Full of pleasant and agreeable impressions, which formed the only actual gain of real worth that I reaped from my Paris enterprise, I left the generous asylum offered by my Prussian friends the first week in August to go, first, to Soden by way of Cologne. Here I found Minna in the society of Mathilde Schiffner, who seemed to have become indispensable to her as an easy victim for her tyranny. I spent two extremely painful days there in trying to make the poor woman understand that she was to establish herself at Dresden (where I was not at present allowed to stay), while I looked about me in Germany—in Vienna first—for a new centre of operations. She glanced at her friend with peculiar satisfaction on hearing my proposal and my promise to remember, under any circumstances, to provide her with three thousand marks a year. This bargain set the standard of my relation to her for the rest of her life. She went with me as far as Frankfort, where I parted from her to go, for the time being, to Weimar—the town where Schopenhauer had died a short time before.
And so I again crossed Thuringia, passing the Wartburg which, whether I visited it or merely saw it in the distance, seemed so strangely bound up with my departures from Germany or my return thither. I reached Weimar at two in the morning, and was conducted later in the day to the rooms which Liszt had arranged for my use at the Altenburg. They were, as he took good care to inform me, Princess Marie’s rooms. This time, however, there were no women to entertain us. Princess Caroline was already in Rome, and her daughter had married Prince Constantin Hohenlohe and gone to Vienna. There was only Miss Anderson, Princess Marie’s governess, left to help Liszt entertain his guests. Indeed, I found the Altenburg was about to be closed, and that Liszt’s youthful uncle Eduard had come from Vienna for this purpose, and also to make an inventory of all its contents. But at the same time there reigned an unusual stir of conviviality in connection with the Society of Musical Artists, as Liszt was putting up a considerable number of musicians himself, first and foremost among his guests being Bulow and Cornelius. Every one, including Liszt himself, was wearing a travelling cap, and this strange choice of head-dress seemed to me typical of the lack of ceremony attending this rural festival at Weimar. On the top floor of the house Franz Brendel and his wife were installed