Friday, May 22 (22nd of May 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

The children, all by themselves, stick 61 candles on R.’s bathtub and surround it with wreaths and bunches of flowers, merry laughter about it all. Doves fly out of the loft for the first time and flutter around our house. I make no celebrations for R. this year.

Marie Dönhoff arrives at 9 o’clock in the morning, as charming as ever, and friend Gersdorff joins us for lunch. The children recite their poem, and only Eva gets stuck. After lunch an excursion to the theater. —

Return home in dull weather, at 8 o’clock serenade by the choral society and military band (at midday they had played the “Kaisermarsch” and the “Pilgrims’ Chorus” very prettily.) R. drinks with them from a silver horn and conducts them. In the middle of the most frantic rejoicings I receive a telegram—Marie is dead, she passed away peacefully. The people go off to the strains of the vulgarest of marches—thus is our sobbing accompanied here below. I keep the news from R. I had thought of her at lunchtime. 

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