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1861 he went to Weimar as chief secretary of the “Schillerstiftung,” which he had helped to found. The acceptance by a popular and prolific author like Gutzkow of a burdensome office, with a salary of 500 thalers (about £75), is a significant illustration of the material condition of literary men in Germany as late as twenty years ago. Overwork, anxiety, and the chafing occasioned by the petty cares and humiliations of his position, induced a morbid nervous condition, which culminated in an attempt upon his own life. After a time he became both physically and mentally restored, and received the expression of public sympathy in the form of a liberal subscription for his benefit. He henceforth lived in private, constantly engaged in literary work. The recurrence, however, of pecuniary anxieties, necessitating hasty production, and his almost morbid sensitiveness to the opposition and criticism which a public man cannot escape, tended both to throw a shadow over his declining days, and to detract from the value of his latest works. He died in 1878, at Sachsenhausen, suffocated by the smoke and flame of a fire which broke out in his bedroom, while he was under the influence of a strong dose of chloral, taken as a remedy against sleeplessness. A public subscription is at present being raised in Germany for the erection of a monument to his memory. A new, complete edition of Gutzkow's numerous works is

now in course of publication, although not a Works.

few of them may be supposed, as regards the general public, to have served their purpose and had their day. For almost all Gutzkow's writings have a more or less consciously defined purpose; they belong to the class of Tendenzschriften, in which literary and poetic art is employed, under a more or less skilful disguise, in the service of the politician or social moralist. This is true even of his plays and novels, by which he is most widely and popularly known. Notwithstanding a vein of reflective sentiment, they show in general more of critical observation, of the reformer's practical interest in the study of human nature and social conditions, than of poetic warmth of imagination or artistic power. Yet both as a play-writer and as a novelist, Gutzkow holds an important position in the development of modern German literature. Forsaking the dramatic traditions of his time, its

chamber-drama and conventional themes, he Plays.

wrote for the stage, and with a careful study of dramatic effect. He chose subjects, and a mode of treating them, which reflected more or less directly the life of his own time, and the ideas that were stirring his contemporaries. He thus contributed more than any other writer to the reanimation of the national theatre. Many of his plays had brilliant success, and some of them still retain considerable popularity on the stage. The best of his tragedies, Uriel Acosta (1846), is founded on the story which had already formed the subject of one of the best of his shorter novels, Der Sadducäer von Amsterdam, of the uncle and teacher of the great Spinoza. In the hero is portrayed the struggle between fidelity to the cause of free thought under the persecutions of Jewish fanaticism, and attachment to family and people ; a struggle in which the vacillation of the hero somewhat checks our sympathy; and hardly allows us to regard his sad fate as in the highest sense tragic. Among Gutzkow's other tragedies may be mentioned Patkul, Pugatscheff, and Wullenweber. Superior to these, and perhaps Gutzkow's most successful and popular works, are his historical comedies. Besides Zopf und Schwert, which ranks first, two others may be mentioned. In Das Urbild des Tartüffe (1844), the circumstances under which the representation of Molière's celebrated play was for a time prohibited, are used with some skill to suggest the groundwork of a comedy of similar aim and tendency. Der Königsleutenant (1849) is founded on an episode in the youth of Goethe, the scene being laid in Frankfort during the French occupation in the Seven Years' War. It is a spirited and amusing piece of light comedy, full of lively dialogue, with many humorous touches, telling points, and biographical references skilfully interwoven ; but it makes no pretension to any higher literary merit. It is still, however, one of the most popular pieces on the German stage.

Gutzkow claims a prominent place in the development of

the modern Zeitroman, the novel of modern life Novels.

in all its manifold phases. His novels and novelettes display the same versatile talent as his dramas, but with the same preponderance of the critical understanding over the poetical faculty. We can here mention only the two which exhibit most of his peculiar power. Die Ritter vom Geiste (1850), and Der Zauberer von Rom (1859), are both somewhat ponderous works of fiction, in which it is the author's endeavour to give a faithful and detailed picture of modern culture and social conditions. In the former, contemporaries easily recognised an elaborate sketch of Prussian politics and politicians in the years following the revolution of 1848; the latter work is intended to give an insight into the manifold life of Roman Catholicism. Both evince considerable skill in grouping and individualising the numerous characters, and in weaving together the many threads of the complicated narrative. On the whole, however, they are of less value and interest as novels, than as a contribution to the history of culture.

