Friedrich Wilhelm Weber
Physician, member of the Prussian House of Deputies, and poet, born at Alhausen, near Driburg, in Westphalia, 25 December, 1813; died at Nieheim, 5 April, 1894. His father was forester for the Count of Asseburg. Weber first attended the village school, then when thirteen years old he went to the gymnasium at Paderborn, and afterwards studied medicine at the University of Greifswald. His talent for poetry had been evidenced at the gymnasium; at the university, as his biographer says, "his ballads grew like wild flowers after a spring shower." After spending two years at Greifswald he went to Breslau, where he became acquainted with Gustav Freitg. By the end of a year, however, he returned to Greifswald, where he obtained a doctorate; thence he went to Berlin, where he passed the state medical examination with great honour. After a brief journey for recreation to southern Germany he settled as a physician at Driburg, where he spent twenty-six years. His practice as a doctor did not keep him from writing poetry. In 1887 he settled permanently at Nieheim. The numerous honours bestowed upon Weber show how beloved and distinguished he had become. In 1863 he was made "Sanitätsrat" (honorary title given to a distinguished doctor) in recognition of his distinguished medical services; he was made an honorary doctor of philosophy by the academy at Munich, and when he celebrated his semi-centennial as a physician he received the Order of the Red Eagle, fourth class, while three years before his death he received the further honour of the title of "Geheimen Sanitätsrat." Weber's popularity increased still more after he was elected a member of the Prussian House of Deputies. He remained a member of the Centre Party until 1893, when he declined a re-election on account of his health. Because of his wide knowledge and fine character he was greatly admired in political life, and gained many friends not merely among the members of his own party, but also among his political opponents. His political activity had also much influence on his poetry without, however, spoiling it.
As poet Weber was an honour to German Catholics ; the name given him "Dreizehnlinder-Weber" (Weber of the thirteen linden trees) is immortal. In three forms of poetry, the epic, lyric, and didactic, he wrote works destined to live. His early poems were frequently imitations of foreign poets, and seldom show independence; it was only in his riper years that the originality of his powers was displayed. He deserves much credit as one of the translators who made Scandinavian and English poetry accessible to Germans. His reputation, however, was founded on his epic, "Dreizehnlinden" (1878). This made Weber celebrated not only in Germany but also throughout the civilized world. The epic enjoyed a wide circulation and has been frequently translated, cast in a melodramatic form, and arranged for the stage. His second work, far superior in poetic value to "Drizehnlinden", is his "Goliath" (1892), which has been reprinted some thirty times. His "Gedichte" (1881) and "Herbstblätter" (1895), published after his death, have also been very popular. His "Marienblumen" (1885) is a proof of his manly piety. Two other religious poems written for special occasions, "Vater unser" and "Das Leiden unseres Heilandes" (1892), are less important. Weber's latest biographer sums up his character as a man and poet thus: "In Weber fine talent and a many-sided education, nobility and purity of thought, the poet and the patriot, were all united into a personality which commanded the greatest respect".
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online