For this reason Collin thought that I should make a little journey,â€”for instance, to North Germany,â€”in order to divert my mind and furnish me with new ideas.
The morning on which the corps were to march I heard my father singing and talking merrily, but his heart was deeply agitated; I observed that by the passionate manner in which he kissed me when he took his leave. I lay sick of the measles and alone in the room, when the drums beat and my mother accompanied my father, weeping, to the city gate. As soon as they were gone my old grandmother came in; she looked at me with her mild eyes and said, it would be a good thing if I died; but that God's will was always the best.
As I found myself again abandoned, and was pondering by myself upon what was best for me next to do, it occurred to me that the Poet Guldberg, a brother of the Colonel of that name in Odense, who had shown me so much kindness, lived in Copenhagen. He lived at that time near the new church-yard outside the city, of which he has so beautifully sung in his poems. I wrote to him, and related to him everything; afterwards I went to him myself, and found him surrounded with books and tobacco pipes. The strong, warm-hearted man received me kindly; and as he saw by my letter how incorrectly I wrote, he promised to give me instruction in the Danish tongue; he examined me a little in German, and thought that it would be well if he could improve me in this respect also. More than this, he made me a present of the profits of a little work which he had just then published; it became known, and I believe they exceeded one hundred rix dollars banco; the excellent Weyse and others also supported me.
When the heart is warm, the strength of the expression is not weighed. I felt it deeply, and replied, that from this moment I became aware that I must assert a name in order to render myself worthy of these tokens of honor. I pressed the hands of those nearest to me, and returned them thanks so deep, so heartfelt,â€”certainly never was an expression of thanks more sincere. When I returned to my chamber, I went aside, in order to weep out this excitement, this overwhelming sensation. "Think no more of it, be joyous with us," said some of my lively Swedish friends; but a deep earnestness had entered my soul. Often has the memory of this time come back to me; and no noble-minded man, who reads these pages will discover a vanity in the fact, that I have lingered so long over this moment of life, which scorched the roots of pride rather than nourished them.
into a house in Copenhagen, where all was elegance, cleanliness, and