex topics, we must here for the present take leave of Schiller. Of his merits we have all along spoken rather on the negative side; and we rejoice in feeling authorized to do so. That any German writer, especially one so dear to us, should already stand so high with British readers that, in admiring him, the critic may also, without prejudice to right feeling on the subject, coolly judge of him, cannot be other than a gratifying circumstance. Perhaps there is no other true Poet of that nation with whom the like course would be suitable.

Connected with this there is one farther ob

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