But only in part was the high charm of these conversations in what he had in connection with, rather in how he knew how to bring the thoughts of the co-speaker out of the depths of the soul. If one can speak of a Socratic art of clarifying the darkly suspected thoughts of others, he possessed them, but not as a learned art, but as an innate art. There was nothing of exaltation, oppressive or repellent nobility, nothing of patronage and dignity. With undivided attention he followed the counter-speech. Without sensitivity, he heard views that strongly contradicted his, yes, he challenged to do so. He responded to every objection and quiet doubt. He considered it, took off surprising sides, and made a bridge out of it, on which the conversation continued, and on the other side a new, previously unimaginable region opened up. Conversations, in which bias or phlegm only awoke him, bored him, made him embarrassed, morose, and finally dumb. The same effect was also caused by the unruly confusion of ordinary conversation. where everyone just talks to hear themselves. Some visitors thought they had to throw themselves in the best of lavatories in front of him, got hot, wanted to appear awesome, and showered him with long arguments of finished thoughts. Nothing silenced him more than that. His conversation taught, lifted and liberated imperceptibly; In these spiritual regions, one felt more capable, clearer, stronger, to his own astonishment.
It was already stimulating to see him in the spiritually moving face as he spoke. On this high arched, gleaming forehead the thoughts were seen to rise; black hair still covered the back of the head to the crown. An unfathomable depth seemed to open in the big, dark brown eyes, from which soon melancholy and now rudeness peeped out. Here the magic of the phantasy rested beside the irony of the novella. The nose was noble, somewhat elongated, the mouth graceful, his expression soft and almost soft. In the mobility of the features the face was the immediate mirror of every mood; they changed with the thoughts that dominated him. Often it hardly seemed to be the same face. Supporting his chin with his index finger and thumb of his right hand, motionless, and gazing intently into his chin, one was involuntarily reminded of a dormant old lion. Then, too, the resemblance to the portraits of Napoleon from his later period, such as those of Vernet, came as a surprise. On the other hand, a bright light passed over his features; they assumed a mischievously gracious expression when he pursued an ironic thought, or anticipated its entry and effect expectantly. His smile had something shiny; He liked to laugh, but he hated nothing more than the sound of the raw laughter that was regarded as a sign of the greatest ignorance. If he felt weak and suffering, the scene changed completely; it lay on his face like a dull veil, its features hanging, its mouth limp and pulled down. But even in the illness, a few minutes of conversation, even an apt word, were enough to awaken him; he was not known again as soon as he took a spiritual interest.
The environment in which one was with him made the most comfortable impression. In the last ten years of his life he lived in an old closed house on Friedrichstrasse 208. In the hallway and the wide staircase there was still the comfortable waste of space of earlier times. The railing of the staircase ran into a colossal lyre, upon which the gaze of the entrant first fell. His apartment was spacious, he had the whole room row of a floor he held. Even his large library required a significant room; Books were his principal possession, and a chief ornament of the rooms. Up to the ceiling they filled the walls. The rarer ones were placed in the elegant drawing-room, in which he lectured in the evening. Here everything was inviting, nothing boastful, or overloaded. The busts of Holberg, F.H. Jacobi, Solger, and his brother Frederick stood on repositories and free pedestals. Above the sopha hung his own life-size picture of Stieler. In the study room, he was surrounded by the books he preferred to work with. Everything was charged for convenience; Armchairs of various shapes and sizes were distributed here. Over the desk hung the youthful painting of Novalis, which E. von Bülow had found again, next to a Gypsum medallion Wacken roder’s, one of his brother’s first works, on the other side a picture of his daughter Dorothea. In addition, some engravings of Rafael and the Boisserée collection were seen.
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As a rule, he was found in a black velvet gown behind a low table covered with papers sitting in an armchair. Strangers he received standing, and those who did not know him followed the movements of the stooped figure with alarm; but one forgot that impression as soon as he sat upright in the chair. For the friendly visitor was already his usual greeting, “Ah, there you are, dear friend!” The bright look, the hand movement, with which he accompanied him, amusing. They sat down and the conversation started.
It has been remarked more than once that in his attitude a quiet and comfortable gentleness has been pronounced, an aristocratic trait through which the visitor soon became attracted and soon turned away. It was a nobility in the noblest sense of the word, which is the expression of true perfection and of the soul-nobility. For that very reason it is nobility, because it can neither be appropriated externally nor lost. Hence the comforting balance in doing and letting, its certainty never to exceed the limits of what is permitted and fair. Signs of ignorance and rudeness made him shy and moody. To the unsocial and bad habits, he also expected the tobacco smoking, which he reluctantly endured with friends. He portrayed it as a pernicious vice, and struggled against it with all aesthetic and moral reasons, the inescapable smoking habit around the mouth giving every face a rude expression, making him himself sick and ill. s. w. As inseparably the fine form of his being, he characteristically expresses in a letter he wrote home from Vienna in 1825: “Noble and rich, it says here, can not be all, but what I desire can also be the At a minimum, the removal of all distastefulness, meanness, which makes life so miserable. Even in prison and in chains, one will be able to distinguish the gentleman from the common man. I will soon overcome the wickedness of men and all wickedness, because it only touches me, as much as I will allow of it; but that ill-health and vulgarity that manifests itself in sitting and standing, yawning and speaking, silence and chattering, eating and drinking, can make me so miserable, because it always pushes me to destroy my whole life. Good education, subtlety of conduct has always been the most necessary element for me, to realize that I have a soul in my womb. ”
Even those who did not know it from his poems would have realized from every conversation that went beyond the nearest limits that there was in him a mysterious side, turned away from the ordinary intellectual. In sudden flashes of lightning and intuition, in intimations and dreams, he saw a supreme, and therefore enigmatic spiritual power.
