Norbert Bachleitner
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Stephan Stockinger
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In this chapter, examples of forbidden literary works from different eras and genres will be examined with regard to the characteristics or specific elements for which they were banned. Due to the scarcity of archival sources, there are only very few cases in which actual censorial assessments, log files, or similar documents specifying reasons for a prohibition are available. Therefore, the majority of these texts will be analyzed through the virtual “eyes of the censor.” The perspective of the censors reviewing the works can be extrapolated from censorship guidelines, the few preserved assessments, and the reading of several hundred forbidden writings.

1 Periodicals

Periodicals represent nearly a quarter of the 51,342 total entries in the prohibition lists (11,493 entries or 22.4 percent). They complement the 32,487 books (63.3 percent) and 7,362 (14.3 percent) “other” works (manuscripts, engravings, etc.). The “frontrunners” with the most entries among the periodicals are the Allgemeiner Anzeiger und Nationalzeitung der Deutschen (General Gazette and National Newspaper of the Germans; 231), Der Eremit. Blicke in das Leben, die Journalistik und Literatur der Zeit (The Hermit: Views onto Life, Journalism, and Literature of the Time; 164), the Mitternachtszeitung für gebildete Stände (Midnight Newspaper for Educated Classes; 162), Minerva. Ein Journal historischen und politischen Inhalts (Minerva: A Journal of Historical and Political Content; 152), the Abendzeitung (Evening Newspaper, Dresden; 137), the Allgemeine Literaturzeitung (General Literature Newspaper, Jena; 131), the Allgemeine Kirchenzeitung (General Church Newspaper, Darmstadt; 106), and the most frequently prohibited foreign-language periodical, the Revue des deux mondes (Journal of Two Worlds; 96).

Under Maria Theresa and Joseph II, periodicals seem to have been censored together with books using the same process. It was only during the time of the reactionary backlash following the French Revolution that they began to attract increased attention. A decree issued in 1791 prohibited any newspapers and political journals coming from France from being forwarded by the Postmaster General, the Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Corruptible postmasters and mail coach drivers undermined such proscriptions, however: The acquisition of forbidden French periodicals by numerous high-ranking persons—including regents, prelates, ministers, generals, university professors, and others—is documented. Gazettes in German found readers among the lower social ranks as well.1 Banned French periodicals were imported to the German-speaking area via Alsace, especially via Strasbourg and Kehl. This meant that until 1792/93, publications like the Parisian Moniteur universel, the Journal de Paris, and the Straßburger Kurier were available in Vienna as well.2

A special process for obtaining periodicals, which were generally not purchased as individual issues but as long-term subscriptions, existed from 1795: The Court Police Section compiled a list of newspapers and gazettes to which the inclined audience could subscribe. Ordering and delivery were not handled by booksellers, but instead by the postal service—which may have accelerated the delivery process to some degree but primarily served to facilitate the monitoring of the readership, since subscribers naturally had to disclose their name and address. The publications included in this annually revised list were generally exempt from censorship and permitted for reading. Individual issues of such “allowed” periodicals could nevertheless find their way onto the prohibition lists when they unexpectedly contained an objectionable article. At times, the prohibition lists specified only individual problematic articles rather than an entire newspaper or gazette issue in order to prevent them from being printed elsewhere. 102 titles were included in the list of available periodicals in 1822, 241 in 1825, 177 in 1830, 243 in 1833, and 327 in 1838,3 amounting to a tripling of the number of permitted journals and newspapers over a period of 16 years. All other periodical publications were implicitly forbidden—though according to a statistic of subscriptions, a hand-picked group of high-ranking persons and scholars were permitted to obtain various banned titles by way of Scheden. To infer from this that “even tendentious freethinking or indeed revolutionary periodicals from all parts of Europe”4 could be read in the monarchy would nevertheless be a euphemizing distortion of the actual situation.

Newspapers written and published within the monarchy had to submit a proof sheet to the Book Review Office one or two days prior to their planned publication. Any objectionable passages or articles determined by the officials had to be adapted or deleted—and the devil was frequently in the details: Even listings of books (generally new publications advertised in newspapers by the booksellers) were suspiciously perused for prohibited titles. In addition, even the “unbeseeming collocation of works with contents pertaining to biblical and spiritual or otherwise dignified subjects with works of humorous, romantic, or farcical content, which can provide occasion for improper connections, is to be avoided.”5

The following sections will introduce several periodicals representative for the studied periods and examine them with a view to the reasons for their prohibition.

1.1 Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek (1765–1805)

The purpose of the Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek (General German Library, ADB) published by Enlightenment proponent Friedrich Nicolai in Berlin was to review every new scientific publication in German. It represented a “flagship” of sorts for the Berlin rationalist school of thought and made its first appearance on the prohibition lists when issues 23/1 and 23/2 (1774/75) as well as 25/1 and 25/2 (1775) were specified as “damnatur” in the Catalogus librorum prohibitorum of 1776. They contained several reviews of theological works; particularly noteworthy was a discussion of part six of Christian Wilhelm Franz Walch’s Entwurf einer vollständigen Historie der Ketzereyen, Spaltungen und Religionsstreitigkeiten, bis auf die Zeiten der Reformation (Draft of a Complete History of the Heresies, Schisms, and Religious Disputes Until the Period of the Reformation; Leipzig: Weidmanns Erben und Reich 1773) in issue 23/1. The author of the review, Friedrich Gabriel Resewitz, struck a very rakish tone. For example, he noted on the dispute between Nestorius and the “so-called St. Cyrillus” that “the heated Egyptian monk-heads” took offense at the fact that Cyrillus’ tenets were not being appropriately acknowledged. The Orthodox standpoint was therefore asserted with force during the Council of Ephesus, with the “lack of true godliness among the bishops […] and the despotic way of governing of the Constantinople court (we would also add, the weakness and indolence of the regents, the monkish devotionalism of the female members of the ruling house, and the scurrilous and zealous intrigues of the bishops with the courtiers)” in particular leading to the mentioned result. Resewitz described all this with explicit parallels to “our naturally much more insignificant heretic-makers.”6

Issue 23/2 featured a review of Aloysius Merz’ Kanzelreden über die Gebräuche und Ceremonien, welche in der katholischen Kirche bey dem Opfer der H. Messe eingeführt und üblich sind (Pulpit Lectures on the Customs and Ceremonies That Are Established and Common in the Catholic Church for the Sacrifice of the Mass; Augsburg: Wolff 1773). Here the reviewer dealt in sarcastic tones with the details of the Catholic rite defended by Merz: the priestly robes, the silent and spoken prayers, the use of light and incense, and so on. In particular, Merz argued in favor of the large number of masses in the Catholic sphere, which prompted the reviewer to provide the following summary:

The author’s conclusions would be very coherent if only the notion of the bloodless sacrifice of Christ during the mass were correct. But as long as this small circumstance has not yet been determined, it is difficult to get out of this matter. Yet Mr. Merz knows how to save himself. The secret of the altar is the secret of all secrets; he hides behind this insurmountable bulwark, and who can touch him there?7

According to the Linz Zensuraktuar and Josephinist popular enlightener Benedikt Dominik Anton Cremeri,8 who returned to Nicolai in Linz the books seized from the German author in Passau during his journey to Vienna, the ADB was forbidden retroactively as well as for all future times in Austria in 1778. The ultimate occasion for this ban was allegedly a review of the Passionspredigten (Passion Sermons) by Gottfried Leß (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck 1779) featuring blasphemous comments and appearing in issue 33/1 (1778). Christ’s refusal to accept the offered “bitter wine, that intoxicating drink” prior to his death prompted the reviewer to infer “from the exhaustion of his body owing to his remaining awake the immediately preceding night, and to the severe pain of crucifixion, a gradually developing noticeable enfeeblement of the consciousness and the capacity of his mind for thought, and thus the unlikeliness of the reflections and intentions attributed to him by the author.”9 Editor Nicolai complained about the prohibition of his journal in his travelogue.10 Cremeri’s reply asserted that the ADB was indeed polemicizing against the Catholic faith and had therefore rightfully been forbidden in Austria.11 The undocumented general prohibition is substantiated by the fact that not a single issue of the ADB was banned between 1776 and 1794. From 1794 to 1803, however, the periodical once again consistently appears on the prohibition lists with a total of 18 entries.

1.2 (Neuer) Teutscher Merkur (1773–1810)

The (Neuer) Teutscher Merkur ([New] German Mercury) edited by C.M. Wieland was likewise banned repeatedly until 1789 despite being dedicated to the emperor, whom Wieland ostensibly admired. Like many German authors and critics, the editor harbored at least intermittent hopes for a career in the imperial capital. In January 1794, an issue of the Merkur featuring an allegorical tale by Hermann Gottfried Christoph Demme entitled “Die Zauberlaterne” (The Magic Lantern) was prohibited. Reminiscent of the utopian and often satirical genre of the state novel, the narrative told of the religious and political circumstances in the land of the so-called Hierofantites: A simple sun-focused religion demanding nothing but virtue was gradually transformed into a dominion of the priesthood, with the political rulers syndicating into an interest group with the hieratic caste.

Simple divine worship became an artificial priest religion; the sun became the deity’s son; the high priest the son of the sun; and over the sons, the father was forgotten. The place of simple veneration in the spirit and in truth was taken over by splendorous images and pompous ceremonies, and palaces for the sun priests rose high beside the sun temples. This became doctrine: That only the consecrated of the sun—the Sultan and his principal servants were accorded this ordainment by the sun priest—could live in temple-like palaces, while the unordained had to dwell in low, dark huts to denote their distance from the sun. This belief offered the added benefit that the less the unordained needed for themselves in their huts, the more they could give and work for the ordained.12

One priest eventually invents a visor preventing honest persons from looking into the wearer’s eyes; the device is declared mandatory for the faithful and mass-produced in holy factories. This situation continues for centuries before a coincidence finally triggers a revolution. An unusually tall Hierofantite asks the authorities for permission to increase the height of his hut, which is promptly denied:

In anger over the received refusal, he began to think about things he had previously believed without examination, initially startled by the results of his reflections, but from day to day he became more familiar with them, confided them to his friend and soon to several others, and within a short time, thousands were asking for permission to build better houses and remove the visor if their eyes could tolerate it. The abolishment of some misfeasance through which the people were being oppressed was also requested.13

The powers that be reply with violence, and the leaders of the so-called enlightenment mob are expelled from the country; the man who had fought against the enlighteners, half priest and half courtier, is rewarded with accolades. But all the measures are of little avail: The Hierofantites burn their visors in protest. Although the analogy between this fiction and the persecution of the Jacobins in 1794/95 may not have been intended by the author, it certainly suggested itself to the Austrian readership—and was obviously glaringly apparent to the censors.14

1.3 Isis (1817–1848)

This periodical was published by the biologist, anatomist, and physician Lorenz Oken. Established as a natural science journal, Isis increasingly dedicated space to the critical observation of contemporary history, politics, and art; in particular, it supported the national student movement. It appears in 58 entries in the Austrian prohibition lists, and like the Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek can be assumed to have been forbidden entirely at times. In 1819, it was banned in Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach as well, causing it to relocate to Rudolstadt. Oken was dismissed by the University of Jena in the same year for participating in the Wartburg Festival.

The very first issue included an excerpt “Aus dem Grundgesetz über die Landständische Verfassung des Großherzogthums Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach” (From the Basic Law on the Corporative Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach);15 it was presumably forbidden in Austria because the announcement text contained a fervent defense of the freedom of the press as well as derogatory remarks on theology. Charging Oken with insult to German rulers and governments had been considered at the journal’s place of publication as well.

The second issue of the 1818 volume featured a review of several writings on the Wartburg Festival.16 A complaint addressed to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach by Karl Albert von Kamptz, the director of the Prussian Ministry of Police, regarding Hans F. Massmann’s Kurze und wahrhaftige Beschreibung des großen Burschenfestes (Short and Truthful Description of the Great Student Festival) cited the latter copiously, noting that according to Massmann, “the dreary winter night of servitude still weighed on Germany” and that meritorious men were villainized as enemies of the fatherland and even maligned as “Bonapartist squires and slackers.”17 Court counselor Fries employed a hymnic register in his defense of Massmann’s treatise:

Thus the bold fiery spirit of youth plays with the monsters of its time, the hydras of superstition and prejudice that it restrains and tames like rabbits, while its arm tears apart the decayed cloak of the archaic state authority under which millions sleep, whom it awakens and elevates to a better life.18

Direct calls to arms were also included: “German youths! You stand on the ground of consecration. What consecration! From here Luther, the man of God, gave the German word of eternal truth to the German people—and ignited the bloody battle for freedom of the mind and equality of citizens.”19 The reference to Luther is followed by further remarks on religion and politics:

Christ says: I have come to ignite a fire on earth. […] And wherever Luther’s victorious call sounded, free-minded life in the service of truth and justice awakened! The herald who impelled him provoked him through all the people’s power of the recent centuries to the formation of a German spirit and to all unfettering of thought, all equalization of civil rights, beginning with what happened in the Netherlands to the free states in North America. […] For I have resolved a day of vengeance; the year to deliver my people has come.

The reviewer—presumably Oken himself—noted the following in regard to these particular words:

This passage is so great, so magnificent, so sublime that any explanation would weigh down its wings like lead. Whoever does not understand it is not one of ours, my brothers, and the mole’s eyes of simple-mindedness cannot follow the eagle soaring through a sea of light.20

Such multiplication of quotes from the various reviewed writings by way of printing them in periodicals corresponded to the fear held by the Austrian authorities that the revolutionary movements might spark a pan-European conflagration.

1.4 Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde (1828–1848)

This periodical, whose full title reads Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde der Gegenwart und Vergangenheit. Geschichtliche Übersicht der denkwürdigsten Erscheinungen bei allen Völkern der Erde, in ihrem politischen, religiösen, wissenschaftlichen, literarischen und sittlichen Leben (Library of the Newest Knowledge of the World of the Present and Past: Historical Overview of the Most Noteworthy Events among All Nations of the World, in Their Political, Religious, Scientific, Literary, and Moral Life), was edited by journalist and travel writer Heinrich Müller Malten and published by Sauerländer in Aarau. With 84 entries in the prohibition lists, it was almost continuously banned in Austria until 1839.

The anonymous author of the article “Die Wirkung des Papstthums auf den Zustand Europas seit der kirchlichen Reformation” (The Effect of the Papacy on the State of Europe since the Ecclesiastical Reformation)21 defined the purpose of delivering polemic and piercing criticism of the Renaissance popes early on. While the topic was by no means new, the way in which criticism of the papacy was presented in the Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde overstepped the boundaries of acceptability in a Catholic state.

Head and emblem of the heathendom renewed at the Roman court, steward and lord of the same, monarch to whom Machiavelli dedicated his works, by whom Raphael was supported, and who understood how to appraise the great Creator, in whom Ariosto found a benevolent patron, who reviewed and improved the salacious comedies of the cardinals, Leo X was less a pope than a man given to the joys of life […].22

Leo X is described as a “sultan of the fine arts” and wasteful “Harun al-Rashid”23 relying on the selling of indulgences to finance his lifestyle. The emerging countercurrents are described, including Socinus (Fausto Sozzini), who was particularly frowned upon in Austria. Leo’s successors, especially Clement VII, are portrayed as weak rather than depraved, while the founder of the Society of Jesus is called one of the “most skillful promoters of the great work of dehumanization” whose order originated from “a sick mind and a feverish soul.”24 Paul III allegedly believed in astrology; he provided his bastards with positions and married them off beneficially. Paul IV headed the inquisition and ravaged the Protestants, while Pius IV wreaked havoc on the Waldensians. Leo X’s successor Adrian VI had already taxed all of Christianity to finance the Vatican. The sale of offices likewise contributed to sustaining “one of Europe’s most expensive monarchies.”25 The author makes reference to Leopold von Ranke’s three-volume work Die römischen Päpste, ihre Kirche und ihr Staat im sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhundert (The Roman Popes, Their Church, and Their State in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century; Berlin: Duncker und Humblot 1834–1836), and in fact the entire article represents a tendentiously aggregated synopsis of the book’s first volume.

The same issue of the Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde also included an article entitled “Die Regierungs-Mörder und die Königs-Mörder”26 (The Murderers of Government and the Murderers of Kings) that recapitulated the statements made by Dominique Dufour de Pradt, the former archbishop of Mechelen, in his pamphlet Regnicide et Régicide. According to Dufour de Pradt, regicide had essentially become a fashion during the past century. The first 50 years had served for preparation by philosophers, the second 50 years for the practical implementation: “For 50 years one has attended a hecatomb of kings, the desecration of all titles protected by unanimous accord, the usurpation of positions that were considered inaccessible.”27

A list of violently killed monarchs is provided to illustrate this state of affairs: It includes Gustav III of Sweden; Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and their son; Paul I of Russia; the Duc de Berry; Joachim Murat. It also mentions attempted assassinations of Louis Philippe, the dethroning of numerous popes and ruling families, and monarchs who had died in exile.28 Although the article’s ostensible purpose was to warn and caution against equanimity concerning these events, it exhibits a sensationalist and noticeably fascinated manner of pointing out the lowering of inhibitions regarding violence against rulers. It, too, thus effectively reads like an illustration of the fear harbored in Vienna of a European conspiracy against thrones and altars.

2 Chroniques scandaleuses

It is a well-known fact that—especially in French literature—philosophical, religious, and political criticism frequently combined with pornographic narrations. In the book industry, livres philosophiques represented a collective term for forbidden books including pornographic classics like Vénus dans le cloître (Venus in the Cloister; 1682) and Thérèse philosophe (Thérèse the Philosopher; 1748), which included religious and social criticism as casual asides, as well as the works of the radical Enlightenment proponents La Mettrie, Helvétius, Diderot, and d’ Holbach. This was based on the conviction that freedom in the sphere of sexuality could also promote the liberation of thought. In addition, by effectively portraying humans in their natural state, pornography contributes to leveling social disparities. The Austrian censorship catalogues and prohibition lists include numerous writings whose titles openly combined criticism of the ruling class—be it kings and queens or cardinals, diplomats, courtiers, and their mistresses—with the disclosure of their sexual escapades. From the authors’ point of view, the portrayals of eroticism and politics were linked to the gesture of exposure, while from the audience’s perspective, they followed the principle of voyeurism. Politics and eroticism were also connected by the underlying wish to influence the reader: While the purpose of pornographic accounts is to have a sexually stimulating effect, the detailed depiction of political mistakes calls for a change in power relations or at least the replacement of the ruling persons. These forms of reaction naturally do not occur automatically, but they are nevertheless laid out as potentials in the texts.

The mixing ratio of political and erotic components differs among the relevant works, with the spectrum ranging from factual political pamphlets in which the circuitously paraphrased breaches of sexual morals perpetrated by the ruling persons play a secondary role all the way to sequences of more or less explicitly described salacious anecdotes, the so-called chroniques scandaleuses.29 The range of this latter type of literature can be gauged by way of two works included in the Austrian prohibition lists. The first is a book with the promising title Journal amoureux de la Cour de Vienne (Amorous Journal of the Viennese Court; Cologne: Pierre Marteau, 1689), whose “raciness” only went as far as the assertion that the men and women at the Viennese court were easy to seduce and gave their inclinations free reign regardless of their marital status. At the other end of the spectrum were works describing the goings-on at court with mostly fictive but all the more lubricious details. For example, the text Les amours de Charlot et Toinette (1789), which was only a few pages long, portrayed the lonely and therefore lecherous young queen Marie Antoinette; the reason for her unhappy state was allegedly that her husband “was a bad fucker” (“étoit mauvais fouteur”). This circumstance is immediately illustrated by way of a detailed description of the condition of the king’s member:

In fact his matchstick
Is no thicker than a straw;
Always limp and hanging down,
There is life only around the back;
Instead of fucking, he is fucked
Like the late prelate of Antioch.30

The queen is helped by the talented lover “d’ A …” (presumably a reference to the Comte d’ Artois):

D’ A … is eagerly devoted and kisses her everywhere,
His member is a brand, his heart a furnace,
He kisses her beautiful arms, her pretty little cunt,
And sometimes a buttock or a breast:
He gently slaps her plump behind,
Thigh, belly, navel, the center of all joy.

As the pair are approaching climax, the bell used to summon servants rings, and they are promptly interrupted by an attendant:

While love intertwines them tenderly,
With Charles embracing her, making her beg for mercy,
Antoinette is throbbing, and in her eyes
Are reflected the pleasures of the Gods:
They are approaching bliss; but fate betrays them,
The bell is heard ringing—and a vigilant page
Disturbs them by entering, eager to obey …31

The sequence repeats, with the couple once again interrupted by the servant asking the queen what she requests:

What does Her Majesty wish? …
Of course! It is on purpose,
Cries d’ A … furiously,
I do not understand this mystery.
Cruel watchmen appear
All the time, what do these people want?32

After finally satisfying their lust, the lovers search for the cause of the disturbances, only to discover that the bell rope had been caught beneath two pillows and the attendant had thus been summoned by their vigorous movements.

The period during which the works discussed in this study—all of which were banned in Austria—were published is often referred to as the golden age of pornography. It lasted from around 1650 until the years of the French Revolution. The heyday of the chroniques scandaleuses coincides with the crisis of the monarchies, especially that of the English monarchy under Charles I and II and James I and II along with that of the French monarchy from the culmination of the Ancien Régime to the Great Revolution. In England, the absolute rule abolished with the beheading of King Charles I in 1649 was briefly reestablished through the restoration of the Stuarts before eventually ending for good in 1688 with the removal and exile of James II. In France, the civil wars of the Fronde during the mid-seventeenth century and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 with the subsequent ejection of the Huguenots gave rise to many controversial polemic pamphlets forming the basis for the development of the chroniques scandaleuses. The latter were aimed at an educated readership consisting primarily of members of courts and noble families as well as individuals from the higher levels of the bourgeoisie. Besides political tendencies, the entertainment value of the scandalous tales and their usefulness for salon conversation may have played a role in their dissemination as well. The Comte de Maurepas, for example, a minister under Louis XVI, was said to be a passionate collector of satirical songs and epigrams aimed at himself and his environment.33

Although censorship banned such “scandalous chronicles” or forbade their printing in the first place, the impact of verbal obloquy of rulers is controversial. Louis XV allegedly took the vox populi mocking him and his mistresses very much to heart.34 In any case, this “voice of the people” (and especially its allusions to royal impotence) contributed greatly to dismantling the pseudo-religious nimbus of the ruler’s body anointed by God. Louis XV’s debauchery with mistresses from the lower classes (particularly Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry) were especially—and enduringly—detrimental to the reputation of the kingship and the faith in the monarchic world order in general. “A prostitute transformed into a queen, coachmen and grooms the equals of the king, a monarch wallowing in filth and slime, here the world’s hierarchical order is already turned upside down.”35 When the king, who quite literally embodied the state, indulged in libertine hedonism, he neglected his governmental duties and his queen. In the example cited above, he is impotent in his relationship with her, which not only illustrates the failure of the royal marriage but calls into question the functioning of the absolute state itself.36 A considerable number of such attacks were launched by the court as part of its attempts to challenge the legitimacy of the House of Bourbon.37 The king’s poor performance in bed allowed analogies and inferences regarding the state of the kingdom as a whole, which lacked adequate government like the queen ostensibly lacked sexual “subservience.” The king’s body represented reason, which simultaneously meant freedom from passions with female and/or bestial connotations, and of course from any form of excess.38 Towards the end of the Ancien Régime, the attacks focused on Marie Antoinette, who was portrayed as the epitome of debauchery and evil. The more the criticism shifted from misconduct by individual rulers to the question of the legitimacy of the institution of absolutism itself—a development clearly traceable throughout the second half of the eighteenth century—the more dangerous the chroniques scandaleuses became. In addition, the problem transcended state borders: The Austrian censorship prohibited defamation of French rulers, and at the same time French police officers in Vienna attempted to impede the production and distribution of vituperations of Louis XVI during the 1780s.39

Our series of examples begins with Les amours de Messaline, whose title character was a pseudonym for Mary of Modena, the second wife of King James II, daughter of the Duke of Modena, and close relative of the pope. Her closest confidants and advisors are the papal nuncio Dada (referred to as “le Nonce”) and the Jesuit Pere Peter. During a discussion on the future following the death of the old king, they hatch a plan for Messaline to give birth to an heir to the throne in order to solidify her rule along with Catholicism in England. Pere Peter learns from a lady-in-waiting that the queen is in love with Dada, who is currently in her chambers; there follows a scene whose elaborate imagery illustrates the comparatively minor pornographic potential of the text.

These moments of complaisance and abandon of the Nonce assured Messaline’s heart such that she made him stand up, and while he kissed her beautiful hands at every word, she embraced him and let him know what she desired through her sighs and emotional outbursts: A thousand times she kissed his lips and eyes, while he, with his hand, visited the fields of love; then suddenly withdrawing it as if beside himself, he ascended to the hills of Venus, white as snow, and abandoning all chastity he led it to the valleys and the source of all pleasure and love […]. But the Nonce, who saw in Messaline’s eyes the desires of her heart, did not let such a fine opportunity slip away: He ran to close the door, threw himself like a lion on his trembling prey, took her in his arms and carried her to the other side of the room, gently placing her on the bed, where in delighted ecstasy he opened the secret treasure of Messaline and enjoyed all the riches and her beauty.40

Dada and the queen meet regularly for amorous adventures, but the desired pregnancy fails to result. Madame de Powis, a confidant of the queen, and Pere Peter thus scheme to deceive the people and pass off someone else’s child as the king’s successor. They announce that the queen is pregnant and select several other expecting women with suitable due dates. The Protestants express doubts concerning the sudden pregnancy, however—especially since the queen exhibits no corresponding signs. Princess Anne is eventually sent to Bath for a course of health treatments, and the Protestant bishops who would normally be present at the birth of a throne heir are imprisoned under a pretext.

The Prince of Orange sets forth with an army to liberate the English Protestants from the tyrant James. This prompts Messaline to flee to France with her beloved Dada and Pere Peter. She is received with all honors, and King Louis immediately falls in love with her. She refuses to hear him until he offers her 100,000 dead Protestants in return for her love, however, whereupon she invites him to her chambers in the evening. The Duc de la Force has an interest in Lactilla, the heir’s nurse, who invites him to her room at the same time. Since a visit by Dada is also scheduled for the same period, Messaline meets him in the courtyard, and the king inadvertently sleeps with Lactilla. On his way back he encounters Messaline, who has tended to the nuncio in the meantime and proceeds to take the king back to her room. Expended from his preceding adventure with Lactilla, however, his potency fails him shortly before the fulfilment of his desires. Messaline consoles him by suggesting he has been made impotent by magic.

At this point, the text ends abruptly. It is a French translation of The Amours of Messalina late Queen of Albion (By a Woman of Quality, a late confidant of Q. Messalina. London. Printed for John Lyford 1689). A sequel was published under the title The Royal Wanton (London 1690), with its author identified as Gregorio Leti, a Protestant historian, politician, and satirical writer. Leti lived at the courts of France and England and was forced to flee to the Netherlands in 1683 after falling out of favor as a result of the publication of his satirical anecdotes.

The French king Louis XIII and his wife Anne are encountered in the pamphlet Les amours d’ Anne d’ Autriche. Appearing at around the same time as Leti’s writ, it exhibits certain parallels to the latter in terms of content as well. Louis and Anna’s marriage remained childless for 23 years, and the author reports that there was a Fronde insurgency in reaction to their son Louis XIV’s ascension to the throne, owing to overwhelming indications that he was illegitimate. The new king allegedly behaved according to his ignoble descent during his reign as well, breaking all treaties and promises and forging pacts with the heathen Turks; rarely before had a prince “violating all treaties and the public faith and breaking the most sacred and solemn oaths” been seen.41 This provides reason enough to reconstruct the king’s parentage in detail.

It is Richelieu, Anne’s secret regent and advisor, who pulls the strings in this affair. He introduces his young and beautiful but also vain and overly ambitious niece (called Parisatis) at court. Among her admirers is the king’s brother and potential heir to the throne Gaston, Prince of Orléans. Richelieu offers him his niece in marriage, for which Gaston publicly slaps him in the face. The cardinal vows to take revenge, Parisatis is deeply offended, and the queen is furious. In order to oust Gaston, Richelieu schemes to provide the queen with an heir despite the king’s impotence. Anne’s confessor reports that the queen lost her heart to a young man named C.D.R. during a recent ball and is accordingly contrite. Richelieu advises her to hire C.D.R. as her chamberlain; she does so, and the young man promptly falls in love with her. Richelieu and the confessor diffuse her moral qualms with the argument that she will surely be forgiven for this minor sin committed in the best interest of the dynasty and the state. When she nevertheless refuses to acquiesce, an intrigue is devised: Parisatis tells the queen that the Prince of Orléans intends to take her, Parisatis, by surprise in her bed during the night, whereupon the two women swap beds to foil this defilement. But instead it is C.D.R. who approaches the queen in Parisatis’ bed and seduces her. At this point, the queen finally accepts C.D.R. as her permanent lover and soon becomes pregnant with a son, the later Louis XIV: “She became a perfect bigot in matters of pleasure, as she had been in matters of religion.”42

Anna attracted such a plethora of vituperations in the shape of pamphlets that we may justifiably speak of a first peak of the royal chronique scandaleuse in France in this context.43 In actual fact, however, she lived in isolation at the French court for a long time, and Louis XIII essentially had to be forced by his advisors to commence intimate relations with her. Richelieu was said to have had several children with his own niece, Madame d’ Aiguillon, while simultaneously attempting to marry her into various high-ranking houses of the French aristocracy. The figure of C.D.R. portrayed as the father of Louis XIV is an allusion to Chevalier de Rohan, who became a colonel in the king’s royal guard at a young age and was later involved in a plot to assassinate him.

Louis XIV himself was not averse to fleshly pleasures either, as documented in a further pamphlet published at around the same time as the two discussed above and entitled Les conquestes amoureuses du grand Alcandre dans les pays-bas (The Amorous Conquests of the Great Alcandre in the Netherlands). This collection of anecdotes cuts directly to the chase in its attempt to unravel the confusing network of relationships at the French court during the 1660s and 1670s: The king—under the pseudonym “le grand Alcandre”—is still busy with his mistress Madame de la Vallière while Madame de Montespan strikes up an affair with his brother, whom she has to share with the Chevalier de Lorraine. At the same time, she has an interest in M. de Lauzun, who is in a relationship with Madame de Monaco; the king wants the latter for himself, however, and sends her lover off on a mission with the army. De Lauzun breaks a large mirror in Madame de Monaco’s chambers in protest and refuses to leave unless he is made the commander of the army; he is imprisoned in the Bastille instead. Madame de Monaco takes a pageboy as her substitute lover, contracts a serious disease, and dies of it. De Montespan eventually acquiesces to de Lauzun’s advances and befriends Madame de la Vallière, thereby drawing closer to the king. De la Vallière is angered by this development, and the king exiles de Montespan in order to have his wife for himself. She becomes pregnant, and Madame de la Vallière joins a convent. De Lauzun wants to wed the Princesse d’ Orléans Montpensier, a cousin of the king, despite her very advanced age. When the Prince de Condé asks him to spare the royal house this disgrace, the couple decides to get married in secret. The king prevents their marriage at the last moment, however, whereupon de Lauzun insults Madame de Montespan and is incarcerated. The Duc de Longueville becomes the new star at court and begins to woo the Maréchalle de la Ferté. The following sentences describing the meeting between the two offer a good impression of the rather prosaic and unprovocative style applied to erotic encounters in the text.

Thereupon he began to caress her, and feigning to resent his boldness in order to encourage him even more, the Maréchalle backed away from him until she was close to a bed, onto which she let herself fall […]. Delighted with this adventure, the Duc de Longueville behaved like a young man, which did not displease the Maréchalle […].44

The Maréchalle’s former lover, the Marquis Meffiat, challenges Longueville to a duel, which the latter declines due to the difference in rank between the two men. Meffiat reacts by ambushing Longueville and beating him with his cane, whereupon Longueville decides to have him murdered. However, Longueville himself is killed in the war against the Netherlands instead. Together with Madame de Berthillac, the Maréchalle subsequently indulges in amorous adventures with actors, much to the disapproval of her father—especially when she gifts an indebted lover her jewels. During a conversation with the king’s young son, she also puts her hand “in a place that decency prevents me from naming,”45 causing the boy considerable confusion and dismay. Her husband’s behavior is even worse: While drunk, he and a gang of high-ranking brutes castrate a candy-seller. Cutting this seemingly endless chain of frivolous yet trivial anecdotes short, it is only worth mentioning that the “grand Alcandre” ultimately selects a young mistress, the Mademoiselle de Fontanges, to the displeasure of Madame de Montespan. De Fontanges retreats to a convent, where she dies a few days later with every indication of having been poisoned.

Let us now return to the culmination period of the chroniques scandaleuses, the years of the French Revolution. Our final example, a text published in 1789, serves to illustrate the aggravated tone during the final years of the Ancien Régime. It is a work of veritable political porn entitled L’ Autrichienne en goguette ou l’ orgie royale (The Tipsy Austrian or the Royal Orgy)46 and allegedly authored by a certain François-Marie Mayeur de Saint-Paul. Within the fiction of the “proverbial opera,” the piece is written by a personal guard and set to music by the queen herself, an allusion to her modest musical education.

The text begins with the guard looking forward to an orgy; the Comte d’ Artois, the Duchesse de Polignac, and the queen are talking about the meaning of the joys of love. They are joined by the king, who is tired as always and does not want to drink much since he has to attend a council meeting the next day, during which asinine decisions will be made as usual.

