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Much of this would go into her novel Corinne. It is difficult to rescue much of the poem aesthetically even if we know that Schlegel would later declare those incursions into the Roman Empire to be the catalyst of modern European history. Not even the Renaissance, Raphael or Michelangelo, is spared these depredations of time: To show how heartfelt these sentiments are, he summons up the ultimate name in her personal configuration: Unlike Winckelmann for whom the male form was everything, Schlegel was here writing to a woman who would not let him go, while he was in the entourage of another woman whose imperious claims had brought him to Italy in the first place.
He was well advised to leave the former and cleave chastely to the latter. Already in the first full letter he had written from Coppet on his arrival in May , he had recounted how he had had to drop his own work and be present when visitors arrived, first Bonstetten, then the prefect. Even Benjamin Constant, still making serious claims on her heart and hand, was similarly constrained. As we shall see, the large bulk of the work on those projects was not actually carried out at Coppet at all and seemed to be fitted into a peripatetic lifestyle that took in several venues.
If that involved bringing to French-language readers what was now common knowledge in Germany, well and good. He approached Cotta about a reissue of his poems. For the time being there was nothing Schlegel could do to help his family except send sums of money to his needy mother through the war zones. In practical terms, nothing. The letter had its symbolic side, for the bearer was Carl von Clausewitz, not yet the theoretician of war, but the aide-de-camp to Prince August of Prussia. Friedrich had not succeeded in extricating himself from Cologne.
He was to complain that circumstances were forcing them apart, where they naturally belonged together. He denied for instance the theory that the American peoples may once have crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and embraced instead wilder notions of Indian colonies in Peru and Germanic settlements in Mexico.
Fortunately Friedrich was able to rein them in somewhat when writing his important Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier of The boy then left for Paris in August, and Napoleon in the event intervened to put a stop to his admission. Things were not improved by Napoleon continuing his injunction banning her from Paris and restricting her to a precinct of forty leagues from the capital while graciously allowing her the provinces. For the life-style of Coppet continued unabated: But other visitors involved emotional tangles: Prosper de Barante, immediately falling in love, Monti, to whom she was platonically attached, while Benjamin Constant saw himself as the lover en titre.
When not thus engaged, she was writing Corinne. For Schlegel the shine was already wearing off Coppet. It is worth quoting it in the original:. Dispose of my person, of my life, demand, forbid, I shall obey you in everything. I do not aspire to any happiness but what you care to bestow on me; I do not wish to possess anything, I wish to keep everything out of your generosity.
I shall of my own free will consent to think no more wholly of my celebrity, to devote exclusively to your own use whatever I have by way of knowledge and talents. I am proud of belonging to you as your own possession. On that level, it is one writer addressing another, each aware of the conventions and proprieties.
It is also an admission of resignation and defeat, of the powerlessness of resistance, the realisation that his life, for the time being at least, was to be determined by her movements, her preferences, her dispensations. He had in effect nowhere else to turn: Seen thus, it need not be read merely as the craven and obeisant act of submission that many have judged it to be.
It does also suggest that an intervening letter or conversation had promised to make amends, to repair their relationship, and her solicitude for his welfare in the next years, and his willingness to undertake acts of sacrifice on her behalf, would bear this out. While Schlegel went through these rites of acquiescence and homage, accepting his role in a court where all was free but by the same token all was subtly controlled, at his desk, in those hours when there were no conversations and no social duties, he was able to perform some small acts of insubordination.
Caricature drawing, undated [? When he reviewed the posthumous papers of Jacques Necker, he found the same hagiographical tone appropriate that Germaine always employed with reference to her father. He also started writing in French. It is a thirty-to-forty-page fragment that Schlegel never published in his lifetime, much of it derivative and not all of its arguments sustained.
We do not know for whom or for what occasion it was written. It has echoes here and there of Rom , from the same year. We have lost original unities—those of philosophy with poetry or law-making with cosmogony—and our scientific discoveries serve only to make the material world available. The old idea of a Golden Age expressed this in terms of a primal energy, organic forces at work in natural rhythms, traces of which can be found in most ancient cultures.
We know this, he says, through the discoveries made by scholars like Bailly and Sir William Jones: That is one side. Boredom was another form of melancholy and depression. Something had to be done to ward it off. Apart from writing frequent letters to Auguste in Paris, there was her other, slightly brainless, son Albert to consider. We know very little of this except what Schlegel tells us in a letter to his sister-in-law in Hanover, and a few lines to Sophie.
It had been a very serious diversion since her childhood, when she had some lessons in the speaking of verse from the celebrated actress Mademoiselle Clairon. In Germany, it had added to her reputation for eccentric celebrity, as it would later in Vienna and Stockholm. This also meant Schlegel.
We can imagine him as a lecturer in Jena or Berlin reading verse with good accentuation and even with feeling; and we know of his concern—also shared by Goethe— that the actors in Ion in Weimar should speak their lines well. Of his acting skills we know less. The ever-malicious Benjamin Constant claimed that he was comical in tragedy and not happy in comedy, but that we may largely discount. Schlegel knew, as probably no-one else present did, that Lessing had once subjected this play to one of his elegant demolitions in the Hamburgische Dramaturgie , and Schlegel had already made no secret of his disdain for French neo-classicism.
