In the next summer months Tieck lived in Vienna. Dating, sociability, art and literature were stimulating. The two brothers Collin, who began to gain a name as literary representatives of Austria, met him amicably. With seriousness and eagerness, which lay deep in his character, the Elder, Heinrich, had thrown himself on the drama. His “Regulus” had appeared, he sought to design other materials, including “Coriolan”. In repeated conversations Tieck noted with astonishment that Collin did not know that Shakspeare, too, had written a tragedy of that name. So stood here with the knowledge of his favorite! Collin’s own tragedies were by far more products of reflecting intelligence than fancy, cold, stiff, and frosty.
All the more modest was the poet’s personal involvement, as was his younger brother Matthäus. Satisfying her wishes, Tieck reopened the draft for the fantastically dramatic play, Das Donauweib, and added a few new ones to the scenes written in Dresden, as the older Collin had a sort of national predilection for it.
In Hormayr, the versatile statesman and historian, he won an eager friend, and Karoline Pichler, the writer, he found more pleasant than her novels.
The theater also reasserted its right to the lover. Strange was the actor Lange, a veteran of the old school, who aroused a vivid memory of the best time of the German stage, which for Tieck was already a bygone era. Since they had often praised those, he went to him. A simple, elderly man approached him in ordinary housecoat. In the conversation, they came to the former time of the stage world. Lange told of his roles, and offered to give a sample of his presentation. Without preparation, in bedtime, he began to recite the passionate speech of Duke Albrecht in front of the tournament barriers from Törring’s “Agnes Bernauerin”. He did not speak, but he played with so immediate a truth that he seemed to become a youth. Immediately afterwards he repeated the same speech, but in a different way. Now it was more the tone of moderation, the restraining force. Wollin was doubtful as to which conception he should prefer when Lange surprised him by announcing that he would now have a third, middle one, which he considered the most appropriate. And again, he did his job excellently.
Tieck was almost tied to the theater here. Collin wished to win him a position at the Burgtheater, and took some mediating steps. Count Palfy, who had a decisive voice, was also favorable to him. Nevertheless, this plan was not immediately carried out. Shortly before that, Iffland had been given the direction of the imperial stage under favorable conditions. His answer had to be awaited, and the decision was delayed. Before that, Tieck had gone to Munich, where he was made a similar request. Immediately thereafter, he fell ill again, and so did these negotiations fail.
In the autumn of 1808 he saw in Munich again Baader and Rumohr, his faithful keeper; also brother and sister arrived. These were joined by Friedrich Jacobs, Wiebeking and Jacobi, in whose families he found the most hospitable reception.
In Jacobi he met a contemporaries. Like himself, he stood for systematic philosophy. Jacobi, too, had stopped at the facts of consciousness. The descriptions which Tieck had made of the philosopher were unfavorable. A sensitive and pathologically irritable man was announced to him. He was pleased to find neither one nor the other. Simple and natural, Jacobi came to meet him. In their conversations the tone of calm and open discussion prevailed, and each showed the den ker, the truly educated man. Tieck had never been closer to a philosopher than this one. Jacobi spoke of his writings with the utmost impartiality; quietly he listened to objections and concerns.
In later conversations there was talk of Baader and F. Schlegel. Jacobi was not in good agreement with him, though there was no lack of points of contact. Baader could not forget the strangers and Protestants in Jacobi, and he believed he had cause to doubt his sincerity. Tieck once told how Baader had spoken to him about Schlegel, as he had called him a prophetic nature, a second apostle Paul. Calmly, Jacobi replied, “Do you consider me an honest man? Well, come here, “he said, pointing to one point. “See, at this point Baader has told me that Schlegel is a true Judas Iscariot!”
Soon Tieck was at home in Jacobi’s house. He read dramatic poems, made announcements from his papers, and spent many pleasant hours here. At the same time he also had occasion to see how Jacobi was the subject of hostile attacks and suspicions.
Meanwhile, Rumohr had been seized by another movement. The ferment which was to bring about Germany’s liberation had begun. It glowed under the ashes. The admiration which formerly paid Napoleon’s demonic grandeur gave way to increasing national bitterness. Tieck had never attuned to that tone. He could not consider the genius a legitimacy for tyranny. The iron pressure that crushed everything peculiar made him indignant. German folk life seemed to have been broken and broken.
Rumohr had a similar feeling of similar sentiments given. In addition, Munich, where French politics prevailed, was not the place. Hasty expressions reminiscent of revolution earned him the reputation of being a democrat; he was considered suspicious and dangerous. As a restless head he should be referred. In this distress his friends called the mediation of the Austrian ambassador, Count Stadion, with whom Tieck was also known. Rumohr was only allowed to remain in Munich at this powerful admonition.
It soon became apparent that Tieck could not stand the changing climate. In the winter of 1809 he fell seriously ill for the second time. But this time his siblings stood by his side. There were moments of complete paralysis in which he was unable to move a member, and even lost speech. It was a stiffening, followed by nervous relaxation and weakness.
