Richard Cleasby was born on the 30th of November in the year 1797; the son of Stephen Cleasby of Craig House in Westmoreland, descended from a Yorkshire family of that name, derived from a village in that county, the by in the termination of which is a sure proof of original Scandinavian extraction. His mother was a daughter of George John of Penzance; and during the latter portion of their lives his parents lived at No. 3, Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, London. Mr. Stephen Cleasby was in business in the City as a Russia broker, and was altogether in affluent circumstances. He had one daughter, Mary, afterwards Mrs. Jones; and three sons: Richard, the eldest; Anthony, of Trinity College, Cambridge, who was Third Wrangler, and in the First Class of the Classical Tripos in 1827, now Sir Anthony Cleasby, and one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer; Stephen, a third brother, who came between the two, died in November, 1835, and the intelligence of his death called forth a remarkable letter from Richard to Anthony in December of that year. It seems to have been the determination of Mr. Stephen Cleasby that his eldest son should be associated with him in pursuits in which he took a just pride; and so it was that Richard Cleasby was neither at a Public School nor one of the Universities; but, after a sound classical education at a school in the neighbourhood of London, where he gained a love of learning which was the foundation of that philological knowledge for which he was afterwards so well known, he entered his father's counting-house at the early age of fifteen, and for a while seemed entirely devoted to commercial pursuits. The regular and industrious habits engrafted in him and both his brothers by the example of the father, whom they all loved and respected, coupled with great natural ability, would have made success certain in any sphere of life; but of him it may be said, that while his hand was on the desk in the City, his heart was away among his books in his library at home; his tastes for literary and philological knowledge grew with his growth and strengthened with his strength, until, as the drudgery of the merchant's office became irksome to him, he gave up business in the year 1824, and obtained his father's consent to reside abroad on an ample allowance, that he might devote himself entirely to his literary labours. One great advantage he had over many scholars. They are often tied and tethered, as it were, to one field, through want of means to change their abode, and so are apt to grow one-sided and undeveloped in all aspects but one. The case of Richard Cleasby was altogether different. He had both the power to roam, and the will to make his flitting from one city or country to another a means, not of idle amusement, but of advancement in sound learning and fruitful study. He was not one of those butterflies which pass from flower to flower, and gain nothing at the end of the day but death; but rather like the bee, which seems to spend its time in the same way, and yet returns to the hive laden with honey. Thus, shortly after leaving England, Richard Cleasby took up his residence at Geneva, where he stayed a while to practise himself in French, and then crossed the Alps into Italy, where he settled down at Florence, and spent more than two years in the study of the ancient languages, and of Italian, in which he acquired such mastery as both to speak and write it with fluency and elegance, as draughts of letters in Italian still remaining among his correspondence abundantly testify. About the year 1830 he recrossed the Alps, and established himself at Munich, where he worked indefatigably both at philology and philosophy under Schelling, then the great master of the transcendental school, who had caught the torch of thought as it fell from the dying hand of Kant. In philology, Massmann and Schmeller, well known as the author of the Dictionary on the Dialects of Bavaria, were his teachers; but in the first period of his residence at Munich, philosophy rather than philology seems to have been the object which he had in view, and the earlier volumes of the copious Diaries which he kept from this time to his death, and which are now before the writer of this notice, are full of notes of Schelling's lectures, who possessed a greater power of fascinating his pupils even than his great rival, Hegel himself. But though he worked faithfully and laboriously at his philosophy, that regular practical mind was not one to sink itself altogether in cobweb speculations on German metaphysics. Philology afforded him a firmer footing, and, having once taken his stand on that rock of learning, he clung to it to the end. For several years he remained abroad, deaf to the entreaties of his friends to return home, pursuing his favourite study in all parts of Germany, which he visited now on foot, and now on horseback, until there was no district to which he had not penetrated, and no dialect over which he had not attained a mastery. His acquirements in this respect were well known to the great German scholars, now dead and gone. Schmeller, his old teacher, had the greatest respect for his judgment, as is shewn by his letters among Richard Cleasby's correspondence; and Jacob Grimm told the writer, in the year 1844, tnat no one knew the dialects of Germany, as a whole, more profoundly than Cleasby. 'Some of us' he said, 'know one or two dialects better, but Richard Cleasby knows them all, as his leisure and means have allowed him to traverse the country in every direction and make them his own.'
But though thus laborious in the pursuit of knowledge, it must not be supposed that Richard Cleasby was a mere bookworm. The same Diaries which attest his unwearying efforts to acquire knowledge are filled with passages which prove his keen enjoyment of society and his delight in the natural beauties of the countries in which he was from time to time a sojourner. He was never so happy as when, after months of patient study, he broke away with some congenial companion from Leipzig or Dresden, or from Munich, the capital of his choice, to take a pedestrian tour in Saxon Switzerland or in the Bavarian Tyrol. In later years, after he had settled down in Denmark, he sought relaxation from his philological labours in the smiling neighbourhood of Copenhagen, and, as he is careful to note the fall of the first winter's snow and the pinching cold of Yule, so in the early spring the first chirping of the chaffinch and the coming of the welcome swallow are not lost upon him. With literary men his acquaintance both in Germany and the North was most extensive, and it may safely be said that there was no learned man in either country whom he had not seen and known. Most of his friends, both at home and abroad, have now ceased to live, but still, in England, it will be sufficient to mention the names of Sir John Shaw Lefevre and Henry Reeve to prove that, though he was best known to foreigners, there were not wanting those among his own countrymen who yet survive to appreciate his worth. It would take volumes to exhaust the notices of men and manners and science that might be drawn from twelve thick volumes of Diaries; but the following extracts from them and from his letters will at once present a sketch of Richard Cleasby's life, and shew what manner of man he was. The first years of his foreign pilgrimage must be passed over lightly. Thus, though in the years 1824, 1825, and 1826 he was in Italy and Switzerland, we only pause at the 21st of March in the last year to note his words on entering Rome:
'I entered the city standing, and with my head uncovered, a feeble tribute to the memory of the great writers and men of all descriptions whom she nursed. I had Byron in my hand, and felt the force of his beautiful line—
"Oh Rome, my country, city of the soul!"'
On the 18th of May he makes the following entry:
'Wrote a very long letter to my father in answer to his, telling him that, as far as my present feelings went, I had no idea of returning to business; that I was in a few days about to leave Florence for Carlsbad by the Tyrol.... and that I should require a letter either on Dresden or Leipzig.'
This is the first mention of his many visits to Carlsbad, rendered necessary by rheumatism and an affection of the liver, which seemed to yield to no other treatment.
On the 7th of June we find him for the first time at Munich, and on the 10th at Carlsbad, consulting Dr. Leo, and confessing that the place would be much more agreeable if he could speak German. On the 22nd of July he left Carlsbad 'without regret' and went by way of Prague to Dresden, where he paid due homage to the pictures, of which he seems to have been an excellent judge. On the 12th of August he left Dresden for Berlin, arriving on the 13th. He did not make a very long stay in the Prussian capital, for on the 19th he was at Leipzig, and on the 21st attended a lecture in Latin on Theocritus, by Hermann, the famous Greek Professor, of whom an entry in the Diary gives us the following glimpse:
'Hermann lectured in Latin, in which language indeed almost the whole business of the University of Leipzig is carried on.... There were about 70 young men present, a sadly raffish-looking set; Hermann himself, with a stand-up collar, blue coat, and woollen winter-looking waistcoat, had all the appearance of a little mechanic—a man one would expect to see at a turning-machine.'
On the 22nd he left for Dresden, where he determined to learn German, and for that purpose settled at Tharandt, about ten miles from the capital, in the house of the clergyman, a charming man named Prietsch. This was on the 20th of August, where he stayed, delighted with his master and the neighbourhood, till the 30th of February, when a letter from Florence induced him to recross the Alps. At Florence he stayed till the 5th of April, 1827; receiving there the news of his brother Anthony's success at Cambridge, and also a letter as to his mother's health, which induced him to return at once to England. With all his generosity, of which these Diaries contain many proofs, he was not the man to submit to imposition, and in this journey at Dijon he makes the following entry:
'Had the clerk of the diligence up before the Judge de Paix, and, for insolence relative to the mistake with my portmanteau, made him pay the expenses of my detention here, 24 francs; got my portmanteau and went to Paris by diligence.'
On arriving in London he found that his return had been caused by a false alarm. After spending two months in London, and seeing in particular the Stafford and Grosvenor galleries, Cleasby took 'a very feeling parting from his parents, and left London for Liverpool and Dublin.' Passengers who now cross from Liverpool to Dublin and find the voyage long, may be consoled at finding that it then took 56 hours to make the passage. On the 15th of August he left Dublin for Bordeaux, where he arrived on the 19th. On the morning of the 20th he notes:
'The moment I went out I felt enamoured with the fine Southern climate. Oh, such a change from Albion's and Erin's shores!'
From Bordeaux he made his way back to Italy, visiting Naples and the South, returning to Rome for the winter. There he stayed till the 18th of March, 1828, on which day he notes:
'I left Rome with Dr. Bromfield in the carriage of a vetturino, in which were an actress, a dancer, a Bolognese mezzo-litterato, two canaries, a parcel, and at times a poodle-dog, though he was in general outside; and proceeded to Ronciglione, where we slept, and ought to have supped, if there had been anything to eat'
He was now on his way to Vienna, via Trieste, seeing Pola and its amphitheatre on the road. On the 12th of April he was in Vienna, and on the 22nd he left it for Dresden, where he arrived on the 24th, and went immediately to his old quarters with the clergyman at Tharandt; but after staying there not quite a month, he was seized with a complicated attack of liver and rheumatism, which reduced him 'to an almost total privation of the use of his limbs, being unable to walk without a stick, in much pain and scarcely able to stand upright.' In this condition it was not wonderful that 'Carlsbad was considered essential to his recovery,' and that we find him there again on the 1st of June. On the 7th of July he left that bath, and after staying till the 30th of July in Dresden, diligently learning German, in which he now became proficient, he started for home on that day, reaching London on the 12th of October.
The object of this visit to England was to pass the winter in Edinburgh in the study of Scotch metaphysics. There he attended Sir William Hamilton's lectures, as well as those of Professor Wilson, Dr. Chalmers, and Professors Pillans, Leslie, and Ritchie. The first he considered not a very pleasing lecturer, though a man of great erudition and information. Dr. Chalmers reminded him of the pictures of Luther, and his vast powers of eloquence and argument quite enchanted him. With all these, as well as with Jeffrey, Cleasby became intimate. On the 1st of April, 1829, his work in Edinburgh was at an end, and he thus sums up his experiences:
'I cannot take leave of Edinburgh without the expression of my extreme satisfaction as to the manner in which I have passed this winter. My leading object was to attend the Moral Philosophy Class and get some insight into the Scotch philosophy and metaphysics. Wilson, though a clever and amiable man, is not, I think, exactly calculated for the Chair he fills. He has a great deal of talent, but it is of a poetical cast; his imagination seems to hold the reins. I cannot, however, but say that he made from time to time some very good and genuine observations displaying considerable insight into human nature, especially as to the passions. His appearance is very commanding, and the index of his mind; it resembles much more an Apollo than a Socrates.... As to Wilson's political economy, I regret to say he had neglected to get up the subject; and certainly, upon the whole, cut but a poor figure, often coming before us quite unprepared.... Chalmers and Leslie seem to be the great lights.... I consider Edinburgh a most desirable residence; it has almost all the advantages of a capital without the follies and excesses.'
On the 2nd of April he left Edinburgh with his friend Forbes, a son of Lord Medwyn, on a visit to Abbotsford. He was delighted, as so many were, with Sir Walter Scott, and left him on the 4th, copying, before he went, the following epitaph in Melrose Churchyard:
'The earth goeth on the earth glistering like gold,
The earth goeth to the earth sooner than it wold;
The earth buildeth on the earth castles and towers,
The earth sayeth to the earth, all shall be ours.'
On the 11th of April he was at his father's house in Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, having taken a peep at the family property in Westmoreland on his way south.
Fortified with his Scotch metaphysics, he was now ready to face German philosophy. On the 25th of April he left London, and on the 8th of May was back at Dresden and Tharandt. After studying steadily till the middle of August, on the 21st of that month he started on a tour in Poland, from which he returned on the 10th of September, highly pleased with his journey, but still more delighted to be back 'in delightful Saxony.' In Dresden he remained till the year was out, entering in his Diary on the 31st of December the following note:
'Since my return from Poland I have been diligently occupied in the study of history, especially German.'
The years 1830, 1831, and 1832 were spent for the most part by Cleasby in Germany in the earnest pursuit of knowledge. At Dresden he remained during the early part of 1830, continuing his German studies, with occasional outbreaks for recreation. Thus, on the 8th of March, he sets out for a pedestrian tour to Leipzig, distant about 55 English miles, which he and his friends accomplished in two days. On the 11th he attended a lecture in philosophy by Professor Krug, and
'Was not a little surprised to see him mount the desk in regular cavalry spurs, which rang so as he came in that I thought a dragoon had entered the room. He is a man, I suppose, towards 60 years old, his physiognomy serious, his delivery clear and impressive, perhaps a little too mannered. At eleven o'clock I heard the animated little Greek professor Hermann, likewise towards 60 years old, who also lectured in spurs and a drab great-coat. He speaks an easy clear Latin. The Agememnon of Æschylus was the subject, and he appeared to illustrate it ably. I heard Wachsmuth on Universal History, a man 40 or 45 years old: he maintained a constant smile, almost a laugh, was full of wit in his remarks, and so restless that he could scarcely remain a minute in the same position. Had his French pronunciation been more perfect I should rather have taken him for a Frenchman than a German. After that I went and saw the "Convict," as it is called; this is an immense old hall, in which 300 or 400 poor hungry students, mostly theologians, are fed twice a day at Government cost; mid-day they get meat and vegetables, in the evening a soup, and what they call a "brei," i.e. a sort of porridge, and each a loaf about the size of an English twopenny loaf.'
On the 15th of March he was back at Dresden, by Eilwagen, where he resumed his studies. On the 5th of May his friend Professor Chalybæus took him to see Tieck and to hear him read, as he was in the habit of doing every Sunday evening to a select circle of twenty or thirty persons. On the 15th he set off with the same friend for a pedestrian tour in Saxon Switzerland, and on the 17th he quitted Dresden with much regret. He was now on his way home again, passing by Cassell, Göttingen, Brunswick, Hamburg, Bremen, and Holland, taking the steamer for London at Rotterdam, and arriving on the 14th of June. In England Cleasby stayed till the outbreak of the French Revolution in that year; as soon as it was thought safe to visit France, he crossed on the 17th of August from Brighton to Dieppe, and made his way by Rouen to Paris. There he was surprised to see no traces of any recent tumult or excitement. The only thing unusual which he seems to have remarked was the utter absence of priests in the streets. On the 17th of August he left Paris for Nancy and Strasburg, and, crossing the Rhine, arrived at Leipzig on the 4th of September, just in time to see a little riot in the streets, in which, while the troops remained inactive, the populace entered the houses of obnoxious persons and destroyed their furniture. On the 5th Cleasby notes:
'The police establishment ceased yesterday to exist, and all military interference seems to be forbidden.'
On the 6th he left Leipzig, and travelled to Munich by way of Baireuth and Nuremberg, and on the 12th he reached the Bavarian capital, which ever after he considered his head-quarters in Germany, and to which, in his latest years, he fondly imagined that he should return after he had finished his labours in the North. His first friend in Munich was the eccentric Hoffmann, who shewed him all the lions which he had not already seen, and introduced him to many literary men. By this time Cleasby was a very good German scholar, and he began at once to attend Schelling's lectures on Philosophy, and to study Old German under Massmann and Schmeller, with the last of whom he contracted a lasting friendship. On the 10th of November he notes:
'I heard yesterday Professor Schelling deliver his introductory lecture to the course he intends reading this season on the Philosophy of Mythology, in which he expressed the deepest regret at the declining state of the Gymnasia, i.e. the schools where the youths are prepared for the universities.... He received a treble "Lebe Hoch" on appearing, and was much moved in reading the first part of his lecture.'
On the 29th of December he writes:
'There had been a little row with a few tipsy students on Christmas Eve, which the Government foolishly made a great fuss about, and pretended to see in it a Revolution, so that the military have been ordered out, and the National Guard placed on duty at once. Several people were hacked about by the Cuirassiers, and the University ordered to be closed for two months; however, this has been countermanded. The absurd conduct of the King and Government on this occasion is enough to make any one desire a change in the order of things.'
