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Oh! friendly to the best pursuits of man,
CowPER 2. The stranger who would form a correct opinion of the English character, must not confine his observations to the metropolis. He must go forth into the country; he must sojourn in villages and hamlets; he must visit castles, villas, farmhouses, cottages; he must wander through parks and gardens; along hedges and green lanes; he must loiter about country churches; attend wakes 4 and fairs, and other rural festivals; and cope with the people in all their conditions, and all their habits and humours.
In some countries the large cities absorb the wealth and fashion of the nation; they are the only fixed abodes of elegant and intelligent society, and the country is inhabited almost entirely by boorish peasantry. In England, on the contrary, the metropolis is a mere gathering place', or general rendezvous, of the polite classes, where they devote a small portion of the
1) friendly ist attributives Abjectiv zu domestic life in rural pleasure passed.
2) Aus The Task von William Cowper (1731–1800), nach Southey „the most popular poet of his generation and the best of English letter-writers
3) would = das Conditional zur Bezeichnung der unsicheren oder bescheidenen Aussage = franz. voudrait.
4) wake in der Bedeutung = act of waking from sleep das Erwachen, veraltet; jetzt = state of forbearing sleep, vigil Wache, Nachtwache, sodann = the feast of the dedication of the parish-church Kirchweihfest, Kirmess, which was originally kept by watching all night.
5) to cope streiten, sich mit Jem. einlassen; nach Müller, Etymol. Wb. p. 263 kaum etwas anderes als das altengl. copen, coupen kaufen, erhandeln, das leicht die Bedeutungen entwickeln konnte: sich mit Jem. einlassen, feilschen, streiten.
6) fashion = das Modeleben, das vornehme Leben.
year to a hurry' of gaiety and dissipation, and 10 having indulged this carnival"', return again to the apparently more congenial habits of rural life. The various orders of society are therefore diffused over the whole surface of the kingdom, and the most retired neighbourhoods afford specimens of the different ranks.
The English, in fact, are strongly gifted with the rural feeling 12. They possess a quick sensibility to the beauties of nature, and a keen relish for the pleasures and employments of the country. This passion seems inherent in them. Even the inhabitants of cities, born and brought up among brick walls and bustling streets, enter with facility into rural habits, and evince a turn for rural occupation. The merchant has his snug retreat in the vicinity of the metropolis, where he often displays as much pride and zeal in the cultivation of his flower-garden, and the maturing of his fruits, as he does in the conduct of his business, and the success of his commercial enterprises. Even those less fortunate individuals, who are doomed to pass their lives in the midst of din and traffic, contrive to have something that shall remind them of the green aspect of nature. In the most dark and dingy quarters of the city 13, the drawing-room window resembles frequently a bank of flowers 14; every spot capable of vegetation has its grass - plot and flower-bed; and every square 18 its mimic 16 park, laid out with picturesque taste, and gleaming with refreshing verdure.
9) das Gewirr.
10) Falsches Zeugma, da das den vorangehenden coordinierten Satz einleitende where sich nicht mehr auf den mit and angeknüpften Satz bezieht, vielmehr ein whence erfordert wird.
11)' this carnival = diese Art von Carneval.
12) to be strongly gifted with the rural feeling = ein sehr lebendiges Gefühl für das Landleben haben ; zu rural feeling vergl. S. 2, Anm. 10.
18) city ist eigentl. die Stadt, welche der Sitz eines Bischofs ist oder gewesen ist, dann überhaupt jede bedeutende Stadt und wird überall gebraucht, wo man die bürgerlichen Rechte oder die politische und historische Bedeutung einer Stadt im Auge hat. Vorzugsweise ist the City die Altstadt von London, der östlich von dem Thore TempleBar gelegene Theil — „die handeltreibende und gelderwerbende Stadt mit dem Hafen, den Docks, dem Zollamt, der Bank und der Börse, die Stadt der Counting-Houses, der Grosshändler (merchants), der Geldund Gütermäkler (brokers), der Wechsler und Versicherer jeder Art, die Stadt mit dem Hauptpostamt und den Druckerpressen der Times, den Rechtsgelehrten und Rechtsinnungen der Inns of Court und der alles überragenden St. Paulskirche". (Baedeker, London).
34) bank Hügel, Ufer, Bank (theils unmittelbar aus d. german., theils durch das romanische aus germanischer Quelle geflossene fr. banc, banque) = whatever is raised and extends in a ridge; mound, elevated ground; especially a ridge of earth set with flowers; a flower bed Blumenbe et vergl. Shakspere, Cymbeline V, 4: Rest upon your never-withering bank of flowers u. a. a. 0.
Those who see the Englishman only in town, are apt to form an unfavourable opinion of his social character. He is . either absorbed in business, or distracted by the thousand en
gagements that dissipate time, thought, and feeling, in this huge metropolis. He has, therefore, too commonly a look of hurry and abstraction. Wherever he happens to be, he is on the point of going somewhere else; at the moment he is talking on a subject 17, his mind is wandering to another; and wbile paying a friendly visit, he is calculating how he shall economize time so as to pay the other visits allotted to the morning. An immense metropolis like London is calculated to make men selfish and uninteresting. In their casual and transient 18 meetings, they can but deal briefly in common-places. They present but the cold superficies of character — its rich and genial qualities have no time to be warmed into a flow 19.
It is in the country that the Englishman gives scope 20 to his natural feelings. He breaks loose 21 gladly from the cold formalities and negative civilities of town; throws off his habits of shy reserve, and becomes joyous and free-hearted 22. He manages to collect round him all the conveniences and elegances of polite life, and to banish its restraints. His country seat abounds with every requisite, either for studious retirement, tasteful gratification 23, or rural exercise. Books, paintings, music, horses,
15) square Viereck (altfr. esquarre, esquierre, neufr. équerre, it. squadra zu lat. ex u. quadrare, quadratus) = a space of ground with houses on each side freier Platz.
