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Schiller

      It is a common belief, and a common error, that clever children seldom became illustrious, and though we have instances of youthful dullards who have ripened into fame, they are rare in comparison with those who in early youth have given some indications of future renown. Of these last Germany's favorite bard is one. Born in the little village of Marbach, in the duchy of Wuertemberg, on November 10, 1759, he, when a child, evinced proofs of remarkable imaginative and creative power. At as early an age as six he showed that he possessed a fearless nature and an inquiring mind. A terrific storm was raging, and his parents searched for him in vain; the vivid lightning and the crashing thunder increased their anxiety, but they could find no trace of the child. At length, when the storm was over, he was seen to descend from the topmost branches of a great lime-tree near the house. They rushed toward him and inquired why he had selected so dangerous a refuge. "I wanted to see," he replied, with an intrepid air, "where all the fire came from." Even at this period he found his favorite reading in the prophetic books of the Old Testament, and it was probably from Ezekiel that he derived his inspiration for Franz Moor's dream in "The Robbers." His mother taught him to read, and the stories she related to him were listened to with avidity; she was his closest companion and friend, and from her he inherited the gifts which made his name a household word in e...

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