On the 5th of January, 1831, he notes:
'I dined with a large party of Professors, who met to-day and celebrated Schelling's birthday, but "Deutscher Ernst" was too leading an ingredient in the assembly, and it went off heavily. He is 56 years old.'
On the 3rd of March the first mention occurs of Schmeller's name: 'Walked with Schmeller to Hesloe, and dined there.' On the 1st of May he does not omit to mention the annual festival of tapping the 'Bock' beer, which he found admirable at the price of a penny a pint. On the 2nd he notes:
'Schelling commenced his lectures for the summer half-year, continuing the Philosophy of Mythology. Oken did the same, but said, as only 4 or 5 had inscribed their names, he should not continue to lecture unless all those present, about 30 or 40, did the same; the subject is Natural History. The students here, many from poverty, many from shabbiness, are excessively shy about paying the fees.'
Later on in his Diaries he mentions the fact that he found Ranke and other professors at Berlin lecturing to very scanty classes.
On the 8th of May he notes that his physician, Dr. Walther, had recommended a new cure for his old ailments: this was a Kräuter-Kur, or herbal course of medicine, according to which he would have to drink, every morning before breakfast, half a pint of a decoction of dandelion and other herbs. But the end of this Kräuter-Kur and of the many Trauben and Molken-Kurs which he underwent was that he was ordered again to Carlsbad, where we find him drinking the waters on the 12th of June, on which occasion Cleasby notes: 'Found there were 13 English here.' On the 18th of July he left Carlsbad, and was back at Munich on the 24th, whence he wrote to his father, telling him that he had made up his mind to go to Greece with Thiersch; for then all the world in Bavaria, it must be remembered, were mad to go with King Otho to his new kingdom. But preparatory to this expedition, which, had it been carried out, might have changed the whole tenor of his life, Cleasby set off on the 20th of August with Constantin Höfler, a young German, for the Tyrol, Switzerland, and Upper Italy. The reason why the trip to Greece was abandoned is given in the following letter to his. mother:
'ZURICH, Sept. 18th, 1831.—My dear mother, I wrote my dear father at the beginning of the month from Tyrol, expressive of my disappointment at being prevented visiting Greece, from the numerous difficulties of quarantine etc. occasioned by cholera morbus in the north and south, and plague in the east.... It was, notwithstanding, with great reluctance that I relinquished my plan...., for I confess that after the manner in which my life has been employed for some time past, I look upon a visit to classical Greece as a great desideratum. We bachelors with a literary turn of mind are in our way like the good folks in the City,—the more we have, the more we want; but still the circle of my perambulations is nearly completed, and I look forward to setting myself down permanently by your side at no very distant period, but wish, if possible, not to have to come home in the mean time, in order to avoid those terrible parting scenes which have been more than once so painful.'
Then he goes on to describe how he had consoled his disappointment at not seeing Greece by a tour through the Tyrol, Switzerland, and the Italian Lakes, and says his address till further advices will still be Munich.
On the 27th of October he returned to his old quarters in that city, and on the 1st of November dined with Dr. Martins, Professor of Botany, where he
'Heard the famous amateur piano-player, Mendelsohn, quite a young man.... he executed some sonatas of Beethoven in a style perfectly wonderful.'
On the 2nd he resumed his Greek with Joseph Müller, and on the 22nd of November he notes:
'We began to-day with Professor Schmeller to read the Anglo-Saxon version of the Gospel of St. Matthew belonging to the 7th century, to be continued every Wednesday.'
At Munich he remained hard at work till the 23rd of April, 1832, when he started with Louis Halm for a pedestrian tour to Gastein and Salzburg, returning on the 9th of May, and almost immediately set off for England, via Frankfort and the Rhine, where we find him, in London, on the 20th of that month. Nothing particular occurred on this visit to England, except that his horrible Kräuter-Kur followed him home, for we find him taking every morning half a pint of a mixture of dandelion, ground-ivy, and white horehound, prepared by a herbalist in Covent Garden. At the same time he procured from Dr. Bandinel, of the Bodleian Library, a copy of the Anno Lied for his friend Baron Lassberg. On the 4th of June he was off again for Germany, and on the 24th of the month was back at the everlasting Carlsbad drinking the Sprüdel. On the 29th of July his cure was over, and he was at Munich attending Schelling's lectures. On the 15th of August Cleasby notes:
'Schelling closed his lectures on the Philosophy of Revelation, completing, with his Philosophy of Mythology, an entire and perfect course. I gave a crown dollar (4s. 6d.) towards a serenade for him this evening.'
On the 30th of the month Cleasby set off for a lengthened tour in the Austrian Tyrol, Styria, and the Upper Engadine, from whence he returned on the 5th of October. Philosophy rather than Philology seems still his favourite study; his Diary is full of Schelling's lectures, and on the 29th of November he writes:
'Schelling told me to-day, that during the troubles of the war in Germany, when there was scarcely any telling what might be the result, he had formed a plan for going to England to give instruction in the Latin language, having excogitated a method by which to teach it in half the usual time.'
On the 6th of December he notes:
'Otto, the second son of the King of Bavaria, King of Greece, left Munich this morning to take possession of his new kingdom.'
In Munich Cleasby remained till the year turned and spring came again, and on the 22nd of April, 1833, he set off on a lengthened tour through Austria and Hungary, in which latter country he was treated with marked distinction by Graf Mailath and Pyrker the Archbishop of Erlau. Having covered an immensity of ground, he was back at Munich on the 20th of May. On the 8th of June he wrote to his father, saying that he should return to England by way of Carlsbad, Dresden, Berlin, Westphalia, and Holland. The 10th of that month was a day of leave-taking at Munich, where Cleasby had now concluded the studies which he deemed necessary to repair a neglected education. On that day he dined with his friend Martins—
'Whose general kindness, together with the agreeable society of his excellent wife and three charming little daughters, have had a great share in causing me to leave Munich with so much regret. My excellent friend Schmeller was likewise there, a sterling character of a sort at present rare in the extreme.'
On the 19th he was again at Carlsbad, drinking steadily. There, on the 8th of July, he notes:
'I received a packet from Andreas Schmeller of Munich, containing, as a present, his Mundarten Baierns, and other works.'
It was at this visit that he made the acquaintance of Bishop Tegner, who talked philosophy with him, and urged him to visit Sweden, and especially Vexiö, where his see was. It is evident also, from later letters to Schmeller, that the two friends had discussed this Scandinavian expedition, which, besides visiting Tegner, had in view the famous Codex Argenteus at Upsala. On the 6th of August Cleasby reached Berlin, and presented letters of introduction to Von Raumer, Professor Ehrenberg, Graff the Old German philologer, Lachmann, and Boeckh. On the 7th he heard Lachmann lecture on the Niebelungen at 8 a.m.; at 11, Ranke, Professor of History, the class consisting of only four persons besides himself. By all these celebrities, and especially by Ehrenberg, Graff, and Ranke, Cleasby was courteously received and hospitably entertained, and on the 10th left for Magdeburg, taking with him the impression that Berlin and her inhabitants, as compared with Munich and South Germany, might be described as 'vornehm und traurig.' From Magdeburg he passed into the Hartz country, and on the 22nd ascended the Brocken. On Sunday the 25th he was at Göttingen, where he found the students 'very rough and unpolished in their manners,' and the University much reduced in number, having sunk from 1500 to 850, chiefly in consequence of the political troubles of 1831. Here comes a very interesting entry in the Diary:
'I presented Schmeller's letter to Jacob Grimm, the librarian, and was received in the most friendly manner. He seems an excellently amiable, mild, good creature, perfectly wrapped up in his grammatical enquiries. He invited me to pass the evening with him and his brother William, who is married, and an uncommonly animated jovial fellow. They both live in the same house, and in such harmony and community that one might almost imagine the children were common property. William read us a sort of farce written in the Frankfort dialect, depicting the "malheurs" of a rich Frankfort tradesman on a holiday jaunt on Sunday. It was very droll, and he read it admirably.'
On the 27th Cleasby left Göttingen, making his way through Westphalia to the Rhine. At Bonn he called one morning on A. W. Schlegel, and found he was in his bath. In the afternoon he called again, and observed—
'A great effeminacy of manner about him. He is a vast crier out against the system of the English Universities, seemed dissatisfied that the geologist Buckland and the like should be D.D.'s in holy orders, and that on the other hand a good classic and a tory was all that was required of a bishop; then found fault with the fixed salaries of professors, when all got alike, whether superior or not; and said professors were like players, the best went where they got the most money.'
On the 18th of September Cleasby crossed from Ostend to Dover, and arrived in London the following day, where he made the following entries in his Diary:
'Sept. 19th, 1833.—After returning yesterday evening from the Continent with a view to make some lengthened stay in England after my long peregrinations, I got on to the coach this morning at Dover, about 8 o'clock, for London, and arrived about 5 p.m. in Cornwall Terrace, where I found my father, mother, and sister in excellent health. Stephen came from the City later in the evening in his accustomed steadiness of garb, and Anthony was in Yorkshire occupied as a revising barrister. I cannot say that I approached without some misgivings the over-grown Metropolis,—the head and centre of all ceaseless toiling after wealth and endless striving after rank and consequence, the matchless emporium of smoke and fog,—for after the many quiet winters passed in philosophical research, and the tranquillity of literary pursuit in the less aspiring circles of German capitals, I feared that the rush and bustle and ambitious contendings of the great city would be sadly at variance with the tendency of my feelings and the whole tenor of my mind.'
'Oct. 12th', 1833.—Paid Mr. Hemy Reeve a visit at No. 3, Well Walk, Hampstead, and presented him with a Bocksbeutel tobacco-bag. I bought for him in Pesth two Debrecziner pipes, for which he paid me my disbursement of five shillings.'
'March 1st, 1834.—Dined with Reeve at Hampstead,' and on the 4th 'wrote to Schmeller, and begged Martins would remember me to Schelling, and say I should have long ago written him if "Herr Reeve mir nicht gesagt hätte, er stände mit ihm in Briefwechsel und hatte ihm über den hiesigen Standpunkt der Philosophic benachrichtiget; ich kann nicht sagen, dass die Deutsche Schule sehr schnellen Fortschritt macht. Die Engländer begeben sich in das Transcendentale erstaunlich langsam."'
On the 22nd of March, 1834, he is in Oxford, on which day he says,
'I accompanied Mr. Thorpe (Benjamin), the Anglo-Saxon scholar, to the Clarendon Press, which is an enormous building, where various works in Greek, Latin, and English were in course of printing by hand-presses, there being no machines at present; but what most surprised me was the enormous room, I think above 200 feet long, in which nothing but Bibles and Prayer Books are printed: there seemed to be 70 or 80 men or more hard at work, and yet all they could do from morning till night is scarcely capable of meeting the demand.'
As yet he knows nothing of Icelandic, and is uncertain whether he will go to the North. Thorpe begs him if he went to Denmark to bring him a copy of 'Hervara Saga, edit. Rafen.'
On the 31st of March, 1834, he wrote a long letter in German to his friend Schmeller in Munich, giving an account of the collation of certain Latin MSS. in Oxford. In it he says:
'Vielleicht kann ich diesen Fruhling die Wahlfahrt nach Scandinavien nicht machen; dann komme ich wahrscheinlich nach Carlsbad.'
However, this doubt was solved in the affirmative, for on the 14th of May he left London by steamer for Hamburg, and on the 21st he paid his first visit to Copenhagen by steamer from Travemünde through the Danish Isles, and is 'much struck by the width of the streets and spaciousness of the large open squares and the general large scale of the houses.' Here his banker, Herr Brandt,
'Informed' him 'on the 23rd that such was the abundance of wheat from the total absence of export that the price had fallen below that of rye, so that the common people were beginning to ask after wheaten bread....; had not the Russian corn crops failed last season there is no saying what would have been the price of grain.'
On the 24th of May he set off for Elsinore, where he makes the following entry in his Diary, shewing how much he had yet to learn in Northern philology:
'Helsing-oër from the corner of land being in the shape of an ear; thus, formerly the Sound was called Öre-sund.'
Thence he crossed to Helsingborg in twenty-six minutes, and, landing in Sweden, at once fell into the agonies of their paper money:
'Got 100 dollar note, about £8, changed into smaller money, for which I got a bundle of shabby rags fitter in bulk to put under one's arm than into one's pocket.'
The cheapness of Swedish posting was, however, much to his mind, and with great courage he made his way to Stockholm posting, though quite ignorant of the language, and finding no one who could speak German. At Vexiö he stopped to respond to the invitation of Tegner, the great Swedish poet, whom he had met at Carlsbad the year before, and who had warmly besought him to visit him at his episcopal residence; but to his disappointment he adds,
'I found him so depressed in spirits and suffering in body that he seemed to have forgotten all his promises about Schelling's philosophy, etc., complained of being too unwell to attend the Diet at Stockholm, where he ought to have been, and let me leave Vexiö without paying me any other attention than giving me a cup of coffee and giving me one of the teachers of the gymnasium as an interpreter.'
At Stockholm Cleasby arrived on this his first visit on the 30th of May, and was much struck, as every one must be, with the beauty of the city and its lovely 'Djurgård' or park. After making several acquaintances, whom after intimacy ripened into friends, he left on the 8th for Upsala, and admired the quaint old wooden town, the grand cathedral, and the library. In it was contained the great object of his admiration, the Gothic Gospels of Ulphilas, with which he was to be better acquainted in later years. In this his first visit he remarks that Professor Schröder, the chief librarian, though he received him with remarkable civility and attention, could not conceal his anxiety when his visitor took the Codex Argenteus in his hand. On this occasion there was no question of a collation of the manuscript. In fact, it appears from sundry entries in the Diary as to linseed, rape, corn, etc., that this Northern visit of Cleasby was as much commercial as literary. After visiting the iron districts, Cleasby returned to Stockholm and crossed the country to Norway, starting from Stockholm on the 18th of June, and reaching the Norwegian capital on the 23rd, and finding, as he crossed the frontier, how very much dearer posting was in the one country than in the other. After seeing a little of the country round Christiania, Cleasby went by steamer to Göttenburg, which he reached on the 1st of July, and having made some commercial enquiries, and seen a little of the neighbourhood, he returned to Copenhagen on the 10th of that month. Here he notes:
'After seeing the other Northern capitals I was struck with surprise at seeing Copenhagen again, which has all the solidity and traffic and shop conveniences of the largest German capitals, and is, I think, more varied and picturesque than most of them.'
On the 12th of July he took his first lesson in Danish, and set himself seriously to work to acquire the language, as well as to drink the imitation Carlsbad waters, which were now so necessary to his existence.
At Copenhagen or in its neighbourhood Cleasby remained for nearly a year, only leaving it for a month in the autumn to take a grape-cure on the Rhine; on the return from which he visited the Grimms at Cassel, when Jacob gave him a letter of introduction to Finn Magnusen, which he delivered on the 27th of October, making the following entry:
'I delivered Grimm's parcel to Finn Magnusen, whom I found in a very brown-studious looking room and mood; but he was very obliging. He has all the appearance of a dry "Gelehrter."'
On the 24th of November Cleasby moved from the Hotel Royale, where he had hitherto stayed, into lodgings in the Kongens Nytorv. On the 12th of December he dined with Öhlenschläger, 'who' he says, 'at my instigation, and with some assistance from me in English, translated part of Moore's Lallah Rookh.' On a former occasion, in making the poet's acquaintance, Cleasby says of him:
'Öhlenschlager is an exceedingly jovial, open-hearted man, but with more of the sensualist in his look than of the poet of deep feeling. His conversation is light, and even almost flimsy at times..... He related to me that he had applied to Sir Walter Scott about publishing one of his romances in England, which had been very well received in Denmark and Germany, and wished to have £100 for the copyright; but Sir Walter wrote back to say there was no entrepreneurs for foreign novels. It was before Sir Walter's misfortunes, and Öhlenschläger seemed to think he ought to have sent him the £100, as a sum of no kind of consequence to him and of much assistance to a fellow-poet. Such is the generous open nature of Öhlenschläger's disposition, that I doubt not he would have done it under similar circumstances; but in this he belongs no doubt to the few, and not to the many.'
