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A New and Complete Translation

Editorial Notes — Essays 91-104

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Essay 91 

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 [91.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 [91.2] Lessing continues, from [89], his discussion of Aristotle’s views on dramatic character; at the end of [90], Lessing considers to what extent ancient Greek comedy made use of the names of real people.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 [91.3] Sophists: ancient Greek scholars and lecturers of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE; most were itinerant professional teachers. Plato and Aristotle portrayed the sophists (known for employing moral skepticism) as ethically suspect and avaricious, leading to the association of sophistry with clever, but fallacious, argumentation. Aristophanes lampoons Socrates in his comedy Clouds (423 BCE), portraying him (unfairly) as embodying the negative traits of the Sophists.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 [91.4] This incident is related by the Roman rhetorician Claudius Aelianus (Aelian) (c. 170–c.235) in his Various History (Book II, Chapter 13).

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 [91.5] For “Old Comedy,” see [90.16]. The following are references in Lessing’s footnote. The Margites (8th century) is a bawdy epic poem, attributed to Homer; Margites is the titular (foolish) hero. “Μαργίτης was more likely derived from μαργης than μαργης originated from Μαργίτης”: Μαργίτης (Margities); μαργης (margis: mad, gluttonous, lustful). Pherecrates (5th century BCE): ancient Athenian comic playwright.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 [91.6] The following are references in Lessing’s footnote. Contrary to Lessing’s statement, explicit satire of public persons and events is considered an essential feature of Old Comedy, although the work of the earliest comic playwrights is not extant. Cratinus (died c. 420 BCE): highly successful ancient Athenian comic playwright. Aristophanes’ Eirēnē [Peace] (421 BCE): comedy staged during the Peloponnesian War; Aristophanes’ claim occurs during the play’s parabasis (during which the playwright or choral leader directly addressed the audience). Lessing gives the title as “Irene.”

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 [91.7] The following are references in Lessing’s footnote. For the quotation from Dacier, see Dacier, “Remarques sur le Chapitre V [“Notes on Chapter 5”] in La poëtique d’Aristote 63. Epicharmus (Epicharmos) (c. 530 BCE–c. 440 BCE), Phormis (5th century BCE), Crates (Krates) (5th century BCE): early comic playwrights in Syracuse and Athens, respectively. Cleon (d. 422 BCE), Hyperbolus (d. 411 BCE), Pericles (c. 495 BCE – 429 BCE): politicians of ancient Athens lampooned by Aristophanes.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 [91.8] Until quite recently, it was generally believed that legislation in ancient Athens forbid the slanderous comedic representation of actual persons; see Halliwell, “Comic Satire,” for the source of this belief and a detailed account of the lack of evidence for its support.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 [91.9] The following are references in Lessing’s footnote. “The strictness with which Plato wanted to forbid ridiculing someone in comedy in his Republic [. . .] was never enforced in the real Republic”: see note 8 above. Ctesippus (Ktesippus): son of Chabrias (4th c. BCE), an Athenian general, who was said to have sold the stones of his father’s monument in order to fund his luxurious lifestyle; mentioned by Menander in his Orge [Anger] (321 BCE); see Menander, the principal fragments 417.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 [91.10] Lessing’s multi-essay analysis of Aristotle was triggered in [83] by Diderot’s statement that tragic characters are individualized and comic characters are types.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 Essay 92 

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 [92.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [92.2] Lessing continues, from [89], his discussion of Aristotle’s views on dramatic character, which was triggered by Diderot’s statement, in [83], that tragic characters are individualized and comic characters are types. At the end of [91], Lessing asserts that Diderot must comprehend something completely different under the idea of universality of a character than Aristotle did.”

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 [92.3] Richard Hurd, see [90.17].

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 [92.4] Johann Joachim Eschenburg (1743–1820), a German scholar and translator (and friend of Lessing’s); his Horazens Episteln an die Pisonen und an den Augustus [Horace’s Epistles to Pisones and Augustus] (1722), incorporates passages already translated by Lessing here. Eschenburg is best known for producing the first German translation of the complete plays of Shakespeare (a continuation and revision of Wieland’s earlier translation), which appeared in thirteen volumes as William Shakespeare’s Schauspiele [William Shakespeare’s Plays] (1775–82).

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [92.5] See Horace and Richard Hurd, 163–243.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 [92.6] Tr. note: Hurd uses the term “species” to denote different types of literature; Lessing translates “species” into Gattung, which we render with the more common modern English term “genre.”