This was in the article that he sent to the Berliner Damen-Kalender for thus late in , Ueber einige tragische Rollen von Frau v. She had of course been romantically associated with Schlegel in Berlin, and he had paid court to her in verse —and, who knows, perhaps in other form. The context is crucial. Similarly, he would be careful not to display too many of the prejudices against French and to some extent Italian neo-classicism to which his Berlin lectures had most recently given expression. Schlegel assured his German readers that she possessed the poise, the ease of movement and gesture, the mastery of spoken language, that the actor must have, but above all the ability to make the poetic character her own, to act from within the dictates of her own heart, to empathise, to draw the audience into her own pain and suffering.
There was none of the alleged forced declamation of some of the leading Paris actors. Apart from its ability to move Schlegel found words in French verse , the play has the merit of breaking with the conventions of the French stage, being in prose, allowing for mime, and with instrumental interludes between the speeches. Diana, Aurora, Atalanta, Althea—the gamut of mythological emotion, terror, dignity, fury, despair—came easily to Ida.
Schlegel wrote a poem in her honour.
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First, they went to Lyon, then to Auxerre. She had little eye for its scenic position above the river: Paris itself remained out of reach: She disclaimed any interest in politics, only a wish to live in the metropolis, but Napoleon and his agents were inexorable. She could at least send Schlegel and Albert to Paris for ten days, which happened in May. In August, however, Schlegel fell ill. There is something of the Wunderdoktor and charlatan about him, especially his magnetic cures; there is also no doubt that he was skilled at his profession.
His approach to Schlegel was holistic, prescribing what was thought appropriate at the time and rightly warning him not to take too much quinine , also probing into his state of mind. Could there not be some hidden cause for this persistent fever, some worry or anxiety or grief? She was to be there from the end of November until April The rest of the time was more disciplined, with museums, libraries, theatre.
She in her turn was taking Schlegel more and more into her confidence, using him as a signatory on documents for loans with an eye to purchasing property in France Acosta was one possibility. She signed a contract with the publisher Nicolle, and arranged with Cotta for the German translation to be done by Friedrich Schlegel in fact, by Dorothea.
She was sending Auguste back to Geneva to prepare him for his confirmation, the religious education of her children being something that she took very seriously. His mother meanwhile was not making it easy for those around her. She was putting out feelers to Metternich if only by sending him a copy of Corinne and other Austrian grandees. It was a novel about Italy, and essentially about two English characters in Italy, not French, and the main French character was largely unflattering.
Its Anglophile sentiments, which admittedly did not extend to all the characters or all the moral situations, were another source of irritation. She would not back down, and the price was further exile. The extended family made its way back to Coppet in May-June, He would follow it up with the longer and more sustained review of the novel which appeared later in the year in the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.
The first point could be dealt with in a few masterful and disdainful sentences; the second would require more circumspection. While not being exactly the Oswald to her Corinne—far from it—he had been her companion through much that was here translated into fiction, and he had helped to ease the pangs of its creation.
The Germans, who like no other literary nation had placed artists in the centre of their drama and fiction, might be expected to be sympathetic to a novel about an artist, Corinne the chosen vessel of providence. They could take in their stride a many-stranded text that took a love story, a travelogue, and long passages of art criticism, and interlaced them into a successful whole, a balanced ensemble aspects that even well-intentioned readers today do not find easy to reconcile. He was perhaps on less secure ground with the emotional content of the novel, but he made his position on Oswald clear immature and unsteady , and hoped that his female readers would agree.
The envoi of the review was puzzling. Was he piqued that, say, Monti was directly quoted in the text, while he and his brother Friedrich, whose Romantic art appreciation from Europa certainly informed passage after passage of the novel, were sidelined in a note each? It seemed that he was. The real Corinne would have forgiven him this little touch of personal vanity. Others would soon approach the novel with a definite parti pris. They paused here long enough for Schlegel to meet the librarian and to be shown two Roman mosaics in the city.
It gave him the opportunity for his first piece of sustained archaeological description: Schlegel shows here that he can be technical and learned, while also giving a spirited portrayal of the scenes depicted. The two ladies made an excursion to the glaciers at Chamonix: The savant-traveller was also—how could it be otherwise? He kept his ears open for gradations in dialect: The journey on foot was also a progression through pristine nature and uncorrupted morals.
True, there were three set-piece descriptions that showed an eye for both nature and human customs; and there was disapproval of the tourism that had already sprung up. The dates of publication, , brought with them reminders that this was the land of ancient freedom: Prince August of Prussia, who was forced to spend six weeks in Coppet while waiting for passports for himself and Clausewitz, fell passionately in love with her during the time he spent at Coppet they later vowed eternal love, without marriage.
Closer in time, he would state to his sister-in-law Dorothea Schlegel that he merely wanted to stir things up, get people annoyed, and to Goethe he used a similar tone. That in its turn was somewhat disingenuous: When these lectures were available, first in German, then in French, the full extent of his thinking on the notion of the classic, on classicism, on neo-classicism, would be shown in its widest context.