On the 25th of February, 1835, Cleasby looked out for lodgings for a month or so at Roeskilde, 'in order to read in quietude,' and, having found them, went thither on the 3rd of March. On the 2nd occurs the first mention of Rafn's name in the Diary, thus: 'Paid Mr. Rafn, the Secretary of the Nordiske Oldskrift Selskab, the fee on becoming a member, being 25 specie dollars. I was elected on the 31st of January. Rafn and Finn Magnusen were proposer and seconder.'
On the 3rd of April he returned from Roeskilde, and on the 23rd started for Lund in Scania, in Sweden, at which University he spent about a month learning Swedish, as he had already learnt Danish, and becoming intimate with the Professors Reuterdahl, Agardh, and, though last not least, Nilson, so well known for his geological and ethnological writings. On the 10th of June Cleasby left Copenhagen for his annual visit to Carlsbad, by way of Stettin, Berlin, and Dresden, reaching it on the 15th. He had not intended to return home this year, but at the close of his cure he received such an alarming letter from his brother Anthony as to his brother Stephen's health that he came home immediately, arriving in London on the 22nd of July. His brother was then at Malvern, being threatened with consumption. He found him better than he had expected, and, after staying in England till the 25th of September, left for Germany and Dresden, where he arrived on the 5th of October, and he went into lodgings for the winter. Early in November he heard of his brother Stephen's death, which is thus commemorated in his Diary:
'November 14th.—This is the severest day with which it has as yet pleased Providence to visit me. I lost my dear and much-loved brother Stephen. He died at Cheltenham between 7 and 8 a.m. Multis ille bonis, etc.'
Further on he describes this bereavement as
'A loss quite irreparable; a rapid decline tore him away from us, a visitor which all former circumstances of his life and of the family never led us to dream of. He himself has made a change for the better; it is his mourning relations who suffer. He was in his thirty-seventh year.'
Later, on the 15th of December, Cleasby wrote a long letter to his brother Anthony, in which he says:
'The loss of such a brother cannot be repaired, but we must seek by all possible unity and mutual approximation in desire and deed, and by clinging closely to each other, to close up as far as possible the cruel gap which the envious Giant has made in our ranks; not unreminded by what has happened of the uncertainty of the period during which it may be granted to us to range in the already diminished space of fraternal love and friendship.'
Whether it were that the death of his brother gave his mind a more serious turn, it is plain from the Diary that Richard Cleasby studied divinity and associated with clergymen during this winter. His friends, the Hof-Prediger Franke and the OberHof-Prediger Ammon, were those whose society he most sought in Dresden; nor did he forget to visit his old friend Pastor Prietsch at Tharandt. On the 3rd of January, 1836, he left Dresden for Leipzig, where he had many friends; but the religious turn of his mind is best shewn by the following little entry on the 11th of January:
'Took a young man of the name of Stegman to assist me in an attentive reading of the Bible.'
Old Professor Hermann was still alive, and Cleasby gave him a memorandum which Thiersch had left with him at Munich in 1833. At Leipzig he stayed engaged in his theological studies till the 18th of May, when he went leisurely home by Jena, the Odenwald, Heidelberg, the Rhine, and the Moselle. Treves and Luxemburg were duly visited, and on the 8th of June he crossed to Dover. In the winter his brother Anthony had married Miss Fawkes. On the 3rd of July is the following entry:
'Dr. Lappenberg of Hamburgh, Brönsted of Copenhagen, and the Librarian Falkenstein of Dresden dined with us, and met Reeve.'
On the 27th of August Cleasby left Dover for Ostend. On the 19th of September we find him at Munich:
'This town, to which so many agreeable recollections are attached, as well as regards the acquisition of knowledge as that of sincere friends.'
Here he went into lodgings in the house of his friend Professor Martins, and on the 14th of October began reading Mœso-Gothic with his friend Professor Schmeller. At Munich he remained till May, 1837, hard at work; and early in that month took a tour in the Bavarian Tyrol, during which he stayed at Kreuth to take a whey (molken) cure. On the 3rd of July he returned to Munich, 'very well satisfied with the effects of the molken.' On the 2nd of September he set off with his friend Schmeller on a tour through Switzerland, returning on the 24th of the month, and making good use of the journey in studying the dialects. He now resumed his Old German and Philological studies, but a report of his mother's ill-health took him to England for a fortnight. He found his mother better than he expected, and on the 5th of December he was back at Munich. The winter of 1837-38 now passed away, and the spring found him still at work. We only pause to note that on the 27th of January, 1838, he writes, 'Was at a ball at Staatsrath Maurer's,' Konrad Maurer's father, and Schmeller's trusty friend. Then he again drinks the molken at Kreuth, climbs the Bavarian hills, and returns to England in July. On the 13th he was present at a dinner in Guildhall, to congratulate the Queen on her coronation. There he sees
'The Duke de Nemours, a nice, amiable-looking, blonde youth; Soult, a broad, tough-looking warrior, a good deal knocked about, but still hale and firm. Sebastiani's countenance is intelligent. Esterhazy, Schwartzenberg, Stroganoff, Putbus, Spanish and Portuguese grandees, etc., excited less interest, but the splendid diamonds on the sabre of the first-mentioned could not escape notice. Wellington, Peel, Melbourne, Sir J. Graham, Stanley, little Lord John Russell, and the massive pair, O'Connell and Hume, with numerous other contrasts, sat peaceably and apparently well-pleased side by side.'
After a visit to the patrimonial acres in Westmoreland he departed for Germany on the 25th of August, and reached Munich by way of Augsburg and Nuremberg, carrying with him some facsimiles of Old German MSS. for his friend Schmeller. He still takes lessons in Greek and German philology. In these studies he again passed the winter of 1838-39.
On the 13th of February he wrote to his father to say that he thought of leaving Munich about the end of the month by Leipzig to Hamburg, and thence to Denmark and St. Petersburg. On the 1st of March, 1839, stands an entry like many others in these volumes:
'Made Joseph Müller, Orientalist, a present of a hundred gulden, to forward the publication of a work he is preparing for the press.'
Now he buys a britschka for his journey, and extra strong shoes and boots, acquires statistical works on Russia, packs up his books and sends them to Cotta to take care of, and departs on the 2nd on his travels. At Leipzig, on the 6th of March, he gave Dr. Cruzius a hundred dollars, fifty in his own name, and fifty in that of his friend Vipan,
'For the five exiled Göttingen professors. Two of the seven, Ewald and Gervinus, forego their shares.'
Three of the five were his friends Dahlmann and Jacob and William Grimm. At Halle, of which he says, 'A more narrow-cornering, dirty, wretched-built town I scarcely recollect' he saw Professor Leo,
'Who, though terribly pugnacious and bitterly persecuting with his pen, is a lively and very agreeable person in conversation. We immediately got on to the subject of his Anglo-Saxon Lesebuch, when he quite agreed to my suggestions as to certain passages.'
On the 8th he was at Berlin, struck more than ever with its imposing appearance—'Munich is quite a village to it.' His friend Raumer was in Italy, but he saw Graff, and found him, 'as usual, complaining, but he brightened up when I talked of consulting him as to some passages in Ottfried's Christ.' Then follows the discussion, at the end of which Graff remarked that the passages were the more difficult because they were nearly all of them ἂπαξ λεγόμενα. On the 12th he reached Hamburg, and, after seeing Lappenberg, went on slowly to Copenhagen, lingering in Schleswig and Jutland more than a month, and accurately observing the dialects and the people. On the 4th of May he reached the Danish capital, and called on his friends. On the 6th he went with Professor Thiele to the Museum of Sculpture and saw Thorwaldsen, who had been absent in Italy on his former visits:
'Among the sculptures there is his own bust, by himself, some twenty years younger, a magnificent countenance. On expressing my strong desire to see him, Thiele was so kind as to go in to him and announce me, though he had let his servant know he was not very well this morning; and I believe I should not have seen him but for my being able to speak Danish, for immediately on my going in he received me most cordially, and his first words were, "Jeg hörer at de taler Dansk." I passed about three-quarters of an hour with him alone, and I never recollect having more enjoyment in the same time. There is earnestness and great depth of expression in his countenance, with great placidness and serenity. He talked little, but moved slowly about in his silk dressing-gown, letting fall every now and then a remark either voluntarily or in answer to some observation of mine upon a picture or a piece of sculpture. He seemed, as far as I could judge, to be very favourably impressed as to England, and dwelt especially upon the merits of one or two pictures he has, painted by Englishmen.... He said he wished to see England, but feared, from the great number of very kind friends he had there, he should be detained too long, and his years reminded him that his time was growing short. I saw in his studio numerous works, partly now in execution, especially reliefs of the "Triumph of Alexander," and a colossal and most noble figure, just modelled, representing Ocean, which is to form part of a group.... I left him with the impression of having been in the company of a great man. There is something half sacred about his still, pensive manner, with his white hair and figure a little bent forward.'
Cleasby had now made up his mind more clearly as to his Northern journey. On the same day he wrote to his father that he was going first to Stockholm, and then to Upsala, to stay there fourteen days. After that he should go to Petersburg, by way of Riga and Reval. On the 7th of May he left Copenhagen by steamer for Malmoe in Scania. From Malmoe he posted in his carriage to Calmar, and thence to Stockholm, which he reached on the 10th. Cleasby was now better fitted to enjoy Sweden than on his former visit in 1834. He knew the language, and had letters to many literary men from his friends in Copenhagen. Dr. Hildebrand, the archivarius and great Anglo-Saxon numismatist, took him to the Library, and put him in the way of obtaining some facsimiles and transcripts from Icelandic Sagas of the Romance cycle for Lady Charlotte Guest. Having put this in train, Cleasby turned to the main object of his visit—the inspection and collation of the Codex Argenteus at Upsala. He was fortunate in finding his friend Dr. Reuterdahl, of Lund, in Stockholm, who gave him a letter to the chief librarian Schröder, a man who was known, for his difficulty of access, by the nickname of 'Ingalunda;' 'Certainly not,' or 'Not by any means,' that being the word with which he usually met applicants who desired to avail themselves of the literary treasures under his care. Fortified with this letter, Cleasby presented himself at Upsala on the 19th of May, and saw Schröder, whom he calls 'an obliging, friendly man.' He made no objection to the collation of the MS. with Gabelentz and Lobe's edition, and, while he went to Stockholm, confided Cleasby to the care of the under-librarian Afzelius, with whom he spent the morning of the 20th in trying to find his
'Colleague Fant, who was said to have the key of the glass case in which the Codex Argenteus is kept. It looked as if I should have to wait Schröder's return from Stockholm.'
So the 20th was lost, but on the 21st Cleasby notes:
'This morning I was rejoiced to find that the valuable key was found.... I accordingly accompanied Afzelius to the Library, but partly because it was more convenient for him to sit at home than come to the Library and sit there while I was at work, and partly, as he said, because he could there ask me questions as to English, which language he was reading and desirous of my help, he determined upon taking out the Codex and carrying it to his house, where I was to have leave to work before and after noon; and indeed I began at 10 o'clock a.m. and remained till 1 o'clock, and then went again at 4 and remained till 7.'
Next day, and every day, he worked at the Codex, but on the 22nd he saw Geijer the historian, who had been absent on his former visit; and this is his account of a very remarkable man:
'Passed the evening with Geijer, who speaks a little English. There is nothing striking in his outward appearance or manner; nor is he especially conversant, though, after being with him a time, he becomes more so; but there is a good deal of inward thought in him, and perceptible in his countenance'
At Upsala he also saw Tullberg, a young Sanskrit Professor. He complained of the little interest taken in Sanskrit by the students, but this, he added,
'Was less to be wondered at, for he had seen Bopp with not more than half-a-dozen hearers at Berlin, Rosen with only four or five in London, and Wilson with not more in Oxford.'
On the 28th Cleasby notes:
'Spent the evening with Geijer; as pleasant a one as I ever passed. He was in good humour, and communicative, which is not always the case, and is a man decidedly of the first order. On my departure he presented me with a monthly periodical, which he edits, containing a notice of Lockhart's Life of Walter Scott, and I think there has scarcely anywhere been set a more interesting and touching monument to the memory of this good and great man.... Besides being perhaps the first historian of the day, Geijer is a poet of a very high order, and a musical composer of great merit.'
On the 1st of June Cleasby's labours on the Codex Argenteus were concluded for the present, and he speaks in high praise of the text as he found it in the edition of Gabelentz and Lobe, though it is now superseded by Professor Upström's splendid facsimile edition. On the same day he received a number of letters of introduction from his father to influential persons in Russia. On his return to Stockholm he saw the magnificent collection of Northern antiquities in the royal palace, and especially the Anglo-Saxon coins and those some of the rarest; a proof, if any were wanting, that among the Northern Vikings there must have been many Swedes who, on their return from the West, buried their treasure in the earth.
On the 4th of June Cleasby left Stockholm for Finnland and Russia, on which journey we forbear to dwell, except to say that wherever he went he saw everything and every person of any importance to whom he could get access. On the 19th of July he returned to Stockholm. There he found the facsimiles for Lady Charlotte Guest were ready; and having inspected the Icelandic MSS. in the Royal Library, and made the acquaintance of Mr. George Stephens, the translator of Frithiof's Saga, then resident in Stockholm and an ardent collector of popular tales, but now Professor at Copenhagen, and a great authority on Runes, one of the most obliging and learned of men, he hired a servant for a journey to Norway, and set out on his expedition by way of Upsala. His object was, as we know, to complete his collation of the Codex Argenteus—but alas! the fates were against him, as the following entry in his Diary shews:
'July 29th, 1839.—I left Stockholm for Upsala. The librarian, Schröder, was not there,—the second one, Afzelius, took me to the library, but could not find the key, precisely as on the last occasion, and I am inclined to think the reason was that he would not find it, which prevented my looking at the first 16 pages of the Codex Argenteus, which I wished to do, to see the state of the leaves, and also p. 118, to see how the Latin Gloss was written at the beginning of Luke's Evangelium.'
Thence he passed through the Swedish mining districts, and, passing on to Dalecarlia, was delighted, as all must be, with the primitive people who dwell along the banks of the two Dal Elvs and round the shores of the lovely Siljan Lake. Crossing the fells called the Kjölen or Keel, he came down by Veradal on Drontheim, very nearly by the same route which St. Olaf took when he went to meet his death at Sticklastad. At Drontheim he passed several pleasant days with Rector Bugge, and left it on the 10th of August for the South, crossing the Dovre Fjeld, and then turning up by Romsdale and Gudbrandsdale to Christiania, which he reached on the 16th, and thought not to be compared to Drontheim. Having renewed his acquaintance with Keyser, Professor of History in the University there, he left Christiania on the 18th for Gottenburg, by way of Drammen, following the route which he had taken in 1834. On the 23rd he reached Copenhagen, and thus reviews his Swedish and Russian tour:
'I thus finished, very much to my satisfaction, a most agreeable and, at the same time, instructive tour, in which I learned much as to the state of the countries I visited, which, doubtless, is not to be acquired from books. I was everywhere received with great kindness, and all facilities were given me for the attainment of the objects I had in view, with the sole exception of Petersburg, where I cannot but allow that the literary introductions I had were but coldly responded to.'
After a little tour among the smaller Danish Isles, during which he was amazed at the prosperity and ease of the peasantry, he left Copenhagen on the 9th of September for England, meaning to go by steamer from Hamburg, but the vessel having broken down at the mouth of the Elbe, he left her, and went home by Lower Germany and Friesland, and embarked at Ostend on the 13th of that month for London. His return had been hastened by the intelligence of his father's failing health; but this, it seems, was a false alarm. After seeing friends, writing to Dr. Bowring, and giving him an account of the Romance literature in Icelandic in the Royal Library at Stockholm, and enclosing the facsimiles which Lady Charlotte Guest was anxious to have for her edition of the Mabinogion, he sailed on the 16th of October for Rotterdam, and, making the acquaintance of Dr. Bosworth, then chaplain in that city, and editor of an Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, he returned through Holland and Friesland, stopping on his way at Deventer to see the great Frisian scholar, Dr. Halbertsma:
'A somewhat rigid-looking man, who seemed, in silence, keeping his wife—quite a model of a Dutch frow—and his two children company.... We talked upon Frisian.... He is about a work on the language, a complete Dictionary, which I encouraged him to make haste with. He has no doubt collected such stores as no other man possesses; but I am in general a little afraid of the speculative nature of his philology, for on my asking him what he considered was the derivation of the name of the Frisians, he said it was the same word as Persians,—the p becomes f etc., etc., but I asked him for some connecting links.'
