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» • 

a • 









Portrait, after Magnus . . . . . Frontispiece. 

Croelius, Jenny Lind's first music master . . page 21 

Facsimile letter „ 36, 37 

Stockholm To face page 65 

Early Portrait „ 86 

The Wichmann Boom, at Berlin ... „ 301 

Facsimile page of Engagement Book. . . „ 428 

( ix ) 


The following memoir tells its own tale, and requires no 
further explanation. The justification that we ofifer for the 
date at which it closes is given in the body of the book. 
Nothing therefore remains for the Preface to deal with 
beyond a few matters, chiefly personal, upon which it may be 
well to say a word. 

It will be seen from the title-page that the whole of the 
materials used in these two volumes have been procured, and 
sifted, and sanctioned by the one who alone could act with 
complete, intimate, and legitimate authority. Everything 
possible has been done under this competent and exact 
scrutiny to secure that the memoir should be trustworthy 
and authentic ; and^ for further warrant, the sources whence 
the materials have been drawn have been continually recorded 
in the Notes. 

For the use made of the materials thus industriously 
collected, the two authors are solely responsible; and this 
general responsibility they have shared in common, so far 
as was practicable. But, within that common responsibility, 
each has undertaken separate sections of the work, so that 
to the one has fallen the story of Madame Goldschmidt's 
life so far as it belonged to Sweden, together with that part 
of it which followed her farewell to the stage ; while the 
other has taken in hand the whole of her dramatic and 
musical career in its European development. 


A divided authorship must, perforce, lessen the effect 
which follows on perfect unity in ideal and in expression ; 
but, on the other hand, a personality such as hers, which was 
as unique in moral character as it was rare in artistic quality, 
lends itseK to double treatment. Even if such a treat- 
ment involve some repetitions, the completeness of the 
impression may nevertheless gain thereby. 

It only remains to thank those who have more especially 
contributed to the material placed at our disposal. Such 
thanks we do, indeed, express in the pages of the book itself 
to all who have so helped us ; but some there are without 
whose aid it would have been simply impossible to make the 
book what it is ; and to these we desire to pledge our peculiar 

First of all we would do so for the privilege of the 
Dedication so graciously accorded to us, which is, moreover, 
beyond its own direct favour, a witness to the personal and 
immediate interest taken in the work by Her Majesty the 

Then we would offer our heartiest thanks to Her Majesty 
Queen Marie of Hanover for the vivid reminiscences which 
she so freely and willingly contributed out of her private 

We beg leave to thank His Majesty the King of Sweden 
and Norway for the use of his father's — King Oscar I. — 
autograph letter. And we thank, for the use of autograph 
letters and papers that were invaluable — 

In Germany. 

Herr Rudolph Wichmann (member of the German Reichs- 
The family of the late Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. 
Frau von Hillem, 


Herr Kammersaenger Joseph Hauser, 
Herr Dr. Edouard Brockhaus, 
Frau W. von Kaulbach, and 
Franlein Auguste von Jaeger, at Vienna. 

In Sweden. 

Judge Carl H. Munthe, 

Count A, L. Hamilton, 

Herr Krigsr&d C. L. Forsberg, 

Madame Anna Hierta-Retzius, and 

Count G. Lewenhaupt (of the Swedish Embassy at Paris). 

In England 

Mrs. Vaughan, 

The Lady Eose Weigall, 

Mr. Augustus Hare, 

Mrs. Salis Schwabe, and 

The Baroness French, of Florence. 

Nor can we fail to name in the list of our special 
benefactors — 

Miss Jessie Lewin, the late Mrs. Grote's literary executrix ; 

Madame Schumann, who wrote out for us with ready 
affection her remembrances of old days ; 

Mrs. C. T. Simpson, for the MS. record by her father, 
Mr. Nassau Senior, by the aid of which it was pos- 
sible to track our way tlirough an anxious episode 
in the spring of 1849 ; 

Madame Wetterberg {n6e von Platen), who with permission 
of Baron Ugglas, the owner of Fr6ken von Stedingk's 
MS. Diary, furnished us with the valuable extracts 
from her aunt's journal ; 


Miss Olivia Frigelius, of Stockholm, for her excellent 
aid in reviewing and correcting the details of our 
Swedish narrative ; 

Fru Celsing (Louise Johansson), for autograph letters and 
valuable information. 

And, in thanking Mr. and Mrs. Grandinson for the use of 
the precious Lindblad letters, we cannot but express our 
gratitude to him also for the pains, zeal, and accuracy with 
which he worked on our behalf to make the account of the 
life in Stockholm true and full. 


March^ 1891. 

( xiiJ ) 



Introduction page 1 



Birth of Jenny Lind— Her parents — The child entrusted to Carl Femdal 
at SoUentuna — Her love of the country — Return to Stockholm — ^Pru 
Tengmark, her grandmother — First discovery of musical gifts — ^The 
Fanfare — Jenny at the Widows' Home — Mdlle. Limdberg hears her 
sing — ^Introduction to Herr Croelius — Jenny transferred to the School 
of the Royal Theatre .... . . page 11 



The Royal Theatre, Stockholm — Jenny's life at school — Is hoarded with 
her mother — Contract with the Directors — ^The training of an Akiris- 
Elw — Jenny's general education — ^Difficulties with her mother — 
Friendship with Mina Fimdin — ^Takes refuge with Mdlle. Bayard — 
Jenny's letter to Fru Fundin page 23 



Jenny's dramatic power — Her first appearance as " Angela" in The Polish 
jjiine — Acts "Johanna'* in Testameniet — Criticism in the Eeimdall — 
Extract from the play — ** Otto" in Johanna de Montfaucon — •* Janette" 
in the Pasha of Suresne — " Louise" in the Students of Smdland, etc. — 
The DaUy AUehanda protests against its performance— Other parts — 


Sings at concerts — Herr Berg and his pupil — Lindblad's opera 
Frondoreme — Sacchini*s (Ediptu in Athens — ^Receives a salary from 
the R. llieatre — Appearance in 1837 — Hard work — Rise of Meyerbeer 
— Eoheri de Normandte — Jenny Lind's success . . page 40 



The moment of inspiration — "Agatha" — "Julia** — Rise in salary — 
"Alice** in Boherto — Upsala — Escort home and Students' song — 
Country life — Popular enthusiasm — Fru Lind — Louise Johansson — 
Jenny Lind*8 removal to Herr Lindblad's — Operatic successes — Pre- 
sentation — ^The judgment of Sweden .... pcige 55 



Soiree at Stockholm — Moral independence — "A unique apparition" — 
Personal appearance — A transparent countenance — ^An original panel 
— Height — A typical Swede — ^Undertone of melancholy — Friendship 
— Influence of Lindblad — Geijer's songs . . . p(ige 71 



Appointed Court Singer — Unsatisfied longings — Oflfer from the Royal 
Theatre — Refusal — Parisian scheme — Provincial tour accompanied 
by her father— Charity— Stockholm— " Lucia *'—" Alice "— " Norma " 
—Overstrain — Salary — Farewell .... page 92 


IN PARIS, 1841. 

On the way — Arrival in Paris — First introduction — Nervousness — Gbrcia's 
first impressions — Jenny Lind's anguish — ^Rest . . page 105 



Linguistic studies — Street cries — End of probation — Garcia's lessons — 
Scales and exercises — What to unlearn — The worst over — Musical 
intuition ........ page 112 




Home at Mdlle. du Puget's — Home thoughte— Mdlle. Nissen's influence — 
Madame Pereiani — Rachel — Dramatic inspiration — Despondency — A 
merciful escape page 119 



Recovery of voice with enhanced powers — ^Technical skill — Cadenze — 
Breathing — ^The Artist complete .... page 128 



Dislike to Parisian artist-life — ^Reasons for visit to Paris and return to 
Stockholm — ^Longings for home . . . . page 134 



Offers from Stockholm — ^Engagement concluded — ^Lindblad's opinion — 
Interview with Meyerbeer — ^Trial at the Grand Opera — Meyerbeer's 
judgment — M. Pillet's defence — ^The second phase ended page 141 



home: and after? 

