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to change my system, and substitute a romantic conception of the character of Joan, for the historical one, which I had previously adopted.'

The tragedy, written upon this plan, loses of course the pretension to be a true picture of life, and becomes a mere dramatic poem. It is called by Schiller a romantic tragedy. The propriety of this appellation seems to be called in question by the biographer, whose remarks upon the subject are so very curious, and so much in the character of a German writer, that we cannot refrain from extracting them.

'Schiller,' he observes, has given to this poem the title of a romantic tragedy, but at that time the meaning of the word romantic had not been defined with much precision. According to our present ideas on subjects of taste, it means, as is well known, an infinite longing after the absolute and infinite, and is thus opposed to the antique, which is the infinite realized in a positive shape. But the poet does not seem to have had this distinction in view; and indeed upon this definition, the character of romantic is inseparable from all modern works of art, and belongs of course to the other tragedies of Schiller as well as to this.'

If any thing could be conceived more amusing than this definition of the term romantic, it would be the perfect simplicity and sincerity, with which the biographer presents it as the one now generally received by the learned. It would be impossible by any analysis to make such language appear more absurd, than it must to every judicious reader at the first glance. We have quoted it principally as a curiosity, and as a specimen of a style of writing very common in German, though almost unknown to the other modern languages. We have hardly any examples of it in English, with the exception, perhaps, of Mr Coleridge's Literary Life and Friend, where the amateurs of this manner will find a choice treat. Mrs Malaprop, in the Rivals, and some of the clown's replies to sir Andrew Aguecheek, in the Twelfth Night, are much in the same way. As to the question in hand, we conceive that Schiller was perfectly right in applying the term romantic to his tragedy of the Maid of Orleans. The word, as is well known, is derived from the common patronymic Roman, which was used, of course, by the Romans to designate their own language, and was retained for this purpose in France, after the Latin language had assumed the corrupt form of the earlier

French. It probably designated at first all compositions written in that language; but was afterwards appropriated exclusively to fictitious narratives in prose, in which sense it is still employed in French and English. Romantic means, therefore, etymologically, nothing more than fictitious, in distinction from historical; but as novels and romances commonly depart as much from the truth of nature in their execution, as they do from that of history in their plan, the term has been much used of late in the former sense, as well as in the latter. In giving his tragedy the title of romantic, Schiller intended to intimate, that he had purposely deviated from the truth of history and nature, in the conception of his principal character, whereas in his other plays he at least makes it his object, whether effectually or not, to conform to them. The distinction between the romantic and the classical in works of art, so much talked of at present on the continent of Europe, if it means any thing else than the difference, to which we have just alluded, between the natural and unnatural, or in a shorter phrase, the good and bad, we conceive to be wholly baseless, or founded on abstractions, that, when divested of the unintelligible jargon, in which they are commonly expressed, are either futile or absurd. Thus we are told by Mr Doering in the definition above quoted, that the romantic is an infinite longing after the infinite; and then, that the antique is the infinite itself in a positive shape. Why then, of course, by the rules of algebra, the romantic is an infinite longing after the antique ; and yet the two qualities are at the same time placed in formal opposition to each other. Again; all modern works of art are necessarily romantic;' including, doubtless, those of Racine and Pope amongst others. What then becomes of the distinction between the romantic and the classical in modern works of art, which it is the precise object of the writers, who usually hold this language, to insist on?

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We shall not, however, tire the reader's patience by any farther disquisitions on so plain a point, but proceed without delay to the close of our narrative. The reception given to the Maid of Orleans by the public was flattering to the author in the highest degree. Among other proofs of the general approbation, it is mentioned, that when the curtain fell at the end of the first act, during the first representation of this play upon the Leipsic stage, the building resounded with acclamaNew Series, No. 14.


tions of Long live Frederic Schiller.' After the play was over, the whole audience crowded into the street to see the poet, upon his coming out of the house, and forming two long lines on the sides of the way, stood with uncovered heads till he had passed through. It is pleasing to see the most potent and public testimonials of success conferred, as in this case, upon real merit. At the same time, when we remark the uncertainty and capriciousness of the first decision of the literary public, when we see, for example, such romances as those of Mr D'Arlincourt passing through seven or eight editions in as many months, in such a place as Paris; when we learn that the farce, entitled Tom and Jerry, or Life in London, has been the most productive, and the School for Scandal the least so of the dramatic performances exhibited for many years upon the English stage, we are compelled to acknowledge, that such attestations of worth, however flattering at the time, are not, after all, the most certain and valuable.

