Wednesday, May 13 (13th of May 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

Still arranging rooms! — R. receives some more proofs from Basel, which he finds very opportune, since he still—alas!—cannot get down to his score. — 

Over afternoon coffee he says, after gazing at me for a long time: “A friend! You are my friend. It is not only that you have become my flesh and blood, you are also the only creature on this earth of whom I can say: Here is quietness and rest, here is peace.” — 

An American tracks us down, he has been sent here by the New York Herald to write reports on the theatre, and he wants to spend a week here. 

We do not read in the evening, an experience with the two elder children has again upset us deeply. Long discussion. — 

As the evening ends I say to R., “I should like to be with you on a lonely island.” “And so we really are,” says R. “I am now living after my death—that’s something one must achieve. It happened to our good Haydn, who really died when Mozart arrived on the scene but after Mozart’s death wrote his best things and also enjoyed his life. 

For me, too, how dead the whole world is! I have no feelings left for a world in which Freytag and Gutzkow are the celebrities.

Heavens, when I think of my Uncle Adolph! I should have been proud to introduce you to him, to say to you: This is the race from which I stem. The fine and gentle tone of his speech, the noble and free form of his mind: he was a genuine product of the school of Goethe.” 

Before that he had recalled the parson in Possendorf, “a splendid man” with bushy eyebrows, and also his curate Heine, who came in the evenings to read to them in the honeysuckle arbor, while moths, attracted by the rays of the lantern, fluttered around them, a memory which made such a deep impression on R.’s mind. He glanced through his biography and, astonished at all the detail in it, observed that he had only remembered it all in order to tell me about it.

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