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [92.7] Our English here and in the next citation is taken directly from Hurd, “Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama” 183.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [92.8] L’Avare [The Miser] (1668): five-act prose comedy.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 [92.9] Nero: character in Racine’s Britannicus (1669).

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 [92.10] Tr. note: the rest of this essay is a quotation from Hurd, which we have taken directly from the original source.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 [92.11] One of Molière’s inspirations for The Miser was Plautus’s Aulularia [The Little Pot, or The Pot of Gold].

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 [92.12] These lines are from “Of the Nature and State of Man with Respect to Himself As an Individual,” the second of four epistles in the philosophical poem “The Essay on Man” (1733–34), by English poet and satirist Alexander Pope (1688–1744); see Pope, The Works of Alexander Pope 3: 63.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 [92.13] Hurd, “Dissertation” 183–6.

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 Essay 93 

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 [93.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 [93.2] The entirety of this essay is a quotation from Richard Hurd’s “Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama,” continued from [92]. Tr. note – we provide Hurd’s original English; see “Dissertation” 186–9. Lessing has brought Hurd into his discussion of Aristotle’s views on dramatic character, begun in [89], which was triggered by Diderot’s statement, in [83], that tragic characters are individualized and comic characters are types. For Hurd, see [90.17].

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 [93.3] Hurd references (and Lessing cites in his footnote) the celebrated (if not always accurate) 37-volume Naturalis Historiae, known as Naturalis historia [The Natural History] (77 CE) by Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) (23-79 CE); in Book 34 (“Seilanion cast a portrait of [the sculptor] Apollodoros . . . a severe critic of his own work, who often broke up a finished statue, being unable to reach the ideal he aimed at. . . . This characteristic Seilanion rendered, and made his bronze not a portrait of an individual, but a figure of Vexation itself” (for the full quotation, in English and Latin, see Pliny 66–9).

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 [93.4] Charles Le Brun (1619–90): court painter and theorist who provided details representations and instructions for depicting “the passions of the soul”; author of the influential Conférence de M. Le Brun sur l’expression générale et particulière [Discourse by Monsieur Le Brun on General and Specific Expressions] (1698), translated into English (or, more accurately, adapted) by John Williams as A Method to Learn to Design the Passions (1734).

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 [93.5] The Characters [Charaktēres]: a series of character sketches of moral types based on Aristotle’s studies; a surviving work of the Peripatetic philosopher Theophrastes (c. 372– c. 287 BCE), who succeeded Aristotle as the head of the Lyceum in Athens.

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 [93.6] The following are references in Lessing’s footnote. The English playwright Ben Jonson is particularly known for his “comedies of humour,” a dramatic genre that takes it name from medieval and Renaissance medical theory in which a body’s health depended on the balance its “humours” (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile). Jonson characters are usually “unbalanced” caricatures governed by a particular humour that determines their dispositions. Every Man in His Humour (1598) was popular in both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The less successful Every Man Out of His Humour (1599), functioned as one of Jonson’s contributions to the “war of the theaters,” a literary conflict in which Jonson and his fellow playwrights John Marston and Thomas Dekker satirized each other in their comedies; although the conflict dealt in part with the nature and purpose of theater, another factor was the significant commercial rivalry between Jonson and Marston. The quotation (given in its original English) is from the prologue to Every Man Out of His Humour; see Jonson 118–19. Lessing’s translation of “humour” as “mood” (Laune), which he says he now regrets, first appears in his essay “Von Johann Dryden und dessen dramatischen Werken” (1759; Lessing gives date as 1758) in the Theatralische Bibliothek [Theatrical Library]; see Lessing, “Von Johann Dryden” in Werke und Briefe 4: 130–79. καθ καστον: “individually.” Grex: “flock” in Latin.

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 [93.7] Thomas Randolph (1605–34/5): English poet and playwright, “adopted” by Ben Jonson; Randolph’s comedy The Muse’s Looking Glass (1630) was a moral satire inspired by Jonson.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 Essay 94 

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 [94.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 [94.2] Lessing has brought Hurd into his discussion of Aristotle’s views on dramatic character, begun in [89], which was triggered by Diderot’s statement, in [83], that tragic characters are individualized and comic characters are types. The entirety of [92] is a passage from Richard Hurd’s “Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama” (252–7); for Hurd, see [90.17].

