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recognised with regard to Latin and Greek; as applied to German and French it only receives added weight from the fact that these are languages still written and spoken. It may be said, that the student should learn his prose style only from prose writers, and be warned not to imitate what he meets with in poetry. But in every work that is really studied, a considerable mass of material must deposit itself in the student's mind, and suggest itself to him in his own composition. In this' there can be nothing but gain, provided only there be that careful discrimination of style which is also necessary to the full appreciation of what is read.
A foreign language learnt at home can be thoroughly acquired only by a process of analytical examination, and a constant attention to principles reached by systematic generalisation, which it is not necessary to apply to the same extent in acquiring a mastery of the native language. This method of study must be applied even to the poetical literature; although we shall naturally choose, where it is possible, to delay the study of the great authors until the learner is so far advanced that he does not need to be unduly drawn away from the appreciation of them as literature by elementary work upon the structure and idiom of the language.
In preparing the present edition of a German poetical drama, an endeavour has been made to supply an introduction into German poetical literature which may meet the wants, so far as it is possible to do this by books, and in the narrow limits of a commentary
on a single work, of those who have as yet read only prose. It will however probably contain but little that is superfluous even to such as may already have read, but without close study, one or two poetical dramas, or a selection of shorter poems. The notes are intended for the student, and it has been endeavoured so to frame them, that he may be induced by their help to pursue that close analytical study, and comparison of passage with passage, which alone can lead to exact knowledge. It is hoped however at the same time, that with the omission of the notes or parts of notes which are addressed to those who are already somewhat versed in the study of language, it may be found to render suitable help to younger pupils, and to readers whose time does not admit of, or whose purpose does not require, a close and deliberate study.
Mere “translation notes” have been but sparingly given, from a conviction that they are apt to do more harm than good. The aim of the notes is to place the student in a position to work out for himself the exact meaning of what he reads, and to understand it in the original. He will then in ordinary cases find it to be no more than good practice in the exercise of his own resources to make out for himself the translation which, if given to him ready made, would be very likely to prove an inducement to him to deal too superficially with the original.
This little volume may be regarded as a continuation of the attempt, explained in the preface to the edition of Gutzkow's Zopf und Schwert, which formed the last volume of the Pitt Press German Series, “ to apply to a modern language, to some extent at least, and with suitable modifications, principles which have long been recognised in the study of Greek and Latin." The first success of such an attempt, which is comparatively new, and for which but little material lies ready to hand, must almost necessarily be imperfect. Any suggestions or criticisms from persons engaged in the teaching or study of languages will be gratefully received.
I have to acknowledge some obligation to the work of Dr Weismann on Uhland's Dramatische Dichtungen; I am however still more indebted to several friends in Germany for help most kindly rendered, and to the Rev. J. W. Cartmell, Fellow and Tutor of Christ's College, for valuable criticism and assistance in the revision of the MS. and the proofs.
H. J. W.
Life of Uhland.
JOHANN LUDWIG UHLAND was born April 26th, 1787, in the
university town of Tübingen in Württemberg, where
his father afterwards occupied the post of secretary to the university. He received his first education at the grammar-school of his native town, but was according to a then prevalent custom enrolled at an early age in the university, receiving here and through private tuition the necessary preparation for his university course proper, which he did not enter upon until his eighteenth year. He was a lively, rather wild lad, fond of open-air sports, but intelligent and quick to learn. He was especially fond of acting in play with his comrades scenes from the chivalry of the middle ages, towards which his tastes were thus early turned. As he grew older, he became more retiring and reserved, even to excess; so that as a youth and a man he was often regarded, by those who did not know his modest integrity and real kindness of heart, as obstinately taciturn and morose. Though he early showed a marked facility in Latin verse, and pursued his classical studies with zeal, he appears to have been influenced in his own poetical development less by the classical literature than by that of his native country, and less by modern than by mediæval literature, and the poetry of the North. At the university it was necessary that he should take up a professional study, and external circumstances rather than his own tastes led to the decision in favour of jurisprudence. After completing his course and taking his doctor's degree, he invested the savings from his university Stipendium, or scholarship, in a journey to Paris, where however his time was less given to the study of the Code Napoléon, the ostensible object of his visit, than to that of the treasures of Old French and Middle High German poetry in the Imperial library. On his return he published a valuable essay embodying some of the fruits of his researches. After serving for a year and a half in the Ministry of Justice in Stuttgart, without salary and without the promised promotion, he established himself as a practising lawyer in the same town.
In the Wars of Liberation and the momentous events of the years 1813-15 Uhland took the deepest and warmest interest. He was prevented indeed by the condition of affairs in Württemberg, where the king remained at heart a partisan of Napoleon, and by his own family and personal circumstances, from serving his country in the field, as he appears at one time to have wished. Nor were many of his patriotic songs called forth by the great final struggle against Napoleon, in which Rückert, Arndt, and other of his contemporaries gave expression, in their more fiery strains, to the national spirit of warlike enthusiasm. No German was ever more loyally and disinterestedly patriotic than Uhland; in no German poet is true national sentiment a more pervading element. But he was a man of deep and true, rather than of enthusiastic feeling; and his patriotism found its congenial sphere rather in the labours of peaceful political development than in the scenes of war. The greater number of his vaterländische Gedichte were occasioned by the constitutional struggle in Württemberg which followed the peace of 1815. King Frederick had on assuming the royal title in 1806 arbitrarily annulled the old constitution, and had ruled since then as an absolute monarch. Early in 1815 he called an assembly of the Estates, and offered a new and in some respects liberal constitution. This however they steadily refused to accept as a gift of royal favour. The old constitution of Württemberg, it was maintained, though indeed in many respects obsolete and in need of revision, rested on the inviolable foundation of a contract between ruler and people;