enter image description hereI have tried to transcribe a difficult handwritten text. My try runs like this:

Die theologischen Professoren hatten von ihm eigentlich eben genug nur gehört, ein Vorurtheil gegen diesen "modernen Rationalismus", wie es systematisch hieß; zu fügen auch mich hatte dieß Vorurtheil angesteckt; es war mir zu lens durch ein allgemeines Verdammungsurtheil gegen das System, wieder schweren es das Durcharbeitens überhaben zu sein.

Any better proposals, especially when it comes to the text in bold ...?

  • It seems that I didn't succeed with attaching a picture of the handwriting in question!
    – Helge
    Oct 6, 2021 at 15:06
  • 1
    Do you need help? You can edit the question and click on the image-button :)
    – choXer
    Oct 6, 2021 at 15:08
  • 1
    Quite the interesting text snippet (to me at least)! Care to share more details as to who, what and when? Also see my answer below.
    – marquinho
    Oct 6, 2021 at 20:43
  • @Helge: Please include your context of that snippet into the question. Thanks. Oct 7, 2021 at 19:04
  • @Marquino, thank you for your excellent help. The snippet I posted is from a letter written ca 1846 from the then young Marcus Jacob Monrad (later a renowned Norwegian professor of philosophy) to Karl Friedrich Werder de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Werder in Berlin. I would be glad to share a copy of the original manuscript as well as my incomplete (and faulty) transcription of the complete letter with you. However, I do not find any software function making it possible to correspond in private with you? Kind regards Helge
    – Helge
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


First of all, a line-by-line transcription of what is supposed to be the final version.

The parts in bold are the result of cancellations, substitutions or other changes. A few corrections to the punctuation are in [square brackets]. I also included in (round brackets) the rest of the first and last line, which you omitted.

(der hiesigen Universität nicht gekannt.)
Die theologischen Professoren
hatten von ihm eben genug gehört, um Vorurtheil
gegen diesen “modernen Rationalismus”, wie es systematisch hieß[,]
zu hegen[;] auch mich hatte dieß Vorurtheil angesteckt; es war mir zu
lieb[,] durch ein allgemeines Verdammungsurtheil gegen das
System, der schweren Mühe des Durcharbeitens überhoben
zu sein.
(Aber dieß[e] Befreiung war ein gewaltsamer,)

A loose paraphrase:

The professors knew little about him – just enough to harbor a prejudice against his “rationalism”. This prejudice had also caught on to me: it was all too convenient for me, by subscribing to a wholesale condemnation of the system, to be relieved from doing the heavy work of going through [his writings].

The word you tentatively read as “lens” is “lieb”, in the meaning “willkommen, angenehm”. “fügen” is actually “hegen”: to harbor (a prejudice).

Finally, here is a reconstruction of the parts that were crossed out or changed (the ones in bold above). In the second-to-last case, there seem to have been 3 layers before the final version, which I labelled (1)-(4). Conjectures for unfinished words are in {braces}.

  • eigentlich nur gehört, und hegten nur [...] systematisch hieß;
  • mich hatte dieß Vorurtheil auch
  • (1) der schweren Arbeit[,] es mir anzu{eignen}
    (2) der schweren Arbeit[,] es zu durchgeh{en}
    (3) einer schweren Mühe
    (4) der schweren Mühe des Durcharbeitens [final version].
  • dies Gefühl der Befreiung

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.