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 [94.3] The long quotation that follows is drawn from Hurd’s “Notes on the Art of Poetry.” Tr. note – we provide Hurd’s original English; see “Notes” 252–7.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 [94.4] The two points that follow are from Horace’s Ars Poetica (De Arte Poetica) [The Art of Poetry] (for the full quotation, in Latin and English, see Horace, Satires, Epistles, and Ars Poetica 476–7).

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 [94.5] ad veritatem vitae propius accedere: “to accommodate themselves more to the reality of life.” Hurd is citing Horace who in turn cites Cicero; see M. Tulli Cicero, De Oratore [On the Orator] I (Liber Primus); for English, see Cicero “De Oratore” 204. Horace’s citation of Cicero is not exact; our translation is from this English source.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 [94.6] For the text in Lessing’s footnote, see M. Tulli Cicero, De Oratore [On the Orator] II (Liber Secundus); for English, see Cicero “De Oratore” 240. Horace’s citation of Cicero is not exact.

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 [94.7] The Philosopher: Plato. This argument is outlined in Book X of his Republic. For this particular statement, see Plato, The Republic 329.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 [94.8] The great critic: Aristotle. Butcher’s translation is: “Poetry . . . is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history”; see Poetics (Part IX).

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 [94.9] Butcher’s translation is: “for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular,” Ibid.

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 [94.10] Butcher’s translation is practically identical to Hurd’s; see Aristotle, Poetics (Part XXV).

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 [94.11] In his footnote, Lessing quotes from André Dacier’s translation of Aristotle, La poëtique d’Aristote [The Poetics of Aristotle] (1692).

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 Essay 95 

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 [95.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 [95.2] In the previous three essays, Lessing has been quoting Richard Hurd, as a means of illuminating Aristotle’s views on dramatic character, which Lessing begins discussing in [89]. Here Hurd introduces Euripides’ Electra in order to continue an examination of whether characters should be drawn from real life or idealized; for Hurd, see [90.17]. The long quotation here is drawn from Hurd’s “Notes on the Art of Poetry.” Tr. note: we provide Hurd’s original English; see “Notes” 257–60.

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 [95.3] In Greek mythology, Electra unites with her brother Orestes to murder their mother (Clytemnestra) and her lover (Aegisthus), who killed their father (Agamemnon). In Euripides’ version of the story, after the murder of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus marry Electra off to a peasant.

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 [95.4] Both Euripides and Sophocles include a scene in which Electra at first fails to recognize Orestes, who was exiled by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 [95.5] Lessing’s analysis of Hurd’s views on Aristotle was triggered by Diderot’s statement, in [83], that tragic characters are individualized and comic characters are types.

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 [95.6] Καθολον: kathólon (whole).

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 [95.7] See [93] for Hurd’s criticism of Ben Jonson’s “comedies of humor.”

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 [95.8] Fermenta cognitionis: food for thought. Tr. note: literally “ferment of knowledge”; that is, a leavening that will allow future knowledge to rise.

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 Essay 96

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 [96.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 [96.2] The second performance at the Hamburg National Theater of Romanus’s Die Bruder [The Brothers] in fact occurred on August 11, 1767. For more about the play, see [70.6].

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 [96.3] “They say that this play was produced second, at a point when the writer’s name was not well known; and so it was announced as “The Brothers of Terence,” rather than “Terence’s The Brothers,” because up to that point, the writer was recommended more by the name of the play than the play by the name of the writer.” From Donatus’s commentary on the play; see Donatus, Publii Terentii 293.

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 [96.4] For the state of German dramatic literature in the mid-eighteenth century, see the editor’s first introductory essay (Baldyga pp#).

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 [96.5] A belief reminiscent of those held by Lessing’s father, Johann Gottfried Lessing (1693-1770), a Lutheran pastor who published numerous theological works; see Nisbet 11–13.

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 [96.6] In his footnote, Lessing references Plutarch’s Comparationis Aristophanis Et Menandri Compendium [Summary of a Comparison between Aristophanes and Menander] in Plutarchi Chaeronensis quae extant opera, cum Latine interpretatione [Extant Works of Plutarch of Chaeronea, with Latin interpretation] (1572), edited by Henricus Stephanus. Lessing’s page citation is incorrect; the statement to which he refers can be found on page 1568 (not 1588).

