SCHILLER BACKGROUND PAGE
When Schiller visited Tuebingen, he also met his publisher Friedrich Cotta, a young man of 30 years of age, for the first time. The latter had taken over the “family business”, in existence since 1659, in the year 1787. The second meeting between Schiller and Cotta took place in May of that year (in Stuttgart). During a long walk, they discussed Cotta’s idea of a political newspaper, the editorship of which Schiller was possibly to take on (the newspaper in question was the “Allgemeine Zeitung”, which Cotta founded later, namely in 1798 and one of the “collaborators” of which would later, in 1831, be the German writer Heinrich Heine. However, Cotta and Schiller also discussed the latter’s plan of a “literary” periodical, the “Horen”, which then “had its lifetime” from 1795 to 1797.
During his stay in Wuerttemberg and after his “return” there to Stuttgart in mid-March, Schiller met some of his former fellow students from the Karlsschule, as, for example, the sculptor Johann Heinrich Dannecker and the painter Philipp Friedrich Hetsch.
After Schiller had returned to Jena, he, Wilhelm von Humboldt and Fichte prepared an invitation to the participation in the “Horen” magazine.
With respect to Goethe’s answer in writing to Schiller of June 24th and the ensuing lively correspondence can be reported that the two “literary greats” also met at a symposium of the “Naturforschende Gesellschaft” (Society for Scientific Research) at Jena on July 20th, and that they left this symposium together, went to Schiller’s apartment and continued their lively discussion there. They discussed Goethe’s concept of an “originating plant” and his differentiation between idea and experience. A second discussion took place on July 22nd, this time at Wilhelm von Humboldt’s home. In his letter of July 25th, Goethe welcomed the possibility of an exchange of thought with Schiller. After Goethe had accompanied Duke Karl August during his visit of the cities Dessau, Leipzig and Dresden, Schiller wrote to him the following letter which was dated August 23rd:
“Die neulichen Unterhaltungen mit Ihnen haben meine ganze Ideenmasse in Bewegung gebracht, denn sie betrafen einen Gegenstand, der mich seit etliichen Jahren lebhaft beschaeftigt. Ihr beobachtender Blick, der so still und rein auf den Dingen ruht, setzt Sie ni in Gefahr, auf den Abweg zu geraten, in den sowohl die Spekulation, als die willkuerliche und bloss sich selbst gehorchende Einbildungskraft sich so leicht verirrt. In Ihrer richtigen Intuition liegt alles und weit vollstaendiger, was die Analysis muehsam sucht, und nur weil es als ein Ganzes in Ihnen liegt, ist Ihnen Ihr eigener Reichtum verborgen. . . . Geister Ihrer Art wissen daher selten, wie weit sie gedrungen sind und wie wenig Ursache sie haben, von der Philosophie zu borgen, die nur von ihnen lerrnen kann. Diese kann bloss zergliedern, was ihr gegeben wird, aber das Geben selbwst ist nicht die Sache des Analytikers, sondern des Genies, welches unter dem dunklen aber sichern Einfluss reiner Vernunft nach objektiven Gesetzen verbindet. . . . Sie nehmen die ganze Natur zusammen, um ueber das Einzelne Licht zu bekommen; in der Allheit ihrer Erscheinungsarten suchen Sie den Erklaerungsgrund fuer das Individuum auf. . . . Nun, das Sie als ein Deutscher geboren sind, das Ihr griechischer Geist in diese nordische Schoepfung geworfen wurde, so blieb Ihnen keine andere Wahl, als selbst zum nordischen Kuenstler zu werden, oder Ihrer Imagination das, was ihr die Wirklichkeit vorenthielt, durch Nachhilfe der Denkkraft zu ersetzen und so gleichsam von innen heraus und auf einem rationalen Wege ein Griechenland zu gebaeren.”