Stopping at Hamburg to see Lappenberg the historian, and at Kiel to have a chat with his good friend Chalybæus, who had taught him Speculative Theology at Dresden, and was now professor in the same branch of study in the Holstein University, he passed on by Eckernförde and Schleswig into that land of the Angela of which so much was heard in the Schleswig-Holstein controversy, which in those happy days had hardly begun to lift its horrid head. At Gelting, in the heart of that district, Cleasby stayed a few days, and made up his mind that
'The basis of the population of Angeln is Danish, mixed, no doubt, a great deal with German settlers, but whose language was obliged to give way to the predominant one;.... the names of the towns, localities, and inhabitants seem a sufficient proof of this, and I am much inclined to doubt whether the name of the country, "Angle," has anything to do with the Angles who went over to England with the Saxons, and who sat at the mouth of the Saal or the Elbe, according to the testimony of Ptolemy.'
On the 29th of October he was back at Copenhagen, and was busy greeting his old friends in that capital, among whom were Professor Molbech, Finn Magnusen, Öhlenschläger the poet, Brönsted, and Rafn.
Now his Diary is full of his arrangements for taking lodgings, hiring and buying furniture, preparatory to a lengthened stay in Copenhagen. He was gradually settling down more and more to Northern studies. Just about this time the old King of Denmark, Frederick VI, died after a long reign, and was succeeded by his son, Christian VIII; but Cleasby is more occupied with his books than the royal death and funeral, on which occasion the population of Copenhagen 'evinced a curiosity and love of sight-seeing' which 'astonished' him:
'I took the Danes' he says, 'for a more staid and solid people; high and low, lords and servants, cookmaids and shoeblacks, all have been up to see these sights—that is, the lying-in-state.'
But Cleasby cares for none of these things. On the 5th of November, nearly a month before the old king died, comes the following entry in his Diary:—'4 degrees heat'—he was always most exact in noting the state of the weather,—'began to read Icelandic—Sæmund's Edda—with a native Icelander, Giselsen.' This is the first mention of Konrad Gislason, and for some time longer he is to Cleasby in his Diaries 'Giselsen' and not Gislason. With him he reads four times a week. But he was soon to feel that reading Icelandic in those days was to read a language without a Dictionary, for that of Björn Haldorsen was little help. On the 10th of January, 1840, comes this entry:—'Talked with Rafn about editing an Icelandic Dictionary.' And on the 12th of February we find him writing to his friend Kemble, the well-known Anglo-Saxon scholar:
'I am up to my chin in Islandicis, and doing what I can to promote the preparation of a good sound old Northern Lexicon, and so get this, for so late in the 19th century, unaccountable and most scandalous blank filled up in this grand branch of Teutonic development; but there are many difficulties.'
And to Arfwedson, the librarian at Stockholm, on the 20th of February in Danish, which he wrote fluently, if not always correctly:
'Jeg har tilbragt vinteren her totus in Islandicis og havde næsten i sinn at tage op til dem igjen i sommer.'
On the 18th of April stands, 'Bought four reams of paper, 5 dalers per ream.' And on the 5th, 'Sent three reams of paper to Konrad Giselsen in preparation for the Dictionary of the Icelandic Language I intend to edit.' And on the 22nd, 'Paid Konrad Giselsen this day 8 daler for instruction this month, and 50 daler for work to be undertaken by him, exclusively for me, relative to an Icelandic Dictionary I intend to publish. The 50 daler are regarded as a payment at the rate of 50 daler per month, from this day till the 1st of June, and he gave me an acknowledgment in writing.'
And accordingly we find among Cleasby's papers the following:
'Jeg har faaet i dag Kjöbenhavn den 22 April 1840 af Herr Richard Cleasby Halvtresindstyve Rigsbank Daler Dansk, som belönning indtil den förste dag of næstkommende Juni, for et Arbed jeg har paataget mig at udrætte udelukkende for hans Brug, angaaende en Ord-bog han agter at give ud paa Islandsk og et eller flere andre sprog.—KONRAD GlSLASON.'
After which entry follow similar acknowledgments from Mr. Gislason and Cleasby's other Icelandic amanuenses, down to that sad entry of the 6th of September, 1847, when he paid Mr. Fridriksson 20 dollars.
Having started his amanuensis, Cleasby left for home on the same day for a month, again passing through Hanover and Holland, and taking the steamer from Antwerp to London, where he arrived on the 4th of May, and found all well at home. On his way he had met his father, and assisted him on some business matters which had rendered his presence in Antwerp necessary. After visiting friends, and especially Kemble, then settled at Addlestone, under the Hog's Back, Cleasby left for Copenhagen on the 24th of May, loaded as usual with letters from his literary friends in England to scholars abroad. He again took the route by Rotterdam and Lower Germany, and reached Hamburgh on the 29th, whence he wrote the following letter to his old friend Schmeller, on the subject of his Icelandic undertaking:
'Bei meiner Rückkehr (nach Copenhagen) wand ich mich mit vielem Fleiss dem Isländischen zu, und fand bald den grossen Mangel der ohne Zweifel die Hauptursache ist des versäumten Studiums dieser herrlichen Sprache, namlich der Mangel an Hülfsmitteln, und besonders an einem brauchbaren Lexicon; denn Björn Haldorson's ist so gut wie keiner. Da ich nun mich tiber die Aussicht fur die Zukunft erkundigte, fand ich, dass zwei Manner in Iceland hatten seit 20 Jahren, der eine an ein poetisches, der andere an ein prosaisches Wörterbuch gearbeitet; und begierig ungefähr den Zustand ihrer Arbeit zu kennen, liess ich nach Iceland schreiben, und erfuhr, dass das poetische Werk so vorwärts geschritten war, dass die letzte Revision und das Fertigmachen zum Druck in ungefähr einem Jahr geschehen könnten, falls der Verfasser nicht zu sehr mit anderer Arbeit pressirt wurde, welches ich auch erfuhr wie ich früher in Correspondent mit der "Old Nordisches Selskabet"—unter uns gesagt für ihren wahren Zweck auf das anpassendste constituirt und administrirt was sich nur denken kann—gewesen war. Da ich nun nicht wünschte diesem zu nach zu treten, so besuchte ich den Secretair Rafn, und durch dringende Zumuthung und das Versprechen von Unterstützung wenn nothwendig, bewog ich ihn an den Verfasser zu schreiben ihm ein passendes Honorar anzubieten, und den Druck des Werkes entweder für die Gesellschaft allein oder in Verbindung mit mir zu ubernehmen; so dass ich hoffe, dass wir bald um diese ohne Zweifel treffliche Arbeit werden reicher werden, was, wenn ich nicht sehr entschieden dazwischen getreten ware, ware Gott weiss wie lange unvollendet geblieben.
'Was das prosaische Werk angeht1, so scheint es als eine Art Thesaurus angelegt zu sein, von grossem Umfang, umfassend alte und neue Sprach-Dialecte, Redensarten, u.s.w.; aber ohne alle Ansicht der Vollendung in der Lebenszeit des Verfassers, der schon etwas bei Jahren ist, und ein bischen der Sache müde zu sein scheint, und es nicht unwahrscheinlich erst in seinem Testament jemanden zur Ausgabe übermachen wird. Diese aber ist eine so weite Aussicht, und die Sache scheint mir so dringend Noth zu thun, dass ich mich beinahe entschlossen habe mich selbst an ein prosaisches Lexicon zu machen; nicht Thesaurus-artig, aber von brauchbarem Umfange, und die alte Skandinavische Sprache umfassend von den frühesten Denkmalern bis ungefähr zum a.d. 1400, mit Englischer Übersetzung; ein Werk dessen Schwierigkeiten, wenn ordentlich vollführt und dem jetzigen philologischen Standpunkt entsprechend, mir nicht verborgen ist; aber mit redlichen Willen und fleissiger Arbeit ich doch denke in ungefähr 3 Jahren zu Stande gebracht werden könnte; und es würde mir eine grosse Befriedigung gewahren, wenn ich fur die vielen, sehr vielen, lehrreichen, beherzigenden, angenehmen Stunden die ich, und besonders in München, zugebracht habe in dem Studium der Germanischen Sprachkunde, dadurch meine Dankbarkeit an den Tag zu legen, dass ich eben diesem Studium einen gründlichen und nützlichen Beitrag bnichte, und einen Mangel abhülfe der gewiss mit jedem Jahr muss mehr und mehr gefuhlt werden, und ich bitte Sie, sagen Sie mir in einem recht baldigen Briefe ihre Meinung über dieses mein Beginnen.'
On the 1st of June he was back at Copenhagen, and
'Found Giselsen employed with his friend —— in writing out Icelandic words for my Dictionary, but not much above half way through the alphabet, he having found the job much longer than he expected.'
On the 3rd of that month he
'Went into splendidly roomy lodgings, No. 14, Gammel Strand,.... three fine front rooms, a back room and entrance hall, furnished, and with attendance, for 22 dollars a month.' And on the 4th he 'bought two reams more of paper for 10 dollars, and sent them to Giselsen.' And, again, on the 22nd, 'bought another ream of paper, and paid 5 dollars 3 marks for it, and sent it to Giselsen.'
On the 24th he wrote as follows to Kemble:
'Finn Magnusen has read your treatise on Anglo-Saxon Runes, and trembled; he says you have been sadly hard upon him; I told him you were an earnest "Forscher." I am hard at work upon the foundations of the edifice I told you at Addlestone I had an intention of rearing. I find them, I rather regret to say, covering a good deal more ground than I expected, but hope they will prove all the better for the superstructure; every day convinces me more and more that "Zeit und Muth" on a large scale, will be among the leadingly 'necessary implements.'
On the same day he wrote thus to Mr. John Shaw Lefevre:
'My dear Sir,—The making your personal acquaintance during my last stay in London was a source of great gratification to me; to find a man like yourself, under so heavy a weight of public business, seeking recreation in the extension of the wide range of your knowledge, is not less attractive than rare, and truly encouraging. The circumstance of your having directed your attention to these parts made it the more interesting to me, for a native partiality for the Scandinavian North,—a sort, as it were, of veneration for the primitivi Penates,—has induced me to devote much time to its vulgar, as well as its more archaic literature, and which will, I hope, end in enabling me to facilitate to my countrymen the acquirement of the knowledge of a great store of interesting matter—interesting not only in itself, but also as intimately bound up with the early manners, institutions, and destinies of our own ancestry.'
On the same day we find the following entry: 'Received a most agreeable letter from my valued friend Schmeller in Munich.' This was in answer to his letter of the 29th of May, and the following is an extract from it:
'Wie sehr uns alle das was Sie zum Besten der Nordischen Sprachkunde zu thun im Begriffe sind, erfreue, brauche ich Ihnen nicht erst zu sagen. Dacht' ich doch oft wie Schacle es ware, wenn so viel beharrlicher, gründlicher, wahrhaft ausserordentlicher Fleiss, auf diesen noch so vernachlüssigten Theil des Sprachstudiums, verwendet, nicht auch zur Hulfe, zum Segen für andere ausschlagen sollte. Schon die edelmuthige Dazwischenkunft durch die Sie die endliche Herausgabe des poetischen Wörterbuchs fördern, wird Ihnen den bleibenden Dank aller Freunde der Germanischen Zunge sichern. Noch weit mehr aber wird dieses der Fall seyn, wenn Sie dem tagtäglich bitterer gefühlten Bedürfnissen nach einem wahrhaft brauchbaren prosaischen Handlexicon der älteren Nordsprache entgegen zu kommen, Ihre eigene Kraft und Mühe daran setzen. Die Aufgabe ist freylich kein Kinderspiel. Es wollen dazu nicht blos alle bereits vorhandenen Vorarbeiten, sondern auch samtliche sowohl gedruckte als handschriftliche Literaturstucke durchgelesen und methodisch excerpiert seyn. Hiefür aber werden Sie hülfreiche Amanuensen finden. Einem klaren, umsichtigen, ausharrenden Geiste wird keine Aufgabe zu schwer. Sollten mehr als die drei Jahre darüber hingehen, so würde mich die Liebe zu demselben Zweig des Wissens dafür trösten mussen, so lange ohne das hertzlich gewünschte Wiedersehen zu seyn.
'Bleiben Sie eingedenk
'J. A. SCHMELLER.'
On the 3rd of July he enters:
'Yesterday Etatsraad Rafn brought me from Egilsson in Iceland a specimen of his poetical Icelandic Dictionary, which had been from negligence lying at the Icelandic merchant Knutsen's 14 days.... As a ship was to sail again for Iceland to-morrow morning, by which it was to be returned to Egilsson, I had only an hour or two to look through it. I told Rafn I thought the work upon the whole good, but that it appeared to me much too prolix, there being also an immense number of prose words. I therefore recommended his writing back, that (1st) he should leave out all the prose words which occurred with no other meaning than what they have in prose: (2nd) that he should not give more than one citation in full for one meaning of a word, but at all events only mention the place where it besides occurred in that sense: (3rd) that he should not regard the modern language as his norm, which he seemed to have done at the beginning of letters, giving a list of how the words were written or pronounced, hodiernis vocabulis. If this was done it might shorten the work a third.'
On the 31st of July we find him paying Gislason 40 dollars 'for his labours for the month of July relating to the Icelandic Dictionary which I propose editing;' and a day or two afterwards he writes to his sister that he thinks of leaving Copenhagen for Carlsbad on the 17th of August, and being back about the end of September. On the 18th of August he started for a little walking excursion with a young Icelandic 'Candidat Juris' Pjeturson, taking with them the Hrafnkels Saga to read on the way—the first mention of Pjeturson, one of his amanuenses, whom he took the next year with him to Germany and England, and with whom he was in constant communication for some years. All this time the Dictionary was progressing, and on the 11th of August he 'paid the bookbinder Lerche 3 dollars 1 mark and 8 sk. for bookbinding and pasteboard cases for letters for my Icelandic Dictionary.' On the 17th he paid Gislason 40 dollars 'as remuneration for the month of August' and left for Carlsbad by the steamer for Travemünde. He took the way by Schwerin, Perleburg, and Spandau to Berlin, which he reached on the 20th, and called on Lachmann and Graff, to consult with them as to his Dictionary, finding the latter ill in bed, and then set off for Leipzig, where he arrived on the 21st, and on the 22nd was at Carlsbad, where he began drinking and bathing with great assiduity, swallowing as much as three glasses of the Mühlbrunn and eight of the Sprüdel a day, and amusing himself with translating the Hrafnkels Saga into English. Here he notes that on the 28th of August he received a letter from Schmeller, and on the 10th of September was gladdened by 'a visit from my good friend Schmeller from Munich, whom I was glad to see again in good health and spirits, with a scarcely perceptible alteration externally, and none internally; the subject of the Icelandic Dictionary was, of course, largely discussed, and we walked after dinner to Eich'
The next two days were occupied in shewing Schmeller the lions of the place and neighbourhood, and here he notes:
'It was interesting too with Schmeller to remark his attention to dialects in any villages we passed through yesterday or to-day, and the result was that quite up to and in Carlsbad, and I suppose one may say the whole valley of the Eger up to the Saxon border, the dialect is decidedly that of the Upper Palatinate (Ober-Pfalz) and not Saxon.'
On the 12th Schmeller departed for Toeplitz, and on the 23rd Cleasby took leave of his English friends at that bath, among whom were Mr. Senior and Mr. Charles Villiers 'of Corn-Law fame,' and left Carlsbad, which he had often before visited, with the following remarks:
'I cannot notice my departure from Carlsbad without saying that, upon the whole, I was more delighted with the various beauties of its environs than on any former occasion; nor was I otherwise than satisfied with the immediate operation of the waters—God give that the permanent effect may not be less beneficial.'
On the 24th he wrote in German from Leipzig to Gislason at Copenhagen, telling him that he should be home in about eight days, and nothing doubting that he had been 'recht fleissig,' As for himself, he had not been 'unthätig' 'und sehe mit grossem Vergnligen einem arbeitsamen Winter entgegen,' On the 26th he was at Cassell, where the brothers Grimm then were, having, as is well known, been expelled for their political opinions, by the King of Hanover, from Göttingen. Here he tells us:
'I immediately paid Jacob Grimm a visit, whom I rejoiced to find looking, as I thought, younger and better than when I saw him six years ago; he received me most cordially: and in the afternoon I went again and passed two or three hours with him, discussing various points as to the old Scandinavian language.'
