TYPES OF PEOPLE'S DRAMA
complished fact." And he added: "If I am not mistaken, the French will reap the greatest benefit from the movement."
Then let us realize his prophecy! Let us lead back the French to their own history, which is the source of a people's art; but let us take care not to exclude the historic legends of other peoples. Undoubtedly, our own history lies nearer our hearts, and our first duty is to develop it. But the great events and deeds of all the nations must find a place on our stage. As Cloots and Thomas Paine were elected members of the Convention; as Schiller, Klopstock, Washington, Priestley, Bentham, Pestalozzi, and Kosciusko were made French citizens through Danton's decree—let the heroes of the world become our heroes likewise. May France be their second fatherland, especially for the people's heroes. The People's Theater shall be open to everyone who is of or for the people. Let us construct in Paris an epic of all Europe.
- ↑ Goethe to Eckermann, Jan. 31, 1827. And elsewhere in the Conversations he says: "Ampère stands indeed so high in culture that the national prejudices, apprehensions, and narrow-mindedness of many of his countrymen lie far behind him; and in mind he is far more a citizen of the world than a citizen of Paris. But I see a time coming when there will be thousands in France who think like him." (May 4, 1827.)
"It is evident, and has been for a long time, that the greatest geniuses of all nations have kept all of humanity before their eyes. You will invariably perceive this general idea standing out above national ideas and the peculiarities of the writer. … The most beautiful works are those which belong to all mankind.** (In Notes and Fragments, apropos of Carlyle's translation of German novels, 1827.)