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completed. Nay, even the outward the chief problem of biography-to aspect of much that is complete has exhibit the

man in relation to his time, entirely disappeared, it having been and to show how far the whole opposes, afterwards entirely rewrought, and how far it favours him-how he shapes cast into another form. Besides this, for himself from it a view of the world I had also to consider how I had and man—and how, if an artist, poet, worked in the sciences and in the author, in turn, he outwardly reflects other arts than my own, and what in it. But in order to this, something such apparently foreign branches, almost unattainable is needed, namely, whether singly or in union with that the individual should know him. friends, I had partly accomplished in self and his age ; himself, so far as he silence, partly made public,

has remained the same under all cir. All this I wished, for the satisfaction cumstances—his age, as that which of

my wellwishers, to introduce grą. drags along with it, and determines, dually; but these endeavours and re and

shapes, both the willing and theunflections led me on further and fur- willing ; so that one may well say, any ther. For, while I desired to comply one born only ten years sooner or with that very deliberate request, and later, must, as to his own formation strove to present in succession the and his influence on others, have been inward promptings, the outward influ- entirely different from what he was. ences, the steps of theory and practice In this manner, from such reflecwhich I had mounted—I was forced tions and attempts, from such recol. out of my narrow private life into the lections and thoughts, arose the present wide world; the forms of a hundred delineation; and from this point of important men, who, from nearer or view as to its origin, will it be best farther, had acted on me, came for. enjoyed and used, and most justly esti. ward ; even the enormous political mated. Whatever, in addition, parmovements of the. world at large, ticularly as to the half-poetic halfwhich had exerted the greatest influ- historic treatment, may require to be ence on me as on the whole mass of said, will often, doubtless, find its opmy contemporaries, required to be portunity in the course of the narspecially regarded. For this seems rative.

Book I.

On the 28th of August 1749, at into great distress, turned, however, to noon, on the stroke of twelve, I came the advantage of my fellow-citizens ; into the world at Frankfort-on-the- for my grandfather, the chief magisMaine. The constellation was lucky; trate, (Schultheiss) John Wolfgang the Sun stood in the sign Virgo, and Textor, took occasion from it to have culminated for the day ; Jupiter and an accoucheur established, and the Venus beheld it amicably, and Mer- instruction of midwives introduced or cury was not adverse ; Saturn and revived, which may probably have Mars remained indifferent ; only the turned to good for many a one born Moon, which was just then full, exerted after me, the strength of its reflection so much When one tries to recollect what the more, because, at the same time, happened to us in our earliest youth, its planetary hour had begun. It it often happens that we mix what we opposed itself, therefore, to my birth, have heard from others with that which could not take place until this which we really possess by our own hour was past.

immediate experience.

Therefore, These good aspects, which the astro. without attempting an accurate enlogers afterwards took care to reckon quiry on this point, which at all highly in my favour, may perhaps events could lead to nothing, I am have been the cause of my preserva conscious that we lived in an old house,

for, by the awkwardness of the which consisted really of two houses midwife, I came for dead into the opened into one. A tower-like stairworld, and only by efforts of many case led to rooms that did not accord kinds did they succeed, so far, that I together; and the inequality of the ever saw the light. This circum- floors was remedied by steps. For us stance, which had brought my friends children--a younger sister andme-the

tion ;

favourite part was the lower spacious broken earthenware, there was at least floor, which had, near the entrance a pleasant story, in which more espedoor, a wooden lattice-work coming , cially its roguish authors delighted to out close upon the street and the open their lives' end. air. Sueh a bird-cage, which many My father's mother, whose house it houses were furnished with, was was, properly speaking, and not our called a frame. The women sat in it own, that we lived in, occupied a large to sew and knit—the cook picked her room behind, and at the outside, on salad—thence the female neighbours the ground floor; and we carried on talked to each other; and thus the our games even up to her chair, and, streets had, in the fine season of the when she was unwell, up to her bed. year, a look of the south. One felt side. I remember her as it were a one's self free, by familiarity with the spirit-a handsome, thin woman, alopen air. By means also of these ways in a clean white dress; soft, frames, the children were brought into friendly, benignant is her image in my connexion with the neighbours ; and memory. three brothers Von Ochsenstein, sons We had heard the street in which of the deceased chief magistrate, gained our house lay called the Stag Ditch, my fondness, and employed and amused (Hirschgraven;) but as we saw neither themselves with me in many ways. ditch nor stags, we wished to have this