On the 27th he writes: 'I passed the forenoon with Jacob Grimm, entering widely into detail as to a variety of orthographical points relating to the old Scandinavian language, and found him most amiably communicative. In the afternoon I returned and took a walk with him, and enjoyed from an eminence on the brink of the town a beautiful prospect.'
On the 28th he says:
'I Passed the forenoon again with Jacob Grimm, and dined with, I suppose I must say, William Grimm, as he is the married man with the family to whom the ménage more especially belongs, though Jacob lives with them.'
And on the 29th:
'I had again the satisfaction of passing my forenoon with J. Grimm, and witnessing his acuteness, his fulness of candour, and voidness of all pedantry and pretentiousness. I shewed him what I had done at Upsala touching the Codex Argenteus, with which he seemed much pleased, and noted some points.... I took tea with the Grimms in the evening, and, after a couple of hours' chat, left them reluctantly at 9 o'clock. Nothing can be more delightful than the truly fraternal relation in which these brothers live to one another; one soul seems to animate them both, although their individual characters appear to me not a little subjectively different. All their concerns seem to be mutual, one can scarcely perceive to which of them the ménage, the wife, the children, belong; indeed she, when speaking of them both, makes use of the expression "meine Manner" which in truth, in a circle where there could be a shadow of doubt as to its purity, would sound somewhat equivocal. Jacob seems to have got over the Göttingen affair better than his brother; he is more hasty, but once fairly expectorated, is more easily reconciled again; it seems to prey more on William, who altogether seems to me to have less elasticity, less vigour of character; he broods more over it; indeed, though doubtless an excellently sterling man, yet there seems to me a little more sarcasm and more form about him than about his brother, in whom there is really something of infantine simplicity of manner. I do not know that I ever passed three or four days more to my mind than those at Cassell, where so much of the instructive was mixed with the agreeable.'
On the 6th of October he was back at Copenhagen, returning by Hanover, Hamburg, and Kiel; and the day after his return there is the usual entry:
'Paid K. Gislason 40 dollars as remuneration for the month of September.'
On the 14th of October we find the following entry:
'A meeting took place this evening at Etatsraad Rafn's rooms, at 7 o'clock, and ended at 10 o'clock, where himself, Etatsraad Finn Magnusen, Registrator Petersen, the two Arna Magnæan stipendiaries Sivertsen and Gislason, and myself were present, to discuss the orthographical rules to be observed in the edition of the Islendinga Sögur about to be published by the Old Nordisk Selskabet, wherein it was agreed to adhere to the orthography observed by Rask in the 7th vol. of the Fornmanna Sögur, excepting that,—1st, that the circumflex A over the class of words hanum, vapn, varum, sva, etc., should be exchanged for an acute accent, the same as that used for the long a in general; 2nd, that the two diphthongs æ and œ should be distinguished from one another; 3rd, that where the root has a double consonant this should always be written, even where a third consonant follows—as "brennda "from at brenna, not "brenda," and "allt" from allr, not "alt," etc.; 4th, that the acute accent shall be discontinued over the a, i, and u in -ang, -ing, and -ung.'
On the 16th of the same month he writes in Danish to Finn Magnusen, as head of the Arna Magnæan Commission:
'Jeg har alrede opholdt mig i nogen Tid i Kjöbenhavn og have i Sind at blive her endnu i længere Tid, for at kunne affatte en Ordbog i det gamle islandske Sprog. For ret at kunne udföre dette Arbed, er det mig magtpaaliggende med Hensyn især til Retskrivning at have Membraner ved Haanden til fornödent Eftersyn. Jeg tager mig derfor den ærbodige Frihed at bede den Kongelige Commission om gunstig Tilladelse til at erholde til Laans og Afbenyttelse i Huset af de Arna Magnæanske Membraner fra en til to ad Gangen, da jeg skal være ansvarlig for samme (og) drage den yderste Omhue for deres vedbörlige Conservation medens de ere i min Værge.'
The purport of this letter being to obtain from the Commission the loan, in his lodgings, of certain MSS. in that splendid collection, which he proposed to borrow two or three at a time. It need scarcely be said that the Commission complied with the foreigner's request with a liberality which, alas! seldom or never has its parallel in English libraries.
On the 9th of November he writes: 'P.G. Thorsen, under-librarian of the University Library, drank tea with me: a nice unassuming young man.' This is the Thorsen now so well known as the writer on Runic stones. On the 30th he paid Gislason 40 dollars for the month of November, and 'the carpenter Möhring for a polished wooden stand for the boxes containing my Icelandic Alphabet, 8 dollars'
On the 22nd of December we find the following entry: 'Thank God the shortest day is past. Took Gislason and his friend Petersen to dine with me at the Skydeban, and we drank a toast to Balder and one to Iceland's prosperity.'
On the 31st of December he paid Gislason 40 dollars for the month of December.
The winter of 1841 was very cold in the North; the Sound was frozen over, so that sledges came over from Sweden. On the 13th of February Cleasby writes:
'Yesterday evening a movement took place in the ice in the Sound, so that to-day a ship or two came up to Copenhagen—after its having been firmly frozen over between five and six weeks.'
A few days before he had remarked 'the first solitary song of a chaffinch.' On the 18th of March Cleasby received a polite letter from the Arna Magnæan Commission, accompanied by a present of several works printed at their expense.
'The signatures to the letter were Örsted, Wehrlauff, Engletoft, F. Magnusen, Rafn, and Kolderup Rosenvinge, all of whom I thanked.'
On the 21st he writes: 'Dined with Kolderup Rosenvinge; met the Stifts-Probst Tryge and the young Professor of Philosophy, Martensen, and had a famous dose of philosopho-theological discussion interestingly conducted. The Probst rather accusing Protestantism of a degree of onesidedness, and thinking that there were points in Catholicismus which it might adopt; and that perhaps a sort of union might be accomplished. The philosopher, on the contrary, arguing correctly that irenical attempts were altogether vain with the Catholic Church.'
During these months the payments of 40 dollars to Gislason continue, and on the 29th Cleasby writes:
'On the evening of the 29th of March, in consequence of a note from Etatsraad Rafn of the 25th inst., a meeting took place at his dwelling, consisting of the same persons as that on the 14th of October, which see; viz. Finn Magnusen, Professor Petersen, Gislason, Sivertsen, Rafn, and myself, on the subject of the orthography to be used in the edition of Islendinga Saga about to be edited by the Old Nordisk Selskabet. The letter from Rafn was accompanied with two proofsheets of Ari Frodi's Islendinga-book, and the commencement of the Landnama-book, to my utter astonishment printed totally at variance with the agreement which had been entered into at the meeting of the 14th of October; the Islendinga-book especially, after no kind of system whatever, with the retention of certain forms and rejection of others of the MS., of the most capricious nature; which is the more blameworthy, as a precise copy of this MS. is to be given which will satisfy every want of learned research; and the other might have been printed in conformity with the rest of the series, for the better understanding of the other class of readers. But even in the Landnamabook the circumflex over words like hanun, var, vapn, etc., is retained; the accent also over ang, ing, and ung, and with the greatest difficulty the separation of æ and œ has been retained; but it appears uncertain if it will be done in future volumes. I, at the meeting, expressed my greatest dissatisfaction at this variance from the agreement entered into, and Petersen, Gislason and myself, and F. Magnusen after hearing my grounds, decidedly acquiesced in the abolition of the circumflex over hánum, vár, svá, and the like; also that of the ´ over ang, ing, and ung, and in the separation of æ and œ. Sivertsen was almost silent on the subject, but, even reckoning him with Rafn, we were four against two; notwithstanding which Rafn has refused to make any alteration. As to æ and œ, he seemed at one time to admit the chief objection to separating them was their incapacity to correctly distinguish them, and indeed shewed throughout the whole argument the greatest ignorance of the first principles of the language.'
On the 27th of April he wrote thus to Kemble:
'I have been toiling very hard in the Icelandic field all this winter, and am not a little exhausted. The further I get from the beginning the further I seem to be from the end; but in time I suppose the perspective will change. I expect to leave this in a fortnight or three weeks for Germany, and shall, I think, very likely be in England towards the beginning of July.'
On the same day he wrote to Mr. John Shaw Lefevre:
'As to the Icelandic Opus, I have been toiling incessantly since I wrote you last, grubbing away at the foundations; but it is a slow operation; indeed the further I get from the beginning the more I think the end seems to recede; a quality which, at ten or twelve years of age, one would doubtless have hailed with joy in a plum-cake, but which in a pursuit like the one in question is not so attractive; one is involuntarily reminded of the Will o' the Wisp. To judge from the basement, of which portions here and there are beginning to be visible above the ground, I fear the edifice in point of extent much exceeds what I at first expected.'
Then, passing to politics, that being the time of the Turco-Egyptian quarrel with France, he says:
'Denmark partakes, with the whole world besides, of that disquieting sensation of envy occasioned by the unrivalled position England occupies, her gigantic power, and her unexampled successes; the radiance which surrounds her is too bright for a weak vision; eyes of such a class are unable to even gaze at it without smarting, and this annoys their possessor. I cannot, however, doubt that every sensible and impartial man must be rejoiced at the result of the whole affair—a bold and straightforward, decided course crowned with success—veering and truckling and cunning by-views completely put to the rout! If the French would however but have seen their error, and acknowledged it, and profited by it for the future, the injury sustained by them would have been comparatively trifling; but instead of this they seek to mask the truth, and attempt to glory in their error; still further deceiving themselves with, as it were, the celebration of a sort of triumph in their fortification of Paris; a measure which I regard as the commencement of a new epoch for that unstable nation, and one decidedly of "decadence." The Icelandic labours have exhausted me not a little, and I am looking to my departure from this place in two or three weeks for Germany.'
On the 4th of May he notes:
'Paid N.C. Möller for bookbinding nine dollars; seven dollars of it for the two books for my Icelandic Dictionary.'
On the 10th he says:
'Universal fast-day. The only day in the year that one has no new bread; the bakers getting a night's rest.'
On the 17th of May he left Copenhagen for Lubeck, but before he went he sent 'the cases in which my Dictionary-papers stand to Serena d' Acqueria,' an intimate friend.
On this occasion Cleasby took with him as his companion a young Icelander, Brynjolfr Pjeturson, whom he occasionally calls Petersen in the Danish form, a law-student, and clerk in the Chamber of Accounts, in whom he seems to have taken great interest, and to whom he did the honours, and shewed the lions of Germany and England. The travellers we need scarcely say were bound for Carlsbad, and took the route by Dessau, Halle, Leipzig, and Dresden, staying in each sufficient time to examine and admire their natural and artistic beauties. On the 20th of May they reached Carlsbad, where the cure as usual consisted in bathing and drinking for a month or more. In the midst of it, on the 12th of June, Cleasby wrote to his father to say that he should 'come home about that day month, and bring a young Icelander with him, but not remain more than a fortnight.' On the 1st of July the travellers left Carlsbad, Cleasby for Toeplitz, to remain three weeks, and take twenty baths in the Neu-Bad, and then to pay a visit to his friend Count Thun-Hohenstein, at his magnificent seat at Tetschen, while the Icelander went on to Prague. Both these objects having been accomplished, they met again at Prague, where Cleasby, by the introduction of Count Thun, made the acquaintance of the Sclavonic historians Palacsky and Saffaric, who received him most kindly and imparted very valuable statistics as to the various Sclavonic nationalities and their languages. Before he left Toeplitz, as he was wandering through Prince Clary's woods, he came upon some of that grand seigneur's foresters, who told him an anecdote which illustrates very well the relation then existing between landlord and peasant:
'Prince Clary had,' he says, 'in the heat of sport trespassed with his dogs on a piece of oats belonging to one of the peasants here, which the peasant warmly resented; and though the Prince immediately expressed his readiness to make the damage good, and even more, still continued turbulent and offensive; upon which one of these foresters, to use his own term, "hat ihn ordentlich geblescht" a provincialism expressing about the same as geprügelt; and the other related how the peasant was for two days hardly able to move from the damage he received; he added further, "it was not to be supposed that the Prince would have his sport spoilt for a little bit of oats."'
From Prague Cleasby and Pjeturson went to Frankfort, and going down the Rhine to Rotterdam, took the steamer for London, which they reached on the 5th of August. While he had been absent his only sister, Mary, had been married to Mr. Jones of the Crown Office.
On the 13th of August we find the following entry:
'Dined at Dolly's with Pjeturson, whose praise of the beefsteak was unbounded.'
And on the 22nd:
'Walked with Pjeturson over Primrose Hill, up on to Hampstead Heath. He was charmed with the situation and views.'
On another day he took his Icelandic friend a walk round part of Streatham by Beulah Spa, and through Norwood home again to Brixton Hill—'a most charming ramble;' and on another by steamer up to Richmond, and then ascended the hill, though they were disappointed in the view owing to the clouds and rain.
On the 8th of September the two friends set off by Great Western Railway to Oxford, or rather to Steventon, accomplishing the remaining 10 miles by coach. They were up betimes, starting at 6 a.m., and reaching the University by a quarter past 9. There they saw the Bodleian, the fine hall at Christ Church, and many gardens.
'Nothing struck us upon the whole more than the back of Magdalen College, the beautiful green open space between a newly-erected Gothic side and an elder one in plain modern style, with the park on one side abounding in the grandest elms and plenty of deer, and the walks and meadows on the other'
The same day they left by coach for Cheltenham, and on the following returned by rail from Birmingham to London.
The next ten days of September were devoted to shewing Pjeturson the wonders of London, and among others the British Museum, where, among the Icelandic MSS., he notes No. 11,127 of tne Additional MSS., 'a very middling copy of Sturlunga;' but this is a mistake, as the MS. in question contains the best text of the Saga known. On the 22nd Cleasby saw Pjeturson safe on board the 'Countess of Lonsdale' steamer for Hamburg, and on taking leave of him says he was
'In all respects satisfied with his conduct during the whole of his sojourn both abroad and at home in my company, in which time he sorted the whole of the words which I wrote into the two large volumes for the Icelandic Dictionary, and also carefully went through Njáll and took a list of all the words contained therein'
On the 22nd he 'penned a circular for his father, to be sent round to his connexion, informing them of his intending to retire from business on the 29th inst.' On the 6th of October comes the following entry:
'Visited Copeland' the famous surgeon, 'who, after my laying open to him my complaint, told me what I knew and had long felt, that my nervous system was in a very deranged state, and that it would take a long course of medicine to get it right again; and began by ordering me sarsaparilla twice a day, with a little potash and manna'
On the 15th he saw Copeland again, who now ordered him blue-pill and colocynth, and on the 20th calomel and senna and magnesia. But these were minor evils. On the 28th his mother was seized with paralysis, which deprived her of speech, and though she rallied a little and lingered through the month of November, she died on the 8th of December, surrounded by her family, by whom she was most tenderly loved.
'We all deplored in tears the loss of an excellent wife, a most affectionate mother, and a good, kind, and upright woman. She was born,' he adds, 'on the 25th of July, 1768, and therefore in her 74th year'
On the 14th she was buried in the burial-ground of the old church of St. Marylebone.
'Where,' says her son, 'my poor mother's remains were placed upon those of my brother Stephen, who had been deposited there in 1835 in a dry vault which runs under the street. In addition to my present severe bereavement, I was not a little affected at seeing for the first time the coffin of my lamented brother, who was so cruelly snatched away from us in the very prime of life.'
All this time Copeland was treating him, and at last, seeing his prescriptions did little good, advised him to consult a physician. This he accordingly did, and called in Dr. Seymour, who agreed with Copeland that 'a singing in his head and a numbness in his left leg would end in paralysis' but completely differed with him as to the means to be taken to arrest the evil.
'He said immediate bleeding was necessary, and ordered me to lose 12 or 14 oz. of blood from the arm; placed in prospect my losing some more by cupping next week, and gave hopes of a final complete recovery. I was bled, and lost about 19 oz. from the right arm.'
