[Wiesbaden—Monday, 22 August 1859]

Monday 22d Left W. in the freshness of the morning for Frankfort. The journey was picturesque and interesting. It was still early when we reached Frankfort. Found home letters and answered them, then without delay drove to see Luther’s house. On our way we passed through the Judengasse which we thought altogether the most interesting bit of ancient life and architecture we had seen. Here the famous Rothschild was born. As we came out of the narrow streets into the place where the old Cathedral stands we found ourselves directly under the overhanging picture-like windows of Luther’s house. It struck us strangely to find that the early years of the great Reformer were passed under the literal shadow of the church as well as under its baneful influence. The place was changed of course and we did not enter but went to the fine library where we saw Luther’s shoes, his picture &c. Next with a strong but different interest we entered the home of the great Goethe. We mounted the same staircase supported by the same balustrade which the poet used eagerly looking from side to side that we might lose nothing till we came to the simple old study and stood at the same desk where Goethe enjoyed and wrote so much in his earlier years. The little latticed windows were open as of old and the gentle summer winds greeted us as gently as they did the world’s great favorite. We seemed to hear his mother’s voice welcoming with pride her noble son. The ink stand and the pen-wiper were still upon the table as if patiently awaiting his return and he, whom we would have given so much to see, who had thrown an enchanted light upon this place for us, has gone, whither!!

Frankfort is rich in works of art and justly proud of them. Herr Bethman has built a chapel for the Ariadne of Dannecker which is freely open to the public at all times. It is very beautiful and yet the head we thought wanting in intellectual development. The fillet is fastened low, so low as to conceal the forehead had a heavy wreath just over the brows hides the parting of her fresh full hair. The marble too is unfortunately much spotted; but the contrast between this gentle, spirited trustful form and the rough creature to whom she confides all, is so fine that one recognizes instinctively the inspiration of the sculptor. Schwanthaler’s noble statue of Goethe ennobles the city it looks upon. It is truly superb and I think the gigantic size has been most artistically handled so that grandeur is really the result which is seldom enough the case. The statues of the 3 printers are fine too—[illegible name] was most kind and drove with us in the afternoon.


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