Wednesday, April 8 (8th of April 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

A new governess! May God give His blessing!

R. teaches her the latest prayer for Fidi: “Dear God, tomorrow it would be nice if you could give me the largest slice!” — 

R. goes to the house, I with him, he takes a bath but does not feel very well after it.

After lunch he sings a melody from a Beethoven quartet and says: “Beethoven is the best of them all, because he has beauty. There are really only two forms of art, sculpture and music, the latter infinitely greater than the former, because it owes nothing to the realities of life. Literature one can’t really acknowledge as an art form; Goethe, who thought himself born, to be a sculptor, felt that, and that is why he did not balk at making those terrible alterations in Romo and Juliet[1].” — 

News of Kaulbach’s[2] death—a false deity already discredited. — 

In the evening R. reads to me from Schopenhauer’s comment on his own philosophy and the opening pages of Finlay’s[3] history of Greece. The latter very interesting—every contact with the genius of Greece grips and uplifts one. R. is particularly pleased with the appreciation of Alexander.

[1] As part of his work as a theater director in Weimar and in an effort to create repertoire for the German Theater, Goethe adapted the translation by August Wilhelm Schlegel. The piece was poorly received by critics and was only published in an anthology after Goethe’s death.
[2] Wilhelm Kaulbach (1805 – 1874) died on April 7, 1874 in Munich during the great cholera epidemic.
[3] George Finlay (1800 – 1875) wrote a number of works on the history of Greece.

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