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leave them all incomplete. This trait must have been a severe trial to the father, for his rule was, that everything begun should be completed, and if a book which he had chosen to be read aloud in the family circle proved never so tedious, it must be read through, even if he were himself the first to set the example of yawning. In spite of the many-sidedness of Goethe's mind, there was little place there for mathematics, a line of thought which was not very far pursued in his education, and which he never could appreciate. Later in life, when mathematicians offered to prove by geometric formula that his theory of colors was false, he could not comprehend them, and believed that they were trifling with him. He approached the problems of nature, not as an unimpassioned investigator, but as a poet, and the wonderful generalizations which he made in botany and anatomy,theories which are now accepted and acknowledged, sprang from his intense poetic conception of the necessary unity of
Not a ray of the poet's genius can be traced to his father; in the son's youth and young manhood the joyous disposition and lively imagination which he received from his mother were his most conspicuous qualities; but as he grew old, he came more and more to resemble his father, and in the dignified formality of what was called Goethe's "official manner," the old Frankfort Councilor seems to appear again before us.
The rebuilding of the house was one of the great events of Goethe's childhood. The family remained in it through nearly the whole period of the work. The upper stories were supported, and the house rebuilt from below upward. Goethe writes:
"This new epoch was a very surprising and remarkable one for the children. To see falling before the mason's pick and the carpenter's axe the rooms in which they had been so often cooped up and pestered with wearisome lessons and tasks, the passages in which they had played, the walls for whose cleanliness and preservation so much care had been taken, to see this work going on from below upward while they were suspended, as it were, in the air, propped up on beams, and yet all the time to be held to an appointed lesson, to a definite task-all this brought a confusion into our young heads which it was not so easy to clear away again. But the inconveniences were felt less by the young people because they had more space for play than before, and had many oppor
tunities of balancing on rafters and playing at see-saw with the boards."
The rebuilding was begun in the spring of 1755, and was at least so far completed before the winter that the family could resume their usual course of life. Much remained to be done for the adornment and completion of the interior. The father's books were re-arranged, and the pictures, which had been scattered through the house, were collected together, set in black and gilt frames, and hung in one room in symmetrical order. With the Herr Rath's intense love of order and minute attention to details, all these arrangements, together with the decorating and furnishing of the rooms, were extended over a long period of time. In the course of this work so much that was superfluous was found, that the Herr Rath (who never allowed anything to be lost) determined to have a sale by auction, at which, among other things, he sold his mother's clothes and house-linen. The following advertisement appeared in the "Frankfort Advertiser," April 25th, 1758:
"By superior authority, on the coming Monday, May 1st, and the following days, at the house of Rath Goethe, in the Grosse Hirschgraben, will be sold, by the sworn auctioneer, to the highest bidder, various movables in the following order: First, several fire-arms, among them a new mousqueton; next, various articles of wood-work, together with a still serviceable lattice* for a housedoor, three large house-clocks; then, tin and brass articles, etc. Further, several empty casks; next, a violin and an ebony flute traversière; further, a number of law, practical and historical books, and among these a set of the well-known Elzevir Republics,' together with about one hundred and eightytwo unbound complete copies of D. Wahl's 'Dissert. de usufr. conjugum pacitio;' further, several silk and cotton dresses; and lastly, a moderate assortment of good linen articles, mostly for women, as well as various articles not included under the above heads."
Turning to the year 1794, in Goethe's diary we find a pleasant retrospect of the reconstructed, refurnished home. Nearly forty years have passed away since all were so busy with its refurnishing. The Herr Rath is long since dead; the French Revo
*The Gerums through which the mischievous Wolfgang threw all the kitchen dishes for the amusement of his playmates, the Ochsensteins, across the way. See the Autobiography.
lution has come, with the troublous times which followed it, and Goethe's mother begins to find the large house a source of anxiety and care.
"The handsome citizen's house which my mother had enjoyed since my father's death had been a burden to her ever since the beginning of hostilities, although she had not ventured to acknowledge it; yet during my last year's visit I had explained her situation to her, and urged her to free herself from such a burden. But just at that time it was unadvisable to do what one felt to be necessary. A house newly built within our life-time, a convenient and becoming citizen's residence, a well-cared for wine cellar, household articles of all kinds and in good taste for their time; collections of books, pictures, copper plates, maps, antiquities, small objects of art and curiosities; very many remarkable things which my father out of inclination and knowledge had collected about him as opportunity offered,all was still there together; it all, by place and position, was conveniently and usefully united, and only as a whole had it really its acquired worth. Thinking of it as divided and scattered, one must necessarily fear to see it wasted or lost."