After such drastic treatment it is not surprising that Cleasby's entries in his Diaries for the rest of December, 1841, and the first ten days of January, 1842, are limited to notices of the weather and the frost, which was very hard for England. On the 10th of that month he wrote to Pjeturson, announcing his mother's death and the probability of his longer stay in England. As to Icelandic, he writes:
'Hvad De sige med Hensyn til Sivertsens Reise til Sverge er meget tilfredsstillende, thi hvis Byttet er ikke saa stort dog er det af megen Vigtighed at vide at man har, hvad der kan haves; om de to fortrinlige Codices of Riddersagaerne i Stockholm viste Jeg alrede, thi da jeg ophold mig i denne By i 1839, lod jeg gjore nogle Fac-similes derfra for en Dame i Wallis der udgiver visse Keltiske Sagaer som behandle de samme gjenstände; fra den vigtige Pergament Codex imperial Octav angaaende gudelige Ting og deslige haaber jeg i det mindste nogen Berigelse for Sproget, og vist ikke liden Fornöielse vil det skaffe mig at nærmere omtale og undersöge disse Ting med vor Ven Gislason og Dem. Det glædede mig meget at höre so gode Efterretninger om Gislasons Helbred og saa at han var beskæftigt ved at conferere Haandskrifterne af Snorro; denne Anmodning paa Selskabets Side viser dets Önske at den nye Udgave skal nöde en udvalgt Text; der er blott tilbage at önske at det vilde höre paa ham ved Hensyn til Orthographien; naar han er færdig dermed, i Fald der ikke proponeres ham noget andet umittelbart Arbeide, (sic) vil det være mig kjært at han igjen tager fat paa Læsning of nogle utrykkede Haandskrifter som Gretli, visse Máldagar etc. hvilke vi omtalte förend jeg forlod Kjöbenhavn, og jeg bede Dem at berette mig om naar han tænker omtrent at vaere i Stand til at begynde, og jeg vil arrangere Penge-remiser igjennem Brandt eller noget andet Hus indtil jeg selv viser mig igjen i Kjöbenhavn i Foraaret.'
After this letter, shewing the liveliest interest in Icelandic study, it is sad to read that on the 24th of January Dr. Seymour ordered him to be cupped. 'Mr. Watkins, of Saville Row, took 15 oz. of blood from the back of my neck, at half-past 9 o'clock p.m.' A little later Copeland calls and orders his left leg to be bandaged with 'eight vards of middle-breadth stocking-roller.'
On the 10th of February it is a relief to find Cleasby leaving London to visit his friend Robertson, Rector of Shorwell in the Isle of Wight. On the 28th he returns to town, delighted with his excursion, and writes as follows to Pjeturson:
'Det glædede mig at höre at vor Ven Gislason for færdig med Snorro, og som jeg anseer det for hans Fordeel at han beskæftiges paa Regjerings vei, finder jeg mig gjærne i det Tab af en Deel af hans Tienster, og dess lettere som De tilbyder Deres, og siger at De vil gaae ham til Haande og anvende nogle Timer dagligen; og jeg svarer ikke andet end at jeg önsker at De ville begge begynde saa umittelbart som det er Dem behageligt, vælgende af de Haandskrifter som jeg nævnde i mit sidste (brev) i saadan Orden som det kan synes Dem raadligst; paa Excerpten-maade kan det ikke være nödvendigt at jeg siger Dem noget, ti De kenne desangaaende nöiaktigt min Plan og mine Önske. Jeg haaber inden omtrent en Maaned at være i Stand til at skrive og sige Dem temmeligt bestemt Tiden naar De kan vente at see mig igjen ibland mine Danske Venner. Jeg bar beskæftiget mig meget, saa meget som Helbreden har tilladt det, med Snorro og Fornmanna-Sögur ogsaa med Islendinga (sögur) og Vatnsdæla og jeg haaber förend jeg tager bort igjen jeg skal have sorgfaltigt gjennemgaaet en anseelig Portion.'
We now find him, in better health, dining with Henry Reeve at 16 Chester Square, and running down to see Kemble at Addlestone. On the 5th of April he set off with his father on an expedition to look at the family property in Westmoreland, which, what with leases and repairs and tythe squabbles, seems to have been a perpetual trouble. While Richard Cleasby was enquiring into all these things and struggling to reduce them to order, his father spent the morning of the 13th of April
'Searching the registers at the clergyman's, the result of which was its appearing probable that our family came over to Stainmoor from Yorkshire somewhat before the middle of the seventeenth century.'
On the same day they left Westmoreland to return home, starting from Brough in a post-chaise, and 'crossing bleak Stainmoor, with a shower of hail to conduct us out of Westmoreland.' That night they got to Barnard's Castle, and the next day, about four miles from Darlington, on the Yorkshire side of the Tees, 'saw the little village of Cleasby, with its beautiful land running down to the river.'
On the 15th of April they were back in town again. For the next few days he buys presents of cutlery and creature comforts for his friends at Copenhagen, and on the 23rd he embarked in the 'Neptune' for Hamburg. In that city he stayed a day, leaving it on the 24th, and reaching Copenhagen on the 27th. As soon as he returned he resumed his labour at the Dictionary, and his two amanuenses are now Pjeturson and Gislason, who each receive twenty dollars a month for four hours' work a-day. On the 3rd of May he begins taking his 'juice of spring herbs' again; and on the 18th left Copenhagen for Germany, making before leaving the following entry in his Diary:
'Left Copenhagen. Left with Gislason Preposition-book, also Verb-book; also the two books, one of Njall etc. begun by Pjeturson, the other my own extracts2; also fourteen bundles, A to G of the slips with words upon them; also paid him twenty dollars for this month of May, and was not a little surprised, when offering to pay him for June, to find that he talked of going to Sweden for the summer, which, and his remaining silent upon up to this moment, appeared very strange, and quite contrary to what I thought was understood between us.... I sent to Captain Röder a deal case containing my two folio books containing skeleton of the Icelandic Dictionary3.'
He was now bound for Marienbad, as a change from Carlsbad. On the 25th of May he reached his 'beloved Munich' and immediately called on the Martius's, 'my cherished friends, whom I found in even increased domestic felicity, from the delightful promise with which the daughters have grown or are growing up.' Next he called on Schmeller and Professor Joseph Müller, who told him all that had passed since he was last there; 'almost all, I regret to say, of a most discouraging nature; especially the arbitrary conduct of the king as respects the "Academie der Wissenschaften," in arrogating to himself the appointment of the President, who had hitherto always been chosen by the Society; and other acts of violence.' He called on his old friend, Minist. Rath Holler, 'who almost shed tears at seeing me.' Accompanied by Schmeller he then saw the new Library, and was shocked to find it built mostly of fir, and about to be heated by hot air. On the 28th he left Munich for Ratisbon, 'pleased in the extreme with his very hearty reception by his old friends,' and 'longing for the time when the situation of his 'Scandinavian labours will allow of his 'transplanting his head-quarters to Munich: though' he adds, 'the clearness and intenseness of the light of the Munich atmosphere has always struck me, yet I think I never remarked it so strongly, compared with other places where I have resided, as during this visit.' Not for him clearly was Munich, even under the 'violent' Ludwig, what it was to Gustavus Adolphus—'a golden saddle on an ass's back.
On the 30th he reached Marienbad, just across the Austrian frontier. There for a month he drinks the Kreutz-Brunn, and bathes in the Schlammbad, that is to say, 'in a bath of turf or peat, of about hasty-pudding consistency, at a heat of from twenty-eight to twenty-nine degrees, in which one remains half an hour; and then, to cleanse oneself, enters a simple water-bath for about ten minutes.' In these pursuits he remained till the 30th of June, when he left Marienbad, 'upon the whole very well pleased with' his 'residence there.' During his stay he found time to think of Icelandic, and to write the following letter to Pjeturson:
'1842, June 10th.—Jeg bad Gislason, i Tilfældet at han skulde komme til at reise at overlevere Dem de Verb & Præposition-Register saa vel som de to Lister af excerpirte Ord hvilke jeg efterlod med ham, at bede Dem at fortsætte Læsning hvor hann skulde have ophört; ok Hensynet med dette Brev er at forandre denne Bestemmelse og tilkjendegive Dem mit Onske at De saa snart som De faae det skal begynde at læse de to Binde af Sturlunga og fortsætte denne Læsning med Anvendelsen af saa megen Tid som De kann disponere over indtil min Tilbagekomst, hvilken vill finde Sted i den förste Hælfte af næste Maaned. De ere allerede tilstrækkeligt i Besiddelsen af min Plan med Hensyn til den Maade paa hvilken denne Læsning skal udföres og jeg bede Dem at anvende stor Precision og ikke overgaa Ord som er ikke endnu tagne: hvor de i de trykte Bind finde steder over deres Rigtighed de tvivle, kann De gjöre en liden Bemærkning, og saa kann jeg sammenligne dem med Haandskriftene i Kjöbenhavn; i det Tilfælde Gislason er bleven i Byen vær saa god at sige ham, at jeg önsker Sturlunga læst for (fra?) de Haandskrifter om hvilke vi talte, jeg haaber siltigst mitte (sic) næsten Maaneds (sic) at træffe dem vel og munter i Kjöbenhavn og forbliver imidlertid, deres hengivne Ven
On leaving Marienbad he went to Leipzig, and thence to Berlin, which he reached on the 2nd of July. He called immediately on Jacob Grimm, who gave him letters to Kosegarten in Greifswald, and to Professor Hegel, son of the philosopher, in Rostock. After a chat with Raumer, he called on his old instructor Schelling, who had been called to Berlin by the king, 'whom' Cleasby says, 'I found looking on the whole lively and well. He said he had every reason to be satisfied here, but still I thought did not seem able altogether to relinquish the idea of returning to Munich, and I thought this seemed still more the case with his wife and daughters.' On the 3rd he left Berlin for the Mark and Pomerania, visiting Greifswald and Stralsund, with both of which he was much pleased. At the latter he saw outside the Rathhaus door 'a flat stone in form of a grave-stone, on which Charles XII slept during the siege of Stralsund in 1715; a hard bed enough.' On the 8th of July he left for Ystad in Sweden by steamer, and in fifteen hours from Stralsund was back in Copenhagen, where he found, to his great satisfaction, that Gislason had remained working during his absence, and not gone to Sweden at all. The next day he paid him 40 dollars for the month of June. He now took lodgings for the winter at No. 52, Vesterbro, opposite the entrance to Fredberg's Alice, from July to the Flitting Day in April, for eight guineas, and settled down to work. On the 6th of September he determined to explore Jutland thoroughly, and started laden with letters of recommendation to various residents in that interesting part of Denmark. Before he left he notes that he 'left Pjeturson in charge of his 'rooms, 52 Vesterbro, giving him permission to use' his 'bed and remain there till' his 'return. I also' he adds, 'gave Gislason leave to take out his bed and be there if he chose.' On the 20th of September he returned to Copenhagen, 'delighted with' his 'little tour, having most satisfactorily attained the object for which it was undertaken.' He found his lodgings as he had left them, his Icelandic secretaries not having made use of his permission to be there. Awaiting him was a letter from Mr. John Shaw Lefevre, relating to a proposition of Laing, the Swedish and Norwegian traveller, to publish a work on the Sagas; which he answered on the 28th as follows:
'I did not receive your letter of the 1st inst. till yesterday, on my return from a three weeks' excursion into the provinces, and cannot allow a day to pass without thanking you for your kindness in thinking of me and my labours, and for your desire that the latter should not be interfered with by another and later hand; and I will in return proceed to state, without further preface, according to your request, the more especial field of my Northern toils. My first object is to publish a Lexicon of the ancient Scandinavian language, as preserved to us chiefly in Icelandic, but also in small part in Norwegian remains, with an English and Latin translation. Not an inconsiderable part of these remains have been printed and published, but generally not satisfactorily, and with a very uncritical treatment of the text, especially when regard is had to the position which this branch of philological study now occupies; a considerable portion exists only in MSS., and it is my intention to embrace all we possess, from the earliest documents down to about the close of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century, about which period the language ceases to retain its ancient form and texture, influenced by the modern Danish and Norwegian dialects, which, as well as Swedish— though no doubt each had from olden time some dialectical peculiarities of its own—had long been more and more separating themselves from the common stock and forming a character proper to themselves. This period will embrace the Laws, Civil and Ecclesiastical, Snorro's History, the whole of the Sagas not of later origin than the said period, a considerable collection of legends, a number of writings of religious or ascetic character, the Younger Edda, some treatises of calendaric (sic) character, and a few pieces on other subjects. The very extensive and careful study necessary to such a compilation can scarcely have failed to make me intimately acquainted with the whole Saga-world, and a future translation of some of them, not without commentary, has not been foreign to my intentions; indeed, I did think of giving two or three smaller ones last year, and commenced with the translation of one, but found the Lexicon extending into a work of such circumference, that I saw, if I divided my strength, no moderate term would see it finished. Having said thus much, I cannot but add that I reserve to myself the liberty of dealing with the whole subject, both as regards remarks and translation—anything I did in the latter I should especially be desirous of accompanying with a critically correct text as far as existing documents allow—in such a manner as may most accord with the future course of my studies; but I cannot at the same time for a moment on this account seek to interfere with Mr. Laing's entering the field, which is an open and public one, and elucidating the theme after his own views, which may possibly in some respects differ from mine, and may probably cast a new and valuable light on the subject, since he has been so successful in his treatment of modern Norway and Sweden.'
Truly an admirable letter. As for Mr. Laing's venture on the Sagas, it only came to translating the Heimskringla from the Norwegian translation of Aall. With all his merits, Mr. Laing was no Icelandic scholar, and though Cleasby was, we know that his whole undivided strength was unequal during his lifetime to finish his Dictionary.
For some reason, Cleasby on the 15th of October relet his lodgings in Vesterbro, and moved into others, 4, Gammel Strand, where he remained the winter over, working away at the Dictionary with his two secretaries, taking walks with them and other of his friends in the hours of relaxation, and very often asking them out to dine with him in the suburbs. It was about this time that Gislason's eyes began to fail. On the 26th of November Cleasby wrote to his father to say that 'the hard weather, and my leading amanuensis being threatened with blindness and not able to write so much, threw more labour on me, and made it difficult for me to fix the time of my return.' As yet, however, Gislason worked on with Pjeturson, and the monthly payments of 20 dollars each continue. On the 8th of December we find the following entry, enclosed in deep black lines: 'Anniversary of a day of severe bereavement.' On that day, the year before, he had lost his mother. On the 22nd, the day after the shortest day, he enters, 'Took my two amanuenses, Gislason and Pjeturson, to dine at Fredericksberg, and drank Balder's health in commemoration of the recommencement of the reign of light.' On the 31st comes the usual entry of 20 dollars each to those two Icelanders.
