Sigfred-Arminivs: And Other Papers by Gudbrand Vigfusson 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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Sigfred-Arminivs: And Other Papers by Gudbrand Vigfusson
Gudbrand Vigfusson
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Excerpt from Sigfred-Arminivs: And Other Papers

I have read, or was told, that on the 4th January last, the centenary of Jacob Grimm's birthday, orders were given for the teachers in every school throughout Germany to tell their scholars somewhat of him. May I, though a little behindhand, add my mite to the pile, by telling of a brief interview I had with Jacob Grimm in Midsummer, 1859, on my first visit to Germany. I tell what I have to tell from memory, looking back twenty-six years, for I have never been in the habit of taking notes or keeping a diary.

Starting from Copenhagen I landed at Stettin, stayed there but a few hours, and left the same day for Berlin. I knew no one in Berlin, nor had I any introductions; and, though I could read German, I had never spoken two words. 'Sie sind ein Wiener,' somebody said to me, wondering who I could be, and not knowing what I was saying. My first day at Berlin I spent in seeing the Museums; and on the second I went to Potsdam. The third and last I gave to Museums again; when at noon the thought of calling on Jacob Grimm came into my head, a bold resolve, as this was my third day of German speaking.

So, at 12 - 1 o'clock, I found my way to Link-strasse (to what number I have now forgotten); it was a big row of tall houses, let in flats, and facing open fields at that time. I went upstairs to the first floor on the left hand, if I remember right, and there on a brass plate was engraved -

Jacob Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm.

I rang the bell, and a manservant came to the door; I told him my errand; and having no printed card (things I have never used in my life) I wrote my name on a piece of paper and gave it him. He did not seem to understand me very well, as was no wonder, and I doubt if my dirty clothes and boots - for I had been wandering about sight-seeing since the early morning - reassured him.

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