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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Schubert was buried in the eastern graveyard at Waehring


"Fare thee well, and if forever, Still forever, fare thee well."

Heine's own lyrical pieces, now put forth in profusion, were fully equal to those of his English prototype. The "Book of Songs" throughout breathed the spirit of the poet's sad boast:

"From my heavy sorrows Made I these little songs...."

Heine's love songs, alone, by their subtile fusion of exquisite simplicity with cynicism in a perverse form, won him immediate recognition outside of Germany. This in itself has never been forgiven by the Germans. Such prejudice did not deter German song composers from setting to music Heine's melodious verses. Franz Schubert, the foremost song composer, just before his death found inspiration in Heine's poems for his famous "Swan Song."

[Sidenote: Death of Schubert]

Schubert died in Vienna on the 19th of October, at the age of thirty-one. Notwithstanding his brief career and lack of systematic schooling, he was one of the most prolific as well as original of German composers. His earliest extant song, "Hagar's Lament," was written at the age of fourteen. Such early master works as "Margaret at the Spinning Wheel," and the "Erl-King," both written for Goethe's words, mark the swift development of his genius. During his eighteenth year, when he wrote the "Erl-King," he composed no less than 144 songs.

On one day alone he wrote eight. Besides this he composed two operettas, three song plays, three other stage pieces, four masses and several cantatas. In spite of his astonishing fecundity the young composer suffered signally from lack of recognition. His whole life was a long-drawn battle for subsistence. All his efforts to obtain a steady income were unavailing. Though he composed scores for no less than seventy-two of Goethe's lyrics, that great poet was indifferent to the young composer. Beethoven, too, gave him but reluctant recognition. Not until the year of his death did Schubert succeed in giving a public concert that was a pecuniary success. He was wretchedly underpaid by his publishers, and his greatest works utterly failed of contemporary recognition. He died in the depths of poverty. In accordance with his last request, Schubert was buried in the eastern graveyard at Waehring, close to the grave of Beethoven. Schubert achieved immortal fame as the creator of the modern lyric song. No less original were his effective transfers of the song motive to pianoforte music, as shown in his "Moments Musicales" and "Impromptus." Some of his symphonies, notably that in C and the "Fragment" in B minor, are equal to those of Beethoven.

[Sidenote: Moratin]

Spain lost one of her most distinguished modern playwrights by the death of Nicolas Fernandez de Moratin, a pupil of Goldoni, and the author of such enduring Spanish comedies as "El Baron," "La Mogigata" and "El Si de Las Ninas." Besides his plays, Moratin also wrote an authoritative work on the "Origins of the Spanish Stage."

Toward the end of the year the disorders in Portugal appeared to have subsided sufficiently to warrant the withdrawal of the British troops. Dom Miguel, the regent, promptly proclaimed himself King. After having grasped the reins of power, one of his first measures was the dissolution of the seven ancient estates of Portugal. In Spain King Ferdinand VII., in December, celebrated his wedding to Maria Christina of Naples.


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