The translation of this letter reads as follows:
“The recent discussions with You have moved my entire mass of ideas, for these discussions concerned a topic that has occupied my mind in a lively manner for some years. Your observing mind which rests so quietly and clearly upon the things, never puts you into any danger of “going astray” in which speculation as well as deliberate and merely self-relying imagination may all too easily lead. In your right intuition, everything lies and that more completely than that which analysis has to cumbersomely search for, and only due to the fact that this lies within you as a whole, your own wealth is hidden from you. . . . Minds of this nature seldom know how far they have come and how little they have reason to borrow from philosophy, which could only learn from them. The latter can only take apart and analyze what is given to it, but giving itself is not the prerogative of the analyst, but of genius which, under the dark but sure influence of pure reason strives towards more objective laws. . . . You take all of nature together in order to shed light on one particular problem, in the variety yet wholeness of nature’s forms, you seek for an explanation as to the individual. . . . Well, since you have been born as a German, since your Greek mind has been thrown into these northern realms, you had no other choice than to become an artists of the northern hemisphere yourself, or to claim that which its environment withheld from it, by employing the power of your mind and thus, so-to-say from “inside”, in a rational manner, give birth to “your own Greece.”
Goethe replied on August 27th, “it appears that, after such an encounter which occurred quite unawares, we have to wander on together.”
Schiller’s letter of September 7th, with which he accepted Goethe’s invitation to visit him at Weimar, described his own health situation, and which were actually the very circumstances in the midst of which he was to live during the last eleven years of his life and to produce his further literary works and which, in the truest sense of the concept, may very well represent what can “actually” be considered the works of “classical German literature”: his esthetic writings, the “Wallenstein” trilogy (which Thomas Carlyle daringly described as the “best” drama of the 18th century), and all of this further plays, including “William Tell”. Here an excerpt of what Schiller wrote about his health situation:
“Mit Freuden nehme ich Ihre guetige Einladung nach Weimar an, doch mit der ernstlichen Bitte, dass Sie in keinem einzigen Stueck Ihrer haeuslichen Ordnung auf mich rechnen moegen, denn leider noetigen mcih meine Kraempfe gewoehnlich, den ganzen Morgen dem Schlaf zu widmen, weil sie mir des Nachts keine Ruhe lassen, und ueberhaupt wird es mir nie so gut, auch den Tag ueber auf eine bestimmte Stunde sicher zaehlen zu duerfen. Sie werden mir also erlauben, mich in Ihrem Hause als einen voellig Fremden zu betrachten, auf den nicht geachtet wird, und dadurch, dass ich mich ganz isoliere, der Verlegenheit zu entgehen, jemand anderes von meinem Befinden abhaengen zu lassen. Die Ordnung, die jedem andern Menschen wohl macht, ist mein geaehrlichster Feind, denn ich darf nur in einer bestimmten Zeit etwas Bestimmtes vornehmen muessen, so bin ich sicher, dass er mir nicht moeglich sein wird.
Entschuldigen Sie diese Praeliminiarien, die ich notwendigerweise vorhergehen lassen musste, um meine Existenz bei Ihnen auch nur moeglich zu machen. Ich bitte bloss um die leiddige Freiheit, bei Ihnen krank sein zu duerfen.”
The translation reads as follows:
“With pleasure I am accepting your invitation to Weimar, but with my serious request that you, in no way, count on me and my actual presence in any of your household’s activities, for my cramps usually force me to sleep all morning, since they invariably trouble me during the night, and I never feel that well that I can count on my total well-being for any hour of the day. You will thus allow me to have you consider me as a complete stranger in your household who nobody pays any attention to and by my isolating myself I save myself from the embarrassment to have someone else depend on my state of health. The order and regularity which is so good and sensible for everybody else is my most dangerous enemy, for I only have to plan something for a certain time, and I can rest assured that I will not be able to follow through with it.
Please excuse these preliminaries which I had to necessarily mention first in order for me to make my existence in your house possible, at all. I merely ask for the unfortunate freedom that I may be ill at your house.”
