Abbildungen der Seite


den Minnesangern.—Tieck's Minnelieder aus dem schwäbischen Zeitalter. — A. v. Arnim and Brentano, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, 3 Bande.—Erlach (Fr. K.) Die Volkslieder der Deutschen. Eine vollstandige Sammlung der vorziiglichsten Volkslieder von der Mitte des 15ten bis zur l"11 Halite des 19ten Jahrhunderts. 5 vols. 8vo. 1834.

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FIEST PERIOD.—(From 1700 to 1770.)


We mentioned, in the preceding section, that Lohenstein and Hofmannswaldau stood forth as leaders of the German poetry. This sect, however second-rate in point of talent, stood without a rival, until Gottsched arose at Leipzig and Bodmer at Zurich; and in good time it was that these two came forward, the poetry of Germany being then in a most deplorable state. In fact, the literature in general was, at this period, rather imitative than original. Those calling themselves poets had in them a vein of unnaturalness, which had been carried to the very acme of possibility. However, a step was at last made in the right direction, and Germany became more intellectually active than it was before. Its great king, Frederick II, himself a philosopher and poet too, seconded by his own wise institutions, and by the fair development of the arts and sciences, raised the national mind and character to a height, which indeed cannot fail to astonish every one, who takes into account the feeble and prostrate condition in which the greatest part of Germany then was. Gottsched of Leipzig and Bodmer of Zurich severally succeeded in establishing schools of their own, and a great literary war was fought between the discipulary writers of each. Gottsched and his school were altogether copyists of the French style of composition, whilst Bodmer and his party turned more to the


English for the formation of their literary taste and character. A paper war was carried on in their respective journals, which at length ended favourably to the Swiss school, which, although the smaller party, obtained a splendid victory over her antagonist.

The characteristic of this period is a prevalent imitation of French literature. The vernacular tongue became cleared and sifted from the rubbish that had weighed it down, growing gradually more and more refined, until at last the dialect known as the " Hochdeutsch" was the sole medium of books and of correspondence, all other idioms being banished from the stage of literature, or, if used at all, employed merely in the construction otjeux-d'esprit and bon-mots, or as a study of dialects.


THE POETRY OF THE SECOND SAXOOTC SCHOOL. (1741.) This school is developed by a body of men of a marked poetical talent. A periodical magazine, which they put forth under the title of "Beitrage zum Vergniigen des Verstandes und Witzes," was at once the channel of their communications, and the point around which they centered. In this body of men, and in the school they founded, we find, individually and collectively, the type of another order of writing, all tending to raise the literature, and favorable to a consentaneous operation. Rarener undertakes the didactic, supplying prose-satire, Zacharle gives heroics and satires, Gellert is the fabulator, Giseke devotes his talents to song, Gartner does his best in criticism, J. A. Schlegel favours the ode, while the dramatic elements are advocated by J. El. Schlegel.

GOTTLIEB WILHELM RABENER. (1714-1771.) Once the favorite of the German public, was born the 17th of September 1714, at Wachau, a country seat near Leipzig, the property of his father, a lawyer of wealth and eminence.

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