O über mich Narren, der ich wähnete die Welt durch Greuel zu verschönern und die Gesetze durch Gesetzlosigkeit aufrecht zu erhalten.--'The Robbers'.
AFTER leaving the academy Schiller soon began to look about for a publisher of his precious manuscript. Not finding one he presently decided to borrow money and print the play at his own expense. It appeared in the spring of 1781, accompanied by a modest preface in which the anonymous author pronounced his work unsuited to the stage but hoped it would be acceptable as a moral contribution to literature. In less than a year it had been played with ever memorable success and ere long it was the talk of Germany.
In dealing with 'The Robbers' it has always been much easier to point out faults than to do justice. Schiller himself set the fashion of a drastic criticism which had the effect of advertising 'The Robbers' as a violent youthful explosion containing more to be apologized for than to be admired. And indeed it is not a masterpiece of good taste. Upon an adult mind possessing some knowledge of the world's dramatic literature at its best, and particularly if the piece be read and not seen, Schiller's first play is very apt to produce the impression of a boyish extravaganza. The