The queen: That is still good enough for the frogs of the Seine. (A familiar expression for the inhabitants of Paris).
The queen: Let us laugh and have a ball,
let us use our power,
let us waste all the goods
of the dumb Parisians.47

After she has scoffed for some time at the foolish Parisians whose fortune is being squandered, the king falls asleep. The frisky trio immediately capitalizes on this opportunity: D’ Artois’ hand disappears under the queen’s dress, while Polignac protests that he is thereby encroaching on her rights. His “regenerator of the human species” is likewise soon deployed in the queen, and the pair express their sensations in a duet. The king is still fast asleep, which gives the queen a new idea:

The queen has stools placed on either side of the king. Madame de Polignac sits on Louis XVI’s back, and spreading her legs puts each leg on a stool. Antoinette embraces and kisses Polignac passionately, her tongue seeks and plays with her confidant’s. She then presents the Comte d’ Artois the world’s most beautiful rump and tells him: “Comte, you know which path you must take.” D’ Artois: “And I shall go there without delay.” He lifts the light linen petticoat, uncovers two snow-white buttocks, and, clearing the road of lust with a stealthy hand, launches the arrow of love into the temple of joy. The women’s tongues work ceaselessly, the thrusts of the limber loins seek ever new pleasures, the confidant introduces a finger into the temple’s main entrance while the Comte enters by a different route.48

It is a fitting political allegory, with the salacious idlers literally “dancing” on the king’s back and presenting him as a senile fool. At this point, the proverb symbolized by the “opera” is revealed as well: “Dimi [!] con chi tu vai Et sapro qual che fai” (roughly: Tell me who you consort with, and I will know who you are). The final quatrain is a self-reflecting reference to the political significance of the portrayal of debauchery by the individuals in power:

On the back of a human monarch,
I see the mother of all vices
indulge in detestable pleasures,
a scallywag prince and a whore queen.49

3 The Theme of Suicide in Forbidden Literature

As discussed in Chapter 2, censorship under Maria Theresa and Joseph II primarily attempted to prevent putatively harmful and dangerous texts from reaching the population and avert or correct aberrations in readers’ mental and social development. In doing so, it oscillated between providing guidance on living a happier life, education, and disciplining of the subjects; between support and control. The process resembled paternal tutelage of a population viewed as immature rather than strict forbiddance. The books found in the prohibition lists during this period largely dealt with unanswered fundamental societal questions of the era—the misgivings and self-doubts of the time, as it were. And while they could not simply be eliminated, they could at least be restricted to the societal elite. The following pages will examine a specific aspect of the overarching censorial goal of fortifying the population’s morals: the prevention of suicide.

Let us begin with a quote from the first edition of Goethe’s first novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther), in which the narrator describes the protagonist: “And then, as limited as he is, he nevertheless always holds in his heart the sweet feeling of freedom, and that he can leave this prison whenever he wants.”50 A further passage in the book reads:

Human nature, I continued, has its limits; it can bear joy, sorrow, pain up to a certain degree, and perishes when it is exceeded. The question here is thus not whether someone is weak or strong, but whether he can endure the measure of his suffering; it may be moral or physical, and I find it equally strange to say that a person is cowardly who takes their own life as it would be improper to call someone a coward who dies of a vicious fever.51

Belles-lettres censor Hägelin had this to say about Werther in 1774:

In these letters, the expression of a young person’s excessive passion for his friend’s wife is depicted all too vividly and fervidly, so that it might cause all too sentimental impressions in youthful readers; Likewise the presumed reasons for the suicide, which the writer ultimately performed on himself by way of a pistol, are all too favorably, too dazzlingly, and too beguilingly presented in very many passages that such reading would not be dangerous for young people […].52

The Austrian censor was not the only one who thought it advisable to withhold the book from the general public. In Leipzig, the dean of the theological faculty requested a ban because the novel “can make bad impressions which, especially among weak persons, womenfolk, can on occasion awaken and become tempting to them.” The Leipzig book commissar responsible for censorship approved this request, subscribing to the view “that this book could be called an apology of suicide, which is all the more dangerous in the hands of young people, of inexperienced senses, and other thick-blooded persons because the author writes about suicide in too undetermined a fashion and entrains his reader considerably with witty and subtle phrasing.”53

There was a lively debate on the topic of suicide during the final decades of the eighteenth century. “Melancholy”—the contemporary term for depression—represented the flip side of the Enlightenment’s promise of happiness. Along with medicine and the emerging discipline of psychology, philosophy, theology, and literature dealt with various afflictions and mood swings (hypochondria, the emotional engrossment of so-called Schwärmer [roughly: dreamers], etc.) as well as their prevention and remediation. Among the focal points of the discourse were Johann Robeck’s De morte voluntaria (1736), the examples of Romans like Cato and Brutus, and—as an authority for the call to persevere—Plato’s Phaedrus. A glut of writings railed against suicide, the “most terrible and dangerous enemy of human and bourgeois society.”54 “He who preaches or euphemizes suicide is—the greatest enemy of the human race!”, declared theologian Gottfried Leß, author of a treatise entitled Vom Selbstmorde (On Suicide).55 Zedler’s Universallexikon reminded its readers that suicide was one of the worst misdeeds imaginable and a deadly sin from the theological point of view.56 The many admonishing voices invoked the world order, providence, self-preservation, and moderation as constants counterbalancing temporary mental irritations. Some Enlightenment proponents saw suicide as an act of disobedience and rebellion—a breach of law and violation of one’s “obligation” to society. The predominance of reason over the sphere of emotions as proclaimed by the Enlightenment was clearly perceivable in this discussion. Even Kant (in The Metaphysics of Morals) considered suicide a crime. While Frederick the Great had considerably extenuated the penalties applied to the bodies of suicide victims and their relatives in Prussia as early as 1751,57 the Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana of 1769 and the laws passed under Joseph II still included barbaric punishments and measures to dishonor the corpses of persons who had taken their own life.58 Since suicide was an act of rebellion against the majesty of God, suicidal persons were also considered liable to attempt revolution or regicide: If someone did not value their own life, so the argumentation went, they could not be expected to spare the lives of others either.59

Essential contributions to the discourse on suicide60 in the Austrian Catalogi and prohibition lists were Montaigne’s Essais (Essays), Johann Robeck’s De morte voluntario exercitatio (Disquisition on Voluntary Death), Maupertuis’ Essai de philosophie morale (Essay on Moral Philosophy) respectively Saggi di filosofia (Essays on Philosophy), the German translation of Beccaria’s Dei delitti e delle pene (Of Crimes and Punishments), as well as several works by Bayle, Helvétius, Hume, and La Mettrie that may have been banned (among other reasons) for dealing with the topic.

Montesquieu’s Lettres persanes (Persian Letters; 1721) contained “the boldest attempt to date to justify the right of man to free power of disposal over his own life.”61 This “boldness” came, for example, in the following shape:

When I am overwhelmed by pain, misery, contempt, why do people wish to prevent me from ending my sorrows, and cruelly deprive me of a remedy that is in my hands? […]

But, one might say, you are disturbing the order of providence. God has united your soul with your body, and you separate them: You thereby oppose his designs, and resist him.

What does this mean? Do I disturb the order of providence when I alter the modifications of matter and square a sphere, to which the first laws of motion, that is to say the laws of creation and preservation, gave a round shape? No, of course not: I am merely exercising the right given to me, and in this sense I can disturb all of nature however I wish without anyone being able to say that I am opposing providence.62

Letter 21 from the third part of Rousseau’s Julie ou la nouvelle Héloïse (1761) offers the following considerations:

Why delay a step that must be taken in any case? […] Let us take advantage of a time in which the ennui of life makes death desirable; let us beware lest it come with its horror at a moment when we no longer want it. […] Ah, how painful it is to break the ties that bind our hearts to the earth, and how wise to leave it as soon as they are broken! I feel, Milord, that we are worthy of a purer dwelling; Virtue shows it to us, and fate invites us to seek it. May the friendship that joins us unite us again in our final hour. What sensuousness for two true friends to end their days voluntarily in each other’s arms, to commingle their last sighs, to exhale at once the two halves of their soul! What pain, what regret can poison their final moments? What do they leave behind when they depart the world? They go together; they leave nothing behind.63

The danger of “infection” with such ideas seemed especially real in this case, since the joint suicide is not merely justified but in fact described as a lustful experience. Van Swieten wrote with regard to the treatment of suicide in Rousseau’s novel: “From page 197 to 223, the author defends suicide, in the following letter on page 224 he specifies a means against it, but on page 232 he confirms that it is permissible to … oneself if the pain cannot be staved off, and on page 240 he lauds the Romans.”64 In Van Swieten’s opinion, the counterarguments set forth in the book were insufficient to attenuate the statements in favor of suicide. The censors held the view that transference occurred as soon as a matter was written about, regardless of the context and perspective.65 This in turn corresponds to the theory that the misunderstandings in the course of the reception of Werther were based on the transference of the older imitatio mode of reading geared to the Bible and devotional literature—especially legends and the life stories of saints—to the belles lettres by a readership inexperienced in the consumption of prose. Goethe’s novel made the decision to commit suicide all too plausible and comprehensible; it spelled out the underlying suffering using everyday language. Apparently, the title figure’s tribulations struck a chord with the experiences of many young men and women of the era, and empathy with Werther could develop into imitation given a corresponding disposition of the individual reader.

Martin Andree has researched twelve cases of imitational suicide occurring between 1775 and 1790 and documented in various sources.66 “Flagging” by way of a copy of the book found in the victim’s pocket or lying nearby as well as staging according to the description in the novel represent indications—but by no means certain proof—that these suicides would not have occurred without the example provided by Werther. Biographical similarities, especially unrequited love, frequently feature as preconditions for such acts of imitation. The viewpoint of the censors regarding the “perilousness” of the book is corroborated by the fact that the suicide and potential imitatio reading were the dominant theme in the book’s contemporary reception.67 Even its advocates made reference to Werther’s voluntary death, defending the novel with the argument that it constituted a warning example against suicide. Ultimately, the decisive question whether and to what degree instances of suicide during this epoch can be traced to the novel cannot be answered with authority. What is certain, however, is that the massive wave of imitation suicides frequently alleged by proponents of the book’s prohibition is not documented.68

Friedrich Nicolai reported in 1775 that a “hysterical” woman had poisoned herself after having had Werther read to her and claiming that the book had destined her to take her life. In Kiel in 1777, a young man shot himself with the book lying open on a table beside him; in letters discovered in his chambers, he had written that his beloved had married another man. Christine von Laßberg’s body was pulled out of the Ilm river in Weimar in 1778 in the presence of Goethe; she likewise had a copy of the book with her. In 1785, Karl Philipp Moritz’ Magazin für Erfahrungsseelenkunde (Magazine for Experiential Study of the Soul) reported on the case of a young man who locked himself in a room overnight; when his servant opened the door, he shot himself in his right eye with a pistol. Here too, Werther lay on the table, opened to the passage reading “It is midnight—they are loaded.” The most spectacular case—though simultaneously one of the ones least similar to the description in the novel—is that of seventeen-year-old Franziska von Ickstadt, who jumped (or fell?) from a steeple of the Frauenkirche in Munich in 1785. A certain Count of Nesselrode published a book entitled Die Leiden der jungen Fanni. Eine Geschichte unserer Zeit in Briefen (The Sorrows of Young Fanni: A History of Our Time in Letters) shortly thereafter. In it, he tells the story of Fanni, who is in love with Franz but must marry a different man according to her mother’s will. Fanni writes letters to Franz, among other things about a bride forced into marriage who poisons herself on her wedding day. She compares herself to Werther and professes the courage to take her own life. Like the main character in Goethe’s book, she pens a farewell letter before jumping off the church steeple.

The correlations constructed by Nesselrode were immediately repudiated by the deceased young woman’s family. Her fall from the church had been an accident, and the forced marriage was a fabrication. Nesselrode was sued and defended himself in court by claiming his story had been pure fiction. The book was nevertheless forbidden. Newspapers that had served as mouthpieces for Nesselrode were forced to print statements of correction, and a certain Anton Baumgartner published a refutation in which Fanni appears in a dream, announcing that she did not wish to be made the protagonist of a novel as this would encourage imitation. In all, the case and its medial aftereffects were symptomatic of the way in which reality and fiction became blurred in the assessment of suicides.

In May 1788, the body of a young nobleman by the last name of Saplonzay was found at the foot of Göttweiger Berg, a hill in Lower Austria. He had shot himself with a pistol, and lying beside him were “the two parts of the von Kleistian writings, also the so-called Sorrows of Young Werther (Jerusalem).” Although the deceased Saplonzay had mentioned that it was his tyrannical father who had driven him to suicide, Police Chief Count Pergen nevertheless presumed the act to be related to an “overstrung enthusiasm” absorbed from Kleist’s and Goethe’s works.69 While one cannot claim that the rescindment of the ban of Werther in 1786 played a role in this case, the overall discourse on suicide (which included literary fiction) may well have encouraged Saplonzay’s decision.

These few examples notwithstanding, Goethe’s novel certainly did not trigger a suicide epidemic; rather, its effect was that of a symbol for or token of a specific attitude towards life that could replace a personal suicide note:

The reference to Werther by holding it ostentatiously or depositing it where it could not be overlooked was tantamount to a theatrical gesture that unmistakably highlighted for contemporaries the hopelessness of the situation of men and women committing suicide.70

There is no doubt that The Sorrows of Young Werther inspired other writers and artists as well: Translations, reproductions, dramatic adaptations, parodies, Bänkelsang (cantastoria), poems, songs—the Werther material was transposed and repeated across all imaginable genres. Several of these derivative works found their way into the Austrian Catalogi and prohibition lists as well, since they were apparently likewise deemed capable of “spreading the virus”: Les souffrances du jeune Werther, Les passions de jeune Werther, Christian August von Bertram’s Etwas über die Leiden des jungen Werthers und über die Freuden des jungen Werthers, Leiden des jungen Franken, eines Genies, and the dramas Masuren oder der junge Werther (by August Friedrich von Goué), Werther, ein bürgerliches Trauerspiel, and Ernest oder die unglücklichen Folgen der Liebe.

In Austria, the original novel had been banned immediately after its publication; it was eventually allowed again in 1786 during the phase of the easing of censorship under Joseph II.71 The occasion for this was a French adaptation entitled Le nouveau Werther imité de l’ allemand (The New Werther, Imitated from German). The Censorship Commission endorsed the deregulation of the French book as well as the original, arguing that at most it was unhappy lovers who might be prone to imitate Werther’s suicide, while recent instances of voluntary death were more to do with excessive debt, embezzlement, and other financial issues. If one were to forbid Werther, “one would with far more reasonable caution have to forbid the use of pistols, swords, and knives.”72 The emperor followed the Commission’s recommendation and decided to rescind the ban. In the course of the recensoring campaign in 1803–1805, Werther was forbidden once more. In 1808, an unspecified edition received the verdict “erga schedam”—presumably the eleventh volume of the full edition of Goethe’s works by publisher Cotta (Tübingen 1808). As late as 1815, a new edition in Italian was likewise restricted to readers considered worthy of a Scheda by the authorities in Venice. The censor Pettrettini justified his verdict with the demoralizing effect that the text exerted, the bad example Werther set by disturbing an intact marriage, and the suicide. All of this, Pettrettini said, was presented in the dramatic rendering of Werther’s thought processes, to which he ascribed an impact on the reader akin to that of a siren song.

A novel written by a masterful hand, but which with all means of the art lets life appear unbearable and thereby unsettles the soul, which can have terrible consequences. Werther, in love with another man’s wife, sows discord within an honorable family and kills himself because he cannot possess the woman. The sophisticated reflections he lets the reader partake in and into which he subtly blends thoughts about politics, nature, and religion represent something like the siren song drawing us strenuously toward this dreadful deed.73

Werther nevertheless remained a frequently encountered figure in Austria. Gustav Gugitz tells of literary, usually satirical links to the material as well as of a ballet (Pressburg 1777), a Werther clothing style and merchandise, and thematic fireworks (1781).74 However, these events and matters either fell outside the sphere of influence of the Viennese censorship (Pressburg was part of Hungary) or into the period of Josephinism during which the novel was allowed or at least tolerated. The documented instances of Goethe’s book being read likely also occurred largely during the reign of Joseph II. An example is Karoline Pichler:75 As can be gathered from the context, she was around 20 years old when she read The Sorrows of Young Werther, which indicates the years 1789/90; that the daughter of an upstanding and conservative family like the Pichlers would have been permitted to have forbidden books can be excluded.

4 The Period of Weimar Classicism

4.1 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

The pre-classicist Lessing is the first author to be discussed in this section. To be clear, the aim of this part of our study is not to attribute specific works to sharply delimited styles or eras. Rather, our interest is focused on the authors active during the period between around 1770 and 1820, which inevitably overlaps with prevenient currents like pre-classicism and Sturm und Drang as well as the subsequent era of Romanticism (which will be examined in the next section). One of the notable aspects of this period is the frequency of delayed prohibitions decreed not immediately after the initial publication of a text but often several decades later.

Although Lessing was treated “with more distinction” than “any German scholar ever before” by Emperor Joseph II in May 1775,76 one of his early works, the play Die alte Jungfer (The Spinster; 1775), was immediately listed in the 1776 Catalogus. According to the minutes of the Censorship Commission, the drama was deemed objectionable because “in this in itself quite worthless and distasteful scribble, very lewd double entendre and indecent expressions also appear frequently whose reading would be dangerous to the youth, which generally seeks such plays eagerly for its entertainment.”77

A motto on human morality adopted from Plautus designates the genre that the work would assign itself to, while the names—especially Oront—are reminiscent of Molière. Mr. Oront intends to wed the 50-year-old Ms. Ohldinn to Captain von Schlag in order to provide her (better late than never) with “the supernatural pleasure of matrimony”78 along with worthy heirs—and simultaneously earn 50 Reichstaler for himself. But Ohldinn’s cousin Lelio and his lover Lisette attempt to thwart the wedding with the help of Oront’s wife so as to secure the inheritance for themselves. They incite Peter, a seller of bread and cake, to pose as von Schlag and discourage the spinster from marrying. Peter chooses to attempt to wed Ohldinn himself, however, and she seems attracted to him as well. This situation remains unchanged even when a creditor asks Ohldinn whether she can assume the captain’s debt of 900 taler. Finally, Peter states his condition: The spinster must leave him her entire fortune. At this point, the real Captain von Schlag joins the scene, causing much confusion. He promises Lelio a part of the spinster’s fortune, whereupon everyone is happy.

“Lewd double entendre” occurs in connection with the courting captain, who had become “incapable of further service” during his military career. Ohldinn states: “Incapable?—No, I always bethink myself. I do not like him.” Attempting to advertise the captain as a husband, Oront reassures her with regard to the meaning of “incapable,” sugarcoating the attribute as a benefit: “So you would demand a man who always sleeps in the field? And who can barely be with you two nights of the year? The retired officers are the best husbands, for if they can no longer prove their courage in the face of the enemy, they are all the more manly towards their –.”79 Other sentences like “A man is quite a useful household effect” or “womenfolk were created to cause the entire world sorrow!” could also be understood as “vulgarities.”80

A further banned work by Lessing were his Schriften (Writings; Berlin and Potsdam 1753), to which the strictest verdict “damnatur” was applied in 1756. August Fournier, who was able to access the minutes of the Censorship Commission, notes that the poem “Der Eremit” (The Hermit) was one of the key texts triggering the prohibition.81 The title character settles near the city of Kerapolis (= Berlin?). His reputation soon spreads throughout the town, and he is held in particularly high esteem by women because he speaks about appropriate topics with each of them. With beautiful women, he talks

Of the first of all Christian impulses.
Which is that? Whoever asks me, can they be a Christian?
For every Christian will agree,
That it is love so dear.82

The hermit’s outward appearance makes the ladies covetous.

The unbound hair flowed curly around his head;
And more important pieces of beauty
Were not quite revealed, nor robbed
From vision by his torn-up garb.83

This merry activity continues for one-and-a-quarter years before two daughters who had not been allowed to accompany their mothers to the hermit’s den reveal “That he, the hermit, has almost the entire city / As in-laws or children.”84 The menfolk subsequently want to lynch him, but the town council apprehends him and presents him to the judge. Since the councilmen fear their wives’ names will be mentioned during the interrogation, they want to let the hermit go. The judge believes his own spouse to have been faithful, however, and orders the hermit to name all his lovers—whereupon the judge’s wife turns out to be among them as well.

Besides the lack of morality, the Austrian censorship’s main objection to Lessing had to do with unacceptable religious criticism. Several scientific essays he wrote or published were forbidden for this reason. The fragments of Reimarus’ Apology (1774–1778), which discussed ten “contradictions” in the reports about the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament and triggered what is known as the Fragmentenstreit (fragment dispute) with more than 50 related treatises within a few years, were suppressed along with Ernst und Falk: Gespräche für Freymäurer (Ernst and Falk: Dialogs for Freemasons; 1780), which explained the Masonic ideal of tolerance. Lessing was not happy with the all-too-exclusive existing lodges, however: Like the churches, he said, their wealth made them irreconcilable with faith. Finally, Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts (The Education of Mankind; 1780), which interpreted the religious faiths as stages of a development towards a secular religion of reason demanding good for its own sake, was also not met with censorial approval.

With its relativizing of the value of individual religions in the famous ring parable, Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise; 1779) linked up with Lessing’s religion-critical theories. The censor consulted on the occasion of a planned performance of the play in 1810, Abbé Pöhm, deemed it to pursue “the undeniable purpose of presenting the three positive religions, the Jewish one, the Christian one, and the Muslim one, as equally good.” It argued the view that “the salvation of man depended not on faith but on good actions alone,” and the author’s intent was thus “to cast doubt on divine revelation and make Christianity detestable.”85 The Austrian censorship’s issues with the play can be gauged from the numerous alterations that were required for its eventual Austrian premiere at the Viennese Burgtheater in 1819.86

4.2 Christoph Martin Wieland

Censor Hägelin’s opinion on Geschichte des Agathon (The History of Agathon; 1766/67), Wieland’s frivolous Bildungsroman set in ancient Greece, was that the author was supporting “the perversive teachings of Hypias, who was a defender of Epicureanism, also there were many passages leading to atheism, and in the remaining parts quite lascivious—although written with the finest taste—passages were to be found that sounded very alluring and seductive.”87 And indeed the novel is populated by hypocritical priests, egoistic politicians, and teachers personifying double standards that cause the protagonist to doubt his naive ideal conceptions of the world and humanity. The head of the Censorship Commission, Gerard van Swieten, had found various passages of the first edition of 1766/67 acceptable and even rated them as “nimis tenera” (very subtle, civilized). In these passages, Psyche tells of her platonic love for Agathon that outshines all others and need not even fear the glowing passion of a rival; she rebuts the advances of a robber chief by threatening to kill herself; in the third lauded passage, Hippias presents the antithesis to his Epicurean doctrine. After praising these passages, Van Swieten continued: “sed a pagina 57 incipiendo impia habet de amando; contorte docet hippias ibi materialismum”88 (but on page 57, frivolous remarks on love and an eccentric materialism begin). This is a reference to the dialog between Hippias and Agathon in Chapter 6 of Book 2. Hippias doubts the existence of a soul independent from the body when he asks Agathon: “But, upon what dost thou ground thy expectation, that this same spiritual principle will continue to think after thy body is destroyed? What proof hast thou to establish an opinion contradicted by so many other proofs?”89 Finally, Hippias also disputes the existence of a supreme being, a creator of the world, and criticizes Agathon for basing his happiness on fantasies while simultaneously neglecting the one true and real terrestrial joy. If there is a god, then Nature speaks through him, and it says: “Satisfy all thy wants, enjoy every sensual pleasure, and avoid, as much as possible, every painful sensation.”90

In Chapter 3 of Book 3 (“Die Geisterlehre eines ächten Materialisten” [A True Materialist’s Doctrine of Spirits]), Wieland summarizes Hippias’ tenet: One should only believe that which is observable with the senses. The common conceptions of gods and souls could be attributed to ignorance and superstition; what was more, they were full of projections of earthly experiences of bliss. The opposite side taught one to deaden the senses in order to attain higher truths, but this led to nothing but delusions—or even worse:

It seems therefore very probable that all these spirits, with the worlds they inhabit, and all the felicity we hope to share with them after death, have no more real existence than the Nymphs, Cupids, and Graces of the Poets; the gardens of the Hesperides, or the islands of Circe and Calypso; in a word, than all those sportive follies of imagination, which serve to amuse us, though we do not believe their reality.91

The fairy novel Die Abenteuer des Don Sylvio von Rosalva (The Adventures of Don Sylvio of Rosalva; 1764) tells of the disillusionment of the title figure, whose experiences cure him of his belief in the reality of fairy tales. In analogy to Don Quixote, Don Sylvio stumbles through life in search of a princess transformed into a bird, constantly feeling pursued by evil fairies in various guises, before finding his love in a real woman of the landed gentry.

The story contains a host of salacious situations and comments that a censor under Maria Theresa’s regimen had to disapprove of. A parish priest susceptible to female charms makes an appearance, as does an ugly gnome who—due to a whim of nature—is able to thrill the fairy Krystalline “only by way of a single piece”92 and later “received an ovation from most of the court ladies that their lovers were not entirely indifferent to.”93 Likewise included are a number of critical and satirical comments on monarchs, for example on Alexander, Constantine, Charles, Otto, and Ludwig, along with 20 others bearing the epithet “the Great” who “were great at the expense of the human race” by inflicting bloodbaths.94 The king from the fairy tale of Prince Biribinker integrated into the novel is subject to the temptations of female dancers and chambermaids. Esoteric doctrines are likewise mentioned several times, including Ramon Lull, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Reuchlin, Swedenborg, and the antique tenet of souls living on in Elysium.

It was certainly Wieland’s canvassing of the confusion of fiction and reality that caused the most irritation, however, since it suggested parallels to the belief in religious revelations and miracles. In the key passage of the book featuring Don Sylvio’s disillusionment, Wieland compares fairy novels to the works of historiographers whose texts were distorted by millennia of tradition, as well as to the Qur’an—though contemporary readers would inevitably have found his words primarily evocative of the Christian faith. Expressing his skepticism regarding princesses and green dwarfs transformed into blue butterflies respectively toothpicks under the heading “Inconsequential thoughts by the author,” Wieland even makes reference to a Christian mystic in a footnote:

Sister Marie of Koronel, known as Agreda due to the place of her residence, caused much commotion in the seventeenth century with a book which, according to her purport, she was explicitly ordered to publish by God and the Holy Virgin. This book carries the title Mystical City of God and contains an alleged tale of the life of the Holy Virgin, drawn from direct revelations this nun claims to have had.95

Several translations of the mentioned mystical revelation text by the Spanish Franciscan appeared in the Austrian prohibition lists respectively the Catalogus of 1776. That Wieland also pointed to the corresponding article in Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire, various editions of which were likewise forbidden, presumably contributed to the censor’s disapproval as well. The ultimate conclusion drawn from the incredibility of fairy tales in Don Sylvio is this:

That anything and everything that has no congruence with the orderly course of nature, as far as it lies within our senses, or with what the majority of the human race experiences every day, has the strongest and in a way infinite presumption of untruth against itself for precisely this reason; a principle that the general feeling of the human race justifies, although it denies the existence of the entire fairydom and all its paraphernalia at once.96

The paradox here is that Wieland and the institution of censorship were actually pursuing the same goal: Both sought to protect immature and naive readers from harmful fantastic fictions that threatened to dictate their lives. Wieland had repeatedly cautioned against taking fiction at face value—for example in an article in the Teutscher Merkur pertaining to Rousseau’s novel La nouvelle Héloïse, which was blamed for imitations as discussed above. Wieland, however, came to the conclusion that prohibitions were unfair to the respective author and text.

The author and his book are damned, with judgement and law but according to the same principles, to an equally tumultuous and foolish kind of inquisition, in short with the same iniquity or Sancta Simplicitas as previously in all of Europe—and to this day in some of the enlightened areas of our dear German fatherland—the witches are burned.97

Don Sylvio was likewise an attempt to educate its audience to a reasonable mindset for reading. The protagonist’s key mistake is that he reads quickly and fleetingly, thus concentrating on individual episodes and details without considering their context. In contrast to Don Sylvio, the readers of the novel were to develop an adequate awareness of fictionality.98 But although Enlightenment-affine censorship doubtless agreed with this goal, it drew a line where the awareness of fictionality extended to religious revelation. This was once more an expression of the ambivalence inherent in enlightened Absolutism—its fear of taking “enlightenment” too far.

4.3 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The earliest banned work by Goethe was the fictitious Brief des Pastors zu *** an den neuen Pastor zu *** (Letter from the Pastor of *** to the New Pastor of ***; 1773), in which the imagined letter writer calls for religious tolerance. He is particularly offended by the “Doctrine of the Damning of the Heathens”99 that ignores a person’s good deeds as well as innocent children. According to the text, an especially grievous consequence of intolerance was the discord within Christianity. While even Luther’s teachings had not represented absolute truth, he had at least worked at liberating humanity from its spiritual thralldom. Hierarchies and authorities were not consistent with the spirit of the Christian faith; the Holy Spirit should not be undervalued and suppressed: “[…] woe to us that our clergymen know nothing of immediate inspiration anymore, and woe to the Christian who hopes to understand the Scripture from commentaries.”100

Another early work, Ein Fastnachtsspiel (A Shrovetide Play; 1774), about a priest who is after the daughter of a spice-seller’s neighbor, was considered too racy by censorship even though it was only moderately humorous and served the exclusive purpose of warning women against such lecherous clerics. The spice-seller alerts the neighbor with the following report:

One of these days I was standing
Out back at the elder fence;
The priest and girl came by outside,
Strolling back and forth,
Walking in a close embrace,
With their eyes staring at one another,
And chattering in each other’s ears
As if at any moment ready
To go to bed or to heaven together.101

The concluding moral of the story is:

Virgins, let yourselves be kissed no more
By priests who want or know nothing else;
For who would invite another to table
At the mere smell of a roast?
Of this every sacrament consists:
Spiritual start, physical middle, fleshly end.102

Anticlericalism was also the main reason for the objection to one of Goethe’s later works, the epic poem Reineke Fuchs (Reynard the Fox; 1794). Written in the tension-laden post-revolutionary era, it was only banned in 1837 in an illustrated adaptation for youths (Berlin: Enslin) and in 1846 in a version illustrated by Wilhelm von Kaulbach.103 This indicates that it may have been the illustrations that ultimately triggered the proscription. Figure 8 shows Kaulbach’s depiction of an orgy at the royal court as an example.


Figure 8

Illustration by Wilhelm von Kaulbach in Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Reineke Fuchs (Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta 1846), p. 124

The templates for the Reineke Fuchs material (especially Reinke de vos, 1498, 1539) had already featured distinct anti-courtly and anti-clerical undertones. The lion/king is surrounded by animals/advisors who are driven by instinct and pursue only their own interests. Despite his nasty pranks, Reineke is accepted back into the king’s grace time and again because he helps him keep the courtiers and advisors in check. Reineke reflects the king’s behavior, and the court—like the wild—is the scene of a permanent fight for predominance. Goethe’s text makes the similarities between fox and king explicit:

The King himself robs as well as anyone, as we know;
What he himself does not take, he leaves for the bears and wolves
And thinks that it is rightly done. There is no one
Who would dare tell him the truth, so deep down runs the
Evil, no confessor, no chaplain; they are silent! Why this?
It is their pleasure too, even if only to win a tunic.
Our Lord is the Lion, and he thinks his rank appropriate
To accroach everything. He likes to call us
His people; indeed, what is ours seems to belong to him!104

The clergy provides no better example—keeping mistresses, siring children, and collecting toll and interest. Even the pope is no exception:

And the legates of the pope, the abbots, provosts, prelates
The beguines and nuns, there would be much to tell!
They all say: Give me what is yours and leave me what is mine!
Few can truly be found, not even seven, who according to
Their order’s rules demonstrate a holy life.
And so the clerical rank is most weak and infirm.105

Burlesque scenes like the one in which Hinze the tomcat mutilates the priest were obviously also considered objectionable. Hinze is sent into the priest’s barn by Reineke to catch mice. It is a trap, however, and the cat soon finds himself caught in a snare. He is beaten by the priest and his men but effects his revenge by emasculating the cleric. Particularly unacceptable in this context was the ostentatiously bitter and outspoken lament regarding the injury by the priest’s female cook.

The occasion for Des Epimenides Erwachen (The Awakening of Epimenides; 1814; premiered 1815) was the Battle of Leipzig and the subsequent national renascence. Goethe was commissioned to write the drama, which was to premiere during a celebration for the return of the victorious Prussian monarch who had contributed significantly to Napoleon’s defeat. It was a delicate assignment, since Napoleon was neither to be lauded excessively as a political enemy nor overly dispraised—his marriage to Marie Louise in 1810 had made him a relative of the imperial house. This matrimonial connection lent him a particularly conflicted status in Austria that persisted for a considerable time after his banishment and death in 1821.

Goethe employed the fable of wise Epimenides, who slept for 40 years, obtaining the gift of clairvoyance while doing so. The plot can be interpreted as an allegory for the course of history: The forces of evil (War, Deceit, Oppression) are defeated by the virtues of Faith, Love, and Hope, who incite the people to a battle for liberation. Freedom turns out to have its downsides in that it is akin to chaos, however (“Thus of a sudden at the steps of my throne / Freedom’s terrible aurora ignited,” says Faith),106 and at the end of the play, Epimenides (respectively the author) points out the need for consensus between ruler and people. The chorus of the unified liberation army calls for the overthrow of all tyrants.

Onward, brothers, to free the world!
Comets beckon, the time is now.
All the webs of tyranny
Tear asunder and break free!
Much has yet to be fulfilled,
And not all is over yet;
But all of us, through our will,
Are already free from ties.107

Among the demons commanded by Deceit are courtiers and clerics hoping to profit from the war. These passages were not necessarily the main reason for the play’s prohibition, however; what was likely considered much more problematic was the encoding of prominent persons surmised by contemporaries. Epimenides was identified with the Prussian king, and many also recognized his queen in the figure of Hope. Goethe’s friend Karl Friedrich Zelter wrote the following to the writer regarding the first two performances: “On the first day the actors left out that which refers to the person of the king, because the king has objected to and in fact forbidden all such relations: It had to be said yesterday, however, and the applause was furious.”108

The collection of poems entitled West-östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan; 1819) and based on the works of Persian poet Hafez contained a host of reasons for prohibition by the Austrian censorship—although the authorities forbade only an Austrian reprint, not Goethe’s original work. Among these reasons were the ambivalence between mundane, sensual love and the love of God, the great and almost religious importance attributed to wine in this context, the homoeroticism in the relationship between the Persian ruler and his cupbearers, the very friendly attitude towards Islam, and especially the elements of superstition—talismans, amulets, abraxas—and the criticism of occidental circumstances always implied by contrast.

