The Works of Frederick Schiller: Early Dramas and Romances

By Friedrich Schiller; Henry G. Bohn | Go to book overview

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE ROBBERS,
AS COMMUNICATED BY SCHILLER TO DALBERG IN 1781, AND SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN USED AS A PROLOGUE.

*** This has never before been printed with any of the editions.

THE picture of a great misguided soul, endowed with every gift of excellence, yet lost in spite of all its gifts. Unbridled passions and bad companionship corrupt his heart, urge him on from crime to crime, until at last he stands at the head of a band of murderers, heaps horror upon horror, and plunges from precipice to precipice into the lowest depths of despair. Great and majestic in misfortune, by misfortune reclaimed, and led back to the paths of virtue. Such a man shall you pity and hate, abhor yet love, in the ROBBER MOOR. You will likewise see a juggling, fiendish knave, unmasked, and blown to atoms in his own mines; a fond, weak, and over-indulgent father; the sorrows of too enthusiastic love, and the tortures of ungoverned passion. Here, too, you will witness, not without a shudder, the interior economy of vice; and from the stage be taught how all the tinsel of fortune fails to smother the inward worm, and how Terror, Anguish, Remorse, and Despair, tread close on the footsteps of guilt. Let the spectator weep to-day at our exhibition, and tremble, and learn to bend his passions to the laws of Religion and Reason; let the YOUTH behold with alarm the consequences of unbridled excess, nor let the MAN depart without imbibing the lesson, that the invisible hand of Providence makes even villains the instruments of its designs and judgments, and can marvellously unravel the most intricate perplexities of Fate.

-xviii-

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