We have had occasion in the course of this article to mention all the works of Schiller of any magnitude, with the exception of the Ghost Seer, a romance, of which the first volume only was published. In this work, as far as one can judge of it from a short fragment, the author intended to employ the same means of exciting interest, which were resorted to by our countryman Brown, who may possibly have taken some hints from Schiller, as he seems to have been acquainted with German literature. Besides the works we have mentioned, Schiller contributed a great number of fugitive pieces, in prose and verse, to a variety of literary journals, conducted by himself and others. Many of his shorter poems made their appearance in this way, and they are amongst the most highly finished and exquisite productions of the kind to be found in any language. The singular variety in the subjects and tones of them shows the extraordinary versatility of the author's genius. It would be difficult to point out a more animated serious lyric poem, than the Ode to Pleasure. The ballads, as for example, the Diver and Fridolin, are written with the most charming felicity of style. The Bell is quite an original poem, founded on an entirely new conception, wrought up and finished with extraordinary power and beauty in a few hundred lines. If a speculating bard of the present day had hit upon such a subject, he would have rung at least a dozen changes upon it through as

many cantos. There are even two or three very pleasing specimens of the comic style, for which, however, Schiller had in general but little taste. All these pieces are known by heart through the whole educated portion of the German nation, and if their author had never written any thing else, would have given him a lasting rank among the greatest poets that have ever lived. One of the least attractive to us of the minor poems, is the Walk, an Elegy, which the author himself mentions, in one of his letters above quoted, as among the very best of all his productions. The versification of this piece is imitated from the antique Hexameter and Pentameter, which to our taste has but little charm for the ear, even in German, where it succeeds better than in other modern languages.

The literary activity of Schiller continued undiminished up to the time of his death, which happened at Weimar, on the ninth of May 1805, after a short illness, at the age of five and forty. Occurring in the full maturity of his intellectual powers, and when his countrymen expected so much pleasure from their farther exercise, it excited a strong sensation through the whole of Germany. The theatre at Weimar was closed upon this occasion, and was reopened after a while by a representation of the Maid of Orleans, accompanied by a solemn funeral ceremony in honor of the author. The anniversary of his death has been observed ever since at the same place by a repetition of his tragedy of Wallenstein. He left à widow and five children. The following pàrticulars are given by the biographer respecting his manners, person, and character :

'Schiller was tall and thin, though naturally of a powerful make. The activity of his mind had evidently checked the full development of his body. His face was pale, the expression of his eye mild and gentle; his forehead high and open; his cheeks hollow; his chin a little projecting, and his hair reddish. His exterior was not very attractive. In walking, his looks were always bent downwards; and he often passed his acquaintance without recognizing them, but when he perceived them, he greeted them with great kindness. In large companies, and especially at court, his manner was reserved and anxious. In the family circle, or among a few intimate friends, he was easy, cheerful, and talkative. He took particular pleasure in a literary society, which was formed at Weimar after he went to reside there, and of which Goethe was one of the principal members. His disposition was eminently kind and friendly, and he felt for others as

warmly as for himself; often declaring, that he had no other wish than to see every body happy and contented.

'He was not fond of public and noisy amusements, and frequented no places of general resort, except the theatre; to which he was naturally much attached. He also took delight in instructing the actors. The rehearsals of the new pieces were regularly held either at his house or Goethe's; and this circumstance often had a favorable influence on the talent of the players. Schiller's notions were very high in regard to good acting, and it was rather difficult to satisfy him. After the successful representation of any of his later dramatic works, he commonly gave an entertainment to the actors at the town-house, which passed off very pleasantly with songs, improvisations, and all sorts of gaiety.'

Having offered in the course of this article such critical remarks as had occurred to us upon the writings of Schiller, it will not be necessary to dwell any longer upon his poetical character. It is much to his honor, that all his writings are distinguished by a pure morality, and an elevated tone of thought and feeling. In making this remark, we mean, of course, to except the Robbers, for reasons, which we have already explained at length. Though not, strictly speaking, licentious, the moral of this play is certainly exceptionable.The rest of his works, whether in prose or verse, are uniformly fitted to encourage the noblest and most amiable sentiments. Few poets of any country, who have flourished at advanced periods in the progress of civilization, deserve this praise to the same extent. His two great contemporaries, Goethe and Wieland, for example, are by no means so pure as Schiller, though the tendency of their works is, in general, far from being absolutely vicious. In the infancy of letters and society, poetry speaks the language of the gods; but as luxury increases, it is too apt to leave its lofty heights and to dwell in preference on frivolous or sensual subjects. The most esteemed modern poets of England and France furnish many examples of the truth of this remark. It is therefore a great happiness for a nation, when a writer like Schiller, whose talents secure him an unbounded popularity and influence, has the grace to exert them uniformly in the great cause of virtue and human happiness. No compensation in the power of subjects or sovereigns to bestow can be too great for such deserts :

‘Quæ tibi, quæ tali reddam pro carmine dona ?’

We may say with safety, that the patent of nobility in the de

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