Karl Gutzkow.

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EDITED
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

FRANZ LANGE, PH. D.

Professor, Royal Military Academy, Wuok




NEW YORK
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY






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UCSB LIBRARY




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EDITED
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

FRANZ LANGE, PH. D.

Professor, Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.




NEW YORK

HENRY HOLT & COMPANY



INTRODUCTION.

KARL FERDINAND GUTZKOW, one of the most

distinguished poets and novelists of modern German lite-
rature, was born at Berlin on March lyth, 1811. Of his
parents nothing of note is recorded ; his father, a man of
moderate education, was a clerk in the Prussian War Office.

Gutzkow having shown precocious talents, was sent at an
early age to a public school at Berlin. After a successful
school career he matriculated at the Berlin University, in-
tending to study divinity and philosophy.

The outbreak of the French Revolution in July, 1830,
made a deep impression upon him, and turned his attention
to the political questions of the day.

A journal started by Gutzkow, and called the " Forum
der Journallitteratur," attracted the attention of Menzel. the
most vigorous and popular critic of that time, who invited
him to Stuttgart to take part in editing the " Litteraturblatt,"
a post which he accepted for a time, but, with a view to
public life, he meanwhile continued to study law and
political economy in the universities of Heidelberg and
Munich, and passed his examination .as Ph D. at Jena.

It is this, the first epoch of his literary career, on
which he now started, dating about 1830-1839, which is
specifically occupied with journalism, criticism, and literary
controversies. He soon took rank as one of the most
prominent German journalists of his age, active, many-



vi INTRODUCTION.

sided, sensitive to the pulse of the public, alive to the
diseases of the time, and always ready to strike a deadly
blow at his antagonists. Gutzkow was born a fighter, and
this mettlesomeness is clearly perceptible even in one of
the last books he published, his " Dionysius Longinus "
(1878), where the satire is as keen as in his earliest pro-
ductions. Throughout his laborious life it was his constant
endeavour to impress the age with his own stamp, to
analyse its literary productions, and mercilessly to crush
whatever belonged to the Romantic School.

In 1833 he published his first great work, " Maha Guru,
Geschichte eines Gottes," in which he, under the mask of
a Tibetan god, parodied and ridiculed the weaknesses of
his time, particularly red-tapeism, bureaucracy, and high-
church orthodoxy. This predilection for dressing his
characters in an Asiatic garb he caught from Wieland and
Montesquieu, who first set the fashion by his " Lettres
Persanes," published in 1721. Gutzkow's work was heartily
welcomed, and very favourably reviewed by his master, Men-
zel. But from this time other influences began to bear on
his disciple, influences which could not fail unpleasantly
to affect their mutual relationship. How much Heinrich
Laube, of whose magic circle Gutzkow was then an enthu-
siastic adherent, had to do with it, we do not know, but we
shall not be wrong in attributing to him the principal share
in the approaching collision. When Gutzkow published
his next novel, " Wally " (1835), full of Voltairian scepti-
cism, frivolities, and indecencies, Menzel rightly took
offence, considering himself compromised and slighted,
denounced him as an immoral assailant of the Christian
community, and induced the Governments of the German
States assembled in the German Diet to prosecute him and
the young writers of the time known as "Jung Deutsch-
land." These were a number of young journalists who



INTRODUCTION. Vll

idolized the French Revolution, and were dissatisfied with
the reactionary tendencies of the time and the non-fulfil-
ment of hopes for a political regeneration of Germany
which were held out to the nation at the close of the War
of Liberation in 1815. Gutzkow was sentenced to three
months' imprisonment, and all his writings were prohibited.

After having undergone this confinement at Mannheim,
he settled at Frank furt-on-Maine, and founded the journal
"Telegraph fiir Deutschland." In 1837, however, he re-
paired to the free town of Hamburg, where he hoped to
find the censure less severe. He now published a great
number of essays, faithfully reflecting contemporary life.
Some of the most remarkable are his " Offentliche
Charaktere" (1835), and " Zeitgenossen " (1837). The
latter, afterwards reproduced as " Sakularbilder," were
for the first time published under the nom de guerre of
Bulwer, his acknowledged writings being then prohibited.
And there is truly some kind of intellectual relationship
between the two authors; they both possess the same
satirical and sarcastic turn of mind, but while Bulwer
excels in the polished ease of a man of the world, the
German is superior in philosophical culture. Gutzkow's
characters have neither the electric wit of Heine and Borne,
nor the brilliant repartee of Saphir and his followers, but
they have all the grace and urbanity of the New Comedy.
They command the smile of the cultured few, not the
hearty laughter of the multitude.

