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verjagen. Such negligent rhymes are quite in the style of popular poetry. Others of the same kind occur further on in the poem. 16. futragiren instead of fouragiren, possibly with some reference to the German word Futter.
Seine General instead of Generäle.
in order to avoid the hiatus.
The plebeian dialect adds the letter g
24. recht, i. e. in der richtigen Weise.
Bei der Parole, when the parole, i. e. the watchword of the day was given out.
29. scharmüten is a word peculiar to the soldier's language: the proper word being scharmügeln. Comp. the Fr. escarmoucher.
28 sq. Alles...was instead of Alle...welche. The neuter of the pronoun is often used to denote persons collectively. (17, 118; 27, 42.) 33. Schanz Schanze.
44. als wie gerade wie. It is not considered correct to employ als wie in good writing, though it is often heard in conversation.
46. There is no prince Ludwig known as having fought at the siege of Belgrade. Eugene's brother in arms was Prince Ludwig von Baden, who was not, however, present on this occasion.
47. Halt't instead of haltet would be inadmissible in correct writing.
The splendid victory of Leuthen was won by Frederick the Great over the Austrians on Dec. 5, 1757. The event related in the present poem is recorded by Mr Carlyle in the following characteristic
"Thick darkness; silence; tramp, tramp,- -a Prussian grenadier broke out, with solemn tenor voice again, into Church-Music; a known Church-Hymn, of the homely Te Deum kind, in which five-and-twenty thousand other voices, and all the regimental bands, soon join—
Nun danket Alle Gott,
Mit Herzen, Mund und Händen,
Der große Dinge thut
An uns und aller Enden.
Now thank God, one and all,
With heart, with voice, with hands-a,
Who wonders great hath done
To us and to all lands--a.
And thus they advance; melodious, far-sounding, through the hollow night, once more in a highly remarkable manner. A pious people, of right Teutsch stuff, tender though stout; and, except perhaps Oliver Cromwell's handful of Ironsides, probably the most perfect soldiers ever seen hitherto." Frederick the Great, book XVIII. chap. X. (p. 277 of the Leipzig reprint).
2. das Kaiserheer=das kaiserliche Heer, the Imperial army (of Maria Theresa).
Observe the omission of the verb ist in the relative sentence.
4. The fearful work done during the day is being covered up with the veil night throws over it.
5. Licht is used in the sense of Stern. Comp. Genesis i. 14: und Gott sprach: Es werden Lichter an der Veste des Himmels. The expression, Sand am Meer in the following line is likewise biblical.
13. entquellen is originally used of a well or spring breaking forth with might; it is then metaphorically employed of singing, and even of strong powerful speaking and declamation.—er singt fort, 'goes on singing.'
17. Es strömt=das Volk (das Heer) strömt (zusammen).
18. Einfallen is the technical term for joining in a song.
19. feiern, 'to be lazy, be behindhand, or backward.'
20. Pronounce Hobó. The original form is Hoboe.
What had originally been a mere river (Strøm) increases to the size of the sea.
22. rings=ringsum, all around (in a ring).
23. The valley, which had already composed itself to quiet and repose, is wakened up by the singing of the army and re-echoes with the solemn chant.
24. Pronounce Chorál, with the accent on the second syllable. This is originally an adj. in Latin, carmen chorale, a lay sung by a choir.
The anecdote which has furnished the subject of this ballad is well known. We may add that Frederick II. or the Great, built the palace of Sanssouci in the years 1745-1747, and that the windmill which the obstinate owner refused to give up to the royal bidder is still in existence and still belongs to the descendants of the miller.
I. The adj. forgenfrei is used in allusion to the name of the king's palace, 'Sans souci.' The miller was, perhaps, even more free from care than the king.
4. In prose: in heißem und kaltem Wetter.
6. The verb aufbauen is very properly employed here, because the palace stands on high terraced ground.
The king offers so much purchase-money that the miller will be enabled to build up another and much larger mill in some other spot. 15. 'My father laid his blessing on it.'
Instead of der starre Sinn we also find the compound der Starrsinn, 'obstinacy.'
27. ich geb' mich drein, 'I submit to it'; synonymous phrases are, sich in etwas schicken and fügen, sich mit etwas zufrieden geben.
"A remarkable Prussian Hussar major [subsequently general], the famous Ziethen," is the expression of Carlyle in his Frederick the Great, book XII. ch. XIII.; "a rugged simple son of the moorlands; nourished, body and soul, on orthodox frugal oatmeal (so to speak), with a large sprinkling of fire and iron thrown in! A man born poor, son of some poor squirelet in the Ruppin country-a big-headed, thicklipped, decidedly ugly little man. And yet so beautiful in his ugliness: wise, resolute, true, with a dash of high uncomplaining sorrow in him. One of the best Hussar-captains ever built. By degrees King Frederick and he grew to be what we might call sworn friends." And in the account of Frederick's last years (1780-1785), book xxI. ch. VIII., Carlyle says, "Ziethen comes rarely, and falls asleep when he does," and in another passage (ch. v.) he relates the last meeting of the two friends when the king made Ziethen, then an old man of eighty-six, sit down while himself and all his suite remained standing.