The initial position is immediately defined in dramatic words: The Occident is in a state of crisis beckoning people to flee to the Orient.

North and West and South are crumbling,
Thrones are bursting, empires trembling,
Run away, enjoy the taste
of patriarchy in the East,
Where you’ll love and drink and sing,
Rejuvenated by Khidr’s spring.109

The “bursting” thrones referred to were primarily those of Emperor Francis I and Napoleon. The book Suleika states that the “emperor” was unable to love because he was no longer gifting his mistress cities.110 Also included were more or less veiled allusions to the Austrian empress Maria Ludovica, whom Goethe admired.111

In the “Noten und Abhandlungen zum besseren Verständnis des west-östlichen Divans” (Notes and Explanations for Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan), the Persian rulers are likewise referred to as “emperors.” Goethe’s reports about in part rather curious customs and etiquette at their court thus not only served to diminish the repute of the Persian potentates but implicitly also prompted readers to critically question the practices at European courts. For example, one passage discusses the casual social manners prevailing at the Oriental court and resulting in circumstances akin to a carnival surrounding the emperor. Upon leave-taking after drinking sprees, one person after another disappears, with overly inebriated party guests being escorted or carried out until only the ruler remains. In the harem, the women tussle with the emperor and attempt to bring him down on the carpet “while he, accompanied by much laughter, seeks to help himself and retaliate only with scurrility.”112

The alternative Genesis story in the Divan has Adam created by God, but only “brought to life” by Noah with the help of wine.

Thus, Hafez, may your lovely song,
Your sacred example,
Lead us by the clink of glasses
To the temple of our maker.113

The attitude towards the Islamic faith is similarly rakish; wine is considered far more important than the Qur’an. And although Hammer-Purgstall emphasized that “wine” stood allegorically for magnanimity of the soul and refinement of the mind in this context, and that it was a means of communicating the mystical truth of the presence of God in all things,114 the censors doubtless applied a simpler and more straightforward interpretation.

Finally, the fact that the Old Testament is declared pure fiction in the “Noten und Abhandlungen” may have been perceived as provocative by orthodox Jews. Goethe also describes the last books of Moses as clumsily edited because they contained numerous passages of religious instruction interrupting the progress of the plot. What was more, Moses remained a crude character despite his courtly education, as evidenced by the fact that he secretly killed an Egyptian who had mistreated an Israelite.115 Finally, the Israelites’ 40 years of wandering through the wilderness are labeled as highly unlikely. In this regard, we must remind ourselves that the Austrian censorship sought to protect all religions—not just the Catholic faith—from disparagement.

4.4 Friedrich Schiller

Nearly all of Schiller’s plays encountered problems with censorship, with most of them having to be drastically adapted and abridged for performance on the Viennese stages.116

Maria Stuart could only be performed in an edited version until 1848, mostly due to the theme of the execution of the queen, which was evocative of Marie Antoinette’s beheading. We will focus on the motives for the prohibition of the printed version of the tragedy, however. Published in Tübingen (Cotta, 1801), the first edition was immediately issued a verdict of “damnatur” in May 1801. In the year 1809 (obviously during the months of French occupation), two editions of the play appeared in Vienna, published by Wallishausser and Pichler respectively. In one of the many mysterious twists of censorship history, a further Viennese edition published by Doll in 1810 featured the full original text. This may have been because it was part of a complete edition of Schiller’s works affordable only for a relatively small audience. In the case of such complete editions, a policy of permitting texts otherwise forbidden in individual editions was regularly applied.

From the point of view of censorship, the discussions about the legitimacy of the two queens—which brought up the issue of Henry VIII’s actions—along with Mary’s loose morals, her questionable execution, and the role of the Catholic Church, the pope, and the bishop of Guise in the dispute with the Anglican ruler had to be deemed objectionable. Mary’s supporter Mortimer challenges Elizabeth’s legitimacy, whereas he considers Mary’s membership in the Tudor family to be beyond doubt. The bishop of Guise had opened his eyes, as he says:

He pointed out your ancestry as well, he showed
Me your descent from the high House
of Tudor, convinced me it is your
Due alone to rule England,
Not that of this upstart queen, sired
In an adulterous bed, whom Henry,
Her father, rejected himself as a bastard daughter.117

Mary adds to this criticism while speaking to Lord Burleigh and Paulet, Elizabeth’s advisors, after Burleigh describes the members of the court senate who had convicted the Queen of Scots as honorable and nonpartisan peers:

I see this high nobility of England,
The Empire’s majestic Senate,
Catering like harem slaves to the Sultan’s whims
Of Henry the Eighth, my great uncle—
I see this noble House of Lords,
As venal as the bribable commoners,
Pass and rescind laws, annulling
And forging marriages, as the potentate
Commands, disinheriting England’s princely daughters
today, defiling them with the bastard name,
Only to crown them as queens tomorrow.118

Elizabeth likewise refers to Henry VIII and the persons responsible for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre (especially Catherine de’ Medici) in the context of her retaliatory actions. In doing so, she also reviles the Catholic Church:

Your uncle provided
An example to all the world’s kings
On how to make peace with one’s enemies,
The Saint Bartholomew’s shall be my paradigm!
What are sibship, law of nations to me?
The Church severs the bonds of all duty,
It sanctifies breach of faith, regicide,
I only practice what your priests teach.119

In Venice, the play was banned in 1816, mostly due to the anti-Catholic diatribe by the Anglicans. Among other passages, the Venetian censor Pianton objected to Lord Burleigh’s warning words to Elizabeth:

Many secret admirers still
The Roman idolatry has on this isle.
In Rheims, the cardinal’s episcopal seat,
There is the arsenal where they forge lightning,
There regicide is taught—From there
Busily they send to your island
The missions, determined fanatics,
Disguised in sundry garb—From there
Three murderers already have come […].120

From the perspective of the ecclesiastical order, Scene 7 in Act 5, which has Mary’s steward Melvil declaring himself a priest because he had received the seven consecrations from the Holy Father before promptly hearing Mary’s confession and absolving her from her sins, must also have seemed at least questionable. What is more, Mary is characterized as being a victim of “blind passion”121 that caused her to not prevent the murder of her husband, King Darnley. Schiller merely exonerates her of plotting to murder Elizabeth.

Besides Maria Stuart, it appears noteworthy that an undated Bonn edition of An die Freude (Ode to Joy) was forbidden in 1802; the version may have been a musical setting. The date of the prohibition means the edition must have used the early wording of the ode written in 1785. The poem was originally created and intended for use in a Masonic context—which was a potential reason for proscription in itself. In addition, the text of this early rendering spoke of “rescue from the chains of tyrants” and equality (“beggars become brothers of princes”) as well as including the pretentious assumption that “Brothers—above the starry canopy, God judges like we have judged.”122

4.5 Heinrich von Kleist

Besides several plays, the first volume of Kleist’s collection of Erzählungen (Stories), which included “Michael Kohlhaas,” “Die Marquise von O …,” and “Das Erdbeben in Chili” (The Earthquake in Chile), was banned as well.123 The immoral passages in “Das Erdbeben in Chili,” especially the impregnation of a nun in the convent garden, were the determining factor for this prohibition. Likewise objectionable was the “dreadful” ending that could prompt readers to doubt the rightful world order.124

Penthesilea (1808) was forbidden as a manuscript in the year 1825. This once again goes to show that the tolerance for “classics” proclaimed in 1810 was not taken all too seriously—at least not in the long run. What was more, a text like Penthesilea was of interest only to a very small and specialized audience, and highly unlikely to ever be performed on stage.

The play focuses on the crisis of the Enlightenment, with the fragile device of reason yielding to the onslaught of affects. Achilles and Penthesilea are so immersed in the irrationality of their relationship oscillating between love and violence, between human and atavistic-animalistic behavior (kisses and biting), that they neglect their public and social obligations—in this case, going to war. For the censorial authorities, the drastic scenes of violence seem to have swung the pendulum in favor of prohibition along with certain remarks on the development and organization of the Amazons’ state, which represents an antithesis to monarchy in almost every regard.

The autonomous women’s state is established in reaction to oppression and rape. As an exception to its otherwise very rational organization, it stipulates a regularly occurring orgy known as the Feast of Roses that is required for reproduction. It consists of the Amazons defeating men in battle and abducting them to their homeland. According to their old laws, they may only mate with vanquished men. Penthesilea explains this constraint to Achilles as follows:

On the bloody battlefield I must search for him,
The young man my heart has chosen,
And seize with the grip of iron arms,
The one this soft bosom shall receive.
Thus the First Mothers’ words decided,
And in silence we obey them, Nereid’s son,
Like you do the words of your first fathers.125

The foundation myth of the Amazons’ state includes the killing of the Ethiopian king Vexoris, who was forcefully usurping the land of the Scythians, his armies murdering all men and raping all women. During the wedding feast, the Scythian queen Tanaïs pierces his heart with a dagger. The regicide is followed by the slaughter of Vexoris’ entire retinue.

Free, like the wind on the open champaign, are
The women who achieved this feat,
And no longer subservient to the race of men.
A state, a self-determined one, shall be established,
A women’s state that henceforth no other
Domineering male voice shall affront,
That shall give itself law with dignity,
Obey itself, and protect itself as well.126

From the very beginning, the relationship between Penthesilea and Achilles includes sex, violence, and death. He envisions carrying her off to a “little place under bushes” and “taking her in my arms with kisses hot as ore,” but also to drag her “by her feet through the streets” with her “forehead crowned with mortal wounds” as he had done with the defeated Hector outside of Troy.127 She, on the other hand, wishes most fervently to draw him to her bosom, but sees no other way to reach this goal than by fighting him. Love and violence in the shape of dragging the killed lover along the ground are juxtaposed abruptly in the text when Penthesilea’s friend, Princess Prothoe, asks Achilles:

You wish to perform the unnameable on her?
Here this young body, you man of atrocity,
Adorned with charms like a child with flowers,
You wish to disgracefully, like a corpse—?
Achilles: Tell her that I love her.128

Penthesilea’s mind likewise alternates between sadistic and desperate masochistic fantasies:

Let him drag me home by my feet with horses,
And this body, full of fresh life,
Cast out ignominiously on the open field,
Let him offer to the dogs for breakfast,
And to the abominable race of the birds.
Better to be dust than a woman without allure.129

In the battle that ultimately takes place between the pair, the sadistic component prevails and Penthesilea, in a trance-like state, shoots an arrow into Achilles’ neck before setting her dogs on him—and joining them in tearing him to pieces, as Meroe reports:

She strikes, tearing the armor off his body,
Strikes her teeth into his white chest,
She and the dogs, competing,
Oxus and Sphynx their teeth into his right,
She into his left chest; when I arrived,
Blood was dripping from her mouth and hands.130

4.6 Jean Paul

To conclude this section, let us look at an author who has equally frequently been linked to German Classicism and Romanticism. As a humorist as well as through his very idiosyncratic associations and trains of thought, Jean Paul realized the greatest possible subjectivity in his narrative. As with his great role model Laurence Sterne, his prose is fragmented by permanent digressions and insertions and characterized by an ambiguous narrative perspective that regularly switches between narrators and the author’s own persona. We will first examine a brief selection of offensive passages typical for his writing. They are taken from Die unsichtbare Loge (The Invisible Lodge; 1793), whose second, improved edition published in 1822 was banned in Austria.

In this early novel by Jean Paul, the youthful protagonist Gustav, son of the daughter of master forester Knör and the cavalry captain of Falkenberg, is raised according to the rules of the Moravian Church—that is, shielded from the world’s temptations—until his tenth birthday. As a youth, he moves to the small princely residence city of Scheerau, where he receives a worldly education at a cadet school. He falls in love with Beata but is eventually seduced by the regent Bouse. The loss of his virginity initially endangers his relationship with Beata, but the pair make amends at the idyllic spa resort Lilienthal. The novel breaks off with Gustav in prison under suspicion of being a member of a secret society like his mentor Ottomar.

As might be expected, the portrayal of the Moravians is satirical. The faithful behave like herd animals, and the narrator expresses bafflement at this company of “sheep stood up on two legs.”131 The Moravians are also described as having a tendency towards self-vituperation, but only in order to make others appear even less worthy.132 Jean Paul’s suggestion to dress the statues of Mary and the saints in churches according to the latest fashion trends so as to increase the attractiveness of mass likely also did not sit well with the censor. This way, the author argued, one would at least know “why one went to church and what they were currently wearing in Paris or Versailles.”133 In a similar vein was his recommendation to equip churches with more comfortable seating or even with beds, since the aristocracy in particular was accustomed to a high standard in this regard:

For such people of manners, proper church beds must therefore be added to the loges so that they may make do; just like card tables, dining tables, ottomans, lady friends and the like are such indispensable things in a court church that they might better be lacking in any other place than there.134

The regent’s illegitimate son Ottomar is buried alive, providing him with what would be called a near-death experience today. Part of this experience is the realization that death is not followed by (eternal) life: “I have spoken with Death, and he has assured me that there is nothing besides himself.”135 The ordeal leaves an indelible mark on Ottomar, who lapses into radical skepticism and melancholy. Presumably in an allusion to Kant, who was compelled to admiration and reverence by the sight of the starry sky and the moral law,136 even peering at the canopy of stars can no longer inspire awe for creation in Ottomar.

I was just looking at the starry sky; but it does not enlighten my soul like it used to: Its suns and earths wear down just like the one I decompose into. Whether for a minute the maggot’s tooth or for a thousand years the shark’s tooth is applied to a world: It is all the same, it is crushed either way.137

From the moral perspective, the detailed formulation of the theory that the cells of the human body are completely replaced every three years, along with its application to the problem of adultery, must have been considered objectionable as well. Jean Paul concludes that “a matrimonial subsidiary” should be added to the “mother church of the marital bed”;138 in a legal sense, this could be interpreted as the crime of malicious abandonment relieving the partner of his or her matrimonial duties and obligation to faithfulness and giving him or her the right to a new marriage. In effect, Jean Paul argues, the continuation of a marriage would be obvious adultery under these circumstances, with a divorce mandatory after three years. Politics and morals blend together when he describes the behavior of the Scheerau potentate, who has the state provide for his ousted lovers. Here Jean Paul draws a comparison between the “Sophi” (title of the King of Persia) and predatory animals:

For the Sophi of Scheerau had the habit of not retiring a lover without giving her an estate, or a regiment, or a man of rank; he always left over enough of a lover that she could be made into a wife for an unhappy husband, like the eagle and the lion (also princes of the animals) always leave a piece of their prey uneaten for other beasts.139

The prince represents a combination of two types of lovers; Jean Paul differentiates between the “long or evergreen love” and the “short love.” The former consists of a cold disdainful gallantry and characterizes the potentate’s relationship with his wife. This “realty love” is interlaced with “a hundred cursory second-long marriages or liaisons over the creeping month disk of the long, fixed love or marriage.”140 The queen regent takes no issue with her husband’s affairs, pursuing a similar course of action herself.

At a different place in the book, the lack of morals is generalized with regard to the members of the upper class. Jean Paul ironically compares their behavior to that of flowers:

Like flowers’ colorful vesture, the great cover their love with nothing—like them, they mate without knowing or loving each other—like flowers, they do not care for their children—but incubate their offspring with the same participation with which an incubator in Egypt does.141

Finally, the author also mocks the custom of burying the organs of monarchs separately from their bodies. While describing the transfer of the Scheerau “princely bowels” to the Abbey of Hopf, he ponders how he would strategically distribute his own organs to various churches and prayer houses.142

The plot of Des Feldpredigers Schmelzle Reise nach Flätz (The Field Preacher Schmelzle’s Journey to Flätz; 1809) is much simpler by comparison. Here the protagonist travels to the fair town mentioned in the title to apply for an extension of his job as military chaplain. As he had absconded from his previous position, his request is unsurprisingly denied. The text is characterized by Schmelzle’s various fears and exaggerated precautions against all kinds of dangers—including self-justification, apologies, and excuses for his pathological anxiety.

The novel effectively begins with an affront to princes: “Good princes easily come by good subjects (the latter by the former: not so easily).”143 Foreign potentates enjoy no better treatment in the book: Schmelzle compares himself to “King Jacob of England, who in running from naked swords confronted the charging Luther all the more boldly with book and quill before all of Europe.”144 With regard to religion, he remembers having “dueled with the Pope and the elephant order of the College of Cardinals at the same time.”145 The chaplain is also a believer in the phenomenon of the self-fulfilling prophecy, the result of which he naturally also fears. In the court church in Flätz, for instance, he finds himself obsessively contemplating whether there is anything more infernal than laughing derisively while accepting communion. While taking the host together with an old mayor, he then does in fact grin “like an ape,” causing the mayor to ask him whether he is “an ordained preacher or a jester.”146

Finally, the epilogue “Beichte des Teufels bey einem großen Staatsbedienten” (Confession of the Devil to a Great Government Official) was also considered objectionable owing to the notion of the ostensible appearance of the devil as well as because of the sins of the high-ranking official, who ultimately turns out to be the same character. This tale had initially run into problems with censorship in multiple German states as well.147 The statesman is responsible for several wars, has enriched himself at the expense of others and oppressed his people—but most of all, he was a predator of innocent women, whom he even pursued into convents; “only the purest were to reveal themselves before him, and the upright man often said he did not even have to pay them, and half complained that it was so.”148

5 The Romanticists

5.1 Ludwig Tieck

William Lovell, Tieck’s first major work of prose, is an epistolary novel comprising elements of the popular gothic and secret society genres—both categories that assured close scrutiny by the censors, especially around 1800. The book’s publishing history is complex: Tieck notably revised the original version significantly for the second edition published in 1813/14, and a further edition appearing in 1828 featured additional changes to the text. In Austria, the first volume of the initial edition appearing in 1795 was prohibited while the subsequent volumes were not; the authorities most likely assumed that no one would purchase only the second and third volumes. Both parts of the 1813/14 edition were forbidden immediately.

Let us first look at the banned initial volume of the 1795 edition. Sexually explicit and fanciful confessions by the protagonist, despair regarding the world, a lack of morals, the secret society theme, and suspected encoding of living persons were all potential reasons for prohibition. Surprisingly, however, the volume contains only two passages that appear to match the censors’ search criteria. The first is the section in which the unscrupulous Louise de Blainville seduces William Lovell—primarily to enable her to report on the romantic dreamer in cynical tones to her friend Rosa. Lovell subsequently informs his own friend Balder about the affair with obvious naiveté, deflecting any possible criticism of his lover:

No, I have sworn to serve the higher deity to which all living nature bows in reverence, which unifies into the detached sensation of the heart that is everything, lust, love, for which language finds no words and the tongue no sounds.149

Such a frivolous cult of sensuousness reminiscent of the Rococo was sure to be considered objectionable. Not long after this scene, we come across the ghost story related by Balder in which the officer von Wildberg kills his friend von F*** over a trivial issue, namely a dispute about belief in miracles. Wildberg subsequently lapses into melancholia. He confesses to receiving visits from the dead F***: “He did not come himself, but every night at midnight a skull, pierced by a bullet, rolled through the middle of his bedroom, stood still before his bed as if wanting to stare at him admonishingly with its empty eye sockets, and then disappeared again.” The eerie apparition regularly torments the officer: “Then Wildberg cast his gaze fixedly on the floor: See, he said quietly, how he creeps up on me! Oh, forgive me, forgive me, my dear friend, frighten me no more, I have suffered enough.”150 The punchline is delivered when the obsessed man’s friends hope to cure him by rolling a real skull into the room, whereupon Wildberg sees two skulls.

The first volume of the novel’s second, revised edition—which as mentioned above was likewise prohibited in Austria—additionally included a report by a servant named Willy to his brother on the visit of a (mostly Protestant) party of tourists to Rome. He claims to be thinking about death more frequently thereafter and complains about the lack of a proper church.

Here too there is no appropriate church for us, which is bad; my master often goes to mass, but I still hope he does it mostly because of the women, for if he engaged in prayer there and became Catholic—no, Thomas, I could never get over it. And the singsong and resplendent robes are alluring! Yes, dear brother, I too seem to have let myself be inveigled, and have once or twice (do not be startled) felt a kind of reverence myself. This must not happen again. Oh, if I were not to bring my orthodox English fear of God back with me soundly and in one piece, what would you or any Christian be forced to think of me?151

It is one of the curiosities of censorship that tolerated domestic editions of forbidden works existed; in this case, a Viennese reprint by publisher Grund (1819) within a collection of Tieck’s Sämmtliche Werke (Collected Works). The title page emphasizes that the version had been typeset “following the original verbatim” (in this case, referring to the 1813/14 edition). And indeed, the edition contains the passage on Catholic mass cited above—an apparent incidence of tolerance in the context of cumulative editions.152

Alongside Tieck’s first work William Lovell, let us examine his final novel, Vittoria Accorombona (1840), for potentially offensive passages. Both parts of the first edition promptly received a verdict of “erga schedam” in Austria in November 1840. A noteworthy fact in this context is that the Prussian king Frederick William IV, who received the novel from Tieck in person, not only took no offense with it but reacted by having a gift of 100 gold guilders and an invitation to Potsdam sent to the author.153

The book describes a series of episodes of violence, despotism, and immorality among the aristocracy and clergy surrounding the poet Vittoria Accorombona, daughter of a family of jurists. The theme of the “black Renaissance” frequently encountered in historiography and various literary accounts—as well as on the prohibition lists in Catholic countries—features prominently in the text.

A central element in this context is the rebellious nobility, which makes its own laws, practices club law, and views murder as a legitimate means of enforcing its interests. These outlaws operate as bands of robbers typically gathering in the mountains, as well as in the shape of secret societies. Their sophisticated ideologists view the anarchy they stand for merely as a transitional stage on the way to an orderly state promising the greatest possible degree of freedom for everyone, however. It was this aspect that likely gave the censorial authorities the greatest cause for concern with regard to the political upheaval during the Vormärz period. Vittoria defends the rebels, robbers, and expellees because they fight the corrupt existing society and are the only ones offering hope for a better future:

Like almost all laws have lost their power for us, as everyone does what he wants, as the powerful can satisfy every craving, as no one may contradict him, so I only ask: What would happen to us here if these banished ones, who have grown to a large independent force, did not to some degree impede and curb this capriciousness? […] Through their public withdrawal they are thus saying brazenly and publicly: The entity that you wish to call a state, we declare it perished, here in the fields, mountains, and forests; we provisionally form the true, real state, founded on freedom, in opposition to all those agonizing, narrow-minded constraints and incomprehensible requirements you wish to call laws! Everything that can tear itself free, that wants to enjoy freedom, comes to us, and sooner or later our sentiment will have to be the ruling one in the country; will a new constitution and a better fatherland have to develop from our strength; and will the worse robbers, the narrow-minded, prudently self-serving ones, the craven egoists sit, banished by us, behind their decayed walls and worm-eaten laws which they no longer believe in themselves.154

The second motif is the intertwining of power politics and the clergy along with the nepotism it spawned. Pope Gregory XIII is derided for impassively allowing the intrigues of the cardinals and the violent goings-on to continue while stubbornly pursuing his calendar reform: “Until now we thought that the popes only took care of so-called eternity, but now they are applying themselves to cleaning up the earthly time as well.”155 Cardinal Farnese also has the following offensive words to say about Cardinal Montalto, the later Pope Sixtus V:

What do you want with this coward? Farnese yelled, laughing: This groveling, indolent donkey from the Marche, whose behavior still reflects the poverty of his parents, who still carries the old adages of the wagoners and cattle drovers from there in his mouth, a worthy favorite of the fanatic Pius the Fifth, who had similarly indigent origins […].156

Upon becoming pope, the provincial “coward” proves to be a cruel tyrant and despot who orders executions by the dozen. Cardinal Farnese embodies the clergy’s depravity most emphatically. He offers to Vittoria’s mother to exert his influence in a trial endangering her family’s fortune if Vittoria becomes his mistress. In doing so, he candidly makes reference to the nepotism holding sway in Rome: “[…] the popes have their nepots, whom they not only protect but make rich and powerful, and often, if a favorable opportunity arises, turn them into independent and ruling princes.—Could I not now adopt you and yours in a similar fashion?”157 Vittoria rejects the sacrament of marriage, not least owing to her unworthy selection of suitors. When her mother conveys the cardinal’s request to her, she refuses in no uncertain terms:

And you have long known what I think about conventional marriage, mother. This arbitrary devotion to weak and ordinary, even contemptible men—how am I to believe that a priestly ordainment, a ceremony, could sanctify this wretched relation? Only for the dull-witted eyes of the masses, for the syndicated priest, for woebegone old crones can a difference occur between the privileged and the seemingly forbidden conjunction.158

The third objectionable theme originates in the gothic novel.159 Bracciano, who is curious about alchemy and other dark arts, is led to a magician in a forest by Mancini, a trusted friend of the robbers. There he is confronted with deceptively lifelike scenes from his own past, including the murder of his former wife. As Vittoria reports, he believes the entire experience to be a swindle orchestrated by an enemy familiar with his life:

Next the image of Isabelle of Florence appeared in the vapor, then the murdered Peretti, bleeding. I wanted to run away when the vapor became so thick that I feared to suffocate, and suddenly it was you standing there, in agony, half naked, bleeding from many wounds, face grimacing.160

Besides the ghostly apparitions, the circumstance that Vittoria’s death is anticipated in detail here remains mystifying to the reader. Earlier, Vittoria had already been warned of the peril threatening Bracciano by a magical little man. Even though the apparitions may have been staged and thus explainable in rational terms, as was regularly the case in gothic novels of the Ann Radcliffe variety, the effect of this scene would have been ambivalent—especially for a readership tending towards superstitious beliefs, as the censors saw it.

5.2 Achim von Arnim

Achim von Arnim’s romantic, two-part drama Halle und Jerusalem. Studentenspiel und Pilgerabentheuer (Halle and Jerusalem: Student Play and Pilgrim Adventure; Heidelberg 1811) spanning more than 400 pages was banned in February 1811. The assessor in this case was Baron Retzer, who had also reviewed Kleist’s “Earthquake in Chile” and was considered a very tolerant censor.161 Although the motives for the prohibition were comparatively diverse, the incriminated passages can ultimately all be assigned to the realm of religious criticism. Retzer justified his decision as follows:

In the first place, this book must already be forbidden because mention of Rosicrucians is made within it. But besides this circumstance, it is an aggregate of such absurd, indecent, and vulgar passages that any reader could only be wasting their time by reading this writ. As an example may serve [on] p. 114 the inane babble of the Jew Ahasverus, who reproaches his fellow believers for their fickleness and miserliness, [on] p. 151 the indecent passage where Celinde admits that the preacher Lyrer, who was to instruct her in the holy faith, captivated her with the folly of love, and that she serves his lust without any delight; [on] p. 154 the passage where Cardenio tells the preacher: Shut up you dumb priest, I will not be dazzled by your double-dealing whistling, do you not know Cardenio better, I do not wear a nose-ring, that such a black monkey might lead me through the streets, etc. [On] p. 156 the sacrilegious statement by the preacher: I am a student of Epicurus, I know how to die, and I have no fear of what comes thereafter, for there is nothing there, etc.162

Mentions of Rosicrucians, Freemasons, or Templars were generally frowned upon, and the perceived trivialization of suicide can also be included among the theological reasons for prohibition. The shock of the “Werther fever” apparently still remained compelling several decades later. The behavior and statements by the preacher Lyrer as well as Cardenio’s vituperations barely required comment in Retzer’s eyes—it was sufficient to cite them to justify a prohibition. Celinde’s confession to her lover reads as follows in the text:

I am unspeakably unhappy that the preacher Lyrer, who was to instruct me in the holy faith, captivated me with the folly of love, and now I hate him with all my soul, I cannot remember how everything went astray, I also loved Viren, but no more since I saw you, I tremble before the preacher and know not why, I serve his lust without any delight, all my love is directed towards you.163

Ahasver’s “inane babble” about his fellow faithful converting to Christianity consists of him reprimanding a dying Jew with these words:

So you leave your faith, yet still hate the Christian creed, willingly letting all be robbed, all, all except money, standing by the running water, plunging your full coffers deeply therein, small is only what you lose, the faith adorns you, delicate are the wings of faith, cannot lift such heavy burden, become poor, and you will be blessed.164

In the case of a collection of Arnim’s stories forbidden in 1812, we can limit our analysis to the novella Isabella of Egypt, which offered sufficient cause for the ban. Its narrative features Emperor Charles V as a highly questionable protagonist and was thus assured the censor’s keen attention.165

According to a legend, gypsies shunned the infant Jesus and his parents Mary and Joseph when they arrived in Egypt during their escape; this was because the Jews had allegedly stolen silver receptacles and taken them along during their exodus from Egypt. To atone for this iniquitous treatment of the holy family, a large number of gypsies embark on a pilgrimage to Europe, where they are faced with ill repute and persecution; for example, Duke Michael of Egypt, the young gypsy Bella’s father, is falsely accused of theft and executed. Bella proceeds to live with the old procuress Braka near Ghent, where she is eventually discovered and visited after dark by the young Charles V. Various events and complications prevent them from having intercourse, however. Bella begins to study magic books, enabling her to grow a male mandrake. Although the little root man’s behavior is malicious, Bella loves it like a child, with the narrator offering up improper comparisons with the divine power of creation: “God loved the world he had created just as much, that he sent it his only son.”166 With the help of a treasure discovered by the mandrake, the group is able to pose as a noble family traveling from abroad and settle in a knightly house in Ghent. They are joined by the Bärnhäuter (Bearskin), a man who is technically already dead but forced to serve for a few more years before his final salvation—a parallel to an eponymous figure in a fairy tale collected by the brothers Grimm. This Bearskin story-within-the-story is likewise extremely dubious due to an appearance of the pope: Bearskin had previously served a ghost for seven years, and during this time had painted the walls of a room at an inn with wonderful pictures while spending a night there. Visiting the same roadhouse while traveling, the pope is so enthused by these artworks that he takes Bearskin along to Rome, where he asks him to paint the present and the past based on an image of the future; all three are “natural” daughters of the pope. Bearskin completes the task and is allowed to marry the daughter “future” in return; her two sisters subsequently die of grief and become the ghost’s property.

In Ghent, Bella encounters Charles again, and the now fully grown mandrake applies for a position as marshal at his court. Charles dresses up as a doctor in order to approach Bella, but upon reaching her is only able to stammer the word “pulsetaking.”167 Bella divulges her provenance to him, causing him to believe she is a French princess who is to be offered to him incognito for marriage. However, he comes upon her as she is kissing her mandrake and is immediately stricken with jealousy. He has a Golem created in her likeness to take her place as the mandrake’s lover and distract him. Here too, the quasi-divine ability to generate life is emphasized, with the following remark made by the Jew fabricating the Golem:

Lord, why did God create man when everything else was done? Apparently because it was in man’s nature once the latter had dissociated itself from God. If it is in his nature, it stays in his nature and man, who is a likeness of God, can create something similar if he only knows the right words used by God in doing so. If there were still a Paradise, we could make as many men as there were clumps of soil within it […].168

The jealous mandrake marries Golem-Bella, and a peculiar wedding party comes together for the occasion: “[…] an old witch, a corpse who had to pretend to be alive, a beauty made of clay, and a young man cut out of a root sat in ceremonious harmony, harboring great notions of the joy of a life they were setting out to establish […].”169 In the meantime, Charles and Bella spend a blissful night together. The narrator speculates that Charles became the tirelessly striving, world-changing man and emperor he was because a permanent bond with Bella remained impossible. The young woman falls into bad company and subsequently seeks refuge at Charles’ court disguised as a page. Charles inadvertently spends several nights with Golem-Bella and begins to prefer the pure sensuousness to his more soulful relationship with the real Bella. Upon recognizing his mistake, he destroys the Golem, however. The mandrake, who is jealous but nevertheless important for Charles due to his ability to find treasure, is married to Bella “on the left hand,” forced to live separate from her, and appointed as official “imperial mandrake.”170 Bella gives birth to Charles’s desired son named Lrak, who is to unite the gypsies dispersed across Europe and lead them back to Egypt. She is subsequently abducted by her compatriots and taken back home. The mandrake is transformed into a ghost and henceforth pursues Charles. The emperor repents and castigates himself, and the narrator critically sums up his deeds, giving the entire story the appearance of an allegory: The two Bellas can be interpreted as representations of the religious schism, especially the specter of the Peace of Augsburg concluded in 1555.

[But we], whose forebears had suffered so much from his political system of faith, who were ever and ever angered and plagued by the mandrake’s despicable lust for money, and finally even perished in the division of Germany which he, out of a lack of pious unity and ardor, caused by trying to impede it, we feel reconciled with his nature by the recounted misfortune of his first love, by his remorse, and we recognize that only a saint could have succeeded on the throne at that time.171

Finally, the account of the fictitious burial of Charles V performed on August 20, 1558 “with the body alive and the eyes open” must have been considered unacceptable as well.172 It is described in parallel to Bella’s “court of death” on a pyramid, during which everyone is allowed to vocalize an opinion on her life. During this event, she is ultimately even proclaimed a saint by the narrator.

5.3 E.T.A. Hoffmann

Only the second volume of Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr (The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr), Hoffmann’s unfinished final novel, was banned. A brief review of this book appearing in 1822 will suffice for our purposes. For sure, the narrative strand featuring the tomcat figure from the title and describing the life and activities of students offered the censors plenty of cause for misgivings: For example, the attack by the guard dog Achilles and the gibe against the “Katzburschen” (fraternity tomcats) in Part III could be interpreted as allusions to the persecution of students by the police. Most likely, however, it was the court-related—respectively Kreisler-related—part of the story that ultimately triggered the prohibition. Aside from the salacious episodes with the professor’s wife and Baron Alzibiades von Wipp, the references to Angela, the illegitimate scion of the princely house, or the mentally deficient Prince Ignaz and the hysterical princess Hedwiga, the scenes in the abbey were presumably the decisive passages.