My friends used gladly to relate all name explained. We were told, then, manner of fooleries to which these that our house stood upon a space otherwise grave and solitary men en which once lay outside the city, and couraged me. I shall introduce only that where the street now ran there one of these tricks. There had just was formerly a ditch, where a number been the crockery-fair, and not only of stags were kept. These stags were had the kitchen been supplied for a confined and fed here, because, acwhile with such ware, but the like cording to ancient custom, the senate vessels in small had also been bought every year feasted publicly on a stag, as playthings for us children. On a which was therefore always kept at fine afternoon, when all was quiet in hand here in the ditch for this festival, the house, I busied myself in the frame in case of princes or knights disturbing with my platters and cups; and when and hindering the city's right of chase I found that I could do nothing better beyond the walls, or of its enemies with them, I threw one into the street, holding it blockaded or besieged. This and rejoiced that it smashed so finely. pleased us much, and we wished that The Von Ochsensteins, who saw me such a place for hunting tame animals so delighted that I even clapped my had still been within reach in our day. hands for joy, called out, “ Again !" The back of the house had, partiI did not delay with a basin; and as cularly from the upper floor, a very they kept on calling out“ Again !” by, pleasant prospect over an extent of the and-by all the platters, pipkins, and gardens of our neighbours almost immugs were dashed upon the pavement. measurable by the eye, and which My neighbours continued to express spread to the city walls. But unfor. their approbation, and I was greatly tunately, in the change of the public rejoiced to give them pleasure. My ground, formerly open here, into pristock, however, was all gone, and they vate gardens, our house, and some still called out, “ Again !” I there others lying towards the corner of the fore ran straight to the kitchen, and street, had been much stinted, the brought the delf plates, which indeed houses between us and the Horse-marproduced in breaking a stillfiner effect; ket (Rossmarkt) having obtained for and so I ran backwards and forwards, themselves spacious back buildings brought one plate after another, as I and large gardens, while the rather could get at them where they stood in high wall of our court shut us out from order on the shelf; and, because my these paradises that lay so near us. spectators still showed themselves una In the second floor there was a room satisfied, I flung at last all the ware which was called the garden-room, bethat I could lay hands on into the same cause it had there been attempted, by ruin. It was only afterwards that any means of a few plants before the winone appeared to stop my proceedings dow, to supply the want of a garden. and save the property. The mischief There, as I grew older, I loved to was done, and, instead of so much make, not indeed a sorrowful, but a


longing stay. Away beyond these and without, the Castle of St Angelo, gardens, over the city walls and ram and much else. These forms impressparts, one saw a fair and fertile plain, ed themselves deeply in me; and my that which extends towards Höchst. father, who in general was very laThere, in summer time, I commonly conic, had even the kindness often to learned my lessons, watched for the give me a description of the object. storms; and, when the sun set directly His love of the Italian language, and opposite the windows, I could never of every thing relating to that country, fill myself with gazing. But as, at was very plainly pronounced. He the same time, I saw the neighbours also often showed us a small collection walking in their gardens and tending of marbles and of natural objects, their flowers, the children playing, which he had brought with him from companies enjoying themselves, nine- thence ; and he employed a large pin balls rolling, and could hear the part of his time on the narrative of ninepins fall, this early awakened in his travels, composed in Italian, the me a feeling of loneliness, and thence copying and completion of which he of longing, which, corresponding to carried on himself, in separate porthe earnestness and awe given me by tions, slowly and accurately. An old nature, very early showed its influence, cheerful Italian language master, and afterwards did so still more plainly. named Giovinazzi, gave him help.

The old, many-cornered, in several The old man also sang not badly, and parts dark arrangement of the house, my mother was obliged to make the was moreover fitted to excite alarm best of daily accompanying him and and fear in childish hearts. Un- herself on the harpsichord. Thus I happily people had still the maxim soon learned the solitario bosco om.. of education, early to deprive children broso, and knew it by rote before I of all fear for the awful and invisible, understood it. and to accustom them to the alarming. My father was generally of a viva. Therefore we children were cious nature, and, in his freedom from pelled to sleep alone; and when we business, he was eager to impart to felt this intolerable, and softly es others whatever he himself knew and caped from our beds and sought the could succeed in. Thus he had emsociety of the servants and maids, our ployed my mother, during the first father, in his dressing gown turned years of their marriage, in diligent inside out, and so for us disguised writing, or in playing the harpsichord enough, placed himself in the way, and singing. By this she had found and frightened us back to our sleep- herself compelled to gain some knowing-places. Every one will under ledge and scanty expertness in the stand how bad an effect resulted from

Italian language. this. How is he to become freed from We commonly spent all our playfear who is pent between two kinds of time with my grandmother, in whose frightfulness? My mother, always spacious parlour we found room enough cheerful and gay, and wishing others

for our games.

