[Illustration: PRINCESS AMALIA]
The intention of the benefactors was never selfish but was always directed toward the good to be accomplished. The higher culture of this land all the more deserves an annalist, since much formerly existed and flourished of which all visible traces have now disappeared. May Your Highness, in the consciousness of having been the prime mover and constant participant in these enterprizes, attain that peculiar domestic happiness, a hale and hearty old age, and long continue to enjoy the brilliant period now opening for our circle, in which we hope that all that has been accomplished will be further increased, unified and strengthened, and thus handed down to posterity.
Cherishing the flattering hope that I shall continue to rejoice in that inestimable favor with which Your Highnesses have deigned to adorn my life, I am, with respectful devotion,
Your Most Serene Highness’ obedient servant,
J. W. VON GOETHE.
The friends of art who have for several years been associated at Weimar are surely privileged to speak of their relation to the general public, because (and this is the final test) they have always expressed similar convictions and have been guided by well tried principles. Not that, limited to certain modes of apprehending matters, they have obstinately maintained a single point of view. On the contrary, they willingly confess that they have learned much from diverse expression of opinion, all the more so as they now learn with pleasure that their efforts in behalf of culture are constantly becoming more closely allied to the general progress of higher education in Germany.
With much gratification they call attention to the Propyloea, to the critical and descriptive programs of no less than six exhibitions of painting and statuary, to the many expressions of opinion in the Jenaisische Litteraturzeitung, and to the published translation of the Life of Benvenuto Cellini.
Although these writings have not been printed and bound in the same volumes and do not form parts of a single work, they have, nevertheless, all been written in the same spirit. They have proved a leaven to the whole, as we are learning slowly, but not without gratification; so that there is no longer occasion to remember ingratitude often experienced, and open or secret opposition.
The present publication is an immediate sequel to the foregoing works, and of its contents we mention here only the most important.