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Title: The Story of My Life — Volume 06
Author: Ebers, Georg
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Volume 6.



The weeks following my graduation were as ill suited as possible to the
decision of any serious question.

After a gay journey through Bohemia which ended in venerable Prague,
I divided my time between Hosterwitz, Blasewitz, and Dresden.  In the
latter city I met among other persons, principally old friends, the son
of my uncle Brandenstein, an Austrian lieutenant on leave of absence.
I spent many a pleasant evening with him and his comrades, who were also
on leave.  These young gentlemen considered the Italians, against whom
they fought, as rebels, while a cousin of my uncle, then Colonel von
Brandenstein, but afterwards promoted in the Franco-Austrian war in 1859
and 1866 to the rank of master of ordnance, held a totally different
opinion.  This clever, warmhearted soldier understood the Italians and
their struggle for unity and freedom, and judged them so justly and
therefore favorably, that he often aroused the courteous opposition of
his younger comrades.  I did not neglect old friends, however, and when
I did not go to the theatre in the evening I ended the day with my aunt
at Blasewitz.  But, on my mother's account, I was never long absent from
Hosterwitz.  I enjoyed being with her so much.  We drove and walked
together, and discussed everything the past had brought and the future

Yet I longed for academic freedom, and especially to sit at the feet of
an Ernst Curtius, and be initiated by Waitz into the methodical study of

The evening before my departure my mother drove with me to Blasewitz,
where there was an elegant entertainment at which the lyric poet Julius
Hammer, the author of "Look Around You and Look Within You," who was to
become a dear friend of mine, extolled in enthusiastic verse the delights
of student liberty and the noble sisters Learning and Poesy.

The glowing words echoed in my heart and mind after I had torn myself
from the arms of my mother and of the woman who, next to her, was dearest
to me on earth, my aunt, and was travelling toward my goal.  If ever the
feeling that I was born to good fortune took possession of me, it was
during that journey.

I did not know what weariness meant, and when, on reaching Gottingen,
I learned that the students' coffee-house was still closed and that no
one would arrive for three or four days, I went to Cassel to visit the
royal garden in Wilhelmshohe.

At the station I saw a gentleman who looked intently at me.  His face,
too, seemed familiar.  I mentioned my name, and the next instant he had
embraced and kissed me.  Two Keilhau friends had met, and, with sunshine
alike in our hearts and in the blue sky, we set off together to see
everything of note in beautiful Cassel.

When it was time to part, Von Born told me so eagerly how many of our old
school-mates were now living in Westphalia, and how delightful it would
be to see them, that I yielded and went with him to the birthplace of
Barop and Middendorf.  The hours flew like one long revel, and my
exuberant spirits made my old school-mates, who, engaged in business
enterprises, were beginning to look life solemnly in the face, feel as
if the carefree Keilhau days had returned.  On going back to Gottingen,
I still had to wait a few days for the real commencement of the term, but
I was received at the station by the "Saxons," donned the blue cap, and
engaged pleasant lodgings--though the least adapted to serious study in
the "Schonhutte," a house in Weenderstrasse whose second story was
occupied by our corps room.

My expectations of the life with young men of congenial tastes were
completely fulfilled.  Most of them belonged to the nobility, but the
beloved "blue, white, and blue" removed all distinctions of birth.

By far the most talented of its members was Count (now Prince) Otto von
Stolberg-Wernegerode, who was afterwards to hold so high a position in
the service of the Prussian Government.

Among the other scions of royal families were the hereditary Prince Louis
of Hesse-Darmstadt and his brother Henry.  Both were vivacious, agreeable
young men, who entered eagerly into all the enjoyments of student and
corps life.  The older brother, who died as Grand Duke, continued his
friendship for me while sovereign of his country.  I was afterwards
indebted to him for the pleasure of making the acquaintance of his wife
Alice, one of the most remarkable women whom I have ever met.--[Princess
Alice of England, the daughter of Queen Victoria.-TR.]

Oh, what delightful hours we spent in the corps room, singing and
revelling, in excursions through the beautiful scenes in the
neighbourhood, and on the fencing ground, testing our strength and skill,
man to man!  Every morning we woke to fresh pleasures, and every evening
closed a spring festal day, radiant with the sunlight of liberty and the
magic of friendship.

Our dinner was eaten together at the "Krone" with the most jovial of
hosts, old Betmann, whose card bore the pictures of a bed and a man.
Then came coffee, drunk at the museum or at some restaurant outside
of the city, riding, or a duel, or there was some excursion, or the
entertainment of a fellow-student from some other university,
and finally the tavern.

Many an evening also found me with some friends at the Schuttenhof, where
the young Philistines danced with the little burgher girls and pretty
dressmakers.  They were all, however, of unsullied reputation, and how
merrily I swung them around till the music ceased!  These innocent
amusements could scarcely have injured my robust frame, yet when some
unusual misfortune happens it is a trait of human nature to seek its
first germ in the past.  I, too, scanned the period immediately preceding
my illness, but reached the conclusion that it was due to acute colds,
the first of which ran into a very violent fever.

Had the result been otherwise I certainly should not have permitted my
sons to enjoy to the utmost the happy period which in my case was too
soon interrupted.

True, the hours of the night which I devoted to study could scarcely have
been beneficial to my nervous system; for when, with burning head and
full of excitement, I returned from the tavern which was closed, by rule,
at eleven--from the "Schuttenhof," or some ball or entertainment, I never
went to rest; that was the time I gave the intellect its due.  Legal
studies were pursued during the hours of the night only at the
commencement of my stay in Gottingen, for I rarely attended the
lectures for which I had entered my name, though the brevity of the Roman
definitions of law, with which Ribbentropp's lectures had made me
familiar, afforded me much pleasure.  Unfortunately, I could not attend
the lectures of Ernst Curtius, who had just been summoned to Gottingen,
on account of the hours at which they were given.  My wish to join
Waitz's classes was also unfulfilled, but I went to those of the
philosopher Lotze, and they opened a new world to me.  I was also
one of the most eager of Professor Unger's hearers.

Probably his "History of Art" would have attracted me for its own sake,
but I must confess that at first his charming little daughter was the
sole magnet which drew me to his lectures; for on account of displaying
the pictures he delivered them at his own house.

Unfortunately, I rarely met the fair Julie, but, to make amends, I found
through her father the way to that province of investigation to which my
after-life was to be devoted.

In several lessons he discussed subtly and vividly the art of the
Egyptians, mentioning Champollion's deciphering of the hieroglyphics.

This great intellectual achievement awakened my deepest interest.  I went
at once to the library, and Unger selected the books which seemed best
adapted to give me further instruction.

I returned with Champollion's Grammaire Hieroglyphique, Lepsius's Lettre
a Rosellini, and unfortunately with some misleading writings by

How often afterward, returning in the evening from some entertainment,
I have buried myself in the grammar and tried to write hieroglyphics.

True, I strove still more frequently and persistently to follow the
philosopher Lotze.

Obedient to a powerful instinct, my untrained intellect had sought to
read the souls of men.  Now I learned through Lotze to recognize the body
as the instrument to which the emotions of the soul, the harmonies and
discords of the mental and emotional life, owe their origin.

I intended later to devote myself earnestly to the study of physiology,
for without it Lotze could be but half understood; and from physiologists
emanated the conflict which at that time so deeply stirred the learned

In Gottingen especially the air seemed, as it were, filled with
physiological and other questions of the natural sciences.

In that time of the most sorrowful reaction the political condition of
Germany was so wretched that any discussion concerning it was gladly
avoided.  I do not remember having attended a single debate on that topic
in the circles of the students with which I was nearly connected.

But the great question "Materialism or Antimaterialism" still agitated
the Georgia Augusta, in whose province the conflict had assumed still
sharper forms, owing to Rudolf Wagner's speech during the convention of
the Guttingen naturalists three years prior to my entrance.

Carl Vogt's "Science and Bigotry" exerted a powerful influence, owing to
the sarcastic tone in which the author attacked his calmer adversary.  In
the honest conviction of profound knowledge, the clever, vigorous
champion of materialism endeavoured to brand the opponents of his dogmas
with the stigma of absurdity, and those who flattered themselves with the
belief that they belonged to the ranks of the "strong-minded" followed
his standard.

Hegel's influence was broken, Schelling's idealism had been thrust aside.
The solid, easily accessible fare of the materialists was especially
relished by those educated in the natural sciences, and Vogt's maxim,
that thought stands in a similar relation to the brain as the gall to the
liver and the excretions of the other organs, met with the greater
approval the more confidently and wittily it was promulgated.  The
philosopher could not help asserting that the nature of the soul could be
disclosed neither by the scalpel nor the microscope; yet the discoveries
of the naturalist, which had led to the perception of the relation
existing between the psychical and material life seemed to give the most
honest, among whom Carl Vogt held the first rank; a right to uphold their

Materialism versus Antimaterialism was the subject under discussion in
the learned circles of Germany.  Nay, I remember scarcely any other
powerful wave of the intellect visible during this period of stagnation.

Philosophy could not fail to be filled with pity and disapproval to
see the independent existence of the soul, as it were, authoritatively
reaffirmed by a purely empirical science, and also brought into the field
all the defensive forces at her command.  But throngs flocked to the camp
of Materialism, for the trumpets of her leaders had a clearer, more
confident sound than the lower and less readily understood opposing cries
of the philosophers.

Vogt's wrath was directed with special keenness against my teacher,
Lotze.  These topics were rarely discussed at the tavern or among the
members of the corps.  I first heard them made the subject of an animated
exchange of thought in the Dirichlet household, where Professor Baum
emerged from his aristocratic composure to denounce vehemently
materialism and its apostles.  Of course I endeavoured to gain
information about things which so strongly moved intellectual men, and
read in addition to Lotze's books the polemical writings which were at
that time in everybody's hands.

Vogt's caustic style charmed me, but it was not due solely to the
religious convictions which I had brought from my home and from Keilhau
that I perceived that here a sharp sword was swung by a strong arm to cut
water.  The wounds it dealt would not bleed, for they were inflicted upon
a body against which it had as little power as Satan against the cross.

When, before I became acquainted with Feuerbach, I flung my books aside,
wearied or angered, I often seized in the middle of the night my monster
Poem of the World, my tragedy of Panthea and Abradatus, or some other
poetical work, and did not retire till the wick of the lamp burned out at
three in the morning.

When I think how much time and earnest labour were lavished on that poem,
I regret having yielded to the hasty impulse to destroy it.

I have never since ventured to undertake anything on so grand a scale.
I could repeat only a few lines of the verses it contained; but the plan
of the whole work, as I rounded it in Gottingen and Hosterwitz, I
remember perfectly, and I think, if only for the sake of its peculiarity
and as the mirror of a portion of my intellectual life at that time, its
main outlines deserve reproduction here.

I made Power and Matter, which I imagined as a formless element; the
basis of all existence.  These two had been cast forth by the divine
Ruler of a world incomprehensible to human intelligence, in which the
present is a moment, space a bubble, as out of harmony with the mighty
conditions and purposes of his realm.  But this supreme Ruler offered to
create for them a world suited to their lower plane of existence.  Power
I imagined a man, Matter a woman.  They were hostile to each other, for
he despised his quiet, inert companion, she feared her restless,
unyielding partner; yet the power of the ruler of the higher world
forced them to wed.

From their loveless union sprang the earth, the stars-in short, all
inorganic life.

When the latter showed its relation to the father, Power, by the
impetuous rush of the stars through space, by terrible eruptions, etc.,
the mother, Matter, was alarmed, and as, to soothe them, she drew into
her embrace the flaming spheres, which dashed each other to pieces in
their mad career, and restrained the fiercest, her chill heart was warmed
by her children's fire.

Thus, as it were, raised to a higher condition, she longed for less
unruly children, and her husband, Power, who, though he would have gladly
cast her off, was bound to her by a thousand ties, took pity upon her,
because her listlessness and coldness were transformed to warmth and
motion, and another child sprang from their union, love.

But she seemed to have been born to misery, and wandered mournfully
about, weeping and lamenting because she lacked an object for which to
labour.  True, she drew from the flaming, smoking bodies which she kissed
a soft, beneficent light, she induced some to give up their former
impetuosity and respect the course of others, and plants and trees sprang
from the earth where her lips touched it, yet her longing to receive
something which would be in harmony with her own nature remained

But she was a lovely child and the darling of her father, whom, by her
entreaties, she persuaded to animate with his own nature the shapes which
she created in sport, those of the animals.