They feature the figure of Father Hilarius, a carefree idler who has an eye on “that pretty girl down in the nave”173 but is mostly just interested in drinking wine. The criticism of monastic life includes a reference to “monkish bad taste,” which is expressed in the flamboyant decoration of the abbot’s quarters; it also comprises accusations of opportunism when the abbot, a “pupil of the propaganda in Rome,” welcomes Father Cyprianus, the dubious emissary of the pope.174 The language becomes increasingly abrasive in Part IV when Kreisler recognizes that he has been betrayed by the abbot, that the latter “practiced mendacious trickery, and that all reasons he cited at the time to persuade him [Kreisler] to join the monastery merely served as pretexts for a hidden agenda, just the same as the ones he was now producing for the opposite.”175 Father Hilarius calls the papal emissary a “spiritual comedian”176 and is in fact correct to do so, since Cyprianus is an old sinner who chose a clerical career to process the trauma of having murdered his lover. This portrayal of monastic life and its remote control by dubious forces in Rome were obviously sufficient to cause a prohibition of the novel fragment.

Datura fastuosa, another late Hoffmann work, features erotic innuendo, as indicated by the plant mentioned in the title “with its lovely-scented large funnel-shaped flowers.”177 What is more, the figure of Fermino Valies is suspected of being the devil. Among other things, he reports having fled from a monastery, describing “the life in that strict order, whose rule was created by the imaginative madness of the highest fanaticism.”178

The student Eugenius marries his professor’s widow in order to gain unrestricted access to the deceased teacher’s gardens and continue his botanical life’s work. This exposes the young man to mockery by the community, and he is promptly challenged to a duel; on the other hand, he is susceptible to erotic temptation in the shape of the daughter of the supposed count Angelo Mora. Fermino, the seductive countess’ secretary, can therefore easily embarrass the married man with a polemic question about “the embraces of your Sara, your Ninon.”179 In Eugenius’ marriage, his wife assumes the place of a mother; such marriages of convenience were considered questionable by definition from a churchly perspective. His dreams of an angelic young bride promptly trigger a deep revulsion against the old professor’s widow in the young man. He subsequently pours a poisonous powder into the Datura fastuosa, his wife’s favorite plant, and it is only fortuitous circumstances that prevent him from becoming a murderer. Towards the end of the tale, Hoffmann added a barb targeting the Order of Jesus as well: The fake count and Fermino are traveling on the Jesuits’ behalf with the aim of recruiting new followers and staff. In this context, the order employs “the strangest mystifications […]; but nothing binds more firmly than crime, and Fermino therefore rightfully thought himself unable to ensure the youth’s allegiance in any better way than by awakening with might and main the slumbering passion of love, which would then lead him to the execrable act.”180

6 The Historical Novel

As the statistical analysis of the prohibition lists shows, works in French were the most frequent targets of censorial intervention besides German literature. During the Vormärz period, English and French novels were the most common works in other languages on the German-speaking book market. A total of 1,051 French and 199 English prose titles found their way onto the prohibition lists between 1815 and 1848.181 The apparent prevalence of French over English literature is confirmed when looking at the authors most often found on the lists: Anna Eliza Bray and James Fenimore Cooper had six forbidden titles each, Edward Bulwer-Lytton had seven, and George Payne Rainsford James had nine. Only the 17 banned works of Walter Scott are in the range of some of the most frequently prohibited French writers: Honoré de Balzac with 39 titles, Frédéric Soulié with 27, Paul de Kock with 25, Eugène Sue with 20, Paul Lacroix (“Le Bibliophile Jacob”) with 19, and George Sand with 17 titles. Vormärz literature featured the afterglow of the gothic novel (for example in works by Balzac and Jules Janin), the Newgate novels (Ainsworth, Bulwer-Lytton), tales of seafarers and pirates (Cooper, Frederick Chamier, Edouard Corbière), and novels on contemporary society (Balzac, de Kock, Sand, Soulié, Sue). For a long time, however, it was the historical novel that dominated the field of prose with works by William Harrison Ainsworth, Anna Eliza Bray, Bulwer-Lytton, Thomas Colley Grattan, G.P.R. James, Horace Smith, and Cooper—respectively Balzac, Alexandre Dumas, Léon Gozlan, Victor Hugo, Charles Victor d’ Arlincourt, Théophile Dinocourt, Victor Ducange, Paul Lacroix, Prosper Mérimée, “Mortonval,” and Xavier Boniface Saintine. In addition, a number of forgotten German authors like Luise Mühlbach, Karl Spindler, and Heinrich Zschokke wrote historical novels as well—and were met with as little indulgence by the censors as was the more renowned Ludwig Tieck.

6.1 Walter Scott

The archetype of all these authors—the man who had initiated the trend of the historical novel in the 1820s and 1830s—was not absent from the prohibition lists himself. The following 17 works by Walter Scott were banned between 1822 and 1841, either in their original versions or in French or German translations: Anne of Geierstein, The Fair Maid of Perth, The Crusade, The Pirate, Waverley, The Black Dwarf, The Talisman, Tales of my Grandfather, Ivanhoe, The Fortunes of Nigel, Paul’s Letters to His Kinsfolk, Marmion, Peveril of the Peak, Quentin Durward, A Legend of Montrose, Rob Roy, and Woodstock.

From a present-day perspective, Scott’s novels seem ideologically balanced and conciliatory, generally leaning towards an endorsement of kingship, established religion, and other values upheld in Austria rather than the opposite. This naturally begs the question what aspects of the inveterate Tory’s works the Austrian censorship considered so dangerous for the state and its subjects that it felt it had to deny them his bestsellers. An older study addressing this question182 merely contrasts the principles of Metternich and Francis I with the content of Scott’s books to draw conclusions regarding the latter’s objectionability. Like for many other works, the most relevant sources pertaining to the censorship of Scott’s novels—the censorial reports themselves—are unfortunately not available to us. But in the case of translations, there is a further reliable way of determining which passages were rejected by the authorities.

Theoretically, the inclusion of any one edition of a literary work in the prohibition lists automatically banned all further editions (including translations) as well. However, this rule could not be applied in practice if the various editions differed significantly from each other, as was the case with the German translations of Scott’s books. What was more, several separate Austrian complete editions were published in order to circumvent the proscription: one by Mausberger in Vienna from 1825 to 1830,183 a second by Strauß, likewise in Vienna, between 1825 and 1831,184 and a third by Kienreich in Graz from 1827 to 1830.185 All three included the forbidden titles. Perusal of these Austrian editions reveals that they contain numerous abridgements and alterations, and that they were partly based on existing German translations—sometimes precisely the translations that were included in the prohibition lists. Since reprinted editions generally featured identical text versions, the deletions and changes are particularly obvious. In all likelihood, they are the result of censorial intervention. As stipulated in the censorship regulations, the Austrian publishers presumably submitted the German translations to the authorities as “manuscripts” and subsequently received “expurgated” versions for use as printer’s copies. Perhaps the publishers also assigned their own editors to the task of preemptively abridging and redacting the texts. But regardless of whether the process was a formal one or pure self-censorship, the links between the apparent changes and expectable censorial intentions are very clear.

One of Scott’s novels with an Austrian version created on the basis of a forbidden German translation was Woodstock; or, the Cavalier. A Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred and Fifty One (1826). The key theme of this tale set in the English Civil War, namely the religious and political conflicts between Oliver Cromwell and the supporters of the later King Charles II, is ideally suited for identifying the characteristics that caused the censors to deny the Austrian readership many of Scott’s works in their original versions. The first aspect of note is that the three Austrian editions featured different deletions: Wordings or sections removed in one edition were often allowed by the reviewer or editor of another; there was only occasional consensus regarding passages to be eliminated. The two versions of Woodstock published by Mausberger in Vienna186 and Kienreich in Graz187 were treated with comparative leniency by the authorities. The edition published by Strauß in Vienna is best suited for our purposes, since it was based on a template included in the prohibition list and features the greatest number of abridgements.188 Disregarding the missing chapter mottos, which other translators likewise dispensed with, as well as occasional orthographic and stylistic corrections, the Strauß edition was edited in around 120 places, ranging from the omission of individual words to the deletion of sections several pages long. Categorizing the interventions by censorial motives, we see that they are more or less equally divided into theologically and politically objectionable passages (knowing full well, of course, that these two areas cannot be strictly separated). A scant few edits pertain to moral questions—but they may just as well be assigned to the realm of the politically unacceptable, since the novel deals with the excesses of the royalist cavaliers as well as a Cromwell follower.

The very first chapter, which presents a controversy between the Calvinist Presbyterians and the independent Cromwell supporters in the Woodstock church, already elicited numerous interventions, thus offering a suitable overview of the character of the censorial deletions. To provide an impression of the frequency of the edits, the following pages will at least mention all significant deletions within the first chapter. The first of them pertained to a jest made by Scott in his description of the changes in the composition of the congregation, pointing in particular to the fact that the older noble families loyal to the king stopped attending church during the civil war:

Bevis [the dog of royalist Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley], indeed, fell under the proverb which avers, “He is a good dog which goes to church;” for, bating an occasional temptation to warble along with the accord, he behaved himself as decorously as any of the congregation, and returned as much edified, perhaps, as some of them.189

Scott proceeds to describe the proponents and the standpoint of the Puritans, who rejected not only the Catholic and Anglican rites but the Presbyterian system as well as a form of established church. The censor deleted the following portrayal of their views:

The presumption of these learned Thebans being in exact proportion to their ignorance, the last was total, and the first boundless. Their behaviour in the church was anything but reverential or edifying. Most of them affected a cynical contempt for all that was only held sacred by human sanction—the church was to these men but a steeple-house, the clergy man, an ordinary person; her ordinances, dry bran and sapless pottage, unfitted for the spiritualized palates of the saints, and the prayer, an address to Heaven, to which each acceded or not, as in his too critical judgment he conceived fit.190

When the Presbyterian minister demands that the independent zealot attempting to prevent him from entering the pulpit respect his vestments and ordination, the latter replies (deleted passages in parentheses):

“I see no more to respect in the cut of thy cloak, or in the cloth of which it is fashioned,” said the other, (“than thou didst in the Bishop’s rocket—they were black and white, thou art blue and brown). Sleeping (dogs) every one of you, lying down, loving to slumber—shepherds that starve the flock, but will not watch it, each looking to his own gain […]”.191

After finally succeeding in crowding the minister out of the pulpit, the independent speaker chooses a passage from Psalm 45 (“Gird thy sword upon thy thigh …”) as the motto of his sermon. The German translator had originally used Martin Luther’s translation of the psalm in the body text and added the text of the English translation chosen by Scott (translated back into German) in a footnote. The Austrian edition placed the German translation of Scott’s English version in the body text and eliminated Luther’s translation.192 It was not just the introduction itself that appeared suspect to the censor, but parts of the sermon as well. The preacher applies the verses aimed at King David and the coming of the Messiah to Cromwell, and the successes of Cromwell’s sword so drastically emphasized in this fashion were promptly deleted:

You were all too busy making whittles for the lazy crapemen of Oxford, bouncing priests, whose eyes were so closed up with fat, that they could not see Destruction till she had them by the throat. But I can tell you where the sword was forged, and tempered, and welded, and grinded, and polished. When you were, as I said before, making whittles for false priests, and daggers for dissolute G—d d—n-me cavaliers, to cut the people of England’s throat with—it was forged at Long Marston Moor, where blows went faster than ever rung hammer on anvil—and it was tempered at Naseby, in the best blood of the cavaliers—and it was welded in Ireland against the walls of Drogheda—and it was grinded on Scottish lives at Dunbar—and now of late it was polished in Worcester, till it shines as bright as the sun in the middle heaven, and there is no light in England that shall come nigh unto it.193

Step by step, the preacher approaches his ultimate goal—the denouncement of kingship in general, and in particular that of the legitimate heir to the throne, the later Charles II, along with his supporters (deleted passages once again in parentheses):

You […] are you not now plotting, or ready to plot, for restoring, as ye call it, of the young Man, the unclean son of the slaughtered tyrant—the fugitive after whom the true hearts of England are now following, that they may take and slay him?—“Why should your rider turn his bridle our way?” say you in your hearts; (“we will none of him; if we may help ourselves, we will rather turn us to wallow in the mire of monarchy, with the sow that was washed but newly.” Come, men of Woodstock, I will ask, and do you answer me. Hunger ye still after the flesh-pots of the monks of Godstow? and ye will say, Nay;—but wherefore, except that the pots are cracked and broken, and the fire is extinguished wherewith thy oven used to boil?)194

The preacher is interrupted by a royalist, who is rebuffed with the following words that were likewise edited out of the Austrian version:

One of your park-keepers, I warrant, that can never forget they have borne C.R. upon their badges and bugle-horns, even as a dog bears his owner’s name on his collar—a pretty emblem for Christian men! But the brute beast hath the better of him,—the brute weareth his own coat, and the caitiff thrall wears his master’s. I have seen such a wag make a rope’s end wag ere now.195

The final deleted passage in the Cromwell supporter’s speech pertains to the Woodstock denizens’ habit of shooting game in the park attached to the local royal residence. He alludes to rumors of a parliamentary resolution slating the king’s estate near Oxford for destruction and sale.

And ye have a princely Lodge therein, and call the same a Royal Lodge; and ye have an oak which you call the King’s Oak; and ye steal and eat the venison of the park; and ye say, “This is the king’s venison, we will wash it down with a cup to the king’s health—better we eat it than those round-headed commonwealth knaves.” But listen unto me, and take warning. For these things come we to controversy with you. And our name shall be a cannon-shot, before which your Lodge, in the pleasantness whereof ye take pastime, shall be blown into ruins; and we will be as a wedge to split asunder the King’s Oak into billets to heat a brown baker’s oven […].196

This is the last of the censorial interventions in the first chapter, which summarily suffice to illustrate their primary intentions: Their foremost goal was to protect the Catholic faith as well as the creed of the English royalists, between which analogies could easily be drawn, against denigration by the Puritans. The latter articulate their views and positions on numerous occasions in Woodstock, frequently emphasizing the perceived superiority of their religious convictions with drastic statements. For example, they consider themselves immune to apparitions and other spooks, as “devils or evil spirits [will not] come against one who bears in his bosom the word of truth, in the very language in which it was first dictated.”197 They also take pride in their handling of the Bible, which they hold in high esteem, but “not in the wicked sense of periapts, or spells, as the blinded Papists employ them, together with the sign of the cross, and other fruitless forms.”198 The expression of their belief that “sanctity resides in the intention and the act, not in the buildings or fonts, or the forms of worship”199 was deleted from the text, as were Cromwell’s words claiming that it was a misunderstanding by the Presbyterians to assume “that churches are tall large houses built by masons, and hearers are men—wealthy men, who pay tithes, the larger, as well as the less; and that the priests, men in black gowns or gray cloaks, who receive the same, are in guerdon the only distributors of Christian blessings.”200

Besides preventing the revilement of established churches, the censorial authorities also sought to suppress overly fierce attacks on the monarch and his supporters, or on the institution of kingship in general. Even passing mentions of regicide were deleted, especially when it was welcomed from the perspective of the followers of Cromwell. Several statements by Cromwell himself regarding kingship were also considered too provocative—for example, when he reproaches the royalist cavaliers as follows:

Fools! are there no words made of letters that would sound as well as Charles Stuart, with that magic title beside them? Why, the word King is like a lighted lamp, that throws the same bright gilding upon any combination of the alphabet, and yet you must shed your blood for a name!201

Elsewhere, Cromwell attributes royalty exclusively to military skill:

Yet what can we see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier? I grudge that one man should be honoured and followed, because he is the descendant of a victorious commander, while less honour and allegiance is paid to another, who, in personal qualities, and in success, might emulate the founder of his rivals dynasty.202

Allusions to political mistakes or moral misconduct by a king were likewise not allowed to stand: The royal hunting lodge in Woodstock, for example, is referred to as “many a rare monument of old wickedness” that is to be destroyed to the end “that the land may be cleansed from the memory thereof, neither remember the iniquity with which their fathers have sinned.”203

By the same token by which negative aspects of the portrayal of the king and his followers fell victim to the censor’s quill, some passages characterizing Cromwell were apparently considered too favorable. The usurper and murderer of the king could not become “the saviour of the state […] under the aid of Providence,” as was the case in an intentionally flattering letter by one of his supporters,204 nor “our great leader, with whom Providence has gone forth in this great national controversy” and “our excellent and victorious General Oliver, whom Heaven long preserve.”205

At first glance, many of these alterations made to the text of the German translation may appear incidental and insignificant. Summarily, however, they have a considerable impact on the structure of the novel and its potential effect on the reader. The changes made to the characterizations of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell as well as their respective followers shift Scott’s carefully crafted balance in favor of the royalists. It was not enough for the censors that the Puritans are described with a mildly ironic undertone throughout Woodstock, nor that the plot refutes their ideas and ends with their defeat. The royalist party had to maintain its superiority even during the time of its greatest distress. Scott’s account of the developments from a balance set askew by the Puritan takeover to the restoration of the kingdom was considered undesirable as a whole. Both the story and the actual history were thus robbed of their dynamics: Where Scott kept the plot alive and moving by way of conflicting ideas and principles, the expurgated Austrian edition supplanted the ebb and flow of unfolding events with the changelessness of the time-transcending ideals of monarchy and state religion. And where Scott described conflicts resulting from the clash of convictions, the censored version left only personal disputes. The novel’s overall conflict potential was significantly reduced, and the removal of the sharply worded and metaphor-laden verbal aggression used by Scott to evoke the atmosphere of the civil war blurred the sharp contours of the parties. This applied to both sides, however; it would be incorrect to assume that Scott’s depiction of Cromwell’s party as particularly heinous and caught up in political and religious extremes correlated with the interests of Austria respectively its censorship.

In searching for the motivations causing the authorities to include many of Walter Scott’s novels on the prohibition lists, we should first remind ourselves that liberal educators of the people attributed to historical novels the ability to help readers achieve awareness of their “civic standpoint and right” and enlighten them with regard to the “sum totals of the thoughts, attitudes, ambitions, drives, and vital forces that manifest themselves in a certain process of things with fixed causes and effects.” Hermann Münzenberger, the author of the quotes above (which clearly apply to Scott’s novels), goes on to state even more explicitly:

It is only this proper recognition of our political standpoint in the world and among men, which we have obtained through our own education and by our glance cast onto the canvas of the world, that provides us with the proper and worthy concept of state, of nation and prince, and by the same means allows us to fill in, even out, and make approachable the great divide between throne and hovel. […] But once we have acquired the proper concept of nation and prince, then gazing upon reality, we can also ask ourselves: Is this concept truly recognized? Is it realized in life? Not as an ideal, but in the striving for the ideal, properly comprehended? Here the novel offers itself to us as a guide to the court.206

The historical novel thus possesses the potential to enlighten, since it makes historical developments traceable and the current circumstances appear alterable. As evidenced before by the impact of Werther, the boundary between the empirical reality of life and literary fiction was not as firmly delimited as one would assume today. A reenactment of the events of 1651 in Woodstock in the Austria of the 1820s by readers ignoring or overlooking all of the signals employed by Scott to distance himself from Cromwell’s party would have been disastrous indeed.

Although Scott went down in literary history as a respectable Tory and implicitly welcomes the restoration in Woodstock, there is at least one passage in which he makes it clear that he saw mistakes on both sides—or at least that he was not prepared to exonerate one party from all blame regarding the calamitous historical developments whose driving factors he set out to expose. It comes as no surprise that the Austrian censorship cropped this passage as well (deleted sections once again in parentheses):

(It was wonderful to behold what a strange variety of mistakes and errors, on the part of the King and his Ministers, on the part of the Parliament and their leaders, on the part of the allied kingdoms of Scotland and England towards each other, had combined to rear up men of such dangerous opinions and interested characters among the arbiters of the destiny of Britain.)

Those who argue for party’s sake, will see all the faults on the one side, without deigning to look at those on the other; those who study history for instruction, will perceive that nothing but the want of concession on either side, and the deadly height to which the animosity of the King’s and Parliament’s parties had arisen, could have so totally overthrown the well-poised balance of the English constitution. But we hasten to quit political reflections (, the rather that ours, we believe, will please neither Whig nor Tory).207

6.2 James Fenimore Cooper

An example of a forbidden historical sea novel is James Fenimore Cooper’s The Jack O’Lantern, or the Privateer, which relates the adventures of a French privateering vessel routinely confounding its opponents off Elba and the Italian coast in the years 1798/99. These adversaries are primarily the English, though Austria is not entirely spared either. The majority of the events take place in Porto Ferrajo on Elba, a “port of his Royal and Imperial Highness.”208 Among the people duped by the French privateer captain Raoul are the Podesta of Porto Ferrajo and the Vice-Governor of Elba—essentially Austrian officials in the broadest sense, since the island was under Habsburg rule as part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Although the Frenchman’s heroics are thus in part to the detriment of Austrian interests, his military undertakings alone would hardly have resulted in the novel’s prohibition. But Raoul is also a declared freethinker who repeatedly makes derogatory remarks about the Catholic Church and its representatives. He has the following to say about the pope, for instance:

I found him a peaceful, venerable, and I firmly believe a good old man […]; but only a man. No infallibility could I see about him; but a set of roguish cardinals, and other plotters of mischief, who were much better calculated to set Christians by the ears than to lead them to Heaven, surrounded his chair.209

This is counterbalanced by the captain’s pious lover, whose attempts to persuade him to accept the faith remain in vain, even as she ties her consent to marrying him to his conversion. This hindrance provides Raoul with a reason to vilify the clergy:

Peste! These priests are scourges sent to torment men in every shape. They inflict hard lessons in childhood, teach asperity in youth, and make us superstitious and silly in age. I do not wonder that my brave compatriots drove them from France; they did nothing but devour like locusts, and deface the beauties of Providence.”210

Raoul’s criticism of religion is supported by his friend and comrade-in-arms Ithuel Bolt, an American adventurer and inveterate republican and Protestant. Bolt speaks out frankly with regard to the prevailing opinion on the Catholic rites in America: “Look here, Signore,—we don’t call your ceremonies, and images, and robes, and ringing of bells, and bowing and scraping, a religion at all.”211 In words reminiscent of the ones used by the Puritans in Scott’s Woodstock, he describes the veneration of saints as “idolatry, the awfullest of all sins, and the one to which every ra’ al Christian gives the widest bairth. I would rather worship this flask of wine, any day, than worship the best saint on your parson’s book.”212

The censor’s opinion that such statements were reprehensible and dangerous was obviously not countervailed by the fact that Cooper’s narrator occasionally intervenes to rein in the Protestant firebrand, for example by pointing out that one should expect that the “American, who has lived long enough to witness the summersets which have been thrown in the practices and creeds of most of the more modern sects of his own country, within the last quarter of a century, would have acquired something like a suitable respect for the more stable and venerable divisions of the Christian world,”213 and explicitly describing him as a fanatical sectarian: “His mind was stored with the most vulgar accusations of an exceedingly vulgar set of sectarian distinctions; and he fancied it a high proof of Protestant perfection, to hold all the discarded usages in abhorrence.”214

6.3 George Sand

The first French representative of the historical novel to be discussed here is George Sand, with a work partly set in Vienna and referring to Austria in less than gracious fashion. In Consuelo, Sand assails the monarchy and its deputies forthrightly, her main criticism being that absolute power corrupts a person’s character. The following words are applied to Maria Theresa, for instance: “that she was proceeding down the fateful path of absolutism, which slowly eradicates faith even in the most generous minds.”215 Consuelo and the figure of Joseph Haydn come to the conclusion that the empress is letting herself become corrupted by the moral dissemblance prevailing at her court: “So there is hypocrisy at the court of Vienna? Consuelo asked. Between you and me, Joseph replied quietly, I fear that our great Maria Theresa has been slightly infected by it.”216 The gifted singer Consuelo is unable to gain a foothold in Vienna because her detractors purport an amorous relationship with Haydn. Her profligate competitor Corilla, on the other hand, triumphs because she claims to be married. During an audience, Maria Theresa offers to sponsor Consuelo if she agrees to marry Haydn. Sand accuses the empress of following the development of love intrigues machinated by her chancellor, Prince Kaunitz, with great interest and attempting to morally sugarcoat these goings-on by eventually marrying off actresses and singers. She derides this pursuit as “matrimoniomanie.”217 Furthermore, she recognizes hypocrisy in the practice of welcoming converts with open arms even if their history is far from illustrious or in fact includes criminal activity. Sand offers the story of the Margravine of Bayreuth, who had her own daughter raped by a footman out of jealousy, as an example. Finally, the Austrian sovereign also exhibits double standards in her treatment of the infamous Pandur Trenck: Once she is no longer in need of his services, she drops him, citing atrocities he had committed in Bohemia during the War of the Austrian Succession, and appropriates his assets.

But Maria Theresa is not the only monarch to be criticized in Consuelo: With reference to the cruel recruitment methods of the Prussian army and the inhumane drill practiced within it—respectively to Frederick the Great’s responsibility for this situation—Consuelo concludes ironically: “[…] the kings are always right, and they are innocent of the injustice committed to please them.”218 The king himself suggests that these circumstances would have to lead to revolt sooner or later in a bon mot purported by Sand: When his nephew marvels at the extraordinary accumulation of strapping young men during a parade, Frederick replies that he himself is far more astonished by the fact “that we, you and I, are safe in their midst.”219

Considering the ignoble deeds of various rulers described in the novel, it comes as no surprise that the protagonists occasionally express their corresponding misgivings in harsh words that an assiduous censor could not allow to stand. Maria Theresa gets off rather lightly when she is referred to as a “commère”220 (gossipmonger) by Consuelo for her involvement in numerous court intrigues, while Frederick the Great is called an “ogre” with regard to the circumstances in his army.221

Austria figures in the book as a power of political and religious oppression under which the Bohemian people in particular are suffering. Through her protagonists, Sand offers a correspondingly tendentious summary of the Bohemians’ heroic but as yet unsuccessful fight against the Austrian (respectively Roman) yoke from the time of Jan Hus to the contemporary present, the years after the War of the Austrian Succession. Thus indoctrinated, Consuelo is impressed by the drastic portrayals of the misdeeds of monks and generals, and she professes: “[…] I hate Austria with all my heart already.”222

Albert, the youngest scion of the von Rudolstadts, who submitted to Austria and converted to Catholicism during the Thirty Years’ War, is one of the key advocates of the people and a confirmed enemy of the kings and popes. He sees himself as a reincarnation of the Hussite Jan Žižka, canvassing the ideal of poverty and advocating communion under both kinds along with other heretical notions. The history of the family’s conversion organized by a roguish priest had to appear objectionable enough—let alone the direct attacks on the Catholic Church, which according to one female protagonist “was always desirous of the lifeblood of nations, of the work and the sweat of the poor.”223 Albert himself explains the decision of the Council of Basel to bar laypersons from receiving communion by the chalice:

The Council of Basel had forbidden giving laypersons the blood of Christ in the shape of wine because—note the ingenious reasoning!—his body and blood were contained in both species and therefore by eating the one, one was simultaneously drinking the other as well. Do you understand?224

Consuelo scoffs in response: “I believe the Council Fathers failed to understand themselves.”225

The heresies of the Hussites cross over into the realm of superstition, the evoking of which will likewise have been viewed as offensive by the censors. Last but not least, Consuelo repeatedly taps the pool of gothic novel themes. An example are the nightmarish events taking place in the system of underground tunnels leading from the Rudolstadts’ castle to Schreckenstein, a site of old crimes. Although Sand explicitly distances herself from Ann Radcliffe, the intertextual links between her book and typical gothic novels are readily apparent. Besides the mentioned inacceptable passages, this similarity provided the authorities with an additional argument for removing Consuelo from circulation.

6.4 Alexandre Dumas

The next examined work serves as an example of a historical novel that contained no direct references to Austria but had the censors worried about readers drawing analogies. Alexandre Dumas’ novel Sylvandire is set in the milieu of the disempowered and impoverished landed gentry suffering under Louis XIV’s rule, which concentrated all wealth and societal grandeur in Versailles. Despite representing merely a “paltry little opposition,”226 these noble families nevertheless constitute a challenge for the absolute monarchy. One such oppositional clan are the d’Anguilhem residing near Loches on the Indre, a tributary of the Loire. The narrator and protagonists repeatedly make derogatory remarks about the camarilla in Versailles. In d’Anguilhem’s opinion, all careers including those in the military are reserved for “the favorites of Madame de Maintenon [Louis XIV’s mistress], of Père Lachaise [the king’s confessor], and of M. du Maine [one of Louis’ sons].” It is no wonder that the baron “despised the old woman, the Jesuit, and the bastards with all his heart.”227 The king himself is harshly criticized as “the old machine,” “the old, always ill-humored king,” and “this great cadaver who was called Louis XIV […] and struck by the hand of God with his sons and grandsons.”228 The relevant passages, of which only a handful are cited here, certainly satisfied the definition of lèse-majesté of a legitimate monarch. By comparison, the satirical songs aimed at the Marquise de Maintenon, which included the following skit, must have appeared almost insignificant from the censorial perspective:

Nothing that the Maintenon does,
Will ever end well.
This sempiternal old woman,
Has declared war on the neighbors.
And I believe that Pulcinella
Will soon be Finance Minister.229

It is not just the characterization of the king and his courtly circles that is extremely irreverent, however—his actions likewise lack dignity and equity. A certain Comte d’ Olibarus is incarcerated for ten years for stating “that the king was becoming blind because he was seeing everything only through Madame de Maintenon’s eyes,”230 and the main character suffers the same fate because a courtier desires his wife Sylvandire as lover.

A further dubious aspect of the novel is its portrayal of religion and its representatives. The youthful hero Roger d’Anguilhem discovers his love for Constance, a neighbor’s daughter who is thereupon sent to a convent by her parents to protect her from his affections. Roger outwits the mother superior in order to visit his beloved, however, and after he has been caught and put in a Jesuit convent himself, he dupes the educators there as well to escape to Constance once more. During this time, he learns to feign piety to help him reach his goals. Whenever the book tells of rapturous religious feelings experienced by the two lovers, devoutness and more mundane stirrings of love intermingle in unseemly fashion. The only function of convents in Sylvandire is to shelter persons from undesired courtship or to accommodate frustrated lovers—but they clearly represent the less attractive alternative. After eventually having to abandon his pursuit of Constance due to his parents’ resistance, Roger decides to become a Jesuit even though the confreres seem like a “terrible herd of black men” to him.231

Likewise somewhat suspect is Roger’s approach to the sacrament of marriage. He reneges on his promise to marry his beloved Constance and instead weds Sylvandire, the daughter of a corrupt advocate who makes the union a condition for a court decision in favor of the d’Anguilhem in an inheritance dispute. After being cheated on by Sylvandire and imprisoned at her lover’s instigation, Roger gets his revenge by selling her to a Tunisian pirate and human trafficker and having her pronounced dead, which finally allows him to marry Constance. But Sylvandire returns to Paris after an adventurous journey with her purchaser, who has since become her new husband, and threatens Roger’s newfound happiness. Ultimately, a deal is struck under which she waives any future entitlements of a Madame d’Anguilhem in return for a financial settlement.

It should be mentioned in Roger’s defense that he is plagued by his conscience with regard to his bigamous relationship—as he is earlier concerning his disloyalty to Constance; ultimately, however, one of the main reasons for his hesitation to align himself with courtly cynicism is the fact that bigamy is punishable by death. Although Roger (and with him the “pure” love) triumphs over the corrupt courtly camp, he has to resort to using the latter’s own means to beat it. While in prison, he realizes that fighting the honest fight is pointless and learns to dissemble in worldly matters as he previously did in religious ones, striking from ambush when the situation is opportune. Upon entering the treacherous arena of the Parisian court, the squire quickly understands the rules prevailing there. The narrator has the following appreciative words to say about Roger’s coup: “The knight Roger Tancrède d’Anguilhem had quite simply sold his wife to a Tunisian corsair […]. Not a bad maneuver for a provincial.”232

Finally, Roger also claims the blessing of God for his machinations. Upon receiving the message that his friend has killed Sylvandire’s lover in a duel, he reasons: “There is apparently a god for the decent people, for this god delivers my pursuers to me one by one. There is a reason why the proverb says: Help yourself, then God will help you.”233

7 English Plays

Printed theater plays for reading represented a comparatively small section of the book market and the prohibition lists. By limiting ourselves to English-language drama, we can further reduce the number of relevant titles considerably. The database of books forbidden in Austria between 1750 and 1848234 includes 1268 theatrical texts, of which only around 54 are in English or translated from English.235 Perusing the list of banned English plays in chronological order, we first come across Shakespeare, whose King John was disallowed in a translation published in Altona in 1796. Other proscribed works by the Bard were Richard III and/or King Henry VIII,236 an adaptation of Hamlet for puppet theater,237 and an apocryphal piece entitled Der lustige Teufel von Edmonton (The Merry Devil of Edmonton), which was included in nineteenth-century Shakespeare editions and which even Ludwig Tieck still assumed might have been written by the master of Elizabethan drama.238 Likewise on the prohibition lists was a French translation of Ben Jonson’s comedy Volpone (1605).239 Less prominent representatives of early seventeenth-century theater were Henry Chettle with his play The Tragedy of Hoffmann: or a Revenge for a Father (1602, printed 1631), which is considered a response to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, translated into German (Der Herzog von Danzig oder die Rache für einen Vater [The Duke of Danzig or the Revenge for a Father]) as well as Philip Massinger, whose collected works in four volumes240 were forbidden. The author duo of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, which was popular throughout Europe, was also banned. For the two Jacobite dramatists, it was volumes 1 and 2 of their collected dramatic works edited by Karl Ludwig Kannegießer in 1808, which contained the plays Die Braut (The Bride) and Die Seereise (The Sea Voyage) in volume 1 and Der Beste Mann (The Best Man) and Die Geschwister (The Siblings) in volume 2, as well as The Fair Maid of the Inn (1625) in a translation from 1836 entitled Das schöne Schenkmädchen (The Beautiful Barmaid) that were prohibited in Austria.

