Schiller - Vol. 1

By Eugen Kühnemann; Katharine Royce | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE CONSPIRACY OF FIESKO OF GENOA

"THE Robbers" cost Schiller his fatherland. He had no choice but to sacrifice his home or his work as a poet. He decided upon flight and the sacrifice of his home. Streicher's account of this flight touches us, not merely because it is a tale of hardship and danger, but because it is typical of the sorrows of a creative genius. Schiller's estimate of himself was bound up with the work he had produced -- a work whereby he thought he had convinced the world that he was one of those who must be reckoned with and whose real and only duty was authorship. And he had to learn that people's actions are far more influenced by any and every chance circumstance than by any regard for a genius. If a genius brings forth good fruits they are welcome. But his claims are always burdensome. There is in the world a deep though unconscious hatred of those natures that will go their own way. He who wants to found his life upon his works need expect no aid from others. Schiller learned all these indubitable facts only too well from Dalberg. Not only his physical and his

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