The Last Leaf eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 289 pages of information about The Last Leaf.

They worked together affectionately until far into old age, and I have described their graves in the Matthai Kirchhof where they lie side by side.

I found Hermann Grimm in the study which had been the workshop through long years of his father and uncle.  He was a handsome man in his vigorous years and had married the daughter of Bettine von Arnim, the Bettine of Goethe.  It is not strictly right to class him as a historian.  He was poet, playwright, critic, and novelist, perhaps mainly these, but soon after, in his position as a professor in the university, he was to produce his well-known Vorlesungen ueber Goethe, a work which though mainly critical, at the present time is a biography of conspicuous merit, which envisages the events of a famous epoch.  I may, therefore, properly include him here, though the wide range of his activities makes it difficult to place him accurately.  It paved the way for our interview that I knew Ralph Waldo Emerson, of whom he was, in Germany, the special admirer and student.  He had just translated Emerson into German and sat at the feet of the Concord sage, infused by his inspiration.  Hermann Grimm had never seen Emerson, and listened eagerly to such details as I could give him of his personality.  He dwelt with enthusiasm upon passages in poems and essays by which he had been especially kindled, and hung upon my account of the voice and refined outward traits of the teacher whom he so reverenced.  I afterwards procured a fine photograph of Hermann Grimm which I sent to Emerson.  A kind letter from him, which I still treasure, let me know that I had put Emerson deeply in my debt; up to that time he had never seen a portrait of his German disciple, though the two men had been in affectionate correspondence.  At a later time they met and cemented a friendship which was very dear to both.  Hermann Grimm showed me with pride the relics of his father and uncle; the rows of well-thumbed volumes; the wellscored Heften over which their hands had moved; their inkstands and pens; the rough arm-chairs and tables where they had sat.  I think a trace from the smoke of their pipes and midnight lamp still adhered to the ceiling, and possibly cobwebs still hung in the corners of the bookcases which had been there from an ancient day.

Quaint portraits of the “Brothers Grimm” at work in their caps and rough dressing-gowns were at hand, but Hermann Grimm had rather the appearance of a well-groomed man of the world.  His coat was fashionable, his abundant hair and flowing beard were carefully trimmed.  He was not a recluse, though faithful to his heredity and devoted mainly to scholarly research.  He was at ease in the clubs and also at Court and enjoyed the give and take of a social hour with friends.



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The Last Leaf from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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