From this time there were living creatures moved by Power and Love.  But
again they brought trouble to the mother; for they were stirred by fierce
passions, under whose influence they attacked and rent each other.  But
Love did not cease to form new shapes until she attained the most
beautiful, the human form.

Yet human beings were stirred by the same feelings as the animals, and
Love's longing for something in which she could find comfort remained
unsatisfied, till, repelled by her savage father and her listless mother,
she flung herself in despair from a rock.  But being immortal, she did
not perish.

Her blood sprinkled the earth, and from her wounds exhaled an exquisite
fragrance, which rose higher and higher till it reached the realm whence
came her parents; and its supreme ruler took pity on the exile's child,
and from the blood of Love grew at his sign a lily, from which arose,
radiant in white garments, Intellect, which the Most High had breathed
into the flower.

He came from that higher world to ours, but only a vague memory of his
former home was permitted, lest he should compare his present abode with
the old one and scorn it.

As soon as he met Love he was attracted towards her, and she ardently
accepted his suit; yet the first embrace chilled her, and her fervour
startled and repelled him.  So, each fearing the other's tenderness, they
shunned each other, though an invincible charm constantly drew them

Love continued to yearn for him even after she had sundered the bond; but
he often yielded to the longing for his higher home, of whose splendours
he retained a memory, and soared upward.  Yet whenever he drew near he
was driven back to the other.

There he directed sometimes with Love, sometimes alone, the life of
everything in the universe, or in unison with her animated men with his

He did this sometimes willingly, sometimes reluctantly, with greater or
less strength, according to the nearness he had attained to his heavenly
home; but when he had succeeded in reaching its circle of light, he
returned wonderfully invigorated.  Then whoever Love and he joined in
animating with their breath became an artist.

There was also a thoroughly comic figure and one with many humorous
touches.  Intellect's page, Instinct, who had risen from the lily with
him, was a comical fellow.  When he tried to follow his master's flight
he fell after the first few strokes of his wings, and usually among
nettles.  Only when some base advantage was to be gained on earth did
this servant succeed better than his master.  The mother, Matter, whom
for the sake of the verse I called by her Greek name Hyle, was also
invested with a shade of comedy as a dissatisfied wife and the mother-
in-law of Intellect.

In regard to the whole Poem of the World I will observe that, up to the
time I finished the last line, I had never studied the kindred systems of
the Neo-Platonics or the Gnostics.

The verses which described the moment when Matter drew her fiery children
to her heart and thus warmed it, another passage in which men who were
destitute of intellect sought to destroy themselves and Love resolved to
sacrifice her own life, and, lastly, the song where Intellect rises from
the lily, besides many others, were worthy, in my opinion, of being

What first diverted my attention from the work was, as has been
mentioned, the study of Feuerbach, to which I had been induced by a
letter from the geographer Karl Andree.  I eagerly seized his books,
first choosing his "Axioms of the Philosophy of the Future," and
afterwards devoured everything he had written which the library
contained.  And at that time I was grateful to my friend the geographer
for his advice.  True, Feuerbach seemed to me to shatter many things
which from a child I had held sacred; yet I thought I discovered behind
the falling masonry the image of eternal truth.

The veil which I afterwards saw spread over so many things in Feuerbach's
writings at that time produced the same influence upon me as the mist
whence rise here the towers, yonder the battlements of a castle.  It
might be large or small; the grey mist which forbids the eye from
definitely measuring its height and width by no means prevents the
traveller, who knows that a powerful lord possesses the citadel, from
believing it to be as large and well guarded as the power of its ruler
would imply.

True, I was not sufficiently mature for the study of this great thinker,
whom I afterwards saw endanger other unripe minds.  As a disciple of this
master there were many things to be destroyed which from childhood had
become interlaced by a thousand roots and fibres with my whole
intellectual organism, and such operations are not effected without pain.

What I learned while seeking after truth during those night hours ought
to have taught me the connection between mind and body; yet I was never
farther from perceiving it.  A sharp division had taken place in my
nature.  By night, in arduous conflict, I led a strange mental life,
known to myself alone; by day all this was forgotten, unless--and how
rarely this happened--some conversation recalled it.

From my first step out of doors I belonged to life, to the corps, to
pleasure.  What was individual existence, mortality, or the eternal life
of the soul!  Minerva's bird is an owl.  Like it, these learned questions
belonged to the night.  They should cast no shadow on the brightness of
my day.  When I met the first friend in the blue cap no one need have
sung our corps song, "Away with cares and crotchets!"

At no time had the exuberant joy in mere existence stirred more strongly
within me.  My whole nature was filled with the longing to utilize and
enjoy this brief earthly life which Feuerbach had proved was to end with

                    Better an hour's mad revel,
                    E'en a kiss from a Moenad's lip,
                    Than a year of timid doubting,
                    Daring only to taste and sip,

were the closing lines of a song which I composed at this time.

So my old wantonness unfolded its wings, but it was not to remain always

My mother had gone to Holland with Paula just before Advent, and as I
could not spend my next vacation at home, she promised to furnish me with
means to take a trip through the great German Hanse cities.

In Bremen I was most cordially received in the family of Mohr, a member
of my corps, in whose circle I spent some delightful hours, and also an
evening never to be forgotten in the famous old Rathskeller.

But I wished to see the harbour of the great commercial city, and the
ships which ploughed the ocean to those distant lands for which I had
often longed.

Since I had shot my first hare in Komptendorf and brought down my first
partridge from the air, the love of sport had never slumbered; I
gratified it whenever I could, and intended to take a boat from
Bremerhaven and go as near as possible to the sea, where I could shoot
the cormorants and the bald-headed eagles which hunters on the seashore
class among the most precious booty.

In Bremerhaven an architect whose acquaintance I had made on the way
became my cicerone, and showed me all the sights of the small but very
quaint port.  I had expected to find the bustle on shore greater, but
what a throng of ships and boats, masts and smoke-stacks I saw!

My guide showed me the last lighthouse which had been built, and took me
on board of a mail steamer which was about to sail to America.

I was deeply interested in all this, but my companion promised to show me
things still more remarkable if I would give up my shooting excursion.

Unfortunately, I insisted upon my plan, and the next morning sailed in a
pouring rain through a dense mist to the mouth of the Weser and out to
sea.  But, instead of pleasure and booty, I gained on this expedition
nothing but discomfort and drenching, which resulted in a violent cold.

What I witnessed and experienced in my journey back to Cuttingen is
scarcely worth mentioning.  The only enjoyable hours were spent at the
theatre in Hanover, where I saw Niemann in Templar and Jewess, and for
the first time witnessed the thoroughly studied yet perfectly natural
impersonations of Marie Seebach.  I also remember with much pleasure the
royal riding-school in charge of General Meyer.  Never have I seen the
strength of noble chargers controlled and guided with so much firmness,
ease, and grace as by the hand of this officer, the best horseman in



The state of health in which, still with a slight fever recurring every
afternoon, I returned to Gottingen was by no means cheering.

Besides, I was obliged at once to undergo the five days' imprisonment to
which I had been justly sentenced for reckless shooting across the

During the day I read, besides some very trashy novels, several by Jean
Paul, with most of which I had become familiar while a school-boy in the
first class.

They had given me so much pleasure that I was vexed with the indifference
with which some of my friends laid the works of the great humorist aside.

There were rarely any conversations on the more serious scientific
subjects among the members of the corps, though it did not lack talented
young men, and some of the older ones were industrious.

Nothing, perhaps, lends the life of the corps a greater charm than the
affectionate intercourse which unites individuals.

I was always sure of finding sympathizers for everything that touched my

With regard to the results of my nocturnal labour the case was very
different.  If any one else had "bored" me at the tavern about his views
of Feuerbach and Lotze, I should undoubtedly have stopped him with
Goethe's "Ergo bibamus."

There was one person in Gottingen, however, Herbert Pernice, from whom I
might expect full sympathy.  Though only five years my senior, he was
already enrolled among the teachers of the legal faculty.  The vigour and
keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge were as amazing
as his corpulence.

One evening I had met him at the Krone and left the table at which he
presided in a very enthusiastic state of mind; for while emptying I know
not how many bottles of Rhine wine he directed the conversation
apparently unconsciously.

Each of his statements seemed to strike the nail on the head.

The next day, to my great delight, I met him again at Professor Baum's.
He had retreated from the ladies, whom he always avoided, and as we were
alone in the room I soon succeeded in turning the conversation upon
Feuerbach, for I fairly longed to have another person's opinion of him.
Besides, I was certain of hearing the philosopher criticised by the
conservative antimaterialistic Pernice in an original manner--that is, if
he knew him at all.  True, I might have spared myself the doubt; for into
what domain of humanistic knowledge had not this highly talented man

Feuerbach was thoroughly familiar to him, but he condemned his philosophy
with pitiless severity, and opposed with keen wit and sharp dialectics
his reasons for denying the immortality of the soul, inveighing
especially against the phrase and idea "philosophy of religion" as an
absurdity which genuine philosophy ought not to permit because it dealt
only with thought, while religion concerned faith, whose seat is not in
the head, the sacred fount of all philosophy, but the heart, the warm
abode of religion and faith.  Then he advised me to read Bacon, study
Kant, Plato, and the other ancient philosophers--Lotze, too, if I
desired--and when I had them all by heart, take up the lesser lights,
and even then be in no hurry to read Feuerbach and his wild theology.

I met and conversed with him again whenever I could, and he availed
himself of the confidence he inspired to arouse my enthusiasm for the
study of jurisprudence.  So I am indebted to Pernice for many benefits.
In one respect only my reverence for him entailed a certain peril.

He knew what I was doing, but instead of warning me of the danger which
threatened me from toiling at night after such exciting days, he approved
my course and described episodes of his own periods of study.

One of the three essays for which he received prizes had been written
to compel his father to retract the "stupid fellow" with which he had
insulted him.  At that time he had sat over his books day and night for
weeks, and, thank Heaven, did not suffer from it.

His colossal frame really did seem immovable, and I deemed mine, though
much slighter, capable of nearly equal endurance.  It required severe
exertions to weary me, and my mind possessed the capacity to devote
itself to strenuous labour directly after the gayest amusements, and
there was no lack of such "pastimes" either in Gottingen or just beyond
its limits.

Among the latter was an excursion to Cassel which was associated with an
adventure whose singular course impressed it firmly on my memory.

When we arrived, chilled by the railway journey, an acquaintance of the
friend who accompanied me ordered rum and water for us, and we laughed
and jested with the landlord's pretty daughters, who brought it to us.

As it had been snowing heavily and the sleighing was excellent, we
determined to return directly after dinner, and drive as far as Munden.
Of course the merry girls would be welcome companions, and we did not
find it very difficult to persuade them to go part of the way with us.

So we hired two sleighs to convey us to a village distant about an hour's
ride, from which we were to send them back in one, while my friend and I
pursued our journey in the other.

After a lively dinner with our friends they joined us.

The snow-storm, which had ceased for several hours, began again, growing
more and more violent as we drove on.  I never saw such masses of the
largest flakes, and just outside the village where the girls were to turn
back the horses could barely force their way through the white mass which
transformed the whole landscape into a single snowy coverlet.

The clouds seemed inexhaustible, and when the time for departure came the
driver declared that it would be impossible to go back to Cassel.

The girls, who, exhilarated by the swift movement through the cold,
bracing air, had entered into our merriment, grew more and more anxious.
Our well-meant efforts to comfort them were rejected; they were angry
with us for placing them in such an unpleasant position.

The lamps were lighted when I thought of taking the landlady into our
confidence and asking her to care for the poor frightened children.  She
was a kind, sensible woman, and though she at first exclaimed over their
heedlessness, she addressed them with maternal tenderness and showed them
to the room they were to occupy.

They came down again at supper reassured, and we ate the rustic meal
together very merrily.  One of them wrote a letter to her father, saying
that they had been detained by the snow at the house of an acquaintance,
and a messenger set off with it at sunrise, but we were told that the
road would not be passable before noon.

