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noch zum Schlusse der hier mitgetheilten literarischen Notizen das Urtheil hinzu, welches Hugh Blair in der 21sten Vorlesung des mehrmals angeführten Werks über Addison fällt. Er sagt:
Von der höchsten Stufe einer kunstlosen, anmuthigen, aber dabei nichts weniger als vernachlässigten Schreibart ist Addison im Englischen ohne Zweifel das vollkommenste Muster; und man kann daher diesen Schriftsteller, wenn er schon nicht durchaus von Mängeln frei ist, doch, im Ganzen genommen, als das sicherste und zu den wenigsten Fehlern verleitende Ziel der Nachahmung des prosai. schen Vortrags aufstellen. Addison ist im höchsten Grade deutlich und rein; er zeichnet sich zwar nicht durch einen vorzüglichen Grad, von Bündigkeit und Bestimmtheit aus; aber er bleibt doch auch in dieser Rücksicht nur selten hinter dem Gegenstande zurück, von welchem er handelt. Der Bau seiner Redesätze ist leicht, anmuthig, meistentheils für das Ohr angenehm, und gefällt minder durch Stärke, als durch gefällige Rundung. Was den bildlichen Ausdruck ben trifft, so ist er vorzüglich reich, besonders in Vergleichungen und Metaphern, welche immer so schicklich angebracht sind, dass die Schreibart dadurch keinesweges bunt oder üppig wird. Sein Ausdruck verräth durchaus nichts Gesuchtes; man findet keine Spur von mühsamem Bestreben; durchaus nichts Gezwungenes oder zu weit Hergeholtes; 'sondern allenthalben einen hohen Grad von Anmuth, mit einem hohen Grade von Leichtigkeit und Simplicität verbunden. Was ihn besonders unterscheidet, ist ein gewisses eigenthümliches Gepräge von Bescheidenheit und feinem Anstande, welcher aus allen seinen Arbeiten hervorleuchtet. Kein Schriftsteller kann sich eines gefälligern und volksmässigern (popular) Vortrags rühmen *).
Was 'aber unsern Addison' noch mehr empfiehlt, ist die unverkennbare Achtung, welche er allenthalben für Religion und Rechtschaffenheit äussert. Wenn ihm ja etwas gebricht, so ist es ein höherer Grad von Stärke und Präcision, wenigstens würde seine Schreibart, wenn sie schon zu Aufsätzen von der Art, wie sie der Zuschauer enthält,
*) Wiewohl sich der Englische Zuschauer äusserst leicht und angenehm lies't, so war es gewiss nicht so leicht, ihn zu schreiben; Addison hatte sieh, zufolge der. oben angeführten Addisoniana, dureh eine drei Folianten starke Sanamlung desu vorbereitet.
vollkommen pafsto, für Arbeiten von einer höhern und kunstmässigern Gattung nicht als ein schickliches Muster können aufgestellt werden. Die Lesewelt hat Addison's Verdiensten volle Gerechtigkeit wiederfahren lassen; nur dünkt mich, als ob man die eigentliche Beschaffenheit derselben nicht immer aus ihrem wahren Gesichtspunkte betrachtet habe; denn obschon seine Gedichte recht artig sind, so gebührt ihrem Verjáasser doch offenbar einte höhere Stelle unter den prosaischen Schriftstellern, als unter den Dichtern; so wie hinwie derum, selbst in Prosa, seine Laune einen höhern und originalern Schwung hat, als seine philosophischen Äusserungen. Die Charakterschilderung von Sir Roger Coverley verräth weit mehr Geist, als die Kritik über Milton." *)
1) THE MOUNTAIN OF MISERIES **).
Hor. Sat. I. 1. v. 1.
*) Die Engländer haben übrigens mehrere andere ähnliche Zeitschriften auch in den neuesten Zeiten aufzuweisen. Zu den letzteren gehört: Literary leisure or the Recreations of Salomon Saunter, Esq. in two Vols. London, Miller, und Materials for thinking or Essays on the diffusion of useful knowledge and the happiness of men, by W. Burdon, A. M. London, Hurst. (s. d. Engl. Miszellen Bd. VI. 3. S. 210 u.f.) **) Spectator, Vol. VIII. no. 558. Wednesday, June 23, 1714. ***) Nach Wieland's Uebersetzung:
Woher, Dläcenas, mass es kommen, dass
As I was ruminating on these two remarks, and scated in my elbow-chair, I insensibly fell asleep; when on a sudden, methought, there was a proclamation made by Jupiter, that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities, and throw them together in a heap. There was a large plain appointed for this purpose. I took my stand in the centre of it, and saw with a great deal of pleasure the whole human species marching one after another, and throwing down their several loads, which immediately grew up into a prodigious mountain, that seemed to rise above the clouds.
