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26 HALLER.

show. There is extant a worthy him, entitled, " Betrachtungen iiher Malerei," which is considered to possess considerable value. Hagedorn died on the 28th of October, 1754.

ALBRECHT VON HALLER (1708-1777) Was born on the 16th of October 1708, at Bern. In the year 1736, Haller responded to an invitation that was made him to accept the office of professor of medicine at Goettingen, where he eventually became established, and the president also of the academy of science. So great was Haller's fame at this time, that the emperor Francis I ennobled him (adelte ihn). He died on thel2th of December 1777. It is no easy matter to define, accurately, the bounds of human attainment, in a person of such varied endowments as the author now under review; he certainly was one of the most accomplished and original-minded men of this era. Immortal at once as a poet, anatomist, physiologist, botanist, and man of letters, he seemed to be an adept in almost all the different branches of human enquiry. The epoch in which Haller first started as a poet, was both a trying and a critical one to the resources of his genius; for he had to steer clear, on the one hand, of the false taste in literature, introduced by Lohenstein, and to beware, on the other, of falling into the error of emulating the unintellectual, nay, unmeaning versification, then so much in fashion. Accordingly, under circumstances so inauspicious, Haller commenced his poetical career, and in him a new period was opened in the annals of our vernacular learning.

Haller's poetry is, no doubt, raised upon a didactic foundation. The religious feelings and pious sentiments which attended him at all times, in his studies of nature, conspired to invest his descriptions with an unstudied solemnity and artless splendour. All his poems abound with ideas, all possess a notable prosodaic harmony; while the moral interest is so habitually predominant, as to take off, in no small degree, from the aesthetical beauty of the main design.

"Die Alpen " is Haller's most celebrated production. It was written during a progress over the Alps; so that nature herself must needs have suggested to our poet the scenery he so justly and so eloquently describes. "The poetry of Haller," says Schiller, " is characterised by power, depth, and a simplicity of pathos. His soul is inspired by a love for the ideal, and his glowing appreciation of whatever is true, assists him to pourtray, in the quiet valleys of the Alps, that primeval innocence, which has long since vanished from the busy, bustling world. Profound, yet touching, are his sorrows; he sets forth the errors of the mind and heart in a strain of vigorous and almost bitter satire: but nature he copies with great zeal and with an unaffected grace. Haller is great, bold, impetuous, and sublime; but that which constitutes the essence and reality of beauty, it has not, in his poems, been his fortune to attain."

His elegiac poetry ranks highest,—the funereal piece, entitled, "Auf den Tod Marianens" " being very good." —This is the amount of the opinion of Schiller.

Haller's "Song to Doris" is a heartfelt and beautiful poem. Haller himself considered his didactic paper," Vom Ursprung des Ubels" as his masterpiece, and liked it the best of all he ever did. It is, in fact, that exalted theme, about which the philosophy of that age perplexed itself in vain. His unfinished poem, "An die Ewigkeit" contains some grand and truly poetical conceptions.

In one of his letters to Bodmer, Haller volunteers the admission, that, "in himself, he is no poet at all; but that great quickness of observation, when a youth, had, to a certain extent, made him one": with the truth of which assertion we also feel bound to coincide. "Die Alpen," though not without its faults, is certainly a very meritorious

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28 CI.EIM.

production. The most striking scenery that mountain regions afford, is given by him, while actually traversing their vasty, cloud-compelling steeps, with great fidelity and skill; still more finely, and with even a larger measure of success, does Haller pourtray the manners and customs of those races, who dwell in the Alpine district.

This poem has, upon the whole," made" the name of its author, and will always be read with the greatest pleasure and advantage.

III.

GLEIM AND UZ. Coincidently, almost, with the above date (in 1739), two writers appeared in the university-town of Halle,—Gleim and Uz we mean, who worked their way up into notice; the former acquiring such a measure of popularity as, in fact, no German author ever obtained before.

