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borndied
1715, Jul 41769, Dec 13
a German poet, one of the forerunners of the golden age of German literature that was ushered in by Lessing. The esteem and veneration in which Gellert was held by the students, and indeed by persons in all classes of society, was unbounded, and yet due perhaps less to his unrivalled popularity as a lecturer and writer than to his personal character. He was the noblest and most amiable of men, generous, tender-hearted and of unaffected piety and humility. He wrote in order to raise the religious and moral character of the people, and to this end employed language which, though at times prolix, was always correct and clear. He thus became one of the most popular German authors, and some of his poems enjoyed a celebrity out of proportion to their literary value.
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