When he was ready to take part in the conversation, they thought of distractions. Inventively Friedrich Tieck used the Nibelungenlied. He made a game of cards in which each of the fifty-two hands represented a character from the hero’s song, while the gambling value of the card was indicated on the edge. Brentano’s sister, Bettina, was one of the friends who worried about Tieck’s illness. She often visited and entertained him in her humorous way.
Slowly he recovered. But what change had happened to him during this difficult time! He hardly knew himself again. The youthful poet had become a renouncing sufferer. The hand of pain had bowed and depressed his body ahead of time. Only now did he feel sick, weak and miserable. A suffering had begun that should henceforth be one with his life.
Finally, the patient was made in tolerable manner. Accompanied by his brother, he tested the recurring forces in further walks. Even the old hobbies awoke, and he had gained enough courage to pursue them even with the danger of his recovery.
At a folk theater in the suburbs played a Hanswurst, or as it was called, the Lipperle, with great applause. Tieck could not resist the temptation to get to know these vaunted jokes. So on a hot summer’s day he made a pilgrimage with his brother to the Lipperletheater. While he gleefully indulged in the joke of the Lipperle in the shack, a threatening thunderstorm came up. It was in full swing when the performance ended. Hurriedly, they set off. But already it started. After a few surges of violent whirlwind, a rushing rain poured under increasing darkness. Tieck could not hold himself upright in the storm, he had to cling to the stronger brother, who carried him more than led. Nowhere was there a shelter. Finally you reached the house. The patient was taken to a heated bed; All means were used to counter the perhaps fatal cold. While the brother underwent these services with anxious zeal, at the same time he vented his anger in a flood of reproaches. He cited the foolish predilection for saucy thugs to whom Tieck would sacrifice his life in the end. These swear words stood for the caring help in such a comical contrast, that the patient, in spite of his own anxiety, could not resist the laughter and the delight in his careless tricks. Fortunately, the cold passed without worse consequences.
While he wavered between recovery and relapse, winter came in Munich a second time; The spring of the following year also found him suffering. For two years he was separated from his followers, and the journey home was still out of the question. For the summer of 1810, the use of a not too distant bath was to occur. He therefore went to Baden-Baden. The Crown Prince of Bavaria also stayed here. Already in Munich he had been awarded by him, now he saw and spoke to him almost daily, and was pleased with his enthusiasm for German art and poetry. He also came into close contact with Sulpice Boisserée. At last in the autumn he returned to Ziebingen, where, meanwhile, his people had lived.
The state of his health was no better. He had become more sensitive and cumbersome; he needed help and assistance. It soon became clear that a second home would have to follow the Cur in the foreign country. In the summer of 1811, a doctor from Frankfurt advised him to use Warmbrunn. But this increased his suffering. The gouty pains persistently persisted, and the bath brought new infirmities of which he had previously known nothing.
Strength and health were gone for life, his body weak and fragile, dependent on every draft of air. He had to bid farewell to the nature with which he had lived in intimate communication from his youth. The days of constant suffering and renunciation had come.
Almost a decade had passed since the conclusion of Octavian. How different was it not from the first in which those works were written, to which he owed his place among Germany’s poets. If the former had been rich in courage and confidence, in aspiration and success, and above all in poetic creations, the second was rich in doubt, pain and disease, in bitter experiences and renunciation. The poet had become a sufferer. The poetry, which had otherwise comforted him, seemed silenced.
What would have been great about these incessant pains? It remained with individual poems, attempts and drafts. He lived more in the works of others than in his own. The study, which combined with scholarly and literary research, upheld him, and gave him comfort and distraction. Two books came out of it. In 1811 the “Old English Theater” was published, in the following year “Ulrich’s von Lichtenstein Frauendienst”. This treatment gave a picture of life from the German Middle Ages, and this collection finally realized a part of the plan which he had sketched in Göttingen in earlier years. The translation of older English dramas was to open the understanding of the time of Shakspeare; but his works now took a different position. Schlegel’s translation of Shakspeare had appeared in these twenty years. But all the more reason to introduce it into the less known areas. One should associate the great poet with learn to recognize and appreciate his country, past and present world. Only by comparison with what others did before and beside him could the full knowledge be forthcoming.
But even Tieck’s sealing power could not be denied and killed even less. She could be inhibited but not broken.
First, he glanced backwards, at the trials and seals of his youth. They had become a stranger to him. Deficiencies and one-sidedness could not be mistaken. Many things he would now have understood differently and represented, others have not written. Nevertheless, some of the less successful ones, as testimonies of his life, seemed to him worth preserving and collecting.