The general tone and style of this ballad are eminently popular. 4. Observe the construction er that bieten, and comp. 5, 32.
6. Einem den Pelz waschen is a popular expression, denoting 'to give some one a good drubbing.'
7. Leibhusaren, hussars of the guards.
9. bläuen, or more commonly burchbläuen, means 'to beat black and blue.' Comp. the phrase, Einen grün und blau schlagen.
In the battle of Lowositz, Oct. 15, 1756, the Austrian general
Brown was beaten; the victory of Prague (where brave Schwerin fell) was obtained on May 6, 1757. The battle in the neighbourhood of Liegnitz was fought on Friday morning, the 15th of August, 1760 (Carlyle, book xx. ch. III.); the battle of Leuthen, as has already been mentioned, took place on the 5th of Dec., 1757. The arrangement is not strictly chronological.
13. The battle of Torgau (Nov. 3, 1760) was won by Ziethen alone, after the king had left the field of battle; see Carlyle's description, book xx. ch. v.
15 sq. auskehren, 'to sweep clean.'
In prose we should say, es erwies sich Keiner träge.
23. Ein kalter Schlag is a stroke of lightning which does not cause fire. 25. Der Friete is the peace of Hubertsburg, concluded on Feb. 21, 1763. In this peace Prussia obtained the undisputed possession of Silesia.
27. Der Schlachtgenosse, comrade in war.
29. Daun was a great cunctator in his method of warfare. 37. mir is the dat. ethicus, which is so common in German.
Schill's name occupies a prominent place among the patriotic soldiers of the present century. Schill was born on the 6th of January, 1776, near Dresden, and entered, at the age of 16 years, into the same regiment of hussars, of which his father had been Oberstlieutenant. Schill distinguished himself by his great bravery in the disastrous battle of Jena, in which he was severely wounded. He was then employed in various military commands, and charged with a mission to the Swedish court, after which he was stationed in Berlin. Towards the end of 1808, he resolved, though unsupported by the Prussian Government, to renew the war against the Corsican tyrant, then in the zenith of his power. On April 28, 1809, Schill left Berlin with a small force of 600 horsemen; on the night of the 29th he was reinforced by 300 volunteers. They marched to Wittenberg and Dessau, calling upon the people to rise against the French oppressors; but the French soldiers were already moving against Schill's scanty force. Dodendorf, about a German mile from Magdeburg, Schill obtained a victory over the French troops sent against him; but his power was too insignificant to venture on besieging the fortress of Magdeburg, then in the hands of the French. He therefore proceeded to Stendal, and thence into Mecklenburg with a view to make for the coast where he
hoped to find English ships. But the people did not rise anywhere, and Schill perceived that he was not strong enough to effect anything by himself. Meanwhile, Napoleon's brother, King Jerôme of Westphalia, had set a price of 10,000 francs on Schill's head, and a considerable French force was on its way against the daring adventurer. Schill now threw himself into the strong fortress of Stralsund, with a force which had gradually increased to the number of 1800 men. But instead of attacking the French before they could invest the town (comp. v. 36 sqq.), Schill imprudently resolved on standing a siege—a proceeding the more dangerous, because the king of Denmark (v. 36) had reinforced the French with an auxiliary force of 1500 men. The town was stormed by land and sea, and Schill's forces proved insufficient for a protracted defence. Though he and his soldiers performed marvels of valour, street after street was wrested from them, and at length Schill himself was killed. When his body was found and recognised, his head was cut off and sent to Cassel, and from thence to Leyden where it was long kept in spirits as a public show; in 1837 it was given up, and buried at Brunswick. Schill's trunk was buried in the cemetery of Stralsund, and his resting-place is now covered with a fitting monument. When Arndt wrote his poem, this monument had not yet been erected (comp. v. 54).
In prose we say nach etwas dürften.
5. im Schritt, keeping time (with the feet).
8. Franzmann, see note 22, 32.—erblassen, a euphemistic term for sterben. 16. In prose we should say die übrigen machten lange Beine, i.e. ran away as fast as their legs would carry them. According to the ordinary rules of German pronunciation, lang would not rhyme with blank; but in the North of Germany, ng at the end of words often has the sound of nk.
17. Dömitz is a small fortress in Mecklenburg.
18. Schelmenfranzosen, 'the French rogues.' This compound was probably invented by Arndt. Comp. a song of 1870:
Wenn all' die Schelmfranzosen
Sind aus dem Land hinaus.
See R. Wülcker, Fünfzig Feldpostbriefe eines Frankfurters (Halle, 1876), p. 6.
20. Kiwi Fr. qui vit, the cry of the French sentinels.
21. reisig is derived from reisen, which is originally identical with reiten; hence der reisige Zug means pretty much the same as the train of cavalry. Comp. v. 24.