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It was a question of how one approached revival or recrudescence, not the principle itself. By placing this passage in the centre of his treatise, Schlegel was aligning himself with someone who had entered the Greek world with heart and mind and soul and spirit. Schlegel, like Lessing, cut corners in argument, overlooked inconsistencies that did not suit him, and was often plainly unfair once he had his teeth in an opponent.
Schlegel, as was his policy, never mentioned Schiller in this connection, but readers of Europa , that recent work from the Schlegel circle, would be left in no doubt as to its position: She did not place Racine on a pinnacle for all time, as Voltaire had done. All the same, when directing the same notion of progress towards Greek drama, she placed the trio Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in descending order of merit.
There were further contradictions. While correctly seeing that Euripides and Racine are basically different, she was unable to suppress the insight that only a Frenchman, not a Greek, could have written. He could be more outspoken before the audience of his Vienna Lectures a year later. As said, it stands essentially between the Berlin Lectures and those in Vienna, rehearsing some insights of the one and anticipating views expressed later. In the Comparaison we have the same gradation of esteem but also for the sake of his argument an implicit equality.
He does not bring out essential but equally valid differences, as Herder had done forty years earlier when comparing Sophocles with Shakespeare. He notes rather how much Racine has borrowed from his Greek source and how much he has changed, not why a seventeenth-century dramatist would find many motifs from Greek tragedy unsuitable or why he would read them differently from antiquity or from the early nineteenth century , bound as he was by the conventions of his own theatre that called for a love intrigue quite impossible in Athens but permissible in Paris.
Schlegel cannot deny that the play has great beauty of verse and diction, but that is about all he is prepared to concede. Why this is so, he never discusses; there is no mention of the Jansenist doctrines of Port-Royal or of exemplary states of grace. There is another factor as well: It is not Christian: Here Schlegel is rehearsing arguments that inform the second cycle of his Vienna Lectures. Constant noted nothing in his journal. Performances of French tragedies, such as Lessing had objected to in Hamburg forty years earlier, were still by no means uncommon in Once Schlegel found himself in the imperial capital, these two enterprises became joined in one effort.
She continues, knowing his response in advance: This he already knew, and in a sense the rumour—for it was no more than that—of his sailing to America provided the answer. Switzerland, occasionally France, Austria and Germany, before the great flight to Russia and Sweden in Sophie of course wanted money: August Wilhelm had to hear promptings from his brother about his talent as a dramatist, about careers in new universities like Berlin, just being founded.
Dorothea, extending her rapt admiration for Friedrich to her brother-in-law, averred that the two would be the pyramids that would outlast everything of their age. We cannot of course overlook the litany of querulous and self-pitying communications from Friedrich, but two symbolic confraternal gestures do stand out: August Wilhelm was to give his poem a prominent position in the reissue of his poetic works that he oversaw in Was August Wilhelm the author?
This is only one side. For this periodical Schlegel produced a corpus of learned reviews that must rank as a scholarly achievement almost commensurate with the more accessible Vienna Lectures. The list does not necessarily end there. By the same token, it is also without doubt that Schlegel certainly gave advice on German literature and thought to his benefactress which she in fact acknowledged.
The plan of a comprehensive work on Germany—its people, culture, letters, moeurs , in brief whatever the French needed to learn about this fascinating nation in the north that was paradoxically not yet a nation—had never left her. Now, there was the south, and there was Austria.
They had met in Venice in , and she had not forgotten him. The disparity in their ages was no hindrance, as other admirers and lovers knew or were to know. Her plans for Vienna now had a treble thrust: Schelling and Schlegel were on their best behaviour and discoursed amicably, while agreeing to differ in private. It was also to be the last time that he saw her. But Munich also had its drawbacks: This was granted, and the seventeen-year-old boy made his request: The Emperor, as so often, was forthright, blunt and rude; he then relented and adopted a more kindly tone. Might not a little credit accrue to his tutor Schlegel?
Within a week, she had been received by the Emperor Francis and two royal archdukes. Her letters are studded with other grand names—Lobkowitz, Lichtenstein, Lubomirski, Potocki. He, at her prompting, had joined them in March: The serious business in Vienna was threefold: It needs to be said that her every step was followed by the assiduous Austrian police, they having taken over from the equally zealous but more efficient Napoleonic surveillance system.
This was partly his own doing, and partly because, as so often, he was ahead of his times. There were however problems: Ever since their removal to Paris and then Cologne, Friedrich had been doing just that. Of his Germanic and patriotic sentiments there could be no doubt; his letters, such as the one that he wrote to his brother in , were beginning to express notions of spiritual authority and order—one church, one constitution, one faith—that suggested the hierarchy of Rome.
Rediscovering his exiguous dramatic talents, he was drafting a historical play on Charles V. Could he consult the imperial archives in Vienna? She temporarily lost custody of her talented son Philipp Veit, the later Nazarene painter. By the time of his arrival in Vienna Friedrich had seen the publication of a work that towered in significance over almost anything that he had produced that decade: Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. While it did not involve the very first publication in German of a Sanskrit text, it was the first comprehensive survey of comparative mythology, migration theory, and the principles and origins of language, that was also a chrestomathy, a selection of Sanskrit religious and poetic texts in a German translation.
