Every sea-port town, however small it may be, receives in my eyes a peculiar charm from the sea. Was it the sea, in connexion perhaps with the Danish tongue, which sounded in my ears in two houses in Cette, that made this town so homelike to me? I know not, but I felt more in Denmark than in the south of France. When far from your country you enter a house where all, from the master and mistress to the servants, speak your own language, as was here the case, these home tones have a real power of enchantment: like the mantle of Faust, in a moment they transport you, house and all, into your own land. Here, however, there was no northern summer, but the hot sun of Naples; it might even have burnt Faust's cap. The sun's rays destroyed all strength. For many years there had not been such a summer, even here; and from the country round about arrived accounts of people who had died from the heat: the very nights were hot. I was told beforehand I should be unable to bear the journey in Spain. I felt this myself, but then Spain was to be the bouquet of my journey. I already saw the Pyrenees; the blue mountains enticed meâ€”and one morning early I found myself on the steam-boat. The sun rose higher; it burnt above, it burnt from the expanse of waters, myriads of jelly-like medusas filled the river; it was as though the sun's rays had changed the whole sea into a heaving world of animal life; I had never before seen anything like it. In the Languedoc canal we had all to get into a large boat which had been constructed more for goods than for passengers. The deck was coveted with boxes and trunks, and these again occupied by people who sought shade under umbrellas. It was impossible to move; no railing surrounded this pile of boxes and people, which was drawn along by three or four horses attached by long ropes. Beneath in the cabins it was as crowded; people sat close to each other, like flies in a cup of sugar. A lady who had fainted from the heat and tobacco smoke, was carried in and laid upon the only unoccupied spot on the floor; she was brought here for air, but here there was none, spite of the number of fans in motion; there were no refreshments to be had, not even a drink of water, except the warm, yellow water which the canal afforded. Over the cabin windows hung booted legs, which at the same time that they deprived the cabin of light, seemed to give a substance to the oppressive air. Shut up in this place one had also the torment of being forced to listen to a man who was always trying to say something witty; the stream of words played about his lips as the canal water about the boat. I made myself a way through boxes, people, and umbrellas, and stood in a boiling hot air; on either side the prospect was eternally the same, green grass, a green tree, flood-gatesâ€”green grass, a green tree, flood-gatesâ€”and then again the same; it was enough to drive one insane.
most of them only remarked my Funen dialect, which drops the d in every
I also met again my excellent countryman Gade, whose compositions have been so well received in Germany. I took him the text for a new opera which I had written, and which I hope to see brought out on the German stage. Gade had written the music to my drama of Agnete and the Merman, compositions which were very successful. Auerbach, whom I again found here, introduced me to many agreeable circles. I met with the composer Kalliwoda, and with K hne, whose charming little son immediately won my heart.