Der Mensch verwandelt sich und flieht von der Bühne, seine Meinungen verwandeln sich und fliehen mit ihm; die Geschichte allein bleibt unausgesetzt auf der Bühne, eine unsterbliche Bürgerin aller Nationen und Zeiten.--First lecture at Jena.
SCHILLER'S merit as a writer of history has been much discussed and very, differently estimated by high authorities. In general one may say that his historical writings have fared at the hands of experts very much like the scientific writings of Goethe; both being treated as the rather unimportant incursions of a poet into a field which he had not the training or the patience to cultivate with the best results. Niebuhr's adverse opinion is well known and has often been echoed in one form or another by later critics. On the other hand, lovers of the poet are very apt to overestimate the historian, who would probably be seldom heard of to-day if he had not achieved immortal fame by his plays and poems. As it is, his historical writings have become, for better or worse, a part of the classical literature of Germany, and as such we have to reckon with them.
And the best way to reckon with them is to describe them as objectively as possible and to consider them