In their discussions, Goethe and Schiller found that their views with respect to art and theories on art were very much alike in many respects, so that Schiller’s sequence of letters “Ueber die aesthetische Erziehung des Menschen” (on the esthetic education of man) found Goethe’s approval, and in return, Goethe sent Schiller his essay, “Inwiefern die Idee: Schoenheit und Vollkommenheit mit Freiheit, auf organische Naturen angewendet werden koenne” (As to how far the idea, beauty and perfection (combined) with freedom, can be applied to organic, natural phenomena).
Schiller also suggested that Goethe publish his “Wilhelm Meister” in sequels in the periodical “Horen”, but Goethe had to decline.
Goethe was also increasingly fascinated by the scientific institutions at Jena, so that he spent some time there in November of that year, and in Schiller’s house he also met a young German poet, Friedrich Hoelderlin. Howeve, Goethe could not appreciate this young man as much as Schiller did.
In reply to Goethe’s sending Schiller the first volume of “Wilhelm Meister”, Schiller replied in his letter of December 9th:
“Mit wahrer Herzenslust habe ich das erste Buch Wilhelm Meisters durchlesen und verschlungen, und ich danke demselben einen Genuss, wie ich lange nicht und nie als durch Sie gehabt habe.”
The translation reads:
“With my true heart’s delight, I have read through the first volume of Wilhelm Meister and have devoured it, and, thanks to it, I have experienced a pleasure that I have seldom had and never through anyone but you.”
Schiller’s and Goethe’s lively discourse with respect to Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre was to, from then on, accompany the writing process of this work, and Schiller’s letters became so important to Goethe that he saw in them an encouragement to carry on with his writings on this work.
To the Timetable: 1794
The new “Horen” which was published by Cotta on January 15th, 1795, contained Schiller’s new version of his letters to the Duke of Augustenburg,On the Esthetic Education of Man, in a Series of Letters(Letters 1-9), and the continuation of those letters (10-16) was contained in the February issue.
Due to Schiller’s encouragement, Goethe worked on his Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahreall year and was able to complete volumes four, five and six.
Goethe was also very much involved with the “Horen”, which featured his essay, Literarischer Sansculottismus(Literary Sansculottism), a polemic against the literary critic Daniel Jenisch, but without mentioning the latter’s name, his Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten(Conversations of German Emigrants), and his translation of Mme. De Stael’s Essai sur les fictions(Essay on Fiction), but also reviews such as on Johann Jakob Engel’s novel Herr Lorenz Stark, ein Charaktergemaelde(Mr. Lorenz Stark, a Character Portrait).
Schiller’s publications of that year in the “Horen” also included his poems Das Reich der Schatten, the later title of which would be Das Ideal und das Leben, Natur und Schule, later published under the title Der Genius, Das verschleierte Bild zu Sais, Elegie which, from 1800 on, was entitled Der Spaziergang, while the “Musenalmanach fuer das Jahr 1796” contained, amongst other items, the poem Wuerde der Frauen which, in the circle of the Schlegel brothers, was received with laughter and which was parodied.
The November issue of the “Horen” contained Schiller’s essay Ueber das Naïve and in December, amongst other items, its continuation, Die sentimentalischen Dichter.
The “Horen”, in spite of the high quality of its articles, was criticized and ridiculed by literary critics, above all the one whom Goethe had criticized in his essay on “literary sansculottism”. Goethe reacted by suggesting that such occurrences should also be discussed in the “Horen”, but this plan was deferred and it was decided to feature such rebuttals in other publications.
For this “project”, Schiller and Goethe became inspired by the ancient Roman writer Martial who, in the first century of our times, wrote short epigrams and ironically called them Xenia(Gifts by Guests), and they adopt Martials form, briefness and satirical spiciness, so that, by December, the first of nearly thousand Xenien had been written by Goethe and Schiller in collaboration. General human foibles, problems of the times, and particular individuals were thus attacked in them.