Yet, gay as our companions were at breakfast, the thought of entertaining
them longer seemed irksome, and as the church bells were ringing some one
proposed that we should go.

A path had been shovelled, and we were soon seated in the country church.
The pastor, a fine-looking man of middle age, entered, and though I no
longer remember his text, I recollect perfectly that he spoke of the
temptations which threaten to lure us from the right paths and the means
of resisting them.

One of the most effectual, he said, was the remembrance of those to whom
we owe love and respect.  I thought of my mother and blind old Langethal,
of Tzschirner, and of Herbert Pernice, and, dissatisfied with myself,
resolved to do in the future not only what was seemly, but what the duty
of entering more deeply into the science which I had chosen required.

The childish faith which Feuerbach's teachings had threatened to destroy
seemed to gaze loyally at me with my mother's eyes.  I felt that Pernice
was right--it was the warm heart, not the cool head, which should deal
with these matters, and I left the church, which I had entered merely to
shorten an hour, feeling as if released from a burden.

Our return home was pleasant, and I began to attend the law lectures at
Gottingen with tolerable regularity.

I was as full of life, and, when occasion offered, as reckless, as ever,
though a strange symptom began to make itself unpleasantly felt.  It
appeared only after severe exertion in walking, fencing, or dancing, and
consisted of a peculiar, tender feeling in the soles of my feet, which I
attributed to some fault of the shoemaker, and troubled myself the less
about it because it vanished soon after I came in.

But the family of Professor Baum, the famous surgeon, where I was very
intimate, had thought ever since my return from the Christmas vacation
that I did not look well.

With Marianne, the second daughter of this hospitable household, a
beautiful girl of remarkably brilliant mind, I had formed so intimate,
almost fraternal, a friendship, that both she and her warm-hearted mother
called me "Cousin Schorge."

Frau Dirichlet, the wife of the great mathematician, the sister of Felix
Mendelssohn Bartholdy, in whose social and musical home I spent hours of
pleasure which will never be forgotten, also expressed her anxiety about
my loss of flesh.  When a girl she had often met my mother, and at my
first visit she won my affection by her eager praise of that beloved
woman's charms.

As the whole family were extremely musical they could afford themselves
and their friends a great deal of enjoyment.  I have never heard Joachim
play so entrancingly as to her accompaniment.  At a performance in her
own house, where the choruses from Cherubini's Water-Carrier were given,
she herself had rehearsed the music with those who were to take part, and
to hear her play on the piano was a treat.

This lady, a remarkable woman in every respect, who gave me many tokens
of maternal affection, insisted on the right to warn me.  She did this by
reminding me, with delicate feminine tact, of my mother when she heard of
a wager which I now remember with grave disapproval.  This was to empty
an immense number of bottles of the heavy Wurzburg Stein wine and yet
remain perfectly sober.  My opponent, who belonged to the Brunswick
Corps, lost, but as soon after I was attacked by illness, though not in
consequence of this folly, which had occurred about a fortnight before,
he could not give the breakfast which I had won.  But he fulfilled his
obligation; for when, several lustra later, I visited his native city of
Hamburg as a Leipsic professor, to deliver an address before the Society
of Art and Science, he arranged a splendid banquet, at which I met
several old Gottingen friends.

The term was nearly over when an entertainment was given to the corps by
one of its aristocratic members.  It was a very gay affair.  A band of
music played, and we students danced with one another.  I was one of the
last to depart, long after midnight, and on looking for my overcoat I
could not find it.  One of the guests had mistaken it for his, and the
young gentleman's servant had carried his own home.  This was
unfortunate, for mine contained my door-key.

Heated by dancing, in a dress-coat, with a thin white necktie, I went out
into the night air.  It was cold, and, violently as I pounded on the door
of the Schonhutte, no one opened it.  At last I thought of pounding on
the gutter-spout, which I did till I roused the landlord.  But I had been
at least fifteen minutes in the street, and was fairly numbed.  The
landlord was obliged to open the room and light my lamp, because I could
not use my fingers.

If I had been intoxicated, which I do not believe, the cold would have
sobered me, for what happened is as distinct as if it had occurred

I undressed, went to bed, and when I was roused by a strange burning
sensation in my throat I felt so weak that I could scarcely lift my arm.
There was a peculiar taste of blood in my mouth, and as I moved I touched
something moist.  But my exhaustion was so great that I fell asleep
again, and the dream which followed was so delightful that I did not
forget it.  Perhaps the distinctness of my recollection is due to my
making it the subject of a poem, which I still possess.  It seemed as if
I were lying in an endless field of poppies, with the notes of music
echoing around me.  Never did I have a more blissful vision.

The awakening was all the more terrible.  Only a few hours could have
passed since I went to rest.  Dawn was just appearing, and I rang for the
old maid-servant who waited on me.  An hour later Geheimrath Baum stood
beside my bed.

The heavy tax made upon my physical powers by exposure to the night air
had caused a severe haemorrhage.  The excellent physician who took charge
of my case said positively that my lungs were sound, and the attack was
due to the bursting of a blood-vessel.  I was to avoid sitting upright in
bed, to receive no visitors, and have ice applied.  I believed myself
destined to an early death, but the departure from life caused me no
fear; nay, I felt so weary that I desired nothing but eternal sleep.
Only I wanted to see my mother again.

Then let my end come!

I was in the mood to write, and either the day after the haemorrhage or
the next one I composed the following verses:

          A field of poppies swaying to and fro,
          Their blossoms scarlet as fresh blood,
          I see, While o'er me, radiant in the noontide glow,
          The sky, blue as corn-flowers, arches free.

          Low music echoes through the breezes warm;
          The violet lends the poppy her sweet breath;
          The song of nightingales is heard, a swarm
          Of butterflies flit hov'ring o'er the heath.

          While thus I lie, wrapped in a morning dream,
          Half waking, half asleep, 'mid poppies red,
          A fresh breeze cools my burning cheeks; a gleam
          Of light shines in the East.  Hath the night sped?

          Then upward from an opening bud hath flown
          A poppy leaf toward the azure sky,
          But close beside it, from a flower full-blown,
          The scattered petals on the brown earth lie.

          The leaflet flutters, a fair sight to view,
          By the fresh matin breezes heavenward borne,
          The faded poppy falls, the fields anew
          To fertilize, which grateful thanks return.

          Starting from slumber round my room I gaze
          My hand of my own life-blood bears the stain;
          I am the poppy-leaf, with the first rays
          Of morning snatched away from earth's domain.

          Not mine the fate the world's dark ways to wend,
          And perish, wearied, at the goal of life;
          Still glad and blooming, I leave every friend;
          The game is lost--but with what joys 'twas rife!

I cannot express how these verses relieved my heart; and when on the
third day I again felt comparatively well I tried to believe that I
should soon recover, enjoy the pleasures of corps life, though with some
caution, and devote myself seriously to the study of jurisprudence under
Pernice's direction.

The physician gave his permission for a speedy return, but his assurance
that there was no immediate danger if I was careful did not afford me
unmixed pleasure.  For my mother's sake and my own I desired to live,
but the rules he prescribed before my departure were so contradictory to
my nature that they seemed unbearably cruel.  They restricted every
movement.  He feared the haemorrhage far less than the tender feeling in
the soles of my feet and other small symptoms of the commencement of a
chronic disease.

Middendorf had taught us to recognize God's guidance in Nature and our
own lives, and how often I succeeded in doing so!  But when I examined
myself and my condition closely it seemed as if what had befallen me was
the result of a malicious or blind chance.

Never before or since have I felt so crushed and destitute of support as
during those days, and in this mood I left the city where the spring days
of life had bloomed so richly for me, and returned home to my mother.
She had learned what had occurred, but the physician had assured her that
with my vigorous constitution I should regain my health if I followed his



The period which now followed was the most terrible of my whole life.
Even the faithful love that surrounded me could do little to relieve it.

Medicines did not avail, and I had not yet found the arcanum which
afterwards so greatly benefitted my suffering soul.

The props which my mother and Middendorf had bestowed upon me when a boy
had fallen; and the feeling of convalescence, which gives the invalid's
life a sense of bliss the healthy person rarely knows, could not aid me,
for the disease increased with wonderful speed.

When autumn came I was so much worse that Geheimrath von Ammon, a learned
and experienced physician, recalled his advice that my mother and I
should spend the winter in the south.  The journey would have been fatal.
The correctness of his judgment was proved by the short trip to Berlin
which I took with my mother, aided by my brother Martin, who was then a
physician studying with the famous clinical doctor Schonlein.  It was
attended with cruel suffering and the most injurious results, but it was
necessary for me to return to my comfortable winter quarters.  Our old
friend and family physician, who had come to Hosterwitz in September to
visit me, wished to have me near him, and in those days there was
probably no one who deserved more confidence; for Heinrich Moritz Romberg
was considered the most distinguished pathologist in nervous diseases in
Germany, and his works on his own specialty are still valued.

In what a condition I entered the home which I had left so strong and
full of youthful vigour!  And Berlin did not receive me kindly; for the
first months I spent there brought days of suffering with fever in the
afternoon, and nights whose condition was no less torturing than pain.

But our physician had been present at my birth, he was my godfather, and
as kind as if I were his son.  He did everything in his power to relieve
me, but the remedies he used were not much easier to bear than many a
torturing disease.  And hardest of all, I was ordered to keep perfectly
still in bed.  What a prospect!  But when I had once resolved to follow
the doctor's advice, I controlled with the utmost care every movement of
my body.  I, who had so often wished to fly, lay like my own corpse.  I
did not move, for I did not want to die, and intended to use every means
in my power to defer the end.  Death, which after the haemorrhage had
appeared as the beautiful winged boy who is so easily mistaken for the
god of love--Death, who had incited me to write saucy, defiant verses
about him, now confronted me as a hollow-eyed, hideous skeleton.

In the guise of the most appalling figure among the apocalyptic riders
of Cornelius, who had used me when a child for the model of a laughing
angel, he seemed to be stretching his hand toward me from his emaciated
steed.  The poppy leaf was not to flutter toward the sky, but to wither
in the dust.

Once, several weeks after our return home, I saw the eyes of my mother,
who rarely wept, reddened with tears after a conversation with Dr.
Romberg.  When I asked my friend and physician if he would advise me to
make my will, he said that it could do no harm.

Soon after Hans Geppert, who meanwhile had become a notary, arrived with
two witnesses, odd-looking fellows who belonged to the working class, and
I made my will in due form.  The certainty that when I was no more what I
possessed would be divided as I wished was a ray of light in this gloomy

No one knows the solemnity of Death save the person whom his cold hand
has touched, and I felt it for weeks upon my heart.

What days and nights these were!

Yet in the presence of the open grave from which I shrank something took
place which deeply moved my whole nature, gave it a new direction, led me
to self-examination, and thence to a knowledge of my own character which
revealed many surprising and unpleasing things.  But I also felt that
it was not yet too late to bring the good and evil traits, partly
hereditary, partly acquired, into harmony with one another and render
them of use to the same higher objects.

Yes, if I were permitted time to do so!

I had learned how quickly and unexpectedly the hour strikes which puts an
end to all struggle towards a goal.

Besides, I now knew what would protect me from a relapse into the old
careless waste of strength, what could aid me to do my utmost, for the
mother's heart had again found the son's, fully and completely.

I had been forced to become as helpless as a child in order again to lay
my head upon her breast and belong to her as completely as during the
first years of life.  During the long nights when fever robbed me of
sleep she sat beside my bed, holding my hands in hers.

At last one came which contained hours of the most intense suffering, and
in its course she asked, "Can you still pray?"  The answer, which came
from my inmost heart, was, "When you are with me, and with you,

We remained silent a long time, and whenever impatience, suffering, and
faintness threatened to overpower me, I found, like Antaeus when he
touched the earth that had given him birth, new strength in my mother's

My old life seemed henceforward to lie far behind me.

I did not take up Feuerbach's writings again; his way could never again
have been mine.  In my suffering it had become evident from what an Eden
he turns away and into what a wilderness he leads.  But I still value
this thinker as an honest, virile, and brilliantly gifted seeker after

I also laid aside the other philosophers whose works I had been studying.

