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sian power.

De la Garde's Congress of Vienna.

195 guest to take his share according to his might. At this feast there is no harmony; each eyes the other with distrust and suspicion; and while Alexander is laying his heavy hand upon Poland, and the whisper of partition of France is going round, Talleyrand and the English minister are signing a secret treaty with Austria, with the object of raising a barrier against the dangerous rise of Rus

The Comte de la Garde saw only the banquet and the salons; he was not admitted behind the scenes, and accordingly has no secrets to reveal. He saw kings in dominoes, and empresses in masks, and was warned not to mistake a queen for a grisette. He heard some dissertations, but they were upon the fine arts and conversations at the dinner-table of Lord S-; they turned upon Shakspeare and Corneille, the gobelin tapestry, and Sévres porcelain; in which discussion the Frenchman of course came off with flying colours. We doubt not that in the circumstances there was a polite agreement to allow French vanity the consolation of calling Shakspeare rude and uncultivated, and of exalting Racine above

Milton. Any thing might be said, so that diplomacy was not called upon to make premature revelations. We are told that the sovereigns themselves only talked politics one hour during the twenty-four; and that the dullest, for it was the hour before dinner; and even then the subject was quickly despatched, for contemplation of the innocent slaughter of a battue.

Were we in fact to give the headings only of the chapters in the first volume, the reader might suppose he was reading a programme

of a performance at Astley's Amphitheatre. But while the Neros were fiddling, Europe was parcelling out; and we can hardly repress a feeling of satisfaction when the arrival of Napoleon in France scatters for a moment the pageant to the winds. The sensation produced by that event is the only portion of the book of which we will attempt a translation.

“ The news Koslowski told me was brought by a courier, despatched from Florence by Lord Borghese. The English consul at Livourne had sent it to the latter. Lord Stewart, the first to be informed, immediately communicated the intelligence to Prince Metternich and the sovereigns. The ministers of the great powers, too, were told the news. No one had heard what route Napoleon had taken. Is he in France ? Has he fled to the United States?-all are lost in conjecture.

“Whether it was that the secret was well kept, or that the intoxication of pleasure still prevailed, Vienna wore its accustomed aspect. The ramparts of Leopoldstadt, leading to the Prater, were filled with people promenading as usual. Nothing announced that the thunderbolt had fallen: everywhere amusement and pleasure !... “In the evening a company of amateur performers were to play at the palace the ‘Barber of Seville ;' to be followed by a vaudeville, then much in vogue, called · La danse interrompue.' Having received an invitation, I resolved to go and study the appearance of the illustrious assembly. It was as numerous, and not less brilliant than usual. But it was no longer the easy indifference of the day; brows were slightly clouded. Groups, formed here and there, discussed with eagerness the probabilities of the departure from Elba.

“The Empress of Austria gave the order for raising the curtain. We shall see,' said I, 'how the illustrious assembly enjoy the comedy.' On which the Prince Koslowski observed, “Be not deceived; it would require the enemies' cannon at the gates of Vienna, to break this obstinate slumber.' This morning the news reached Talleyrand in bed. Madame de Perigord was conversing gaily with him when a letter was brought in from Metternich. The beautiful countess mechanically opened the despatch, and cast her eyes on the mighty intelligence. She had been engaged to assist in the course of the day at a rehearsal of Le Sourd ou l'Auberge pleine,' and thinking only of her probable disappointment, exclaimed, "Buonaparte has quitted, uncle : and what, uncle, becomes of the rehearsal ?'

“ The rehearsal shall go on, madame,' tranquilly replied the diplomatist. And the rehearsal took place.

“ It was at the ball given by Prince Metternich, that the landing at Cannes and the first successes of Napoleon were heard. The announcement operated like the stroke of an enchanter's wand, changing at once into a desert the garden of Almida. The thousands of wax-lights seemed at once to be extinguished. The waltz is interrupted-in vain the music continues—all stop, all look at each other—he is in France!

“ The Emperor Alexander advances towards Prince Talleyrand: 'I told you it would not last long'

“ The French Plenipotentiary bows without replying. The King of Prussia makes a sign to the Duke of Wellington: they leave the ball-room together. Alexander, the Emperor of Austria, and Mette nich follow them. The greater number of the guests disappear. There remains only some groups of frightened talkers.”

A bon mot-supplied by the title of the vaudeville · La danse interrompue crowns the whole—and the fêtes are at an end.

( 197 )

ART. XI.-1. F. L. Z. WERNER'S Sämmtliche Werke. (Werner's Collective Works.) 12 vols.


Dramatische Werke. Frankfort and Vienna. 1820, 1840. 3. IMMERMANN'S Dramatische Werke. Merlin: Das Trauerspiel

in Tyrol (The Tragedy in the Tyrol): Alexis. Die Opfer der Schweigens. (The Victims of Silence.) Hamburg. Hoff

man and Campe. 1837, 1841. 4. E. RAUPACH's Dramatische Werke: Ernster GattungDra.

matische Werke: Komischer Gattung. Hamburg: Hoffman and

Campe. 1829, 1842. 5. Original-Beiträge zur deutschen Schaubühne. (Original Contri

butions to the German Theatre. By the Princess AMELIA of

SAXE.) Dresden. Arnold. 1836, 1842. 6. Griseldis. (Griselda.) Der Adept. (The Alchymist.) Camoens.

(The Death of Camoens.) Ein milder Urtheil. (A Mild Judgment.) Imilda Lambertazzi. König und Bauer. (King and Peasant.) Der Sohn der Wildness. (The Son of the Desert.)