To the Timetable: 1795
In February of this year, Goethe had begun to translate the autibiography of Benvenuto Cellini, while Heinrich Meier was in Italy and sent him materials for his studies from there. Goethe in turn, for Schiller’s “Horen”, wrote the Briefe einer Reise nach dem Gotthard(Letters from a Journey to the Gottard) which were based on his original letters from his journey to Switzerland in the year 1776 with the Duke of Weimar.
In this year, Goethe also attempted to win the former Mannheim actor Iffland for the weimar theatre. Iffland, however, became director of the Berlin National Theatre. In May of that year, Goethe met August Wilhelm Schlegel who had, already in January, reviewed the poetical content of the “Horen” in January in the “Allgemeinen Liteatur-Zeitung”. Hegels critique of the “Horen” and of the “Musen-Almanach” led to a cooling of any heretofore existing “considerations” between Schlegel and Schiller, while Goethe kept in lively contact with both Schlegel brothers.
Schiller’s enthusiams with respect to Goethe’s completion of volume eight of his novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahrefound expression in his letter to Goethe of July 2nd:
“Die bewundernswuerdige Natur, Wahrheit und Leichtigkeit Ihrer Schilderungen entfernt bei dem gemeinen Volk der Beurteiler alle Gedanken an die Schwierigkeit, an die Groesse der Kunst; und bei denen, die dem Kuenstler zu folgen imstande sein koennten, die auf die Mittel, wodurch er wirkt, aufmerksam sind, wirkt die genialische Kraft, welche sie hier handeln sehen, so feindlich und vernichtend, bringt ihr beduerftiges Selbst so sehr ins Gedraenge, dass sie es mit Gewalt von sich stossen, aber im Hezen . . . Ihnen gewiss am lebhaftesten huldigen.”
The translation reads as follows:
“The admirable nature, truth and ease of your narrations removes in the flock of common judges (of this work) all thought of the difficulty, of the greatness of art; and with those who might be able to follow the artist, and who are able to discern the means by which he works, the genial force which they see in effect here, works so very destructive and controversial, and puts their meagre selves into such calamities, that they have to push it (this work) away with great force, but in their hearts . . . they surely worship you most lively.”
With respect to the Literary Declaration of War between Goethe, but more particularly Schiller, on the one hand, and, for example, August Wilhelm Schlegel, on the other hand, gained its sharpness also out of Schiller’s personal character which, by this time, had taken on certain “dictatorial” traits. Even Goethe had to, once in a while, “save himself” from Schiller’s stubbornness, which was also coupled with an extraordinary degree of sensitivity. Hoever, one may wish to ask oneself as to whether these traits were not also “aggravated” by Schiller’s health situation, let alone by his ambitions to see his ideas, as they were expressed in his essays, “turn into reality” in one way or another, thus to see that his work had “any influence”.
To the Timetable: 1796
Even after their frequent meetings at Jena in the earlier part of this year, Goethe and Schiller never ceased to inspire each other’s work. They dealt intensively with the theory on the various literary genres. Epic literature and drama were the subjects of lively verbal and written discussions. Inspired by this, Goethe looked again at classical epic literature, drama and writings on litererary theory such as Aristotle’s Poetik, Wolf’s Prolegomena, Friedrich Schlegel’s work Ueber die Homerische Poesie mit Ruecksicht auf die Wolfischen Untersuchungen (On Homer’s poetry with respect to Wolf’s Investigations), Aischylos Aganmemnon and more. Until the end of December, Goethe tried to incorporate the impressions he gained from the above occupation in an essay entitled Ueber epische und dramatische Dichtung (On Epic and Dramatic Literature), and he acknowledged Schiller’s part in it by describing the essay as having been compiled by Goethe and Schiller. In this essay, Goethe (not without Schiller’s influence) tried to clearly delineate and separate from each other the characteristics of epic and dramatic literature. To illustrate this, we may quote two passages:
”Die Epiker und Dramatiker sind beide den allgemeinen poetischen Gesetzen unterworfen, besonders dem Gesetze der Einheit und dem Gesetze der Entfaltung; ferner behandeln sie beide aehnliche Gegenstaende und koennen beide alle Arten von Motiven brauchen, ihr grosser wesentlicher Unterschied besteht aber darin, dass der Epiker die Gegebenheit als vollkommen vergangen vortraegt und der Dramatiker sie als vollkommen gegenwaertig darstellt.”
