Miscellaneous manuscripts, ca. 1758.

Ewald, Johann Joachim, b. 1727.
Other Title:
Sinngedichte auf den Briefwechsel des Königs mit Gottsched.
ca. 1758.
1 item (1 leaf)
Frederick II, King of Prussia, 1712-1786.
Gottsched, Johann Christoph, 1700-1766.
Manuscripts, German -- 18th century.
In German.
The poet Johann Joachim Ewald (1727-ca. 1762) worked as a private tutor and civil servant; in 1757-1758 he held a post with Ludwig IX (Louis IX), Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. Lieder und Sinngedichte (1757) is his only book of poems. In 1758 he traveled to Italy, where he is thought to have died around 1762. He was a friend of Ewald Christian von Kleist and Friedrich Nicolai.
A series of 6 rhymed poems believed to be authored by Johann Joachim Ewald and in his hand (Zacour-Hirsch), under the title Sinngedichte auf den Briefwechsel des Königs mit Gottsched (Epigrams on the correspondence of the King with Gottsched). The work takes its point of departure from the historically reported conversation between Friedrich II (Frederick the Great), King of Prussia, and Johann Christoph Gottsched, in Leipzig on 15 October 1757, and their subsequent exchange of letters. The poetic speaker, in response to Friedrich's complaint about the harshness (Rauhigkeit) of the German language, seems to defend German poetry (mentioning Haller, Ewald Christian von Kleist, and Klopstock) by skewering both Friedrich and Gottsched. The poems are numbered 1-6, and the last one also carries the title "Der Gottsched." Gottsched wrote an account of his exchanges with Friedrich that was published in a Leipzig journal the following year. The story of the encounter is retold in Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich II of Prussia, vol. 6, pp. 254-256, and 262; and Friedrich Nicolai, Anekdoten von König Friedrich dem zweiten, vol. 3, pp. 288-290. These poems do not appear in Ewald's Lieder und Sinngedichte, and are presumably unpublished.
Penn Provenance:
Sold by Gerald Rosen (Berlin), 1960.
Cited in:
Described in Zacour, Norman P. and Hirsch, Rudolf. Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Libraries of the University of Pennsylvania to 1800 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965), p. 87 (Ms. German 43).
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