We have to notice even in this first epoch a contribution
to the German stage, his tragedy " Nero." But whilst in
this he has invented one of those grotesque monsters which
the eccentric Grabbe delighted in, he soon turned his atten-
tion to the study of the stage and its modern requirements,
and was thus to become the originator of the modern
German drama. " Richard Savage," performed for the



Vlll INTRODUCTION.

first time in 1839, introduces Gutzkow's second literary
epoch, lasting from 1839-1850. Although he remained
still the editor of the " Telegraph " at Frankfurt, where he
removed again in 1842, he turned now almost exclusively
to the drama. We may divide his dramatic works into
three classes : firstly, those in which conflicting sentiments
play the chief part and bring about the tragic knot, like
"Werner, oder Herz und Welt" (1842), "Ein weisses
Blatt" (1842), "Ottfried" (1848), and, later on, "Ella
Rose" (1856). He was less fortunate with the dramas
of the second class, bearing on popular subjects, such as
his " Die Schule der Reichen " (1841), the tragedy " Liesli"
(1852), and a later work, " Lenz und Sohne oder die
Komodie der Bessarungen" (1855). The greatest success,
however, Gutzkow achieved with his historical comedies,
in which humour is happily blended with historical truth.
This is especially apparent in some of his best comedies,
"Zopf und Schwert" (1843), and "Das Urbild des
Tartiiffe " (1844); less prominent in "Der Konigs-
lieutenant" (1847), based on some incidents in Goethe's
youth, and in " Lorbeer und Myrthe" (1855). Among
the tragedies Gutzkow wrote we must mention one as
being of signal merit, and perhaps the best work of the
kind he has designed, "Uriel Acosta" (1847), founded on
the subject of his novel, " Der Sadducaer von Amster-
dam " (1832). It is a philosophical drama, and treats of the
tragic fate of a Jewish freethinker whose convictions clash
with the ancient traditional belief of his family and with the
love of his heart. Some of its scenes, such as Uriel's with
his blind mother, and the scene in the synagogue, belong to
the great creations of tragedy. His diction reminds us of
Lessing's "Nathan der Weise;" it is not particularly easy
or flov/ing, but if somewhat heavy, it is always pregnant and
forcible. " Uriel Acosta" ranks first among the dramas of



INTRODUCTION. IX

tl.e modern age, on the dramatic art of which il has had a
considerable influence. Much inferior to this dramatic
masterpiece are Gutzkow's historical tragedies, such as
"Patkul" (1840), " Pugatschew " (1845), " Philipy Perez "
(1856), and " Wullemveber."

Owing to the distinction he had then won as one of the
leading dramatists, he was offered and accepted, in 1847,
the post of dramaturg, or dramatic critic and adviser, to the
Dresden Court Theatre. This he resigned in 1849, although
he had been as successful as the disturbed atmosphere of
the revolutionary years of 1848-9 would allow, and turned
again to journalism and to fiction, thus initiating the third
period of his caieer. Thus in 1850 appeared his great novel,
"Die Ritter vom Geiste," in nine volumes, and in 1859
" Der Zauberer von Rom," which, with their ingenious and
spirited description of life and manners of all classes of
society, their careful plots and racy dialogue, established for
ever his reputation as one of the most prominent represen-
tatives, if not of modern German literature, still of the
history of German culture.

The popularity he had thus attained was, however, much
envied and carped at by some contemporaries, whose vin-
dictive and unfair criticisms embittered his later life.

In 1862 he removed to Weimar, having accepted the
post of secretary to the " Schillerstiftung," but he resigned
it in 1864 owing to angry disputes with the managing
committee. This, added to the treatment he had so long
been subjected to from his literary antagonists, so acted
upon his sensitive nature, that his mind became unhinged,
and in 1865 he attempted to commit suicide, but was
fortunately prevented. After he had been confined in an
asylum near Baireuth for about a year he so far recovered
as to be discharged.

His sad condition met with much sympathy, and a fund



SC INTRODUCTION.

was raised which placed him beyond the leach of pecuniary
difficulties. Afterwards, he lived alternately at Vevey,
Bregenz, Berlin, near Heidelberg, and at Frankfurt, restless
and indefatigable, until a tragic fate befell him. On the
i6th of December, 1878, he was found dead in his room,
suffocated by gas.

The fourth period of his life, from 1860 up to his death,
is not so much productive as eclectic. It is true he tried
to win honour also in the historical novel, to which Gustav
Freytag had assigned so prominent a place in the literature
of the time, but without any remarkable success. His
novel, " Hohenschwangau " (1868), reflecting life and
manners at the time of the German reformation, has some
exquisitely tasteful passages, but history and fiction are not
very skilfully blended, and in parts it resembles too much
ihe style of a chronicle. More interesting are, perhaps,
his latest novels, " Die Sohne Pestalozzis" (1870), "Fritz
ILlirodt" (1872), and " Neue Serapions-briider " (1877).

Gutzkow's chief merit in literature is not based on the
perfection of any particular branch of it, but on the leading
position he held, and on the impulse he gave to all its
manifold sections.

He was entirely a man of his time, a keen observer and
critic of its shortcomings, and if not a great novelist and
dramatist, at least a trusty guide and pioneer in modern
German literature.