The Continent passive — Residence at Stockholm — Invitation to Louise 
Johansson — Opening in Norma — The messa di voce — Stockholm 
enraptured — ^New characters — Swedish laws as to unmarried women — 
Jenny Lind and her parents — Appointment of an official guardian — 
Description of Herr H. M. Munthe — " The mirror of a noble soul " — 
National Jubilee — A May-day in Warend — The poet Topelius — Aid 
to Josephson — Success at Copenhagen — Touching anecdote — Lind- 
blad's songs — New parts — Gluck's Armida — Opinion of Andersen's 
Tales — Proposals from Meyerbeer .... page 155 





Stodr of Gcfiuzk — JoKpbBcn's vckcfDe — A kctw «t DmdeB— Scoewed 
cficr ax Sc4xkhcum — Jamj Lixxf s retfosil — ^A Trmmmtoos jcazacr 

^pofr 1S5 



PredaoesBon of JemiT Lind — SospeoK— lle3rcrlieer s mttentku — Coor- 
tenr of the norm] FimilT — Sqocck in SocaetT — ImrresBkn oq Lftdr 


with Heodelttc^ poye 1^ 



Das Fddlaytr in SchUsien — ^Fr&okin Tuczec as Melka . jm^ 202 



Sorma — Success — Contimsts — RdlsUVs critique — Visit from Herr 
JosephsoD — A Svedish Christmas Eve . page 211 



GermaD studies resumed — Rapid progress— Meyerbeer enchanted — ^The 
{/ublic astonished — ^llie critic^s summary — ^Invitation to London — ^At 
Tieck's — Serenade and [presentation .... page 218 



Mr. Bunn's Career — Journey to Berlin — Hears Jenny Lind — Proposals — 
Contract signed — Terms — The Ambassador's Box at the Operar--Salary 
ofMalibran ........ page 228 




Weber's death — His burial — Jenny Lind and Euryanihe — Der Fretscftiitz 
and Euryanphe — Jenny Lind's interpretation of Euryanihe — Critique 
— The apparition of Emma — La Sonnambula — Critique — Sudden 
indisposition and letter to Bnnn — ^Diffidence of Jenny Lind — Bunn's 
insistence — False reports — Last appearance — Norma — Critique 

page 237 



Soir^ by the brothers Granz — Facility and expression— Court Concerts — 
Farewell — Swedish songs— At Professor Wichmann*s — ^Unrest 

page 253 



The homeward journey — ^The Bunn shadow — Guest performances at Ham- 
burg — Joy of return — ^Delight of her people — ^A welcome — Eighteen 
performances — "Fiorilla" in II Turco in Italia — Die Tochter des 
liegiments for soldiers — ^A concert — Country life— Sunmions to the 
Court of Prussia page 259 



Her Majesty's reception by the King and Queen of Prussia — Inauguration 
of the statue of Beethoven at Bonn — Extract from Herr Brockhaus' 
diary — Jenny Lind sings at the State Concerts — Mrs. Grote*s account 
of a State Concert — A sorrow — Meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Grote at 
Frankfort — ^Mrs. Grote offers to intercede with Bunn — Jenny's wish to 
retire and her reasons — A London journalist's opinion of Jenny Lind's 
personal appearance and voice — Proposals for Vienna . page 268 



Critique by a grave Art historian — Letter to Madame Birch- Pfeifter — 
Impressions of Copenhagen — The Mind-World of the North — Poems 
by (Ehlenscblager and Andersen .... page 278 





Tlie London engagement — Letter to Bonn and his reply — Mrs. Grote'a 
witiidmwal — Unfoianded reporto — Nce^ens annety from inex- 
1«rleiiee jwflre 290 



True' friends — Happy evenings — ^A brilliant season — ^*' Donna Anna" — 
Mozart's Dan Giovanni — Finale to 11 Don Giovanni — Hoffmann's 
Phantasiesiucke — RelUtab's critique upon Jenny Lindas "Donna Anna" 

page 299 



First production — ^The Berliniiche ZeOmnguj^n Jenny Lind's impersona- 
tion of " Agathe " — ^I'he discovery of March 7th — ^The opera of Nature 

page 310 


Jenny Lind's devotion to Art — Self-depredation — Artistic position 
reviewed by Jenny Lind in letter to Madame Erikson — Desire for re- 
tirement — ^Account of appearances at Berlin — Appreciation of a good 
accompaniment — Later praise of Herr Gbldschmidt on American tour 

page 315 



Jenny Liod's opftnicm of MeDdelssohn — ^Reflex aetion — ^Mendelssohn con- 
ducting at Berlin — ^Tlie two great Artieta at Lnpeig — Great popular 
excitement — ^Freeliateuspeoded — ^Indignation of the Students of the 
Conservatorium— Ruah for tickets — ^Duet by Jenny Lind and Miss 
Dolby — Herr Heiurieh Brockhaus' diary — The note-book of Herr 
Edouard Brockhao0--Serenade and pieeentation — Menddssohn returns 
thanks for Jenny Lind page 323 



Madame WIchmann's salon — ** Jnlia " in Die Vedalin — ^Libretto reviaed 
by Jenny Lind and Madame Biich-Pfeiffer— ReUatnb'e glowing panegyric 
on the perforpiance— Jenny Lind's unoring dramatic instinct pttge 335 




(Children of die North at Berlin on Christmas £Te — ^An alfraoo toilette— 
An entknsiftstic admirer — Auderaen and Jenny Lind at Weimar — 
Visit to the Ftintengruft— Verses by Sallelr— Visit to Ite Mendels- 
sohn finmily at Leipsig — Be-appearance at Berlin in Iku Mdlofer in 
Sckletien poffe 345 



Meyerbeer's panotiiioos regard for perfection of detail — Personnel of the 
cast in Les Huguenots — RelUtab's criticism on Jenny Lind's •* Valen- 
tine" page 352 



An unfortunate accident — General sympathy — ^Mendelssohn^ letter — 
AllusioBs to the Elijah — Three weeks* impfisonment — Medallion 
p«)rtrait modelled by Professor Wichmann — ^Pbrtrait by Magnus — Re- 
appearance of Jenny Lind in Norma — ^Benefit recorded by Rellstab— 
Detailed list of appearances diuriog the two Berlin seasons page 358 



Visit to the Brockbaus family — Mendelssohn's home-life — Home-life of 
Professor Wichmann — Herr Ferdinand David — Mendelssohn as an 
accompanist — Madame Schumann .... page 371 



ResideDoe — ^Madame Birdi-Pfeiffer's delineation of Jenny Lind's character 
— ^Mendelssohn's letter to Herr Franz Hauser — ^Tha ** Theater an der 
Wien** and its history — Die Zauberfldle — Norma — Timidity of Jenny 
Lind — Herr Hauler's reassurance— Success — Press notice of Jenny 
liind's appearance . page 378 




Strong party against Jenny Lind — Successful appeanmce in La Son- 
nambula~-Coxaii\es& calls before the curtun — Scheme for a libretto 
for Mendelssohn by Madame Birch-Pfeififer — Difficulties — Die Welfen 
und OhSbdUnen — A wreath from the Empress-Mother — ^An ovation — 
Accident to the man-servant Gorgel .... pcige 386 



Mendelssohn engaged on the Elijah — Hauser's estimate of Jenny Lind — 
Verses by Grillparzer ...... potje 401 



The Rhenish Festivals— "St. Paul" in 1836— The present festival at Aix- 

la-Chapelle — Consideration for an invalid servant — Haydn's Creation 

— ^The Jenny Lind Fest — Letters from Mendelssohn and others 

— Departure from Aachen — Elijah on the eve of production 

jpck/c 407 



The Drachenfels — Appearances at Hanover — Friendship with the Royal 
Family — Second season at Hamburg — Press attacks upon Jenny Lind 
— Overstrain — Project for holiday in Switzerland— ^»yaA still un- 
finished — Swiss plan abandoned— Cuzhaven substituted pa^^ ^^"^ 



** Annotations-bok ** of Jenny Lind — Visit to Frankfort — Mrs. Grote and 
Mr. Lumley — The Bunn Contract — ^English influences — Mr. Edward 
Lewin — Mr. Lumley's efforts — Mendelssohn's introduction of Chorley 
— Mendelssohn's appreciation of the English character — Chorley's im- 
pressions of Jenny Lind — Darmstadt — Lumley's trust in Mendelssohn's 
influence — Engagement with Lumley signed — Fresh endeavours to 
obtain a libretto — ITie Lumley Contract . . . page 420 








Jenny Lind — the name carries music with it to English ears. 
The memory is very tender and fragrant of her who, to our 
joy, found, for so long, a home among us. And yet it may 
well be questioned whether we English have even yet formed 
an adequate estimate of her gifts and character. 

