The Verdict of posterity
Alles was der Dichter geben kann ist seine Individualität; these musz also wert sein, vor Welt und Nachwelt aufgestellt zu werden.-- Review of Barger, 1791.
RATHER more than in other countries it is the fashion in Germany to regard literature under a national aspect, and to judge of writers not so much according to their power of titillating a fastidious literary taste as according to the degree in which they have entered into and affected the intellectual life of the people at large. Looked at from this point of view, Schiller well deserves the name of a national poet; indeed it would be hard to find another modern man who deserves it better. Critics there have always been to find fault with this and that, yet he remains, after a century, the most truly popular of German poets; not the most admired by the literary class, or by the outside world, but the most beloved in his own country. Most Germans have a different feeling for Schiller from that which they cherish for any other of their great writers.
For this his idealized personality is largely responsible. He is habitually thought of as an exceptionally noble and lofty character; as a man more singly and more strenuously devoted than most men to those