The Fugitive in hiding
Ich kann nicht Fürstendiener sein.--'Don Carlos'.
WHEN Schiller arrived at Mannheim, in the latter part of September, 1782, he was soon made aware that he had reckoned badly on the 'Greek climate of the Palatinate'. The friends to whom he showed himself were shocked at the audacity of his conduct; they could only advise him to conciliate the Duke of Württemberg and meanwhile to keep out of sight. So he wrote another very humble letter to his sovereign, explaining the desperate circumstances that had led to his flight and offering to return on condition of being allowed to continue his authorship. This letter he sent to his general, Augé, asking his mediation. In due time Augé replied, advising him to return, as the duke was 'graciously minded.' But this was not enough; Schiller knew his man too well and had probably never expected that his appeal would have any other effect than possibly to mollify the duke a little and thus avert trouble for Captain Schiller.
The fugitive had fixed all his hopes on the production of 'Fiesco' at the Mannheim theater. The manager, Meyer, was well disposed toward him, and it was soon arranged that Schiller should read his new play to a company of actors. The reading turned out