This Friedrich had, during the extraordinary six-month burst of creative energy—and sheer concentration—after their arrival in Paris. After approaches to Reimer and eventual successful negotiations with Zimmer, it was not to come out until Yet in many ways Friedrich had succeeded in bringing together in one volume aspects of India that would occupy August Wilhelm in what was ultimately a never-ending quest. The work had two major thrusts. It was a study in comparative grammar, which enabled two language groups or families to emerge, equally venerable as organs of sacred truths Hebrew and Sanskrit but divergent in terms of structure.
Human history could be traced to movements and removals, of place, language, belief and culture, away from the Centre, the simple and undivided Whole of primeval origins, as disorders and disruptions forced mankind in all directions. The work shows the comparative religionist, that Friedrich once was, in conflict with the believer on one faith and order. There is no hint of any preparatory work, but coincidences and overlaps between Berlin and Vienna suggest that he had to hand notes from the earlier series and that he used these, suitably adapted, for his new audience.
There is evidence that he wanted his lectures to reach a wider public: There is also no doubt that the quickly-forged links with the literary world of Vienna gave some immediacy to his lecturing plans. There was no attempt to present him as the voice of a faction, a school, as he had been in Berlin. But there was no overlooking the Schlegel presence in Prometheus , either: His own contribution to Prometheus was in itself not inconsiderable: It was in a sense the Vienna that August Wilhelm was poised to conquer.
Otherwise, it seemed like a triumph of Kotzebue and Iffland and their dubious sentimentality; or a riot of frivolous comedy after the French, and, this being Vienna, lots of opera. Her divorce from Bernhardi had been finally decreed, and the courts had awarded custody of her two sons to him.
There Ludwig succumbed again to the rheumatic complaint that regularly laid him low in moments of stress; while Friedrich Tieck, his artistic career compromised and his finances exhausted, sent more and more desperate letters to the all-provident Schlegel. At the end of , Bernhardi appeared in person and took his elder son Wilhelm back with him to Berlin, leaving Felix Theodor, who Schlegel had once believed was his, with his mother.
Sophie and Knorring finally married in , but it was not until that she and Felix made the long journey to the Knorring estates in farthest Estonia. It brought odium to the name of Tieck, singly and collectively. Friendships and collaborations stood or fell according to their stance towards the affair: The medium to be adopted was another matter. Schlegel was there at the outset of an era that saw, Europe-wide, the great wave of public lectures associated with Cuvier, Humboldt, Davy or Coleridge, and his must take their place in that lineage.
But even as he was delivering his lectures in Vienna, others closer to hand were also using the public rostrum: Fichte, in Berlin, had been delivering his Reden an die deutsche Nation [ Speeches to the German Nation ] since the winter, and they represented in many ways the antithesis of what Schlegel stood for. Even more was happening in Dresden. Title page of vol. Image in the public domain.
If Schlegel in his peroration commended the Romantic historical drama to the German nation—in its widest sense—it was in the awareness that this form of dramatic art had evolved in the crucible of other national cultures, the English and Spanish, and hence drew on both North and South for its inspiration, while appealing to the Germanic facility for assimilation and creative adaptation.
There, one nation would be seen through the eyes of another; but here was a German claiming insights into the drama and theatre of the whole of Europe. Words in season eventually secured Schlegel permission to lecture in the capital city, and the university was the first chosen venue.
A princely twenty-five florins was charged for fifteen lectures, three per week. One notices also the state censor, perhaps making notes in the back row. Nobles jostled to secure tickets, including Count Wrbna-Freudenthal who later signed the letter granting Schlegel his imperial audience in April. These were the people with the time and the leisure, who would not miss 25 florins.
What he has to say, however, is very much to my liking, e. I can say that I attended the lectures with great pleasure. It suited his hearers better and was more appropriate to his subject-matter. He had now found the right medium, not academic discourse as in Jena, or that demanding section in Prometheus taken from his Berlin cycle. He would have to make concessions and keep technicalities to a minimum: Romantic doctrine would have to be made accessible to princes and counts of the Empire, a balancing-act that required considerable skill and tact.
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In a sense, of course, he was not proclaiming Romanticism as something radically new or—the ultimate horror in Vienna—revolutionary. Much of his material was recycled from his own earlier lectures and publications. Very few, possibly none, of his audience would have been present in all three places, Jena, Berlin and now Vienna, and not many would have noticed how much had already been enunciated in those earlier venues, for instance most of the long sections on the Greeks.
Much drew on existing published material, the Parny review in the Athenaeum on Aristophanes , the article on the Spanish theatre in Europa , or the recent Comparaison of that Heinrich von Collin also present was in the process of translating.
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Schlegel had passed on but few of their insights in isolated publications, and Schelling, without acknowledgment, had done the same. In Vienna, Schlegel had to take a lot for granted, and he was sparing in his citation of sources. It was not the real point. While philology could never be an irrelevance for Schlegel, the circumstances of the Lectures required large generalisations, relativisms, eye-catching juxtapositions and sweeping conclusions, the most famous of which is this section from the Twelfth Lecture: Ancient art and poetry strives for the strict severance of the disparate, the Romantic delights in indissoluble mixtures: As the oldest law-givers proclaimed and set out their teachings and precepts in modulated harmonies, as Orpheus, the first tamer of the still wild human race, is praised in fable; in the same way the whole of ancient poetry and art is like a cadenced set of prescriptions, the harmonious proclamation of the eternal precepts of a world, finely ordered, that reflects the eternal archetypes of things.