I never resumed Lotze, though later, with two other students, I attended
Trendelenburg's difficult course, and tried to comprehend Kant's

I first became familiar with Schopenhauer in Jena.

On the other hand, I again devoted many leisure hours to Egyptological

I felt that these studies suited my powers and would satisfy me.
Everything which had formerly withheld me from the pursuits of learning
now seemed worthless.  It was as if I stood in a new relation to all
things.  Even the one to my mother had undergone a transformation.  I
realized for the first time what I possessed in her, how wrong I had
been, and what I owed to her.  One day during this period I remembered my
Poem of the World, and instantly had the box brought in which I kept it
among German favours, little pink notes, and similar trophies.

For the first time I perceived, in examining the fruits of the labour of
so many days and nights, the vast disproportion between the magnitude of
the subject and my untrained powers.  One passage seemed faulty, another
so overstrained and inadequate, that I flung it angrily back among the
rest.  At the same time I thought that the verses I had addressed to
various beauties and the answers which I had received ought not to be
seen by other eyes.  I was alone with the servant, a bright fire was
blazing in the stove, and, obedient to a hasty impulse, I told him to
throw the whole contents of the box into the fire.

When the last fragment was consumed to ashes I uttered a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, the flames also destroyed the greater part of my youthful
poems.  Even the completed acts of my tragedy had been overtaken by
destruction, like the heroes of Panthea and Abradatus.

If I had formerly obeyed the physician's order to lie motionless, I
followed it after the first signs of convalescence so rigidly that even
the experienced Dr. Romberg admitted that he had not given me credit for
so much self-control.  Toward the end of the winter my former
cheerfulness returned, and with it I also learned to use the arcanum
I have formerly mentioned, which makes even the most bitter things
enjoyable and lends them a taste of sweetness.  I might term it "the
practice of gratitude."  Without intending it, I acquired the art of
thankfulness by training my eyes to perceive the smallest trifle which
gave cause for it.  And this recognition of even the least favour of
Fortune filled the rude wintry days with so much sunshine, that when
children of my own were given me my first effort was to train them to
gratitude, and especially to an appreciation of trifles.

The motto 'Carpe diem,' which I had found in my father's Horace and had
engraved upon my seal ring, unexpectedly gained a new significance by no
longer translating it "enjoy," but "use the day," till the time came when
the two meanings seemed identical.



Firmly as I had resolved to follow the counsel of Horace, and dear as
earnest labour was becoming, I still lacked method, a fixed goal towards
which to move with firm tread in the seclusion to which my sufferings
still condemned me.

I had relinquished the study of the law.  It seemed more than doubtful
whether my health would ever permit me to devote myself to a practical
profession or an academic career, and my interest in jurisprudence was
too slight to have it allure me to make it the subject of theoretical

Egyptology, on the contrary, not only attracted me but permitted me to
devote my whole strength to it so far as my health would allow.  True,
Champollion, the founder of this science, termed it "a beautiful
dowerless maiden," but I could venture to woo her, and felt grateful
that, in choosing my profession, I could follow my inclination without
being forced to consider pecuniary advantages.

The province of labour was found, but with each step forward the
conviction of my utter lack of preparation for the new science grew

Just then the kind heart of Wilhelm Grimm's wife brought her to me with
some delicious fruit syrup made by her own hands.  When I told her what
I was doing and expressed a wish to have a guide in my science, she
promised to tell "the men" at home, and within a few days after his
sister-in-law's visit Jacob was sitting with me.

He inquired with friendly interest how my attention had been called to
Egyptology, what progress I had made, and what other sciences I was

After my reply he shook his venerable head with its long grey locks, and
said, smiling:

"You have been putting the cart before the horse.  But that's the way with
young specialists.  They want to become masters in the workshops of their
sciences as a shoemaker learns to fashion boots.  Other things are of
small importance to them; and yet the special discipline first gains
value in connection with the rest or the wider province of the allied
sciences.  Your deciphering of hieroglyphics can only make you a
dragoman, and you must become a scholar in the higher sense, a real and
thorough one.  The first step is to lay the linguistic foundation."

This was said with the engaging yet impressively earnest frankness
characteristic of him.  He himself had never investigated Egyptian
matters closely, and therefore did not seek to direct my course minutely,
but advised me, in general, never to forget that the special science was
nothing save a single chord, which could only produce its full melody
with those that belonged to the same lute.

Lepsius had a broader view than most of those engaged in so narrow a
field of study.  He would speak of me to him.

The next Thursday Lepsius called on me.  I know this because that day
was reserved for his subsequent visits.

After learning what progress I had made by my own industry, he told me
what to do next, and lastly promised to come again.

He had inquired about my previous education, and urged me to study
philology, archaeology, and at least one Semitic language.  Later he
voluntarily informed me how much he, who had pursued philological,
archaeological, Sanscrit, and Germanistic studies, had been impeded in
his youth by having neglected the Semitic languages, which are more
nearly allied to the Egyptian.  It would be necessary also for me to
understand English and Italian, since many things which the Egyptologist
ought to know were published in these languages, as well as in French.
Lastly he advised me to obtain some insight into Sanscrit, which was the
point of departure for all linguistic studies.

His requirements raised mountain after mountain in my path, but the
thought of being compelled to scale these heights not only did not repel
me, but seemed extremely attractive.  I felt as if my strength increased
with the magnitude and multiplicity of the tasks imposed, and, full of
joyous excitement, I told Lepsius that I was ready to fulfil his
requirements in every detail.

We now discussed in what sequence and manner I should go to work, and to
this day I admire the composure, penetration, and lucidity with which he
sketched a plan of study that covered years.

I have reason to be grateful to this great scholar for the introduction
to my special science, but still more for the wisdom with which he
pointed out the direction of my studies.  Like Jacob Grimm, he compelled
me, as an Egyptologist, to remain in connection with the kindred

Later my own experience was to teach me the correctness of his assertion
that it would be a mistake to commence by studying so restricted a
science as Egyptology.

My pupils can bear witness that during my long period of teaching I
always strove to urge students who intended to devote themselves to
Egyptology first to strengthen the foundations, without which the special
structure lacks support.

Lepsius's plan of instruction provided that I should follow these
principles from the beginning.  The task I had to perform was a great and
difficult one.  How infinitely easier it was for those whom I had the
privilege of introducing to this science!  The lecture-rooms of famous
teachers stood open to them, while my physical condition kept me for
weeks from the university; and how scanty were the aids to which the
student could turn!  Yet the zeal--nay, the enthusiasm--with which I
devoted myself to the study was so great that it conquered every

     [I had no dictionary and no grammar for the hieroglyphic language
     save Champollion's.  No Stern had treated Coptic in a really
     scientific manner.  I was obliged to learn it according to Tuki,
     Peyron, Tattam, and Steinthal-Schwarze.  For the hieratic there was
     no aid save my own industry and the lists I had myself compiled from
     the scanty texts then at the disposal of the student.  Lepsius had
     never devoted much time to them.  Brugsch's demotic grammar had
     appeared, but its use was rendered very difficult by the lack of
     conformity between the type and the actual signs.]

When I recall the amount of knowledge I mastered in a few terms it seems
incredible; yet my labour was interrupted every summer by a sojourn at
the springs--once three months, and never for a less period than six
weeks.  True, I was never wholly idle while using the waters, but,
on the other hand, I was obliged to consider the danger that in winter
constantly threatened my health.  All night-work was strictly forbidden
and, if I sat too long over my books by day, my mother reminded me of my
promise to the doctor, and I was obliged to stop.

During the first years I worked almost exclusively at home, for I was
permitted to go out only in very pleasant weather.

Dr. Romberg had wisely considered my reluctance to interrupt my studies
by a residence in the south, because he deemed life in a well-ordered
household more beneficial to sufferers from spinal diseases than a warmer
climate, when leaving home, as in my case, threatened to disturb the
patient's peace of mind.

For three winters I had been denied visiting the university, the museum,
and the libraries.  On the fourth I was permitted to begin, and now,
with mature judgment and thorough previous preparation, I attended the
academic lectures, and profited by the treasures of knowledge and rich
collections of the capital.

After my return from Wildbad Lepsius continued his Thursday visits, and
during the succeeding winters still remained my guide, even when I had
also placed myself, in the department of the ancient Egyptian languages,
under the instruction of Heinrich Brugsch.

At school, of course, I had not thought of studying Hebrew.  Now I took
private lessons in that language, to which I devoted several hours daily.
I had learned to read Sanscrit and to translate easy passages in the
chrestomathy, and devoted myself with special zeal to the study of the
Latin grammar and prosody.  Professor Julius Geppert, the brother of our
most intimate family friend, was my teacher for four terms.

The syntax of the classic languages, which had been my weak point as a
school-boy, now aroused the deepest interest, and I was grateful to
Lepsius for having so earnestly insisted upon my pursuing philology.  I
soon felt the warmest appreciation of the Roman comedies, which served as
the foundation of these studies.  What sound wit, what keenness of
observation, what a happy gift of invention, the old comic writers had at
their disposal!  I took them up again a few years ago, after reading with
genuine pleasure in Otto Ribbeck's masterpiece, The History of Roman
Poetry, the portions devoted to Plautus and Terence.

The types of character found in these comedies strengthened my conviction
that the motives of human actions and the mental and emotional
peculiarities of civilized men in every age always have been and always
will be the same.

With what pleasure, when again permitted to go out in the evening, I
witnessed the performances of Plautus's pieces given by Professor
Geppert's pupils!

The refreshed and enlarged knowledge of school Latin was of great service
in writing, and afterwards discussing, a Latin dissertation.  I devoted
perhaps a still larger share of my time to Greek, and, as the fruit of
these studies, still possess many translations from Anacreon, Sappho, and
numerous fragments from the Bergk collection of Greek lyrics, but, with
the exception of those introduced into my novels, none have been printed.

During my leisure hours translating afforded me special pleasure.  An
exact rendering of difficult English authors soon made Shakespeare's
language in both prose and poetry as intelligible as German or French.

After mastering the rules of grammar, I needed no teacher except my
mother.  When I had conquered the first difficulties I took up Tennyson's
Idyls of the King, and at last succeeded in translating two of these
beautiful poems in the metre of the original.

My success with Enid I think was very tolerable.  The manuscript still
lies in my desk unpublished.

As I was now engaged in studying the languages I easily learned to read
Italian, Spanish, and Dutch books.

In view of this experience, which is not wholly personal, I have wondered
whether the instruction of boys might not be shortened to give them more
outdoor exercise.  In how brief a time the pupils, as men studying for
their own benefit, not the teacher's, would acquire many things!  Besides
the languages, I studied, at first exclusively under Lepsius's thoroughly
admirable instruction, ancient history and archeology.

Later I owed most to Gerhard, Droysen, Friederichs, and August Bockh.

A kind fate afterwards brought me into personal relations with the
latter, whose lectures on the Athenian financial system were the finest
and the most instructive I have ever heard.  What clearness, what depth
of learning, what a subtle sense of humour this splendid old man
possessed!  I attended his lectures in 1863, and how exquisite were the
allusions to the by no means satisfactory political conditions of the
times with which he spiced them.  I also became sincerely attached to
Friederichs, and it made me happy to be able to requite him in some small
degree in Egypt for the kindness and unselfishness he had shown me in

Bopp's lectures, where I tried to increase my meagre knowledge of
Sanscrit, I attended, unfortunately, only a few hours.

The lectures of the African traveller Heinrich Earth supplied rich
sources of material, but whoever expected to hear bewitching narratives
from him would have been disappointed.  Even in more intimate intercourse
he rarely warmed up sufficiently to let others share the rich treasure of
his knowledge and experience.  It seemed as if, during his lonely life in
Africa, he had lost the necessity of exchanging thoughts with his fellow-
men.  During this late period Heinrich Brugsch developed in the
linguistic department of Egyptology what I had gained from Lepsius
and by my own industry, and I gladly term myself his pupil.

I have cause to be grateful for the fresh and helpful way in which this
great and tireless investigator gave me a private lecture; but Lepsius
had opened the door of our science, and though he could carry me only
to a certain stage in the grammar of the ancient Egyptians, in other
departments I owe him more than any other of my intellectual guides.
I am most indebted to him for the direction to use historical and
archaeological authorities critically, and his correction of the tasks he
set me; but our conversations on archaeological subjects have also been
of the greatest interest.

