The final phase (1828)
On New Year's Eve the Schubertians gathered as usual in Schober's rooms. According to Franz von Hartmann's diary, it turned out to be a lively evening. In addition to the Hartmann brothers there were present Schober, Spaun, and Schubert (who had been once again a tenant of Schober's since March), the pianist Josef von Gahy, Schwind, and Bauernfeld, the scholar and teacher Karl Enk, and Eduard Rössler, a young doctor from Pest. 'On the stroke of twelve we toasted each other in Malaga and drank to a happy new year. Bauernfeld then read a poem on this point of time.'1 At two o'clock the visitors left to go on to Bogner's coffee house. Bauernfeld's poem, which was to appear a few days later in the Vienna Zeitschrift für Kunst, is a meditation on time's revenges. Towards the end it seems to take a prophetic turn: 'The magic of speech, the source of all song, it too, though divine, will cease to flow. The voice will no longer ring out in the throng, for the singer too has a time to go. As the stream hastens toward the sea, so the singer--to the source of all poetry.'2 The Schubertians had reason to be conscious that their days of irresponsible youth were over. Bauernfeld himself was now a civil servant, trying hard to establish himself as a dramatist. Spaun was to be married in April. Schwind was soon to move to Munich to further his career as a painter, while the Hartmann brothers were due to end their studies and return to Linz in August. Bauernfeld's words are therefore more likely to refer to the ineluctable passage of time than to the possibility of Schubert's death before the end of the year, which came as a surprise to his friends.
The carnival season began with a relentless round of parties, and with the revival of the reading parties at Schober's after an interval of nearly four years. Thanks to Franz von Hartmann, who was a regular attender, we can compile a fairly complete list of the literary fare provided. The meetings were held weekly on Saturday evenings, and continued through to August with occasional breaks. The favourite authors were Heinrich von Kleist, the enemy of the political and cultural establishment, seven of whose Novellen were read early in the year; Tieck in____________________