For what is it which we have in our minds as we recall 
her name ? It is, first, some tale of the wonderful days when 
all London went mad over her singing. We have heard 
people tell, as their eyes kindle with the old passionate 
delight, how she came tripping over the stage in the Figlia, 
and how the liquid notes came rippling off her lips. We 
hear of the hours they waited in the historic crush at the 
Opera in the Haymarket ; of the feverish energy with which 
they toiled to catch one glimpse of her passing. We 
remember, with a smile, some picture in an old copy ot 
Punch, or the Illustrated London Neios, of scenes in the Opera 
passages on a Jenny Lind night 

And then we add to this memory of that surpassing 
triumph, the thought of one whose purity and simplicity 
won all hearts to love the girl who, in the hour of her over- 
whelming success, remembered others rather than herself, 
and poured out her money in charities, and devoted her 

B 2 


marrelloiis gifts to the relief of poveitT and the heading 
of pain. 

That is our Kngli5h pictme. and it is good and pleasant 
enough; and it-is quite tme, so &r as it goe& Bat it is 
strangely imperfect and fragmentary. It assumes that her 
operatic career is to be identified with the brief passage of 
those London seasons, and that her fione is a private 
possession of oar own here in England, where she lived and 
died. There prevails no general conception that the F-nHi^h 
visits were bat the latter episodes of a long dramatic ex- 
perience — an experience which had began, with extraordinary 
promise, before she had passed oat of her childhood, and 
which had already won to her the same enthusiasm which 
greeted her in England, not only in her own Swedish home 
and in the kindred capital, Copenhagen, bat in the great 
masical centres of Germany — ^Berlin, the Bhine, Leipzig, 
Manich, and Vienna. 

Nor was it only the enthosiasm of the general pnblic for 
a most beaatifal voice, which had been already given her ; 
bat it was the aathoritative chiefis of the musical art who had 
signalised in her the arrival not only of an exquisite singer, 
but of a supreme and unique artist The admiration for 
Jenny Lind was not a mere popular fever, such as has now 
and again followed the steps of some favourite of the Opera. 
Its peculiar force lay in this — that it held enthralled the 
highest and best minds in Europe. It was the men of genius 
who recognised in her something akin to themselves. In her 
native land it had been those who dominated in the musical 
and literary world who were drawn to sing, and vrrite, and talk 
of her — Oeijer, historian and poet ; Lindblad, the " Schubert 
of Sweden " ; Bishop Thomander, Fredrika Bremer, Topelius. 
At Copenhagen it is the chief artists and poets, and writers 
and sculptors of the day who are profoundly sensitive to her 
influence — Jensen, Hans Andersen, Thorwaldsen, Melbye, 


OEhlenschlager. In Berlin it is Meyerbeer, who can talk of 
nothing else but this marvellous Swedish girl. In London it 
is Moscheles, who writes, " What shall I say of Jenny lind ? 
It is impossible to find words adequate to describe the 
impression she has produced. This is no short-lived fit of 
public enthusiasm. So much modesty and so much great- 
ness united are seldom, if ever, to be met with." It is 
Thalberg, Taubert, Schumann, who welcome her into the 
elect company of the masters, " who know." It is Tieck and 
Kaulbach at Berlin, it is Grillparzer at Vienna, who are her 
friends and her hosts. And, finally, it is Mendelssohn 
himself, who, as will be seen in the letters that follow, is 
fascinated by her personality, and feels all his gifts roused 
in him to compose something worthy of her, and is eager and 
on fire to put out all his power in an opera which she may 
sing, and bends before her judgment as to his own place and 
career, and delights to share with her the deepest motives 
and convictions with which he sets to work at the Elijah. 
Does not our picture of the Haymarket crush rather fade into 
insignificance as a standard of Jenny land's position as an 
artist when we recall the high notes of the soprano in tiie 
Elijah^ giving out the cry of Seraphim to Seraphim, "Holy, 
holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth," and remember that it was 
with her image before him that Mendelssohn wrote that 
music — that it was to catch the peculiar beauty which he 
loved in her voice that the high F sharps ring out so 
appealingly in the " Hear ye, Israel " ? And have we at all 
realised that she was one of whom he could say, " She is 
as great an artist as ever lived; and the greatest I have 
known " ? * 

The. question that we have put was one which her visible 

* Kecorded by Mrs. Grote, in her Note-book, as said to her by Mendek- 
8ohn in 1846. Cf, Mendelssohn's words to Hans Andersen, at p. 288 of 
this volume. 

6 JENNT UND. OooK i. 

presence would at once suggest. Sniely those who first saw 
her in much hiter life must have instinctiTely felt a jar 
between the popular ideal and the realisation ; not that she 
was less than their expectation, but that she was so much 
more than the general report tended to convey. They had 
come to be introduced to her, murmuring perhaps to them- 
selves some air from the Sonnandmla^ or the Figlia^ 
with which her earlv fame was associated ; but the air was 
foi^tten when they found themselves in her presence ; that 
strong and solemn face, with its deep lines and grey pathetic 
eyivsk with its grave dignity, with its serious exaltation — 
what had this face in common with an Opera of Donizetti ? 
i'hanu. animation* lightness, grace — these, no doubt, she had 
ut aiimuand» and she could brim over with gaiety and 
humour ; but not in these lay the unpiessicm she produced — 
not hor^ was the dominant note struck. Sather one felt 
out^^lf to be facing a character of emphatic force and vigorous 
outliuo$ — a character that it was difficult to imagine curbed 
witliiu the conventional artificialities of the Italian drama. 
It had far more of the impressive pose of a powerful 
tragedienne. Even the name of " Jenny lind *' seemed to be 
inadequate to the occasion. It is a name which English lips 
caress with affection, having in it the sense and sound of 
some homely and endearing diminutive. But here, one felt, 
was something more than affectionate diminutives could 
express ; something more than a delicious singer ; something 
more, even, than the purr; and simple and beneficent woman. 
All this there certainly was, but with it and above it was 
that which startles and quells and even alarms — something 
of a rare and majestic type, which broke through the ordinary 
layers which encrust and imprison our average human life ; 
a character solitary and distinct, dowered with strange in- 
tensity, retaining its free original spontaneity, drawing ever 
on its own resources, independent and somewhat contemptuous 


of those external tests and standards by which the mass of 
men guide their hesitating judgments. Susceptible, indeed, 
she was, as an artist must be, to outside influence and 
atmosphere, but her individuality had not succumbed, or lost 
its sharp and unique distinction under this liability to 
sensitive impression; it had never yielded to the grinding 
years. It retained, obviously and undeniably, the rarity and 
the grandeur of genius ; and all who had eyes to see knew, at 
a gla^nce, that here before them was a pilgrim-soul, aloof and 

