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[455]

November 17.—Mr. Von Froriep called on us this morning with his daughter,—an intelligent, well-bred lady, who speaks very good English,—and carried us to see the public library. I found Riemer there as head librarian, whom I knew here nineteen years ago; an interesting, learned man, who was long Goethe's private secretary. We barely went over the rooms, most of which I recollected well enough. The whole does honor to the little principality which sustains it. . . . .

In the afternoon we went to see Goethe's house. I remembered the simple, handsome staircase, and the statues that ornament it, perfectly well; but the rooms we saw, not being the common household rooms, were entirely new to me. His study and bedroom adjacent were exactly as he left them at the moment of death; the chairs, the table, the cushions, the books, the papers,—everything, in short, as if he were only gone out for an hour. They were, however, anything rather than cheerful and agreeable rooms. I should, indeed, hardly have called them comfortable; but he occupied them for nearly forty years, and they are, therefore, curious, but nothing else. The sleeping-room was a wretched little closet, with one window and no fireplace, a very ordinary bed without curtains, and the poor armchair in which he died. The whole was, indeed, very triste. I was most interested with looking at a copy of the last edition of his own Works, which was a good deal used, and with turning over the original manuscript of ‘Goetz of Berlichingen,’ and the ‘Roman Elegies.’

The other rooms contained his different collections in science and the arts; a very good cabinet for mineralogy and geology, a great deal in botany, quantities of small remains of antiquity, Roman and Greek, and copies of such remains, medals, and coins in great abundance, drawings and engravings. Of the last the number was enormous; many thousand, arranged according to the schools and masters, and on the whole more interesting than anything else I saw in the house.

The whole, in the way it is now exhibited, seemed to me a monument of the vanity of a man who was spoiled by a life — a very long life—of constant, uniform success, every wish not only fulfilled but anticipated, so that he came at last to think whatever related to himself to be of great consequence to the whole world. He therefore published, or left orders to publish, everything he had ever written, much of which is mere waste-paper; and now his will further directs all the little commonplace arrangements of a very ordinary study and sleeping-room to be shown to strangers, as matters of moment and


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