Neither a critical estimate of Gutzkow's many and varied writings, nor the test of permanent popularity, would give a just estimate of his place and influence in modern German literature. His awakening and stimulating energy, his enterprise in clearing the way and striking out new paths, will be cheerfully recognised by many, who may not be disposed to rate highly the permanent value of most of his productions.

He was always a man of his time, engrossed in its problems, a keen critic of its abuses, and an active champion of progress. Most of his works were better calculated to tell with effect upon his contemporaries, and subserve his aims as a political and social reformer, than to lay the basis of an enduring literary reputation. But he will always retain an honourable place among those who in trying times deserved well of their country. Zopf und Schwert, written at Milan in 1843, but subse

quently revised and altered, is perhaps the hapZopf und

piest product of Gutzkow's literary talent. It

Schwert.

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may fairly be ranked as one of the best German comedies since Lessing's Minna von Barnhelm, though it must be admitted that it falls as far below that masterpiece, as a play chiefly melodramatic (i.e. one the strength of which lies in broad effects, telling points and situations) must necessarily fall below a genuine character-drama. Zopf und Schwert owes much to its happily chosen subject, which for a German spectator or reader combines the interest of a familiar and favourite period of Prussian history with the amusement afforded by natural comedy, a comedy that never needs to be helped out by caricature. Any l'e-like picture of the eccentric and despotic, but sturdy and genuine old citizen king, Frederick William I., the father of Frederick the Great, and of a court life unique for uncourtliness in the annals of European royalty, could not but present an abundance of humorous and comic traits. Such a picture must, however, present also many harsher elements, which would tend to check amusement, and to arouse instead of it serious indignation and even disgust. In a comedy these are of necessity suppressed or considerably toned down, while the most is naturally made of those aspects of the subject which suggest humorous situations and dialogues. Gutzkow has sometimes been accused of exaggeration, but he fairly meets the charge by appealing on the one hand to the traditional licence of the comic muse, and on the other to the authentic memoirs of the Princess Wilhelmina?, from which he has drawn a large part of his material. These memoirs, it is true, bear evident signs of exaggeration and inaccuracy, and are tinged throughout with bitter spitefulness and a most unfilial spirit. But making due allowance for this, the general picture we obtain from them, confirmed by the other records and memoirs of the time,—which however require the same cautious use,-may be accepted as essentially true. The same may be said of Gutzkow's play as regards the principal figure and the general character of the court life depicted. He has of course

1 Mémoires de Frédérique Sophie Wilhelmine de Prusse, Margrave de Bareith, Sæur de Frédéric-le-Grand; Écrit de sa main. Brunswick, Paris, et Londres, 1812.

found it necessary to omit or soften down a good deal, but he has made very moderate use—there was indeed no necessity to do otherwise-of the comedian's licence of exaggeration. Like every other dramatist, however, he has dealt freely with his materials, and has not scrupled to depart from history both as to events and as to the character of some of his personages. Instead of referring the student to other books', it will be convenient to give here a historical sketch, such as may suffice for the due understanding and appreciation of the play, and for the correction of any misapprehensions as to the actual facts which might be occasioned by its perusal. The present royal house of Prussia, which in the war of

1870–71 became also the imperial house of Historical Introduction. The Ho- Germany, is the direct representative in the

main line of the ancient and distinguished race of the Hohenzollern. The castle of Hohenzollern, restored since 1850 by Frederick William IV. of Prussia, is situated on a hill south of Hechingen, on the plateau of Upper Suabia. Counts of Zollern are first mentioned in history under the Emperor Henry IV. (1056—1106) as powerful Suabian nobles of an already ancient stock. About the end of the twelfth century Count Konrad was made Burgrave of Nürnberg, a dignity which in his family was consolidated from a mere administrative office into a feudal sovereignty of increasing extent and influence. Early in the fifteenth century, Frederick VI., the eighth Burgrave, having rendered great services to the

Emperor Sigismund, received from him in fief Brandenburg

the Mark of Brandenburg, and was invested with the electoral dignity pertaining thereto. After the death of Frederick's son, Albert Achilles, the Nürnberg territories

henzollern.

1 Foremost among such books-in English-would naturally be the first three volumes of Mr Carlyle's History of Frederick the Great. A readable narrative of the same period may be found in the first volume of a work edited by Thos. Campbell, the poet, "Frederick the Great, His Court and Times," 2nd ed. London, 1842. It should however be added that in the latter a somewhat uncritical use is made of the materials in the application of which Mr Carlyle is more guarded.

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