** One of the small tnmsGgured band, 
Whom the world cannot tame," 

It is to justify this high estimate of her powers and gifts- 
that this book is written. It starts from the level of 
Mendelssohn's judgment of her. If, indeed, she was the 
greatest musical artist that he had ever known, it is well 
worth while to ask whence her capacities took their rise, what 
was their artistic development, what are the special notes 
and features which were most characteristic ' of her genius. 
The very existence of an artist who responded to Mendels- 
sohn's Ideal, is bound to set us thinking. What was the 
secret of her sway ? In what was she emphatically herself, 
individual and unique ? What elements of power and skill 
did she owe to external influences ? The book proposes to^ 
respond to such questions as these ; and, with this end in 
view, after lightly tracing the records of her birth and early 
infancy, it offers a sketch of her dramatic career from the 
year 1829-30, when she first passed within the doors of 
the theatre, to the year 1850-51, when, after having bade 
farewell to the stage for ever, she signalised her new position 
by her triimiphant passage to the New World beyond the 
Atlantic. Within those full twenty years she was a Child of 
the Drama in an intimate and peculiar sense. Within tiiat 
time she won the experience, imder the pressure of which the 

« JENNY LIND. [book i. 

gifts with which she was endowed received their impress, and 
moved forward to their perfection. By the close of those 
years she had gained everything that gave its unique 
character to her artistic genius ; for, not only had she proved 
her complete mastery over all the manifold opportunities 
and material of the operatic stage, but she had already, in 
-earlier days, by her singing of selections from the Creation, 
and the Seasons, and more especially by her marvellous 
rendering of the soprano part in the Elijah, in London, on 
behalf of the Mendelssohn Scholarships, on December 15th, 
1848, attested her supremacy in that domain of art which 
was so singularly congenial both to her special capacities and 
to her spirited temper, and through which she was, in after 
years, to carry such a high message to her hearers — the 
•domain of sacred Oratorio. 

Those twenty years, then, contain the secret of her growth 
as an artist. The years that followed, besides the splendid 
opportunities which they brought her of exercising the 
powers which were already matured, added, also, to this, 
much which matured and deepened the woman's inward 
history — added the good gifts which she herself had, by hard 
necessity, most pitifully lacked in her early days — the gifts 
•of tender domestic love, of watchful devotion — the back- 
groimd of warmth and confidence which belongs to home, 
and husband, and children. All this would, for herself, 
measured by her own balances, be of priceless worth in the 
estimation of her life, and for those who knew and loved 
her, it would be of inexhaustible interest. But it is the 
artistic life, alone, of an artist, over which the world has 
a positive and imdeniable claim. The rest is a matter for 
private judgment, for personal consideration; it may be 
made public or not, according to the decision of those who 
have full right over it. But an artist is, in a sense, 
public property ; his or her art makes direct appeal to public 


judgment ; it ofiTers itself as a public endowment to the world 
at large. Its development, its movements, its story, are 
public facts. And it is due to mankind, when it gives to an 
artist a generous and unstinted welcome, that it should know 
the peculiar growth and training, the advantages and the 
perplexities, the hindrances and the helps, through which 
that gift, which was at last so triumphant, won its slow way 
forward out of darkness into light. Such a story may not be 
without profit, if it aids men to understand how better to 
cherish and foster those germs of genius which are to be found 
scattered in such strange freedom, amid conditions which 
seem least calculated to rear them in hardihood and grace. 
And, certainly, the tale of Jenny Lind may well be told for 
the sake of bearing splendid witness, to aU those who feel 
themselves stirred by some inherent native power, of the 
unconquerable force with which a pure and strong individu- 
ality, if it be true to the inner light and loyal to the outward 
call, can dominate circumstances, however harsh and rude, 
and can, with a single eye on the far goal of artistic perfection, 
and upheld by faith in God, move straight to its aim with an 
unswerving and irresistible security, shaping its passage, amid 
pitfalls and snares, over this perilous earth with a motion as 
free and sure and faithful as a star that passes, in unhindered 
obedience, over the steady face of heaven. 

Nor will it be without significant interest that those twenty 
years begin with her earliest attachment to the Royal 
Theatre in her own home-city of Stockholm, and end with 
her tribute-gifts, made out of her wonderful winnings, as 
thank-oflferings to that theatre and home to which her heart 
had so often and so tenderly turned. The years of her main 
artistic growth are those in which, whatever her successes 
elsewhere, Swedish influences dominated her life. It was 
from the Swedish stage that she derived all her dramatic 
training. It was Swedish literature, Swedish literary men. 

10 JENNY LIND. [book i- 

who first made her sensitive to the high motives that were at 
work within her. It was in their company, under their 
encouragement, that she learned the truth and power of her 
own spiritual promptings. It was to carry back to her 
beloved Stockholm the rich fruits of her Parisian discipline 
that she toiled in exile. And even though, as an artist 
could not but do, she felt her spirit expand when she found 
herself taken into the full sweep of the musical forces at a 
great centre like Berlin, still her Swedish heart beat true to 
the old home-country, and it was out of her innermost self 
that she bent herself, as soon as the currents of her public 
triumph carried her far abroad, to the sweet task of securing 
for Sweden, out of the gains that Europe and America poured 
into her lap, records and pledges of her faithful remembrance 
of the needs and necessities of her own people, and her 

( 11 ) 



" A Child of the Drama " — so we have named her — and not 
without reason ; for it was within the shelter of the Royal 
Theatre at Stockholm that she first found the comfortable 
wannth of a steady and a tender home, in which her child- 
heart, with its intense affections, could freely and candidly 
expand. She was hardly ten years old when she came under 
the guardianship of the Eoyal Theatre ; and throughout 
those nine early years, she was a forlorn little pilgrim, often 
passed about through the hands of strangers, and pitifully 
deprived of that deep security which a fixed and stable 
home-life inbreeds in us through its traditional sanctities and 
immemorial kindnesses. 

Her birth, which took place in the parish of St Clara, in 
Stockholm, on October 6, 1820, found both her parents some- 
what under difficulties. Her father, Niclas Jonas lind, son of 
a lace-manufacturer, seems to have been able to do little or 
nothing towards providing a home for mother and child. He 
was very young, only twenty-two years old ; he had, through 
lack of energy, failed to continue his father's business, and 
at this time, kept the ledgers at a private merchant's house ; 
in virtue of which office he is entered as " Accountant *' in 
the church register at the baptism of his little daughter, 
who was christened, on the day after her birth, with the 
name '' Johanna Maria." 

Such a post would, no doubt, bring him in but little ; and 

12 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. n. 

perhaps he was not very likely to make the most of what he 
got. For he was good-naturedly weak ; much given to music 
of a free and convivial kind, such as was widely popular in 
Sweden at that day, when the influence of Bellman was at its 
height This brilliant Anacreontic genius, whose songs are 
to the Swedes what those of Eobert Bums are to Scotchmen^ 
though he had himself died as long ago as 1795, had, under the 
rigimc of Gustavus III., gained a sway which enthralled the 
people during the first thirty years of the century. His songs 
were sung with unboimded enthusiasm ; great popular feasts 
were held in his honour. Even now, we understand, on 
Bellman's Day in July, his admirers gather to pour libationa 
before his bust ; and still a Society meets every month to sing 
his songs. In 1820 this poetic thraldom was in full posses- 
sion ; and Mr. Lind had a good voice, and took an eager part 
in the musical festivities. Such a life, it wiU be easily 
understood, does not tend to foster steadiness or thrift ; and 
he was perfectly unable to provide mother and child with 
either lodging or board, though he probably contributed to 
it in some slender way. All the practical management had 
to be left to the energy and determination of the mother, 
who was, at the time, making her own way through the 
world under conditions wliich were not favourable to a baby's 
entry on the scene. 

