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great. He gave impulse and sympathy at the time when Goethe was open to them and needed them most. He could add nothing indeed to his friend's knowledge and culture, but he could give what was quite as valuable-stimulation. Goethe's effect upon Schiller was equally important, though different. His wide experience had opened his eyes to many things that were still beyond Schiller's vision. He had much to impart, and the latter says early in their friendship: “It will cost me a long time to unravel all the ideas you have awakened in me, but I hope none will be lost.” They worked together with a single aim—the deepening of German culture; and their friendship formed the bappiest period in the lives of both. “For the space of eleven years, from 1794 to 1805, there was not a trace of a quarrel between them, not the slightest diminution of personal affection or of sympathy in each other's interests and labors."
To avenge themselves for the public's lack of appreciation of The Hours, and to repay in kind the hostility of many lesser writers, Goethe and Schiller in 1796 published a series of epigrams called Xenien. There were 414 of them, composed indif. ferently by either or both, and hitting the weak places in their opponents' armor. nents hit back, but victory remained with the Xenien.
The attempt of the two poets to create a German drama is especially worthy of notice. In 1791
Goethe-released at his own request from his dutic3 as minister–became manager of the Weimar theatre. The court had always been strongly attracted towards theatrical matters, and after the theatre was burnt down in 1774, many a play was performed “under the shade of melancholy boughs," or in the valley meadows by torchlight. The troupe was composed of ladies and gentlemen of the Weimar court. Goethe wrote several light plays for this amateur band-among them The Fisher Lass. Performances of this nature went forward merrily until 1790, when the theatre proper was rebuilt. But the great poet did not succeed in his aim of creating a national German drama. He was hampered by two things: a false idea and a lack of money. In the first place, he either ignored the public or started to educate it from too lofty a basis. “Once for all,” he says, “understand that the public must be controlled.” And to Schiller (who quite agreed with him): “No one can serve two masters, and of all masters the last that I would select is the public which sits in a German theatre.” Consequently he aimed at an elevation of the level of the drama quite irrespective of the public taste. The Weimar audience was composed chiefly of the ducal court and its guests and friends. The element of the outside world was afforded by the Jena students, who attended in great numbers. But criticism was stified, and Goethe's managership lackod throughout the test—the essential test-of public consideration. Yet all the great dramatic periods bave arisen from a demand on the part of the people. This fact Goethe overlooked. Thus, though some truly magnificent dramas were put on the Weimar stage, they failed of their full effect on the public mind. The second difficulty with which Goethe had to contend was much more material, but it also was important. The salaries offered to actors at Weimar were very small. Moreover, players were not allowed a congé-a “benefit.” Thus, while the prestige of the manager's name drew a few first-class actors to his theatre, the aver. age was distinctly low. Hence, due justice could not be done to such fine dramas as the three parts of Schiller's Wallenstein (1798–1804), his William Tell, and some of Shakespeare's plays. Several amusing anecdotes are told of the shifts to which Goetbe was sometimes reduced owing to the insufficiency of his troupe. Thus, with his despotic position towards the public and his ill-fortune with regard to actors, it may be seen how his bigh asp:rations were not duly appreciated.
But he and Schiller did a great deal to raise the level of the stage. Besides their own fine plays, a wide répertoire was produced at Weimar. Shakespeare was acted, and Calderon and Racine and Voltaire—the two latter metamorphosed from their French Alexandrine metre into German iambics. Even Terence and Sophocles were brought on the stage. The effect of such catholic endeavors
could not be otherwise than beneficial to German taste.
Both Goethe and Schiller wrote for the Weimar theatre, but Schiller's work was the more important. Between 1799 and the year of his death be composed five plays, which were masterpieces, representing the height of his genius and productivity. Goethe, during the same period, achieved no really great dramatic work. Of Schiller's dramas more anon. Now with regard to what were probably Goethe's greatest works from 1796 to 1805. In the former year he published a long novel called Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. It had been taking shape for some years, and one effect of Schiller's influence the completion of the workGoethe's first prose fiction since The Sorrows of Young Werther. Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship is divided into eight books. It follows the mental development of its hero ; his progress through a great deal of uncertainty as to his place in life to a settled goal. In the book we may trace some autobiography—the early perplexity of the young William, and his ultimate decision. Goethe explained the idea of the book :“ The whole work seems to say nothing more than that man, despite all his fol. lies and errors, being led by a higher hand reaches some happy goal at last."
In June, 1797, Goethe published a poem called Hermann and Dorothea. It was totally different from William Meister's Apprenticeship, and few
things show more clearly the poet's wonderful range than the fact that two such dissimilar productions should follow one another within a twelvemonth. Hermann and Dorothea is “his highest achievement in epic poetry, the most perfect product of his cultured realism, the noblest fruit of that style which he had acquired during his sojourn in Italy.” The story is very simple and very beautiful. It is based on fact. A band of exiles from the upper Rhine passes through a little south German town one summer's day. The rich innkeeper, Hermann's father, sends his son to distribute aid to the wanderers. Hermann falls in love with a fair maiden in the emigrant train. The cautious father is not pleased with this and two of his friends set out to ascertain the girl's character. The inquiries reveal only good and Hermann takes Dorothea back to his own home. The poem is written in hexameter, and in this way, as in its idyllic simplicity, Longfellow's Evangeline bears a resemblance to it. Behind Hermann and Dorothea lies the vast background of the French Revolution—as behind Evangeline lies the French-English war. Thus the
Thus the poem, simple and pastoral as it is, reflects the big world outside. After it appeared, Goethe-at Schiller's
asion-once more took up the work of his life, the great Faust. In the same year, by the way, both Goethe and Schiller wrote a number of ballads, most of them possessing unequalled beauty. Some of Goethe’s were : The Erl King, The Fisher, The