He gave a lot to dreams. He thought instead of laughing at her, one should pay more attention to her; in them, hidden sides of human nature would emerge that were not there for the day’s sober mind. Of himself, who was the most humane and most benevolent in life, he maintained that in dreams he was malicious, even diabolically cruel and bloodthirsty, so that he in the memory of a horror. In fact, in later years they were terrible, and often repeated themselves, exactly in the same form, several nights in a row. For a while he was awakened by a cold draft that crossed his eyes. He looked up, saw the room lighted, and three corpse-like figures of monks who had just emerged from the grave. Each time he was seized by fever. But his dreams also had a very specific intellectual content. When he got to know Correggio’s painting, he could not see her acclaimed excellence, and strove many times for their views. Then he dreamed that he was in the gallery, the master himself came to him, and shortly addressed him with the words: “Are you not a stupid person not to recognize the accent?” He then led him before the paintings, and opened her beauty to him. He awoke, and full of these thoughts, he could hardly wait for the time to enter the gallery. Immediately he hurried to Correggio’s paintings. They flashed like lightning, his eyes had risen, and since that time he was their greatest admirer. Again, Shakspeare played a big role. Once he discovered in the dream a new, completely unknown piece of it; It was clear to him in detail, it was excellent. How disgruntled he was to see him disappear on awakening, and not be able to remember a single word. Then he died. The first question in that world was where he met Shakspeare, the much-admired one. He was told that the great spirit was no longer here, but to seek in a still higher world, but he would hardly ever reach it. So he pursued him in vain from step to step.
This mystical side also included the numerical beliefs, which he often jokingly accused. Before the numbers 7 and 9 he had a dark fear in whose humoristic painting he liked.
He lived in the world of imagination and intuition. For a long time he could sit silently, watching the movement of his mind and the emerging figures. At such moments he was most active in poetry; he produced inwardly when he seemed outwardly inactive. Of course, this sinking often had other causes. With periodic regularity came times in which old melancholy seized him again and again, when he was overcome by lack of courage, a desperation in himself and his powers, and true life-weariness. He complained that his soul-forces were then paralyzed, the threads of his interior torn. Any disturbance was uncomfortable for him, and it was almost impossible to remove him from these crises. He jumped up, angry. He blamed himself for the fact that in recent years there had often been a blind fury, like an irresistible power over him, from which he had made himself difficult, and still not quite free. The mysterious Instinct stood him everywhere above, he listened to his voice and waited for it, sometimes even where life urged to the deed.
It was connected with this peculiarity that he shied away from any immediate and decisive action. Nor did he enjoy a deliberate, rational consideration. Even in small matters he avoided necessary decisions as long as possible, and at last, in the urge of the moment, he did not do what he wanted, but what he had to do. He even postponed letter writing for months, in some cases for years, while referring to La sters of postponement bitterly accused. Many inconveniences of his life flowed from this source, and made him look very different from the world, as he was, which punished him by ruthless condemnation hard enough.
He was furiously angry with younger poets and writers, who sent him two or three manuscripts one after the other, and received no answer, while they burned with pardonable authoritarian patience to hear any word of appreciation from the mouth of the Master. They saw in it humor, contempt, or even literary jealousy, they put the most unfair motives to him, and it was only the unwillingness to escape from his thoughts, the fear of having to write a letter. One of these opponents was the unfortunate Skepsgardh, who reproved the benevolence which Tieck had shown him with malicious attacks and suspicions in his novel.
In the extreme, outsiders often misjudged him, and, according to individual features in his writings, they came up with a picture that had nothing in common with the truth. He was thought to be sharp, discerning, intolerant, or even malevolent. But, as he himself wrote to Solger, they had not recognized the unintentional, the unsuspecting, the foolish in the poetry. It was just his full and pure innocence that was not trusted to him. He could also joke about friends, and no one put his true friends above him; Only then could one truly love where one recognizes the human even in its weaknesses. He also rightly said that he had never hated the writers he used to attack.
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Goodness, even softness of the heart were the main features of its essence. No request, no claim that claimed his support, he was able to resist. Everywhere he was ready to help with advice, use, or money. He did not tire himself of meeting a frequently recurring and more than bold request. Practical friends often sought to put an end to his advantage in this charity. But he knew only too well the petty and oppressive embarrassments of life from earlier times. Money was of value only to him as a troublesome but indispensable means of present subsistence, therefore he gave with full hands and without calculation to remedy the immediate distress of others. He did not rest until he had given away what he himself could do without. Many old school acquaintances, many lascivious talent he freed from the most urgent need, without thanks for reaping or waiting. He greatly forgot what he had done. He also asserted his influence for the advantage of others, while he desired nothing for himself.