She was, herself, of very respectable burgher-stock. Her 
maiden name had been Anna Maria Fellborg ; but she had 
been first married, in 1810, at the age of eighteen, to a 
Captain R&dberg. Her marriage had proved very unhappy, 
owing to the bad character of the husband ; and after about 
eighteen months she obtained a divorce from him in the High 
Ecclesiastical Court, the Court assigning to her, in decisive 
recognition of her husband's misconduct, the custody of a 
little daughter who had been bom to them, called Amelia 
Maria Constantia, together with aliment to the amount of 

1820-30.] CEILDBOOD. 13 

half E&dberg'a inoome, whatever that might be. She -was 
thua thrown upon her own tmaided exertions ; but she was a 
woman of great force of character, well-educated for her cir> 
cumBtances, resolute not to be beaten. She got along, in one 
way or another, chiefly by means of education ; and in 1820, 
at Jenny's birth, was keeping a day-school for girk,' one or 
two of whom she also boarded ; it was one of these Uttle 
boarders, nine years older than Jenny, who became after- 
wards so helpful to her as companion and friend — Louise 
Johansson, whose name will frequently recur in the course of 
our story. 

A baby would be, no doubt, a most tiresome inconvenience 
in the jnanagement of such a household ; and so her mother 
aeems to have placed the child, at once, under the care of 
Carl Femdal, who was oiganist and parish clerk of the church 
at Ed-Sollentuna, some fifteen English miles out of Stockholm. 
She was tended by this man and bis wife for about three 
years, her mother visiting her, it seems, at intervals, and 
spending with her the summer of 1821. Owing to some 
dispute with the clerk, she took Jenny back In 1824, pro- 
bably in the early part of the year, to Stockholm ; but it is 
possible to believe that those early years in Sollentuna were 
not without some influence on the child's character, for they 
seem to have woke up in her, from the very start, that innate 
and instinctive sense of the country which was so noticeable 
in her. The instinct itself is, indeed, native to the Swedes, 
for whom " the country " is a passion ; and this national 
characteristic held, in her, a deep-rooted dominion. Some- 
how, one felt, in her company, as if she had come out of the 
country. She was in close touch with all that belongs to a 
simple peasantry. She knew the tones of its songs ; and the 
riiythm of its dances ; its simplicity, its charm, its pathos — all 
were hers. Something of its native depth and dignity seemed 
to have passed into her. She ever felt herself at home in 

14 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. n. 

the country ; she breathed there freely ; she revelled in its wild 
flowers, in contrast with cultivated garden-flowers for which 
she had little love. She had an intense delight in the songs 
of wild-birds, with whose ways and habits she had intimate 
acquaintance. She enjoyed, especially, the expanse of wide 
waters .' She delighted to be at large ; she hated crowds, and 
the pressure of a city, and the unresting stir of society. She 
did not desire the constant company of many fellow-creatures ; 
the town-instincts did not draw her. Her need of music 
might bring her to live there where she could best satisfy it ; 
but her heart was, naturally, away in country-scenes, where 
men were not too thick and near; and where (Jod seems 
closer ; and where the soul can feed its own high thoughts, 
somewhat aloof and alone, unfretted by man's insistent noise. 
Yet, after these first four years, she was brought up alto- 
gether in a city, winning the sight of the country only in her 
holidays. Something, surely, sank down very deep into the 
tiny baby, as she toddled in and out of the clerk's house, in 
the village of Sollentuna — something, which made her at 
home, ever, amid trees and fields — and something which was 
still strong in her to the end, linking the first days in the 
Swedish village to those last hours when she waited for her 
death, hid in the English home, where she had made for her- 
self a refuge of peace, amid the sweet solitude of the Malvern 

Back, however, to Stockholm, she was then quickly 
brought ; and there, in her home, she, most likely, found a 
new arrival in the person of Fru Tengmark, her grandmother 
on her mother's side, now in her second widowhood, who had, 
hitherto, lived with one of her daughters, Fru Perman, at 
Ostersund, in the north of Sweden, but who had now come 
to press her claim for admittance into a certain Home for 
the Widows of Stockholm burghers, an established and 
endowed institution of some importance in Stockholm. 

1820-30.] CHILDHOOD. 15 

Already, in 1822, the old lady had put in her plea that she 
was unable, at an age which made employment impossible, 
to save herself, by her own efforts, from need ; but it was 
not until 19th August, 1824, that rooms were finally 
allotted to her. Jenny, therefore, it would appear, found her 
at her mother's house ; and she seems to have received from 
Fru Tengmark a more kindly and appreciative treatment than 
it was in her mother's nature to bestow upon her. She 
always spoke of her grandmother with strong admiration and 
affection. Above all, she took in from her *a profound im- 
pression of religion ; and it was to her that, in after-years, she 
was accustomed to trace back those spiritual influences which 
became the very soul of her life. 

It was the grandmother who was the first to detect the 
musical gifts of the child ; and this detection left a profound 
impression on the child herself, as if she, too, then first made 
a discovery of what was in her through the surprise which 
she found herself producing in others. The story formed her 
earliest distinct memory. Coming up from the country to 
the town, she was struck by the music of the military bugles 
that daily passed through the street ; and one day when she 
fancied herself alone in the house she crept to the piano on 
which her half-sister used to practise her music, and, with 
one finger, strummed out for herself the fanfare which she 
had caught from the soldiers. But the grandmother was at 
hand, and, hearing the music, called out the name of the 
half-sister, whom she supposed it to be ; and little Jenny, in 
terror at being found out, hid imder the square piano ; she was 
80 small that she fitted in perfectly ; and the grandmother, 
getting no answer to her calls, came in to look, and presently 
discovered her, and dragged her out, and was astonished, and 
said, "Child, was that you?" and Jenny, in tears at her 
crime, confessed ; but the grandmother looked at her deeply, 
and in silence ; and when the mother came back she told her, 



[bK. I. CH. II. 


and said : ** Mark my words, that child will bring you help." 
And, after that, the neighbours used to be called in to hear 
her play. As she told the story in later years, she would re- 
produce most vividly the frightened look of the child creeping 
away to hide ; and the significant look of the wonder-struck 
grandmother as she took in that it was indeed the tiny crea- 
ture of three years old who had played the tune. She never 
forgot the historic " fanfare " ; and, as the earliest signal of 
her after-career, it is given in the form in which she herself 
committed it to the memory of her daughter. 

lu \ r gJ r i . r^Hj j i j^j^ji 

lu \ r gJ r i . r^Hj j i j^j^ji 

At this day-school Jenny continued with her mother, for 
three or four years ; but, at last, the only boarder, Louise 
Johansson, was taken away, and her mother found herself 
hard pressed for funds. She determined to go out as gover- 
ness ; and, perhaps with this intention, answered an adver- 
tisement stating that a certain childless couple were anxious 
to have a child to take care of. It turned out that this 
couple lived in the very same Widows' Home, in which Fru 
Tengmark had rooms, the man being the Guardian or Steward 
of the Home — a thoroughly comfortable and respectable posi- 
tion, by right of which he occupied the Lodge at the gate. 
This all seemed to fall in admirably, as Jenny would have the 
companionship of her favourite relation. So thither she was 


aent, probably in the year 1828 ; and her mother retired from 
Stockholm and took a place as governess, in Ijnkoping, 
carrying with her her daughter Amftlm R&dberg to help her 
in her educational work. 

For a year and more abe lived in the Widows' Home, but 
there is nothing recorded of her life there until we come to 
the fomoufl incident which brought about her removal, and 
which fixed, for ever, the lines of her future career. It came 
about in this fashion. " As a child I aang with every step I 
took, and with every jump my feet made." So she herself 
records in her letter to the Editor of the ' Swedish Bio- 
graphical Lexicon,' written in 1865 ;• and, apparently one of 
the forms which the perpetual song took was addressed to a cat, 
" with a blue ribbon round its neck," of which she was very fond 
The rest of the story shall be given in her own words as they 
were ta^en down by her eldest son, to whom she told it at 
Cannes in the spring of 1887. " Her favourite seat with ber 
cat was in the window of the Steward's rooms, which look out 
on the lively street leading up to the Church of St. Jacob's, and 
there she sat and aang to it ; and the people passing in the street 
used to hear, and wonder ; and amongst others the maid of a 
Mademoiselle LtmdbeTg,a dancer at the Eoyal Opera House; 
and the maid told her mistress that she had never heard such 
beautiful singing as this little girl aai^ to her cat. Made- 
moiselle Lundberg thereupon found out who she was, and 
sent to ask her mother, who seems to have been in Stock- 
holm at the time, to bring her to sing to her. And, when she 
heard her sing, she said, " The child is a genius ; you must 
have her educated for the stage." But Jenny's mother, as 

* The Editor of this Biognphiol Dictionary had written to ber to ask 
if Bhe could give him an; account of ber artistic training. She wrote back 
a most characteristic letter, of whicb fragments only were inserted in the 
Dictionary, among the " Addenda " to Vol. vifi., New Series, p. 363 (1868). 
The lettar is given in full in the Appendix to tjie present memdr. 


