Life of Friedrich Schiller

By Henry W. Nevinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.

THE ancient town of Jena, which was now to be Schiller's home for many years, lies on the Saale, only some twenty miles below Rudolstadt, so that Schiller might still hope to visit his friends there, even in the midst of professorial duties--for at first he lectured only two days a week. The bare hills by which the town is surrounded on all sides, except where the river has forced its way through, are of a loose and shaly formation, yielding easily to the wear of frost and water, by which indeed they seem to have been gradually converted into hills out of the great swelling table-land that rises slowly from Weimar, and is cut in half by the deep bed of the river. In consequence, the hills are flat at the top, and within about a hundred feet are all of the same height, so that they must have seemed monotonous and tame after the sharp crags and irregular mountains of solid rock in the wilder forest district round Rudolstadt. In the year after Schiller's death the north-west quarter of this undulating plain, beginning from the crest of the hill that overlooks Jena itself, was to be the scene of the annihilation of the Prussian and North German forces, a stern contradiction to all the high-flown prophecies of

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