She knew how to to be so, found out a better pedagogic. occupy us with all sorts of trifles, and

She contrived to gain her to refresh us with all sorts of nice object by rewards. It was the time eatables. But one Christmas evening of peaches, the plentiful enjoyment of sheput the crown on all her kindnesses, which she promised us for every morn- by having a puppet-show exhibited being, in case we had overcome our fear fore us, and so created a new world in during the night. This succeeded, the old house. This unexpected and both parties were satisfied. drama powerfully attracted our young

Within the house, my eyes were hearts. On the boy especially it mado most attracted by a series of Roman a very strong impression, which conviews, with which my father had or. tinued to produce a great and lasting namented an anteroom. They were effect. engraved by some skilful forerunners The little stage, with its dumb perof Piranesi, who had a sound know sonages, which had in the beginning ledge of architecture and perspective, only been shown, but was afterwards and whose execution is very clear given to us for our own use and draand good. There I saw daily the matic excitation, was the dearer to us Piazza del Popolo, the Colosseum, the children, as the last bequest of our Piazza of St Peter's, St Peter's within good grandmother, who soon after was



2 H

first withdrawn from our sight by in- lesson, some definite labour-all this creasing illness, and then for ever torn produced a confusion in the young away by death. Her departure was heads, which could not very easily be of the greater importance to the fa- put to rights again. But by the young mily, because it drew after it an entire ones the discomfort was the less felt, change in our condition,

because they had somewhat more room As long as my grandmother lived, for play left them than before, and had my father had avoided making the many opportunities of balancing on smallest change or renovation in the beams and seesawing on boards. house ; but it was well known that he At first my father obstinately carried had determined on a great deal of through his plan. But when at last building, which was now immediately even the roof was partly taken off, and begun. In Frankfort, as in many in spite of the tarpaulins, made of other old towns, people, in raising worn-out carpets, that were stretched , wooden structures, had ventured, in over, the rain got to our beds, he deorder to gain space, to make not only termined, though unwillingly, that the the first, but each successive floor, kind friends, who had before offered it, project beyond the lower one; by should have charge of the children which, indeed, the narrower streets for a time, and that they should go to especially became dark and confined. a [daily] public school. At last a law was made, that whoever This transition had much in it that built a house new from the ground, was unpleasant. For when children, could make only the first story come

who at home had been kept apart in out beyond the ground floor, but must purity and refinement, though with build the others perpendicular. My strictness, were thrown down into a father, in order not to lose the pro- rude mass of young creatures, they jecting space even in the second floor, bad quite unexpectedly to suffer every little concerned for outward architec- thing from the vulgar, the malicious, tural appearance, and anxious only even the base, because they had neither about the good and convenient ar. weapons nor skill to protect them. rangement of the interior, used the selves. expedient, as many had done before Precisely at this time it was that I him, of under-propping the upper parts first gained a knowledge of my native of the house, then taking away one part city. And so gradually, with more of after another from below, and, as it freedom and less of hindrance, somewere, inserting the new, so that when times alone, and sometimes with merry at last almost nothing was left of the play fellows, I made my way up and former building, yet the whole new down it. one could still pass for having been In order at all to convey the imonly a reparation. Now, as the de- pression which that grave and dignimolition and construction took place fied object made on me, I must here gradually, my father determined not at once introduce a description of my to leave the house, that he might the birthplace, as in its different parts better carry on his inspection, and it successively unfolded itself before give his orders, for he understood per I liked best to walk upon the fectly the technical part of building; great Maine Bridge-[Bridge of the and moreover he did not wish his Maine.] Its length, its solidity, its family to leave him. This new epoch handsomeness, made it a remarkable was very surprising and extraordinary building. It is also almost the only to the children. The rooms, in which monument from earlier times, of that they had often felt themselves narrow care which the civil government owes ly confined, and had been wearied with to its citizens. The fine river above unjoyous learning and labour-thepas and below attracted my eyes; and when sages they had played in—the walls, the golden cock upon the bridge-cross for the cleanness and preservation of glittered in the sun, it always gave which so much pains had always been me a pleasant feeling.