The Romantic, by contrast, is the expression of the mysteries of a chaos that is struggling to bring forth ever new and wondrous births, that is hidden under the order of nature, in its very womb: The one is simpler, clearer and more akin to nature in the self-sufficient perfection of its single works; the other, despite its fragmentary appearance, is closer to the secret of the universe.
For instance, the images of biological organic growth as opposed to the mechanical and ordered, are common currency in the language of German idealism: Schlegel applies them to whole periods and styles. In matters of presentation and disposition, he had learned some lessons from Berlin; while in terms of his general attitudes, he had not greatly changed. Old enmities ran deep. Thus to introduce the essential Shakespeare, Schlegel reformulated the insight, not new or original, which the Germans Herder, Goethe, Eschenburg, Tieck, Schlegel himself had made their own: Read my Shakespeare, is the unspoken message of his Shakespeare lecture to his German audience, an instruction of less relevance for later French, English or other readers.
Certain Schlegelian preferences or prejudices nevertheless emerge: Shakespeare had links with both the intellectual Bacon and the political strivings of his age, but there was in his account of the English nation still some of that spirit of chivalry and feudalism, independence of mind and action, that had animated the Middle Ages.
Not for the first time German ideas were being assimilated to the processes of foreign literature: Schlegel was clearly finding analogies with the Nibelungenlied , one of his current preoccupations. Roman theatre was not like this: Aeschylus and Sophocles had been Athenian citizens, Seneca the court philosopher of Nero. Hence the amount of space, seemingly beyond all proportion three lectures out of fifteen , that Schlegel devotes to the disqualification of the neo-classical, the need to deny it houseroom in the wide scheme of European drama that he unfolds, one that also obliquely takes in the Indians, who with the Greeks were the only ancient people with a native dramatic tradition.
It reflected national characteristics and virtues love, honour. Much of this would take on a peculiar relevance as the Lectures appeared in print, the sections up to and including European neo-classicism in , followed in by the sections on Romantic drama. National drama would also be nation-building: These political aspirations as opposed to legal, military and educational reforms were of course not to be fulfilled in the German lands, and Prince Metternich, no doubt sitting in the front row of the lecture hall, would be the author of the later reaction that saw their frustration.
Their journey took them into the Bohemian lands: Goethe was rumoured to be in Carlsbad. This meeting never eventuated, but in Prague, where they arrived on 26 May, they hoped to meet Friedrich Gentz. He chose therefore to lie low in Prague. At their meeting, they got on famously: He had to borrow money from his brother to get this far, and more would be needed to see him to his ultimate destination.
His first communication from Vienna, in July , would inaugurate a litany recounting his tribulations, his waiting in the antechambers of the influential, his harassments, real and imagined, by the secret police. His first quarters were with Karl Gregor von Knorring: Wieland was gracious, even to Schlegel. Schlegel left the party at Weimar and made a quick dash across to Hanover. It was part of her discovery that the Germans were a profoundly religious people Protestant Germans, that is, for Catholics formed a disproportionately shorter part of the narrative.
She may not even have appreciated the differences inside German Protestantism. But the visit to the Moravian Brethren in Neudietendorf near Erfurt struck a different note. She described the communal life and worship of the Brethren, their regularity and tranquility, the harmony of their inner feelings and their outward conduct. In comparing them with Quakers, whom she knew from England or from Voltaire , she was showing her indifference in matters both of doctrine and observance: Hanover had in experienced occupations and troop billetings not least under Marshal Bernadotte: It was to be the last time that he saw his cherished and devoted mother.
Hanover had been swallowed up by this Napoleonic creation. Outside, Spain rose in revolt; later, Austria prepared for war. But one act of fealty towards Coppet stands out: He is more conciliatory in the matter of national dramatic styles, provided that none claims a monopoly of taste or excellence the second part of his Vienna Lectures, published later in the same year, would adopt a different tone.
Instead, he uses Constant to diminish Schiller. Schiller had not succeeded in containing his material in five acts; his trilogy was not, like those of the Greeks, the product of inner necessity, but of despair. Had Schiller been a more experienced dramatist, had he spent less time on philosophical or historical studies, he might have achieved the same five- act solution as Constant. This was the delayed critical voice of Jena.
Reimer in his turn handed Schlegel over to Julius Hitzig in Berlin, a new publisher looking for copy and very glad to add the famous translator to his list. Sophie Bernhardi had not forgotten her poetic ambitions amid her family affairs. Could Schlegel find a publisher for her verse epic Flore und Blanscheflur? He remembered Zimmer in Heidelberg. Zimmer was not interested, but he sensed a real prize when Schlegel offered him his Vienna Lectures. Schlegel had wanted them to appear in Vienna itself, but publishers there would only pay in paper money. Zimmer could offer proper currency, two and a half Carolins per sheet for a print-run of 1, Doubtless Schelling had a hand in this.