“The epic and the dramatic writer are both subjected to the same poetic laws, particularly the law of unity and the law of diversity and unfolding of their subjects; furthermore, both deal with similar subjects and both can make use of all kinds of motives; the important and essential difference between them (the two genres) is that the epic writer presents his topic completely as one of the past while the dramatic writer presents his topic completely as something that is happening in the present.”
“Das epische Gedicht stellt vorzueglich persoenlich beschraenkte Taetigkeit, die Tragoedie personlich beschraenktes Leiden vor; das epische Gedicht den ausser sich wirkenden Menschen: Schlachten, Reisen, jede Art von Unterhaltung, die eine gewisse sinnliche Breite fordert; die Tragoedie dan nach innen gefuehrten Menschen, und die Handlungen der echten Tragoedie beduerfen daher nur wenigen Raumes.”
“The epic poem mainly presents activity that is limited to personal events; the tragedy mainly presents personal suffering; the epic poem presents man as he is seen working on the outside: in battles, travels, in all kinds of entertainment, all of which requires a measure of sensual broadness; tragedy presents man as he is turned inward, and the actions of real tragedy thus require little (outer) space.”
The writer is becoming aware of the fact that we present quite an array of data of the cooperation between Goethe and Schiller here. Since, however, this level of cooperation between the two was so intense during this year, we have to carry on and describe some more areas of it. During the months of May and June, Schiller and Goethe also discussed the literary genre of the ballad. Subsequently, Goethe wrote five ballads which were published in Schiller’s Musenalmanach fuer das Jahr 1798, namely Der Schatzgraeber, Legende (Belehrung des Petrus ueber den Wert des scheinbar Nichtigen), Die Braut von Korinth, Der Bott und die Bajadere and Der Zauberlehrling. Schiller adapted Goethe’s ballad idea of Die Kraniche des Ibycus and further wrote the ballads Der Taucher, Der Ring des Polykrates, Der Handschuh and Der Gang nach dem Eisenhammer.
It should also be mentioned that Schiller had already encouraged Goethe in the year before to continue with his Faust, which Goethe took up writing on again in June of 1797.
Schiller will later be able to profit from Goethe’s journey to Switzerland of this year, for Goethe, inspired by his wanderings through the area in which William Tell lived, initially wanted to write an epic poem about the liberation of Switzerland. Abandoning the idea, he was able to pass much of his background information on to Schiller who would make use of it in his play William Tell.
To the Timetable: 1797
In this year, Schiller’s collaboration with Goethe continued. When Schiller was Goethe’s guest in Weimar from mid-September on, Goethe suggested that Schiller should divide his play Wallenstein into two parts, of which Wallensteins Lager (originally a prologue) was supposed to be staged for the re-opening of the Weimar theater (which underwent re-construction during the months of July to September of this year). Based on this suggestion, Schiller began to work on a rearrangement of the old prologue, so that the entire work could ultimately be presented in three parts.
The Schiller ballads that were published in the Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1799 were Der Kampf mit dem Drachen and Die Buergschaft.
Schiller also actively participated in Goethe’s art magazine, Propylaen which contained some of Goethe’s most important essays.
Goethe and Schiller also developed a novella entitled Der Sammler und die Seinigen, which was a work in letter and dialogue form and which was completed in 1799.
To the Timetable: 1798
Once the Schillers had resolved in August of that year to keep, in addition to their Jena apartment, also an apartment in Weimar, Duke Karl granted Schiller’s petition for an increased salary; the 200 thalers annual salary that had been paid to Schiller since 1790 was doubled. Schiller’s income was also augmented by Iffland’s sending him 60 Louisdor for the rights to stage his play Wallenstein in Berlin and the 150 thalers for the staging of Wallenstein in Lauchstaedt.
The Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1800 contained Schiller’s poem Die Glocke (on the construction of a bell) to which the writer of this background page can only report of the agony that the retention of this long-winded work of art produces in the mind of a grade five student. In order for the reader to be able to "appreciate" this work in the context of the political circumstances of the times it was written in, we may wish to quote some of the verses towards its end:
Nun zerbrecht mir das Gebaeude
Seine Absicht hat’s erfuellt,
Dass sich Herz und Auge weide
An dem wohlgelungnen Bild,
Schwingt den Hammer, schwingt,
Bis der Mantel springt
Wenn die Glock soll auferstehen,
Muss die Form in Stuecken gehen.
Now just break the shell
For it has fulfilled its purpose
So that heart and eye may feast
By looking at the well-built bell
Swing your hammers, swing
Until the shell breaks
For the bell to appear
Its shell has to break.
Der Meister kann die Form zerbrechen
Mit weiser Hand, zur rechten Zeit,
Doch wehe, wenn in Flammenbaechen
Das gluehnde Erz sich selbst befreit!
Blindwuetend mit des Donners Krachen
Zersprengt es das geborstne Haus,
Und wie aus offnem Hoellenrachen
Speit es Verderben zuendend aus;
Wo rohe Kraefte sinnlos walten,
Da kann sich kein Gebild gestalten
Wenn sich die Voelker selbst befrein,
Da kann die Wohlfahrt nicht gedeihn.
The master can break the shell or form
But, woe, if, in flames of fire,
The glowing iron-ore seeks its own freedom!
Raging blindly with the crash of thunder
It will break the burst shell
And will spew ill fate in burning rage;
Where raw forces rage senselessly
Nothing can grow in harmony
Where nations free themselves
Their well-being cannot flourish.
We are well-advised to take into consideration here that Schiller had, by now, certainly ‘moved beyond’ some of the more ‘revolutionary’ content of his Ode to Joy. This maturing process also reflects Schiller’s earlier recanting of the French Revolution and of its effects.
In this year, Schiller and Goethe were also involved in forming, with Heinrich Meyer, the circle of Weimarer Kunstfreunde (Weimar Friends of the Arts) which was also to engage in holding contests for artists. In May of that year, the first contest was announced in the Goethe’s art magazine Propylaen which occurred under the motto, Venus fuehrt Paris Helena zu (Venus leads Paris to Helena). During the summer months, the Weimarer Kunstfreunde dealt with dilettantism in art. The winners of the contest were the painters Friedrich Harmann and Heinrich Christoph Kolbe.
It can also be reported that Schiller worked on Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the latter part of the year.
To the Timetable: 1799
Schiller’s and Goethe’s ‘art project’, the Weimarer Kunstfreunde saw the publication in the February issue of the Propylaen this year’s contest topics, Hectors Abschied von Andromache (Hector’s farewell from Andromache) and Raub der Pferde des Rhesus (The Theft of Rhesus’ Horses). Among the submissions was also Clemens von Brentano’s comedy Ponce de Leon which did, however, not win a prize. This name may ‘ring a bell’ with Beethoven friends. Clemens Brentano was, of course, the brother-in-law of the composer's friend Antonie Brentano and the half-brother of her husband Franz Brentano.
With respect to the soon sold-out first edition of the Wallenstein-Trilogy should be mentioned that new editions followed immediately, also in subsequent years.
To the Timetable: 1800
With respect to Schiller’s working on his play Die Jungfrau von Orleans can be reported that Goethe approved of it. The Duke of Weimar, however, did not want to see it staged in Weimar. The ‘official’ reason for this was that the audience would have expected a treatment of this topic in the style of Voltaire’s Pucelle and that it would be disappointed by Schiller’s very different ‘take’ on the subject. A more ‘practical’, yet also ‘delicate’ reason may have been the fact that the lead role would have had to be played by the actress Karoline Jagemann, whose close ties to the Duke were very well-known. For her to play a ‘virgin’ would have raised some rather unwelcome criticism and ridicule.
