It was in July of the year 1792, when he made a journey to the Harz. For the first time he wanted to enter the mountains to satisfy a longed-for yearning. The purest, most beautiful summer sky was over him when he left the city. No sooner had he ever felt lighter and happier than at that moment; Sun, field, forest, everything was refreshing. He made his way to Eisleben. In the villages through which he came, there was joyful movement. It was St. John’s Day, and girls and boys bound the passing wanderer usual slogans, which then had to buy. His life on the ice was followed by a funeral procession. A miner was buried to rest. A deep emotion seized him; in his first and simplest forms life came to meet him. In full moonshine he put back the last part of the way.
In the tavern, where he wanted to spend the night, things were loud and happy. The Johannisfest was celebrated with play and dance. In the hallway, in front of his room, it was noisy and billowing. Half-dreaming he looked from his deposit to the colorful tangle. At last it became quiet, but he found no sleep. All spirits pulsed, the yearning for nature left him no peace. At dawn he wandered on. The sun had not yet risen. Pale and lead-colored, just a glowing ball, she rose on the edge of the sky. Then she broke the vicious circle, and suddenly, with piercing splendor, the first single rays shot across the plain. They met him directly; it was as if they had flashed into his deepest heart. In it it tore like a veil; it was an inner enlightenment that filled him; He saw heaven and earth transfigured in unimaginable splendor. He felt as if God Himself were approaching Him, as though he were looking into His face. “This is God’s appearance!” So it swept his whole being. The certainty of God, the supreme blessedness, a heavenly grief flowed through him. From his heart came the feeling of infinite love of God. Yes, the eternal God loved him too! He burst into loud weeping; they were tears of bliss that flowed inexorably. “I have no words for this single condition,” said the old man Tieck full of deep movement in old age. “Neither before nor after have I ever had anything like him lives; it was the most immediate certainty of God, the feeling of being one with him; I felt it in my heart. It was a place of revelation. A patriarch of the Old Testament would have built a memorial here! ”
Only a moment lasted this rapture. But the certainty that God’s Spirit had shattered him remained with him, and like a reverberation of that bliss the purest peace filled his heart. For a long time his tears flowed, he could not become her master. After several hours he threw himself on the bench in front of the door of a village inn. The host brought him breakfast, but when he saw him crying he refused any payment. “I see,” he said, “you are unhappy enough anyway.” It was the humor that called him back to everyday life. Half laughing, half crying, he moved on.
When he arrived at a tavern at noon, he heard a loud noise coming from it. A crowd of Hallesian students, who also migrated to the Harz, had lodged. In their midst he met the Mephistophelian Weasel. He had the feeling of profanation when he entered the rude circle. The highest rapture was followed by the general disillusionment. He took the vow to seal the revelation he is experiencing today as his most sacred mystery in his heart, and years have passed before he ventured to speak of it.
Under the echo of that rapture he passed through the mountains. He felt closer to nature than ever before, and climbing on lonely paths, he liked to get lost in those clouds of fog that hung on the crags of the rocks.
Halle, Tieck had realized during the first half-year, could not afford him what he wanted. Neither in general nor in detail was he encouraged. For the knowledge in which he might have continued to develop according to his inclination, there were scarcely any teachers and scientific aids; The tone which prevailed among professors and students was extremely high for him. He wanted to try another university. Burgsdorff had proposed Gottingen to him, and soon the decision was made to move there for the coming winter.
Göttingen had asserted, in addition to the older Halle and the newly emerging Jena, the brilliant reputation of a scholarly and elegant university. The names Heyne’s and Spittler’s, Schlözer’s, Pütter’s and Lichtenberg’s beamed as the first stars. It was the prospect of acquainting the citizen, whose ballads Tieck already knew by heart as a boy, and whom he admired for his simple, genuinely popular tone. And another reward for his incipient book-hobby promised the rich library of God.