There was an academy project on standard German grammatical usage. Could he be persuaded? In fact Schlegel was far more interested in borrowing the Munich manuscript of the Nibelungenlied. Schlegel had remained behind while she, Sabran and Montmorency set out for the event, which took place on 17 August. It was the only folk event that she in fact seems to have seen and it suited her purposes admirably. There were other spectators of note at Interlaken. That great royal traveller Crown Prince Ludwig was there. It was the moment to intercede for Friedrich Tieck, still in Rome.
Having done the busts of the Weimar notabilities and some in Munich, would Tieck not be the ideal sculptor for the Walhalla, the monument to German greatness that was to arise on the banks of the Danube near Regensburg? Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner. Thus ensued one of the more bizarre episodes in the history of Coppet. He did not practise ethereality: Goethe had been equally fascinated and repelled by him, but the periodical Prometheus expressed itself more drastically: Werner also spent hours in conversation with Schlegel. Maybe she needed a catalyst such as Werner or Schlegel.
Tieck, Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel had been attracted to the Silesian theosophist, whereas August Wilhelm had been less drawn. That was only to cease with his conversion to Catholicism in Schlegel was not to take such a step. For there is enough evidence from his correspondence up to the Russian journey of a searching for spiritual satisfaction, for an easing of soul, but not necessarily inside an ecclesiastical or hierarchical framework.
At this stage he was willing to defend the speculations of his brother Friedrich in Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit against the likes of Schelling; indeed in an important letter to the latter of 19 August he saw philosophy as but one way towards truth, not an end in itself; it alone—not even Kant—could not open up the ultimate secrets. Whereas later it would be history, historical record, the examination of sources on the broadest of bases that would inform his method of study, he was now prepared to entertain hidden links between the spiritual and material world that would not sustain historical or philological analysis.
But where personal involvement or friendship entered into it he could be relied upon to produce a striking image that comes over to us as authentic. He filled niches in the Weimar palace, not only with Goethe and Schiller, but with Klopstock and Voss. His Schelling breathes energy and intelligence; his Alexander von Humboldt has something of the freshness and determination of the young voyager. That was certainly the way that Werner, the later convert to Catholicism and ordained priest, wished to see it. This would not be the hardship it might seem to be, for her father had presciently purchased property there.
The fates of these two enterprises were soon to be intertwined. Was he the property of the Franco-American owner of Chaumont and a reminder that slavery was still being practised in both countries? The poem states that the slave was set free, and it affirms his belief still in the efficacy of the sacraments. For a publisher the author went to Gabriel-Henri Nicolle, who had also brought out Corinne.
They knew of her unrepentant interest in politics, for instance her concern as the widow of a Swedish diplomat at the outcome of the succession to the Swedish throne. The proofs then went to the highest authority himself: His main instruction was the removal of the section favourable to England. It is clear from that context that Auguste, not subject to the same ban as his mother, had taken the letter in person; Schlegel had sought to intervene with Corbigny.
The proofs were then pulped. Pleas for an audience fell on deaf ears.
In fact she received a visa for Coppet and decided to return there instead. And was it not clear that Schlegel, the author of the Comparaison , was regarded as her accomplice? Fortunately the French translation had not reached the production stage, and Chamisso was able to retain his manuscript for future use. The French police bulletins of October and November were notable in drawing attention to the ideological dangers filtering in from Germany: Werner, with his offensive Attila ; Fichte of the Reden an die deutsche Nation , Gentz in the pay of the English , and the Schlegel brothers.
Nor with a print run of 5, and several sets of proofs in existence was this humanly possible. Some say, in Lausanne, Humboldt is supposed to have said it. Do you not have any bright new plans for next spring? She had meanwhile decided that it would be prudent for him to absent himself from Coppet or Geneva for a couple of months. It all added to the precariousness of their situation. In the summer of and lasting into , there was even an infatuation: Schlegel could only enjoy her charms, her intelligence and her talk at a distance.
It is certainly no coincidence that the two poems that he addressed to her adopt the conventions of Minnesang, one of them even in an approximation to Middle High German stanzaic form, for this was the lady untouchable and inviolate whom one could approach only in verse. It was to the robuster Nibelungenlied that Schlegel now devoted time and leisure, to collate the various manuscripts.
It was, however, to Mohr and Zimmer that Schlegel turned for the works that for him mattered in these last Swiss years: These were not good times for publishers or for authors. North Germany, a market that a bookseller overlooked at his peril, was subject to the decree of 5 February that extended across the French imperial territories to all those under its jurisdiction; Zimmer, in neutral Baden, went ahead with the Poetische Werke nevertheless. Those who remembered the Gedichte , the first collection of his poetry, would note a few additions: Die Kunst der Griechen , that elegy that had once adulated Goethe, was still there, more on account of its correct versification than its genuine sentiments.
He would have even more pleasure when in the same year Ludwig Tieck, a notoriously bad correspondent, surprised him by dedicating to him his collection Phantasus and reawakening the memory of Jena. Here were some political tactics, some acts of deference, but also an acknowledgement of who belonged together, who had stood up for the other over the years—and there were not many of them left. The volumes sold well: Frontispiece and title page. It was a reminder of how medieval chivalry and fable still informed the Renaissance Ariosto, Tasso, Shakespeare, Cervantes , how the canonical poets all proceeded from the same sources and substance.