To the Timetable: 1801
With respect to his work on his Wilhelm Tell, Schiller requested of his Tuebingen publisher Cotta a special map of Lake Vierwaldstaetten and environs.
With respect to the death of Schiller’s mother in Cleversulzbach, Schiller had his inheritance interests represented by Cotta. Earlier, he had waived his inheritance rights in that respect in favor of his mother, on the 1796 death of his father.
Schiller’s literary work of that year concentrated on his development of the tragedy Die Braut von Messina (The Bride of Messina), the beginnings of which go back as far as 1797. With this work, Schiller meant to ‘revive’ Greek tragedy, particularly by using choruses. As he wrote in his essay Ueber den Gebrauch der Tragoedie (On the Use of Tragedy), he wanted to transform the common modern world back into the poetic, classical world.
To the Timetable: 1802
Here, we want to, as indicated in the time table, feature Schiller’s letter of February 17, 1803, to Wilhelm von Humboldt which speaks for itself:
"Der Mensch und der Deutsche besonders, bildet sich seine Welt, und was keine Bildung annimmt, lernt er ertragen.
Es ist jetzt ein so klaeglicher Zustand in der ganzen Poesie, der Deutschen und der Auslaender, dass alle Liebe und aller Glaube dazu gehoert, um noch an ein Weiterstreben zu denken und auf eine bessere Zeit zu hoffen. An ein Zusammenhalten zu einem guten Zweck ist nicht zu denken, jeder steht fuer sich und muss sich seiner Haut im Naturstande wehren.
Goethe ist jetzt ordentlich zu einem Moench geworden und lebt in einer blossen Beschaulichkeit, die zwar keine abgezogene ist, aber doch nicht nach aussen produktiv wirkt. Allein kann ich nichts machen, oft treibt es mich, mich in der Welt nach einem anderen Wohnort und Wirkungskreis umzusehen; wenn es nur irgendwo leidlich waere, ginge ich fort."
"Man, and the German in particular, forms his own world, and what cannot be shaped he learns to bear.
It is such a pitiful plight with all of poetry, with that of the Germans and that of foreigners, so that all love and all faith would have to be summoned in order to even consider a moving forward and a hoping for better times. One cannot even think of any cooperation for a good purpose, everyone is isolated, by himself and has to fend for himself in a state of ‘raw nature’.
Goethe has turned into a veritable monk and lives in utter contemplation, which is not an isolated one, yet he is not outwardly productive. I cannot do anything by myself, and often I feel urged to look for another place to live and work in; if there was such a place anywhere, I would leave here."
To the Timetable: 1803
It appears that in the year 1804, Goethe’s and Schiller’s cooperation had improved somewhat. With respect to Schiller’s receiving an offer by Queen Luise of Prussia to move to Berlin, Schiller wrote to the Duke of Weimar and asked for an increase of his salary, which was then doubled from 400 to 800 thalers.
To the Timetable: 1804
In his last letter to Goethe of April 25th, Schiller wrote:
"Ich werde Muehe haben, die harten Stoesse seit neun Monaten zu verwinden, und ich fuerchte, dass noch etwas davon zurueckbleibt . . . Indessen will ich mich ganz zufriedengeben, wenn mir nur Leben und leidliche Gesundheit bis zum 50. Jahr aushaelt."
"I shall have difficulties in overcoming the hard blows of the last nine months and am afraid that some after-effect will remain . . . All the while, I shall be quite content if I can continue to live in tolerable health in order to reach the age of 50 years."
Goethe, who was in ill health himself, was, at first, not told of Schiller’s death.
A forensic study of Schiller’s remains resulted in the following report as to the cause of death: acute pneumonia with progressed destruction of the left lung, deformation of the heart muscle and a blockage in the intestines.
On May 12th, parts of Mozart’s Requiem were performed at a funeral service.
With Schiller’s death, the ‘high period’ of ‘classical’ German literature came to an end, with Goethe fending mostly for himself in his own late works.
To the Timetable: 1805