Gottsched, John Christopher

, a German poet, rather, however, in theory than practice, was born at Konigsberg in 1700, and attained the office of professor of philosophy, logic, and metaphysics at Leipsic, where he died in 1766. His works, both original and republished, contributed in a considerable degree to diffuse a taste for elegant literature in Germany, as well as to refine the German language. Among these we find, 1. “An Introduction to Dramatic Poetry, or a Review of all the tragedies, comedies, and operas, which have appeared in Germany from 1450 to the middle of the eighteenth century,” Leipsic, 1757. 2. “The German Poets, published by John Joachim, a Suabian,” ibid. 1736. He also compiled various books of instruction in style and elocution adapted to the then state of the German schools; and might have deserved the praise of an acute critic, had he not unfortunately illustrated his principles by his own poetical effusions, in which there is only a mediocrity of taste and genius. He died in December 1766. His wife, Louisa Maria, had also very considerable literary talents, and had studied philosophy, mathematics, the belles lettres, and music, with success. She published a metrical translation of Pope’s “Rape of the Lock;” and since her death, in 1762, a collection of her letters has been published, which is held in high esteem. Frederick the Great of Prussia, who preferred Geliert to Gottsched, speaks with greater respect of this lady than of her husband, but seems to think that both discovered more pedantry than taste. 1