This dispersion, which Goethe looked forward to with pain, took place in the next year, 1795.
One enters the Goethe mansion from the street by three steps, and comes into a large hall extending the whole depth of the house from front to rear. On the right are rooms which were used for store-rooms and for the servants; on the left are the kitchen, in the rear, and the family dining-room, toward the street. In the latter occurred the wellknown tragi-comic barber scene. It was at the time when Klopstock's "Messiah" was in the height of its popularity. Rath Goethe had been educated in the opinion, very prevalent in his day, that poetry and rhyme were inseparable; and as the " Messiah" was not written in rhyme, it was very plain to him that it could not be poetry, and he would have none of it. A friend of the family, at the same time an enthusiast for Klopstock, smuggled the book into the house. The mother and children were delighted with it, and the latter learned large portions of it by heart. Goethe relates:
"We divided between us the wild, despairing dialogue between Satan and Adramelech, who have been cast into the Red Sea. The first part, as the most violent, fell to my share; the second, a little more pa
"The good barber was startled and upset the lather basin over my father's breast. There was a great uproar, and a severe investigation was held, especially in view of the mischief that might have resulted had the shaving been actually going forward. In order to remove from ourselves all suspicion of wantonness, we confessed to our satanic characters, and the misfortune occasioned by the hexameters was too apparent for them not to be anew condemned and banished."
The wide staircase begins in the large hall on the ground floor, and leads on each story to a spacious antechamber or hall, out of which all the rooms open. These antechambers on each floor, with large windows toward the garden or court, are frequently referred to by Goethe as having been the delight of his childhood. In them the family passed much of their time during the warm season of the year, and the children found there ample space for play. On the second floor were the "best rooms." We learn in an early chapter of "Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship" that they had what was called English furniture, and wall-paper
of a Chinese pattern. Hardly had the old Rath got them furnished to his mind when the Seven Years' War broke out; Frankfort was occupied by the French, and the Count Thorane from Provence was billeted upon him. The Count, a well-bred and highly cultivated nobleman, did everything in his power to make his presence as little burdensome as possible, and even refrained from hanging up his maps on the Chinese wallpaper. The friends of the family were never wearied in dwelling on the Herr Rath's good fortune that so gentlemanly an occupant had fallen to his lot. But the Herr Rath would listen to no palliative suggestions; he was almost beside himself with rage at seeing his best rooms, the apple of his eye, seized upon by strangers and enemies; and, added to this, he was so fierce a partisan for "Old Fritz," that during the whole time of the Count's stay, which extended to about three years, Rath Goethe went about with a thorn in his flesh, and on one occasion gave vent to his long pent-up wrath in such terms that only the urgent intercessions of his wife and friends saved him from immediate arrest. The mother and children were at once on the best of terms with the Count, who often sent the children cake and ices from his table; but the ices, to the children's great distress, the mother always threw out of the window, declaring, in her honest simplicity, that she did not believe the human stomach could digest ice, be it ever so much sweetened. Goethe dwells at some length on this very important period of his boyhood, and the influences upon his own growth and development which arose from Count Thorane's residence in his father's house.
Count once, when this fit was on him, had given what he afterward thought a very unrighteous decision, and hence his determination to retire entirely at such seasons from all participation in human affairs.
The rooms which the Count occupied consist of one large central drawing-room having four windows to the street, with rooms opening out of it on each side; that on the left having two windows, and the smaller one on the right but one. The Count was subject to fits of dejection or hypochondria, at which times he would retire for days and see no one but his servant. He filled the post of Lieutenant du Roi, a sort of Judge-Advocate, whose business it was to decide upon all cases of strife arising between soldiers or between soldiers and citizens; but when his hypochondria seized him, not the most urgent cases could draw him from the little one-windowed nest to the right of the drawing-room, which he had chosen for his "growlery." The family learned from the servant's gossip that the
Passing up the stairs from the second to the third floor, we notice the monograms J. C. G., C. E. G., in the wrought-iron stair railing. We cross the cheerful antechamber and come to the apartments which the family occupied. The division of the rooms is slightly different from that on the floor below, the central room being smaller, with but three windows, the side rooms having each two. The central room was the family drawing-room; here, as has been mentioned, all the pictures were hung after the rebuilding, hence it was usually called the "picture-room." Count Thorane, a great lover of art, hearing the picture-room spoken of on the night of his arrival, insisted upon seeing it at once, and went over each picture with a candle in his hand. To the left of the picture-room was the Herr Rath's library, study, and special sanctum. Besides its two front windows it has a little window in the side wall, giving a good view up the street. A few lines in the Autobiography explain its use. "I slipped home," Goethe writes, "by a roundabout way, for on the side toward the kleiner Hirschgraben my father, not without the opposition of his neighbor, had had a small guckfenster (peep-hole) made in the wall; this side we avoided when we did not wish him to see us coming home." To the right of the picture-room was the Frau Rath's sitting-room, and behind and communicating with it, looking toward the court, the parents' bedroom, the room in which the poet was born, and in the wing, still further in the rear, the children's bedroom.
