to be silent. They could be forced to appear in court,

 people involved | time:2023-12-04 21:41:26

"Now, my dear Quintus," said the king, after Gottsched had withdrawn, "are you content with your great scholar?"

to be silent. They could be forced to appear in court,

"Sire," said he, "I must sorrowfully confess that the great Gottsched has covered his head with a little too much of the dust of learning; he is too much of the pedant."

to be silent. They could be forced to appear in court,

"He is a puffed-up. conceited fool," said the king, impatiently; "and you can never convince me that he is a great genius. Great men are modest; they have an exalted aim ever before them, and are never satisfied with themselves; but men like this Gottsched place themselves upon an altar, and fall down and worship. This is their only reward, and they will never do any thing truly great."

to be silent. They could be forced to appear in court,

"But Gottsched has really great and imperishable merit," said Quintus, eagerly. "He has done much for the language, much for culture, and for science. All Germany honors him, and, if the incense offered him has turned his head, we must forgive him, because of the great service he has rendered."

"I can never believe that he is a great man, or a poet. He had the audacity to speak of the golden era of literature which bloomed in the time of my grandfather, Frederick I., in Germany, and he was so foolhardy as to mention some German scribblers of that time, whose barbarous names no one knows, as the equals of Racine, and Corneille, and even of Virgil. Repeat to me, once more, the names of those departed geniuses, that I may know the rivals of the great writers of the day!"

"He spoke of Bessen and Neukirch," said Quintus; "I must confess it savors of audacity to compare these men with Racine and Corneille; he did this, perhaps, to excite the interest of your majesty, as it is well known that the great Frederick, to whom all Germany renders homage, attributes all that is good and honorable to the German, but has a poor opinion of his intellect, his learning, and his wit."

The king was about to reply, when a servant entered and gave him a letter from the professor, Gottsched.

"I find, Quintus," said the king, "that my brother in Apollo does me the honor to treat me with confidence. If I was at all disposed to be arrogant, I might finally imagine myself to be his equal. Let us see with what sort of dedication the Cygne des Saxons has honored us." He opened the letter, and while reading, his countenance cleared, and he burst out into a loud, joyous laugh. "Well, you must read this poem, and tell me if it is pure German and true poetry." The king, assuming the attitude of a great tragedian, stepped forward with a nasal voice, and exactly in the pompous manner of Gottsched, he read the poem aloud. "Be pleased to remark," said the king, with assumed solemnity, "that Gottsched announces himself as the Pindar of Germany, and he will have the goodness to commend me in his rhymes to after-centuries. And now, tell me, Quintus, if this is German poetry? Is your innermost soul inspired by these exalted lines?"

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