He was indifferent to external honor. Although he was the owner of the Bavarian Civil Merit Order, he sarcastically smiled at those who made use of the personal nobility associated with it. When asked which medal he had, he hardly knew how to answer.
In the practical judgment of men his mildness led him in later times sometimes crazy. The heart of the novella, before whose clear looks the finest shadows of the character and the motives of action lay open, overlooked in life the most obvious defects and mistakes. Unprecedented, he presupposed the best everywhere; it was therefore easy in ordinary things to accept this faith. to deceive and misuse. He maintained his good opinion until the very last moment, and in the friends’ attempts to enlighten him he saw exaggerated zeal or even pursuit of persecution.
Like poetic talent, its demonic nature was rooted in many other peculiarities, even strangers, which betrayed the extraordinary man who unconsciously or humorously defied the straight lines of life. His ability to change resulted in the acting talent. It was not just the mimic but the poetic power to put oneself in the different moods, passions and characters and to render them. Nobody appreciated their size better than Brentano, who says in a letter: “Ludwig Tieck is solely commissioned to shed some light on facial expressions because he is the greatest mimic talent that will never enter the stage. This poet who, as a performing artist, would have brought the stage to an honor whose few dream this day or the other of the lamps, has not become an actor, which Thalia and Melpomene should mourn with intimate shame, for he has the innermost profession and a talent to the stage, as it strays up every century. ”
From the time of his early manhood, his friends knew how to convey the astonishing value of this talent. Steffens is happy to report how he improvised and performed in all roles on a highly drastic comedy: “The Monkey as a Lover”. Sitting or sitting on a chair, he parodyed to the most general cheers of the audience the mimic representations of Handel’s contactor as Sphinx or Ariadne. It sometimes happened that in [p. 132] entered the circle of well-known friends, and spoke in an assumed character for a long time without being recognized, or that he seemed to be carried away from the crowd in the crowd of urgent people, say, in the theater, while accepting only a foreign expression of the face would have. Even from the year 1806, when he was already weakened by illness, he tells a similar ruse in his Italian travel poems. In order to avoid a troublesome gossip in Rome, which he saw running from a distance, he raised his figure and changed his features so completely that the patient came forward, took off his hat, and left him with the excuse that he was in the person was wrong.
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The desire to agitate mimic, was also in the hobby for lead soldiers. Bernhardi, later Dorothea Theil, took part in this fantastic game. By purchase and gift he came into the possession of a leaden army, for which his own boxes and tables had to be made. That, too, was a self-irony; while in his life the military nature was contrary to him, he conversed with his pictures in the play. He revealed the last ruins of this great army to the children’s societies, which he occasionally organized in Berlin. Here he presided, amidst the shouts of joy of the participants, and the celebration usually ended with his reading “Little Red Riding Hood,” “The Elves,” or any other fairy-tale.
These peculiarities were contrasted with another element of his character, which he called innate pedantry and philistinism. It was a salutary counterweight to the dark forces of nature, and he often owed distraction and retn to his learned inclinations and labors. 133] in internal struggles. He claimed to have at times made tables and registering writings with the greatest pleasure; even the mechanical writing had been pleasant to him then.
One of the learned hobbies was buying and collecting books. Already in Dresden he was in possession of a library, which could be called rightly famous, and whose volume finally increased to 16,000 volumes. He collected for all branches of philological, historical, and poetic literature, but no more than drama, and most preferably Old English and Spanish. He possessed a significant number of very rare prints of Shakspeare’s, Cervantes’, Lope de Vega’s and Calderon’s, and an almost complete literature of these poets. He was in contact with the most famous antiquarian booksellers, and he never let a friend travel to France or England without giving him orders. For the old printing of a dramatic work he was hardly a price too high, and he brought back some forgotten things by his repeated demand. In former times in Dresden he himself visited the book auction, which became a game of chance for him, in which he took part with zeal and passion. Even the reading of auction catalogs gave him special pleasure. In the room he followed the book auction in Halle or Leipzig with the catalog in his hand, imagining it dramatically, and silently bidding. “Every man,” he said, “has his folly and his madness; I am an incorrigible book man. ”
It was also part of his pleasure to arrange the books according to new points of view or to have them arranged by his servant. More than once, the to displace mass from the apartment. In 1849 he was suddenly tired of her. What he had spent years diligently and diligently made him a burden which he had longer desired to be liberated from. A well-known antiquarian bought the library and brought it to auction. His friends rightly feared he would not stand the impression of the bare walls, and painfully miss his beloved books. As soon as he got rid of the first library, he began to collect a second, which in a short time also amounted to 11,000 volumes. On this occasion he received a new proof of royal favor. The king had a significant number of the rarest old Spanish prints bought from the first library, and surprised him the next Christmas with these gifts.