JOHANN WILHELM LUDWIG GLEIM (1719-1803)

Was born on the 2nd of April 1719, at Emsleben, a small town near Halberstadt. He was educated at the Leipzic university, where, in conjunction with Goetz and Uz, he became a follower of the muses. Gleim attended the Prince Leopold of Dessau, in the second Silesian war, in the quality of his secretary. Shortly afterwards, Gleim was so fortunate as to obtain the secretaryship of the cathedral of Halberstadt, which office he continued to fill for the space of fifty years, until the period of his demise, February 18,1803. Gleim was the man upon whom the German nation bestowed, communi consensu, the appellation of " Vater,"— "Vater Gleim," he is generally called ; a title that shews, at once, how high he ranked, and how much he was esteemed and noticed. Now, it used to be the fashion to extol the poetical gifts of this writer above, no doubt, the

real standard of their merits; although we are bound to add, that they have also been too lightly thought of in our own day. Gleim is a man who almost seems to invite us to draw a comparison betwixt him and Gellert. Both authors earned and secured their reputation rather from their amiable private characters than from anything they wrote. And is it not a choice and goodly prtxnomen, and one that has some heart in it, this notable and noble denomination of " Vater"? The most Inown of Gleim's literary products are his "Fabeln," which are, nevertheless, of very various pretensions; some of them may be fairly accounted elegant realizations of poetry, while others, we must in critical justice allow, may be styled, "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable," on account of the monotony of the political bias, or theological aims, with which they are invested. The cleverest of his fables are,—" Die Gärtnerinn und die Biene," " Der Esel," " Die Nachtigall," " Der Staar," "Die Grille und die Ameise," "Das Pferd und der Esel." We instance the best of his productions when we name his "Preussische Kriegslieder eines Grenadiers;" amongst them more particularly, "Siegeslied nach der Schlacht bei Lowositz," "Siegeslied nach der Schlacht bei Prag," and his most celebrated "Siegeslied nach der Schlacht bei Rossbach," which sufficiently declare the reason of the endearing term above specified having been applied to him; for there is a vein of patriotism throughout the whole, which stands quite unrivalled. "Vater Gleim" opens them with the following verses:—

"Krieg ist mein Lied! weil alle Welt
Krieg will, so sei es Krieg! ,

Berlin sei Sparta! Preussens Held
Gekrönt mit Ruhm und Sieg!

"Nun singe Gott und Friederich,
Nichts kleiner's, stolzes Lied!
Dem Adler gleich erhebe dich,
Der in die Sonne sieht!"

30 uz.

So he began, and went on, with the whole powers of his mind, pealing the war-note and singing the songs of freedom. Lessing greets these " Kriegslieder" with the honorable affixture of " Bardengesang,"—no mean proof, this, of the high value that these productions had won in his eyes. Here we will introduce a small parallel we met with in Gervinus' "Deutsche Literatur," characteristic of the various writers of apologues, which have appeared from time to time. Gleim discriminates between their productions in the following way:—

"jEsop's fables are poor, yet plain;
Phiedrus' pithy, but inornate;
Lafontaine's mythics,—like a fine lady."

Gervinus carries on the idea:—

"Gellert's figments were like a vacant, though garrulous

duenna; Gleim's, like a pert and merry lady's maid."

JOHANN PETER UZ (1720-1796) Was born on the 3rd of October 1720, at Anspach. He

died when president of the provincial courts of justice, on

the 12th of May, 1796.

Uz produced a collection of odes and songs, which, although they rank among the higher compositions of his day, contain but little that would be satisfactory to us now. He took Horace for his model, and imitated the Roman lyrist as far as his abilities allowed him to do. That Uz was possessed of a certain degree of talent, no competent judge will ever think of disputing; he evinced a turn for poetry, of -which his "Theodicee" may be alleged as a sample, only he did not work up his powers to any point of even comparative perfection. Our author was a warm admirer and strenuous advocate of the duties of morality, while his love of his country declared itself in a train of

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