On the fourth floor we come to the Mansard rooms,-the poet's rooms,-which require a few words of preface. From the time of its sale in 1795 by Goethe's mother until the death of the poet in 1832, the Goethe house seems to have been little thought of. But the renewed interest in a great man's history which is always awakened by his death, brought again into notice the house in which Goethe was born. The Roessing family, in whose possession it was, were at first very much astonished at the frequent applications to see the house. The first one occurred in the year after Goethe's death, and, from that time, the number of visitors increased day by day. There is on the fourth floor a small attic
room to which some obscure tradition was attached as having been Goethe's room. The Roessings accepted this tradition without investigation, and, thus, for thirty-five years, it was the custom to conduct visitors at once to this little attic and point it out to them as Goethe's chamber where he had written his earlier works. Of course, it was not long before it got the name of the Werther-Zimmer, and Bettina von Arnim unconsciously added to the apocryphal character of her book ("Goethe's Correspondence with a Child"), by having a view of the Werther-Zimmer engraved as a frontispiece to it. So striking a confirmation of the supposed fondness of the Muses for garrets could not fail to be noted, and many a sage visitor doubtless dwelt upon the coincidence that the rich man's son must go to the garret to mount his Pegasus. But the whole romance of the Werther attic has been crumbled in the dust by Dr. G. H. Otto Volger, who, with true German patience and industry, has so thoroughly investigated every point in connection with the Goethe mansion. It is not necessary to follow Dr. Volger into all the details of his proof. The chief points are: 1st. That the so-called Werther room is not in the gable, and has no rooms communicating with it. 2d. That it never has a ray of morning sun. In regard to the first point, Goethe constantly speaks of his room as a gable room (Giebelzimmer), having other rooms communicating with it. In regard to the second point, the fact that Goethe's room had the morning sun is established by the poet's well-known account of his morning sacrifice to the Almighty, after the Old Testament fashion, when the rays of the morning sun, concentrated through a burning-glass, were made to light the pastilles on the boy's extemporized altar. Dr. Volger selects the long celebrated attic as the place where the silk-worms were kept, and where the engravings were bleached, as so circumstantially described in the Autobiography.
Passing by the Werther room, which is directly to the right on reaching the top of the staircase, and crossing the antechamber, similar to those on the other floors, one comes to the poet's rooms. The central one is a pleasant and spacious reception-room, where the son of the house could receive with dignity, and without apology, the friends and the visitors of distinction whom the success of "Goetz" and of "Werther" attracted to him from every quarter. It stands at pres
ent bare and cheerless, but we can picture to ourselves the simple furniture, the books, the pictures, the casts from the antiqueheads of the Laocoon group, and of Niobe and her children—and the minerals, and the natural curiosities which bore witness to the mental activity and versatility of its occupant. The house directly opposite is the only one in the Hirschgraben, except the Goethe mansion, which remains unchanged, so that, in looking from the poet's window, the outline and general effect of the opposite house are precisely what they were when the boy-worshiper stood in the early morning light waiting for the sun to peer over its roof and kindle his altar-fire. This house, in the Goethes' time, was occupied by the family Von Ochsenstein, whose sons were Wolfgang's playmates.
The last years of Goethe's residence at home, before he accepted the invitation of the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, were those of his early fame as the author of "Goetz" and "Werther," and his growing reputation brought many new elements into the family life. Everybody of distinction, especially of literary distinction, who came to Frankfort, sought the acquaintance of Goethe, and the stately house in the Hirschgraben was enlivened by visitors of many qualities, who were received with a formal but generous hospitality. The old Rath did his best to preserve a polite silence when sentiments were uttered which shocked all his preconceptions, while the mother won all hearts by her good-nature, jollity, and sound common sense. The departure of the poet for Weimar made no very great change in this respect; the admirers of the poet came to pay their respects to his parents, and a visit to Goethe's mother, especially, was looked forward to as an honor and a pleasure. The house came to be generally known among Goethe's friends as the Casa Santa, a name it probably first received from Wieland.