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 [96.7] In these next paragraphs, Lessing refers specifically to the young German professor and dilettante literary critic, Christian Adolf Klotz (1738–71), who had criticized Lessing’s Laokoon (in 1768), and, in early 1769, in his journal Deutsche Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften [German Library of Liberal Arts and Sciences], the first volume of collected essays from the Hamburg Dramaturgy (Klotz 9: 41–60). Lessing’s two-volume polemical response to Klotz, the Briefe antiquarischen Inhalts [Antiquarian Letters] (1768–69) thoroughly demolished the critic’s reputation, leading Klotz’s biographer to write that Klotz “threw a pea at Lessing and was answered by an avalanche of stones”; see von Murr 95–6.

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 [96.8] See [30.2].

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 [96.9] Loosely quoted from Klotz, Deutschen Biblothek der schönen Wissenschaften 9: 42–3.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 [96.10] See Lessing’s remarks “Der Rezensent braucht nicht besser machen zu können, was er tadelt” [“The reviewer need not be able to do better than that which he criticizes”] in his “Paralipomena” (pp.#).

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 [96.11] Hurd writes, “Comedy succeeds best when the scene is laid at home, tragedy for the most part when abroad”; see “Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama” 191.

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 [96.12] This quotation is actually from William Warburton’s commentary on Pope’s Imitation of Horace Epistle I, verse 282 (Pope, The Works of Alexander Pope, Esq. 4: 182). Lessing appears to have drawn the quotation, which we provide in the original English, from Hurd’s “Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama” 191–2.

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 Essay 97

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 [97.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 [97.2] At the end of [96], Lessing proposes to address Karl Franz Romanus’s comedy Die Brüder [The Brothers] and the ways in which it differs from Terence’s Adelphi [The Brothers]. He then begins to question the need for a comedy to reflect contemporary customs, and those who adapt classical plays accordingly.

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 [97.3] See Poetics (Part IX).

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 [97.4] Aeschylus’s Persians (472 BCE), the only extant ancient Greek tragedy drawn from current events (rather than myth), dramatizes the aftermath of the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks in 480 BCE. Although it is true that The Persians does not exhibit strict historical fidelity, Aeschylus nonetheless employs specifics of Persian culture, history, and customs.

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 [97.5] See [70.7] for the plot of Terence’s play.

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 [97.6] Tr. note: a later edition of Romanus’s play bears the subtitle Die Schule der Väter [The School for Fathers].

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 [97.7] “Learn how to be a father from those who really know!” (Act 1, Sc. 1). Tr. John Barsby, from Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 265.

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 [97.8] Romanus, Die Brüder 41.

77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0 [97.9] “If you’re going to concern yourself with both, you might as well demand the return of the one you gave me” (Act 1, Sc. 1). Tr. John Barsby, from Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 265.

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 Essay 98 

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 [98.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 [98.2] Lessing continues, from [97], his discussion (begun in [96]) of the differences between Romanus’s comedy Die Brüder [The Brothers] and Terence’s Adelphi [The Brothers]. Terence’s play has two pairs of brothers: Micio and Demea (Philidor and Lysimon in Die Brüder), and Demea’s sons Aeschinus and Ctesipho (Leander and Lycast in Die Brüder). Romanus changes the younger set to cousins. See [70.6] for the origins of Die Brüder, and [70.7] for the plot of Terence’s play.

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 [98.3] The citations given by Lessing in his footnotes do not align with the 1763 edition available through our Works Cited. In our edition, this line (which Lessing alters slightly) and the following line can be found in Act I, Sc. 2; see Romanus 9.

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 [98.4] See Romanus 10.

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 [98.5] “It’s thanks to him that I’m alive. The wonderful fellow! He saw everything else as second to my interests. He took upon himself the insults, the gossip, my troubles, my misdeeds” (Act 2, Sc. 5). Tr. by John Barsby, in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 281. Tr. note: There is a slight variation in Lessing’s Latin text, which substitutes “amorem” (love) for “laborem” (troubles).

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 [98.6] Citalise: Lycast’s love interest; Romanus’s substitute for the unnamed “music girl” in Terence’s play.

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 [98.7] In Die Brüder, the reprobate cousin Lycast threatens to stay with Damis, an unsavory character who does not appear in the play, if his virtuous cousin Leander (the “German Aeschinus”) will not house him. See Romanus 19–20.

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 [98.8] For an English translation of the quotation in Lessing’s footnote, see Terence, Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 281–3.

