It was in the spring of 1823 when a stranger entered his room; a feeble figure, a pale face, destroyed by sorrow and passion. Embarrassed and awkward, he announced with a rumbling voice that he was Grabbe. There could hardly be a greater self-deception on the one hand, and disappointment on the other. Of all the talents which Grabbe had praised, he possessed none, neither voice, nor posture, nor changeability. Everything was based on an imagination that increased his unhappiness. He was less suited for anything than for a public appearance on the Bretern. The pressure of close relations and the stubborn feeling of his strength had given him something stubborn. Some of the readings he insisted on were unfavorable, confirming that he had no vocation for the theater. It also turned out that frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages ruined his health.
In his lawlessness he did not fit in a bourgeois order. He was hard to accommodate; his dramas, which he hoped for, could not be portrayed. At Tieck’s use, however, the directorship of the Dresden theater sought to assist him otherwise. But that could not satisfy him. He was capable of his not to let fancies, and believed misjudged and reset. He had thrown himself into Tieck’s arms, expecting help from him, relief of his condition, and fulfillment of fantastic wishes, in which he saw a recognition of his worth.
Tieck did what stood in his power; he kept him near him, and drew him to his societies. But it was hard to communicate with him. The presence of others was annoying to him; he was soon shy, soon exhilarating. He took no part in any conversation; he often stood or sat silently in one place, or looked out of the window, unconcerned with the present. It was a strange mixture of pride and inconvenience. He was most eloquent in the midst of uneducated people. When Tieck happened to pass by a customary gift-shop, he saw Grabbe sitting in the midst of several petty bourgeois with beer, to whom he talked heatedly and talked about himself and his dramas, though they had hardly ever heard of poetry or of his name ,
It finally became clear that he did not find what he was looking for in Dresden. With increased bitterness he departed to try his luck elsewhere. Tieck gave him recommendations to some friends. First, Grabbe offered his services to the Brunswick Theater. But Klingemann, the chief of the same, did not know how to occupy him. He wrote to Tieck that it was an evolving nature that did not fit in with all the urge for the stage. He had a similar fate in Hanover. He was offered a salary equal to alms. Hopeless and desperate, he returned to Detmold. In the night he sneaked into the house of his parents, whom he told so much about his profession, and who had believed in him. In AugustIn 1823 he called Tieck’s aid anew; he was ready to renounce everything, and to be satisfied with a writer.
Later Grabbe’s fate took a more favorable turn for some time. His memory of Tieck, however, unfairly interfered with a certain irritation. She was unmistakable in the half-refuting notes with which he accompanied Tieck’s letter on “Theodor von Gothland” five years later, when he published his dramatic poetry. Still less in the treatise on Shakspearomania, in which he tried to prove in deliberate opposition to Tieck Shakspeare’s evil influence on German poetry. And yet Grabbe himself had for a time been such an exalted admirer of Shakspeare that Tieck had had to moderate and restrain.
In the autumn of 1824 F. Schlegel came to Dresden. Many a year had passed since they had not spoken to each other. On the return of England Tieck saw the friend fleeting in Frankfurt a. M., letters had been changed only occasionally. A look at their present position and their relationship to each other, and the recollection of earlier times aroused earnest considerations. Externally Schlegel was significantly changed. He had become corpulent, his face had taken on wide, flowing features; One recognized the gourmet who, in spite of all the prophetics, was by no means indifferent to the pleasures of the table. He was taciturn and comfortable, not without nobility; in the presence of less known silent. He only seemed to want to say meaningful, profound things.
In the very first conversations it became clear that she had hardly ever had the personal goodwill that he had before. could still clear, but an agreement did not seem attainable. In the age of idealism Schlegel had idolized knowledge and art, but now he hardly wanted to tolerate it. The church and its forms should be one and all. But neither then nor now could Tieck agree with these views. Philosophy as a science despised Schlegel, especially the dialectic. In part he rejected here what he did not know, and in the proud feeling of possessing what was necessary, he considered it unnecessary to know the individual phenomena. When Tieck praised Solger, he spoke of this as an unfinished young man from whom perhaps, over time, something could have become. He considered all study too cumbersome, too extensive, and unnecessary, since all this could be achieved in the shortest possible time. In poetry he only recognized Calderon, the Orientals still stood higher, they contained everything in all.
His judgments of Tieck’s recent poetry were therefore nothing short of flattering. He denied the possibility of treating modern life poetically; Any present, in fact, escapes the poet; only the past can he represent. Of the short stories he meant that they were weak wine of poetry mixed with much water of the mind. When he heard that Tieck was engaged in the “rebellion in the Cévennes” and thought he was dealing with a religious subject, he was anxiously dissuaded from such a plan; nothing should be hasty here; in such important matters immaturity or upheaval can easily become a sin.