Already in 1810 he had made the plan to such a collection, which should also externally represent the period that lay behind him, as a completed. A part of the intelligible stories that had appeared without his name in the “ostrich feathers,” the “folktales,” which he later wrote in the tone of the same, and the humorous-satirical games he intended to put together. Excluded were the great dramatic works. On the other hand, a number of new narratives and dramas should be added, and some older pieces should be subjected to a complete reworking, for example: B. “The Seven Wives of Bluebeard”. This story was meant to capture the satirical stuff that had accumulated in the meantime. The “Puss in Boots” and the “Opposed World” were to be joined by the “Anti-Faust”, bringing the number of plays, stories and dramas, to fifty. They were all joined together by a common and novellistic framework. In a Circles of friendly men and women are presented with these seals. The reading persons are seven, different in character and views, inclination and sentiment. This corresponds to their lectures and the manner in which they participate in general entertainment. By conditioning, attracting, and repelling one another, manifold conditions arise among themselves, and gradually they become one whole. The conversations of society form a new novella, which includes all the rest. They tie the individual pieces together and pull themselves between them as lyrically accompanying music. They give the poet an opportunity to express his views on art, literature and all that is close to his heart, and to lifelike experiences and episodes.
To the older fairy tales and folk tales, he added a few new ones, which, while similar, yet already had another element in them. He later described them as written in his new style. If the “elves” were graceful and natural, the “magic of love” went on to the highest increase of horror. In the “Cup”, the human being connected with the wonderful.
He partly owed the substance of the last two stories to external circumstances which he knew how to raise to a poetic effect. When he lived in Munich, a house facing his apartment had caught his attention. Over the narrow street he looked into a room, at the window of which sometimes a young girl with a child showed in her arms. She used to play and dabble with it. In the evening, the shutters were carefully closed, but from the columns bright light stripes came out. Even now it was possible to see inside the room. Shadowy, she slipped past the window, or sat with the child busy behind the light at the table. The glimpse into the close family life, which was easy as it was, attracted him and engaged him. From these demolished pictures, the poetic imagination created that gruesome story in which the ray of light bursts out of the joints of the shutters and falls mortally upon the observer, who is listening in the nocturnal silence on the other side of the street.
The second story, “The Cup,” had come from some news that had come to him about the past fate of the painter Müller. Among the adversities which had driven him out of Germany was the dissolution of a love affair in which he had been of a higher rank with a young girl. Intrigues and intermediaries had worked for it, and Muller’s rugged nature and quaintness might be the result of such a bitter life. A minor incident, which he himself had experienced, he intertwined in the entrance of the story. One Sunday when he was in Florence, in glorious weather, he stood at the door of the main church, and looked at the multitude, which flowed over the square from different sides, he noticed the youthful figure of a beautiful woman. Downcast, she walked up the steps. But before she reached the top, she failed. He hastened to meet the stalkers to assist them. Blushing, she thanked her and hurried to the church.
He called this collection “Phantasus” in an introductory poem. It was a reminder of something similar, in which he had already glorified the imagination in “Sternbald,” the power from which his sufferings and joys came from.
When the first volume appeared in 1812, the characters of the interlude in dialogue aroused in some more sympathy than the stories. For acquaintances and unknowns, the question returned whether these characters were taken out of life. Who do you introduce? Is not this or that person behind it? Already some people wanted to find out who was meant; Others believed themselves to be recognizable. If he had a definite intention with these characteristics, it was to utter the different sides of his peculiarity. He himself was the morbidly irritable fantasist, the humorist, the friend of German poetry and antiquity, the enthusiast of theater and dramatic art. Therefore, he had turned on a number of individual episodes of his life, and put the mouths as self-confession in the mouth. When he finally gave the questioner some clues as to how he meant it, they were not satisfied. If they had previously asked him to account for why he had presented them, they might now have considered a contempt that he had not had that intention at all.
The begun sighting of the older poems led to the plan to subject even the larger ones to a later criticism. A second edition of “Lovell” appeared in the following years. Close was the question of whether the “Zerbino” needed a renewal. The conditions of the literary world, which at that time had significance, had passed away, and the old follies almost disappeared. It might seem appropriate to translate the whole poem into the present. Again, there was plenty of stuff. But that would have required a complete transformation; the poem itself would have changed. Torn from the natural soil in which it had grown, it would have lost originality and historical character. Therefore, it seemed better to let it pass, though not without a commentary, but peculiar. So it was a testimony of the time in which it arose.
While Tieck engaged in his youthful poetry in rural silence, the great struggle came closer to the decision. The time of liberation had come. Noiseless, a big change had prepared.
In the summer of 1813, when the middle provinces became battlefields, he felt it necessary, in his awkward condition, not to expose himself and his men a second time to the vicissitudes of war, which must necessarily also strike the non-belligerent. Like many others, he decided to go to Prague. By Wilhelm von Humboldt, who was Prussian ambassador in Vienna, he had received a passport and recommendations to the Colonel Burggrave Kolowrat. There he spent most of the summer.
The old city had changed its character. The Peace Congress had been opened. It was the gathering place of the most diverse people, their hopes and fears. Anyone who wishes to escape the immediate impulse of war, who wanted to observe the exit nearby, or who wanted to influence the further development of things, everything flowed together here. High statesmen, diplomats, Agents of all kinds, writers, artists and emigrants moved in confusion, all of equal tension.
Some significant phenomena excited general attention and sympathy. Tieck also came closer to the statesmanlike world. He saw Stein, Humboldt came from Vienna, Niebuhr’s acquaintance, with whom he had met earlier, he renewed. But the wide circles of these men were not his; it remained with occasional and temporary touches.