Among the late seventeenth-century authors, we encounter John Dryden with The State of Innocence and Fall of Man (1674), an adaptation of Milton’s biblical epic for opera that was never performed. William Wycherley’s most famous play The Plain-Dealer (1676), inspired by Molière’s Misanthrope, is a work of early restoration comedy. Internationally little-known playwrights of this epoch who made it onto the prohibition lists are John Crowne with his play Sir Courtly Nice, or: It Cannot Be (1685), Thomas Shadwell, whose Shakespeare adaptation The History of Timon of Athens or the Man-Hater (1687) was banned, and George Granville, 1st Baron Landsdowne, whose She-Gallants (1695) was forbidden both in its original version and in the German translation.241 Likewise proscribed in original and German versions was Thomas Otway’s Friendship in Fashion (1678),242 whereas only the German translation (entitled Kalliste) of Nicholas Rowe’s The Fair Penitent (1702/03) was disallowed. The eminent representatives of the restoration comedy—John Vanbrugh, William Congreve, and George Farquhar—are naturally also to be found on the lists. Vanbrugh’s best-known plays The Provok’d Wife (1697) and The Relapse (1696) saw their original versions banned, and the latter its German translation as well.243 Questioning the institution of marital fidelity had already caused much commotion in England and given rise to treatises like Jeremy Collier’s A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage. Collier’s contemporary and specializer in the comedy of manners, William Congreve, incurred the Austrian censors’ disapproval with his works The Old Batchelour (1694) and Der Arglistige, a translation of The Double-Dealer (1693), along with the English original and a German version of Love for Love (1695). Farquhar’s plays Sir Harry Wildair (1701) and The Recruiting Officer (1706) were likewise forbidden, and Colley Cibber’s early work Love’s Last Shift, or The Fool in Fashion (1696) can be mentioned in this lineup as well. The majority of Susanna Centlivre’s oeuvre was produced around a decade later; her play The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret originally appeared in 1714 and was eventually banned in Austria in a 1759 edition.

For the Georgian era, the prohibition lists include Henry Fielding’s The Wedding-Day (1729) and the resolutely anti-Catholic The Old Debauchees (written in 1732, revised and printed under the title The Debauchee or the Jesuit Caught in 1745). Both plays had their German translations forbidden.244 The Minor (1760), a satire on the Methodist preacher George Whitefield by mid-eighteenth-century actor and dramatist Samuel Foote, was likewise disallowed. David Garrick, who was no doubt better known for his acting than his writing, saw the German translation of his play Bon Ton, or High Life Above Stairs (1775)245 prohibited in Austria. Created at roughly the same time were Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Duenna (1775) and A Trip to Scarborough (1777), whose French respectively German version were banned.246

Among the best-known British playwrights of the nineteenth century to be found on the lists is Lord Byron. His verse dramas Cain, Sardanapalus, Marino Faliero (all 1821), and The Deformed Transformed (1824) were rejected by the Habsburg censors. As we have seen in chapter 3.2., Byron was frowned upon in Austria not only because of his works but because of his political activity (participation in the Greek War of Independence, contacts among the Italian Carbonari, …), and was under police surveillance. His close colleague and friend Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote The Cenci, whose German translation (Stuttgart 1819) can be found on the index. Walter Scott saw not only seventeen of his novels but also a play, The House of Aspen (1829), forbidden. Likewise on the list is Mary Russell Mitford with her tragedy Rienzi (1828) in a Berlin reprint of 1837. Finally, Edward Bulwer-Lytton appears with The Duchess de la Vallière (1837), a play dealing with one of the numerous mistresses of Louis XIV who wavered between excesses and moral contrition before joining a convent.

7.1 Beaumont and Fletcher

The German translation (Weimar 1836) of Beaumont and Fletcher’s drama The Fair Maid of the Inn (1625) received a verdict of “erga schedam” in November 1836. In fact, the authorship of this play included in the so-called “Beaumont and Fletcher canon” is uncertain: The editors of Dramatic Works at Cambridge University Press assume that Philip Massinger and John Webster were at least co-authors,247 while the Oxford Companion to English Literature speculates that “The Fair Maid of the Inn was probably the result of a collaboration between Fletcher and Massinger, possibly with the assistance of Jonson, Webster and Rowley.”248

The drama features two young men who have grown up with fake identities: Cesario is the biological son of a falconer’s family foisted on his supposed father, the Florentine admiral Alberto who desperately wanted a child, with good intentions by the latter’s wife Mariana. Bianca, on the other hand, is the daughter of Juliana and Baptista, a captain in the Florentine fleet and friend of Alberto’s. She had been placed in an innkeeper’s custody after her father was taken as a prisoner of war by the Turks. Following various convoluted developments and the revealing of their actual origins, all involved parties receive their preferred lovers. After Alberto has allegedly drowned, Mariana discloses Cesario’s true identity to assure her daughter Clarissa’s inheritance. The Duke of Florence thereupon requests that she marry her foster son to spare him the social descent. Mariana refuses to enter into such an immoral relationship, but the libertine Cesario suddenly wishes to wed her and expresses his intent with drastic words. Despite seeking Bianca’s favor only moments before, he now prompts Mariana to remember her wedding night with his foster father Alberto and do the same with him:

Thou com’st as I could wish; lend me a Lip
As soft and melting as when old Alberto,
After his first Night’s Trial, taking farewel
Of thy Youth’s Conquest, tasted.
Mar. You’re uncivil.
Cesa. I will be Lord of my own Pleasures, Madam
Y’ are mine, mine freely; come, no whimpering henceforth,
New con the Lessons of Loves best Experience,
That our Delights may meet in equal Measure
Of Resolutions and Desires; this Sullenness
Is scurvy, I like it not.249

Cesario’s abrupt shift from Bianca to Mariana and the circumstance that the latter is presumptively a widow still in mourning had to be considered objectionable by the censor. Shortly thereafter, when Mariana delivers a well-deserved rebuff and suggests a sham marriage to obey the duke’s order instead, Cesario begins to take interest in her daughter Clarissa. Although his attitude towards women is now sufficiently characterized by his behavior, he insists on clearly expressing it himself as well: “What handsome Toys are maids to play with?”250

While Cesario is portrayed as a veritable rake, at least in terms of his views and intentions, the host couple who have taken Bianca in effectively become matchmakers. Shady figures frequent their tavern, with most of them after Bianca—and since he depends on them for his income, the innkeeper turns a blind eye to these goings-on. “These are your In-comes,” his wife reminds him, “Remember your own Proverb, that, the Savour Of every Gain smelt sweet; thank no body but your Self for this Trouble.”251 He thereupon asks his foster child: “For an Host, Girl, Girl, Girl, which of all this Gally-maufry of Mans flesh appears tolerable T’ thy Choice? speak shortly, and speak truly: I Must and will know, must and will; hear ye that?”252 Being only thirteen years old, the girl does not dare to object. A wedding with one of the suitors (a tailor, a dancer, a lawyer’s secretary, a donkey herder, a jester, and a schoolmaster) does not take place, however: For the candidates are ostensibly examined with regard to their suitability by another pair of guests, the wandering mountebank Forobosco and his assistant, who in reality simply con and swindle them.

Forobosco, who claims to be a successful alchemist in a pact with the devil, must have been a highly questionable character in the eyes of the censorial authorities. The schoolmaster tells him of his wish to establish new sects in Amsterdam, which he expects will generate ample profits. As cults already abound in the city, he imagines the undertaking to be easy and asks Forobosco for suggestions regarding the alignment of the sects to be founded. The assistant named Rüpel (ruffian; in the original: Clown) then reveals Forobosco to be a swindler, challenges him, and lets the alleged conjurer demonstrate his magic on him. Among other things, he reports that the alchemist had used beer soup as a universal remedy in the Netherlands and called it his “Catholick Med’cin; sure the Dutch smelt out ’T was butter’d Beer, else they would never have Endur’d it for the Name’s sake.” Here the translator inserted one of numerous footnotes: “As is well known, anything called Catholic was as dislikeable to the Dutchman as he otherwise was, and presumably still is, a friend of beer soups.”253 Despite sounding reasonably factual, such comments from the Protestant perspective were considered inappropriate in Austria. Even more objectionable were jests concerning violations of the requirement to fast on Good Friday: When Forobosco bets that he can make Rüpel dance by summoning the dark forces, his assistant replies that this is entirely impossible, for he is too heavy: “I have too solid a Body, and my Belief Is like a Puritan’s on Good-Friday, too high fed With Capon.”254 He also claims that Forobosco had previously pursued his unsavory dealings in England under the name of Dr. Lambstone. Here, too, the translator added a footnote: “Presumably an allusion to the famous Dr. Lamb, great sorcerer under Jacob I.”255 This link between the dark arts and a royal court was surely unacceptable to the censor as well, especially since Forobosco reports that the ladies there had beleaguered him by the dozens in order to “further their Lust, or revenge Injuries.”256

7.2 Shakespeare, Adapted by Johann Friedrich Schink

Our second example will be Johann Friedrich Schink’s German adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet for performance as a puppet play, published in 1799. The book was banned immediately by way of a court decree, an unusual course of action. The censor—in this case presumably a member of or advisor to the Viennese court—did not have far to read to find reasons for a proscription: The murdered king is the epitome of an oafish and idle ruler whose primary pleasure is eating. The queen and the murderous uncle are nothing but sinners and criminals; the uncle is also a heavy drinker and the queen voluptuous. Hamlet initially appears as a perky critic of the monarchy, and once enthroned becomes an enlightened ruler akin to Joseph II. In addition, he marries the “bourgeois” Ophelia and justifies this union in abstract terms with the principle of equality—compelling a listener to comment that “this smacks strongly of democracy.”257

On the very first page, while wandering around at night, the king is referred to as “the fat thing”258 by one of two watchmen. The second, doubtful guard is told: “You will see. Come eleven o’clock, / He will surely appear, led by his belly.”259 As early as the prologue, Schink makes it clear that the well-fed king’s girth is a result of the exploitation of his people. It would be better, he writes, if some kings were made of wood:

This would prevent a lot of harm,
No mistresses would milk the land;
How much harm is a star and a band around wood?
There are far worse marionettes
Of flesh and bone, guided by the wires
Of councilors and priests! Especially the fat ones,
The fatter they are, the gaunter the state!260

Jokes pertaining to the king’s waistline pervade the entire play as a leitmotiv of sorts. If the drama has any tendency, it is to propagate the reform of absolute monarchy. The priests mentioned in the above citation are likewise repeatedly vilified throughout the text, for example when Hamlet talks about his mental state: “And I am all in pieces too, I no longer read or think, / And like the head of a capitular, my skull is empty.”261 Even the pope himself is denigrated when Hamlet rhymes:

Have not some wethers worn Peter’s holy crown as well?
And been embellished with praise and glory?
Oldenholm. A wether as the prince of Rome! Oh, my!
That seems quite brash for the Holy Father.262

The notion that kings are controlled like puppets by their advisors also appears repeatedly. Ophelia’s father Oldenholm asks:

You think a king must act, hear, see himself? –
This, sadly, as they say, occurs in Berlin.
He is a king, too, of a kind unique, my child!
Woe to all court marshals if there were more like him.263

Whether the allusion to young Frederick William III’s independence is serious or ironic is still left to the reader (respectively the audience) at this point. Later, however, during the play within the play, the puppet king—who exonerates himself of all responsibility and obligations and views the philosopher on the Prussian throne as his role model—muses with regard to the young ruler:

Of the young king himself now gracing Frederick’s throne,
It is said that, sadly, he rules by action alone.
But if this were the fashion on all thrones,
Who, by the hangman, would remain a prince? And not refuse the honor?
Duty is not for the lord, duty is for the servitors only,
And anyone saying otherwise is—a Jacobin.264

Frederick William III is the praiseworthy but unfortunately sole exception of a ruler who takes his duties seriously. And although it was positive, any reference to a ruler currently in power had to be considered undesirable. Aside from the objectionable topic itself, Hamlet’s description of the regicide and his planned revenge exhibit a lack of courtly etiquette:

Then I shall take him by the head, ere he notices the ruse,
And strike him behind the ear, that he shall fall limp.
He beat to death my father in the prime of his life,
Therefore I shall wring his neck.
Captain: What noble temper!265

As noted before, the king’s considerable paunch is brought up regularly. His overindulgence causes problems with regard to the royal love life as well, as the queen laments in the (puppet) play. She wishes him a long life,

But your heart is no longer in the fun and games,
And come the night, you sleep but all too much.
Though you love me, I know it, beyond measure,
Good food and drink provide you with more pleasure.266

This although she obviously considers herself to be beyond all amorous flirtation:

I’ve nearly reached the age of fifty, dear,
No j’ ai l’ honneur leers at my bosom now.
No poet’s quill sings of my appeal,
And my hand is only kissed in leather.267

She is later mercilessly unmasked by Hamlet:

A gentle lamb you were, now are a crone of hell,
Wife of a nasty newt, displeasing even for devils.268

The references to the queen’s moral conduct and the king’s belly as a symbol for the exploitation of his subjects were aimed precisely at the Prussian king Frederick William II, who ruled from 1786 to 1797. As was the case with his French paradigm, life at his court was characterized by wastefulness and the omnipresence of mistresses, which gave rise to much resentment among the population to the extent that Prussia was threatened by revolutionary revolt. A contemporary graphic representation offers a presumably realistic image of the king’s stature (Figure 9) that earned him the nickname “Dicker König von Kanonenland” (Fat King of Cannonland). Caricatures of the period portrayed him with a similarly stately bulge: The example in Figure 10 shows him busily pinning flowers to his coat while his longtime mistress Wilhelmine Encke plunders the state coffers in the background.269

Schink’s drama also contains general contemplations on the political situation in Germany. The circumstance that large parts of the territory are subjugated by France is at the center of a play performed by the puppeteer as a sample of his skill. The play is entitled “Deutschlands Konstituzion” (Germany’s Constitution), with this constitution represented by an allegorical figure.

Do you see this lady here, clad in rags and tatters,
With only half a shirt, the chest and shoulders naked?
Twisted in her build, her head and foot distorted?
Do you see her pale and sickly, the cheeks without roses,
A rattling pile of bones? Oh, she has the—Frenches!270

The anachronism in the shape of references to Napoleon’s campaigns returns when Hamlet is sent to Nelson’s fleet by his uncle to help fight the French enemy.


Figure 9

Portrait of Frederick William II

etching by Wilhelm Chodowiecki

Hamlet is a proponent of rationalist criticism, especially that of Kant; the fact that he dissembles at the beginning of the play by quoting Fichte—and in particular his theory of the I and the not-I—and others earns him a reputation of insanity. He even drafts a trial version of the Lord’s Prayer using Fichte’s jargon. Furthermore, he ridicules the custom of linking religion and the conservation of worldly power. After the planned murder of his uncle, Hamlet tries to protect himself by producing a miracle in the shape of an “undecayable” saint:

As well I shall create a saint,
for many years remaining undecayed in the grave;
Presenting him as proof of fate’s benevolence
With me and my employment of the scepter,
With my laudable, most fortuitous government.
Will order him to be displayed for veneration,
And priests all ’round will loudly take my side.271

Figure 10

Contemporary caricature of Frederick William II and Wilhelmine Encke

Having successfully occupied the throne in a happy ending, Hamlet announces his agenda: He intends to practice self-restraint so that his people need not feel ashamed of him; he wishes to be his subjects’ benefactor, defend the human rights and the freedom of mind, and commit himself to the Enlightenment:

A king’s first duty is to spread enlightenment,
It is the throne’s support, and remains it evermore.272

Such a government program had to be deemed highly improper in post-Josephinian restoration Austria. Subsidiary motives for the proscription may have been Hamlet’s suicide monologue (“My life is balderdash”273) and the ghostly apparitions reminiscent of the gothic novel from the time around 1800. Incidentally, despite attempting to achieve comical effect largely by conventional and relatively simple means, Schick’s Hamlet was by no means intended for the masses. It included numerous allusions to contemporary personalities—philosophers as well as members of the literary and dramatic realms—and their works. The most problematic aspect from the censorial point of view was of course the criticism of Frederick William II and the circumstances at his court. At best, extensive deletions could have rendered the play suitable for the tastes and knowledge level of habitués of popular theater. But the Viennese court apparently deemed it inappropriate even for educated audiences, and it was therefore prohibited entirely.

7.3 Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding’s third drama, the comedy The Wedding-Day, was written in 1729. It could initially not be performed because the designated director refused to stage it, however. Only in 1743 was it put on at the instigation of and starring David Garrick, and printed as well.274 The play already faced problems in London, with the licenser (censor) at first refusing his approval; the role of the matchmaker Mrs. Useful had to be trimmed down before it could be staged, but rumors of the comedy’s immorality nevertheless spread quickly and the audience avoided it.

After leaving his lover Clarinda, the rake Millamour treats her with disdain. Following the end of this affair, Clarinda marries Mr. Stedfast, whose daughter Charlotte is chased by Millamour’s friend Mr. Heartford despite being promised to Mr. Mutable. Disguised as Lord Truelove and Doctor Gruel, Millamour prevents the marriage between Clarinda and Stedfast from being consummated. At the same time, he is able to delay Charlotte’s wedding with Mutable, who is already dithering, thereby giving Heartford time to win over his beloved. Near the end of the play, the matchmaker Mrs. Plotwell discloses that she is Stedfast’s abandoned lover and Clarinda their daughter. Following this surprising turn of events, Stedfast consents to his two daughters marrying Millamour and Heartford. The happy end is ultimately facilitated by Millamour’s libertinism, whereas compunction and betterment would have led to an incestuous and a forced marriage. The final elucidation is owed to his good rapport with Plotwell. Ultimately, the rake is neither punished nor condemned—rather, he serves love and the desire it legitimates.275

The anonymous German translation published in Copenhagen in 1759 was forbidden in Austria in 1762.276 An edition published in Vienna in 1764,277 on the other hand, had been cleansed of objectionable passages and was approved; in fact, it was even deemed appropriate for performance at the Hoftheater. We will compare these two versions in the following. The Viennese edition omitted a number of scenes entirely, not least because an entire character (Lucina) was removed. This measure should not necessarily be interpreted as an act of censorship, however, but rather as an adaptation to the requirements of the stage. The reworking of several other scenes likewise clearly served dramaturgical purposes and not censorial demands. Where Fielding merely had Stedfast’s daughters married according to their wishes, the Viennese edition sees Stedfast himself wedding his former lover Plotwell as well, resulting in a merry wedding day with three celebrations. This may have been a homage to Maria Theresa’s “matrimoniomania.”278

Looking at the deleted and adapted passages, two motives for the changes are apparent. It is no surprise that the protagonists’ lack of morals provided the main reason for censorial interventions; the protection of religion was a secondary motivation. As before in London, the matchmaker characters were obviously considered particularly objectionable. In fact, the term itself was avoided in the Austrian translation: Instead of a “Kuplerinn,”279 (matchmaker) the Viennese version featured an “Aufwärterin”280 (attendant). Likewise deleted was a passage in which Millamour wraps up his libertine philosophy in praise for the matchmaker Mrs. Useful, juxtaposing it with legitimate marriage:

Mill. […] Thou hast united more Couples than the Alimony-Act has parted, and sent more to bed together, without a Licence, than any Parson in the Fleet.
Mrs. Use. I wish I could have prevented one Couple from doing it with a Licence.
Mill. What, has some notable Whore of thy Acquaintance turn’d Rebel to thy Power, and listed unter the Banners of Hymen?—But be not disconsolate at thy Loss—My Life to a Farthing she returns to her Duty.—Whoring is like the Mathematics; whoever is once initiated into the Science is sure never to leave it.281

The fact that his lover Clarinda weds a rich old man is actually beneficial to Millamour, for they are “two excellent Qualifications for a Husband and a Cuckold, as one could wish.”282 The Austrian edition practically reversed the meaning of this statement by having Millamour say: “Rich and old—this choice is a credit to her wits.”283 In fact, the pair are not even married in the Viennese version; they are merely engaged, thus precluding formal adultery a priori. Heartford’s analogy between prostitutes and courtiers was of course also deemed unsuitable for the stages of the Hoftheater: “Heart. What, is your Levee dispatch’d? I met antiquated Whores going out of your Door as thick as antiquated Courtiers from the Levee of a Statesman, and with as disconsolate Faces.—I fancy thou hast done nothing for them.”284 Potential references to the Viennese court—though not originally intended as such by Fielding—were likewise removed. Where Fielding let Stedfast state once again that his decisions were final—and that, for example, he would not give his daughter to anyone other than the man she was promised to, even if the “emperor” were to ask for her hand285—the Viennese editor replaced the latter with a “king.”286

The repeated mentions of Millamour’s intention to make Stedfast a betrayed husband challenged the values of patriarchy and the nuclear family.287 And Stedfast’s statement “I thought Cuckoldom the most general Distemper in the Kingdom”288 when he assumes his wife Clarinda to be spreading an infectious disease with her infidelity summarizes the censorial misgivings regarding the contagiousness of ideas disseminated in print quite succinctly. The matchmaker Mrs. Useful likewise pokes at the foundations of patriarchy and marriage, advising Clarinda to accord Millamour her favor despite her marriage (in Vienna: engagement) to Stedfast. She asks Clarinda whether she wishes to be locked up for all time “in that old fusty Chest, the Arms of your Husband?”289 The same scene also reveals that the matchmaker has persuaded Clarinda to flee from a monastery in France with Millamour because she believes the life of a nun would be “not consistent with the Health of your Soul.”290 Originally spanning one and a half pages, this entire scene questioning marriage as well as religion was bridged with a mere few sentences in the Viennese edition.

Surprisingly, the comparison of love to religion, both of which are described as nothing but illusions, was allowed to stand in principle. When Heartford asserts that there was much dissemblance, and that even atheists had been seen kneeling before their “altars,”291 the Viennese edition protected Christian sensitivities by rephrasing to “kneeling before their idols and lovers.”292 Similarly astonishing is the fact that a censorship sheltering all religions as a matter of principle permitted the likening of the Muslim faith to “folly,” deleting only the comparison with the papacy: “In short, it is dangerous to ridicule Folly any where openly; as to speak against Mahometism in Turkey, or Popery in Rome.”293 That invocations of the devil were removed appears obvious; but even Charlotte’s statement that the matchmaker Mrs. Useful could feign being a “saint”294 was attenuated to “angel.”295

8 French Drama of the July Monarchy

Of the 1268 dramatic texts included in the censorship database, 284—or slightly more than one fifth—were written in or translated from French. Of these, exactly 170 are from the period between 1830 and 1848, the time of the July Monarchy. This specific corpus of forbidden French drama consisted largely of historical plays296 and vaudevilles.297 In addition, we find themes from contemporary social life (as in Honoré de Balzacs Vautrin), operas,298 and dramatized novels.299 The following pages discuss examples from the two most frequent genres of historical drama and vaudeville, as well as one play on contemporary topics.

8.1 George Sand

George Sand’s historical play Les Mississipiens (1840)300 was placed on the prohibition list in 1840 with a verdict of “erga schedam.” It is a variation on the topic of love defeated by materialistic thinking, which Sand used in many of her novels, against the background of financial speculation during the early eighteenth century. The plot sees Julie de Puymonfort marrying the wealthy Jew Samuel Bourset, whose uncle is a financier of King Louis XIV and the French state, at the instigation of her mother and the latter’s former lover, who is introduced only as “Le duc, ami de la maison.” Julie’s cousin and erstwhile lover, the Chevalier de Puymonfort, is forced to withdraw by means of an arrest warrant for an insignificant unpaid debt. He emigrates to America and only returns to France incognito 16 years later, in 1719, using the name George Freeman. Julie entertains thoughts of revenge, but eventually arranges herself with Bourset and supports him in his financial speculations, which she assumes to serve the state and thus the common good. After his return, Puymonfort/Freeman encounters Julie’s 15-year-old daughter Lucette, who is being used by Bourset as a matrimonial lure for rich aristocrats. Puymonfort is able to put her up in a convent to protect her from these machinations. As a leading member of the company of the “Mississipiens,” a society for the development of the French possessions along the lower Mississippi, he is well-informed about the goings-on in the region. He threatens to inform the investors who have purchased shares in the company of the fact that there is no gold there, which would uncover Bourset as a swindler. Upon receiving the false news that her mother has fallen ill, Lucette returns from the convent. She is to be married to the aged Duc in order to secure his inheritance as soon as possible. Puymonfort advises Bourset to mollify the investors disgruntled by the loss of value of their shares by showing them the cash he has hoarded in his vaults in violation of a royal mandate and offering them a payout in hard currency. The investors subsequently regain their trust and decide not to convert their shares. Bourset attempts to persuade Puymonfort to become a business partner and offers him Lucette’s hand in marriage, but Puymonfort opts to decline and return to America. Julie ultimately realizes that Bourset’s undertakings boil down to theft; she leaves him and retreats to a country house with her daughter. The unreformable Bourset plunges into new speculations in reaction to Puymonfort’s suggestion that he might be better off investing into agricultural property in future.

At the end of the play, Sand included two footnotes describing many of the mentioned details as authentic. And indeed, the entire background of the story—the events surrounding public debt and financial speculations—was based on historical facts. Around 1715, at the end of Louis XIV’s reign, French public debt had reached enormous dimensions. The exiled Scotsman John Law, a fervent proponent of paper money, had the banknote press fired up and metallic currency converted into shares and government bonds more or less compulsorily. The second pillar of Law’s financial system was the Compagnie d’ Occident, which was to transform the French possessions along the Mississippi into a source of wealth by issuing bonds. News of the discovery of gold attracted a large number of investors who, motivated by the high stock prices, began to sell their shares in the Compagnie in 1720 and reinvest them in real estate elsewhere. The dramatic price drop caused the majority of investors to lose huge amounts, and the money press had to be stopped to stabilize the paper currency. In short, an early financial bubble burst in unprecedented and consequential fashion.

From the Austrian perspective, Sand’s play will have appeared problematic for several reasons. The most important of these were the financial speculations that Louis XIV and his successor, the “Regent” Duc d’ Orléans, are involved in. If successful, the purpose of these speculations is the uncontrolled enrichment of the aristocrats and nouveau-riche members of the bourgeoisie, while the state and the “people” shoulder the risks. But even the investors are dissatisfied, and the Duc voices harsh criticism of the state’s money policy in their name: “If this paper is better than the silver, then it shall be taken back if we no longer want it; we shall be given back the base metal we are quite satisfied with. Confound it! This is a very bad joke, Mr. Bourset!”301 Participation in the Mississippi speculations is described as careless stupidity: “Cross your heart, Bourset, do you not believe that France and the regent are jointly committing the world’s greatest idiocy?”302 There is also mention of contending factions within the government and the circumstance that the people might take revenge on their rulers for the financial ruin. Internal conflicts and uprisings resulting from them were a theme treated with particular severity by the Austrian censorship.

Les Mississipiens also presented marriage as an arena of speculation in which young girls are employed like shares as instruments of enrichment. The image of women underlying such processes, respectively their role as “lures,” is laid out plainly early on:

Women formerly used to be better; it is a fact, they sometimes loved us for our own sake; not often, but it did happen, whereas today one cannot even receive a glance without paying for it … The Maintenon and her pietism have introduced this practice …303

Church attendance and monastic life are characterized disrespectfully as well. The Duc, an old bon vivant, says about weddings at church: “[…] I will catch a cold in your bedeviled churches! […] It is arduous enough to have to endure the king’s mass if one wishes to be seen at court.”304 Regarding life at Catholic monasteries, the Marquise considers joining a convent to be an unsuitable pastime for a beautiful girl: “But are you so crazy, pretty as you are, to consider taking the veil?”305

Finally, the play also features some anti-Semitic undertones: Samuel Bourset is the deplorable “modern Shylock”306 who provides the upper classes with money respectively shares while at the same time ruining them financially—in Sand’s portrayal, entirely intentionally. The censors in Austria attempted to keep anti-Semitism at bay like all other potential internal conflicts; what was more, the Austrian readership would have almost inevitably drawn associations between Bourset and the financier Salomon Rothschild, who was influential and important for the country.

8.2 Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac’s play Vautrin is our representative of drama dealing with contemporary issues.307 It received a verdict of “erga schedam” in July 1840, the same month as Sand’s Les Mississipiens. At the time of Vautrin’s premiere, the title figure was already known from the novel Le père Goriot (1834); it would later appear in Illusions perdues (1837–1843) and Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes (1838–1847) as well. Returning from exile unauthorized, Vautrin is a former bagne (penal camp) convict who has repeatedly been involved in criminal activities, though always with the purpose (at least in his own opinion) of doing good and serving justice.

The play employs the motif of a child growing up under a false identity whose true origins are ultimately revealed. The popularity of this plot during the mid-nineteenth century is largely ascribed to the collapse of the Ancien Régime and the general social mobility of the period, which caused many people to experience social demotion (aristocrats, but also middle-class families like those of craftsmen supplanted by the industrialization of their trade, and of course the proletarianized rural population).

In Vautrin, Louise de Vaudrey gives birth to a son seven months after marrying the Duc de Montsorel. The timing has her husband doubting his fatherhood, and suspicion falls on Louise’s former lover Langeac. The Duc forces Louise to refrain from recognizing the child and give it away instead, and a boy sired by Montsorel with a Spanish courtesan is raised as Louise’s son in place of her legitimate child Fernand. At the beginning of the play, the lost son reappears under the name Raoul de Frescas and solicits the hand of the beautiful Inès de Christoval. Their marriage is initially impeded by Raoul’s lack of pedigree, however: He was found on the roadside at the age of twelve by a released convict named Jacques Collin alias Vautrin and raised to be a perfect nobleman. The blemish on this feel-good story is that the requisite capital for Raoul’s education and luxurious lifestyle comes from the criminal activities of a gang led by Vautrin. Inès is therefore to marry Albert de Montsorel, the Duc’s bastard son, instead. Vautrin proceeds to invent a respectable provenance for Raoul and a compelling reason for his marriage to Inès: Disguised as a Mexican general, he tells Inès’ mother that her husband, who had defended the kingdom against the revolutionaries in Mexico, had been saved from execution by the insurgents at the last moment by a wealthy mine owner named Amoagoas. Christoval had allegedly promised the hand of his daughter Inès to Amoagoas’ son as reward. Out of modesty and hoping to be loved for his virtues rather than his riches, he had presented himself in Paris under the name de Frescas. Vautrin’s ingenious plan fails in part due to the integrity of Raoul, who confesses his true history to Inès, and in part due to Louise, who does not wish to bring disrepute to her son with a fantastic provenance yarn. She talks Vautrin into relinquishing his foster son Raoul, and Vautrin even provides her with papers proving her innocence in the boy’s exile. The Montsorels make amends and Raoul/Fernand marries Inès, while Vautrin—effectively the “good” character in the plot—is forced to return to the bagne. He vows to flee detention soon, however.

Since Vautrin, who plays the role of fate in Balzac’s drama, is a convicted criminal and employs unlawful means, the play could superficially be considered immoral—as evidenced by the reaction of the Parisian critics to its premiere: The French censors had rejected the piece twice because the title figure was too reminiscent of the robber Robert Macaire, a figure that stopped at nothing.308 Vautrin explains his motives for the social ennoblement of Raoul de Frescas to one of his associates: “In exchange for the branding applied to me by society, I am giving it a man of honor: I am entering into a contest with destiny; do you want to join in? Obey!”309 What is more, Vautrin compares his position outside of all laws with the station of the king as well as those of God and the devil:

Vautrin: Child, there are two types of men who are almighty.
Raoul: And they are?
Vautrin: The kings, who are above the law; and … this will annoy you … the criminals, who are below it.
Raoul: And since you are not a king …
Vautrin: Exactly! I rule below.
Raoul: What kind of terrible joke are you making, Vautrin?
Vautrin: Did you not say that the devil and God have contributed to creating me?310

This arrogation by a figure that flouts divine and earthly justice and considers itself above them was likely a reason for the Austrian censors to ban the play. In addition, Balzac’s drama also contains multiple political references that were doubtless considered undesirable, for example an allusion to Louis XVIII, who ruled on the basis of a constitution after the fall of Napoleon and thus—to the chagrin of the radical royalists—no longer absolutely. Criticism of the lax morals under Louis XV can be found in the scene in which Vautrin asks an allied servant to open the rear entrance to the castle for him at night. Alluding to the moral corruption under Louis XV, Vautrin notes: “Here there is virtue, the hinges of this door are rusted; but Louis XVIII has nothing in common with Louis XV.”311 Vautrin’s fabricated episode from the Mexican War of Independence with the goal of deposing the king was certainly also considered objectionable. While talking to the Duchess, Vautrin draws the generalizing conclusion that revolutions are in the air everywhere:

The Duchess of Christoval: What a strange century we live in!
Vautrin: The revolutions follow one another and are not alike.
Everywhere they imitate France. But I would ask you, let us not talk
about politics; it is a delicate topic.312

Under these circumstances, designations like “traitor” or “liberator” become somewhat ambivalent and exchangeable from one day to the next; Raoul is uncertain whether to consider himself deserving of damnation or admiration for his alleged Mexican descendancy. Vautrin apologizes for obscuring his name to Inès: “But, young lady, I still do not know whether his father’s name is that of a traitor or that of a liberator of America.”313

There was an additional specific motive for the prohibition of Vautrin as well, for the year 1834 had seen the first performance of a Robert Macaire play. In this type of free drama, which would soon become immensely popular, the main character stood out with cynical comparisons between honorable society and criminals as well as with improvised jokes of all kinds, especially about religion. When the actor Frédérick Lemaître, who played Robert Macaire, appeared on stage one evening with a pear-shaped headdress obviously designed to make him look like King Louis Philippe, the play was forbidden by the police. These events repeated with Balzac’s Vautrin, with the same actor wearing an identical wig. In addition, the director of the Porte Saint-Martin theater had somewhat carelessly initiated rumors of an impending political scandal prior to the premiere in Paris. When Frédérick Lemaître as Vautrin did indeed enter the stage wearing the infamous pear-shaped headdress known to the audience from numerous caricatures (cf. Figure 11), the king intervened and prohibited all further performances—with the play’s immorality stated as the official reason. The loss was presumably bearable for Balzac himself, but the theater had to be closed in March 1840, shortly after the events.314 Word of these goings-on at French theaters had likely reached Austria as well—and as mentioned before, the Austrian monarchy was intent on suppressing any criticism of reigning heads of state.


