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Title. Kalliope.


Calliope (literally, "the beautiful-voiced"), the first of the nine Muses, presiding over epic poetry, properly heads the poem, which is chiefly of an epic nature.

Schicksal, the fate of the fugitives; Anteil, the sympathy for them on the part of the inhabitants of the town.

Page 5.—lines 1-21. The dramatic opening by natural conversation in the mouth of one of the actors, makes a most effective beginning of the exposition. The attention is called to a single striking fact (the emptiness of the town) and an increasing interest is awakened. In these twenty-one lines we already gain, in an entirely unforced manner, graphic hints of the political commotion which is to form the epic background; intimations of the idyllic features of life in the town, and glimpses of characteristics of three of the chief actors and of their temporal condition.

11. 1–2. Hab' ich ... doch; Ist doch die Stadt. Inversion for emphasis with doch (“I declare, I have never seen") is one of the most frequently used constructions in the poem and belongs to its naïve style. 1.2. gekehrt ausgekehrt, swept clean.


1. 3. Deucht (impers.), a parallel form to dünft (VII, 122), constructed by false analogy in the fifteenth century; so, mir deucht, IV, 104; cf. English "methinks."

1. 5. den traurigen Zug der armen Vertriebnen. The use of epic descriptive epithets is most frequent, and belongs to the Homeric style. As Lessing has remarked in the Laokoon (ch. 16), "Homer usually emphasizes but one feature in an object; now it is a 'black ship,' now a 'hollow ship,' now a 'swift ship,' or at most a well-oared black ship.' Detailed painting of a single ship he does not attempt."


1. 6. Dammweg, embanked road,— especially a highway crossing low meadows; it is called later Hochweg (1, 137) and Chaussee (V, 146). The road on which the fugitives are travelling is a main highway, and lies two or three miles away from the town. In the days before railways it was especially important that these great arteries of communication should be as direct, solid and level as possible. The chief features which distinguish a „Chaussee“ from a secondary road at the present time are its careful construction and superb condition. One observes the regularly planted shade or fruit trees which border its course, and the neat stones, set at about every hundred yards, telling the exact distance from the chief point to which the road leads. — welchen sie ziehn, along which they are travelling; welchen is accusative of extent of space traversed. ist's immer ein Stündchen, it is quite a little hour's walk; immer for immerhin, however the case may be, concessive. Among country people in Germany, the distances along high roads are invariably expressed in terms of the time taken to traverse them by the average walker.

1. 8. Elend, misery, perhaps with some feeling for the original meaning of the word, "the misery of exile," "being in another land," - Old High German ELI-LENTI.

1. 10. das überrheinische Land, das schöne. The use of the adjective, with the article repeated, after the noun, was a conscious innovation in German by poets who followed Homeric models. It was employed by Bodmer in his translation of Homer, and brought freely into poetic diction by Voss. See the Introduction, p. xxviii, and Olbrich, p. 22 ff. Cf. das Kütschchen . . . das neue, 1. 17; die Bänke, die hölzernen, 1. 66, and a host of other cases in the poem.

1. 15. Sache, the part, the duty.

1. 16. Was, a colloquial equivalent to wie in the same line.

Page 6.-line 17. Kütschchen, here a high, open driving-wagon; — bequemlich, poetical form for bequem (W.). The use of forms in -lich is especially frequent in Goethe.

1. 18. viere, archaic and colloquial for vier; so also VI, 117 (acc.). 1. 20. Unter dem Chore. Like many German houses, the Golden Lion Inn contained an archway or passage through which vehicles could pass to a court in the rear. The innkeeper and his wife were sitting on a bench just inside of this entrance (Thor).

1. 21. Wohlbehaglich. The epithet emphasizes the idyllic prosperity of the host's surroundings. Epithets compounded with wohl(imitating the Homeric standing epithets beginning with ev-) are introduced freely by Goethe into the poem, as follows: wohlversehen, I, 114; wohlgebildet, II, 1; V, 176; VI, 145; wohlbestellt, II, 165; wohlgezogen, II, 204; wohlbegütert, II, 248; wohlerneuert, III, 28; wohlgezimmert, IV, 9; wohlbekannt, V, 146; wohlumzäunet, IV, 23; wohlerhalten, VII, 77. The syllable wohl- makes a convenient beginning of a foot. — zum goldenen Löwen. Cf. Die Apotheke zum Engel, III, 86. Notice the local use of zu with the meaning "at." Cf. II, 80, 204; III, 109; VI, 115; VII, 171; and the colloquial phrases, "he is not to home," "I bought them to the county fair." The post-coach stopped "at" such and such a sign,—hence this preposition. For an interesting picture of a "Sign of the Golden Lion" belonging to the eighteenth century, see the Century Dictionary, s. v. “Sign.”

1. 22. Und es versetzte darauf, etc. An often repeated introductory phrase of Homeric flavor (like Tòv d'úñaμeißóμevoç, And answering him, Iliad I, 84, etc.) suggested by Voss, see Introduction, p. xxvii. 1. 24. zu manchem Gebrauch, (suitable) for many uses.

1. 25. bedürfen usually governs the gen., as here, but the acc. in V, 13.

1. 26. an, in the way of.

1. 27. nackend (archaic for nackt, II, 47, which is a better form), half-clad; cf. yvμvós.

1. 29. mit indianischen Blumen. Old-fashioned East-Indian cotton goods were often printed in large flower-patterns. Cf. L., 3, ii, 612-613: Jebo brachte Mama den stattlichen Bräutigamsschlafrock,

Fein von Kattun, kleeroth, mit farbigen Blumen gesprenkelt.

1. 32. Aber (like the Homeric dé) often introduces a new motive or episode, or draws the attention to another object.

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1. 34. friegt (originally, strives for), gets; an unliterary word. 1. 36. Sürtout (French pronunciation), a long overcoat. Pete'sche (Hungarian), a close-fitting coat trimmed with braid, in vogue at the time. There is a touch of humorous exaggeration in the protest of the innkeeper against the increasingly stiff formality in dress.

1. 37. ist, in agreement with the nearest subject, as often in poetry. Cf. II, 15; IV, 217; VI, 13.

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