On the 2nd of January, 1843, he paid Möller, the stationer, six dollars four marks for 'a book for inserting substantives' and 'cut slips of paper' and on the 11th, 'to the same for a book for the words ú—jafn, all, at, ný;' but, strange to say, he has omitted to enter the amount. On the 27th he notes: 'The half-yearly meeting of the Nordisk Oldskrift Selskab: the Crown Prince'—the late King of Denmark—'presided, and cut a much better figure than I expected from what general report says of him. He took a good deal of interest in the thing, and was sometimes smart.' Shortly before this he had written to his brother Anthony that he could not come home for the Athenæum election, but hoped he should be elected; and on the 27th he heard from him that his election had taken place. On the 10th of March he enters: 'My amanuensis Gislason entered the Fredericks Hospital to-day, to put himself under the care of Dr. Möller for his eyes.' On the 8th of April he lent Pjeturson 50 dollars. It had been very cold that year, and it was not till the 26th of April that he notes the coming of the first swallow. On the 1st of May he paid Gislason 20 dollars for this month of May, previous to his departure; and on the 3rd left two cases at the University Library, one with slips, and the other with some slips and the verb, preposition, and substantive-books. 'Paid Pjeturson 10 dollars further in addition to the 50 he received of me as loan, which is considered as payment for his labours for April, May, and June. I also gave him 20 dollars, which he was to convey to Gislason, not as payment for June labours, but, as I told him, together with the 20 dollars he received on the 1st instant, he was to apply as he pleased, without regard to any occupation for me, but for the improvement of his health.' On the evening of the same day he started for Malmoe and Travemünde, whence he went to Berlin via Rostock, delivering his letter to Professor Hegel, whom he describes as 'a very agreeable and obliging young man,' and admiring the memorial to Marshal Blücher. At Berlin, which he reached on the 8th of May, he paid the Grimms a visit, and 'was sorry to find Jacob so unwell from the remains of the grippe, as to be forbid to speak or lecture for the present.' On leaving Berlin he again passed through Halle, the town of his detestation, at which, as usual, he flings a stone in passing: 'Halic has always appeared to me the ugliest, least liveable town I know, and appeared so this time in an almost increased degree.' On the 11th of May he reached Marienbad, and for a month was immersed in Schlammbüder and drenched with Kreutz-Brunn; but on the 20th, after seven glasses of Kreutz-Brunn, comes an ominous entry: 'I have been plagued with a rather severe catarrh since my arrival, which has prevented my following up my Schlamm Baths.' On the 28th he had a letter from his father complaining of illness. On the 8th of June he wrote to him to say he should not be home before the autumn. On the 11th of June he left Marienbad for the North, taking a round by Coburg and Magdeburg, from which city he descended the Elbe to Hamburg. There, as usual, he saw Lappenberg, and thence returned to Copenhagen by way of the west coast of Holstein and Schleswig. On the 20th of June he had made his way round to Flensburg, where he took steamer for Copenhagen, and arrived on the morning of the 27th. 'On my arrival,' he says, 'I found Gislason still in the same state as to his eyes, and that Pjeturson, pressed by office business, had made much less progress in Sturlunga than I expected.' In the Danish capital Cleasby stayed till the 4th of September, superintending the progress of his Dictionary, which always slackened when he left it to others. As Gislason's eyes were still bad, we find the following entry on the 31st of August: 'Paid Gislason 20 dollars for this month, and paid to a friend of his, B. Thorlacius, who read aloud to him, for the months of July and August, 40 dollars; together 60 dollars.' On the 4th of September he wrote to Anthony, 'and told him I was but poorly, going to Sweden, and should endeavour when I came home to make some stay.' On the 5th he left for Sweden, his object being to collate the Icelandic MSS. in that country. On this occasion he posted up the country, only taking the steamer at Norrköping for Stockholm, where he arrived on the 10th of September. On the 11th he went to his friends Hildebrand and Arfwedson, now chief-librarian, who at once put him in the way to effect his object. For several days he worked in the Royal Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., passing the rest of the day in admiring Stockholm, and, above all, its beautiful Djurgard. On the 15th he went to Upsala, to see his old friend Schröder, and inspected this time, not the Codex Argenteus, but the Icelandic MSS. in that library, of which, as well as those in the Royal Library at Stockholm, there are many pages of collation and comment in the Diary. On the 10th he enters: 'I passed the evening with Geijer, and find, though age has in the last four years made considerable external impression, yet his mind is as fresh and genial as ever.' On the 16th he was back at Stockholm, and 'went to the library, and saw a very curious little Erse MS., of a few pages only, which Sir W. Betham has pronounced to be poetry, and of the 8th century. There is a curious Old English medical MS. of the 14th century, also one of the court rolls and records of the reign of Edward the Third, and a beautifully-written and preserved MS. on parchment, in Old French, being a History of the World... in which the Anglo-Saxon-English kings are treated very fully, and no doubt a work of English birth. Mr. Stephens has had the merit of discovering these objects. Drank tea and passed the evening with Mr. Hildebrand, the best specimen of the Swedish "Gelehrte" I have seen; really a sound, serious person, and zealous in his department. Mr. Stephens gave me a memorandum, begging me to make inquiry among Icelanders at Copenhagen as to any Folk-Sagor, Barn-Sagor, Folk-Visor, Barn-Visor, Vagg-Visor, and Folk-Gåtor, etc.; and of any with melodies; also as to Danska and Norrska Folk-Visor and Folk-Sagor from 1500 to 1800.'
After making the acquaintance of Dr. Retzius, the ethnologist, and seeing his collection of skulls, Cleasby left Stockholm on the 21st of September, and reached Calmar by steamer on the 22nd. Thence he posted to Malmoe, stopping at a parsonage called Hoby on the way, to inspect the celebrated stone called 'Runamo,' on which Finn Magnusen had read many Runes which no one else could decipher: Nilson of Lund and Berzelius, as 'Naturforskare,' having, on the other hand, declared the marks on the trapp rock to be the work of nature. After this inspection Cleasby was not disposed to offer any decided opinion upon so short a survey, and left the spot admiring Finn Magnusen's 'extreme boldness in making out of them a long Runic inscription.' Before leaving the parsonage Cleasby heard a piece of superstition which shewed the state of mind of the middling agricultural class. 'A bonde (farmer) came to arrange for the clergyman's marrying him, and after all was settled, hastened back to remind him on no account to publish the banns when the moon was on the wane, but when it was increasing,—the expressions he made use of were "ny" and "neðan"' At Lund Cleasby stopped to inspect some Icelandic MSS. which Professor Schlyter, the veteran editor of the Ancient Laws of Sweden, had borrowed from the Royal Library at Stockholm, and found very few of them of such an age and character as to be worthy his attention; besides which they had been fully collated by Professor Keyser. On the 27th of September he crossed from Malmoe to Copenhagen in two hours, where he found all in statu quo, ' pleased to get back again to the seat of my labours, but at the same time satisfied to the last degree with my three weeks' trip'
Cleasby now settled down to work, and it appears from a letter to his father, written on the 18th of December, that he did not intend to return home before the middle of March, 1844. In the meantime he had gone on swimmingly with his Dictionary, and as Gislason's health was still weak and Pjeturson's not much better, on the 4th of November a young man of the name of Brynjolfr Snorrason, an Icelander, was engaged to assist; and after that the payments of 20 dollars are regularly' made monthly to the three amanuenses. So the year passed on, and on the 22nd of December we have the usual entry, 'Took Gislason and Pjeturson to dine with me at Fredericksberg, and drank Balder's health in commemoration of the reign of darkness having again given way to that of light;' but on the 25th he received an unwelcome letter from Anthony, stating that his father's health was precarious; and on the 29th another, speaking so unfavourably of his state that Cleasby determined to leave for London immediately. He was just in time to catch the last steamer of the season for Kiel, and departed that day, having first packed up all his papers and sent most of them to the University Library, and the two control books and remaining slips to his friend Capt. Röder. Before he went he paid up his amanuenses for December, and two of them in advance for January. On the 6th of January, 1844, he reached London,—having travelled extra post through Lower Germany, and by rail from Cologne,—where he happily found his father much better than he had been or than he expected to find him. On the 27th of the month he wrote to Pjeturson, telling him that though he found his father better, his health was so weak that he might have to stay a month or two in England. He hoped, however, to return to Copenhagen, 'Saa snart vi skrive Martz,' and to be ready to set to work again. In the meantime he hoped both Pjeturson's and Gislason's health would mend, and that they would be prepared to work during the coming spring and summer. As for himself, he was doing what little work he could in London. Soon after this letter his father's health somewhat mended, and Cleasby determined to return to Copenhagen for a while. On the 5th of March, 'after taking an affectionate leave of my dear father, who, though very weak, appeared a good deal better than he had been, and after having received assurances from Dr. Arnott that there was no danger at present,' Cleasby started for Dover, and took the steamer for Ostend. In spite of the ice, which was thick on the Belts, he reached Copenhagen on the 15th, and immediately pays his amanuenses as usual. On the 28th he wrote to his father to say that he should be back by the middle of April. On the 29th he enters: 'Thorwaldsen died suddenly this evening at the theatre during the overture;' and on the 30th, 'Thorwaldsen's funeral took place to-day. The king, queen, and whole royal family attended at the service, and 7000 or 8000 persons at least followed in the procession. That may be said of him which can be said of few, that he has not left his like behind him.'
All this time the winter had been very severe, and it was not till the 9th of April that the ice which filled up the harbour of Copenhagen moved off. On the 15th Cleasby wrote to his father that he should leave on the 22nd. On the 16th he writes: 'Rafn sent me the first part of a to f of Egilsson's MSS. of the Poetic Dictionary, 699 sides in 4to;' and on the 20th, 'had a conversation with Rafn to-day concerning Egilsson's Poetic Dictionary, and told him I thought 500 or 600 dollars would be fair honorar. for the work, and that I had no objection to go as far as 300 dollars towards its coming out, provided it was printed in connexion with mine, and so reduced that the two together should form a key to the whole [language ?], and words partly prosal without poetical signification be not taken up in his'
On the 22nd he paid up his three amanuenses; Gislason 20 dollars, Snorrason the same, and Pjeturson 10, 'for what little he has done this month; leaving 12 packets of slips, í, i, and j 'inclusive, with Snorrason for him to work upon during my absence, with various MSS.;' and departed for Kiel and England, which he reached on the 1st of May, only to find his father very poorly. In truth it was now plain that the poor old man's days were numbered; a chronic disease of the bladder had got so inveterate that surgical skill could only prolong but not save his life. With the exception of a flying visit to Copenhagen, which began on the 20th of June and ended on the 8th of July, Cleasby stayed with his father to the last. Before he left London he wrote to Pjeturson on the 9th of June to say that he was coming for a few days, and in the meantime begged him to look after Snorrason and see how he was getting on in his work, and to write at once to say how he himself was, and whether Gislason was in Copenhagen. As Sir Benjamin Brodie on the 9th of June said that his father was in no immediate danger, the flying visit took place, as has been said. During the five days he was in Copenhagen he paid up his amanuenses and settled his accounts. On the 4th of July he writes: 'I leave behind in Copenhagen 22 packets of slips in the care of Pjeturson and Snorrason, viz. 5 packets of H; 1 of I, Í, J; 3 of K; 2 of L; 2 of M; 1 of N; 1 of O, Ó, Œ, and P; 1 of R; and 6 of S.' At the same time he wrote full instructions to his two amanuenses; Gislason's name is now wanting, and is explained by the following entry of the same day: 'I gave Pjeturson 60 dollars to be sent to Gislason to the Bath Kreischa, if he thought fit, in order that he might have the full benefit of September there if his own means would not carry him so far. I also gave Pjeturson for himself in advance, for work that might be done in my absence, 20 dollars; and paid Pjeturson, for Snorrason, 20 dollars in advance.' On the same day he left Copenhagen, and, as has been said, was back in London on the 8th, finding his father 'a shade better.'
All that month the old man lingered, and it was not till the 31st of August that he sank under his disease. His deathbed, like that of his wife, was cheered by the tenderness of his children. After the last scene, Richard Cleasby lay down for an hour or two, and on returning to his father's room 'found him stretched out upon the bed in which he died, covered over with a white sheet, with a little bunch of flowering sprigs of jasmine placed on his chest, gathered out of the little garden at the back of the house.' On the 7th he writes: 'The last ceremony was this day performed over my poor father's remains in the burial-ground of Paddington. The coffin was placed on that of my mother, who herself lies upon that of poor Stephen, in one of the vaults. Then a last adieu was said to our much-lamented parent.'
On the 4th of September, as soon as the first shock was over, Cleasby had written as follows to Pjeturson:
'Deres gode Bref af 27 ult. fand mig i den dybeste Bedrovelse, ti min kjære Faders lange Lielelser tog en Ende den 31 Aug., kl. 5, formiddag, til hvilken Tid det behagede Forsynet at beröve mig min nærmeste Slægtning og ælteste (sic) og beste Ven! jeg maa söge Understöttelse under dette haarde Slag i den trostende Tanke at jeg ved min Nærværelse og uafladelige Opmærksomheder bidrog alt mueligt til at lindre den tunge Pröve hann gik igjennem, og i den kjærlige Medlidelse og Condolence of mine Venner; Gud alene er den som veed hvad er det Beste!
'Det har gjort mig meget ondt at höre saa daarlige Efterretninger om Snorrason, alligevel er det ikke meget andet end hvad vi var besörget om forleden Höst, naar De huske, en Reise op til Island var anseet som nödvendigt for Ham, indtil i Vinterens Löb hann blev saa hurtigt ok uvæntet bedrei jeg haaber dog hann vil komme sig snarere end De synes formode. Den andre (sic) unge Mands Indvielse bliver om saa nödvendigere.
'Saa snart visse Affairer ere arrangerede, hvilke vil nödvendigt kræve min förste Opmærksomhed har jeg i sind at reise til Kjöbenhavn og haaber ved min Ankomst at höre bedre Efterretning om Gislasons Öien hvilket jeg tænker vil sandsynligt fölge en bedre Tilstand af den almindelige Sundhed; det vil være meget vigtigt at hann yde den Tjeneste hann kann i den kommende Vinter.... Haabende inden temmelig kort Tid at see Dem igjen jeg forbliver Deres hengivne
The death of his father plunged Cleasby into business, and it was some time before he could think of his Icelandic Dictionary in the pressure of family affairs. He had to go hither and thither, to Brighton and to Westmoreland, where, as far as we can discern, the family property came to him; and what with executorships and business letters, it was long before he could see his way. It is amusing, however, to see how strong his water-drinking propensity was, for on his return from Westmoreland, in September 1844, we find him stopping at Harrogate to drink its abominable sulphur spring, which he confesses did him little good. At last, on the 2nd of October, he broke away from London, laden with presents for his Copenhagen friends, in which city he arrived on the 7th. There he 'found all in order at' his 'lodgings, 159 Gammel Strand, but that unfortunately very little had been done in the Icelandic, Snorrason having been ill again, and Pjeturson had very little time; Gislason not yet returned from his watercure.' Under these circumstances it was necessary to engage other assistance, and so on the 23rd of November we find this entry: 'Snorrason left off to-day writing into the slips, and it was agreed that the money he had had, 40 dollars in June and August, should be considered as his payment up to this time.' On the 25th of the same month we read, 'An Icelander, Fridriksson—who had for Gislason written out the words out of the Collection of Fragments, No. 655, and assisted Snorrason latterly in writing them into the slips—came to-day and began to write them on in my rooms, commencing with S.'
So the year came to an end, which, if it brought him an increase of means, added much to the burden of his correspondence. His Diaries are now full of notices on letters of business, and his time for Icelandic must have been much straitened. Still he went bravely on, and his new amanuensis seems to be the best he had. This year the 22nd of December passes over without that annual party to drink 'Balder's health.' The night was now drawing near from which there was to be no return of light. Before the year was out he was called home by business, and on the 28th of December he paid up Fridriksson, Pjeturson, and Thorlacius, set them work to do, left some of his MS. of the Dictionary in Copenhagen, and had some sent to him in England. On the 3rd of January, 1845, he was again in London, and for the next three months entirely engrossed by business. The winter of 1845 was unusually prolonged both in the North and in England, and so late as the 18th of March Cleasby noticed persons skating on the water in the Regent's Park, before the house in Cornwall Terrace. Shortly after, the house having been sold, he is busy moving his father's wine and chattels to No. 5, Harley Place, Harley Street, as to which he notes on the 28th of March: 'After having had two or three days of dislocation and transportation of chattels, once in a man's life is often enough to move.' Poor man, that was his first and last moving in England!
On the 2nd of April he embarked for Hamburg, and on the 8th reached Copenhagen. As soon as he arrived Thorlacius and Snorrason came to work again, and Gislason and Pjeturson also assisted. On the 10th of June he set off for an excursion to Danzig, embarking first for Stettin. Having seen Danzig and Marienburg, with its grand old castle of the Deütscher Ritter, he returned by way of Berlin, where he saw the two Grimms, 'who were both brisk and well, and seem satisfied with Berlin. In the evening,' he writes, 'I went to Professor Ehrenberg's, where Berzelius from Stockholm was one of the guests; altogether an agreeable assembly of "Gelehrte." I called also on Schelling, who, though 70 years of age, seemed little altered.' On the 21st of June he was back at Copenhagen in time to witness the arrival of the Swedish and Norwegian students, who visited Denmark in a body, and amused the inhabitants with demonstrations in favour of an United Scandinavia.
On the 4th of July, 1845, he says: 'I was weighed at Tivoli, a place of entertainment just outside the gates of Copenhagen, and found to be equal to 148 Ibs. Danish weight, which is somewhat heavier than English; I think about 11 st. 8 lb. English.' On the 8th of August he 'accompanied Christian Lange, a Norwegian, who is here taking copies of old Norwegian diplomas, to the Office of the Archives, where he shewed me a large number of the first and some of the second half of the fourteenth century, which he had copied, which were in great part in perfectly pure old language, like Gula-Þings Log or Skuggsjá, the orthography of the vowels, as usual, very varied.'
On the 15th he paid Fridriksson twenty dollars 'for work from the 15th of June till this day;' on the 22nd he paid Thorlacius the same sum for the same purpose; and on the 25th 'made Dr. Egilsson's acquaintance; he called on me to-day.' On the 28th he left Copenhagen and went by steam to Kiel, and embarked at Hamburg, arriving in London on the 31st of August, the anniversary of his father's death, which he enters in his Diary as an 'anniversary of a day of severe bereavement' and surrounds it with deep black lines.