Gutzkow succeeded in casting two excellent comedies,
one on an historical and national basis, " Zopf und Schwert,"
and the other a comedy of purely literary fiction, " Das
Urbild des TartiifFe," founded on the material afforded by
the prohibition of Moliere's well-known play ; both of these
plays have maintained their hold on all German stages to



INTRODUCTION. XI

the present day. It was doubtless the success of Scribe,
the renowned master of French comedy, that induced
Gutzkow to imitate him, but while Scribe's strength lay in
the skill with which he makes the wonderfully intricate
threads of his intrigues all blend into a harmonious whole,
Gutzkow paid more attention to the historical truth of the
plot, and, instead of sarcastic irony, he used fresh humour
and characteristic touches which stamp each character with
individuality. This is particularly the case with " Zopf und
Schwert," which was written by him at Milan and on the
shore of the Lago Maggiore. Its interest culminates in
the intrigues about the proposed marriage of the Princess
Wilhelmina, daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia,
an alliance that is coveted by England and by Austria.
But in the end the Prince of Baireuth is the preferred
suitor for the Princess's hand.

The intrigue as detailed by Gutzkow may, it is true, be
inferior to Scribe's " Le verre d'eau," in the finesse with
wmch the plot is woven and unravelled, but, on the other
hand, the Berlin Court of that age is depicted with such
rich humour, and at the same time with such historical
faithfulness, that it may rank with " Minna von Barnhelm,"
Lessing's great national masterpiece. The King's character
is particularly good, though perhaps somewhat softer and
milder than it stands out in history, but this is a natural
liberty allowed the poet. The most prominent feature
is the scene in the Tabaks-Kollegium, his world-known
tabagie, in which history and comic fiction are happily
blended and illustrated. The Prince of Baireuth's speech
is an admirable combination of the facts of history with the
fantastic intrigues of comedy. A proud monarchy and a
Court regulated on the most economical principles form a
most effective contrast, and serve as a background of
alternate light and shade for the humorous characters of
the play.



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ARGUMENT TO ACT I.

The Hereditary Prince of Baireuth, who is sent to
Berlin by the Crown Prince of Prussia , to inquire into
the supposed seclusion in which his mother, the Queen,
and his sister Wilhelmina are held by the eccentric King,
succeeds in persuading the lovely Princess to receive secretly
a French master recommended to her by her brother. The
Prince has fallen in love with the Princess whose portrait
he had seen at Rheinsberg, the residence of the Crown Prince,
and is sorely disappointed and almost in despair when the
Queen confides in him her secret wish to see the Princess
wedded to the Prince of Wales. Eversmann, the King's con-
fidential valet de chambre and agent informs him that his
Majesty sent for him and intends despatching him to the
Austrian court to arrange a marriage between the Princess
and the Archduke Leopold, the future Emperor of Germany.



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3d) Ij5re fie fommen.



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30 (TOit fomtfctjem $at^o.) S^ein, S8ntglid)e ^o^eit, id; befaffe mid) *
nidjt mit oerbotenen



Jtuftritt IIL] 3opf unb djtoert.

28 i Ify e I nt t n e. einen <Sd)ers, @onnfelb ! 9Iuf bte
lid)e (piftet be (Srbprinjen m 11 fj t' id) fo ermibern . . .

(SonnSfelb. Sftimmermefyr an biefem >of oerroirft*
man burd) bte Seforgung Derbotener ^orrefponbenjcn fetn
Ceben 5

S&iUjetmitte. S)ii macfift mid) 66 je... beforge ben
i8rief . . . fdjnett . . .

onnSfetb. Stein; aber ic^ mci^ ein 9ftittet, ^Srin*
5ejfin, ein untriig(id)e, feb^r fid)ere 9J?itteI, biejen Srief an
jeine Slbreffe getangen ju taffen*, e tjei^t: (fie^t auf bie 3;^ur 10
bc &tntcrgrunbes) geben @te t^n fetber ab! (iipftnacljeiner Bittern
citent^ur ab.)



JDrttter luftrttt.

cr rbprtns Don 23<meutff (nad) franjoftfc^em ef^mod ge*
fleibet mtb burcf)ou abwcidjenb lion bent SiebItng?Toftunt beS Sontg8). 15



SBilb^elmine (bci)eiie). 2)er rbprinj.

Srb^rinj (brfjinfnin oortretcnb unb beifette). an itjr S3tlb !

ift bie ^Srtnjef fin ! (2ant.) ^d) bitte urn Sergebung,

ob.eit, ba nteine Ungebulb, bie rii^e be 20
ronprin$en perfontid) aujurid)ten -

SBitb.etmine. S)er (gibprinj Don Saireutb, fe^t mid)
burd) einen fo fru^eitigcn SBefurf) in nid^t geringe SSec*
(egenfjcit.

@ r b p r t n j. @r gatt* nid)t 3$nen, er gait bent b^errlid^en, 25
efyrroiirbigen @d)Ioffe, biefen Xreppen, biefen (Dalerieen, biefen
^orrtboren, er gatt ber lerratnfermtniS *, Stoniglidje^ofieit,
bie enter jeben bebeutcnben llntcrne^mung oorangefyen mufe.

2Bttt)eImine. ebenfcn @te fyier eine ctjtadjt ju
liefern? 30



10 3t>f



%n bureaus frieblidjen 2lbfid)ten bin id)
eben nid)t fjier, roenn id) audj, rote ^dnjeffin SSitljelnune


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