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 [98.9] “He counted out the money on the spot, and gave us half a mina on top to spend on the party” (Act 3, Sc. 3). Tr. John Barby, in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 295.

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 [98.10] psaltria: music-girl. “our Ctesipho”: Lycast.

89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0 [98.11] In our edition these lines appear in Act 1, Sc. 5; see Romanus 16–17.

90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 [98.12] Terence’s play is a Roman adaptation of Menander’s Greek comedy of the same name.

91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 0 [98.13] “I only hope he is. As long as he doesn’t come to any harm, I’d like him to get himself so exhausted that for the next three days he can’t get out of bed at all” (Act 4, Sc. 1). Tr. John Barsby, in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 309.

92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0 [98.14] “CTE: He’ll ask me where I’ve been. ‘I haven’t seen you all day,’ he’ll say. What shall I tell him?/ SYR: Can’t you think of anything?/ CTE: Nothing at all./ SYR: So much the worse for you. Don’t you people have clients, friends, guest-friends?/ CTE: Yes, we do. What of it?/ SYR: So you can say you’ve been offering your services to them./ CTE: When I haven’t? It can’t be done.” Tr. John Barsby in Terence, Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 311.

93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 Essay 99 

94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0 [99.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0 [99.2] Lessing continues from [98] his discussion (begun in [96]) of the differences between Romanus’s comedy Die Brüder [The Brothers] and Terence’s Adelphi [The Brothers]. Terence’s play has two pairs of brothers: Micio and Demea (Philidor and Lysimon in Die Brüder), and Demea’s sons Aeschinus and Ctesipho (Leander and Lycast in Die Brüder). Romanus changes the younger set to cousins. See [70.6] for the origins of Die Brüder, and [70.7] for the plot of Terence’s play.

96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0 [99.3] “What is this whim? What is this unexpected extravagance?” (Act 5, Sc. 8). Tr. John Barsby in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 365.

97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0 [99.4] “To support from time to time” (Act 5, Sc. 8). Tr. John Barsby in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 365.

98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0 [99.5] Diphilus (born c. 350 BCE): playwright of ancient Athens; a major influence on Plautus and Terence.

99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0 [99.6] The Dying Companions: Lessing’s translation of Synapothnescontes; see note 7.

100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 [99.7] “Synapothnescontes [Joined in Death] is a comedy by Diphilus…At the beginning of the Greek version there is a young man who abducts a girl from a pimp….Our author has taken it over for his The Brothers…” (Prologue). Tr. John Barsby in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 255.

101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0 [99.8] “Menander writes that he wants to die, Terence that he wants to escape.” From Donatus’s commentary on the play; see Donatus, Publii Terentii 268.

102 Leave a comment on paragraph 102 0 [99.9] Peter Nannius (Petrus Nannius, Pieter Nanninck) (1500–57): Dutch humanist scholar who published numerous ancient Greek and Roman works, with accompanying commentary. For the Latin quoted in Lessing’s footnote, see Nannius, Symmiktōn 53–4. For an English translation, see Robertson 329.

103 Leave a comment on paragraph 103 0 [99.10] “To say nothing of what he’s done in the past, look at his latest exploit….He’s broken down a door and forced his way into someone else’s house….Everybody is protesting that it’s outrageous behavior. The number of people who spoke of it, Micio, as I came into town! The whole population is talking about it.” (Act 1, Sc. 2). Tr. John Barsby in Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 261.

104 Leave a comment on paragraph 104 0 [99.11] See preceding note.

105 Leave a comment on paragraph 105 0 [99.12] Scholia: commentary.

106 Leave a comment on paragraph 106 0 Essay 100 

107 Leave a comment on paragraph 107 0 [100.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

108 Leave a comment on paragraph 108 0 [100.2] Lessing continues from [99] his discussion (begun in [96]) of the differences between Romanus’s comedy Die Brüder [The Brothers] and Terence’s Adelphi [The Brothers]. Terence’s play has two pairs of brothers: Micio and Demea (Philidor and Lysimon in Die Brüder), and Demea’s sons Aeschinus and Ctesipho (Leander and Lycast in Die Brüder). Romanus changes the younger set to cousins. See [70.6] for the origins of Die Brüder, and [70.7] for the plot of Terence’s play.

109 Leave a comment on paragraph 109 0 [100.3] Tr. note: here we translate Lessing’s German rendering of the Latin (which he provides in his footnote); for an English translation directly from the original, see Terence Adelphi/The Brothers 2: 357–61.