After his death I tried to return in some small degree what his
unselfish kindness had bestowed by accepting the invitation to become
his biographer.  In "Richard Lepsius," I describe reverently but without
deviating one step from the truth, this wonderful scholar, who was a
faithful and always affectionate friend.

I can scarcely believe it possible that the dignified man, with the
grave, stern, clear-cut, scholarly face and snow-white hair, was but
forty-five years old when he began to direct my studies; for, spite of
his erect bearing and alert, movements, he seemed to me at that time a
venerable old man.  There was something in the aristocratic reserve of
his nature and the cool, penetrating sharpness of his criticism, which is
usually found only in men of more mature years.  I should have supposed
him incapable of any heedless word, any warm emotion, until I afterwards
met him under his own roof and enjoyed the warm-hearted cheerfulness of
the father of the family and the graciousness of the host.

It certainly was not the cool, calculating reason, but the heart, which
had urged him to devote so many hours of his precious time to the young
follower of his science.

Heinrich Brugsch, my second teacher, was far superior to Lepsius as a
decipherer and investigator of the various stages of the ancient Egyptian
languages.  Two natures more totally unlike can scarcely be imagined.

Brugsch was a man of impulse, who maintained his cheerfulness even when
life showed him its serious side.  Then, as now, he devoted himself with
tireless energy to hard work.  In this respect he resembled Lepsius, with
whom he had other traits in common-first, a keen sense of order in the
collection and arrangement of the abundant store of scientific material
at his disposal; and, secondly, the circumstance that Alexander von
Humboldt had smoothed the beginning of the career of investigation for
both.  The attention of this great scholar and influential man had been
attracted by Brugsch's first Egyptological works, which he had commenced
before he left school, and his keen eye recognized their value as well as
the genius of their author.  As soon as he began to win renown Humboldt
extended his powerful protection to him, and induced his friend, the
king, to afford him means for continuing his education in Paris and for a
journey to Europe.

Though it was Bunsen who first induced Lepsius to devote himself to
Egyptology, that he might systematize the science and prune with the
knife of philological and historical criticism the shoots which grew so
wildly after Champollion's death, Humboldt had opened the paths to
learning which in Paris were closed to the foreigner.

Finally, it was the great naturalist who had lent the aid of his powerful
influence with Frederick William IV to the enterprise supported by Bunsen
of an expedition to Egypt under the direction of Lepsius.  But for the
help of the most influential man of his day it would have been difficult
--nay, perhaps impossible--to obtain for themselves and German
investigation the position which, thanks to their labour, it now

I had the privilege of meeting Alexander von Humboldt at a small dinner
party, and his image is vividly imprinted on my memory.  He was at that
time far beyond the span of life usually allotted to man, and what I
heard him say was hardly worth retaining, for it related to the pleasures
of the table, ladies' toilettes, court gossip, etc.  When he afterwards
gave me his hand I noticed the numerous blue veins which covered it like
a network.  It was not until later that I learned how many important
enterprises that delicate hand had aided.

Heinrich Brugsch is still pursuing with fresh creative power the
profession of Egyptological research.  The noble, simple-hearted woman
who was so proud of her son's increasing renown, his mother, died long
ago.  She modestly admired his greatness, yet his shrewdness, capacity
for work, and happy nature were a heritage from her.

Heinrich Brugsch's instruction extended beyond the actual period of

With the commencement of convalescence and the purposeful industry which
then began, a time of happiness dawned for me.  The mental calmness felt
by every one who, secluded from the tumult of the world, as I was at that
time, devotes himself to the faithful fulfilment of duty, rendered it
comparatively easy for me to accommodate myself patiently to a condition
which a short time before would have seemed insupportable.

True, I was forced to dispense with the companionship of gay associates
of my own age.  At first many members of my old corps, who were studying
in Berlin, sought me, but gradually their places were filled by other

The dearest of these was Dr. Adolf Baeyer, son of the General.  He is now
one of the leaders in his chosen science, chemistry, and is Justus
Liebig's successor in the Munich University.

My second friend was a young Pole who devoted himself eagerly to
Egyptology, and whom Lepsius had introduced as a professional comrade.
He called me Georg and I him Mieczy (his name was Mieczyslaw).

So, during those hard winters, I did not lack friendship.  But they also
wove into my life something else which lends their memory a melancholy

The second daughter of my mother's Belgian niece, who had married in
Berlin the architect Fritz Hitzig, afterwards President of the Academy of
Arts, was named Eugenie and nicknamed "Nenny."

If ever any woman fulfilled the demands of the fairy tale, "White as snow
and black as ebony," it was she.  Only the "red as blood" was lacking,
for usually but a faint roseate hue tinged her cheeks.  Her large blue
eyes had an innocent, dreamy, half-melancholy expression, which I was not
the only person who found unspeakably charming.  Afterwards it seemed to
me, in recalling her look, that she beheld the fair boy Death, whose
lowered torch she was so soon to follow.

About the time that I returned to Berlin seriously ill she had just left
boarding-school, and it is difficult to describe the impression she made
when I saw her for the first time; yet I found in the opening rose all
that had lent the bud so great a charm.

I am not writing a romance, and shall not permit the heart to beautify or
transfigure the image memory retains, yet I can assert that Nenny lacked
nothing which art and poesy attribute to the women who allegorically
personate the magic of Nature or the fairest emotions and ideals of the
human soul.  In this guise poet, sculptor, or artist might have
represented Imagination, the Fairy Tale, Lyric Poetry, the Dream, or

The wealth of raven hair, the delicate lines of the profile, the scarlet
lips, the pearly teeth, the large, long-lashed blue eyes, whose colour
formed a startling contrast to the dark hair, the slender little hands
and dainty feet, united to form a beauty whose equal Nature rarely
produces.  And this fair body contained a tender, loving, pure, childlike
heart, which longed for higher gifts than human life can bestow.

Thus she appeared before me like an apparition from a world opened only
to the poet.  She came often, for she loved my mother, and rarely
approached my couch without a flower, a picture which pleased her,
or a book containing a poem which she valued.

When she entered I felt as if happiness came with her.  Doubtless my eyes
betrayed this distinctly enough, though I forced my lips to silence; for
what love had she, before whom life was opening like a path through a
blooming garden, to bestow on the invalid cousin who was probably
destined to an early death, and certainly to many a year of illness?
At our first meeting I felt that I loved her, but for that very reason
I desired to conceal it.

I had grown modest.  It was enough for me to gaze at her, hear her dear
voice, and sometimes--she was my cousin--clasp her little hand.

Science was now the object of my devotion.  My intellect, passion, and
fire were all hers.  A kind fortune seemed to send me Nenny in order to
bestow a gift also upon the heart, the soul, the sense of beauty.

This state of affairs could not last; for no duty commanded her to share
the conflict raging within me, and a day came when I learned from her own
lips that she loved me, that her heart had been mine when she was a
little school-girl, that during my illness she had never wearied of
praying for me, and had wept all night long when the physician told her
mother of the danger in which I stood.

This confession sounded like angel voices.  It made me infinitely happy,
yet I had strength to entreat Nenny to treasure this blissful hour with
me as the fairest jewel of our lives, and then help me to fulfil the duty
of parting from her.

But she took a different view of the future.  It was enough for her to
know that my heart was hers.  If I died young, she would follow me.

And now the devout child, who firmly believed in a meeting after death
face to face, permitted me a glimpse of the wondrous world in which she
hoped to have her portion after the end here.

I listened in astonishment, with sincere emotion.  This was the faith
which moved mountains, which brings heaven itself to earth.

Afterwards I again beheld the eyes with which, gazing into vacancy, she
tried to conjure up before my soul these visions of hope from the realm
of her fairest dreams--they were those of Raphael's Saint Cecilia in
Bologna and Munich.  I also saw them long after Nenny's death in one of
Murillo's Madonnas in Seville, and even now they rise distinctly before
my memory.

To disturb this childish faith or check the imagination winged by this
devout enthusiasm would have seemed to me actually criminal.  And I was
young.  Even the suffering I had endured had neither silenced the
yearning voice of my heart nor cooled the warmth of my blood.  I, who
had believed that the garden of love was forever closed against me, was
beloved by the most beautiful girl, who was even dearer to me than life,
and with new hope, which Nenny's faith in God's goodness bedewed with
warm spring rain, I enjoyed this happiness.

Yet conscience could not be silenced.  The warning voice of my mother,
to whom I had opened my heart, sharpened the admonitions of mine; and
when Wildbad brought me only relief, by no means complete recovery, I
left the decision to the physician.  It was strongly adverse.  Under the
most favourable circumstances years must pass ere I should be justified
in binding any woman's fate to mine.

So this beginning of a beautiful and serious love story became a swiftly
passing dream.  Its course had been happy, but the end dealt my heart a
blow which healed very slowly.  It opened afresh when in her parents'
house, where during my convalescence I was a frequent guest, I myself
advised her to marry a young land-owner, who eagerly wooed her.  She
became his wife, but only a year later entered that other world which
she had regarded as her true home even while here.  Her beloved image
occupies the most sacred place in the shrine of my memory.

I denied myself the pleasure of introducing her character in one of my
novels, for I felt that if I should succeed in limning it faithfully the
modern reader would be justified in considering her an impossible figure
for our days.  She would perhaps have suited a fairy tale;  and when I
created Bianca in The Elixir I gave her Nenny's form.  The gratitude
which I owe her will accompany me to my life's end, for it was she who
brought to my sick-room the blue sky, sunlight, and the thousand gifts of
a blooming Garden of Eden.



While I spent the winters in my mother's house in industrious work and
pleasant social life, the summers took me out of the city into the open
air.  I always went first with my faithful nurse and companion to
Wildbad; the remainder of the warm season I spent on the Elbe,
sometimes with my mother, sometimes with my aunt.

I used the Wildbad springs in all seventeen times.  For two summers,
aided by a servant, I descended from a wheel-chair into the warm water;
in the third I could dispense with assistance; and from the fourth for
several lustra I moved unchecked with a steady step.  After a long
interval, owing to a severe relapse of the apparently conquered disease,
I returned to them.

The Wurtemberg Wildbad is one of the oldest cures in Germany.  The legend
of the Count Mirtemberg, who discovered its healing powers by seeing a
wild boar go down to the warm spring to wash its wound, has been rendered
familiar by Uhland to every German.  Ulrich von Hutten also used it.
It rises in a Black Forest valley inclosed by stately mountains,
a little stream, the Enz, crystal clear, and abounding in trout.

The small town on both banks of the river expands, ere the Enz loses
itself in the leafage, into the Kurplatz, where one stately building of
lightred sandstone adjoins another.  The little white church stands at
the left.  But the foil, the background for everything, is the beautiful
foliage, which is as beneficial to the eyes as are the springs to the
suffering body.  This fountain of health has special qualities.  The
Swabian says, "just right, like Wildbad."  It gushes just the right
degree of heat for the bath from the gravelly sand.  After bathing early
in the morning I rested an hour, and when I rose obeyed any other
directions of the physician in charge of the watering-place.

The remainder of the day, if the weather was pleasant, I spent out of
doors, usually in the grounds under the leafy trees and groups of shrubs
on the shore of the Enz.  On the bank of the clear little stream stood
a wooden arbour, where the murmur of the waves rippling over the mossy
granite blocks invited dreams and meditation.  During my whole sojourn
in Wildbad I always passed several hours a day here.  During my period
of instruction I was busied with grammatical studies in ancient Egyptian
text or archaeological works.  In after years, instead of Minerva, I
summoned the muse and committed to paper the thoughts and images which
had been created in my mind at home.  I wrote here the greater portion of
An Egyptian Princess, and afterwards many a chapter of Uarda, Homo Sum,
and other novels.

I was rarely interrupted, for the report had spread that I wished to be
alone while at work; yet even the first year I did not lack

Even during our first stay at Wildbad, which, with the Hirsau
interruption, lasted more than three months, my mother had formed an
intimate friendship with Frau von Burckhardt, in which I too was
included.  The lady possessed rare tact in harmonizing the very diverse
elements which her husband, the physician in charge, brought to her.
Every one felt at ease in her house and found congenial society there.
So it happened that for a long time the Villa Burckhardt was the
rendezvous of the most eminent persons who sought the healing influence
of the Wildbad spring.  Next to this, it was the Burckhardts who
constantly drew us back to the Enz.

