58 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE then (1903). Typically, for the name of his Institution Wedekind takes a familiar name from Longfellow and turns the solemn senti- ment it suggests into a screech. The thesis is that woman is born for the functions of sex. This being granted, girls should be taught to worship their own delightful bodies; they should, for instance, walk on their hands with bare legs poised rapturously aloft. This is true Wedekindian doctrine and the paganism of Greek statues as well: the rhythm in the movements of a woman depends on the structure of her limbs; and for this rhythm, as for dancing, and female pose, and fine ankles Wedekind throughout his work finds expression which goes somewhat to redeem his foulness. [Peter Hille has the same worship of woman's gait in two lines (Nur em Weib ivandelt. Es isty und Schonheit weilt von danneri) of his poem Scbonbeit: Sappho an Chloe.} The Novellen collected in Wedekind's Feuerwerk (1905) have their quality in the audacity of their obscenity. The wickedness of such a tale as Die Schut^impfung is incredible: a husband calls on a friend with whom his own wife is in bed; the friend has covered her up with the bedclothes - to take attention off the stockings, which might betray his guest - but rolls the sheets back to her neck - and the husband does not recognize his own wedded wife, but compliments his friend on his good taste. If there is philosophy in this it can only be that husbands, too, should go to school at Mine-Haha; what society needs is not decency but appreciation. The title Feuerwerk sym- bolizes the fire of sex that lights up the bunch of stories, in the first of which, DerRrandvon Eglisnyl, a farmer's boy who has been the village bull falls in love with a cold sort of girl, pines for her, and when at last he climbs through her window in the recognized South German fashion he is chilled to impotence by the very cold night and her cold response, but sets fire to the village to prove to her that he can burn. Being the sort she is she says he has hidden himself in her room, and he goes to jail. As a lyric poet (Die vier Jabres^eiten^ 1905*) Wedekind only counts historically. The most typical of his poems were hits in the "Dberbrettl theatres; as, for instance, Der Tantenmorder\ Ich baV meine Tante gescblacbtet^ Meine Tante war alt undscbwacb; Ich hatte bei ibr ubernachtet Und grub in den Kisten-Kasten nacb. 1 Reprinted with additions from Die Fiirstm Rttssa/ka (i 897).