Tieck thought too cheaply to reproach Schlegel, but it was a test of patience, if he always spoke only of the highest tone, if he presupposed everywhere Everything about him is in trouble, or is trapped in dreams, he alone knows the time and knows how to help her. Especially against Tieck he loved to talk in the unerring oracle. If he did raise him up as a poet, he would deny him every insight into philosophy, and he would listen to him with the confident superiority with which the master patiently endures the weak attempts of a newly consecrated pupil or layman. He did not care to enter into the peculiar nature of his views and poetry; he thought he recognized it without it. Every conversation at Tieck left the profound regret that such a rich talent had to succumb to the delusion of excessive self-overestimation precisely at the moment when it prided itself on the greatest self-denial.
Tieck’s life in Dresden had become firmer. His permanent stay there was not without influence. As a middle royal residence, with great artistic and scientific resources, it provided significant stimulus, but it was not large enough to neutralize or overshadow such spiritual power. Many relationships were linked, recognition and contradiction had set in, creating a poetic and studying Tieck led a life that appealed to him completely. He owed everything to himself, to his power. Barred by any barrier, he wanted to be free. true . Also, no one was less apt to submit to official service; he knew no other order than that of his genius, and no work other than poetic leisure.
His friends thought otherwise. Some wished him a carefree existence, which the state ensured; others wanted to involve him in a regulated activity of bourgeois, or at least scientific life. They considered his critical talent, his artistic experience, his knowledge of modern literature, and extensive book-learning useful for practical purposes. They meant to do him a favor, even against his will. One wanted to occupy him with the guidance of the theater, or put as a teacher on the catheter. Already in 1804 some of them wished to create a position at the reorganized University of Heidelberg. Creuzer, too, had been won for it; preparatory steps took place, but they did not produce any results. In 1812 the Minister of Wietersheim appointed him the post of a senior librarian in Dresden, and in 1816 he received the unpardonable recognition of a scientific corporation by the University of Breslau sending him the diploma of honor of a Doctor of Philosophy.
Later, a possible employment of Tieck’s in the service of the state and science of Solger was zealously pursued. With the warmth of his friend and the reprint of the businessman, he took care of it. Already during his stay in Ziebingen Tieck had become known to Prince Hardenberg. He had made a favorable impression on this one. The man was for him, who could enforce everything. Hardenberg repeatedly invited him to a table. It was an equally winning as an impressive phenomenon. He must have been beautiful in the past; in the perfect formation of the aristocratic nobleman and powerful statesman he met him. The most dignified attitude was combined with engaging friendliness, far from insulting condescension. There were also people in Hardenberg who sought to use this benevolent mood for the poet. To these belonged Koreff, who himself wanted to be a romantic; also Stägemann. With Solger, F. v. Raumer, who had been called to Berlin by Professor Wroclaw in 1819. One also wanted to know that the crown prince, a patron and lover of poetry, was particularly favorable to Tieck’s poetry.
The Chancellor demanded that the Minister of Culture v. Altenstein, to make suitable suggestions for Tieck’s employment. He thought it best to hear the poet himself. He asked him whether he wanted a position at the university, the Academy of Sciences, or the arts, and at the same time the prospect of a dramaturgical activity in the theater was opened. But here, too, there were some difficulties in the matter itself; even worse was the fact that by Solger’s sudden death this plan at the decisive moment lost its most zealous carrier. Now the thought was taken of calling Tieck to Solger’s position as professor of aesthetics. But his piety was reluctant; he felt shaken by the request and hurt. How could he have thought of taking the chair of a man whose disciples he professed, and now that he felt the loss with the deepest grief? He was a poet and not a philosopher; the catheter required a system, and he had none.
No one spoke better than he, but the mood had to guide him, and this could not be dictated by a plan of action. Such a change of life, to undertake such a strange, hitherto unpracticed activity in the mature manhood, was questionable. If he then considered his sickness, the pains which often attacked him suddenly and violently, his clumsiness and dependence on external things, he became completely uncertain and hesitant. He confessed that in the foreign realm, as a professor who was to be a docuer, he would always remain a bungler and a half man. Only reluctantly had he been involved in this matter through his friends. He had hesitated and tested her patience; finally Solger’s death prompted him to abandon the plan altogether.
Soon afterwards, in 1822, other friends in Wroclaw had similar intentions. Now he wanted to make him a professor of the theater’s new literature and dramaturges, but that, too, was shattered.
Tieck knew his nature better than the friends who wanted to take care of him. He knew that a fixed official relationship was not suitable for him; it could be questionable whether there was any office which he was capable of leading. The talent for making art serviceable and useful had simply failed him; he had so often ridiculed and laughed at it. He therefore preferred to remain free and overcome by his own power the afflictions that are inseparable from the position of a modern and a German poet.