Plays by FRIEDRICH HALM. Vienna: Gérold. 1836, 1843. 7. FERDINAND RAIMUND's Sämmtliche Schriften. 4 vols. Vienna:

Rohrmann's. 1837. A REVIEW of the Modern German Stage is not an easy, and very

far from an agreeable task. Since the silence or death of Lessing, Schiller, and Göthe—that is to say, for the last forty or fifty years-no branch of German literature and art has fallen into such undeniable decay. Most others have made admitted progress: the drama alone, the youngest and the most feeble shoot of German genius, has been stunted and discouraged. Perhaps some of the causes lie upon the surface.

There is no central public in Germany: a want which has been of evil influence to many of the national interests, but to none more decidedly than to the proper cultivation and development of a national dramatic genius. The numerous German capitals-every one of them strongly indoctrinated with peculiar and distinguishable tastes; each in some sort playing rival to the other; all existing by their own special laws, manners, and customs; Vienna praising what they are laughing at in Berlin, Weimar not knowing what they admire in Frankfort-have offered little of that settled public guidance to the dramatic poet, without which the highest order of stage success can rarely be achieved.

To this are to be added the operation of censorships, more especially fatal to the health of comedy, and the luckless influence of the German governments in every other point wherein they have meddled

with the theatre. It was they who cumbered it with its absurdly restrictive laws; who disabled it of its few chances of control by popular influence; who effected that unhappy metamorphosis of the gay, lively, self-supporting actor, into the compelled servant of a manager, or the life-hired menial of a prince; and finally, when some daring dramatist had even braved these dangers, and with them the certainties of mutilation that awaited his work from public censor, from prince-fed actor, from ignorant critic, it was the wisdom of these governments which so ordered the system of his remuneration, as to starve him back, with as little delay as might be, into pursuits he had unwisely abandoned. Our

pedantry is so great,' said Lessing, when he satirically deplored* this condition of things, that we consider boys as the only proper fabricators of theatrical wares. Men have more serious and worthy employments in the State and in the Church. What men write should beseem the gravity of men: a compendium of law or philosophy; an erudite chronicle of this or that imperial city; an edifying sermon, and such like.'

But Lessing did not content himself with lamenting or with satirizing; he applied a remedy. When, by his vigorous criticism, he had demolished the slavish following of the French school, and fixed the attention of his countrymen on the great dramatic poet of England, he may be said to have created the

Göthe's influence was less favourable. His Goetz von Berlichingen' announced his early inclination to the theatre: but of the pieces he afterwards constructed in that form, ' Egmont' and Clavigo' alone continue to be acted; while the greater works of Tasso,' Iphigenia, and the incomparable * Faust,' introduced that dangerous distinction between acted and unacted drama, which was fated to mislead so many in their approaches to the stage. The third is the greatest name in the history of the German theatre. Schiller's influence, its character, and its enduring effects, are known to all: we have lately enlarged

Once established, and its native claims allowed, a schism broke out in the dramatic literature of Germany, and two schools' set themselves in marked opposition: the romantic,' and what we should call the domestic. The last named had its founder in Lessing, who set it up in rivalry to the French classical manner; and whose Sara Sampson,' ' Emilia Galotti' and other plays of the same kind, turned even Göthe and Schiller in that direction: the one in his . Clavigo,' the other in his · Cabal and Love' (Kabale und Liebe), and in such episodes of his greater works as the Max

German stage.

upon them.

* Dramaturgie, 1st April, 1768.

in vogue.

The Tieck and Schlegel School?

199 and Thekla of · Wallenstein.' But while this example strengthened the more direct followers of Lessing in the domestic school (the Ifflands and the Kotzebues), the same writers, particularly Göthe, were responsible for influences that tended strongly to what we have called the romantic school, of which the leaders were Tieck, the brothers Schlegel, Novalis, and Arnim. There is no very exact meaning in the term romantic, but it was the word

The effects of this style of writing, in criticism perhaps more than in dramatic production, were adverse to the progress of the German theatre. The dramas of Tieck and Arnim were impossibilities. The thin, fantastic, cloudy world of elves and fairies, of spectres and of dreams, which had found itself so effective in the tale, the novel, or the song, showed pale and utterly out of place in the compact form of the drama. Tieck's Genoveva' and Blue Beard were poems of imagination and a sharp original fancy, but their dramatic form was accidental: not bestowed upon them by qualities of their own, but by the voluntary afterthought of the poet. The same is to be said of Arnim's dramas, a new edition of which has been lately published by Wilheim Grimm. The only one of this school, indeed, who actually found his way to the stage, was Henrich von Kleist (not to be confounded with the elder poet of the same name, Christian Eweld von Kleist), whose dramas of Kate from Heilbronn' adapted for representation by Holbein, and “The Prince of Hesse-Homburg' are acted now and then even to this day, attracting such as have a touch of their own mysticism, but in themselves as weak and sickly as the poor poet had been, who in 1811 took to drowning out of melancholy and despair. But the critics of the school were a more formidable party than the dramatic producers. Friedrich and August Wilhelm von Schlegel, Tieck himself, Franz Horn, and others in connexion with them, brought all their talents to bear against the existing German theatre, and proved a formidable impediment to its growth. Young and feeble as it was, they proposed nothing but the very strongest drink for its nurture. Shakspeare and Calderon: these were the only models they would offer for imitation; nothing short of these could be the salvation of the drama. And straightway on this Procrustes bed of criticism, modest and quiet German poets stretched themselves out, to the terrible injury of what limbs they had, and to no earthly production of any they had not. All this wrought but one result : the unnatural excess of effort introduced into the drama a deplorable affectation, a frenetic convulsive style, a kind of intoxication of the pathetic, which have to this day depressed and retarded it. And it is worthy of remark

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