“I dared not,” she added, “on account of my virtue. And all that was owing to my beauty! But virtue will stay—when good looks pass away.”
Don Isaac was on the point of throwing some critical light on the details of this story when, fortunately, Squinting Aaron Hirschkuh from Homburg-on-the-Lahn came with a white napkin on his arm, and bitterly bewailed that the soup was already served, and that the boarders were seated at table, but that the landlady was missing.
(The conclusion and the chapters which follow are lost, not from any fault of the author.)
BY WILLIAM GUILD HOWARD, A.M.
Assistant Professor of German, Harvard University
Franz Grillparzer is the greatest poet and dramatist among the Austrians. Corresponding to the Goethe Society at Weimar, the Grillparzer Society at Vienna holds its meetings and issues its annual; and the edition of Goethe’s works instituted by the Grand Duchess Sophie of Weimar is paralleled by an edition of Grillparzer’s works now in process of publication by the city of Vienna. Not without a sense of local pride and jealousy do the Viennese extol their fellow-countryman and hold him up to their kinsmen of the north as worthy to stand beside Goethe and Schiller. They would be ungrateful if they did not cherish the memory of a man who during his life-time was wont to prefer them, with all their imperfections upon their heads, to the keener and more enterprising North Germans, and who on many occasions sang the praises of their sociability, their wholesome naturalness, and their sound instinct. But even from the point of view of the critical North German or of the non-German foreigner, Grillparzer abundantly deserves his local fame—and more than local fame; for a dozen dramas of the first class, two eminently characteristic short stories, numerous lyrical poems, and innumerable studies and autobiographical papers are a man’s work entitling their author to a high place in European, not merely German, literature.
It is, however, as an Austrian that Grillparzer is primarily to be judged. Again and again he insisted upon his national quality as a man and as a poet, upon the Viennese atmosphere of his plays and his poems. He was never happy when away from his native city, and though his pieces are now acceptably performed wherever German is spoken, they are most successful in Vienna, and some of them are to be seen only on the Viennese stage.