There was a certain lady of a thin airy shape, who was very active in this solemnity. She carried a magnifying glass in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and spectres, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical shapes, as her garment bovered in the wind. There was something wild and distracted in her looks.
was Fancy She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officiously assisted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart melted within me to see my fellow- creatures groaning under their respective burdens, and to consider that prodigious bulk of human calanities which lay before me.
There were however several persons who gave me great diversion upon this occasion. I observed one bringing in a fardel very carefully concealed under an old embroidered cluke, which, upon his throwing it into the heap, ļ discovered to be poverty. Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw down his luggage, which, upon examining, I found to be his wife, There were multitudes of lovers saddled with
whimsical burdens composed of darts and flames; but what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap, when they came up to it; but after a few faint efforts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy loaden as they came.
I saw multitudes of old women throw dnwn their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawny skin. There were very great heaps of red noses, large lips, and rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surprised to see the greatest part of the mountain made up of bodily deformities. Ob
serving one advancing towards the heap, with a larger cargo tban ordinary upon his back, I found upon his near approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he dispos'd of, with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miseries. There were likewise distempers of all soris, though I could not but observe, thai here were many more imaginary than real. One little packet I could not but take notice of, which was a complication of all the diseases incident to human nature, and was in the hand of a great many fine people; this was called the spleen. But what most of all surpris'd me, was a remark I made, that there was not a single vice or folly thrown into the whole heaps at which I was very much astonishid, having concluded within myself, that every one would iake this opportunity of getting rid of his passions, prejudices, and frailties.
I took notice in particular of a very profligate. fellow, who, I did not question, came loaden with his crimes ; but upon searching into his bundle, I found that instead of throwing his guilt from him, he had only laid down his memory. He was followed by another worthless rogue who flung away his modesty instead of his ignorance.
When the whole race of mankind had thus cast their burdens, the Phantom which had been so busy on this occasion, seeing me an idle spectator of what passed, approached towards me. I grew uneasy at her presence, when of a sudden she held her magnifying glass full before my eyes. , I no sooner saw my face in it, but was startled at the shortness of it, which now appeared to me in its utmost aggravation. The immoderate breadth of the features made me very much out of humour with my own countenance, upon which I threw it from me like a mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his visage, which, it seems, was too long for him. It was, indeed extended to a most shameful length; I believe the very chin was modestly speaking, as long as my whole face. We had both of us an opportunity of mending ourselves į and all the contributions being now bronght in,' every man was at liberty to exchange his misfortune for those of another person. But as there • arose many new incidents in the sequel of my vision, I shall reserve them for the subject of my next paper.
Hor. Sat. I. 1. V. 20. In my last paper, I gave my reader a sight of that mountain of miseries, which was made up of those several calamities that afflict the minds of men. I saw, with , unspeakable pleasure, the whole species thus delivered from its sorrows: though at the same time, as we stood round the heap, and surveyed the several materials of which is was composed, there was scarce a mortal, in this' vast multitude, who did not discover what he thought pleasures and blessings of life; and wonderd how the owners of them ever came to look upori them as burdens and grievances.
As we were regarding very attentively the confusion of miseries, this chaos of calamity, Jupiter issued out a second proclamation, that every one was now at liberty to exchange his affliction, and to return to his babitation with any such other bundle as should be delivered to him.
Upon this, Fancy began again to bestir herself, and parcelling out the whole heap with incredible activity, recommended to every one his particular packet. The hurry and confusion at this time was not to be expressed. Some observations which I made upon the occasion, I shall commu. nicate to the publick. A venerable grays
headed had laid down the colic, and who I found wanted an beir to his estate, snatched up an'undutitul son, that had been thrown into the heap by his angry father. The graceless youth, in less than a quarter of an hour, pulled the old gentleman by the beard, and had like to have knock'd his brains out: so that meeting the true father, who came
*) Spectator, Vol. VIII. no. 559. Friday, Jun. 25. 1714.
Wäre solches Volk