Figure 11

Caricature of the “Citizen King” Louis Philippe in Le Charivari, April 16, 1835

8.3 Balisson de Rougemont

Our final example serves to show that praise of Napoleon and his officers still constituted grounds for prohibiting works of fiction in the 1830s. The accolades for the former French ruler are the only discernible motive for the banning of Balisson de Rougemont’s play La fille du cocher,315 which was rated “damnatur” in June 1834.

A carriage accident brings the Comte de Morville into contact with the figure of the Colonel, a cavalry officer in the Napoleonic army on leave for a family visit. A coachman named Durand had previously saved Morville’s life when he had been sentenced to death in 1794 and assumed custody of his daughter Julienne. Now Morville needs money to repay old debts; he intends to sell his chateau and marry off his daughter to a man befitting her rank. One of Napoleon’s generals would seem to represent a desirable “catch” in this regard. Morville has been treated extremely well by Napoleon after returning from exile: His entire property has been restituted and he has been made treasurer. The Comte also believes Napoleon to be taking a hand in his daughter’s advantageous marriage. Durand, on the other hand, is furious at no longer being allowed to see his foster daughter and signs on unrecognized as Morville’s coachman. He wants to wed Julienne to his son, who is none other than the returned Colonel. Having become rich through grain speculation and the purchase of assignats after the revolution, Durand is able to buy Morville’s chateau as a dowry for Julienne and gift his son 200,000 francs as well. When the news arrives that Napoleon has recommended the Colonel, who has since been promoted to general and made a baron, as Julienne’s husband, the stubborn Comte finally consents to the love match as well.

The play is not exactly flattering with regard to the nobility. When the wealthy bride declines marriage to a noble suitor in favor of a successful businessman, she does so with the following remark: “Listen, the villain has a noble air, / And honestly, the nobleman is very bad.”316 The Colonel values the new merit nobility more highly than the old hereditary one, which has only historical qualities to show: “[…] with regard to the nobility, do we not also have our own, the new one … which owes its titles to its courage, its exploits … and which in a hundred years will be as esteemed as the other?”317 His father the coachman agrees with him; the old nobles consider the common people inferior, they are “kneaded from a different dough.”318 Reference is also made repeatedly to the expulsion of the aristocracy by the revolutionaries. Nevertheless, the primary reason for the drama’s prohibition was certainly its praise of Napoleon. Among other things, it asserts in his support that he reinstated the legitimate rights of the nobility, as corroborated by his own marriage: “Napoleon’s marriage to an Archduchess of Austria is proof that he is determined to reinstall the old aristocracy.”319 Mention of this tactical union was surely not welcome in Austria. In addition, Napoleon is addressed as “His majesty the emperor and king”320—too much reverence from the Austrian perspective, since he had crowned himself emperor and the kingdom could hardly be called legitimate either. Napoleon is also very generous to his successful officers, as the Colonel reports:

Everywhere I fought under Napoleon’s eyes … and never does he leave a deed without recompense […] My advancement, my decorations … all of them I received from the hands of the emperor and on the battlefields! […] One more campaign with him and I would have become brigadier general!321

On the other hand, the Colonel criticizes Napoleon’s interference in the marriage market; he considers it an abuse of power, and the resulting unions are “acts of tyranny”: “To force a girl to wed an embroidered suit … two epaulettes that she has never seen before! […] That is suffering, not marriage! And if the powerful destroy the hopes of two hearts, then it is murder, an unpardonable crime.”322 Julienne also avers that neither Napoleon nor the Prussian king or the Austrian emperor, in fact not even all the European rulers together could force her to utter a wedding vow. Upon being awarded the hand of her beloved by the French sovereign, however, even she declaims: “Ah! vive l’ empereur!”323


Cf. Susanne Lachenicht: “[…] warum erstaunliche Mengen derley gefährlichen Zeitungen des bestehenden Verbotts ungeachtet verschickt werden.” Zeitungen und Zeitschriften im Zeitalter der Französischen Revolution und das Scheitern kaiserlicher Presszensur im Alten Reich nach 1790. In: Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Buchforschung in Österreich 2005–2, 7–22, here 18–20.


Cf. ibid., 8.


Giese: Studie zur Geschichte der Pressegesetzgebung, col. 397–398.


Ibid., col. 342: “auch tendenziöse freigeistige, ja revolutionäre Periodika aus allen Teilen Europas.”


§ 14 of the Zensurvorschrift of 1795 (Hofdekret an sämmtliche Länderstellen […] unterm 7. Junius 1795): “unschickliche Zusammensetzung von Werken, biblische und geistliche oder andere ehrwürdige Gegenstände betreffenden Inhalts, mit Werken komischen, romantischen oder lächerlichen Inhalts, welches zu ungebührlichen Beziehungen Anlass geben kann, vermieden werden.”


Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek, vol. 23, part 1 (1774), 146–154: “sogenannten heil. Cyrillus […] die heißen ägyptischen Mönchsköpfe […] Mangel wahrer Gottseligkeit unter den Bischöfen […] und die despotische Regierungsart des Hofs zu Konstantinopel (wir setzen noch hinzu, die Schwachheit und Trägheit der Regenten, die mönchische Andächteley der weiblichen Glieder des regierenden Hauses, und die niederträchtigen und ehrgeizigen Intrigen der Bischöfe mit den Hofleuten) […] unsern freylich viel unbedeutendern Ketzermachern.”


Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek, vol. 23, part 2 (1775), 431–432, here 432: “Die Schlüsse des V. wären sehr bündig, wenn es nur mit dem unblutigen Opfer Christi in der Messe seine Richtigkeit hätte. Aber so lange dieser kleine Umstand noch nicht ausgemacht ist, ist schwer aus der Sache zu kommen. Doch Hr. Merz weis [!] sich schon zu salviren. Das Geheimniß des Altars ist das Geheimniß aller Geheimnisse; hinter dies unüberwindliche Bollwerk versteckt er sich, und wer kann ihm da was anhaben.”


Summarische Antwort des B.D.A. Cremeri auf die Anfrage des Friedrich Nikolai wegen dem Oesterreichischen Verbote der allgemeinen deutschen Bibliothek. N. pp. 1780, 3.


Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek, vol. 33, part 1 (1778), 77–80, here 79: “bittern Wein, diesen berauschenden Trank […] aus der, durch das Wachen in der unmittelbar vorhergegangenen Nacht, und durch diese heftigen Kreuzigungsschmerzen, verursachten Entkräftung seines Körpers, auf eine hieraus allmälig entstandene merkliche Schwäche der Besinnung und Ueberlegungskräfte seines Geistes, und so auf die Unwahrscheinlichkeit jener vom V. ihm geliehenen Reflexionen und Absichten.”


Nicolai: Beschreibung einer Reise, vol. 4, 861–863.


Summarische Antwort des B.D.A. Cremeri, 4.


Der neue Teutsche Merkur, part 12, December 1794, 353–370; section 3: Hierofantis, 364–370, here 364–365: “Aus der simplen Gottesverehrung ward eine künstliche Priesterreligion; die Sonne ward zum Sohne der Gottheit; der Oberpriester zum Sohne der Sonne; und über die Söhne vergaß man des Vaters. An die Stelle der simplen Gottesverehrung im Geist und in der Wahrheit traten prächtige Bilder und prunkvolle Ceremonien, und neben den Sonnentempeln stiegen Palläste für die Sonnenpriester empor. Es ward zum Glaubenssatze: daß nur die Geweihten der Sonne—dem Sultan und seinen ersten Dienern wurde diese Weihe von dem Sonnenpriester mitgetheilt—in tempelähnlichen Pallästen, alle Ungeweihte aber, zur Bezeichnung ihres Abstandes von der Sonne, in niedrigen dunkeln Hütten wohnen müßten. Dieser Glaube hatte beyläufig noch das Gute, daß die Ungeweihten, je weniger sie in ihren Hütten für sich brauchten, desto mehr für die Geweihten geben und arbeiten konnten.”


Ibid., 366–367: “Im Zorn über die erhaltene abschlägliche Antwort, fieng er an über Dinge, die er sonst ohne Untersuchung geglaubt hatte, nachzudenken, erschrak anfänglich selbst über die Resultate seines Nachdenkens, wurde aber von Tage zu Tage damit vertrauter, theilte sie seinem Freunde, bald mehreren andern mit, und in kurzer Zeit baten Tausende um die Erlaubniß, sich bessere Häuser erbauen, und den Augenschirm, wenn es ihre Augen vertrugen, ablegen zu dürfen. Auch bat man beyläufig um die Abschaffung einiger Mißbräuche, wodurch das Volk zu Boden gedrückt würde.”


On the greater context, cf. Thomas C. Starnes: Der Teutsche Merkur in den österreichischen Ländern. Vienna: Turia & Kant 1994; helpful for identifying the articles in the periodical is Thomas C. Starnes: Der Teutsche Merkur: Ein Repertorium. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag 1994.


Isis 1817, no. 1, part 1, col. 1–8, here col. 1.


Isis 1818, issue 2, col. 383–394: Rezension von [Hans F. Massmann:] Kurze und wahrhaftige Beschreibung des grossen Burschenfestes auf der Wartburg bei Eisenach am 18ten und 19ten Siegesmonds 1817 (Nebst Reden und Liedern). Jena: Frommann 1818; D.G. Kieser: Das Wartburgsfest am 18. October 1817, in seiner Entstehung, Ausführung und Folgen. Nach Actenstücken und Augenzeugnissen; nebst einer Apologie der akademischen Freiheit und 15 Beilagen. Jena: Frommann 1818; C.A.C.H. v. Kamptz: Rechtliche Erörterung über öffentliche Verbrennung von Druckschriften. Berlin 1817; Selbstvertheidigung des Hofraths [Jakob Friedrich] Fries über die ihm öffentlich gemachten Beschuldigungen in Rücksicht der Teilnahme an der auf der Wartburg in und bey Eisenach begangenen Feyer des 18. Oct. 1817, mit kleinen Bemerkungen von einem seiner großen Verehrer. N. p. 1818.


Ibid., col. 384: “die trübe Winternacht der Knechtschaft noch immer auf Deutschland laste […] Bonapartistische Schildknappen und Schmalzgesellen.”


Ibid., col. 387: “So spielt der kühne Feuergeist der Jugendkraft mit den Ungeheuern seiner Zeit, den Hydern des Aberglaubens und der Vorurtheile, die er wie Kaninchen bändigt und zähmt, während sein Arm den morschen Mantel der veralteten Staatsgewalt zerreißt, unter dem Millionen schlafen, die er zum besseren Leben aufrüttelt und erhebt.”


Ibid., col. 389: “Deutsche Jünglinge! Ihr steht auf dem Boden der Weihe. Welche Weihe! Von hier aus gab Luther, der Mann Gottes, das deutsche Wort der ewigen Wahrheit dem deutschen Volk—und entzündete den blutigen Kampf um Geistesfreyheit, Bürgergleichheit.”


Ibid., col. 390: “Christus sagt: Ich bin gekommen, daß ich ein Feuer anzünde auf Erden. […] Und wohin Luthers siegender Ruf erscholl, da erwachte freyes Geistesleben im Dienste der Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit! Der Verkündiger, der ihn trieb, trieb ihn durch alle Volkskraft der letzten Jahrhunderte zu deutscher Geistesbildung und zu aller Entfesselung des Gedankens, aller Ausgleichung der Bürgerrechte von dem an, was in den Niederlanden geschah, bis zu den Freystaaten in Nordamerika. […] Denn ich habe einen Tag der Rache mir vorgenommen, daß Jahr, die Meinen zu erlösen ist gekommen. […] Diese Stelle ist so groß, so herrlich, so erhaben, daß sich jede Erläuterung wie Bley an ihre Flügel hängen würde. Wer sie nicht versteht, der gehört uns nicht an, meine Brüder, und die Maulwurfsaugen der Einfalt können dem Adler nicht folgen, der im Lichtmeere schwebt.”


Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde 1836, vol. 3, part 7, 33–65.


Ibid., 33: “Haupt und Sinnbild des am römischen Hofe erneuerten Heidenthums, Ordner und Gebieter desselben, Monarch, dem Machiavel seine Werke widmete, von dem Raphael unterstützt wurde, und der den großen Bildner zu beurtheilen verstand, in dem Ariosto einen wohlwollenden Gönner gefunden, der die schlüpfrigen Lustspiele der Kardinäle durchsah und verbesserte, war Leo X. weniger Papst, als lebensfroher Mann […].”


Ibid., 34: “Sultan der schönen Künste […] Harun al Rachid.”


Ibid., 45: “geschicktesten Beförderer des großen Entmenschlichungs-Werkes […] einem kranken Gehirn und einer fieberischen Seele.”


Ibid., 64: “eine der kostspieligsten Monarchien Europas.”


Bibliothek der neuesten Weltkunde 1836, vol. 3, part 7, 213–218.


Ibid., 215: “Seit 50 Jahren hat man einer Hekatombe von Königen beigewohnt, der Entweihung aller von einstimmiger Zugestehung beschützten Titel, der Bemächtigung von Stellen, die als unzugänglich betrachtet wurden.”


Cf. ibid., 217–218.


On this distinction, cf. Robert Darnton: The Corpus of Clandestine Literature in France 1769–1789. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Co. 1995, 203.


Anonymous: Les amours de Charlot et Toinette. N. pp. 1789, 4: “Attendu que son allumette / N’ est pas plus grosse qu’ un fétu; / Que toujours molle & toujours croche, / Il n’ a de Vit que dans la poche; / Qu’ au lieu de foutre, il est foutu / Comme feu le prélat d’ Antioche.”


Ibid., 6: “D’ A … la fait par cœur & par tout il la baise, / Son membre est un tison, son Coeur une fournaise, / Il baise ses beaux bras, son joli petit Con, / Et tantôt une fesse tantôt un téton: / Il claque doucement sa fesse rebondie, / Cuisse, ventre, nombril, le centre de tout bien. / Pendant que tendrement l’ amour les entrelace, / Que Charles la serrant, lui fait demander grace, / Antoinette palpite, & déjà dans ses yeux / Se peignent les plaisirs des Dieux: / Ils touchent au bonheur; mais le sort est un traître, / On entend la Sonnette—un page vigilant / Trop pressé d’ obéir, les dérange en entrant …”


Ibid., 7: “Que veut Sa Majesté? … / oh parbleu! c’ est exprès, / Dit d’ A … en colere, / Je n’ entends rien à ce mystere / Voilà de cruels surveillans / A tout moment ici, que veulent donc ces gens?”


Robert Darnton: The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. London: Harper Collins Publishers 1996, 224–225.


Robert Darnton: Poetry and the Police. Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2010, 42–43.


Jean-Pierre Guicciardi: “Between the Licit and the Illicit: The Sexuality of the King.” In: Robert Purks Maccubbin (ed.): ’Tis Nature’s Fault: Unauthorized Sexuality during the Enlightenment. Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sidney: Cambridge University Press 1987, 88–97, here 96.


Cf. Stephan Leopold: Liebe im Ancien Régime: Eros und Polis von Corneille bis Sade. Munich: Fink 2014, 141–156.


Chantal Thomas: “The Heroine of the Crime: Marie-Antoinette in Pamphlets.” In: Dena Goodman (ed.): Marie-Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen. New York, London: Routledge 2003, 99–116, here 104. See also in more detail Chantal Thomas: La reine scélérate: Marie-Antoinette dans les pamphlets. Paris: Éditions du Seuil 1989, 107–144, in which the two pornographic pamphlets against Marie Antoinette cited here (Les Amours de Charlot et Toinette and L’ Autrichienne en goguettes ou l’ orgie royale, see below) are printed.


Cf. Jeffrey Merrick: “The Body Politics of French Absolutism.” In: Sara E. Melzer and Kathryn Norberg (eds.): From the Royal to the Republican Body: Incorporating the Political in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press 1998, 11–31, here 19–31.


See Darnton: Forbidden Best-Sellers, 225.


[Gregorio Leti:] Les amours de Messaline Cy-devant Reine de l’ isle d’ Albion. Où sont découverts les secrets de l’ Imposture du Prince de Galles, de la Ligue avec la France, & d’ autres Intrigues de la cour d’ Angleterre, depuis ces quatre derniéres années. Par une Personne de Qualité, Confidente de Messaline. A Cologne, Chez Pierre Marteau. MDCLXXXIX, 66–68: “Ces momens de complaisance & de liberté du Nonce assurérent tellement le cœur de Messaline, qu’ elle le fit lever, pendant qu’ il baisoit ses belles mains à chaque parole, & se jettant à son col, elle lui fit assez connoître par ses soupirs & par ses transports ce qu’ elle désiroit: elle baisa dix mille fois ses levres & ses yeux, pendant que lui, avec sa main, visitoit les champs d’ Amour, & la retirant tout d’ un coup, comme s’ il eût été hors de lui-même, il montoit jusques aux Collines de Venus plus blanches que la neige, & tout incontinent il la portoit dans les Vallées & dans la source des plaisirs & des Amours […]. Mais le Nonce qui voyoit dans les yeux de Messaline les désirs de son cœur, ne laissa point échapper une si belle occasion, & courant pour fermer la porte, comme un Lion affamé, il se jette sur sa proye tremblante, & la prenant entre ses bras, il la porte de l’ autre côté du Cabinet, & la jette doucement sur le lit de repos, où ravi comme en extase, il ouvre les trésors secrets de Messaline, & jouit de toutes les richesses & de sa beauté.”—The idiosyncratic contemporary use of the French diacritical marks has not been altered in this and all following citations.


Les amours d’ Anne d’ Autriche Epouse de Louis XIII. Avec Monsieur le C.D.R., Le veritable Pere de Louis XIV. aujourd’ hui Roi de France. Oú l’ on voit au long comment on s’ y prit pour donner un Heritier à la couronne, les resors qu’ on fit jouer pour cela, & enfin tout le denouement de cette comedie. Nouvelle Edition Revue & Corrigee. A Cologne, Chez Pierre Marteau, M.DC.XCVI [first edition 1692], fol. A5r: “violant au dehors les traitez & la foi publique, & au dedans les sermens les plus sacrez & les plus solemnes.”


Ibid., 131: “Elle devint une parfaite bigote en matiere de plaisirs, comme Elle l’ avoit été en matiere de religion.”


Around 5,000 relevant pasquils, known as Mazarinades, are said to have been published between 1648 and 1653 alone; cf. Merrick: “The Body Politics,” 25.


[Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras:] Les conquestes amoureuses du grand Alcandre dans les pays-bas. Avec les intrigues de sa cour. A Cologne chez Pierre Bernard 1684, 59: “Là-dessus il se mit en estat de la caresser, & la Maréchalle feignant de luy savoir mauvais gré de sa hardiesse pour l’ animer encore d’ avantage se deffendit jusques à ce qu’ elle fust proche d’ un Lict où elle se laissa tomber […]. Le duc de Longueville ravi de son avanture, en usa en jeune homme, ce qui ne déplut pas à la Maréchalle […].”


Ibid., 79: “dans un endroit que la bienséance m’ empêche de nommer.”


L’ Autrichienne en goguette ou l’ orgie royale, opéra proverbe. N. p., 1790 [first edition 1789]. As the text is unpaginated, the following quotes will not be cited individually.


Ibid.: “La reine: C’ est encore assez bon pour les grenouilles de la Seine. (Expression familière de la Reine pour désigner les habitans de Paris) / Quatuor. / La reine: Rions, faisons bombance, / Profitons de notre puissance, / Dissipons tous les biens / Des bons Parisiens.”


Ibid.: “La reine fait approcher deux tabourets aux deux côtés du roi. Madame de Polignac s’ assied sur le dos de Louis XVI, et en écartant les jambes, pose chacun de ses pieds sur un tabouret. Antoinette s’ avance dans les bras de Polignac, qu’ elle embrasse étroitement, tandis que sa langue cherche et joue avec celle de sa confidente. Elle présente par conséquent au comte d’ Artois la plus belle croupe du monde, en lui disant: Toi, comte, tu vois quel chemin il te reste à prendre. D’ Artois: Et j’ y marche sans différer. Il lève un léger jupon de linon, découvre deux fesses blanches comme la neige, et, écartant d’ une main furtive la route de la volupté, il lance la flèche de l’ amour dans le temple de la félicité; pendant que les langues femelles s’ agitent, que les secousses des reins élastiques cherchent de nouveaux plaisirs, la confidente introduit un léger doigt sur le portique du temple, dans lequel le comte s’ introduit par une route détournée.”


Ibid: “Sur le dos d’ un monarque humain, / Je vois la mère des vices / Plonger dans d’ affreuses délices / Un prince polisson, une reine catin.”


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers. Leipzig, in der Weygandschen Buchhandlung 1774, 19 (part 1, May 25): “Und dann, so eingeschränkt er ist, hält er doch immer im Herzen das süsse Gefühl von Freyheit, und daß er diesen Kerker verlassen kann, wann er will.”


Ibid., 84–85 (part 1, August 12): “Die menschliche Natur, fuhr ich fort, hat ihre Gränzen, sie kann Freude, Leid, Schmerzen, bis auf einen gewissen Grad ertragen, und geht zu Grunde, sobald der überstiegen ist. Hier ist also nicht die Frage, ob einer schwach oder stark ist, sondern ob er das Maas seines Leidens ausdauren kann; es mag nun moralisch oder physikalisch seyn, und ich finde es eben so wunderbar zu sagen, der Mensch ist feig, der sich das Leben nimmt, als es ungehörig wäre, den einen Feigen zu nennen, der an einem bösartigen Fieber stirbt.”


Protocollum commissionis librorum aulicae ddo. 2. Decembris 1774; cited according to Friedrich Walter: Die zensurierten Klassiker: Neue Dokumente theresianisch-josephinischer Zensur. In: Jahrbuch der Grillparzergesellschaft 29 (1930), 142–147, here 145: “In diesen Briefen ist der Ausdruck einer übermäßigen Leidenschaft eines jungen Menschen gegen die Frau seines Freundes allzu lebhaft und feurig abgeschildert, so jugendichen Lesern gar zu empfindsame Eindrücke machen dörfte; Anbei sind auch die Scheingründe für den Selbstmordt, den auch der Verfasser endlich an sich selbst mittelst einer Pistole vollbracht hat, allzugünstig, zu blendend und verführerisch in sehr vielen Stellen vorgetragen, als daß eine solche Lectüre für junge Leute nicht gefährlich seyn könnte […].”


G.[ustav] Wustmann: Verbotene Bücher: Aus den Censurakten der Leipziger Bücherkommission. In: Die Grenzboten: Zeitschrift für Politik, Literatur und Kunst 41 (1882), first quarter, 264–285, here 282: “üble Impressiones machen kann, welche, zumal bey schwachen Leuten, Weibs Personen, bey Gelegenheit aufwachen, und ihnen verführerisch werden können. […] daß dieses Buch eine Apologie des Selbstmords genannt werden könne, die in den Händen junger Leute, von ungeübten Sinnen, auch anderen dickblütigen Personen, um desto gefährlicher ist, da der V. zu undeterminirt von dem Selbstmorde schreibt, und durch witzige und feine Wendungen seinen Leser ordentlich hinreißt.”


Johann Peter Willebrand: Grundriß einer schönen Stadt, in Absicht ihrer Anlage und Einrichtung zu Bequemlichkeiten, zum Vergnügen, zum Anwachs und zur Erhaltung ihrer Einwohner, nach gekannten Mustern entworffen. Hamburg and Leipzig 1775–1776, part 2, 327; cited according to Roger Paulin: Der Fall Wilhelm Jerusalem: Zum Selbstmordproblem zwischen Aufklärung und Empfindsamkeit. Göttingen: Wallstein 1999, 11: “schrecklichsten und gefährlichsten Feind der menschlichen und bürgerlichen Gesellschaft.”


Gottfried Leß: Vom Selbstmorde. Zweyte, vermehrte Auflage. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck 1778, 45: “Wer Selbstmord predigt, oder beschöniget, der ist – der gröste Feind des Menschlichen Geschlechts!”


Klaus Oettinger: “Eine Krankheit zum Tode.” Zum Skandal um Werthers Selbstmord. In: Der Deutschunterricht 28 (1976), issue 2, 55–74, here 56.


Ibid., 57.


Cf. ibid., 58; Paulin: Der Fall Wilhelm Jerusalem, 22.


Cf. Georg Jäger: Die Leiden des alten und neuen Werther: Kommentare, Abbildungen, Materialien zu Goethes Leiden des jungen Werthers und Plenzdorfs Neuen Leiden des jungen W. Munich, Vienna: Hanser 1984, 21–22.


Cf. Lester G. Crocker: The Discussion of Suicide in the Eighteenth Century. In: Journal of the History of Ideas 13 (1952), 47–72.


Oettinger: “Eine Krankheit zum Tode,” 56: “den bis dato verwegensten Versuch, den Anspruch auf die freie Verfügungsgewalt des Menschen über sein eigenes Leben zu rechtfertigen.”


Les lettres persanes. In: Œuvres complètes de Montesquieu, publiées sous la direction de M. André Masson. Paris: Nagel 1950. Tome I, 3, 156–157: “Quand je suis accablé de douleur, de misère, de mépris, pourquoi veut-on m’ empêcher de mettre fin à mes peines, & me priver cruellement d’ un remède qui est en mes mains? […]

Mais, dira-t-on, vous troublez l’ ordre de la providence. Dieu a uni votre ame avec votre corps; & vous l’ en séparez: vous vous opposez donc à ses desseins, & vous lui résistez.

Que veut dire cela? Troublai-je l’ ordre de la providence, lorsque je change les modifications de la matière, & que je rends quarrée une boule que les premières loix du mouvement, c’ est-à-dire les loix de la création & de la conservation, avoient faite ronde? Non, sans doute: je ne fais qu’ user du droit qui m’ a été donné: &, en ce sens, je puis troubler à ma fantaisie toute la nature, sans que l’ on puisse dire que je m’ oppose à la providence.”


Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Œuvres complètes II. Édition publiée sous la direction de Bernard Gagnebin et Marcel Raymond. Paris: Gallimard 1964, 386 (troisième partie, lettre XXI): “Que tardons-nous à faire un pas qu’ il faut toujours faire? […] Profitons d’ un tems où l’ ennui de vivre nous rend la mort desirable; craignons qu’ elle ne vienne avec ses horreurs au moment où nous n’ en voudrons plus. […] Ah qu’ on a de peine à briser les nœuds qui lient nos cœurs à la terre, et qu’ il est sage de la quiter aussi tôt qu’ ils sont rompus! Je le sens, Milord, nous sommes dignes tous deux d’ une habitation plus pure; la vertu nous la montre, et le sort nous invite à la chercher. Que l’ amitié qui nous joint nous unisse encore à notre derniere heure. O quelle volupté pour deux vrais amis de finir leurs jours volontairement dans les bras l’ un de l’ autre, de confondre leurs derniers soupirs, d’ exhaler à la fois les deux moitiés de leur ame! Quelle douleur, quel regret peut empoisonner leurs derniers instans? Que quitent-ils en sortant du monde? Ils s’ en vont ensemble: ils ne quitent rien.”—The novel was prohibited in an edition of excerpts in 1765, then in the Catalogus of 1776 pertaining to the first edition published in Amsterdam in 1761, and finally in a German translation (Frankfurt and Vienna: Gerold 1810).


Van Leersum: Gérard van Swieten en qualité de censeur, 392: “verum a pagina 197 ad 223 suicidium defendit, sequente epistola 224 quoddam remedium dat contra hanc opinionem sed pagina 232 auctor affirmat si morbo dolentes sint incurabiles quod liceat se ipsum … et 240 romanos laudat.”


Cf. censor Hägelin’s remarks on the theme of suicide in his memorandum of 1795, 315 (see appendix, p. 378).


Martin Andree: Wenn Texte töten: Über Werther, Medienwirkung und Mediengewalt. Munich: Fink 2006, 176–187.


Cf. Klaus Scherpe: Werther und Wertherwirkung: Zum Syndrom bürgerlicher Gesellschaftsordnung im 18. Jahrhundert. Bad Homburg, Berlin, Zürich: Gehlen 1970, 67–71, and the sources printed therein.


Cf. Andree: Wenn Texte töten, 187–197.


Walter: Die zensurierten Klassiker, 145: “die zween Theile der v. Kleistischen Schriften, dann die sogenannten Leiden des jungen Werthers (Jerusalem) […] überspannte Schwärmerey.”


Matthias Luserke: Über das Goethe-Jahr 1999: Versuch eines Rückblicks. In: Matthias Luserke (ed.): Goethe nach 1999: Positionen und Perspektiven. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2001, 133–144, here 142: “Der Verweis auf den Werther, ihn demonstrativ bei sich zu tragen oder unübersehbar zu deponieren, kam einer theatralischen Geste gleich, die für die Zeitgenossen unmissverständlich die Ausweglosigkeit der Lebenssituation der Selbstmörder und Selbstmörderinnen hervorhob.”


Wagner: Die Zensur in der Habsburger Monarchie, 216.


Cited in Hans Viktor Pisk: Joseph Richter (1749–1813): Versuch einer Biographie und Bibliographie. Vienna: Diss. (typewritten) 1926, 111: “müßte man mit noch weit angemessenerer Behutsamkeit den Gebrauch von Pistolen, Degen und Meßern verbieten.”


Cited in Kucher: Herrschaft und Protest, 133: “Romanzo di mano maestra, ma tende artificialmente a renderci insopportabile l’esistenza, ed in tal modo scuote le fibre del cuore che può essere ragione di terribili conseguenze. Werter inammorato dell’altrui moglie semina la discordia in una onesta famiglia e non potendo possedere l’oggetto si uccide. Li fini riflessioni delle quali egli fa parte al lettore mescolandovi con finissimo accorgimento le idee politiche, naturali e religiose dell’uomo sono come il canto della Sirena che a viva forza ne trae a questo orrendo attentato.”


Das Wertherfieber in Österreich: Eine Sammlung von Neudrucken. Eingeleitet von Gustav Gugitz. Vienna: Knepler 1908, especially XVIXVII.


Caroline Pichler: Denkwürdigkeiten aus meinem Leben. Erster Band: 1769 bis 1798. Vienna: A. Pichler’s sel. Witwe 1844, 159–160.


Privy councilor Gebler to Friedrich Nicolai, cited in Houben: Verbotene Literatur, vol. 1, 513: “mit solcher Distinction […] noch nie ein deutscher Gelehrter.”


Cited according to Walter: Die zensurierten Klassiker, 146: “massen in diesem für sich ganz unwehrten, und unschmakhaften Geschmier nebstbey sehr schlipfrige Zweydeutigkeiten, und ungesittete Ausdrücke zum öftern vorkommen, deren Lesung der Jugend, die gemeiniglich derley Stücke zu ihrer Unterhaltung eifrig suchet, gefährlich seyn würde.”


Die alte Jungfer: Ein Lustspiel in drey Aufzügen. In: Gotthold Ephraim Lessings zwey Lustspiele. 1. Damon. 2. Die alte Jungfer. Frankfurt and Leipzig: Fleischer 1775 (Deutsche Schaubühne, part 103), 53–126, here 59.


Ibid., 57–58: “zu fernern Diensten untüchtig […]. [Ohldinn:] Untüchtig?—Nein, ich besinne mich alleweile. Ich mag ihn nicht. [Oront:] Und verlangen Sie denn einen Mann, der stets zu Felde liegt? Und der um Sie des Jahrs kaum zwey Nächte seyn kann? Die abgedankten Officiers sind die besten Ehemänner, wenn sie ihren Muth nicht mehr an den Feinden beweisen können, so sind sie desto mannhafter gegen ihre –”


Ibid., 83 and 99: “Ein Mann ist doch ein ganz nützlicher Hausrath. […] die Weiber sind zum Unglücke der ganzen Welt erschaffen!”


Fournier: Gerhard van Swieten als Censor, 424.


G.E. Lessings Schriften. Erster Theil. Berlin: C.F. Voss 1753, 174: “Vom ersten jeder Christentriebe. / Was ist das? Wer mich fragt, kann der ein Christe seyn? / Denn jeder Christ kömmt damit überein, / Es sey die liebe Liebe.”


Ibid., 175: “Das ungebundne Haar floß straubicht um das Haupt; / Und wesentlichre Schönheits Stücke, / Hat der zerrißne Rock dem Blicke, / Nicht ganz entdeckt, nicht ganz geraubt.”


Ibid., 180: “Daß er, der Eremit, beynah die ganze Stadt / Zu Schwägern oder Kindern hat.”


Cited according to Glossy: Zur Geschichte der Theater Wiens I, 131–133: “den unleugbaren Zweck, die drei positiven Religionen, die jüdische, die christliche und die mohammedanische, als gleich gut darzustellen […] das Heil des Menschen nicht vom Glauben, sondern allein vom guten Handeln abhänge […] die göttliche Offenbarung zweifelhaft und das Christentum gehässig zu machen.”


Cf. Houben: Verbotene Literatur, vol. 1, 514–519.


Cited according to Walter: Die zensurierten Klassiker, 144: “die verderblichen Lehrsätze des Hypias, der ein Vertheidiger des Epikurismi sei, auch kämen viele Stellen vor, welche zum Atheismus führten, und wären in den übrigen Theilen zimlich wollüstige—jedoch in dem feinsten Geschmack niedergeschriebene Stellen zu finden, welche sehr reizend und verführend klängen.”