In September 1792 he left Halle, and after seeing parents, siblings, and friends again in Berlin, he moved in his free student way through Saxony and Thuringia to Nordhausen. Wherever possible, he attended the spectacle; even in the smallest country towns he did not spurn the ideas of wandering troops. He saw art in its humblest form, and delighted in these antics in a cheerful mood. Nordhausen set out for Göttingen, and at the beginning of November he moved here as a true son of a man to Ross.
In Göttingen he felt at home. The finer customs of the Georgia Augusta, the scientific life pleased him more than the Hallesche Renommisterei. In the professors he found friendly reception, in particular, Heyne showed responsive. He recognized at once that he was not a student of ordinary blows who had imagined him; he also liked Tieck’s literary zeal. Heyne’s kind and fine tone made a winning impression, though his lectures did not suit him. He thought that the old poets too were being treated too much in school. Heyne, on the other hand, attempted to win him over for the study of classical antiquity. He induced him to attend his philological seminar, in which the disciples were introduced to the innermost sanctuary. He unfolded the whole store of his comprehensive learning, and Tieck had to admit that his philological preparation was not sufficient everywhere to keep pace. Of course, others were the same, and worse.
The explanations of the text should be followed by disputative exercises. Heyne wished that questions could be asked, also wol lodge objections. At one time he thought he had heard a few words from a backside bench in the lecture hall. “I ask you to speak more clearly,” he said; “I did not understand your remark.” The same muffled, rasping sound came in response. The professor sensitively repeated his request to speak at least clearly when one had something to say. As this, too, was fruitless, he unwillingly approached the place where the stubborn adversary sat; There he found an antiquarian who firmly had fallen asleep, and whose rolling snore he had held to be contradictory. “Oh!” He said, “I have no answer to that, of course.”
Also in the study of ancient art Tieck was introduced by Heyne. He handed over the recently published vase paintings of Tischbein and wished that he should write German explanations of them. A task which Tieck, on the other hand, rejected.
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Pütter, too, was a peculiar phenomenon. In the fine, petite, little man no one would have suspected the historian of the Reich and the Law. He always appeared in the cleanest suit, snow-white powdered, in velvet trousers with gold-brocade ribbons, and silken stockings. He was a true representative of the scholarly and elegant Göttingen. On a certain day of the week, with the help of some lovers and city musicians, he arranged small concerts in his auditorium. He then had himself heard as a violinist. He did his job here in fine style, and played for a rich and legal historian tasteful enough.
Tieck came in closer contact with the philosopher Buhle, whose lectures on the history of philosophy he did not hear without sympathy. It was a sympathy for which he had little thanks. He followed them with a sort of irony, for he found confirmation of his view of all systematic philosophy in the shadowy alternation of the most diverse schools, which mutually repressed each other, and each of them wanted to be alone. Even more, in his doubts, he emphasized the remark that he could not help but prove right to anyone whose principles he set out to explain. But precisely because they are all but a certain point, they were all equally wrong. He felt it again, his innermost nature resisting the system; he liked it because it was a system.
At Buhle, Tieck had the pleasure of meeting his beloved Matthisson in person. He had recently returned from France and spent some time in Göttingen. Philosophers and poets were in mutual admiration. He had always put his poems on his desk in front of him, as he asserted, and never tired of asserting that he considered Matthisson the first poet. The poet was polite enough to give the counterinsurance, but he could only understand Buhle’s philosophy. When Tieck told the poet full of emotion that he had met his mother in Coswig, how touching the expression of her love for the famous son had been to him, Matthisson took this quite coldly and indifferently, and the sensitive and sensitive poet appeared to him in this Moments heartless, almost raw.
Lichtenberg’s pungent ridicule and his yet easy and pleasing manner were very attractive to him. They made him bold enough to say frankly how little he thought of Hogarth and his character images, whose explanations Lichtenberg had been using for a long time every year in the “Göttingen Pocket Calendar”. For Tieck’s newly awakening sense of art these images were repugnant and gruesome. Lichtenberg did not want to give much to the bold criticism of the young student; he contented himself with the counter-remark that he was looking at things differently.