110 Leave a comment on paragraph 110 0 [100.4] The critic: Samuel Patrick (1684–1748), an English schoolmaster, classical scholar, and lexicographer. The lines that follow are quoted in the 1765 edition of Terence by George Colman (the Elder); see Terence and Colman Comedies of Terence 415. Our English is taken from that source. Colman’s quotation of Patrick is not entirely faithful. See Patrick, Terence’s Comedies 2: 113–15.

111 Leave a comment on paragraph 111 0 [100.5] Lessing adds this sentence for rhetorical flourish.

112 Leave a comment on paragraph 112 0 [100.6] George Colman (the Elder).

113 Leave a comment on paragraph 113 0 [100.7] “In Menander’s play, the old man is not upset about the marriage. Thus Terence invented it himself.”

114 Leave a comment on paragraph 114 0 [100.8] Our English here is taken from Lessing’s source; see Terence and Colman, The Comedies of Terence 415.

115 Leave a comment on paragraph 115 0 [100.9] In classical Greek and Latin, a deponent verb has a passive or middle voice form but an active meaning. Gravo (active) means “to burden” or “vex,” but gravor (passive/middle) is often used as if it were a deponent verb, in which case it would mean “to be/feel burdened.” Lessing is debating is whether Donatus is using a middle verb, gravor, or the passive of gravo, and thus whether the old man (Micio) is the subject or object of the sentence.

116 Leave a comment on paragraph 116 0 [100.10] Although “de nuptiis gravari” is indeed nonstandard usage in classical Latin, Lessing’s interpretation of Donatus is somewhat fanciful.

117 Leave a comment on paragraph 117 0 [100.11] “Terence invented it himself!”

118 Leave a comment on paragraph 118 0 Essays 101-104 

119 Leave a comment on paragraph 119 0 [101-4.1] Actually published Easter (March) 1769.

120 Leave a comment on paragraph 120 0 [101-4.2] Dodsley and Company: English publishing company belonging to Robert and James Dodsley, whose name was used by Leipzig publisher Engelbert Benjamin Schwickert to sell unauthorized copies of the Hamburg Dramaturgy. Lessing had attempted to publish his essays on his own, as partner in the printing enterprise of his friend Johann Joachim Christoph Bode (1730–93), but their efforts were severely hampered by the piracy rampant in German publishing at the time, as well as their inability to match the distribution abilities of the major publishers. For more on Lessing’s conflicts with publishers, see Nisbet 379–82; and Reemtsma 22–33.

121 Leave a comment on paragraph 121 0 [101-4.3] From the prologue to Terence’s Andria/Woman of Andros: “When the playwright first turned his mind to writing.” Tr. John Barsby, in Terence 1: 51.

122 Leave a comment on paragraph 122 0 [101-4.4] Principal (Prinzipal): leading actor; in the eighteenth century often functioning as an actor-manager.

123 Leave a comment on paragraph 123 0 [101-4.5] Allusion to Matthew 20: 6–7: “And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’”

124 Leave a comment on paragraph 124 0 [101-4.6] Lessing’s ostensibly self-effacing statement serves in fact as an introduction to his defense of criticism and also takes aim at the emerging generation of proto-Romantic writers, the forerunners of the Sturm und Drang (“Storm and Stress”) movement, who, by the late 1760s, increasingly eschewed rules of art in favor of intuitive “genius.” Lessing is credited with a much cited, but unverifiable, remark that he would slap anyone who called him a genius so hard that they would think they were slapped twice. (There are several colorful phrasings of this remark, which originated in the early nineteenth century, perhaps in the British Monthly Magazine; see the anonymous account, “Anecdotes of German Authors and Authoresses residing at Weimar in Saxony” 41.)

125 Leave a comment on paragraph 125 0 [101-4.7] Allusion to the revolutionary treatise on rhetoric, Conjectures on Original Composition (1759), by English poet Edward Young (1683–1765), in which the author states that “Rules, like crutches, are a needful aid to the lame, tho’ an impediment to the strong” (28). The treatise, which privileged originality over imitation, and argued in part that genius is as important as learning, was widely popular in Germany and influenced later Romantic writers. Young’s quotation appears in an essay by the young German professor and mathematician Thomas Abbt (1738–66); it was published in 1761 in the Briefe, die neueste Litteratur Betreffend [Letters Concerning the Newest Literature], of which Lessing was a co-editor. See Abbt, “Review of Möser” 327.

