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- Old Fritz and the New Era - 1/80 -


OLD FRITZ AND THE NEW ERA

L. MUHLBACH

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY PETER LANGLEY

BOOK I.

OLD FRITZ.

I. The Lonely King

II. Wilhelmine Enke

III. Frederick William

IV. The Drive to Berlin

V. The Oath of Fidelity

VI. The Parade

VII. The Miraculous Elixir

VIII. The Golden Rain

IX. German Literature and the King

BOOK II.

ROSICRUCIANS AND POWERFUL GENIUSES.

X. Goethe in Berlin

XI. The Inner and the Middle Temple

XII. The Jesuit General

XIII. A Pensioned General

XIV. The King's Letter

XV. Hate and Love

XVI. Charles Augustus and Goethe

XVII. Goethe's Visits

XVIII. Farewell to Berlin

BOOK III.

STORM AND PRESSURE.

XIX. The King and the Austrian Diplomat

XX. The King and the Lover

XXI. In Weimar

XXII. The Reading

XXIII. Witchcraft

XXIV. The Purse-Proud Man

XXV. The Elopement

XXVI. Under the Starry Heavens

XXVII. The Sacrifice

BOOK IV.

THE VISIBLES AND THE INVISIBLES.

XXVIII. Old Fritz

XXIX. Cagliostro's Return

XXX. The Triumvirate

XXXI. Future Plans

XXXII. Miracles and Spirits

XXXIII. The Return Home

XXXIV. Behind the Mask

XXXV. The Curse

XXXVI. The King and the Rosicrucians

XXXVII. The Espousals

XXXVIII. Revenge Fulfilled

FOREWORD

I would merely say a few words in justification of the Historical Romance, in its relation to history. Any one, with no preceding profound study of history, who takes a few well-known historical facts as a foundation for an airy castle of romantic invention and fantastic adventure, may easily write an Historical Romance; for him history is only the nude manikin which he clothes and adorns according to his own taste, and to which he gives the place and position most agreeable to himself. But only the writer who is in earnest with respect to historical truth, who is not impelled by levity or conceited presumption, is justified in attempting this species of composition; thoroughly impressed with the greatness of his undertaking, he will with modest humility constantly remember that he has proposed to himself a great and sublime work which, however, it will be difficult if not impossible for him wholly and completely to accomplish.

But what is this great, this sublime end, which the Historical Romance writer proposes to attain? It is this: to illustrate history, to popularize it; to bring forth from the silent studio of the scholar and to expose in the public market of life, for the common good, the great men and great deeds embalmed in history, and of which only the studious have hitherto enjoyed the monopoly. Thus, at least, have I considered the vocation I have chosen, not vainly or inconsiderately, but with a profound conviction of the greatness of my undertaking, and with a depressing consciousness that my power and acquirements may prove inadequate for the attainment of my proposed end.

But I am also fully conscious of what was and still is my greatest desire: to give an agreeable and popular form to our national history, which may attract the attention and affections of our people, which may open their understandings to the tendencies of political movements, and connect the facts of history with the events of actual life.

The severe historian has to do but with accomplished facts; he can only record and describe, with the strictest regard to truth, that which has outwardly occurred. He describes the battles of peoples, the struggles of nations, the great deeds of heroes, the actions of princes--in short, he gives the accomplished facts. To investigate and explain the secret motives, the hidden causes of these facts, to present them in connection with all that impelled to them, this is the task of Historical Romance.

The historian presents to you the outward face, the external form of history; Historical Romance would show you the heart of history, and thus bring near to your heart what, else, would stand so far off. To enable him to do this, the writer of an Historical Romance must, indeed, make severe and various studies. He must devote his whole mind and soul to the epoch he would illustrate, he must live in it and feel with it. He must so familiarize himself with all the details, as in a manner to become a child of that epoch; for he can present a really living image of only that which is living in himself. That this requires a deep and earnest study of history is self-evident. Historical Romance demands the study of the historian, together with the creative imagination of the poet. For the free embodiment of the poet can blossom only from out the studio of the historian, as the flower from the seed; as, by a reciprocal organic action, the hyacinth is derived from the onion, and the rose from its seed-capsule, so are history and poetry combined in the Historical Romance, giving and receiving life to and from each other.

The Historical Romance has its great task and its great justification--a truth disputed by only those who either have not understood or will not understand its nature.

The Historical Romance has, if I may be allowed so to speak, four several objects for which to strive:

Its first object is, to throw light upon the dark places of history, necessarily left unclear by the historian. Poetry has the right and duty of setting facts in a clear light, and of illuminating the darkness by its sunny beams. The poetry of the romance writer seeks to deduce historical characteristics from historical facts, and to draw from the spirit of history an elucidation of historical characters, so that the writer may be able to detect their inmost thoughts and feelings, and in just and sharp traits to communicate them to others.

The second task of Historical Romance is, to group historical characters according to their internal natures, and thus to


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