18 JENN7 LIND. [bk, l oh. n. 

well as her grandmother, had an old-fashioned prejudice 
against the stage ; and she would not hear of this. ** Then 
you must, at any rate, have her taught singing/* said Made- 
moiselle Lundberg ; and the mother was persuaded, in this 
way, to accept a letter of introduction to Herr Croelius, the 
Court-secretary and Singing-master, at the Eoyal Theatre. 
Off with the letter they started ; but, as they went up the 
broad steps of the Opera House, the mother was again 
troubled by her doubts and repugnance. She, no doubt, had 
all the inherited dislike of the burgher families to the 
dramatic life. But little Jenny eagerly urged her to go on ; 
and they entered the room where Croelius sat. And the 
child sang him something out of an Opera composed by 
Winter. Croelius was moved to tears and said that he must 
take her in to Count Puke,' the head of the Boyal Theatre, and 
tell him what a treasure he had found. And they went at 
once ; and Comte Puke's first question was, ** How old is 
she ? " and Croelius answered " Nine years old." *' Nine ! " 
exclaimed the Count ; '* but this is not a Crtehe ! It is 
the King's Theatre ! " And he would not look at her, she 
being, moreover, at that time what she herself (in her 
letter to the ' Biographical Lexicon ') calls " a small, ugly, 
broad-nosed, shy, gauche, under-grown girl ! " " Well," said 
Croelius, "if the Count will not hear her, then I will 
teach her gratuitously myself, and she will one day as- 
tonish you!" Then Count Puke consented to hear her 
sing ; and, when she sang, he too was moved to tears ; and, 
from that moment, she was accepted; and was taken, and 
taught to sing, and educated, and brought up at the 
Government expensa 

So she told it ip her own graphic manner ; and what these 
last words imply we must now see, for they mark the most 
crucial event in her life. We have seen how her mother re- 
pelled the thought of the stage. It was a deep-rooted tradi- 

1820-30.] CBILnnOOD. 19 

tional repugnance ; and her child, in after-years, when ahe 
herself h&d come stron^y under the influence of the same 
repugnance, used to regard it as inherited &om her mother. 
" She, like myself, had the greatest horror of all that was 
connected with the stage." So she wrote in 1865. How 
far these words about herself need qualification, we shall see 
as oar story advances ; but as, in its later years, this repug- 
nance played ho vital a part in fashioning her life, it may be 
well to note it here at its first appearance, where it makes 
tJie mother hang back, at the very door of the theatre, and 
is only overcome by the entreaties of the eager little child, 
longing to give proof of her gift. Those stairs, so haunting 
to the two who then crept up them, were to become familiar 
enough to the little feet which then ilrst felt them. Up 
that broad flight she stepped on to the platform on whicli, 
for twenty years to come, she was to live out her life, and 
win her oaexampled victories. As she pulled at her mother's 
unwilling hand that day, she took the step which determined 
her whole destiny. 

For, radical as her mother's dislike might be to the stage, 
yet fate, on the one hand, was too strong for her, and, on 
the other, she was pressed sorely by her straitened means. 
Croelins and Count Puke were not goii^ to let their new- 
found treasure slip tltrough their hands. They made an 
immediate offer to relieve tlie mother of all direct respon- 
sibility for her child's maintenance and education ; they 
proposed to adopt her into the School of Pupils, which was 
attached to the Eoyal Theatre, looking to repay the expenses, 
which they risked, through the aftet-3ucces3 wliich they 
anticipated. It was a generous proposal ; it came at a 
moment of pressure when it was almost impossible to refuse 
the opportunity of relief; and the mother yielded. To her it 
still seemed an act by which, in lier own words, used after- 
words to the directors of the theatre, she was " sacrificing her 

C 2 

20 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. n. 

o\ini child to the stage." But circumstances were unfortunate, 
and she could not but agree. So Jenny passed over from the 
Widows' Home to become a little nursling of the Drama ; and 
the world owes a debt of genuine gratitude to the directors 
of the Theatre Eoyal for so quick and bold a recognition of 
the wonderful gift which lay hid in that tiny body. Bare, 
indeed, in the annals of art is it that the official authorities 
are so swift in their appreciation of strange and exceptional 
genius or so ready to make a venture on its behalf. And the 
chief honour, in a deed most honourable to all concerned, 
must lie with Herr Croelius. It was his insight that saw 
what there was in the " shy, gauche, and ugly, under-grown 
girl ; " it was his courage that laid compulsion on the natural 
unwillingness of Count Puke. "The person," she herself 
'WTOte in the letter we have already quoted to the editor 
of the ' Biographical Lexicon,' " whom alone I have to 
thank for the first discernment of my gift of song was the 
Court Secretary Croelius, Singing-master at the Theatre 
Eoyal. He told me all that which in later years came to 
pass." It is pleasant at this point to read a letter from 
the old man himself to Jenny Lind, written from Stock- 
holm, 4th March, 1842, in answer to a letter of hers from 
Paris, in which " her kind heart," as he says, has expressed 
its gratitude to him. He fears to put himself forward 
too much lest he should seem to be claiming that which 
her later masters had done for her; "but," as he writes, 
"when your talent and your other excellent qualities 
called forth general homage, I considered I had a right to 
present myself as your admirer and friend. My interest in 
you is, and will always remain, the most genuina Your 
honour, your success A\dll be the comfort of my old age and 
a balm for my sufiFerings." He died that year. His kindly 
features, quaint and dignified, are recorded in the accompany- 
ing sketch, on which she heraelf, long afterwards, wrote her 




witoeas to the goodness of him vbo was " the first to discern 
her gifts," and whose insight and courage determined her 

So closes her early childhood. Hitherto she has snug 
as Nature bade her, singing to herself, singing to her cat, 
singing "at every step and jump which she made with 
her baby feet." Something, indeed, she may have caught 
from her mother, who was qualified to teach music, and &om 
her half-siater and the day-pupils who used to practise on 

the piano on which Jenny made her first famous experiment ; 
and she would have heard her father, who used to come in 
the evening and sing, while her mother played the guitar, 
when the litUe one lay probably in bed. And, even at 
Sollentuna, she would have listened, in baby-wonder, to 
Femdal as he played his organ in the church. But her 
young life had been, as we have seen, strangely wandering, 
chequered, and untutored, and nearly everything she had 
must have come from her own instinctive spontaneity. She 

22 JEN2fT LIND. [bk. l cb. n. 

was now to pass at this tiny age into a school devoted 
to the drama, under the definite training and discipline 
of skilled masters in music. In Croelius' room she. made 
her d^but; there she found her vocation. The little 
foundling of Nature was henceforward to become the child 
of Art* 

* Her half-sister, Amalia, who, dnriDg the break-up of the home, 
wrote affectionately to her **dear little Jenny," urging her to pray to 
Qod. to keep alive "our dear good mother," and to bring back the 
pleasant days, seems to have appreciated the gifts of the child; for in 
the P.S. to a letter written on March 24th, 1830, which was fofund pre- 
served among Madame Goldschmidt's papers, she wrote : '* Whatever 
you do, pray cultivate your music, for then you will make your mark.** 

( 23 ) 



The Boyal Theatre, at Stockholm, into which Jenny Lind 
passed in the September of 1830, was to be, for the next ten 
years, the scene and centre of her life. In it she found a 
nursery for her child- talent ; a school to direct her entire 
development ; a playground in which she tasted the delights 
of companionship; a home, which watched over her with 
fatherly interest and authority; a stage on which she was 
greeted with unstinted appreciation. It became, for this 
spell of years, the pivot of all her efforts^ the focus of all her 
associations and hopes, the environment within which all her 
gifts opened and discovered themselves. 