126 Leave a comment on paragraph 126 0 [101-4.8] In 1750, the prolific Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni famously pronounced to patrons of the Sant’ Angelo Theater that he would provide them with sixteen new plays in the coming year, a promise that he fulfilled.

127 Leave a comment on paragraph 127 0 [101-4.9] Shandy: the father of the titular character in the nine-volume novel Tristram Shandy (1759–66) by the English novelist Laurence Sterne (1713–67); in the novel, Tristram describes his father’s appreciation for the Italian poet, translator, and bishop Giovanni della Casa (1503–56), famous for his conduct manual Galateo: overo de’ costumi [Galateo: Or, The Rules of Polite Behavior] (1558).

128 Leave a comment on paragraph 128 0 [101-4.10] Lessing’s footnote provides an edited version of the original English. See Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman 2: 42–44.

129 Leave a comment on paragraph 129 0 [101-4.11] Isaac Casaubon (Causaubonus) (1559–1614): Swiss theologian and leading classical scholar; commentator on numerous Greek and Roman authors. In his footnote, Lessing quotes from Casaubon’s commentary on The Deipnosophistai [The Gastronomers], a fifteen-book dialogue by the ancient Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus (fl. 200 CE); see Casaubon 414. For an English translation of Lessing’s footnote, see J. G. Robertson 120.

130 Leave a comment on paragraph 130 0 [101-4.12] Archons (“the ruling ones”): chief judicial officers and leaders of ancient Greek city-states.

131 Leave a comment on paragraph 131 0 [101-4.13] Lione (Leone) Allacci (Leo Allatius) (c. 1586–1669): Greek antiquarian scholar, theologian, and important Vatican librarian who provided a catalog of Italian plays (with their authors and composers, as well as the date and location of their premieres) in his Drammaturgia [Dramaturgy] (1666); a revised and expanded version was published in 1755. Unlike Allacci, Lessing had always intended that his “dramaturgy” would be more than merely a “register” of plays; see the Notice preceding Lessing’s essays (“Lessing’s Preface to the Hamburg Dramaturgy”), in which he articulates his original goals for the Hamburg Dramaturgy project. See J. G. Robertson for Italian and French precedents that may have influenced Lessing, and for the manner in which Lessing’s essays effectively changed the meaning of the word “dramaturgy” (122–23).

132 Leave a comment on paragraph 132 0 [101-4.14] Terence’s Didascaliae: production notes preceding the playwright’s works, which provide information regarding the original performances. breviter & eleganter scriptas: “briefly and elegantly written”; see Casaubon 415.

133 Leave a comment on paragraph 133 0 [101-4.15] See “Lessing’s Preface to the Hamburg Dramaturgy.”

134 Leave a comment on paragraph 134 0 [101-4.16] For more on eighteenth-century German acting and Lessing’s acting theory, see the editor’s second introductory essay (Baldyga, forthcoming).

135 Leave a comment on paragraph 135 0 [101-4.17] For more on the difficulties of the short-lived Hamburg National Theater, see the editor’s first introductory essay (Baldyga, forthcoming).

136 Leave a comment on paragraph 136 0 [101-4.18] Stoicheia [Elements]: foundational treatise on geometry by the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid (born c. 300 BCE).

137 Leave a comment on paragraph 137 0 [101-4.19] Fermentation of taste: despite Lessing’s complaints about the literary aesthetics of the new generation, he and younger writers were united in their admiration of Shakespeare, which perhaps allows for Lessing’s appreciation of an early Sturm-und-Drang drama that he and Bode published – the famously gruesome five-act tragedy Ugolino (1768) by German poet, playwright, and critic Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg (1737–1823).

138 Leave a comment on paragraph 138 0 [101-4.20] Lessing resumes his battle with Christian Adolf Klotz, and with his periodical, the Deutsche Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften [German Library of Liberal Arts and Sciences], which had negatively reviewed the first volume of the collected essays of the Hamburg Dramaturgy; see [96.7]. “A barrel for our critical whales!”: Lessing’s metaphorical jibe at the Deutsche Bibliothek draws on a diversionary tactic used by sailors seeking to avert the attention of whales; writing of the sperm whale, Dutch amateur marine biologist Adriaen Coenen wrote in 1585 that seamen “throw tremendously large barrels into the sea with which they try to stop the beast from approaching because he starts to play with these barrels” (Coenen 44).