Were I to number the persons whom I met here and whose acquaintanceship I
consider a benefit, the list would be a long one.  Some I shall mention
later.  The first years we saw most frequently the song-writer Silcher,
from Tubingen, Justus von Liebig, the Munich zoologist von Siebold, the
Belgian artist Louis Gallait, the author Moritz Hartmann, Gervinus, and,
lastly, the wife of the Stuttgart publisher Eduard Hallberger, and the
never-to-be-forgotten Frau Puricelli and her daughter Jenny.

Silcher, an unusually attractive old man, joined us frequently.  No other
composer's songs found their way so surely to the hearts of the people.
Many, as "I know not what it means," "I must go hence to-morrow," are
supposed to be folk-songs.  It was a real pleasure to hear him sing them
in our little circle in his weak old voice.  He was then seventy, but his
freshness and vivacity made him appear younger.  The chivalrous courtesy
he showed to all ladies was wonderfully winning.

Justus Liebig's manners were no less attractive, but in him genuine
amiability was united to the elegance of the man of the world who had
long been one of the most distinguished scholars of his day.  He must
have been remarkably handsome in his youth, and though at that time past
fifty, the delicate outlines of his profile were wholly unmarred.

Conversation with him was always profitable and the ease with which he
made subjects farthest from his own sphere of investigation--chemistry
perfectly clear was unique in its way.  Unfortunately, I have been denied
any deeper insight into the science which he so greatly advanced, but I
still remember how thoroughly I understood him when he explained some
results of agricultural chemistry.  He eagerly endeavoured to dissuade
the gentlemen of his acquaintance from smoking after dinner, which he had
found by experiment to be injurious.

For several weeks we played whist with him every evening, for Liebig,
like so many other scholars, regarded card-playing as the best recreation
after severe tension of the mind.  During the pauses and the supper which
interrupted the game, he told us many things of former times.  Once he
even spoke of his youth and the days which determined his destiny.  The
following event seems to me especially worth recording.

When a young and wholly unknown student he had gone to Paris to bring his
discovery of fulminic acid to the notice of the Academy.  On one of the
famous Tuesdays he had waited vainly for the introduction of his work,
and at the close of the session he rose sadly to leave the hall, when an
elderly academician in whose hand he thought he had seen his treatise
addressed a few words to him concerning his discovery in very fluent
French and invited him to dine the following Thursday.  Then the
stranger suddenly disappeared, and Liebig, with the painful feeling of
being considered a very uncivil fellow, was obliged to let the Thursday
pass without accepting the invitation so important to him.  But on
Saturday some one knocked at the door of his modest little room and
introduced himself as Alexander von Humboldt's valet.  He had been told
to spare no trouble in the search, for the absence of his inexperienced
countryman from the dinner which would have enabled him to make the
acquaintance of the leaders of his science in Paris had not only been
noticed by Humboldt, but had filled him with anxiety.  When Liebig went
that very day to his kind patron he was received at first with gay jests,
afterwards with the kindest sympathy.

The great naturalist had read his paper and perceived the writer's future
promise.  He at once made him acquainted with Gay Lussac, the famous
Parisian chemist, and Liebig was thus placed on the road to the lofty
position which he was afterwards to occupy in all the departments of

The Munich zoologist von Siebold we first knew intimately years after.  I
shall have more to say of him later, and also of the historian Gervinus,
who, behind apparently repellant arrogance, concealed the noblest human

After the first treatment, which occupied six weeks, the physician
ordered an intermission of the baths.  I was to leave Wildbad to
strengthen in the pure air of the Black Forest the health I had gained.
On the Enz we had been in the midst of society.  The new residence was to
afford me an opportunity to lead a lonely, quiet life with my mother and
my books, which latter, however, were only to be used in moderation.

Shortly before our departure we had taken a longer drive with our new
friends Fran Puricelli and her daughter Jenny to the Hirsau cloister.

The daughter specially attracted me.  She was pretty, well educated, and
possessed so much independence and keenness of mind that this alone would
have sufficed to render her remarkable.

Afterwards I often thought simultaneously of her and Nenny, yet they were
totally unlike in character, having nothing in common save their
steadfast faith and the power of looking with happy confidence beyond
this life into death.

The devout Protestant had created a religion of her own, in which
everything that she loved and which she found beautiful and sacred had a

Jenny's imagination was no less vivid, but she used it merely to behold
in the form most congenial to her nature and sense of beauty what faith
commanded her to accept.  For Jenny the Church had already devised and
arranged what Nenny's poetic soul created.  The Protestant had succeeded
in blending Father and Son into one in order to pray to love itself.  The
Catholic, besides the Holy Trinity, had made the Virgin Mother the
embodiment of the feeling dearest to her girlish heart and bestowed on
her the form of the person whom she loved best on earth, and regarded as
the personification of everything good and beautiful.  This was her older
sister Fanny, who had married a few years before a cousin of the same

When she at last appeared I was surprised, for I had never met a woman
who combined with such rare beauty and queenly dignity so much winning
amiability.  Nothing could be more touching than the manner in which this
admired, brilliant woman of the world devoted herself to the sick girl.

This lady was present during our conversations, which often turned upon
religious questions.

At first I had avoided the subject, but the young girl constantly
returned to it, and I soon perceived that I must summon all my energies
to hold my ground against her subtle dialectics.  Once when I expressed
my scruples to her sister, she answered, smiling: "Don't be uneasy on
that score; Jenny's armour is strong, but she has sharp arrows in her

And so indeed it proved.

She felt so sure of her own convictions that she might investigate
without peril the views of those who held a different belief, and beheld
in me, as it were, the embodiment of this opportunity, so she gave me no
peace until I had explained the meaning of the words pantheism, atheism,
materialism, etc.

At first I was very cautious, but when I perceived that the opinions of
the doubters and deniers merely inspired her with pity, I spoke more

Her soul was like a polished plate of metal on which a picture is etched.
This, her belief, remained uninjured.  Whatever else might be reflected
from the mirror-like surface soon vanished, leaving no trace.

The young girl died shortly after our separation the following year.  She
had grown very dear to my heart.  Her beloved image appears to me most
frequently as she looked in the days when she was suffering, with thick,
fair hair falling in silken masses on her white dress, but amid keen
physical pain the love of pleasure natural to youth still lingered.  She
went with me--both in wheel-chairs--to a ball at the Kursaal, and looked
so pretty in an airy, white dress which her mother and sister had
arranged for their darling, that I should have longed to dance with her
had not this pleasure been denied me.

Hirsau had first been suggested as a resting-place, but it was doubtful
whether we should find what we needed there.  If not, the carriage was to
convey us to beautiful, quiet Herrenalb, between Wildbad and Baden-Baden.

But we found what we sought, the most suitable house possible, whose
landlady proved to have been trained as a cook in a Frankfort hotel.

The lodgings we engaged were among the most "romantic" I have ever
occupied, for our landlord's house was built in the ruins of the
monastery just beside the old refectory.  The windows of one room looked
out upon the cloisters and the Virgin's chapel, the only part of the once
stately building spared by the French in 1692.

A venerable abode of intellectual life was destroyed with this monastery,
founded by a Count von Calw early in the ninth century.  The tower which
has been preserved is one of the oldest and most interesting works of
Romanesque architecture in Germany.

A quieter spot cannot be imagined, for I was the first who sought
recreation here.  Surrounded by memories of olden days, and absolutely
undisturbed, I could create admirably.  But one cannot remain permanently
secluded from mankind.

First came the Herr Kameralverwalter, whose stately residence stood near
the monastery, and in his wife's name invited us to use their pretty

This gentleman's title threw his name so far into the shade that I had
known the pleasant couple five weeks before I found it was Belfinger.

We also made the acquaintance of our host, Herr Meyer.  Strange and
varied were the paths along which Fate had led this man.  As a rich
bachelor he had welcomed guests to his ever-open house with salvos of
artillery, and hence was still called Cannon Meyer, though, after having
squandered his patrimony, he remained absent from his home for many
years.  His career in America was one of perpetual vicissitudes and full
of adventures.  Afore than once he barely escaped death.  At last,
conquered by homesickness, he returned to the Black Forest, and with a
good, industrious wife.

His house in the monastery suited his longing for rest; he obtained a
position in the morocco factory in the valley below, which afforded him
a support, and his daughters provided for his physical comfort.

The big, broad-shouldered man with the huge mustache and deep, bass voice
looked like some grey-haired knight whose giant arm could have dealt that
Swabian stroke which cleft the foe from skull to saddle, and yet at that
time he was occupied from morning until night in the delicate work
splitting the calf skin from whose thin surfaces, when divided into two
portions, fine morocco is made.

We also met the family of Herr Zahn, in whose factory this leather was
manufactured; and when in the East I saw red, yellow, and green slippers
on the feet of so many Moslems, I could not help thinking of the shady
Black Forest.

Sometimes we drove to the little neighbouring town of Calw, where we were
most kindly received.  The mornings were uninterrupted, and my work was
very successful.  Afternoon sometimes brought visitors from Wildbad,
among whom was the artist Gallait, who with his wife and two young
daughters had come to use the water of the springs.  His paintings,
"Egmont in Prison," "The Beheaded Counts Egmont and Horn," and many
others, had aroused the utmost admiration.  Praise and honours of all
kinds had consequently been lavished upon him.  This had brought him to
the Spree, and he had often been a welcome guest in our home.

Like Menzel, Cornelius, Alma Tadema, and Meissonier, he was small in
stature, but the features of his well-formed face were anything but
insignificant.  His whole person was distinguished by something I might
term "neatness."  Without any touch of dudishness he gave the impression
of having "just stepped out of a bandbox."  From the white cravat which
he always wore, to the little red ribbon of the order in his buttonhole,
everything about him was faultless.

Madame Gallait, a Parisian by birth, was the very embodiment of the
French woman in the most charming sense of the word, and the bond which
united her to her husband seemed enduring and as if woven by the
cheeriest gods of love.  Unfortunately, it did not last.

After leaving Hirsau, we again met the Gallaits in Wildbad and spent
some delightful days with them.  The Von Burckhardts, Fran Henrietta
Hallberger, the wife of the Stuttgart publisher, the Puricellis,
ourselves, and later the author Moritz Hartmann, were the only persons
with whom they associated.  We always met every afternoon at a certain
place in the grounds, where we talked or some one read aloud.  On these
occasions, at Gallait's suggestion, everybody who was so disposed
sketched.  My portrait, which he drew for my mother at that time in black
and red pencils, is now in my wife's possession.  I also took my sketch-
book, for he had seen the school volume I had filled with arabesques just
before leaving Keilhau, and I still remember the 'merveilleux and
incroyable, inoui, and insense' which he lavished on the certainly
extravagant creatures of my love-sick imagination.

During these exercises in drawing he related many incidents of his own
life, and never was he more interesting than while describing his first

He was the son of a poor widow in the little Belgian town of Tournay.
While a school-boy he greatly enjoyed drawing, and an able teacher
perceived his talent.

Once he saw in the newspaper an Antwerp competition for a prize.  A
certain subject--if I am not mistaken, Moses drawing water from the rock
in the wilderness--was to be executed with pencil or charcoal.  He went
to work also, though with his defective training he had not the least
hope of success.  When he sent off the finished drawing he avoided taking
his mother into his confidence in order to protect her from

On the day the prize was to be awarded the wish to see the work of the
successful competitor drew him to Antwerp, and what was his surprise, on
entering the hall, to hear his own name proclaimed as the victor's!

His mother supported herself and him by a little business in soap.  To
increase her delight he had changed the gold paid to him into shining
five franc pieces.  His pockets almost burst under the weight, but there
was no end to the rejoicing when he flung one handful of silver coins
after another on the little counter and told how he had obtained them.

No one who heard him relate this story could help liking him.