The theatre was subsidised from the Boyal Civil List, and 
was directed and controlled by the office of the Lord Chamber- 
lain. Its chief officer was a Eoyal Director (Intendant), 
under whom, among other officials, was the Chief of the 
Singing Department. The first office was occupied, at the 
time of Jenny's entry, by Count Puke ; while the second was 
fiUed by Herr Croelius, who was dignified with the title of 
Court Secretary. The official finances came under the super- 
vision of Herr Forsberg, an official in the War Office, who 
was charged with the honorary superintendence of the 
Theatre-School. He took an almost fatherly interest in 
Jenny Lind ; and she retained an intimate and affectionate 
friendship with his family, until her death. 

The theatre stands in the heart of Stockholm, close to the 

24 JENNT LIND. [bk. i. ch. m. 

Norrbro (North Bridge) overlooking the wide basin of the 
Norrstrom : it is a large^ handsome buildings facing the street 
known as the Gustaf Adolf s Toig, with its basement and 
double stories^ on the second of which, in fine and airy 
rooms, was housed the School of Girls attached to the theatre, 
into which Jenny was now introduced, herself the very 
youngest of all, as we may gather firom Count Puke's com- 
plaint that Croelius was treating the theatre, as if " it were a 

The " Directors of the Eoyal Theatre," * as its authorities 
were called, were in the habit of boarding out the pupils at 
some certified home, or homes, in the town, under the charge 
of some lady mth whom the theatre made terms for food, 
lodging, and educational supervision. And, here, we come 
to a rather curious arrangement, which might, if it had been 
happily carried out, have combined, most fortunately, Jenny's 
new conditions with her natural home-relations. Her mother 
had moved back to Stockholm just before Jenny's entry at 
the theatre: she had taken, in the spring of 1830, a 
flat in No. 4 Quarteret Hammaren, in the Jakobsbergs- 
gata. Had she taken it for the very purpose of boarding 
the pupils of the theatre ? It is impossible to say : but, 
certainly, this parish of St. Jacob is close at hand ; and, very 
soon after her return, she appears to have been intrusted by 
the Directors with some of their boarders ; and, among them, 
probably, her own little daughter. It is true, that the first 
formal records of this arrangement that we possess do not 
begin until the years 1832-1833, but we have no notice of 
where Jenny boarded during the two intervening years, and 
the fact that her mother already had taken, in 1830, the 
house in which she is found boarding the children in 1832- 
1833, seems, certainly, to suggest, that Jenny may have been 
placed with her from the beginning. And, indeed, this is 

* E. Teater Direktionen. 

1830-36.] PUPILAGE. 26 

made almost certain by the fact that her very earliest recol-* 
lections of the Theatre-School, as she often told her daughter^ 
was her running to the school, to keep herself warm, in the 
cold winter mornings, dressed in the vivid smart colours, 
which her mother and half-sister loved, and which she so 
hated that she used to pull the bright feathers out of her 
bonnet as soon as she was out of sight of home« Anyhow, in 
1833, the thing took shape in a legal contract, drawn up 
between the '* Directors " and Jenny's mother, which implies, 
by its language, that it was formularising an arrangement, 
which had been going on already in some tentative fashion, 
at least since April, 1832. The conditions of the bond are 
most precise, and remarkable; and their definite precision 
is, itself, a witness how clearly the authorities had per- 
ceived, and proved, the value of the gifted child, for whose 
sake they were prepared to make so remarkable a venture. 
They begin by stating that they have, already, since April, 
1832, been paying for* ''Jenny Lind's board and educa- 
tion," and that, through the progress she has made since 
then, they have "formed the best hopes of her usefulness 
for the theatrical profession," and that they "desire to 
attach this young talent, by more definite conditions, to the 
Boyal Theatre." They wish, therefore, to close a contract 
with her mother, with the terms of which, as they carefully 
insert, "Jenny lind has declared herself satisfied." The 
child is to be received in the capacity of " actress-pupil at 
the Boyal Theatre " ; and cannot, without the consent of the 
directors, be released from her engagement until she have, 
through her after-efforts, " made restitution for the care and 
expense bestowed on her education " 

* ** Jenny Lind" appears as the formal name, even in the official 
document Only once, t.e. in the Confirmation certificate, 1836, does the 
full name of her christening reappear, " Johanna Maria Lind.** In the 
letter to the Biog. Lexicon, she herself says that she was '* never called 

26 JflNNT LIND. [bk. i. ch. m. 

** During her growing years, and until slie is competent to 
be allotted a fixed salary, she is to receive, at the expense of 
the Theatre, food, clothes, and lodging, together with free 
tuition in singing, elocution, dancing, and such other branches 
of instruction as belong to the education of a cultivated 
woman, and are requisite for the theatrical profession," The 
carrying out of this instruction is then committed to her 
mother, who engages to teach her "the Piano, Religion, 
French, History, Geography, Writing, Arithmetic, and Draw- 
ing." She is also to see to all matters of ** food, fire, furni- 
ture, and clotliing, bedding and washing " ; and to have for 
her a tender mother's care. 

For these purposes she will receive from the Directors 250 
Riksdaler Banco (i.e. 20 guineas), while Jenny herself will 
be given two Riksdaler Banco every month for pocket 
money, out of which she is to pay (poor child !) for her own 
needles and tape as well as for silk and cotton towards the 
mending of her clothes ; this will leave not very much over 
for Jenny's private purposes ; but on the other hand she is to 
be allowed the use of a pianoforte belonging to the Royal 
Theatre, of which her mother pledges herself to take proper 
care ; and moreover, after the 1st July, 1835, she will actually 
be supplied with a chest of drawers, as well as bedstead and 
bedclothes, at the special cost of the Royal Theatre. Her 
mother is to see to it that the aktris-elev carefully observes 
the hours for lessons, rehearsals, and representations. The 
Royal Directors are to judge when the little creature wiU 
become competent to enter as actress with a salary from the 
Civil List, after which a new contract will be made, by which 
she will be pledged to remain for ten years in the service of 
the Royal Theatre for such a salary as the Directors, having 
proper regard to her talent and usefulness at the time, shall 
decide to grant her ; but, in case '' the aktris-elev Lind, con- 
trary to the good hopes entertained on her behalf, were for one 

183O-360 PUPILAGE. 27 

reason or another to prove of no use to the Boyal Theatre, or, 
again, if she were to fail in that obedience she owes to the 
Boyal Directors, it shall have full right to discharge her from 
the theatre after three months' notice, in which case the 
contract is to lapse." 

So runs the deed, signed, on behalf of the Directors, by 
P. Westerstrand, who had succeeded Count Puke as Intendant, 
and by Carl D. Forsberg, of the War Ofl&ce ; and, below their 
signatures, Jenny's mother declares herself to be satisfied 
with the proposed conditions. 

Such was the bond It resembles in general outlines other 
agreements of the kind ; but it is exceptional in its details, 
and in its special care for the " high talent " which it desires 
to attach to the theatre. The assumption of an almost 
paternal authority by the Directors is quite in accord with 
its habitua^ tone. In the case of Matilda Picker, for in- 
stance (afterwards the well-known Mme. Gelhaar), who had 
only a grandfather alive, the bond declares that the ''Direction 
undertakes a father's duties towards her, and acquires, also, 
a father s rights " : wherewith it will decide about her resi- 
dence, education, occupation, and conduct. Both this bond, 
and that with Jenny Lind's close friend " Mina Fundin," * 
are made when the child is about fourteen years old, which 
' was, perhaps, the usual age. 