Bürger, the celebrated, popular poet, was hardly is still a shadow of what he once was. Devoured by spirit and body through grief and suffering of all kinds and exhausted, he fought an early death. His name still had a good sound next to Goethe’s and Schiller’s. How could one have forgotten his “Lenore”? Some students still came to Göttingen to see the famous poet, who as a teacher had little to do and work. The catheter was not for the passionate man, and the strictly controlled activity which he labored to do away with his genius could not relieve him even of the most pressing food worries. In addition, the consuming grief gnawed at domestic misery at the last remnants of its vitality.
When Tieck met him, he had separated from his third wife some time ago. He was haggard, pale, collapsed, grief spoke from his features. The voice had lost its sound, it could no longer be heard and made intelligible only with effort; and yet he had to and had to speak. Now and then he used to ride out. There was something spooky about seeing the pale man trotting the streets of Göttingen on his stiff, lean horse. One might think of the death step, of which he had composed so poignantly. Every now and then a ray of sunshine fell into his darkened mind, if he succeeded in dragging him against his will into the old circle of good friends, whom he now almost anxiously avoided, as he did with all human relations. Tieck had also gained access here. At favorable moments citizens could then appear casual, sympathetic, and cheerful. He had something pleasant, lovable, childlike. The forms in which he preferred to move were reckless and ordinary. It lay in it. a rough simplicity; he was not a man of the fine world. A coherent, sharp execution of a thought was not his thing either. Rarely did his judgments about poetry and literature proceed from higher points of view; They were usually homebaked. But Tieck did not love him any less. He was won by the kindness and sincerity that spoke out of his nature.
He also became acquainted with Bürger’s doctor and later biographer, Professor Althoff, in these circles, an educated and amiable man, who was to assist him in Dresden much later, as a friend and medical adviser.
There was no lack of traffic with students either. His social life was much more suited to his own fine education than the Halle boy’s commentary. It was more scientific life and zeal for general education, the learned sense of craft appeared less unpleasant. Soon a literary society was founded, in which apart from Tieck and Burgsdorff a number of other students took part. One read essays, aestheticized, argued and practiced the youthful power on everything that occurred.
Not only people, but also books, he got to know, and that was worth at least as much to him. The library opened to him and became his favorite residence. The scholar librarian Schönemann had noted his literary zeal with pleasure. He kindly answered his many questions, supported his early studies, and finally gave him the permission to enter the book halls themselves, and roam the fields of learning to his heart’s content, and to get lost in them.
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He was particularly attracted to English literature, for whose knowledge he found the most excellent remedies. In it was , the older drama was the center of his studies, and Shakspeare was the final, highest goal. To explore it, to know it completely, to immerse oneself in the poets of all poets, was worth the work of a life. Here the innermost inclination combined with learned studies; In this field, he felt, he could work with undivided strength. Already he was one step ahead of general development, for only now did one begin to suspect Shakspeare’s greatness in Germany, which for him shone bright and clear, like the sun in the sky. If he wanted to recognize his poet, he had to become at home in the history of time and contemporary literature. Above others, Ben Jonson was strange because of his consummate opposition to Shakspeare. Ben Jonson had nothing of anything that made him tall, and yet his seals were very respectable. Notably the “Volpone” attracted his attention, which he translated in Göttingen under the title “Die Fuchsprelle”. On many other important subjects he saw himself pointed out. Through Webster’s drama, he became acquainted with the story of the Vittoria Accorombona, and thought of poeticizing it.
He was introduced to Spanish by Tychsen, who gave a lecture on this little known literature in Germany. Apart from him and Burgsdorff, who had been appointed by him, there were only a few disciples who were eager to learn. Tieck himself wanted to read the Cervantes, the “Don Quixote” in the original language. As soon as his strength allowed him to do so, he became his daily companion for a long time.