139 Leave a comment on paragraph 139 0 [101-4.21] The little whale: a reference to Klotz, who was at that time a professor of philosophy and rhetoric in Halle, a city known for the harvesting of salt.

140 Leave a comment on paragraph 140 0 [101-4.22] Herr Stl.: an author writing for Klotz’s Deutsche Bibliothek, suspected by Lessing of being Klotz himself. Herr Privy Councilor: in 1766, Frederick the Great awarded Klotz the title Geheimrat (Privy Councilor).

141 Leave a comment on paragraph 141 0 [101-4.23] Another jab at Klotz; here he is compared to the German fool Hanswurst, who sported a brightly colored jacket.

142 Leave a comment on paragraph 142 0 [101-4.24] A reference to the biblical Acts of the Apostles, in which Paul exorcises a fortune-telling slave-girl of “a spirit of divination” (Acts 16: 16–18).

143 Leave a comment on paragraph 143 0 [101-4.25] The original edition of the Hamburg Dramaturgy that was printed by Lessing does not list Lessing as a publisher.

144 Leave a comment on paragraph 144 0 [101-4.26] The Deutsche Bibliothek review of the Hamburg Dramaturgy suggests “secret reasons” (geheimen Ursachen) for Lessing’s praise of principal actress Elisabeth Löwen and ingénue Cordelia Felbrich. See Klotz, Deutsche Bibliothek 9: 59.

145 Leave a comment on paragraph 145 0 [101-4.27] Reference to the biblical Book of Judges in which Samson discovers that his wife has divulged the answer to a riddle posed by Samson to her people: “And he said to them, ‘If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have found out my riddle’” (Judges 14: 12–18).

146 Leave a comment on paragraph 146 0 [101-4.28] His goblin: the “spirit of divination” providing Klotz with his information. Klotz, Deutsche Bibliothek 9: 60.

147 Leave a comment on paragraph 147 0 [101-4.29] Piracy, here, refers to the unauthorized reprinting of works by unscrupulous publishers. See note 2 above.

148 Leave a comment on paragraph 148 0 [101-4.30] An indication of Lessing’s ideas concerning book manufacture and distribution can be found in an unpublished fragment entitled Leben und leben lassen: Ein Projekt für Schriftsteller und Buchhändler [Live and Let Live: A Plan for Writers and Booksellers] (written in the 1770s).

149 Leave a comment on paragraph 149 0 [101-4.31] Allusion to the biblical Proverbs 26: 5: “Answer fools according to their folly, or they will be wise in their own eyes.”

150 Leave a comment on paragraph 150 0 [101-4.32] Proverbs 26: 4.

151 Leave a comment on paragraph 151 0 [101-4.33] The Hamburg National Theater offered subscriptions to the Hamburg Dramaturgy; for more on the distribution of Lessing’s journal, see the editor’s first introductory essay (Baldyga, forthcoming).

152 Leave a comment on paragraph 152 0 [101-4.34] The reprints threatened here would be unauthorized, pirated reissues of already-published works. Booksellers at the time printed only as many books as they anticipated they would sell; if a work was popular, other booksellers might (illegally) reprint the work before the original publisher had a chance to produce a subsequent edition. For more on the state of publishing in the eighteenth-century German Lands, see Pamela E. Selwyn’s Everyday Life in the German Book Trade.

153 Leave a comment on paragraph 153 0 [101-4.35] In his review of the Hamburg Dramaturgy and its pirated edition, Friedrich Nicolai, a long-time bookseller (and Lessing’s friend), gives his opinion on the necessary qualities and training for a bookseller; see Selwyn 30–31.

154 Leave a comment on paragraph 154 0 [101-4.36] Schwickert did both; he reprinted Lessing’s essay in full and added a response in which he defended his actions. See Schwickert, “Intermezzo” in Werke und Briefe 6: 927–9.

155 Leave a comment on paragraph 155 0 [101-4.37] coup de main: surprise attack.

156 Leave a comment on paragraph 156 0 [101-4.38] In his “De vera ratione reformandi rem literariam meditationes” [“On the True Way to Renew the Book Trade”] (1668), the great German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) had proposed to the Archbishop Elector of Mainz that a coalition of scholars take over the printing and distribution of their own works, thereby shutting out the middleman.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/hamburg/editorial-notes-essays-91-104/