It also brings out the Romantic dichotomy: In June, , while he was briefly back in Coppet, she decided on an altogether more adventuresome and risky operation: The route to be taken was at this stage not clear, but Vienna would in all likelihood be the point of departure. In Vienna, he found his brother, doubtless told in advance of this imminent incursion, and not a little surprised.
It bound him to a political ideology—that of the Habsburg state, its aspirations and its myths—yet who in these years could live free of such allegiances? Ludwig Tieck, living in his bolt hole in remotest Brandenburg, perhaps, or those two footloose if very different figures, Clemens Brentano and Zacharias Werner, until Rome claimed them, but most others could not afford that luxury.
One must picture—if one can—a corpulent Friedrich festooned in this finery, on horseback, in the rain, mud, heat and dust of armies on the march. It was his task to produce an army newspaper. The Austrian army had meanwhile withdrawn to Hungary. He was not back in Vienna until the end of More significant for him were the lectures on history which he gave in Vienna from 19 February to 9 May, And these lectures, delivered in the fine historiographical prose of which Friedrich was capable, had a distinctly Austrian accent.
Out of the decline and fall of the old order would emerge figures who symbolized the movements of the times: And the fine rhetoric of delivery did not conceal a historical teleology and a message for the times, something that a political journalist and intellectual was expected to supply. It is for us brothers of course a great privation to be separated from each other without any prospect of meeting again; he was quite hypochondriac and in lowest spirits before I arrived, but our conversations picked him up again. When I left, he went with me and then he turned back, alone, on foot across a bare and treeless plain, a truly sad image of our separation.
Unlike Friedrich, who was to deliver three more big lecture cycles in Vienna and Dresden, August Wilhelm was only once again to lecture to a general public, much later in Berlin. His lectures on history embraced the ancient world, not the modern, and they were for a university audience. It was a reflection of her own experience, sometimes even shared with him, yet it was so much limited to what she had actually seen and taken in, was so ideologically slanted to her needs, that questions of mere attributions or informants— who helped her with this part or that—became largely irrelevant.
There was little point in asking, as some contemporaries were to do, whether Schlegel had checked it through. Nations should serve as guides one to one another, and they would all be wrong were they to deprive each other of the enlightenment that they can afford one another mutually.
There is something very strange about the difference between one people and another: He had, however, not been at her side when she encountered the persons and places that provide some of the great set-pieces: He knew also which places and which persons she chose to omit no Munich, no Berlin salons, no Gentz, for instance and which individuals she chose to elevate to a status largely ordained by her and her own personal acquaintance. He might also have reflected that his material, his insights, his plot-summaries could be implicitly relied upon for their accuracy, while hers could not, being often second-hand, tailored to her needs, and sometimes wilfully wrong as in her account of the plot of Faust.
He may have despaired at her account of Kant, until he recognized, as one must, that she was using him, as so many other figures and ideas, to further her own cultural and political aims, or that she was calling for the study of serious philosophy as opposed to frivolous scepticism or materialism.
There were allusions enough to the times in which they were delivered, arguments for the audience to understand why Germany in its present state could not emulate Athens or Golden Age Spain or Elizabethan England. In that sense his Lectures were a continuation of debates and agonizings since over what had gone wrong, why the old order had collapsed, why the German lands had fallen to Napoleon one after the other and had been divided and ruled as he saw fit. In postulating how the theatre might contribute to the building of the nation, Schlegel was doing his patriotic duty, less outspokenly of course than political voices like, say, Arndt, Gentz, or Stein, while performing it nevertheless.
True, with its territorial divisions, it had then as now lacked a capital city, something that the Germans themselves had been deploring for several generations and that Friedrich Schlegel had noted with regret in Europa. For her part, she was not interested in institutions or society other than its highest echelons, or indeed too many tiresome factual details. The important thing was to point to what France did not have, but might have, if it let another nation be its guide and inspiration. It might see alternatives to centralism, control, despotism and acts of arbitrary tyranny.
Readers in France might have cause to ponder issues that were not specific to Germany, but which might acquire a new urgency through an openness to another culture: It had been a way of transcending the provincial narrowness of Jena and it would also overcome the restrictions of Bonn, for his later scholarly career was oriented as much to Paris and London as to the Prussian university where he was to live and work.
In fact he was only there from October to November, , and from March to May in America was now ruled out, although as late as November she was contemplating it. They became more and more dependent on snippets of news regarding the political situation in Europe. Could Turkey be a route, once the Russo-Turkish border was secure? When Capelle used chicanery to challenge the validity of the original purchase of Coppet by the Neckers, it was Schlegel who was able to use the good offices of his Heidelberg publisher to secure the deeds. On his side, he could not aspire to claiming her affection, let alone her love; he was merely indispensable and fraternally so; on her side she permitted no rivals, but at the same time she was free to indulge her passions as she chose.
Small wonder that he in a letter of April or May, reproached her with folly and heartlessness towards him. Already in May, Germaine and Rocca entered into a solemn engagement to marry, and in the late summer she found herself pregnant—in her forty-sixth year. Of the official Coppet circle only Fanny Randall was party to the secret; Schlegel never found out while there. Germaine was to the outside world suffering from dropsy: It was in Berne, too, that he received through his sister-in-law Julie Schlegel in Hanover the news of the death of his mother, on 21 January, A letter from Mathieu de Montmorency of 3 March tried to offer him consolation for his loss: Protestant worship no longer met the needs of his heart: Nowhere is there a word about confession or doctrine: He must have assumed that he would never return, for this cache was to remain undiscovered for over years.
