Thursday, April 2 (2nd of April 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

Maundy Thursday. R. feels unwell, and we are both very concerned about the illness of our old Rus; the poor huge dog is groaning pitifully, and the veterinary surgeon says it is rheumatism. — Work in the house in the morning and afternoon. R. had to go to the law courts again in connection with the Prague theater director, and on returning home he says to me, “The stupidity of these people—what is meant to be a help to peasants they apply to me, they dictate to me what I am supposed to say!” — 

A schoolteacher, a cantor in Soest, sends us 80 thalers, the proceeds of a concert in support of Bayreuth—very touching. — In the evening R. goes to the Thursday gathering, but only, as he says, to give himself the walk home, since he feels too indisposed, downright suffocated. — He told me that when he went out in the garden today he forced himself to walk slowly, and suddenly his cramp vanished, and he realized how much good it would do him if only he could take everything more calmly. (At Dinner the “original sin”[1] pea puree).

 “What would house and garden, to which I am so much looking forward, mean to me without a family?” he exclaims. “I know how unimportant all that seemed to me when I was in Munich. How stupid I was, I now see!” While he is at the Thursday gathering, I read to Lusch from Die Piccolomini, which I began with her on Sunday.

When he returns home R. tells me about the poor business prospects of which Feustel had spoken. Talking about Bismarck, R. says, “He is still not employing the contemptuous tone which would be the right lone toward these donkeys in Parliament.” — R. was today very indignant over the way the Jews are strutting about here in their best clothes, because today is their Easter festival. “I shall put my foot in it again when I become a town councilor one day; to offend the feelings of the people like that, by walking around in festive garb on our days of mourning!

That’s what Lessing bequeathed us—the idea that all religions are good, even stupid Mohammedanism.” — In conversation we come back to die damaging influence Euripides had on the modern drama up to Goethe and Schiller, and in the course of it we touch on Pecht’s picture of Goethe with a crown, as Orestes. R. says, “A picture like that, if Pecht wanted to give me one, I should gladly accept.” On Goethe as an actor: “He was undoubtedly awkward. I cannot visualize myself ever being able to play a role of any kind, putting myself forward and being applauded for it. Impossible.” —

[1] original sin in German: Erbsünde; pea puree in German: Erbsenpurée; this is a play with words from “Erbsünde” to “Erbsensünde” (pea sin).

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