But there was still a chair that was for him the right one, just the one he had long since held, the critical one in the theater. Finally a happy turn came here too. Earlier, the berli ner stage, which was under the direction of Count Brühl, Tieck’s Rath sought for individual use. When Ludwig Devrient studied “Richard III.” In 1816, he wanted to hear about it, and when Wolff thought of presenting the “Bluebeard”, this gave rise to new discussions. Later, when Prince Radziwill, in his circle, organized the performance of some scenes from Faust with his composition, he invited Tieck to attend. He wished to hear his judgment, and although Tieck was otherwise an opponent of Faust’s attempts, he nevertheless found much to acknowledge. Next to the music, Duke Karl of Mecklenburg-Strelitz made a significant impression as Mephistopheles. He had never seen an actor better understand and portray this role.
At last the prospect of exerting a greater influence on the Berlin stage from Dresden opened up. In Berlin, the royal theater was the only dominant one. There was no suburban, popular, as in the southern cities. The character of these quiet, enjoyable years of peace included an increased thirst for action. Although the stage was not considered an educational institution for the people, it was the most important art institute. It was the only public interest that could be discussed publicly; everything was about this center. The plan was drafted into a second independent stage, supported only by private individuals. Finally the concession was won. It was a big company for Berlin, which set actors, connoisseurs and connoisseurs, civil servants, journalists and official critics alike into a stir. The art protected by the privilege should cease, and a folk stage should be founded. That was [p. 33] the opinion of the enthusiasts, and Tieck’s friends wished to gain authority in him. The first message was given to him by Ludwig Robert. One of the company’s directors even appeared in Dresden, and in 1823 the official invitation of the Direction of the new Royal Theater was given to participate in its establishment, to set up a repertoire, and to write a prelude to the opening.
For a moment Tieck also believed in these designs. He thought of himself as a real folk stage, a middle bourgeois theater, as he had seen it in his youth; he thought it possible to make one. With moderate means exaggerated claims could not be made, the dazzling, for the taste perishable pomp should be kept away, so that the simple, bourgeois spectacle, which was wrongly now completely despised, the harmless Singspiel and the Volkswitz regain space. He did not think of a critically nasal and overpowering publicum, but a bourgeois one, as had meanwhile arisen in the remote parts of the city. In the days of her youth and impartiality, the stage should return to grow again. He compiled a list of older comedies in which Schroeder, Jiinger, Holberg, Gozzi stood, and Kotzebue and Iffland were not excluded.
But soon it became clear that things could no longer be carried on in such a simple way. The managers of the enterprise were not satisfied with the unpretentious home cooking of the fathers, which was demanded of them. They also demanded that Tieck should make verses and write plays on order. He was least allowed to come to it. He hastened to retire and repented of it niger, as here too everything struck the wrong path, against which he was constantly jealous. Not a folk stage, but a splendid opera, was born, and that unheard-of storm of theatrical rage set in, which the critic, as the sign of a weary and deprived of great interests, did not laugh at without bitterness.
Next came Tieck the dresdener stage; she was dependent on him. Even his perfect reading of dramatic works had involuntarily to exert a formative influence. There could not be a better school for the actor. And he only read what was completed, or at least had significant value to one side. Also for the representation of larger dramatic poems one recovered his advice. Already in 1821, the “merchant of Venice” had come to his performance in three acts. Soon afterwards he enforced that Kleist’s “Prinz von Homburg” was given. At the same time, he had occasion to appear in public as a dramaturge. His reviews found their way into the “Abendzeitung,” and in the years 1823 and 1824 formed a standing article of the same. Standing above the standpoint of the ordinary critic of the day, he had always the whole of art and literature, and its development in mind. The short and the mediocre he made for a moment, or overlooked, to the annoyance of the authors, in order to discuss all the more genuinely the more classical. Like Lessing, he came to the arts from the artists, and his critiques gradually grew into a dresden dramaturgy.
Unwanted, this position had formed out of the circumstances. To his and the theater’s advantage, the friends wished to transform it into a pronounced and lasting one. Talent, scholarly and preference evenly. At court he was favorably disposed; the queen, the princes, and other influential people wanted him well, so it came to a decision. At the beginning of 1825 he was employed by the Hofbühne as a dramaturg with an annual salary of 700 thalers and the title of Hofrath. The circle of his duties had been widely and generally drawn, they should not be a burden to him. As a literary adviser, he joined the new boss of the theater, Herr von Lüttichau, to the side. When composing, arranging and rehearsing the pieces, he should be heard and participate in the composition of the repertoire. Above all, his friends hoped that through the example he gave, he would, through criticism, insight, and noble humanity, influence the more general education and artistic education of the actors.
So it had finally come true, what he had already recognized as his profession. By official means he was assigned a position in that temple of art, in which he tried to steal secretly as a boy; Everything he had studied and experienced was used. For this he still received the title of Hofrath, and the court councilors were just the persons whose sneer he had often ridiculed in his youthful poetry. He did not emphasize this irony without self-satisfaction. He had been right to wait for such a turn, and full of the best of humor he soon wrote: “Now I’m finally getting paid to travel and see comedy! It is my damned duty to have fun and service. Getting spanked for it in youth, became old Hofrath; that’s the way it is! “