Then I comtaken—to see all this fall before the monly walked on through Sachsenmason's pick, the carpenter's axe, and hausen, and for a farthing [kreuzer, this from below upwards, and all the one-third of a penny] I was ferried while supported on propped beams comfortably across the stream. Now, above, as it were to hover in the air, being again on this side, one went to and still to be kept at some precise the wine-market, and admired the mea


chanism of the cranes where goods mounds, ditches, by which the new were unloaded. But there was pecu city was surrounded-all told but too liar amusement in the arrival of the plainly that these arrangements had market-boats, when one saw so many, been caused in disturbed times, by and among them such strange figures, the necessity of securing the common step on land. When within the city existence; so that the squares, the itself, the Saalhof, which occupied at streets, even the new, the broader, and least the site where the Castle of handsomer, owed their origin only to Charlemagne and his successors stood, accident and caprice, and not to any was always reverently honoured. One methodizing mind. A certain liking liked to lose one's-self in the old trading for the ancient fixed itself in the boy, town, and especially on market-days, and was particularly fed and favoured in the midst of the crowd that gathers by old chronicles and woodcuts—for round the Bartholomew Church. example, those of Grave~representHere, from the earliest times, the ing the siege of Frankfort. Along with throng of venders and shopkeepers which, another and different taste dehad pressed together; and, on ac- veloped itself-for observing the states count of such a seizure of the place, it of human life, in their variety and was difficult in later days to find room naturalness, without any further care for a spacious and clear arrangement for their importance or beauty. Thus, The booths of the so-called Pfarrei- it was one of our favourite walks, sen, were very important for us chil, which we tried to indulge in some dren; and we took thither many a half- twice a-year, to follow the circuit of penny to buy us sheets of paper the path inside the city walls. Gar, stamped with golden animals. But dens, courts, back-buildings, run up seldom, however, could one push to the foot of the ramparts; and one across the small, crammed, and dirty sees several thousand men in their market-place. I remember, too, that domestic, small, separate, concealed I always hastened with horror past holes. From the ornamental and the narrow and odious meat-stalls show-gardens of the rich, to the herbwhich bordered on it. But the Ro- gardens of the citizen intent upon his man-Hill, [Römer-Berg,] on the con comfort; from thence to the manutrary, was pleasant for walking. The factories, bleaching-grounds, and simiway to the New Town, through the lar establishments, and even to the new shop quarter, was always anima- burial-ground—for a little world lay ting and pleasant; only it vexed us within the precincts of the city-one that there was not a straight street passed by the most varied, most near the Church of the Virgin, [Lieb wondrous spectacle, changing at every Frauen Kirche,] and that we were al- step, so that our childish curiosity ways compelled to make the great could never be satiated with enjoying round by the Hare Street, [Hasen- it; for, in truth, the well-known limpgasse,] or the Catharine Gate. But ing devil, when he lifted off the roofs that which most attracted the notice of Madrid for his friend at night, of the child was the many small hardly did more for him than was towns within the town, the fortresses here accomplished for us under the within the fortress; that is to say, the open sky, and in bright sunshine. earliest monastic enclosures, and the The keys, which were required in precincts still remaining from earlier this walk, in order to pass through ages, more or less resembling castles, many a tower, stair, and postern, were such as the Nuremberg Court, the in the hands of the official authorities, Compostella, the Braum fels, the an, and we did not fail to do our best in cestral house of the Stallburgs, and coaxing their subalterns. several strongholds, turned in later Still more important, and in another times into dwellings and warehouses. sense more fruitful for us, continued No architecture that could elevate to be the Council-house, called from the mind was then to be seen in the Romans. In its lower vault-like Frankfort. All pointed to a period halls, we very willingly lost ourselves. long gone by, when both town and We obtained the means of entrance district were much disquieted. Gates into the large and extremely simple and towers, which marked the bounds session-chamber of the council. The of the old city; then again, farther walls, wainscoted up to a certain off, gates, towers, walls, bridges, height, were otherwise white, as was



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