The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller

By Calvin Thomas | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
The Stuttgart Medicus

So gewisz ich sein Werk verstehe, so musz er starke Dosen in Emeticis ebenso lieben als in Æstheticis, und ich möchte ihm lieber zehen Pferde als meine Frau zur Kur übergeben.-- Review of 'The Robbers', 1782.

THE career that opened before Schiller on his release from the academy, in December, 1780, turned out a wretched mockery of his hopes. He had, or supposed he had, the right to expect a decent position in the public service and a measure of liberty befitting a man who had served his time under tutelage. What his august master saw fit to mete out to him, however, was neither the one nor the other: he was stationed at Stuttgart as 'medicus' to an ill-famed regiment consisting largely of invalids. His pay was eighteen florins a month--say seven or eight dollars. His duties consisted of routine visits to the hospital and daily appearance at parade, with reports upon the condition of the luckless patients whom he doctored savagely with drastic medicines. Withal he was required to wear a stiff, ungainly uniform which did not carry with it the distinction of an 'officer' and exposed him to the derision of his friends. A humble petition of Captain Schiller that his son be permitted

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