16) mímic (fr. mimique v. gr. uluixós v. utučio hat nachahmen) 1) aktiv = imitative nachahmend, 2) passiv = consisting of imitation; formed in imitation; imitated nachgeahmt; mimic park deutsch etwa : kleiner Park.
17) he is talking ... Unbezeichneter Temporalsatz abhängig von at the moment; gewöhnlicher that, zuweilen when.
18) spr. tránshent.
19) to be warmed into a flow; über den Gebrauch von into vergl. S. 21, Anm. 43; deutsch etwa: sich zum Erguss gehörig zu erwärmen.
20) scope Ziel (von d. lat. gr. scopus Ziel); sodann room or opportunity for free outlook or aim; space for action; free course or vent; liberty; daher to give scope = Raum geben, freien Spielraum lassen.
21) to break loose intrans. = sich los machen.
29) Zu studious retirement gelehrte Musse, tasteful gratification Befriedigung des Geschmacks vergl. S. 2, Anm. 10.
here, chungolemu pomilent herds
dogs, and sporting implements 24 of all kinds, are at hand. He puts no constraint, either upon his guests or himself, but in the true spirit of hospitality provides the means of enjoyment, and leaves every one to partake according to his inclination.
The taste of the English in the cultivation of land, and in what is called landscape gardening 25, is unrivalled. They have studied nature intently, and discover an exquisite sense of her beautiful forms and harmonious combinations. Those charms, which in other countries she lavishes in wild solitudes, are here assembled round the haunts of domestic life. They seem to have caught her coy 26 and furtive graces, and spread them, like witchery, about their rural abodes.
Nothing can be more imposing than the magnificence of English park scenery, Vast lawns that extend like sheets of vivid green, with here and there clumps of gigantic trees 27, heaping up rich piles of foliage. The solemn pomp of groves and woodland glades, with the deer trooping in silent herds across them; the hare, bounding away to the covert; or the pheasant, suddenly bursting upon the wing 28. The brook, taught to wind in the most natural meanderings 29, or expand into a glassy lake – the sequestered pool, reflecting the quivering trees, with the yellow leaf sleeping on its bosom 30, and the trout roaming fearlessly about its limpid waters; while some rustic temple or sylvan statue, grown green and dank with age, gives an air of classic sanctity to the seclusion.
These are but a few of the features of park scenery; but what most delights me, is the creative 31 talent with which the English decorate the unostentatious abodes of middle life. The rudest habitation, the most unpromising and scanty portion of land, in the hands of an Englishman of taste, becomes a little paradise. With a nicely discriminating eye, he seizes at once upon its capabilities, and pictures in his mind the future landscape. The sterile spot grows into loveliness under his hand; and yet the operations of art which produce the effect are scarcely to be perceived. The cherishing and training of some trees; the cautious pruning of others; the nice distribution of flowers and plants of tender and graceful foliage; the introduction of a green slope of velvet turf; the partial opening to a peep of blue distance 82, or silver gleam of water; all these are managed with a delicate tact, a pervading yet quiet assiduity, like the magic touchings with which a painter finishes up 33 a favourite picture.
24) vergl. S. 2, Anm. 10.
26) coy ruhig, still, scheu, schüchtern (franz. coi aus d. lat. quietus. it. cheto).
27) Ueber die Verbindung von Präpositionen mit adverbialen und präpositionalen Satzgliedern vergl. Mätzner, Engl. Gr. II, p. 513-516.
28) to burst upon the wing = auffliegen, von Vögelo. Diese Bedeutung findet sich in den Lexicis nicht, vergl. aber Hoppe, Supplementlexicon p. 50.
29) mēándering Windung z, to mēander von dem vielgewundenen Flusse Maeander, gr. Maiovoos in Kleinasien, mit dessen Namen schon die alten Griechen vielgewundene Krümmungen bezeichneten.
80) vergl. S. 44, Aom. 65.
The residence of people of fortune and refinement in the country has diffused a degree of taste and elegance in rural economy, that descends to the lowest class. The very labourer, with his thatched cottage and narrow slip of ground, attends to their embellishment. The trim hedge, the grass-plot before the door, the little flower-bed bordered with snug box, the woodbine trained up against the wall, and hanging its blossoms about the lattice, the pot of flowers in the window, the holly providently planted about the house, to cheat winter of its dreariness, and throw in a semblance of green summer to cheer the fireside; all these bespeak the influence of taste, flowing down from high sources, and pervading the lowest levels of the public mind. If ever Love, as poets sing, delights to visit a cottage, it must be the cottage of an English peasant.
The fondness for rural life among the higher classes of the English has had a great and salutary effect upon the national character. I do not know a finer race of men than the English gentlemen. Instead of the softness and effeminacy which characterize the men of rank in most countries, they exhibit a union of elegance and strength, a robustness of frame and freshness of complexion, which I am inclined to attribute to their living so much in the open air, and pursuing so eagerly the invigorating recreations of the country. These hardy exercises produce also a healthful tone of mind and spirits, and a manliness and simplicity of manners, which even the follies and dissipations of the town cannot easily pervert, and can never entirely destroy. In the country, too, the different orders of society seem to approach more freely, to be more disposed
Aussicht in die blaue
82) peep of blue distance or silver gleam = Ferne oder auf den Silberschein des Wassers.
39) to finish up = seine Volleodung geben.