Van Leersum: Gérard van Swieten, 393.


Christoph Martin Wieland: The History of Agathon. Translated from the German Original With a Preface by the Translator. London: T. Cadell 1773, vol. 1, 84.—Wieland: Die Geschichte des Agathon. Quid Virtus, et quid Sapientia possit. Utile proposuit nobis exemplar. Drei Theile. Frankfurt and Leipzig [= Orell, Geßner und Co., Zürich] 1766/67. Erster Theil, 1766, 60: “Worauf gründest du die Hofnung, daß dieser Geist noch denken werde, wenn dein Leib zerstört seyn wird? Was für eine Erfahrung hast du, eine Meynung zu bestätigen, die von so vielen Erfahrungen bestritten wird?”


Ibid., 120.—Ibid., 84: “Befriedige deine Bedürfnisse, vergnüge alle deine Sinnen, und erspare dir so viel du kanst alle schmerzhaften Empfindungen.”


Ibid., 141.—Ibid., 98: “Es scheint also sehr wahrscheinlich, daß alle diese Geister, diese Welten, welche sie bewohnen, und diese Glükseligkeiten, welche man nach dem Tode mit ihnen zu theilen hoft, nicht mehr Wahrheit haben, als die Nymphen, die Liebesgötter und die Grazien der Dichter, als die Gärten der Hesperiden und die Inseln der Circe und Calypso; kurz, als alle diese Spiele der Einbildungskraft, welche uns belustigen, ohne daß wir sie für würklich halten.”


Die Abenteuer des Don Sylvio von Rosalva. 2 Theile. Leipzig, bey Georg Joachim Göschen 1795 (C.M. Wielands Sämmtliche Werke, vols. 11 and 12), vol. 2, 177 and 178: “nur in einem einzigen Stücke.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 277: “bey den meisten Hofdamen einen Beyfall erhielt, der ihren Liebhabern nicht ganz gleichgültig war.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 148: “auf Unkosten des menschlichen Geschlechtes gross gewesen sind.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 83–84: “unmassgebliche Gedanken des Autors […] Schwester Marie von Koronel, nach dem Orte ihres Aufenthaltes von Agreda genannt, hat im siebzehnten Jahrhundert viel Aufsehens durch ein Buch gemacht, zu dessen Herausgebung sie, ihrem Vorgeben nach, von Gott und der heiligen Jungfrau ausdrücklich befehligt wurde. Dieses Buch führt den Titel, Mystische Stadt Gottes, und enthält eine angebliche Geschichte des Lebens der heiligen Jungfrau, aus unmittelbaren Offenbarungen, welche diese Nonne gehabt haben will, gezogen.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 292: “Dass alles und jedes, was keine Übereinstimmung mit dem ordentlichen Laufe der Natur, in so fern sie unter unsern Sinnen liegt, oder mit demjenigen hat, was der grösste Theil des menschlichen Geschlechts alle Tage erfährt, eben deswegen die allerstärkste und gewisser Massen die unendliche Präsumzion der Unwahrheit wider sich habe; ein Grundsatz, den das allgemeine Gefühl des menschlichen Geschlechts rechtfertiget, ob er gleich der ganzen Feerey mit allen ihren Zubehören auf einmahl das Leben abspricht.”


Wie man ließt: Eine Anekdote. In: Teutscher Merkur I, 1781, 70–74, here 73: “Der Autor und sein Buch werden, mit Urtheil und Recht, aber nach eben so seinen Grundsätzen, nach einer eben so tumultarischen und albernen Art von Inquisition, kurz mit eben der Iniquität oder Sancta Simplicitas verdammt, wie ehmals in ganz Europa, und noch heutigs Tages in einigen hellen Gegenden unsers lieben teutschen Vaterlandes—die Hexen verbrannt werden.” Cf. Matthias Bickenbach: Von den Möglichkeiten einer “inneren” Geschichte des Lesens. Tübingen: Niemeyer 1999, 30–40.


Cf. Bickenbach: Von den Möglichkeiten einer “inneren” Geschichte des Lesens, 180–187.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Werke. Hamburger Ausgabe. Vol. 12. 9th ed. Munich: dtv 1982, 228–239, here 229: “Lehre von Verdammung der Heiden.”


Ibid., 236: “[…] weh’ uns, daß unsre Geistlichen nichts mehr von einer unmittelbaren Eingebung wissen, und wehe dem Christen, der aus Kommentaren die Schrift verstehen will.”


Goethe’s Werke: Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Dreyzehnter Band. Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta 1829, 55–70, here 60: “Ich stund ungefähr dieser Tagen / Hinten am Hollunderzaun; / Da kam mein Pfäfflein und Mädelein traun, / Gingen auf und ab spazieren, / Thäten einander umschlungen führen, / Thäten mit Aeugleins sich begäffeln, / Einander in die Ohren räffeln, / Als wollten sie eben alsogleich / Miteinander ins Bett oder ins Himmelreich.”


Ibid., 70: “Ihr Jungfrauen, laßt Euch nimmer küssen / Von Pfaffen, die sonst nichts wollen noch wissen; / Denn wer möcht’ Einen zu Tische laden / Auf den bloßen Geruch von einem Braten? / Es gehört zu jeglichem Sacrament / Geistlicher Anfang, leiblich Mittel, fleischlich End.”


Munich: Verlag der literarisch-artistischen Anstalt; in parallel the edition cited below.


Reineke Fuchs von Wolfgang von Goethe mit Zeichnungen von Wilhelm von Kaulbach. Gestochen von R. Rahn und A. Schleich. Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta 1846, 146–147: “Raubt der König ja selbst so gut als einer, wir wissen’s; / Was er selber nicht nimmt, das läßt er Bären und Wölfe / Holen, und glaubt, es geschehe mit Recht. Da findet sich keiner, / Der sich getraut ihm die Wahrheit zu sagen, so weit hinein ist es / Böse, kein Beichtiger, kein Caplan; sie schweigen! Warum das? / Sie genießen es mit, und wär’ nur ein Rock zu gewinnen. / […] / Unser Herr ist der Löwe, und Alles an sich zu reißen, / Hält er seiner Würde gemäß. Er nennt uns gewöhnlich / Seine Leute; fürwahr, das Unsre, scheint es, gehört ihm.”


Ibid., 153: “Und die Legaten des Papsts, die Aebte, Pröpste, Prälaten, / Die Beguinen und Nonnen, da wäre vieles zu sagen! / Ueberall heißt es: Gebt mir das Eure und laßt mir dass Meine! / Wenige finden sich wahrlich, nicht sieben, welche der Vorschrift / Ihres Ordens gemäß ein heiliges Leben beweisen. / Und so ist der geistliche Stand gar schwach und gebrechlich.”


Goethe’s Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe letzter Hand. Dreyzehnter Band. Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta 1829, 246–296, here 292: “So flammte denn an meines Thrones Stufen / Der Freiheit plötzlich furchtbar Morgenroth.”


Ibid., 288–289: “Brüder, auf die Welt zu befreien! / Kometen winken, die Stund’ ist groß. / Alle Gewebe der Tyranneyen / Haut entzwey und reißt euch los! / […] / Noch ist vieles zu erfüllen, / Noch ist manches nicht vorbei; / Doch wir alle, durch den Willen, / Sind wir schon von Banden frei.”


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Werke. Hamburger Ausgabe. Vol. 5. 9th edition, Munich: dtv 1982, 724: “Am ersten Tage ließen die Schauspieler das, was sich auf die Person des Königs bezieht, aus, weil der König alle solche Beziehungen verbeten, ja verboten hat: dies hat jedoch gestern gesprochen werden müssen, und der Beifall war wütend.”


West-oestlicher Divan. Von Goethe. Stuttgart: Cotta 1819, 3: “Nord und West und Süd zersplittern, / Throne bersten, Reiche zittern, / Flüchte du, im reinen Osten / Patriarchenluft zu kosten, / Unter Lieben, Trinken, Singen, / Soll dich Chisers Quell verjüngen.”


Cf. ibid., 138.


See the comments in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Werke. Hamburger Ausgabe. Vol. 2. 12th edition. Munich: dtv 1982, 597 and 607.


Cf. Goethe: West-oestlicher Divan, 475: “wobey er sich, unter grossem Gelächter, nur mit Schimpfreden zu helfen und zu rächen sucht.”


Ibid., 17: “So, Hafis, mag dein holder Sang, / Dein heiliges Exempel, / Uns führen bei der Gläser Klang / Zu unsres Schöpfers Tempel.”


Cf. the commentary in Goethe: Werke. Hamburger Ausgabe, vol. 2, 648–649.


Cf. Goethe: West-oestlicher Divan, 429–430.


Cf. Franz Hadamowsky: Schiller auf der Wiener Bühne; Glossy: Zur Geschichte der Theater Wiens I (1801 bis 1820), 5; cf. also Glossy: Schiller und die Wiener Theaterzensur.


Friedrich Schiller: Maria Stuart: Ein Trauerspiel. Tübingen: Cotta 1801, 32–33: “Auch euern Stammbaum wieß er mir, er zeigte / Mir eure Abkunft von dem hohen Hause / Der Tudor, überzeugte mich, daß euch / Allein gebührt in Engelland zu herrschen, / Nicht dieser Afterkönigin, gezeugt / In ehebrecherischem Bett, die Heinrich, / Ihr Vater, selbst verwarf als Bastardtochter.”


Ibid., 46: “Ich sehe diesen hohen Adel Englands, / Des Reiches majestätischen Senat, / Gleich Sklaven des Serails den Sultanslaunen / Heinrichs des Achten, meines Großohms, schmeicheln—/ Ich sehe dieses edle Oberhaus, / Gleich feil mit den erkäuflichen Gemeinen, / Gesetze prägen und verrufen, Ehen / Auflösen, binden, wie der Mächtige / Gebietet, Englands Fürstentöchter heute / Enterben, mit dem Bastardnamen schänden, / Und morgen sie zu Königinnen krönen.”


Ibid., 131–132: “Euer Oheim gab / Das Beispiel allen Königen der Welt, / Wie man mit seinen Feinden Frieden macht, / Die Sankt Barthelemi sey meine Schule! / Was ist mir Blutsverwandtschaft, Völkerrecht? / Die Kirche trennet aller Pflichten Band, / Den Treubruch heiligt sie, den Königsmord, / Ich übe nur, was eure Priester lehren.”


Ibid., 72: “Noch viele heimliche Verehrer zählt / Der röm’sche Götzendienst auf dieser Insel. / […] / Zu Rheims, dem Bischofssitz des Kardinals, / Dort ist das Rüsthaus, wo sie Blitze schmieden, / Dort wird der Königsmord gelehrt—Von dort / Geschäftig senden sie nach deiner Insel / Die Missionen aus, entschloßne Schwärmer, / In allerley Gewand vermummt—Von dort / Ist schon der dritte Mörder ausgegangen.”—On the verdict in Venice, cf. Kucher: Herrschaft und Protest, 136–137.


Ibid., 23: “blinder Liebesglut.”


“An die Freude” [erste Fassung]. In: Friedrich Schiller: Gedichte. Ed. Georg Kurscheidt. Frankfurt: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 1992, 410–413: “Rettung von Tirannenketten […] Bettler werden Fürstenbrüder […] Brüder—überm Sternezelt richtet Gott wie wir gerichtet.”


Heinrich von Kleist: Erzählungen. Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung 1810.


Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv, Polizeihofstelle, 97k/1811. This assessment was previously cited on pp. 99–100.


Penthesilea: Ein Trauerspiel von Heinrich von Kleist. Tübingen: Cotta 1808. Ed. Joseph Kiermeier-Debre. Munich: dtv 1998 (text identical to the first printed edition), XV, 123–124: “Im blutgen Feld der Schlacht muß ich ihn suchen, / Den Jüngling, den mein Herz sich auserkohr, / Und ihn mit ehrnen Armen mir ergreifen, / Den diese weiche Brust empfangen soll. / […] / Der ersten Mütter Wort entschied es also, / Und dem verstummen wir, Neridensohn, / Wie deiner ersten Väter Worten du.”


Ibid., XV, 126: “Frei, wie der Wind auf offnem Blachfeld, sind / Die Frau’n, die solche Heldenthat vollbracht, / Und dem Geschlecht der Männer nicht mehr dienstbar. / Ein Staat, ein mündiger, sei aufgestellt, / Ein Frauenstaat, den fürder keine andre / Herrschsücht’ge Männerstimme mehr durchtrotzt, / Der das Gesetz sich würdig selber gebe, / Sich selbst gehorche, selber auch beschütze.”


Ibid., IV, 41–42: “Plätzchen unter Büschen […] auf Küßen heiß von Erz im Arm zu nehmen […] die Stirn bekränzt mit Todeswunden […] durch die Straßen häuptlings.”


Ibid., XIII, 100–101: “Du willst das Namenlos’ an ihr vollstrecken? / Hier diesen jungen Leib, du Mensch voll Greuel, / Geschmückt mit Reizen, wie ein Kind mit Blumen, / Du willst ihn schändlich, einer Leiche gleich –? / Achilles: Sag’ ihr, daß ich sie liebe.”


Ibid., IX, 77: “Laßt ihn mit Pferden häuptlings heim mich schleifen, / Und diesen Leib hier, frischen Lebens voll, / Auf offnem Felde schmachvoll hingeworfen, / Den Hunden mag er ihn zur Morgenspeise, / Dem scheußlichen Geschlecht der Vögel, bieten. / Staub lieber, als ein Weib sein, das nicht reizt.”


Ibid., XXIII, 171: “Sie schlägt, die Rüstung ihm vom Leibe reissend, / Den Zahn schlägt sie in seine weiße Brust, / Sie und die Hunde, die wetteifernden, / Oxus und Sphynx den Zahn in seine rechte, / In seine linke sie; als ich erschien, / Troff Blut von Mund und Händen ihr herab.”


Die unsichtbare Loge: Eine Lebensbeschreibung von Jean Paul. Zwei Teile. Zweite, verbesserte Auflage. Berlin: G. Reimer 1822, vol. 1, 67: “auf zwei Füße gestellten Schafe.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 179–180.


Ibid., vol. 2, 209: “weswegen man in die Kirche ginge und was sie gerade in Paris oder Versailles anhaben.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 310: “Für solche Leute von Ton müssen daher ordentliche Kirchenbetten in den Logen aufgeschlagen werden, damit es geht; so wie auch Spieltische, Eßtische, Ottomanen, Freundinnen u. dergl. in einer Hofkirche so unentbehrliche Dinge sind, daß sie besser an jedem andern Orte mangeln könnten als da.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 138: “Ich habe mit dem Tode geredet und er hat mich versichert, es gebe weiter nichts als ihn.”


Cf. Immanuel Kant: Critik der practischen Vernunft. Riga: Hartknoch 1788, 288 (Beschluß).


Die unsichtbare Loge, vol. 2, 148–149: “Ich schauete gerade zum Sternenhimmel auf; aber er erhelltet meine Seele nicht mehr wie sonst: seine Sonnen und Erden verwittern ja eben so wie die, worein ich zerfalle. Ob eine Minute den Maden-Zahn, oder ein Jahrtausend den Haifisch-Zahn, an eine Welt setze: das ist einerlei, zermalmt wird sie doch.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 76: “an die Mutterkirche des Ehebettes noch ein Ehefilial stoßen.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 99: “Der Scheerauische Sophi hatte nämlich die Gewohnheit, keine Geliebte abzudanken ohne ihr ein Landgut, oder ein Regiment, oder einen gestirnten Mann mitzugeben;—er ließ von einer Geliebten allzeit noch so viel übrig, daß noch eine Ehefrau für einen Ehetropfen daraus zu machen war, wie der Adler und Löwe, (auch Fürst der Thiere,) allemal ein Stück vom Raube unverzehrt für anderes Vieh liegen lassen.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 18: “lange oder weiter grünende Liebe […] kurze Liebe […] Immobiliarliebe […] hundert kursorischen Sekunden-Ehen oder Liebschaften über dem schleichenden Monatzeiger der langen fixen Liebe oder Ehe.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 155: “Wie Florens bunte Kinder bedecken Große ihre Liebe mit nichts—wie sie gatten sie sich, ohne sich zu kennen oder zu lieben—wie Blumen sorgen sie für ihre Kinder nicht,—sondern brüten ihre Nachkommen mit der Theilnahme aus, womit es ein Brütofen in Aegypten thut.”


Cf. ibid., 114–117: “fürstliches Gedärm.”


Des Feldpredigers Schmelzle Reise nach Flätz mit fortgehenden Noten; nebst der Beichte des Teufels bey einem Staatsmanne; von Jean Paul. Tübingen: Cotta 1809, 1: “Gute Fürsten bekommen leicht gute Unterthanen (nicht so leicht diese jene).”


Ibid., 9: “König Jacob von England, welcher davon laufend vor nakten Degen, desto kühner vor ganz Europa dem stürmenden Luther mit Buch und Feder entgegen schritt.” The editor of the critical Jean Paul edition rightfully assumed a confusion with Henry VIII, who engaged in theological disputes with Luther (see Jean Paul: Werke. Ed. Norbert Miller. Vol. 6. Munich: Hanser 1987, 1240).


Des Feldpredigers Schmelzle Reise nach Flätz, 4: “mit dem Pabste und dem Elephantenorden des Kardinal-Collegiums zugleich duellirt.”


Ibid., 64: “wie ein Affe […] ein ordinirter Prediger oder ein Pritschenmeister.”


Cf. Jean Paul: Werke. Ed. Norbert Miller, vol. 6, 1239.


Des Feldpredigers Schmelzle Reise nach Flätz, 129–130: “nur die Reinsten sollten sich vor ihm sehen lassen, und der Redliche sagte oft, sie seien gar nicht zu bezahlen, und klagte halb darüber.”


Ludwig Tieck: William Lovell. Erster Band. Berlin and Leipzig: Nicolai 1795, 169: “Nein, ich habe zum Dienste jener höheren Gottheit geschworen, vor der sich ehrerbietig die ganze lebende Natur neigt, die in sich jene abgesonderte Empfindung des Herzens vereinigt, die alles ist, Wollust, Liebe, für die die Sprache keine Worte, die Zunge keine Töne findet.”


Ibid., 271 and 272: “er komme zwar nicht selbst, aber in jeder Mitternacht rolle ein Todtenkopf, von einer Kugel durchbohrt, durch die Mitte seines Schlafzimmers, stehe vor seinem Bette stille, als wenn er ihn mahnend mit den leeren Augenhöhlen ansehen wolle, und verschwinde dann wieder. […] Dann richtete Wildberg seine Augen starr auf den Boden: sieh, sprach er leise, wie er zu mir heranschleicht! O vergieb, vergieb mir, mein lieber Freund, ängstige mich nicht öfter, ich habe genug gelitten.”


William Lovell von L. Tieck. Neue verbesserte Auflage, in zwei Bänden. Erster Band. Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung 1813, 170: “Auch ist hier keine rechte Kirche für unser einen, das ist schlimm, mein Herr geht oft in die Messe, doch hoffe ich immer noch, er thut es mehr der Weiber wegen, denn wenn er gar Andacht da hätte und katholisch würde, nein, Thomas, das könnt ich nimmermehr verwinden. Und es ist ein verführerisches Wesen mit den [!] Singsang und prächtigen Kleidern; ja, lieber Bruder, ich habe mich wohl auch hinein verleiten lassen, und habe ein oder zweimal (erschrick nur nicht), selbst eine Art von Andacht gespürt. Das darf nicht wieder kommen. Ei, wenn ich meine rechtgläubige Englische Gottesfurcht nicht wieder ganz heil und gesund mit mir zurück brächte, was würdest Du oder jeder Christ von mir denken müssen?”


William Lovell. Neue verbesserte Auflage, wörtlich nach dem Originale. (Ludwig Tieck’s sämmtliche Werke 16/17). Wien: Grund 1819.


Cf. Ludwig Tieck: Romane (Werke in vier Bänden), ed. Marianne Thalmann. Vol. 4. Munich: Winkler 1988, 828.


Vittoria Accorombona. Ein Roman in fünf Büchern von Ludwig Tieck. 2 Theile. Breslau: Josef Max und Komp. 1840, part 2, 12–14: “So wie fast alle Gesetze bei uns ihre Kraft verlohren haben, wie jeder thut, was er will, wie der Mächtige jedes Gelüste befriedigen kann, wie keiner ihm widersprechen darf, so frage ich nur: was würde aus uns hier werden, wenn diese Verbannten, die zu einer großen selbständigen Macht angewachsen sind, nicht einigermaßen diese Willkühr hemmten und zügelten? […] Sie sagen also durch ihren öffentlichen Austritt dreist und öffentlich: das Wesen, welches ihr einen Staat nennen wollt, erklären wir für untergegangen, hier in den Feldern, Bergen und Wäldern bilden wir vorläufig den ächten, wahren Staat, auf Freiheit gegründet, im Widerspruch aller jener quälenden, engherzigen Hemmungen und unverständigen Bedingungen, die ihr Gesetze nennen wollt! Alles, was sich losreißen kann, was der Freiheit genießen will, kommt zu uns, und früher oder später muß unsre Gesinnung die im Lande herrschende sein, aus unserer Kraft muß sich eine neue Verfassung, ein besseres Vaterland entwickeln, und die schlimmern Räuber, die engherzigen, klüglich Eigennützigen, die zaghaften Egoisten sitzen, von uns verbannt, hinter ihren morschen Mauern und wurmstichigen Gesetzen, an welche sie selber nicht mehr glauben.”


Ibid., part 1, 68: “Bis jetzt glaubten wir, daß die Päpste nur für die sogenannte Ewigkeit sorgten, aber jetzt werfen sie sich auch in die irdische Zeit, um da aufzuräumen.”


Ibid., part 1, 219: “Was wollt ihr bei dem Duckmäuser? rief Farnese laut lachend: dieser kriechende träge Esel aus der Mark der in seinen Geberden noch immer den Bettel seiner Eltern zur Schau trägt, der noch immer die Sprüchwörter der Kärrner und Viehtreiber von dort im Munde führt, ein würdiger Liebling jenes fanatischen Pius des fünften, der eben so armuthseelig entsprossen war […].”


Ibid., part 1, 156: “[…] die Päbste haben ihre Nepoten, die sie nicht nur beschützen, sondern reich und mächtig, oft, wenn sich die günstige Gelegenheit bietet, zu unabhängigen und regierenden Fürsten machen.—Könnte ich nun euch und die eurigen nicht auf ähnliche Weise adoptiren?”


Ibid., part 1, 171–172: “Und wie ich von der hergebrachten Ehe denke, weißt du ja längst, Mutter. Diese willkührliche Hingebung an schwache gewöhnliche, ja verächtliche Männer,—wie soll ich glauben, daß eine priesterliche Weihe, eine Ceremonie, dieses elende Verhältniß heiligen könne? Nur für das blöde Auge der Menge, für den zünftigen Priester, für jammervolle alte Gevatterinnen kann zwischen der privilegirten und scheinbar verbotenen Verbindung ein Unterschied statt finden.”


Cf. Ibid., part 1, 75–84.


Ibid., Teil 2, 245: “Da erschien im Dampf das Bild jener Isabelle von Florenz, dann der ermordete Peretti blutend. Ich wollte mich entfernen, als der Dampf so vermehrt wurde, daß ich zu ersticken fürchtete, und plötzlich standest Du, in Qualen, halb nackt, aus vielen Wunden blutend, verzerrten Angesichts.”


Cf. Ignaz Franz Castelli: Memoiren meines Lebens. Eine Auswahl veranstaltet von einer Arbeitsgemeinschaft unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Josef Lackner. Linz: Österreichischer Verlag für Belletristik und Wissenschaft 1947, 161–162.


Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv, Polizeihofstelle, 97k/1811: “Für das erste ist dieses Buch schon darum zu verbiethen, weil darin von Rosenkreutzern Erwähnung geschieht. Aber ausser diesem Umstand ist es ein Aggregat so unsinniger undecenter, und abgeschmackter Stellen, daß jeder Leser sich mit der Lectüre dieser Schrift nur die Zeit verderben kann. Zum Beyspiele mag dienen S. 114 das alberne Geschwätz des Juden Ahasverus, der den Glaubensgenossen Vorwürfe über ihren Wankelmuth und ihren Geldgeiz macht, S. 151 die indecente Stelle, wo Celinde bekennt, daß der Prediger Lyrer der sie in heiligem Glauben unterweisen sollte, mit Liebesthorheit berückt habe, und daß sie seiner Lust ganz ohne Lust diene; S. 154 die Stelle, wo Cardenio dem Prediger sagt: Halt’s Maul du dummer Pfaffe, ich laß mich nicht von deinen falschen Pfiffen blenden, kennst du Cardenio nicht besser, ich trage keinen Nasenring, daß mich ein solcher schwarzer Affe könnte durch die Gasse ziehn etc. S. 156 die freveliche Äusserung des Predigers: Ich bin ein Schüler Epikurs, ich weiß zu sterben, und habe keine Scheu vor dem, was jenseits kommt, denn da ist nichts etc.”


Ludwig Achim von Arnim: Halle und Jerusalem. Studentenspiel und Pilgerabentheuer. Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer 1811, 151: “Ich bin unsäglich unglücklich der Pred’ger Lyrer, der mich im heilgen Glauben unterweisen sollte, hat mich berückt mit Liebestorheit, und jetzt haß ich ihn aus voller Seele, ich weiß nicht mehr, wie alles sich verlaufen, ich liebte auch Viren, doch seit ich dich gesehn nicht mehr, ich zittre vor dem Prediger und weiß es nicht warum, ich diene seiner Lust ganz ohne Lust, zu dir ist alle meine Liebe hingewendet.”


Ibid., 114: “Euren Glauben ihr verlasset, hasset doch den Christenglauben, rauben laßt ihr willig alles, alles, alles nur kein Geld, stellet euch an fließend Wasser, lasset eure volle Kasten tief hinein, klein ist nur was ihr verlieret, zieret euch der Glaube, leicht beflügelt ist der Glaube, hebt so schwere Last nicht auf, werdet arm, ihr werdet seelig.”


One of Arnim’s sources is Cervantes’ “exemplary” novella about the gypsy girl Preciosa. This story was included in the first volume of the Novelas ejemplares translated by Dietrich Wilhelm Soltau under the title Lehrreiche Erzählungen (Königsberg: Nicolovius 1801), which was likewise prohibited in Austria.—On Arnim’s sources, cf. the edition in the “Bibliothek der Klassiker”: Achim von Arnim: Sämtliche Erzählungen 1802–1817, ed. Renate Möhring. Frankfurt: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag 1990, 1254–1259.


Achim von Arnim: Isabella von Aegypten, Kaiser Karl des Fünften erste Jugendliebe. Eine Erzählung. Melück Maria Blainville, die Hausprophetin aus Arabien. Eine Anekdote. Die drei liebreichen Schwestern und der glückliche Färber. Ein Sittengemälde. Angelika, die Genueserin, und Cosmus, der Seilspringer. Eine Novelle. Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung 1812, 34: “also hat Gott die von ihm geschaffene Welt geliebet, daß er ihr seinen eingebornen Sohn gesendet hat.”


Ibid., 83: “Pulsfühlen.”


Ibid., 98: “Herr, warum hat Gott die Menschen erschaffen, als alles übrige fertig war? Offenbar, weil das in ihrer Natur lag, als diese von Gott sich losgedacht hatte. Liegt das in ihrer Natur, so bleibts auch in ihrer Natur und der Mensch, der ein Ebenbild Gottes ist, kann etwas Ähnliches hervorbringen, wenn er nur die rechten Worte weiß, die Gott dabei gebraucht hat. Wenn es noch ein Paradis gäbe, so könnten wir so viel Menschen machen, als Erdenklöße darin legen […].”


Ibid., 102: “[…] eine alte Hexe, ein Todter, der sich lebendig stellen mußte, eine Schöne aus Thonerde und ein junger Mann aus einer Wurzel geschnitten, saßen in feierlicher Eintracht, hegten große Gedanken vom Glück des Lebens, das sie eben zu begründen fuhren […].”


Ibid., 107: “an der linken Hand” respectively 153: “Reichsallraun.”


Ibid., 168: “[Wir] aber, deren Vorältern durch sein politisches Glaubenswesen, so viel erlitten, die vom Allraun schnöder Geldlust fort und fort gereizt und gequält worden, und endlich selbst noch an der Trennung Deutschlands untergingen, welche er aus Mangel frommer Einheit und Begeisterung, indem er sie hindern wollte, hervorbrachte, wir fühlen uns durch das erzählte Mißgeschick seiner ersten Liebe, durch die Reue mit seiner Natur versöhnt, und sehen ein, daß nur ein Heiliger auf dem Throne jener Zeit hätte bestehen können.”


Ibid., 172: “bei lebendem Körper, mit offenen Augen.”


E.T.A. Hoffmann: Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr nebst fragmentarischer Biographie des Kapellmeisters Johannes Kreisler in zufälligen Makulaturblättern. Hg. v. E.T.A. Hoffmann. Zweiter Band. Berlin: Ferdinand Dümmler 1822, 78: “dieser jener hübschen Dirne unten im Schiff.”


Ibid., 119: “mönchischen Ungeschmack” respectively 122: “Zögling der Propaganda in Rom.”


Ibid., 381: “lügnerische Gaukelei trieb und daß alle Gründe, die er damals anführte, um ihn zum Eintritt ins Kloster zu bewegen, ebenso nur einer versteckten Absicht zum Vorwand dienen sollten als diejenigen die er nun für das Gegentheil aufstellte.”


Ibid., 382: “geistlicher Komödiant.”


“Datura fastuosa.” In: E.T.W. [!] Hoffmann’s erzählende Schriften in einer Auswahl. Vol. 14. Stuttgart: Brodhag 1831, 59: “mit ihren herrlich duftenden großen trichterförmigen Blumen.”


Ibid., 54–55: “das Leben in jenem strengen Orden, dessen Regel der erfinderische Wahnsinn des höchsten Fanatismus geschaffen.”


Ibid., 70: “den Umarmungen deiner Sara, deiner Ninon.”


Ibid., 99: “der seltsamsten Mystifikationen […]; nichts kettet aber fester als das Verbrechen, und Fermino glaubte daher mit Recht sich des Jünglings nicht besser versichern zu können, als wenn er die schlummernde Leidenschaft der Liebe mit aller Gewalt weckte, die ihn dann führen sollte zur fluchwürdigen That.”


Cf. the complete listing in Norbert Bachleitner (ed.): Quellen zur Rezeption des englischen und französischen Romans in Deutschland und Österreich im 19. Jahrhundert. Tübingen: Niemeyer 1990, 60–93.


Sybil White Wyatt: The English Romantic Novel and Austrian Reaction: A Study in Hapsburg-Metternich Censorship. New York: Exposition Press 1967.


Werke in 93 Bänden.


Auserlesene Werke in 74 Bänden.


Werke in 78 Bänden.


Woodstock, oder: Der Ritter. Eine Erzählung aus dem Jahre eintausend, sechshundert und ein und fünfzig. Von Walter Scott. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Georg Nicolaus Bärmann, der Weltweisheit Doctor und der freyen Künste Magister. 3 Bde. (Walter Scott’s Werke 58–60) Wien: Mausberger 1828. Bärmann’s translation had previously been published by Schumann in Zwickau.


Woodstock, oder der Cavalier. Aus dem Englischen des Sir Walter Scott. 2 Theile. (Walter Scott’s Werke. Neu übersetzte, verbesserte Ausgabe 43 + 44) Grätz: Kienreich 1829.


Woodstock, romantische Darstellung aus den Zeiten Cromwell’s von Walter Scott. Übersetzt von C.F. Michaelis. 3 Theile. (Walter Scott’s auserlesene Werke 58–60) Wien: Anton Strauß 1827. The edition published a year earlier under the same title by Herbig in Leipzig served as the template for this translation.


Walter Scott: Woodstock; or, the Cavalier. A Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred and Fifty-One. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green 1826, vol. I, 6. (“Von Bevis [dem Hund des königstreuen Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley] galt allerdings das Sprichwort: “das ist ein guter Hund, der in die Kirche geht:” denn eine gelegentliche Versuchung ausgenommen, bei dem Gesange laut zu werden, betrug er sich so anständig, als irgend Jemand von der Gemeinde, und ging vielleicht eben so erbaut von dannen, als manche unter ihnen.”)—This and the following German citations in the footnotes are from the aforementioned Leipzig edition (Woodstock, romantische Darstellung aus den Zeiten Cromwell’s von Walter Scott. Übersetzt von C.F. Michaelis. 3 Theile. Leipzig: Herbig 1826); each reference to a page in this edition is followed by a slash and a reference to the corresponding place (that is, place of omission) in the Vienna edition published by Strauß, here I, 3–4/7.


Ibid., I, 9. (“Der Eigendünkel dieser gelehrten Thebaner stand in genauem Ebenmaaß zu ihrer Unwissenheit; dieß war eine gänzliche Unwissenheit, und ihr Eigendünkel war grenzenlos. Ihr Benehmen in der Kirche war alles Andre, als andächtig oder erbaulich. Die meisten affectirten eine cynische Verachtung alles dessen, was blos durch menschliche Verfügung als heilig galt; die Kirche war diesen Leuten nur ein Haus mit einem Thurme, der Geistliche ein gewöhnlicher Mann; die Kirchenordnungen gleich trocknen Kleien und geschmacklosen Brühen, unpassend für den geistigen Gaumen der Heiligen; und das Gebet, eine Anrede an Gott, welcher sich Jeder anschloß oder nicht, je nachdem es seinem überkritischen Urtheil angemessen dünkte.” I, 6–7/9).


Ibid., I, 13. (“Ich finde am Schnitt Deines Mantels oder im Tuche, woraus er gemacht ist, (so) wenig zu respectiren, […] (als Du am Chorrock des Bischoffs respectirtest; der war schwarz und weiß, Du gehst braun und blau.) Schlafende (Hunde) seid ihr (allesammt), legt euch nieder, schlafet ihr—Hirten, die die Heerde verschmachten lassen, aber sie nicht hüten; Jeder sucht nur seinen Gewinn.” I, 10/12).


