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and now does not seem less amiable as a man. This was professor Heinse, author of the 'Ardinghello.',
December 4. Conducted by the last-mentioned person, in the morning I visited the library of the hereditary prince, of which he is superintendant. The rooms are built with taste and elegance. We saw there the oldest monument of printing, the first bible by Guttenberg, a very finely printed collection of the different sorts of writing that have been in use in the world, superb editions of the classics, the ruins of Balbec and Palmyra, some of the finest and most expensive works in natural history, with various other things worthy of a princely collection.
But what pleased me more than all, was the enchanting prospect from the balcony: Beneath us was the Rhine, with the noble bridge of boats, and a crowd of moving masts. On the other side, the suburbs of Cassel, and Hochheim in the distant scene. - To the right, the confluence of the Rhine and Maine ; to the left, a beautiful island in the Rhine; farther off, the castle of Bibrich; and quite in the back-ground, the whole 'Rhinegau. Never did I see anything more charming: he who wishes to prove whether his soul be endued with any of the inspiration of poetry or painting, has only to spend some time on this balcony, and if still this matter remain doubtful, he may
be satisfied. The true poet must involuntarily break forth into poetic effusions, the true painter must irresistibly sketch the landscape. My friend and companion O
this day re ceived letters from Weimar. He told me that all was quiet in my house. Oh, how these words pierced my heart !-Quiet indeed !-What so quiet as death !The intelligence was kindly meant to console me. I made no answer to it, but how often, in the midst of tumult and dissipation, has the dreadful idea rushed upon me, that all was quiet in my house.
December 5. In the evening I received a letter from Weimar myself. The moment I cast my eyes upon it I was seized with a sudden trembling. I had not power then to open it. I laid it by till morning, but this was no relief to me. I passed a miserable night !-and the morning —
December 7. We set out at eight o'clock in a hired chaise for Mannheim. It was a delightful day. The heavens were serene and unclouded, and the bright rays of the sun played on the glassy surface of the Rhine, along the banks of which lay our road. The prospect around was smiling and cheerful, though in the midst of winter. Hills covered with vines, islands in the midst of the river, convents always erected in the most enchanting spots, and high mountains to the left in the distant horizon, adorned and diversified the scene. A thousand times was my soul harassed by the agonizing wish that my Frederica were but by my side- -a thousand times was I assailed by the most painful comparisons between my present journey, and that which s took with her when we returned into Germany. How often did I then rest my head upon her lap, or against her shoulder, to court the gentle slumbers my ill-health required! How often press her lovely hand to my lips !--No! never, never, can I be happy again.
My creative fancy, the most faithful friend I have received from nature, did not this day forsake me. I formed to myself a vision, or rather built a castle in the air, which amused my distracted mind for more than an hour together. It took its rise from a beautiful island in the Rhine, which as we passed it strongly attracted my attention. I supposed myself a god, or at least a semi-deity, endued with the power of calling my Frederica back to life on condition of passing the remainder of my days with her on that island, without ever visiting the opposite shore ourselves, or receiving visits from others. I saw the hoat that carried us over, we quitted it, the boat returned, and we remained there alone.
Yet not entirely alone !-- Luve had fluttered over with our boat, esteem and friendship clipped his wings ere he could depart again, and he remained our companion.
We then began to establish our domestic economy. I built a little cot amid a group of flourishing trees; my Frederica laid out a garden, which we sowed and planted, and in time were repaid by its ripened fruits. There, in the meadow that smiles on the river's banks, our cattle grazed, and there too our infants sported and played. But lest they should fall into the water, we planted a hedge by its side for their defence. Smile, reader, if thou wilt !-Yet deny me not the momentary pleasure I receive from such delusions of fancy !--they are my sole pleasures. We arrived at Mannheiin towards evening.
December 8. I was invited this day to dine with Iffland, but was too ill to accept the invitation. As I thought, however, that this attention gave me some claim upon him, I taxed his politeness with furnishing me entertainment for the morning, and begged one of his manuscripts to read. He was so obliging as to send me the • Autumn Day,' which I found an excellent piece, and well worthy of its author.
In the evening my Natural Son' was performed. I did not go to the theatre, for oli! never can I bear to be present again at the representation of that play. My beloved Frederica used to perform the part of Amelia on our private stage, I instructed her myself in my ideas of the character, and every association and recollection connected with it would plant a dagger in my heart. Besides, I have put into the mouth of the pastor such a picture of wedded happiness as I can no longer bear to think of. I remained therefore alone, and passed a melancholy evens. ing, wholly occupied with reflections on my late calamity. Some books had been brought me from the bookseller's, but I could not read, I could only walk
and down the room almost in a fit of delirious enthusiasm. With tears did I implore the spirit of my Frederica to appear to me, and so wrapt was my imagination, that I was for a moment surprised she did not yield to my request.
I afterwards sketched the design of a monument, which, at some future period, I shall erect to her in my room. These were melancholy hours, yet hours that fascinated my senses very powerfully.
December 9. I received letters both from Weimar and Reval that made the blood gush anew from my unclosed wounds. My mother told me that the new-born infant had been baptized under her mother's picture. Oh God! why was this only to be written to me?
In H-'s letter from Reval, was inclosed one from his wife to mine, whose intimate friend she was. It was directed to my dear Frederica. Tears started into my eyes as they were cast on the direction—that dear Frederica was lost for ever.
A poem was this day sent me by an anonymous hand upon the representation of the Natural Son’ on the preceding evening. The plan of it was this : Art invited Nature to see the performance of a masterpiece, to which Nature replied, that it must then be a piece written by me, and acted by Imand, Bock, and Witthoft. Such gross flattery is insufferably nause
"Tis strange that whoever seeks my acquaintance seems to think he must necessarily accost me with a compliment to some of my writings. Must a poet then always be approached with a full mouth, as an eastern monarch with full hands? Oh, that people could but feel what a grievous tax it is to be continually returning such compliments with the common-place ceremonials of “pardon me, sir !" or
"you do me great honour!"or, “your commendations give me great encouragement !" and the like. Yet let it not be supposed that I am absurd enough to make a pretension of indifference to public approbation and applause, only I wish to be spared the embarrassment of answering these courtly flourishes. I dined with madame von D
a lady of much spirit and vivacity. One specimen of her wit shall be given, because it contains a very just observation, to which those whom it concerns would do well to pay attention. It was observed by somebody at table, that the players in their performances often help themselves out with an Oh! or an Ah! “'Tis a dramatic staff," said the master of the house, on which these gentlemen lean for support.”.
Rather," replied the lady, a dramatic cudgel that they make the audience feel soundly."
December 10. We saw the Hall of Antiques. From the title, I expected to have found a collection of real antique statues, but it reminded me of a trick once played at Erlangen. Over the door of a house a board was placed, saying, “An elephant is to be seen here.” The inhabitants crowded to behold this curiosity, when, behold! the print only of an elephant was exhibited.
In like manner the Hall of Antiques contains no. thing but casts after the ancient works of art, most of which are to be seen, much better executed, in Rost's shop at Leipsic. I was however pleased with the Hercules, the Laocoon, and the celebrated Torso.
An ignorant fellow, employed as a model to the academy here, went about with us, to explain the figures. “And there,” said he, pointing to one,“ is Voltaire, who died some time ago at Paris."
“ Who was Voltaire ?" I asked.
“ A poet,” he replied, “ and a great scholar, who did not believe anything till he was upon his deathbed, and then he believed everything."