Another distinguished visitor at Hirsau was Prince Puckler Muskau.  He
had heard that his young Kottbus acquaintance had begun to devote himself
to Egyptology.  This interested the old man, who, as a special favourite
of Mohammed Ali, had spent delightful days on the Nile and made all sorts
of plans for Egypt.  Besides, he was personally acquainted with the great
founders of my science, Thomas Young and Francois Champollion, and had
obtained an insight into deciphering the hieroglyphics.  He knew all the
results of the investigations, and expressed an opinion concerning them.
Without having entered deeply into details he often hit the nail on the
head.  I doubt whether he had ever held in his hand a book on these
subjects, but he had listened to the answers given by others to his
skilful questions with the same keen attention that he bestowed on mine,
and the gift of comprehension peculiar to him enabled him to rapidly
shape what he heard into a distinctly outlined picture.  Therefore he
must have seemed to laymen a very compendium of science, yet he never
used this faculty to dazzle others or give himself the appearance of

"Man cannot be God," he wrote--I am quoting from a letter received the
day after his visit--"yet 'to be like unto God' need not remain a mere
theological phrase to the aspirant.  Omniscience is certainly one of the
noblest attributes of the Most High, and the nearer man approaches it the
more surely he gains at least the shadow of a quality to which he cannot

Finally he discussed his gardening work in the park at Branitz, and I
regret having noted only the main outlines of what he said, for it was as
interesting as it was admirable.  I can only cite the following sentence
from a letter addressed to Blasewitz: "What was I to do?  A prince
without a country, like myself, wishes at least to be ruler in one
domain, and that I am, as creator of a park.  The subjects over whom I
reign obey me better than the Russians, who still retain a trace of free
will, submit to their Czar.  My trees and bushes obey only me and the
eternal laws implanted in their nature, and which I know.  Should they
swerve from them even a finger's breadth they would no longer be
themselves.  It is pleasant to reign over such subjects, and I would
rather be a despot over vegetable organisms than a constitutional king
and executor of the will of the 'images of God,' as men call the
sovereign people."

He talked most delightfully of the Viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali, and
described the plan which he had laid before this brilliant ruler of
arranging a park around the temple on the island of Philae, and creating
on the eastern bank of the hill beneath shady trees, opposite to the
beautiful island of Isis, a sanitarium especially for consumptives; and
whoever has seen this lovely spot will feel tempted to predict great
prosperity for such an enterprise.  My mother had heard the prince
indulge in paradoxical assertions in gay society, and the earnestness
which he now showed led her to remark that she had never seen two natures
so radically unlike united in one individual.  Had she been able to
follow his career in life she would have recovered a third, fourth, and

These visits brought life and change into our quiet existence, and when
four weeks later my brother Ludo joined us he was delighted with the
improvement in my appearance, and I myself felt the benefit which my
paralyzed muscles had received from the baths and the seclusion.

The second season at Wildbad, thanks to the increased intimacy with the
friends whose acquaintance we had made there, was even more enjoyable
than the first.

Frau Hallberger was a very beautiful young woman.  Her husband, who was
to become my dearest friend, was detained in Stuttgart by business.  She
was unfortunately obliged to use the waters of the springs medicinally,
and many an hour was clouded by mental and physical discomfort.

Yet the vivacity of her intellect, her rare familiarity with all the
newest literature, and her unusually keen appreciation of everything
which was beautiful in nature stimulated and charmed us.  I have never
seen any one seek flowers in the field and forest so eagerly, and she
made them into beautiful bouquets, which Louis Gallait called "bewitching
flower madrigals."

Moritz Hartmann had not fully recovered from the severe illness which
nearly caused his death while he was a reporter in the Crimean War.  His
father-in-law, Herr Rodiger, accompanied him and watched him with the
most touching solicitude.  My mother soon became sincerely attached to
the author, who possessed every quality to win a woman's heart.  He had
been considered the handsomest member of the Frankfort Parliament, and no
one could have helped gazing with pleasure at the faultless symmetry of
his features.  He also possessed an unusually musical voice.  Gallait
said that he first thought German a language pleasing to the ear when he
heard it from Hartmann's lips.

These qualities soon won the heart of Frau Puricelli, who had at first
been very averse to making his acquaintance.  The devout, conservative
lady had heard enough of his religious and political views to consider
him detestable.  But after Hartmann had talked and read aloud to her and
her daughter in his charming way, she said to me, "What vexes me is that
in my old age I can't help liking such a red Democrat."

During that summer was formed the bond of friendship which, to his life's
premature end, united me to Moritz Hartmann, and led to a correspondence
which afforded me the greater pleasure the more certain I became that he
understood me.  We met again in Wildbad the second and third summers, and
with what pleasure I remember our conversations in the stillness of the
shady woods!  But we also shared a noisy amusement, that of pistol
practice, to which we daily devoted an hour.  I was obliged to fire from
a wheel-chair, yet, like Hartmann, I could boast of many a good shot;
but the skill of Herr Rodiger, the author's father-in-law, was really
wonderful.  Though his hand trembled constantly from an attack of palsy,
I don't know now how many times he pierced the centre of the ace of

It was Hartmann, too, who constantly urged me to write.  With all due
regard for science, he said he could not admit its right to prison poesy
when the latter showed so strong an impulse towards expression.  I
secretly admitted the truth of his remark, but whenever I yielded to the
impulse to write I felt as if I were being disloyal to the mistress to
whom I had devoted all my physical and mental powers.

The conflict which for a long time stirred my whole soul began.  I could
say much more of the first years I spent at Wildbad, but up to the fifth
season they bore too much resemblance to one another to be described in

A more brilliant summer than that of 1860 the quiet valley of the Enz
will hardly witness again, for during that season the invalid widow of
the Czar Nicholas of Russia came to the springs with a numerous suite,
and her presence attracted many other crowned heads--the King of Prussia,
afterwards the Emperor William I, her royal brother; her beautiful
daughter, Queen Olga of Wurtemberg, who, when she walked through the
grounds with her greyhound, called to mind the haughty Artemis; the Queen
of Bavaria--But I will not enumerate all the royal personages who visited
the Czarina, and whose presence gave the little town in the Black Forest
an atmosphere of life and brilliancy.  Not a day passed without affording
some special feast for the eyes.

The Czarina admired beauty, and therefore among her attendants were many,
ladies who possessed unusual attractions.  When they were seated in a
group on the steps of the hotel the picture was one never to be
forgotten.  A still more striking spectacle was afforded by a voyage made
on the Enz by the ladies of the Czarina's court, attired in airy summer
dresses and adorned with a lavish abundance of flowers.  From the shore
gentlemen flung them blossoms as they were borne swiftly down the
mountain stream.  I, too, had obtained some roses, intended especially
for Princess Marie von Leuchtenberg, of whom the Czarina's physician, Dr.
Karel, whose acquaintance we made at the Burckhardts, had told so many
charming anecdotes that we could not help admiring her.

We also met a very beautiful Countess Keller, one of the Czarina's
attendants, and I can still see distinctly the brilliant scene of her

Wildbad was not then connected with the rest of the world by the
railroad.  The countess sat in an open victoria amid the countless gifts
of flowers which had been lavished upon her as farewell presents.  Count
Wilhorsky, in the name of the Czarina, offered an exquisitely beautiful
bouquet.  As she received it, she exclaimed, "Think of me at nine
o'clock," and the latter, with his hand on his heart, answered with a low
bow, "Why, Countess, we shall think of you all day long."

At the same instant the postillion raised his long whip, the four bays
started, a group of ladies and gentlemen, headed by the master of
ceremonies, waved their handkerchiefs, and it seemed as if Flora herself
was setting forth to bless the earth with flowers.

For a long time I imagined that during the first summer spent there I
lived only for my health, my scientific studies, and from 1861 my novel
An Egyptian Princess, to which I devoted several hours each day; but how
much I learned from intercourse with so great a variety of persons, among
whom were some whom a modest scholar is rarely permitted to know, I first
realized afterwards.  I allude here merely to the leaders of the
aristocracy of the second empire, whose acquaintance I made through the
son of my distinguished Parisian instructor, Vicomte de Rouge.



The remainder of the summer I spent half with my mother, half with my
aunt, and pursued the same course during the subsequent years, until
from 1862 I remained longer in Berlin, engaged in study, and began my
scientific journeys.

There were few important events either in the family circle or in
politics, except the accession to the throne of King William of Prussia
and the Franco-Austrian war of 1859.  In Berlin the "new era" awakened
many fair and justifiable hopes; a fresher current stirred the dull,
placid waters of political life.

The battles of Magenta and Solferino (June 4 and 24, 1859) had caused
great excitement in the household of my aunt, who loved me as if I were
her own son, and whose husband was also warmly attached to me.  They felt
the utmost displeasure in regard to the course of Prussia, and it was
hard for me to approve of it, since Austria seemed a part of Germany,
and I was very fond of my uncle's three nearest relatives, who were all
in the Austrian service.

The future was to show the disadvantage of listening to the voice of the
heart in political affairs.  Should we have a German empire, and would
there be a united Italy, if Austria in alliance with Prussia had fought
in 1859 at Solferino and Magenta and conquered the French?

At Hosterwitz I became more intimately acquainted with the lyric poet,
Julius Hammer.  The Kammergerichtrath-Gottheiner, a highly educated man,
lived there with his daughter Marie, whose exquisite singing at the villa
of her hospitable sister-in-law so charmed my heart.  Through them I met
many distinguished men-President von Kirchmann, the architect Nikolai,
the author of Psyche, Privy Councillor Carus, the writer Charles Duboc
(Waldmuller) with his beautiful gifted wife, and many others.

Many a Berlin acquaintance, too, I met again at Hosterwitz, among them
the preacher Sydow and Lothar Bucher.

To the friendship of this remarkable man, whom I knew just at the time he
was associated with Bismarck, I owe many hours of enjoyment.  Many will
find it hardly compatible with the reserved, quiet manner of the astute,
cool politician, that during a slight illness of my mother he read Fritz
Reuter's novels aloud to her--he spoke Plattdeutsch admirably--as
dutifully as a son.

So there was no lack of entertainment during leisure hours, but the
lion's share of my time was devoted to work.

The same state of affairs existed during my stay with my aunt, who
occupied a summer residence on the estate of Privy-Councillor von
Adelsson, which was divided into building lots long ago, but at that time
was the scene of the gayest social life in both residences.

The owner and his wife were on the most intimate terms with my relatives,
and their daughter Lina seemed to me the fairest of all the flowers in
the Adelsson garden.  If ever a girl could be compared to a violet it was
she.  I knew her from childhood to maidenhood, and rejoiced when I saw
her wed in young Count Uexkyll-Guldenbrand a life companion worthy of

There were many other charming girls, too, and my aunt, besides old
friends, entertained the leaders of literary life in Dresden.

Gutzkow surpassed them all in acuteness and subtlety of intellect, but
the bluntness of his manner repelled me.

On the other hand, I sincerely enjoyed the thoughtful eloquence of
Berthold Auerbach, who understood how to invest with poetic charm not
only great and noble subjects, but trivial ones gathered from the dust.
If I am permitted to record the memories of my later life, I shall have
more to say of him.  It was he who induced me to give to my first
romance, which I had intended to call Nitetis, the title An Egyptian

The stars of the admirable Dresden stage also found their way to my

One day I was permitted to listen to the singing of Emmy La Gruas, and
the next to the peerless Schroder-Devrient.  Every conversation with the
cultured physician Geheimerath von Ammon was instructive and fascinating;
while Rudolf von Reibisch, the most intimate friend of the family,
whose great talents would have rendered him capable of really grand
achievements in various departments of art, examined our skulls as a
phrenologist or read aloud his last drama.  Here, too, I met Major Serre,
the bold projector of the great lottery whose brilliant success called
into being and insured the prosperity of the Schiller Institute, the
source of so much good.

This simple-hearted yet energetic man taught me how genuine enthusiasm
and the devotion of a whole personality to a cause can win victory under
the most difficult circumstances.  True, his clever wife shared her
husband's enthusiasm, and both understood how to attract the right
advisers.  I afterwards met at their beautiful estate, Maxen, among many
distinguished people, the Danish author Andersen, a man of insignificant
personal appearance, but one who, if he considered it worth while and was
interested in the subject, could carry his listeners resistlessly with
him.  Then his talk sparkled with clever, vivid, striking, peculiar
metaphors, and when one brilliant description of remarkable experiences
and scenes followed another he swiftly won the hearts of the women who
had overlooked him, and it seemed to the men as if some fiend were aiding

During the first years of my convalescence I could enjoy nothing save
what came or was brought to me.  But the cheerful patience with which I
appeared to bear my sufferings, perhaps also the gratitude and eagerness
with which I received everything, attracted most of the men and women for
whom I really cared.