I, 17–18/17.


Ibid. I, 19–20. (“Ihr waret Alle zu geschäftig, Taschenmesser für die faulen Flormänner zu Oxford zu verfertigen, für prahlerische Priester, deren Augen so vom Fett verschlossen waren, daß sie das Verderben nicht eher sahen, als bis es sie bei der Kehle faßte. Doch ich kann Euch sagen, wo das Schwert geschmiedet wurde, und gehärtet und geschweißt, und gewetzt, und polirt. Als Ihr, wie ich zuvor sagte, Taschenmesser für falsche Priester, und Dolche für ausschweifende verdammte Cavaliere machtet, dem Englischen Volke die Kehle damit abzuschneiden—wurde es zu Long-Marston-Moor geschmiedet, wo die Schläge schneller auf einander folg[t]en, als je von einem Hammer oder Ambos wiederhallten—und es wurde zu Naseby gehärtet, im besten Blut der Rojalisten—und es ward geschweißt in Irland an den Mauern von Drogheda—und es ward gewetzt am Leben der Schotten zu Dunbar—und nun wurde es neuerlich polirt in Worcester, bis es so hell schimmert, wie die Sonne mitten am Himmel, und da ist kein Licht in England, das ihm nahe kommen soll.” I, 17/18)—It hardly needs to be mentioned that the Puritans’ favorite insults applied to Catholics and Anglicans, namely “Papisten” (in the original: “Papists”) respectively “Prälatisten” (“Prelatists”), were omitted along with their common supplements “faul” (“slothful”) or “verblendet” (“deluded”) (I, 19/19, I, 21/20, and elsewhere).


Ibid., I, 21–22. (“Schmiedet Ihr nun nicht Complotte, oder seid bereit, sie zu schmieden, um den jungen Mann, wie Ihrs nennt, wieder einzusetzen, den unreinen Sohn des geschlachteten Tyrannen—den Flüchtling, den die treuen Herzen von England jetzt verfolgen, damit sie ihn ergreifen und tödten mögen?—“Warum soll Euer Reiter [d. i. Cromwell] seinen Zügel nach unserm Wege lenken?” sprecht Ihr in Euern Herzen; (“wir wollen nichts von ihm wissen; wenn wir uns selbst helfen können, so wollen wir uns lieber im Koth der Monarchie wälzen, mit der Sau, die nur erst gewaschen war.”—Wohlan, Ihr Männer von Woodstock, ich will fragen, und Ihr sollt mir antworten. Hungert Ihr nach den Fleischtöpfen der Mönche von Godstow? und Ihr werdet sagen: nein. Aber warum? nur, weil die Töpfe zersprungen und zerbrochen sind, und das Feuer ausgelöscht ist, womit man in Deinem Ofen zu kochen pflegte?)” I, 19/19).


Ibid., I, 23–24. (“Gewiß einer von Euern Park-Aufsehern, die nie vergessen können, daß sie C.R. auf ihren Schildern und Hüfthörnern trugen, gerade wie ein Hund den Namen seines Herrn am Halsbande trägt—ein schönes Sinnbild für Christenmenschen! Aber das unvernünftige Thier hat noch den Vorzug vor ihm—es trägt sein eignes Fell, und der armselige Sklave trägt den Rock seines Herrn! Ich habe so einen Schalk unlängst hängen gesehen.” I, 20–21/20).—C.R. is presumably the abbreviation for Carolus Rex.


Ibid., I, 24–25. (“Und Ihr habt eine fürstliche Waldhütte darin, und Ihr habt eine Eiche, die Ihr die Königs-Eiche nennt; und Ihr stehlt und esset das Wild des Parks; und Ihr sagt: dieß ist des Königs Wildpret, wir wollen es mit einem Becher auf des Königs Gesundheit hinunterspülen—besser wir essen es, als jene stutzköpfigen republikanischen Schurken. Aber horcht auf mich, und laßt Euch warnen. Um dieser Dinge willen kommen wir mit Euch zu streiten. Und unser Name soll ein Kanonenschuß seyn, vor welchem Euer Parkhaus, in dessen Anmuth Ihr Euch die Zeit vertreibt, in Ruinen zerfallen soll; und wir werden seyn wie ein Keil, der die Königseiche in Scheite zersplittert, einen braunen Backofen zu heizen […].” I, 22/21).


Ibid. I, 256. (“keine Teufel oder bösen Geister gegen Jemand losgehen, der in seinem Busen das Wort der Wahrheit trägt, in derselbigen Sprache, in der es zuerst eingegeben worden.” I, 240/205).


Ibid., II, 132. (“nicht in der gottlosen Bedeutung der Amulete oder Zaubersprüche, wie sie die verblendeten Papisten nebst dem Zeichen des Kreuzes und andern fruchtlosen Formen anwenden”; II, 123/110).


Ibid., II, 71. (“die Heiligkeit in Gesinnungen und Thaten, nicht in den Gebäuden, den Taufsteinen oder Formen des Gottesdienstes wohne”; II, 65/60).


Ibid., III, 164. (“die Kirchen seien große, mächtige Häuser, erbaut durch die Maurer; die Hörer aber seien Männer, reiche Männer, welche Zehnden, höhere sowohl, als niedrigere, bezahlen; und die Priester—Männer in schwarzen Talaren oder grauen Mänteln, welche eben jene einnähmen,—seien dafür zum Lohn die einzigen Vertheiler der christlichen Seligkeit”; III, 136).


Ibid., I, 225. (“Ihr Thoren! gibt es keine aus Buchstaben gebildete Worte, die eben so gut klingen würden, als Karl Stuart, mit dem zauberischen Titel daneben? Das Wort König gleicht ja nur einer angezündeten Lampe, welche die nämliche Vergoldung auf jede Verbindung des Alphabets wirft, und doch müßt ihr euer Blut für einen Namen vergießen!” I, 210–211/180).


Ibid., III, 338–339. (“Doch was können sie in der längsten königlichen Linie in Europa erblicken, außer daß sie in einen glücklichen Krieger zurückläuft? Das aber wurmt mich, daß einem Manne darum Ehre und Gehorsam zu Theil werden soll, weil er von einem siegreichen Feldherrn abstammt, dagegen ein Anderer sich mindrer Ehre und Anhänglichkeit erfreut, welcher an persönlichen Eigenschaften und glücklichem Erfolge mit dem Begründer der Dynastie seines Nebenbuhlers zu wetteifern vermöchte?” III, 324/274).


Ibid., I, 77. (“seltenes Denkmal alter Verruchtheit”, “damit das Land von dem Andenken daran gereiniget werden möge, und nie wieder sich an die Ungerechtigkeit erinnere, mit welcher seine Väter gesündigt haben”; I, 71/62).


Ibid., I, 159. (“Retter des Staats”, “mit Hülfe der Vorsehung”; I, 150/128).


Ibid., II, 54. (“große[r] Anführer, mit welchem die Vorsehung in dieser großen Nationalstreitigkeit erschienen ist”, “treffliche[r] und siegreiche[r] General Oliver, den der Himmel lange erhalte”; II, 48/46)


Hermann Münzenberger: Beleuchtung des Romanes oder Was ist der Roman? Was ist er geworden? und Was kann er werden? Straßburg: Treuttel und Würtz 1825, 114–115; cited in Hartmut Steinecke: Romantheorie und Romankritik in Deutschland: Die Entwicklung des Gattungsverständnisses von der Scott-Rezeption bis zum programmatischen Realismus, vol. 2: Quellen. Stuttgart: Metzler 1976, 40–41: “Erkenntniß seines bürgerlichen Standpunktes und Rechtes […] Summen der Gedanken, Gesinnungen, Anstrebungen, Triebe und lebendigen Kräfte, die in einem bestimmten Fortlauf der Dinge mit gegebenen Ursachen und Wirkungen sich äußern. […] Dies richtige Erkennen unsers politischen Standpunktes in der Welt und unter Menschen, das wir durch die eigene Bildung und durch den in das Weltgemälde geworfenen Blick verschafft haben, giebt uns erst den richtigen und würdigen Begriff vom Staat, von Volk und Fürst, und mit demselben Mittel, die große Kluft zwischen Thron und Hütte auszufüllen, zu ebenen und zugänglich zu machen. […] Haben wir uns aber den richtigen Begriff von Volk und Fürst angeeignet, so können wir auch, in die Wirklichkeit blickend, uns fragen: Ist denn dieser Begriff wirklich anerkannt? Ist er realisirt im Leben? nicht als Ideal, aber im Streben nach dem Ideale, richtig aufgefaßt? Da bietet der Roman sich uns an als der Führer an dem Hof.”


Ibid., I, 283–284. (“(Es war seltsam zu betrachten, welche sonderbare Menge von Mißgriffen und Irrthümern, von Seiten des Königs und seiner Minister, von Seiten des Parlaments und seiner Anführer, von Seiten der verbündeten Königreiche England und Schottland gegen einander, sich verbunden hatten, Menschen von so gefährlichen Meinungen und selbstsüchtigen Charakteren zu Schiedsrichtern über das Schicksal Englands empor zu bringen.) Diejenigen, welche für Parteien streiten, werden alle Fehler auf der einen Seite sehen, ohne jene auf der andern eines Blicks zu würdigen. Jene, welche Geschichte zur Belehrung studiren, werden bemerken, daß nichts, als Mangel an Nachgiebigkeit auf beiden Seiten, und die tödtlich gewordene Erbittrung zwischen den Parteien des Königs und des Parlaments, so gänzlich das wohl abgemessene Gleichgewicht der Englischen Constitution erschüttern konnte. Aber wir eilen, politische Reflexionen zu verlassen (, um so mehr, da den Unsrigen, wie wir glauben, weder Whig noch Tory gefallen wird).” I, 264–265/225).


James Fenimore Cooper: The Jack O’Lantern; (Le feu-follet;) or, The Privateer. 3 vols. London: Bentley 1842, here vol. 1, 22. (“Hafen Seiner Kaiserlich Königlichen Hoheit”; James Fenimore Cooper: Das Irrlicht oder der Kaper. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt. 2 Teile. (Sämmtliche Werke, vol. 184–189) Frankfurt: Sauerländer 1843, here I, 27). It was this translation of the novel that was prohibited.


Ibid., I, 180. (“Ich fand in ihm einen friedlichen, ehrwürdigen, und, wie ich fest glaube, guten alten Mann […]; aber nur einen Mann. Ich konnte keine Unfehlbarkeit an ihm gewahr werden; aber eine Schaar schurkischer Kardinäle und anderer Unheilstifter, welche eher im Stande schienen, die Christenheit in Zank und Hader zu bringen, als sie für den Himmel vorzubereiten, umgaben seinen Thron.” I, 160).


Ibid., III, 143. (“Peste! diese Geistlichen sind wahre Geißeln, welche geschickt worden sind, den Menschen in jeder Gestalt zu quälen. Sie schärfen schwere Lehren in der Jugend ein, predigen Enthaltsamkeit in der Jugend, und machen uns abergläubisch und einfältig im Alter. Ich wundere mich nicht, daß meine wackern Landsleute sie aus Frankreich gejagt haben. Sie thaten nichts als gleich Heuschrecken fressen und die Reize der Schöpfung verunstalten.” II, 275).


Ibid., I, 114. (“Seht Signore,—wir nennen Eure Ceremonien, und Bilder, und Gewänder, und Glockenläuten, und Verbeugen und Scharren gar nicht Religion […].” I, 105).


Ibid., I, 107. (“Götzendienst, die schrecklichste aller Sünden—eine Sünde, vor welcher jeder wahre Christ den gerechtesten Abscheu hat. Ich wollte lieber diese Weinflasche anbeten,—ja, ja—als den besten Heiligen in dem ganzen Buche Eures Pfarrers.” I, 99).


Ibid., II, 8 (“ein Amerikaner, der lange genug gelebt hat, um die Luftsprünge der meisten neuern Secten seines Vaterlandes in den letzten fünf und zwanzig Jahren mitanzusehen”, “eine Art gebührender Achtung gegen die ständigern, ehrwürdigen Abtheilungen der christlichen Welt fühlen”; I, 271).


Ibid., II, 6–7. (“Die gemeinsten Beschuldigungen einer äußerst gemeinen Rotte sectirender Ansichten waren in seinem Kopfe aufgehäuft, und er hielt es für einen hohen Beweis protestantischer Vollkommenheit, alle die Gebräuche, denen man sich entschlagen, zu verabscheuen und zu verfluchen.” I, 269).


George Sand: Consuelo—La Comtesse de Rudolstadt. Texte présenté et annoté par Simone Vierne et René Bourgeois. 3 vols. Meylan: Éditions de l’ Aurore 1983, here vol. 2, 240: “qu’ elle fût en train de descendre cette pente fatale du pouvoir absolu, qui éteint peu à peu la foi dans les âmes les plus généreuses.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 210: “Cette cour de Vienne est donc bien hypocrite? dit Consuelo.—Je crains, entre nous soit dit, répondit Joseph en baissant la voix, que notre grande Marie-Thérèse ne le soit un peu.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 312.


Ibid., vol. 2, 79: “[…] les rois n’ ont jamais tort, et sont innocents de tout le mal qu’ on fait pour leur plaire.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 83: “C’ est que nous soyons en sûreté, vous et moi, au milieux d’ eux.” Haydn offers a similar picture of the hatred felt by lackeys for the powerful men in the world due to their misdeeds when he describes their attitude: “Vengeance, subterfuge, perfidy, adversity, and eternal enmity to the lords who feel superior to us and whose turpitudes we reveal!” (Ibid., vol. 2, 208: “Vengeance, ruse, perfidie, éternel dommage, éternelle inimitié aux maîtres qui se croient nos supérieurs et dont nous trahissons les turpitudes!”).


Ibid., vol. 2, 243.


Ibid., vol. 2, 81.


Ibid., vol. 1, 205: “[…] je hais déjà l’ Autriche de tout mon coeur.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 280: “a toujours été affamée de ce suc de la vie des nations, du travail et de la sueur des pauvres.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 279: “Le concile de Bâle avait prononcé que c’ était une profanation de donner aux laïques le sang du Christ sous l’ espèce du vin, alléguant, voyez le beau raisonnement! que son corps et son sang étaient également contenus sous les deux espèces, et que qui mangeait l’ un buvait l’ autre. Comprenez-vous?”


Ibid.: “Il me semble que les Pères du concile ne se comprenaient pas beaucoup eux-mêmes.”


Alexandre Dumas: Sylvandire. Bruxelles et Leipzig: Meline, Cans et Cie. 1843, vol. 1, 7: “pauvre petite opposition.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 17: “favoris de madame de Maintenon, du Père Lachaise, et de M. du Maine […] exécrait cordialement la vieille, le jésuite et les bâtards.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 46: “la vieille machine” respectively 49: “vieux roi toujours de mauvaise humeur” respectively 245: “ce grand cadavre qu’ on appelait Louis XIV […], frappé par la main de Dieu dans la personne de ses fils et de ses petits-fils.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 145: “Tout ce que fait la Maintenon / Ne saurait jamais être bon. / Cette vieille sempiternelle, / A donné la guerre au Voisin. / Et je crois que Polichinelle / Aura les finances demain.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 132: “que le roi devenait aveugle si bien, qu’ il n’ y voyait plus qu’ avec les lunettes de madame de Maintenon.”


Ibid., vol. 1, 146: “terrible troupeau d’ hommes noirs.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 206: “Le chevalier Roger Tancrède d’Anguilhem avait purement et simplement vendu sa femme à un corsaire tunisien […]. Ce qui n’ était pas mal ingénieux pour un provincial.”


Ibid., vol. 2, 236: “il parait qu’ il y a cependant un Dieu pour les honnêtes gens, puisque ce Dieu me délivre l’ un après l’ autre de tous mes persécuteurs. Le proverbe a bien raison de dire: Aide-toi, le ciel t’ aidera.”


Verpönt, Verdrängt—Vergessen? (, last accessed on 12/13/2021).


The exact number of titles cannot be determined, since several collected editions like The Best Tragedie’s And Comedie’s Selected from the Works of Addisson. Banks. Shakespear. Philips. Rowe. Thomson. Howard. Farquhar (London: Booksellers 1765 ff.) as well as parts of Christian Heinrich Schmid’s seven-volume series Englisches Theater are on the prohibition lists.


Shakspeare’s Schauspiele von Johann Heinrich Voß und dessen Söhnen Heinrich Voß und Abraham Voß, vol. 6,1. Stuttgart: Metzler 1824.


Johann Friedrich Schink: Prinz Hamlet von Dännemark. Marionettenspiel. Berlin: Himburg 1799.


Tieck included the play in his Altenglisches Theater. Oder Supplemente zum Shakspear (Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung 1811).


Volpone ou le renard (Paris 1835).


Dramatic Works (London 1761).


Die weiblichen Liebhaber (Herrnhut [= Hamburg] 1751).


Freundschaft nach der Mode (Frankfurt und Leipzig 1770).


Der Rückfall oder die Tugend in Gefahr (Göttingen 1750).


Der Hochzeitstag (Kopenhagen 1759) and Die Nonne oder der ertappte Mönch (Leipzig 1782).


Der Ton der großen Welt (Gotha 1825).


La Duègne (Paris 1835) respectively Ein Ausflug nach Scarborough (Gotha 1828).


The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon. Vol. 10. Ed. Fredson Bowers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1996, 752.


Margaret Drabble (ed.): The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Revised Edition. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press 1998, 353.


The Works of Mr. Francis Beaumont, and Mr. John Fletcher. Volume the Ninth. London: Tonson and Draser 1750, 388. (“Cesario. Reich’ mir die Lippe, / Sanft schwellend, so wie sie Alberto einst, / Nach dem Verlauf der ersten Nacht, bei’m Abschied, / Nachdem er dich besiegt, genoß. / Mariane. Unbändiger! / Cesario. Soll ich nicht Herr von meinen Freuden seyn! / Ihr seyd jetzt mein; wozu die Ziererei! / Studirt der Liebe Künste wieder ein, / Daß sich in uns Genuß, sehnsüchtig’ Wünschen / Entgegen kommen. Dieses Sprödethun / Gefällt mir nicht!” Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher: Das schöne Schenkmädchen, Tragi-Comödie in fünf Acten, nach Beaumont und Fletcher. Weimar: A. Tantz & Comp. 1836, 85–86).


Ibid., 388. (“Was ist ein Mädchen für ein schönes Spielzeug!” 85).


Ibid., 369. (“Daran seyd Ihr selbst Schuld; denkt an Euer eignes Sprichwort: der Duft jedes Gewinnes riecht gut; dankt also niemand als Euch für die Unruh.” 54).


Ibid., 369. (“Höre, Mädchen, welcher von diesem Mischmasch von Mannsfleisch scheint Deiner Wahl erträglich. Sag’s kurz und rede wahr; ich muß und will es wissen, muß und will: hörst Du?” 54–55).


Ibid., 399. (“Gewiß schmeckten die Holländer, daß es Biersuppe war, sonst hätten sie es um des Namens willen nicht genossen.”—“Alles was Katholisch hieß, war dem Holländer bekanntlich ebenso zuwider, als er sonst ein Freund von Biersuppen war und wohl noch ist.” 107)


Ibid., 400. (“und ist, glaube ich, mein Leib, wie ein gutter Puritanerbauch am Charfreitag, zu dick mit Capaunen gefüttert.” 109).


“Vermuthlich eine Anspielung auf den berühmten Dr. Lamb, großen Zauberer unter Jacob I.” (127).


Ibid., 410. (“ihrer Lust zu fröhnen, oder Beleidigungen zu rächen”; 127).


Schink: Prinz Hamlet, 175: “das schmeckt sehr nach Demokratie.”


Ibid., 7: “das dicke Ding.”


Ibid., 8: “Du wirst schon sehn. Kömmt eilf heran, / Bums ist er da, der Bauch voran.”


Ibid., 3–4: “Von vielem Unheil würde das retten, / Da melkten keine Maitressen das Land; / Was schadet um Holz wohl ein Stern und ein Band? / Da giebt’s weit schlimm’re Marionetten / Aus Fleisch und Bein, gezogen am Draht / Von Räthen und Priestern! Besonders die Fetten, / Je fetter sie, je mag’rer der Staat!”


Ibid., 14: “Auch bin ich ganz kaput, ich les’ und denk’ nicht mehr, / Und, wie ein Dommherrnkopf, ist mir der Schädel leer.”


Ibid., 128: “Trug nicht schon mancher Schöps selbst Peters heil’ge Krone? / Und ward mit Preis und Ruhm geschmückt? / Oldenholm. Ein Schöps, als Fürst von Rom! Ei, ei! / Vom heil’gen Vater ist das doch ein wenig frei.”


Ibid., 52: “Meinst Du, ein König müß selbst handeln, hören, sehen? / Das, leider! Wie man sagt, soll in Berlin geschehen. / Der ist ein König auch, ganz eigner Art, mein Kind! / Weh allen Hofmarschall’n, wenn mehr dergleichen sind.”


Ibid., 113–114: “Vom jungen König selbst, der Friedrichs Thron itzt ziert, / Sagt man, daß, leider! Er durch Thaten nur regiert. / Allein, wenn Mode das auf allen Thronen wäre, / Wer Henker! Bliebe Fürst? Und dankte nicht der Ehre? / […] / Pflicht ist für keinen Herrn, Pflicht ist nur für die Diener, / Und, wer es anders sagt, der ist ein—Jacobiner.”


Ibid., 19: “Dann nehm’ ich ihn bei’m Kopf, eh’ er die List entdeckt, / Und schlag’ ihm hinter’s Ohr, daß er die Viere streckt. / Er schlug den Vater todt in seines Lebens Blüthe, / Drum dreh’ ich ihm den Hals. / Hauptmann. Welch nobeles Gemüthe!”


Ibid., 107: “Nur hängt dein Herz nicht mehr an Scherz und Spiel, / Und kömmt die Nacht, schläffst du fast allzuviel. / Zwar liebst du mich, ich weiß es, ohn’ Ermessen, / Doch mehr noch liebst du guten Trunk und Essen.”


Ibid., 108: “Ich bin schon an die funfzig, Schaz, / Kein j’ ai l’ honneur schielt mehr nach meinem Laz. / Von meinem Reiz singt keine Dichterfeder, / Und meine Hand küßt man nur noch—im Leder.”


Ibid., 143: “Ein sanftes Lamm war’t ihr, seyd nun ein Höllenbesen, / Weib eines garst’gen Molchs, kaum Teufeln angenehm.”


A list of forbidden contemporary works on the scandalous couple can be found in Sangmeister: Vertrieben vom Feld der Literatur, 117.


Ibid., 75: “Seht ihr die Dame hier, behängt mit einzeln Fetzen, / Mit halbem Hemde nur, die Brust und Schultern nackt? / Im Gliederbau verrenkt, an Haupt und Fuß kontrakt? / Seht ihr sie bleich und blaß, die Wangen ohne Rosen, / Ein klapperndes Geripp? Ach! Sie hat die—Franzosen.”


Ibid., 160: “Noch will ich obendrein für einen Heil’gen sorgen, / Der unverweslich blieb im Grabe viele Jahr; / Den stell’ ich als Beweis des Wohlgefallens dar / Der Vorsehung mit mir und meiner Zepterführung, / Mit meiner preißlichen, höchst glücklichen Regierung. / Befehle, dass man aus ihn zur Verehrung stellt, / Und laut erklärt für mich sich rings die Priesterwelt.”


Ibid., 206: “Der Kön’ge erste Pflicht ist, Aufklärung zu verbreiten, / Sie ist des Thrones Stütz’, und bleibt’s zu allen Zeiten.”


Ibid., 37: “Mein Leben ist ein Quarck.”


Cf. Miscellanies by Henry Fielding, Esq. With an Introduction and Commentary by Bertrand A. Goldgar. The Text Edited By Hugh Amory. Vol. 2. Hanover, New Hampshire: The University Press of New England—Oxford: Oxford University Press 1993, xliii–xlix.


Cf. Tiffany Potter: Honest Sins: Georgian Libertinism & the Plays & Novels of Henry Fielding. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press 1999, 67–73.


Der Hochzeitstag ein Lustspiel wie es auf dem königlichen Theater in Drury-Läne ist aufgeführet worden, und Eurydice ein Nachspiel, so wie es ist ausgepfiffen worden auf dem königlichen Theater in Drury-Läne beyde aus dem Englischen des Herrn Henry Fielding übersetzt. Kopenhagen, auf Kosten der Rothenschen Buchhandlung 1759.


Der Hochzeittag, oder der Feind des Ehestandes. Ein Lustspiel in fünf Aufzügen, nach dem Englischen des Henry Fielding. Aufgeführet auf der Kayserl. Königl. Privilegirten Schaubühne zu Wien. Wien, zu finden im Kraußischen Buchladen, nächst der Kaiserl. Königl. Burg 1764.


A term apparently coined by George Sand, as mentioned in the discussion of her novel Consuelo—La Comtesse de Rudolstadt, cf. p. 325.


Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 3.


Der Hochzeittag 1764, 5.


Henry Fielding: The Wedding-Day. A Comedy. London: Millar 1743, 3. (“Millam. […] Sie haben mehr gepaaret, als das Gesetz der Unterhaltung geschieden hat, und Sie haben mehr ohne Erlaubniß miteinander zu Bette geschicket, als irgend ein Priester in Fleet. Fr. Usef. Ich möchte wünschen, daß ich ein Paar hätte verhindern können, es mit Erlaubniß zu thun. Millam. Wie, hat etwa eine einträgliche Hure sich wider Ihre Macht aufgelehnet, und sich unter die Fahne des Hymens begeben? Trösten Sie sich über diesen Verlust.—Ich setze mein Leben gegen einen Heller, sie wird bald zu ihrer Pflicht zurückkehren. Das Huren gleicht der Mathematic; wer einmahl eingeweyhet ist, kann gewiß seyn, er werde sich nicht wieder herausziehen.” Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 4).


Ibid., 4. (“zwo so fürtreffliche Eigenschaften für einen Ehemann und einen Hahnrey, als man sich nur wünschen mag”; 6).


Der Hochzeittag 1764, 7: “Reich und alt—diese Wahl macht ihrem Verstande Ehre.”


“Heartf. Nun, ist dann Ihre Levée vorbey? Ich begegnete einigen veralteten Huren, die so stolz die Treppe herabgiengen, als alte Hofleute von dem Levée des Ministers zurückkommen, aber auch mit einem ebenso verdrießlichem [!] Gesicht.” (Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 14–15; vgl. Der Hochzeittag 1764, 15). Where two page numbers separated by a slash appear here and in the following, the first number refers to the respective passage in the Copenhagen edition, the second to the corresponding passage (or in some cases, omission) in the Viennese edition.


Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 71: “Kayser.” In Fielding’s original, the passage reads: “to see her a-bed with the Emperor of Germany” (The Wedding-Day, 42).


Der Hochzeittag 1764, 56: “König.”


E.g. pages 21/19.


The Wedding-Day, 78. (“die Hahnreyschaft ist wohl die allgemeinste Krankheit im ganzen Reich”; Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 132).


The Wedding-Day, 37. (“alten verschimmelten Kasten, den Armen ihres Mannes”; Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 64).


The Wedding-Day 1759, 38. (“dem Heil Ihrer Seele nachtheilig wäre”; Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 64).


Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 29: “Altären.”


Der Hochzeittag 1764, 21: “vor ihren Götzen und Geliebten kniend.”


The Wedding-Day, 18. (“Heart. […] Kurz, es ist eben so gefährlich öffentlich über die Narrheit zu spotten, als in der Türkey gegen den Mahometanischen Glauben zu reden, oder in Rom gegen das Pabstthum.” Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 31–32); vgl. Der Hochzeittag 1764, 23.


Der Hochzeitstag 1759, 120: “Heilige.”


Der Hochzeittag 1764, 97: “Engel.”


For example: Lucien Arnault: Cathérine de Medicis, aux états de Blois und Gustave-Adolphe, ou La bataille de Lutzen; Michael Beer: Struensée; Henri Bonnias: Le 9 Thermidor; Alexandre Dumas: Henri III et sa cour; Charles Désiré Dupeuty: Napoléon, ou Schoenbrunn et Sainte-Hélène; Joseph Philippe Lockroy: Un duel sous le cardinal de Richelieu; Joseph-Bernard Rosier: Charles IX. This category also included works by well-known authors that can be considered Romanticists, like Casimir Delavigne: Marino Faliero and Louis XI; Victor Hugo: Le roi s’ amuse; Prosper Mérimée: Théâtre de Clara Gazul; Alfred de Musset: Lorenzaccio; George Sand: Les Mississipiens and Cosima ou la haine dans l’ amour.


E.g. Jean-Francois-Alfred Bayard and Louis-Emile Vanderburch: Le gamin de Paris; Anne-Honoré-Joseph Duveyrier, dit Mélesville: Michel Perrin; Adolphe d’ Ennery: L’ idée du mari; Paul de Kock: Dupont mon ami; Michel-Nicolas Balisson de Rougemont: La fille du cocher.


Étienne Jouy: Guillaume Tell; Giacomo Meyerbeer: Robert der Teufel; Eugène Scribe: Die Hugenotten and La juive.


Examples for this category are Paul Féval: Le fils du diable or Eugène Sue: Les mystères de Paris.


Les Mississipiens. Proverbe. In: Œuvres de George Sand, vol. 25. Paris: Magen et Comon 1841, 177–386.


Ibid., 342: “Si ce papier est meilleur que l’ argent, qu’ on nous le reprenne quand nous n’ en voulons plus, et qu’ on nous rende ce vil métal dont nous voulons bien nous contenter. Que diable! Ceci est une plaisanterie de fort mauvais goût, monsieur Bourset!”


Ibid., 235: “En votre âme et conscience, Bourset, vous ne pensez pas que la France et le régent fassent de compagnie la plus grande sottise du monde?”


Ibid., 182: “Autrefois les femmes valaient mieux; c’ est un fait, elles nous aimaient quelquefois pour nous-mêmes; pas souvent, mais enfin ça se voyait, tandis qu’ aujourd’ hui il n’ y a pas un regard qu’ il ne faille payer au poids de l’ or … La Maintenon, et avec elle la dévotion, a introduit cet usage …”


Ibid., 180–181: “[…] je vais aller m’ enrhumer dans vos diables d’ églises! […] C’ est bien assez qu’ il faille avaler la messe du roi quand on va faire sa cour.”


Ibid., 290: “Mais tu es donc folle, jolie comme tu l’ es, de songer à prendre le voile?”


Ibid., 274: “Shylock moderne.”


Vautrin. Drame en 5 actes, et en prose. In: Œuvres illustrées de Balzac. Paris: Maresq et Compagnie, Gustave Havard 1853, 92–112.


Cf. Henri Troyat: Balzac. Paris: Flammarion 1995, 363–364.


Balzac: Vautrin, 101: “En échange de la flétrissure que la société m’ a imprimé, je lui rends un homme d’ honneur: j’ entre en lutte avec le destin; voulez-vous être de la partie? Obéissez!”


Ibid., 103: “Vautrin. Enfant, il y a deux espèces d’ hommes qui peuvent tout. / Raoul. Et qui sont? / Vautrin. Les rois, ils sont ou doivent être au-dessus des lois; et … tu vas te facher … les criminels, qui sont au-dessous. / Raoul. Et comme tu n’ es pas roi … / Vautrin. Eh bien! Je règne en dessous. / Raoul. Quelle affreuse plaisanterie me fais-tu là, Vautrin? / Vautrin. N’ as-tu pas dit que le diable et Dieu s’ étaient cotisés pour me fondre?”


Ibid., 93: “On est vertueux ici, les gonds de cette porte sont bien rouillés; mais Louis XVIII ne peut pas être Louis XV.”


Ibid., 106: “La Duchesse de Christoval. Dans quel siècle étrange vivons-nous! / Vautrin. Les révolutions s’ y succèdent et ne se ressemblent pas. Partout on imite la France. Mais, je vous en supplie, ne parlons pas politique, c’ est un terrain brûlant.”


Ibid., 107: “Mais, mademoiselle, il ignore encore si le nom de son père est celui d’ un coupable de haute trahison ou celui d’ un libérateur de l’ Amérique.”


Cf. L.[ouis]-Henry Lecomte: Un comédien au XIXe siècle. Frédérick-Lemaître. Étude biographique et critique d’ après des documents inédits. Deuxième partie 1840–1876. Paris, chez l’ auteur 1888, 4–9.


Michel-Nicolas Balisson de Rougemont: La fille du cocher. Comédie-vaudeville en deux actes. Paris: Marchant 1834. Since the text is printed in two columns, the following references specify the respective column (l, r) after the page number.


Ibid., 5r: “Ecoutez donc, le vilain a l’ air noble, / Et franchement le noble est fort vilain.”


Ibid., 10r: “[…] en fait de noblesse, n’ avons-nous pas aussi la nôtre, la nouvelle … qui doit ses titres à son courage, à ses exploits … et qui, dans cent ans, ne vaudra pas mieux que l’ autre?”


Ibid., 11r: “pétri d’ une autre pâte.”


Ibid., 6r: “Le mariage de Napoléon avec une archiduchesse d’ Autriche est une preuve qu’ il est décidé à rétablir l’ ancienne noblesse.”


Ibid., 15r: “sa majesté l’ empereur et roi.”


Ibid., 10r: “Partout j’ ai combattu sous les yeux de Napoléon … et jamais il ne laisse une action sans récompense? […] Mon avancement, mes croix … j’ ai tout reçu des mains de l’ empereur, et sur les champs de bataille! […] Encore une campagne avec lui, et j’ étais général de brigade!”


Ibid., 12l: “actes de tyrannie […] Forcer une jeune fille à épouser un habit brodé … deux épaulettes qu’ elle n’ a jamais vues! […] c’ est un supplice et non pas un mariage! et quand ces caprices de pouvoir s’ attaquent à deux cœurs dont ils brisent les espérances, alors c’ est un meurtre, c’ est un crime impardonnable.”


Ibid., 16l.

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