A more outwardly directed, ordered activity of this kind had to be purifying and regulating its interior and to react back his poetic attempts. In Halle he had still been under Rambach’s influence, and had made some work on his business. Even the boyish plan to write a tragedy “Anna Boleyn” in association with his friend Piesker, he had resurrected. Since then he has undeniably gained in training, in inner freedom and independence, in balance of power. Those demonic pleasures, as they had in Halle, came less frequently and with less strength. The doubts and horror which they carried with them did not quite disappear, so he had so far mastered his fantasies and painful movements, to be able to look back at individual points of the same calm eye and to try their representation.
He had already returned to Halle for “Abdallah”. Some of what he experienced there worked on it. The materialistic philosophy of enjoyment and sensuality in which that weasel pleased, whose insolent mockery had left such a gruesome impression that it was not to be wondered at, when individual echoes recurred in Omar’s diabolical wisdom, with which he sacrificed the youthful, unprejudiced victim, which he wants to bring to hell, umgarnt. In the late autumn of 1792 he resumed the processing. The whole thing turned out differently now; Now he wanted to finish it. It was just before Christmas when he closed his grisly tale. He had worked through the night, and completed the last chapter, in which all the horror, previously anticipated, comes to terrible fulfillment. In increasing excitement he had written. As he laid the quill, the day dawned. He went to the window. A streak of bright, wintry morning light shone over the low roofs. Slow and sleepy , everyday life on the street began to stir. He glanced nervously out into the morning. Yet he felt quiet and calm, even peaceful. A heavy burden had been taken from his heart. In “Abdallah” he had pronounced what frightened him. Nowhere else have Schiller’s “robbers” found a more terrible resonance than in this poetry. She concluded with the most screaming miser. The hellish art of lying had triumphed, with terrible sarcasm every better force would be knocked to the ground; Man only seems born to be the victim of dark forces.
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But in this night, only the heaviest weather clouds seemed to have discharged. The thunder rumbled in the distance. No sooner had the “Abdallah” been completed than the first figures of the “Lovell”, who had been uncertain for some time before his soul, began to establish themselves.
At the same time, a few less important details had sprung up. At Bernhardi’s request, he wrote a tragedy in two acts “The farewell” in no time. With the least resources a tragic effect should be achieved. In the circle of the Berlin friends one wanted to represent the play, and with self-denial he let it happen that Bernhardi spent it for his work. Less fortunately the Berlin critics, Tieck’s sister and Wackenroder, recorded a short story in which he voiced Veit Weber’s Sageon, “The Green Band,” or as it was first called, “Adalbert and Emma,” a lightly thrown piece of work. On the other hand, they consented to the first part of the “Abdallah,” which he sent to them at the beginning of 1793.
Easter of the year 1793 had come. It opened up a bright view of the future for Tieck. This, after many renunciations, was the prospect of the fresh enjoyment of a summer in the forest and mountains, in nature and in art, at the side of the friend to whom his whole heart belonged. How many times had he wished his Wackenroder to pour out all doubts and gloomy thoughts into his faithful breast, to share new views and discoveries directly with him. Her continued correspondence had only been a small substitute for all this. Now finally he should accompany the friend to continue his studies to Erlangen.
Long before, they had discussed this splendid plan in detail in their letters, and with youthful exuberance anticipated a part of the bliss with hope. The life that they had led together in Berlin should not only continue, it should become a more intimate, yet freer, wider one. Here, finally, everything great and beautiful should come true, of which they had dreamed in the moments of boldest enthusiasm. Only now should the barriers of life open.
Especially Wackenroder sighed after this beautiful time; she seemed all lucky to include all freedom. Still, the careful and strict father had educated and educated him; maybe only too much. In the care of his only son he could not do enough; she ended up in a mental pressure that robbed him of the freedom of his own movement and intimidated him even more. Wackenroder had not worn it until now without the secret desire for independence; all the more so because the father was hard to please in the strictness of his demands, and wanted to understand everything in his own way. A full year later than Tieck he finished his preparation. Only now the father thought he could release him, only now had the son acquired the necessary maturity to move to the university. After Erlangen he was to go, the newly acquired State University, which had fallen with the Franconian Principalities of Prussia, and dedicated to the study of rights.