Monday, June 15 (15th of June 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

Much to do with Maurer, the hall is not yet finished. R. works, wonders frequently, since he never hears the orchestra, whether he is not using too many instruments.

After lunch childhood memories; he used to pronounce Shakespeare “Shar-kespay-ar” until a Frau Dr. Schneider, with whom his family spent one summer in Blasewitz, told him how to say it—but he understood it to be Shicksper and associated it with Fate and battle “Schicksal” means “Fate,” “Speer’’ means “spear”]. In the house of Frau Schneider (an excitable lady who was trying by force to” bring her son up as a genius) he had sat and read for hours in the library, and had -also taken Shakespeare out into the little woods in Blasewitz to continue reading him; he had interpreted it all as something daemonic and fantastic and had even sought a mystical meaning in Falstaff. He was at that time 13 years old. 

The sister of this Frau Schneider was later the first to have spoken a significant word to him about Tannhäuser, she had observed that the whole of the world’s fate could be seen in the Overture. R. says that if I were to consider the trivial people among whom he was then living, I should understand why this remark has remained in his memory. — 

Much concerned with Fidi; R. says it would be better for him if we were to die now, otherwise he will be spoiled! — In the evening the second act of Siegfried!

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