He had now, as we have seen, sold the old house in Cornwall Terrace and taken 5 Harley Place, at the top of Harley Street, into which his books and effects had been moved. He notes on the 11th September that he 'found all in very nice order there'
After travelling in England, partly for business and partly for pleasure, he left England again in September, and returned to Copenhagen on the 12th of October, having passed some days in Schleswig, where he observes:
'Heard throughout Schleswig that the Dano-German question as to language has rather increased than diminished in heat and difficulty of solution.'
He was now living at 159 Gammel Strand, where he 'found all in order to receive him.' On this occasion he returned loaded with creature comforts for his Danish friends, and on the 10th of October he distributed to them; but finding that the authorities of the town had overcharged him for the tax on his horse, he
'Wrote to the magistracy on the 14th, begging them to rectify their demand for tax on my horse from ten dollars, yearly charge as a foreign horse, to two dollars, the proper tax for a Danish one, which he is'
On the 16th he was delighted at hearing Jenny Lind for the first time; and, after expressing his admiration in warm terms, he adds:
'Such was the rage to get a seat in the theatre to hear her, that people stood last week in the most horrid storm and rain all the night through, from the time of the theatrical performance closing at ten o'clock at night till eleven o'clock the next morning, when the doors were opened again for the disposal of tickets. Those costing a dollar were easily sold at five or six dollars!!'
For the rest of the year 1845 he worked steadily on with his amanuenses, paying them regularly for their work. On the very last day of the year he dined with his friend Ellis, the English clergyman, and on his way back 'heard everywhere the firing which here begins on New-Year's Eve as soon as it gets dark. It is a sort of compliment in this country to fire off a pistol or two before folks' windows! Every land has its customs!' With January, 1846, his health seemed to fail him, and he went to consult a Dr. Bendz, who prescribed leeches and herb-tea and physic, and advised him not to drink too much cold water in the morning; and for some time after this the recurrence of the name of Bendz in the Diary shews that Cleasby was still in his hands. On the 6th of April he left for England, having paid Fridriksson 20 dollars 'for work to be done for me, of which I gave him particulars, during my absence.' On the 9th he reached London, and was soon deep in business. On the 14th, however, he 'had a visit from Sir Benjamin Brodie, before whom I laid my complaints of the three past months,' and accordingly had to take blue-pill and senna. His property at Brighton and in Westmoreland, besides some house-property at Chelsea, were an endless trouble to him. After struggling with his tenants and agents for the rest of that month and all the next, he left Dover for Ostend on the 31st of May, on his way to Marienbad, which he reached on the 5th of June. There it is the same old story of Kreutz-Brunn and Schlammbäder for a month. On the 8th of July he left it, and went by way of Magdeburg to Wölfenbüttel, to inspect the Icelandic MSS. there, which he collated. Thence he returned to England, reaching it on the 15th of the month. As soon as he got back he rushed down to Brighton, on hearing that his next-door neighbour was building up a wall behind his premises. On the 27th of July, 1846, he writes:
'Went to Brown, Great Russell Street; ordered finally a slab to be erected to my father's memory, to cost £23, and £1 per 100 for the letters the inscription may contain. Told him to chalk the plan in Marylebone Church, which he said he would do, and apply to my sister for the inscription etc. when wanted.'
After this came letter on letter on business, but on the 28th he left for Hamburg, and reached Copenhagen on the 1st of August. On the 10th he took part in a 'Gilde,' or banquet, given to his old friend Geijer, 'and was sorry to see him both mentally and bodily sadly altered since' his 'visit to Upsala in September 1843.' On the 9th of September he wrote to the Manager of the Hotel d'Angleterre at Frankfort-on-the-Maine to keep a room ready for him on the 24th; and on the 17th he set off to be present at the meeting of Germanische Sprach und Geschichts-Forscher, which was to be held at Frankfort. On the 25th he reached that city, having done a little grape-cure by the way, and soon found out the Grimms. He was most cordially received, and invited to the meeting, attended by about 150 professors and jurists and as many spectators. There he met most of his old friends, Schmeller, Massmann, Dahlmann, Pertz, and others, of whom Dahlmann read a paper in his section, 'shewing that the English jury is of Scandinavian, and not of Anglo-Saxon origin.' The meeting was followed by a dinner, of which Cleasby tells that 'it was bad, noisy, and cold; but, worst of all, that froward Professor Massmann must needs propose my health after some few others had been given, but when no mention had yet been made of names like Grimm and Schmeller. It annoyed me exceedingly; however, there was nothing left for it but to return thanks, and I did so; ending with proposing the health of the Grimms, the heroes of modern Sprach-Forschung—which was upon the whole, perhaps, getting out of it as well as I could.' When the sittings of the sections were over, on the 28th Cleasby says: 'Saw the two Grimms this morning, and conversed with them on various points as to the Dictionary, and shall note some of their remarks.' On the same day he had 'a final hour-and-a-halfs conversation with Schmeller' and 'shewed him part of my substantive etc. book of the Dictionary.' The same night Cleasby left Frankfort, and returned to Copenhagen, reaching it on the 4th of October.
After his return he worked on steadily with his Dictionary; but he now has 'a spasmodic cough' for which he called in Bendz, who gave him a 'tinctura pectoralis and some herb-tea.' At the end of November Bendz was called in again, to attend him for a carbuncle, which kept him in-doors for some days, and led to six visits from the doctor; and so, with failing health but still full of work, the year 1846 came to an end.
The first days of January, 1847, are filled with letters written to England on business and family matters. On the 28th he notes: 'At a meeting of the Society of Northern Antiquaries this evening the subject of Egilsson's Poetic Lexicon was brought under discussion. It was stated that I had given 150 dollars towards the honorar. and the Society 150 dollars, and that 800 dollars had been regarded as what he—Egilsson—should have. Some members found that too little, and the Society agreed to pay him 500 dollars, at 100 dollars per annum. Finn Magnusen moved that the thanks of the Society should be publicly given to me for forwarding the work; and all persons turned towards me to thank me.' Then come entries of business letters till the 31st of March, when Cleasby wrote to his sister to say that he should be home between the 8th and the 20th of April. Accordingly he paid up his amanuenses and his doctor, and to Professor Rafn 100 dollars more in addition to the 150 he had already paid towards Egilsson's Dictionary. On the 8th of April he writes: 'Before leaving ordered my box of slips and that containing the two "control books" to be sent to Captain Röder's, and left 20 dollars with Fridriksson for this month, and left him a variety of things to be done in my absence.' On the 15th he returned to England, and was soon as much occupied as ever with business. He had, however, taken a specimen of his Dictionary with him; and on the 10th of May he writes: 'Took back to-day to Taylor's the proof of the first four pages of my Icelandic Prose Dictionary, which I had set up on trial4. There was, unluckily, a great deal to correct, their not understanding the language making it impossible to know where words ought to be divided at the end of a line; and not being used to my writing also no doubt does something.' On the 12th he went down to consult his friend Kemble at his cottage near Rickmansworth, who 'expressed himself highly pleased at the appearance of the proof.' On the 10th he was off to Germany, to try a new bath. This time it was towards Homburg, then only a rising watering-place, that he turned his steps. He had better have returned to Carlsbad or Marienbad, for his cure at Homburg did him little good, though he left it delighted with the scenery. On the 10th of June he returned to England for his last visit. On the 17th he wrote to Copenhagen, to announce his speedy return, and in particular to Fridriksson, stating that he should be back at the end of the month, and that he hoped he would have got a good deal of the work ready which he left him in April, and be ready 'til videre Anvendelse af Flid;' and to tell Gislason of the time of his return, and to greet him and Pjeturson heartily. On the 19th he paid Messrs. Taylor £5 18s. for the six sides of the Icelandic Dictionary printed as an 'ensample.' During the few next days he packed up his deeds and effects, and left them in safe custody till his return—which was never to happen; and on the 23rd set off in the steamer 'Wilberforce' for Hamburg. On the 26th he reached Copenhagen, and drove at once to No. 40 B, Gamle Kongens Gade, 2 Sal., which he had taken in April for the three months ending October 1st, paying for them 75 dollars in advance. He came out as usual bringing presents to his friends, and, amongst others, to Mr. Ellis, the British Chaplain, with whom he was very intimate. In stopping at Hamburg he had enclosed proofs of the specimen of the Dictionary both to Jacob Grimm and Schmeller; but he now found on reaching Copenhagen that he had brought none of the second and third sheets for himself. He therefore wrote on the 27th of June to Grimm, begging him to be good enough to send him the two sheets 'containing the end of af and at—bragð, búa, and ok.' Cleasby seems to have spent the month of July hopefully enough, in riding and walking with his friends in the beautiful neighbourhood of the Danish capital; and on the 7th he writes to Thorpe to say that N.M. Petersen the historian was quite willing that he—Thorpe—should translate one of his works into English; and he pays his amanuenses regularly and keeps them to work. On the 28th of July he received the following charming letter from Jacob Grimm as to his Dictionary, on returning the proofs as desired:
'Wie werden Sie, verchrter Freund, mein langes Schweigen auf ihre gütige Mittheilung sich erklart haben? Es hat folgende leidige Ursache: Bald nachdem Ihr erster Brief eingetroffen war, gerieth unser gauzes Haus in die lebhafteste Unruhe, aus der es sich noch nicht erholt hat. Meine gute Schwägerin, die Sie, so viel ich weiss, persönlich kennen, war nach Jena gereist, um einen dortigen Arzt für die kränkende Tochter zu gebrauchen. Nun aber erkrankte sie selbst aufs gefährlichste. Nachdem wir einige Tage in Angst geschwebt hatten, reiste mein Bruder auch fort, um ihr beizustehen. Die Gefahr scheint zwar verschwunden, aber wir müssen doch noch in beständiger Sorge sein.
'In solcher lage verliert man alle Arbeitsfähigkeit, und thut nur noch einzelne Geschäfte mechanisch ab. Jetzt, beim genauen Wiederlesen Ihres zweiten Briefes, sehe ich, dass Ihnen an schnelle Rücksendung der Druckbogen gelegen war, und erschrecke sie versäumt zu haben. Also folgen die Bogen nunmehr augenblicklich, ohne dass ich Zeit oder rechten Sinn dafür hatte, mich uber Ihre schöne Arbeit im einzelnen auszulassen. Mein Trost ist, dass Sie keines Raths von anderen bedürfen; alles innere und äussere scheint aufs beste bedacht und gerathen. Der Himmel lasse Ihnen alles gelingen.—Ihr herzlich ergebener Freund,
'Berlin, 22 Juli, 1847.' 'JAC. GRIMM.'
But on the 1st of August a change took place. On that day he writes: 'Dr. Bendz stethoscoped me to-day, my cough, hoarseness, etc. continuing; pronounced lungs sound, but said my chest was weak; prescribed a large plaster called Manus Dei, and a draft of senega, to take a table-spoonful four times a day.' On the 2nd he notes, 'put on the plaster this evening before going to bed.' He still, however, works some hours every day, and takes little excursions into the country. On the 24th of August. he enters the arrival of a man now very distinguished in the North: 'Unger from Christiania drank tea with me.'
After this he is full of home business again, and writes a letter to Anthony on the soth, enclosing letters to his agents, and at the end, 'Said I was a little better; the monster plaster had stilled but not taken away the cough, and especially worked well with the nightly perspiration, which had become only occasional and not so violent.' On the same day he notes: 'Paid Gislason 10 dollars, with 20 last month equals 30 for two months.' On the 2nd of September he paid Fridriksson '10 dollars on account for this month.' On the 4th he enters: 'Received as a present by Mr. C.R. Unger, from him and the other editor, Mr. C. Lange, Diplomatarium Norvegicum, 1st vol. Christiania, 1847. 4to.' On the 5th he received his last letter of business from his agent in England; and on the 6th stands the last entry in these Diaries: 'Paid Fridriksson remaining 10 dollars, making 20 for this month. Answered Miles'—the agent's—letter of 28th ult. as at back of same.' So end his Diaries: the little that is left to tell of his life must be drawn from the letters of his friend Mr. Ellis, the English chaplain, to his sorrowing family.
But indeed there is little more to tell. On the 7th of September, having been, as has been shewn, under medical care for an affection of the chest, he was seized with a slight fever, at first supposed to be of a rheumatic character, but which towards the end of the month rapidly passed into a low typhoid type. On Monday, the 27th, though confined to his bed, he 'dictated in a firm voice and collected manner' a letter to his brother, in which he said that he was in no danger, but that time was needful for his recovery. Complaints were made of his treatment; but upon this subject it is now needless to enter. It is enough to say that he grew rapidly worse and never rallied. On Wednesday, the 6th of October, at 10 a.m., he had finished his mortal course. His relations had no opportunity of being with him in his last moments, for they never heard of his danger till they received the intelligence of his death. On the 14th of October his remains were deposited in a vault below the church of St. Peter, where they still remain.
So passed away the spirit of Richard Cleasby, one of the most indefatigable students that ever lived. If he were fortunate in the circumstances of his life, he was surely most unhappy in his death,—snatched away just as the mechanical part of his labours was drawing to a close, but before he could bring his philological power to bear upon the mass of materials which he had collected. His methodical and yet poetic mind, his far-sighted and yet microscopic eye, will no longer note day by day the last penny of his expenses and the very spot where he took his friends to dine, side by side with entries full of a lively interest in philology, literature, and art, and of delight at the smiling face of nature as she revives at the soft breath of spring. For him the first chaffinch will chirp in vain, the earliest swallow twitter, and the beech and willow burst out into tender green. He is gone like Balder to the realm of night, never to return. It is poor compensation for the cessation of an existence so full of spirit and work to reflect that at the same time came rest and peace; that all that weary trouble which wealth brought with it was over for ever; that no letters on business from London or Westmorland would now pursue him; that his life-long chase after health at German Baths was at an end; and that as he passed from city to city surgeons and physicians would no longer torture and torment him. These were but accidents, and, though troublesome, Richard Cleasby bore them like a man, in the firm faith that the task which he had set himself to do would still be fulfilled. It has been at last fulfilled, but not in the way which either Cleasby or his heirs at first proposed. As soon as the first shock caused by his unlooked-for death had passed over, the question arose, what was to be done with the Dictionary, which it was well known he had been on the very eve of publishing? The greatest interest in the subject was naturally shewn in Copenhagen, and Mr. Anthony Cleasby received a message from the Crown Prince, as President of the Society of Northern Antiquaries, expressing his 'deeply-felt sympathy at his decease, and' his 'desire that the work might be completed to which he had devoted himself with such zeal and perseverance for so many years.' After mature deliberation it was resolved that the MS. should be completed at Copenhagen, under the care of a committee of three—two of whom were M. Krieger, the well-known statesman and antagonist of Prince Bismark; and M. Konrad Gislason, Cleasby's chief amanuensis, on whom devolved the literary direction of the work. For this purpose the heirs of Richard Cleasby devoted several hundred pounds to erect what they naturally regarded as the best monument to his memory. In the meantime the writer had succeeded in interesting the Delegates of the Oxford University Press in favour of the work, which, when completed, was to be edited by him and printed at the expense of the University. But when the MS. of the Dictionary was forwarded after several years from Copenhagen, so far was it from being in a fit state for publication, that, after struggling with it for some years, he found it necessary to call in other assistance to complete the work. This he was fortunate enough to find in Mr. Gudbrand Vigfusson, then one of the Stipendiaries in the Arna Magnæan Library at Copenhagen, an institution which has done so much for Icelandic scholarship. After inspecting the materials placed at his disposal, Mr. Vigfusson found them so crude and in such an unsatisfactory state, that he resolved on rewriting and remodelling the whole. This Herculean task he has now completed, and in so doing has raised a monument to his own scholarship as well as one to the memory of Richard Cleasby. It is needless to say more of these Copenhagen transcripts in this place. Their nature has been sufficiently explained and exposed in the Introduction. It is enough here to point at them and pass by. The Dictionary as it now stands is far more the work of Vigfusson than of Cleasby; but if the dead take heed of aught here below, it must be a consolation to the spirit of Richard Cleasby to know that the work which he so boldly projected has at last been worthily completed, though by other hands; and if there be speech or language in those mansions, the solemn words of Hávamál will ring through them:
'Deyr fé, deyja frændr;
Deyr sjálfr it sama;
En orð-stírr deyr aldregi
Hveim sér góðan getr.'