If there was an entertaining conversation, arrangements were always made
that I should enjoy it, at least as a listener.  The affection of these
kind people never wearied in lightening the burden which had been laid
upon me.  So, during this whole sad period I was rarely utterly wretched,
often joyous and happy, though sometimes the victim to the keenest
spiritual anguish.

During the hours of rest which must follow labour, and when tortured at
night by the various painful feelings and conditions connected even with
convalescence from disease, my restrictions rose before me as a specially
heavy misfortune.  My whole being rebelled against my sufferings, and--
why should I conceal it?--burning tears drenched my pillows after many
a happy day.  At the time I was obliged to part from Nenny this often
happened.  Goethe's "He who never mournful nights" I learned to
understand in the years when the beaker of life foams most impetuously
for others.  But I had learned from my mother to bear my sorest griefs
alone, and my natural cheerfulness aided me to win the victory in the
strife against the powers of melancholy.  I found it most easy to master
every painful emotion by recalling the many things for which I had cause
to be grateful, and sometimes an hour of the fiercest struggle and
deepest grief closed with the conviction that I was more blessed than
many thousands of my fellow-mortals, and still a "favourite of Fortune."
The same feeling steeled my patience and helped to keep hope green and
sustain my pleasure in existence when, long after, a return of the same
disease, accompanied with severe suffering, which I had been spared in
youth, snatched me from earnest, beloved, and, I may assume, successful

The younger generation may be told once more how effective a consolation
man possesses--no matter what troubles may oppress him--in gratitude.
The search for everything which might be worthy of thankfulness
undoubtedly leads to that connection with God which is religion.

When I went to Berlin in winter, harder work, many friends, and
especially my Polish fellow-student, Mieczyslaw helped me bear
my burden patiently.

He was well, free, highly gifted, keenly interested in science, and made
rapid progress.  Though secure from all external cares, a worm was
gnawing at his heart which gave him no rest night or day--the misery of
his native land and his family, and the passionate longing to avenge it
on the oppressor of the nation.  His father had sacrificed the larger
portion of his great fortune to the cause of Poland, and, succumbing to
the most cruel persecutions, urged his sons, in their turn, to sacrifice
everything for their native land.  They were ready except one brother,
who wielded his sword in the service of the oppressor, and thus became to
the others a dreaded and despised enemy.

Mieczyslaw remained in Berlin raging against himself because, an
intellectual epicurean, he was enjoying Oriental studies instead of
following in the footsteps of his father, his brothers, and most of his
relatives at home.

My ideas of the heroes of Polish liberty had been formed from Heinrich
Heine's Noble Pole, and I met my companion with a certain feeling of
distrust.  Far from pressing upon me the thoughts which moved him so
deeply, it was long ere he permitted the first glimpse into his soul.
But when the ice was once broken, the flood of emotion poured forth with
elementary power, and his sincerity was sealed by his blood.  He fell
armed on the soil of his home at the time when I was most gratefully
rejoicing in the signs of returning health--the year 1863.  I was his
only friend in Berlin, but I was warmly attached to him, and shall
remember him to my life's end.

The last winter of imprisonment also saw me industriously at work.  I had
already, with Mieczyslaw, devoted myself eagerly to the history of the
ancient East, and Lepsius especially approved these studies.  The list of
the kings which I compiled at that time, from the most remote sources to
the Sassanida, won the commendation of A. von Gutschmid, the most able
investigator in this department.  These researches led me also to Persia
and the other Asiatic countries.  Egypt, of course, remained the
principal province of my work.  The study of the kings from the twenty-
sixth dynasty--that is, the one with which the independence of the
Pharaohs ended and the rule of the Persians under Cambyses began in the
valley of the Nile--occupied me a long time.  I used the material thus
acquired afterward for my habilitation essay, but the impulse natural to
me of imparting my intellectual gains to others had induced me to utilize
it in a special way.  The material I had collected appeared in my
judgment exactly suited for a history of the time that Egypt fell into
the power of Persia.  Jacob Burckhardt's Constantine the Great was to
serve for my model.  I intended to lay most stress upon the state of
civilization, the intellectual and religious life, art, and science in
Egypt, Greece, Persia, Phoenicia, etc., and after most carefully planning
the arrangement I began to write with the utmost zeal.

     [I still have the unfinished manuscript; but the farther I advanced
     the stronger became the conviction, now refuted by Eduard Meyer,
     that it would not yet be possible to write a final history of that
     period which would stand the test of criticism.]

While thus engaged, the land of the Pharaohs, the Persian court, Greece
in the time of the Pisistratidae and Polycrates grew more and more
distinct before my mental vision.  Herodotus's narrative of the false
princess sent by Pharaoh Amasis to Cambyses as a wife, and who became the
innocent cause of the war through which the kingdom of the Pharaohs lost
its independence, would not bear criticism, but it was certainly usable
material for a dramatic or epic poem.  And this material gave me no

Yes, something might certainly be done with it.  I soon mastered it
completely, but gradually the relation changed and it mastered me, gave
me no rest, and forced me to try upon it the poetic power so long
condemned to rest.

When I set to work I was not permitted to leave the house in the evening.
Was it disloyal to science if I dedicated to poesy the hours which others
called leisure time?  The question was put to the inner judge in such a
way that he could not fail to say "No."  I also tried successfully to
convince myself that I merely essayed to write this tale to make  the
material I had gathered "live," and bring the persons and conditions of
the period whose history I wished to write as near to me as if I were
conversing with them and dwelling in their midst.  How often I repeated
to myself this well-founded apology, but in truth every instinct of my
nature impelled me to write, and at this very time Moritz Hartmann was
also urging me in his letters, while Mieczyslaw and others, even my
mother, encouraged me.

I began because I could not help it, and probably scarcely any work
ever stood more clearly arranged, down to the smallest detail, in its
creator's imagination, than the Egyptian Princess in mine when I took up
my pen.  Only the first volume originally contained much more Egyptian
material, and the third I lengthened beyond my primary intention.  Many
notes of that time I was unwilling to leave unused and, though the
details are not uninteresting, their abundance certainly impairs the
effect of the whole.

As for the characters, most of them were familiar.

How many of my mother's traits the beautiful, dignified Rhodopis
possessed!  King Amasis was Frederick William IV, the Greek Phanes
resembled President Seiffart.  Nitetis, too, I knew.  I had often jested
with Atossa, and Sappho was a combination of my charming Frankfort cousin
Betsy, with whom I spent such delightful days in Rippoldsau, and lovely
Lina von Adelsson.  Like the characters in the works of the greatest of
writers--I mean Goethe--not one of mine was wholly invented, but neither
was any an accurate portrait of the model.

I by no means concealed from myself the difficulties with which I had to
contend or the doubts the critics would express, but this troubled me
very little.  I was writing the book only for myself and my mother, who
liked to hear every chapter read as it was finished.  I often thought
that this novel might perhaps share the fate of my Poem of the World,
and find its way into the fire.

No matter.  The greatest success could afford me no higher pleasure than
the creative labour.  Those were happy evenings when, wholly lifted out
of myself, I lived in a totally different world, and, like a god,
directed the destinies of the persons who were my creatures.  The love
scenes between Bartja and Sappho I did not invent; they came to me.
When, with brow damp with perspiration, I committed the first one to
paper in a single evening, I found the next morning, to my surprise,
that only a few touches were needed to convert it into a poem in iambics.

This was scarcely permissible in a novel.  But the scene pleased my
mother, and when I again brought the lovers together in the warm
stillness of the Egyptian night, and perceived that the flood of iambics
was once more sweeping me along, I gave free course to the creative
spirit and the pen, and the next morning the result was the same.

I then took Julius Hammer into my confidence, and he thought that I had
given expression to the overflowing emotion of two loving young hearts
in a very felicitous and charming way.

While my friends were enjoying themselves in ball-rooms or exciting
society, Fate still condemned me to careful seclusion in my mother's
house.  But when I was devoting myself to the creation of my Nitetis,
I envied no man, scarcely even a god.

So this novel approached completion.  It had not deprived me of an hour
of actual working time, yet the doubt whether I had done right to venture
on this side flight into fairer and better lands during my journey
through the department of serious study was rarely silent.

At the beginning of the third volume I ventured to move more freely.

Yet when I went to Lepsius, the most earnest of my teachers, to show him
the finished manuscript, I felt very anxious.  I had not said even a word
in allusion to what I was doing in the evening hours, and the three
volumes of my large manuscript were received by him in a way that
warranted the worst fears.  He even asked how I, whom he had believed to
be a serious worker, had been tempted into such "side issues."

This was easy to explain, and when he had heard me to the end he said:
"I might have thought of that.  You sometimes need a cup of Lethe water.
But now let such things alone, and don't compromise your reputation as a
scientist by such extravagances."

Yet he kept the manuscript and promised to look at the curiosity.

He did more.  He read it through to the last letter, and when, a
fortnight later; he asked me at his house to remain after the others
had left, he looked pleased, and confessed that he had found something
entirely different from what he expected.  The book was a scholarly work,
and also a fascinating romance.

Then he expressed some doubts concerning the space I had devoted to the
Egyptians in my first arrangement.  Their nature was too reserved and
typical to hold the interest of the unscientific reader.  According to
his view, I should do well to limit to Egyptian soil what I had gained by
investigation, and to make Grecian life, which was familiar to us moderns
as the foundation of our aesthetic perceptions, more prominent.  The
advice was good, and, keeping it in view, I began to subject the whole
romance to a thorough revision.

Before going to Wildbad in the summer of 1863 I had a serious
conversation with my teacher and friend.  Hitherto, he said, he had
avoided any discussion of my future; but now that I was so decidedly
convalescing, he must tell me that even the most industrious work as a
"private scholar," as people termed it, would not satisfy me.  I was
fitted for an academic career, and he advised me to keep it in view.
As I had already thought of this myself, I eagerly assented, and my
mother was delighted with my resolution.

How we met in Wildbad my never-to-be-forgotten friend the Stuttgart
publisher, Eduard von Hallberger; how he laid hands upon my Egyptian
Princess; and how the fate of this book and its author led through joy
and sorrow, pleasure and pain, I hope, ere my last hour strikes, to
communicate to my family and the friends my life and writings have

When I left Berlin, so far recovered that I could again move freely,
I was a mature man.  The period of development lay behind me.  Though
the education of an aspiring man ends only with his last breath, the
commencement of my labours as a teacher outwardly closed mine, and an
important goal in life lay before me.  A cruel period of probation, rich
in suffering and deprivations, had made the once careless youth familiar
with the serious side of existence, and taught him to control himself.

After once recognizing that progress in the department of investigation
in which I intended to guide others demanded the devotion of all my
powers, I succeeded in silencing the ceaseless longing for fresh
creations of romance.  The completion of a second long novel would have
imperilled the unity with myself which I was striving to attain, and
which had been represented to me by the noblest of my instructors as my
highest goal in life.  So I remained steadfast, although the great
success of my first work rendered it very difficult.  Temptations of
every kind, even in the form of brilliant offers from the most prominent
German publishers, assailed me, but I resisted, until at the end of half
a lifetime I could venture to say that I was approaching my goal, and
that it was now time to grant the muse what I had so long denied.  Thus,
that portion of my nature which was probably originally the stronger was
permitted to have its life.  During long days of suffering romance was
again a kind and powerful comforter.

Severe suffering had not succeeded in stifling the cheerful spirit of the
boy and the youth; it did not desert me in manhood.  When the sky of my
life was darkened by the blackest clouds it appeared amid the gloom like
a radiant star announcing brighter days; and if I were to name the powers
by whose aid I have again and again dispelled even the heaviest clouds
which threatened to overshadow my happiness in existence, they must be
called gratitude, earnest work, and the motto of blind old Langethal,
"Love united with the strife for truth."



Appreciation of trifles
Carpe diem
How effective a consolation man possesses in gratitude
Men studying for their own benefit, not the teacher's
Phrase and idea "philosophy of religion" as an absurdity

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