He left behind too his 1,volume library, carefully ordered according to incunables, quartos, and octavos. One could see here the books that had occupied him during this part of his career—the material on Dante, Shakespeare, Homer, Roman antiquities, the Nibelungenlied , the fine arts—and some, like the volumes of the Asiatick Researches , that pointed to future preoccupations. Rocca and Albert would join them later.
No-one must suspect anything: It was to end in St Petersburg. In a sense she had been traversing Europe since late Schlegel was in her company for a large part of that time. Why not an even grander tour? Yet this journey was in every other respect different. Stockholm lent itself, because she was the widow of a Swedish envoy and baron. Her children were technically Swedish citizens, and she wished to see her sons employed in the service of their adopted country. Her ultimate goal was however England, the land that in her eyes could do no wrong or very little.
He was already the much-celebrated author of the Vienna Lectures, which had been published in full in , and were to appear in French in and in English in It would be issued in London by John Murray. For these were years that saw him producing not poetry but a great deal of prose, political rhetoric in fact. After this interlude of roughly two years, Schlegel was to turn again to pure scholarly activity, involving learning the basics of Sanskrit. Like her he was a fugitive from Napoleon. His association with her had seen him banned from Geneva.
Now he was fleeing in her company, finding refuge in Russia, a country at war with Napoleon, and then in Sweden, where the Prince Royal and the Tsar had just concluded a treaty. Once Sweden and France were formally at war, Schlegel had no option but to stay close to Bernadotte. For Napoleon and his agents they were seditious, insurrectionary even.
Savary intercepted their—often indiscreet—letters and passed on all the essential information to his master: When later comparing his own career in these years with the academic idyll in Heidelberg enjoyed by his old adversary Johann Heinrich Voss, Schlegel was not exaggerating in saying that he could have been arrested for treason in French territory.
It was also tempered with a sobering knowledge: In , Albertine, now sixteen and a young beauty, was married to Victor, duke of Broglie. There were other reminders. All this may help in part to explain the tone in his letters, not without some self-pity, of stoical acceptance of an unfulfilled lot, the sense that one had to accommodate to what life had in store and not expect happiness. A secret political agent, following armies on horseback; wearing a splendid uniform, in court dress; rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty, corresponding with the Tsar, Metternich Bernadotte as a matter of course ; formulating state policy, like Stein or Gentz?
There was nothing new in these associations: In a way the rest simply followed. In these years people changed in station and allegiance as chance and circumstances demanded. Why could not Schlegel the Hanoverian write pamphlets in Swedish service? The middle-aged Fichte ruined his health as an academic firebrand in Berlin.
Younger men, some of whom had heard Schlegel in Jena or Berlin, rallied to the colours. Only the unmartial Ludwig Tieck, dedicating his collection Phantasu s to Schlegel in and evoking the great days of Jena, kept well out of the fray in his bolt hole in the Mark of Brandenburg. Unlike some of these, Schlegel did not see action and generally kept back with the headquarters staff.
Not for him the mud, the dust, the fleas, the corpses, the dead horses, the Cossacks, the detritus of the battlefield, the first-hand narratives of great encounters. In the rearguard, he would exchange the sword for the pen, as a forceful writer in both German and French. Here, they were joined by Rocca, Albert, and Schlegel, who had been entrusted with securing passports for the next leg of the journey.
He would rejoin them in Stockholm. He had no option but to swallow his chagrin and concentrate on the main task of their all somehow reaching Sweden. It would be different from their previous journeyings, for she was now in poor health and less able to withstand discomforts. Schlegel was in effect a proscribed person, Rocca was a French citizen. From Berne they went via Zurich and Winterthur and then briefly through the Bavarian controlled Tyrol.
Rather than reflect on the recent fate of Andreas Hofer and his Tyrolean uprising, it was expedient to pass quickly through to Salzburg and Munich and gain Austrian soil. The parties met up at Linz and proceeded to Vienna. She would soon realize that Austria had changed since The Schlegel brothers saw each other for the last time until There was however the need to obtain passports for their forward journey: They were soon to learn the unpalatable fact that Austria could present a different aspect if one came as a fugitive, even one of fame and high rank.
They were subjected to constant surveillance, and it was even to emerge that one of their servants was in police pay. His master Metternich, less enamoured than he, was absent and did nothing. Peace had been concluded between Russia and Turkey. It was one reason why she had preferred exile in Coppet to banishment in America. Napoleon however put paid to that particular scheme by declaring war on Russia. There were harassments and petty inconveniences along the way, with uncertainties about passports Schlegel had been left in Vienna to sort these out as they passed through Moravia Brno, Olomouc and Galicia.
The monotony of the landscape depressed her. There were however compensations. With great relief they arrived at Brody, the Austrian-Russian border station, on 13 July. The governors of Kiev, Orel and Tula received them. Then, on 2 August, the golden cupolas of Moscow came into sight. Except in a political context, he rarely wrote anything complimentary about the Slavs.
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