In 1779, the poet came himself, bringing with him his friend, the Grand Duke of SaxeWeimar. Nobles, trades-people, and hotelkeepers were open-mouthed with wonder at seeing a Grand Duke dwelling in a simple citizen's house. But the disappointment of the father that his son had not followed the path of a jurist, for which he had drilled him during his boyhood, was, perhaps, amply made up for when the son returned home a Privy-Councillor (Geheim-Rath), and brought a Grand Duke to Frankfort as his guest.
In 1782, the Herr Rath died in his seventy-second year. For thirteen years the Frau Rath lived alone in the Casa Santanominally, at least, alone, for the stream of visitors was almost constant. "I am much more fortunate than Frau von Reck," she writes; "that lady must travel about in order to see Germany's learned men, they all visit me in my house, which is by far more convenient-yes, yes, those to whom God is gracious, He blesses in their sleep."*
Our visit to Goethe's early home terminates with the inspection of his own rooms on the fourth floor. We return to the consideration of what we have ventured to call the dramatis persona of the home circle, and having already spoken of the father, we now come to the sister and the mother.
The relations between Goethe and his sister Cornelia were of the most intimate kind. There was but a year's difference in their ages, and they were often taken to be twins. They shared together the joys and sorrows of childhood, and no new experience was complete until communicated to the other. The brother's departure for the University of Leipsic was their first separation, and in Wolfgang's absence, Cornelia led a weary life. All the father's pedagogy was now exerted upon her. He left her no time for social pleasures or for associating with other young girls; an occasional concert was her only relaxation. Even the relation of mutual confidence between the brother and sister was entirely broken up, as all their letters passed through the father's hands. It was therefore not strange when Goethe returned home after an absence of nearly three years, that he found the father and daughter living in a state of almost open hostility, and was himself made the confidant of his sister's complaints, and of his mother's anxieties in her position of mediator and peacemaker. Of his sister Goethe writes:
"She had by turns to pursue and work at French, Italian, and English, besides which he (the father) compelled her to practice at the harpsichord a great part of the day. Writing also was not to be neglected, and I had already remarked that he had directed
*"Já, já, wem 's Gott gönnt giebt er 's im Schlaf," an idiomatic phrase difficult to translate; a similar one, "Gott giebt es den Seinen im Schlaf" (God blesses his own in their sleep), is in frequent use in Germany. "Im Schlaf" is used to express any. thing that has been obtained without personal effort; for example, should any one become rich by inheritance or a sudden rise in values, the Germans would say, "Er ist reich geworden im Schlaf" (He has become rich in his sleep).
her correspondence with me, and communicated to me his teachings through her pen. My sister was, and still continued to be, an indefinable being, the most singular mixture of strength and weakness, of obstinacy and compliance; which qualities acted, now united, and now separated, at her own will and inclination. Thus she, in a manner which seemed to me terrible, had turned the hardness of her character against her father, whom she did not forgive, because during these three years he had forbidden or embittered to her many an innocent pleasure, and she would acknowledge no single one of his good and excellent qualities. She did all that he commanded or directed, but in the most unamiable manner in the world; she did it in the established routine, but nothing more and nothing less; out of love or favor she accommodated herself to nothing, so that this was one of the first things about which my mother complained in a private conversation with me."
Cornelia seems to have inherited many of her father's traits of character, and the Herr Rath found his own inflexibility matched against the same quality, which had been transmitted to his child.
On Wolfgang's return from Leipsic the old confidential relations were resumed between the brother and the sister. All their thoughts and feelings were shared; Cornelia read his letters from his University friends, and went over with him his replies to them. These were the happiest days of Cornelia's life; they amount, deducting Wolfgang's absence for a year and a half at Strasburg, to about three years and a half. They are most interesting to us in connection with Cornelia's influence upon the production of "Goetz von Berlichingen," as Goethe thus relates it:
"I had, as I proceeded, conversed circumstantially about it with my sister, who took part in such matters with heart and soul. I so often renewed this conversation without taking any steps toward beginning work, that she at length, impatient and interested, begged me earnestly not to be ever talking into the air, but once for all to set down on paper that which was so present to my mind. Determined by this impulse, I began one morning to write, without having first sketched out any draft or plan. I wrote the first scenes, and in the evening they were read to Cornelia. She greatly applauded them, yet qualified her praise by the doubt whether I should so continue; indeed she expressed a decided unbelief in