The present bond has been given almost in fuU, not only 
for its intrinsic and historic interest as marking a momentous 
epoch in Jenny Lind's career, but also in order to bring out 
the conception which is there embodied, of the educational 
qualifications requisite for a pupil of the theatre. The com- 
pleteness of the instruction proposed is most striking. We 

* Wilhelmina Ghristioa Fundin, daughter of the Precentor of St. Elara 
Church, Stockholm ; she was bom in 1819, entered the Elev School 1833, 
and remained there until 1841. She remained connected with the Boyal 
Opera until 1870, when she retired on a pension. 

28 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. m. 

may smile at the long list of subjects in which the little 
girl is to be schooled, or at the abrupt appearance of 
"religion" sandwiched between the piano and the French 
language. Doubtless, these numerous branches of study 
were but touched in an elementary manner: but, still, 
they are recognised as essential : and the remarkable phrase 
stands which declares that the training for the dra- 
matic profession includes all that belongs to the *'fall 
education of a cultivated woman." There, in that phrase, is 
a distinct ideal. It implies that the drama is no narrow, 
specialised function of a mere expert; but is an affair in 
which the entire mind and character of the artist are con- 
cerned, so that the theatre itself may well spend its money 
in securing, not only the technical and professional training, 
but also that the pupil shall have the intelligence developed 
and fertilised, so that it be level with the average culture of 
the time. 

And then, again, the completeness of the more professional 
instruction is well worth notice. Elocution, dancing, the 
piano — all are necessary to perfect the dramatic singing. 
The memory of this completeness in her early theatrical 
education left an indelible impression on Jenny Lind. She 
felt that she owed to it so much that contributed to, and 
enriched, the full effect of her musical gift ; and especially 
she valued her trained skill in expressive and beautiful 
motion, gained in the dancing school at the Theatre EoyaL 
She moved exquisitely. Her perfect walk, her dignity of 
pose, her striking uprightness of attitude, were characteristic 
of her to the very last ; and no one can fail to recall how 
she stood, before, and while, she sang. Her grace, her 
lightness of movement were all the more noticeable from 
the rather angular thinness of her natural figure ; and there 
can be no doubt that they threw into her acting a charm 
which was positively entrancing. She knew the value and 

1830-36.] PUPILAGE. 29 

necessity of all this completeness of training; she felt its 
lack in those who had entered on the operatic stage by 
accident as it were, taking it up only when fully grown 
simply on account of possessing a beautiful voice. She missed 
in them the full Anish of the perfected art ; no beauty in the 
singing could quite atone for the ignorance of dramatic 
methods, and of all that constitutes the peculiar environment 
of the stage. 

We shall see how deeply this early ideal of all that was 
involved in the technical training coloured her intentions, 
when she was planning the endowment which she, at first, 
desired to devote to the theatre-school where she had served 
her own apprenticesliip. And this ideal still lived in her, to 
play a large part in those interests, and anxieties, with which, 
even at the very close of her life, she worked to found a 
School of Songy at the Boyal College of Music, in South 
Kensington, and which she embodied in a memorandimi 
drawn up by her, at the request of H.RH. the President, 
before entering on her of&cial post. 

To what degree the full education of a cultivated woman 
was actually attained in her case, it would be hard to 
exactly define. A great musical gift like hers carries culture 
with it ; and, then, she had, all her after-life, revelled in the 
society of the most cultivated men in Europe. So that it is 
difficult, feom knowledge of her in later days, to say how 
much she had gained out of the formal instructions given her 
in childhood. But, naturally, these can only have been of an 
elementary and superficial type. She never possessed the 
sure mental instincts which are the fruit of a literary 
education. Her judgments on books, for instance, depended, 
for their brilliancy, on her unaided and unconventional 
spontaneity, and on her rapid perceptions. But they had not 
the proportion, and balance, that comes from accurate know- 
ledge, or trained intellectual discipline. One felt that she 

30 JESNT USD. [i 

had nerer had this, in the stzici sense. Slie was^ so to 
speak, at the mercj of any bodk that interested her ; die had 
no secure sense of its limitations ; she did not know how to 
place it Eridentlj, the education had been qmte simple 
and unscientific. 

Nevertheless, the list of general studies named hy the 
DirecXon was not merely nominal ; pains were taken ; the 
instmction was given. Religion, in spite of the hostfle 
proximity of French on the one side, and of the piano on the 
other, was carefully attended to ; and her Confirmation c«^ 
tificate, given her on May 10th, 1836, witnesses, by the hand 
of the rector of St Jaeob's parish, Herr Abraham Pettersson, 
that she passed the public examination in the Christian 
doctrine of salvation ** tciih digtincticn." 

For French, she went, probably, to the classes of M. 
TerrarJe, teacher to the Koyal Theatre ; the instruction was 
slight, but a certain decree of conversational French was in 
free use in Stockholm at the time, and would be habitual 
round about the theatra Still, before her visit to Paris in 
1841, slie thought it necessary to take special lessons; and 
she had, when there, as we shall see, to grind at the grammar ; 
80 that her early knowledge must have been quite unscientifia 
As to the piano, she, certainly, gained, at some time in her 
early life, a complete mastery over it, which stood her in 
good stead, and afforded her great enjoyment in later years. 
It was true that she had injured her left hand, when young, 
while striking fire with a flint on tinder, which to a certain 
extent crippled its full use; and, besides, she feared to 
fatigue and contract the vocal organs by serious practice on 
the piano. But, in spite of this, she handled it freely, and 
finely ; she delighted to improvise On it, which she did with 
a touch of genuine genius ; and part of the peculiar charm of 
her northern songs, as she sang them, came to them from her 
delicious playing of the accompaniment There seems to be 

1830-36.] PUPILAGE. 31 

no doubt that, from quite early days, and more especially at 
about the age of sixteen, she could use it with easy familiarity ; 
for, while stUl at this school, she used to " coach " the other 
girls through the musical parts of the plays, beating them 
out, herself, on the piano. 

She had an eager and intense appreciation of her native 
literature ; but, no doubt, this would be largely due to the 
influence of the Stockholm literary world, into which she was 
heartily welcomed at the time of her first triumphs ; and, 
above all, to her intimacy with Geijer and Lindblad and 

A specimen of her drawing still remains — some painted 
flowers, done in the exact and formal manner of the day, but 
bearing sufficient witness to her having had the regular 
lessons ; and those, probably, from her mother, who has left 
designs of the same type. 

One accomplishment must be mentioned with special 
honour, her sewing. She worked magnificently. " Madame's 
stitches never come out," is the later testimony from her 
maid to her powers. And she loved to do a piece of work, 
designing it herself, and achieving it, with the thoroughness 
of an expert. 

Her knowledge of history was very vague, and general ; 
nothing very definite, probably, was made of that, at the 

German, which, afterwards, she loved, and pronounced 
beautifully, she did not begin until after her twenty-fourth 
year; her limited knowledge of it was a difficulty, as we 
shall see, at the first dilmt in Berlin under Meyerbeer in 
1844 ; she went to Dresden to work at it in July, 1844 ; but, 
even as late as the year 1848, wrote it incorrectly. 

English was only slowly won, after her English visits. 
Her usual speech in this country at that time was French. 

So much for her general education and accomplishments ; 

32 JENNY LIND. [bk, i. oh, m. 

but we have been anticipating the course of our story, to 
which we now return. 

The little girl, then, started in the spring of 1833, with 
what might well seem good hopes. Her career had taken a 
definite shape ; she was provided for, if nothing went wrong, 
for years to come ; she was to receive a regular education ; 
and a future position was assured to her. In the meantime 
she was to be housed, and cared for, by her own mother, in 
the happy companionship of other girls. Among these 
companions, and boarding with Jenny, at her mother's house, 
were several who subsequently filled considerable positions 
on the royal stage ; e.g,, Charlotte, and Matilda Ticker (after- 
wards Mesdames Almlof and (xelhaar), and Fanny Wester- 
dfthl, prominent in Tragedy and severe Comedy. 

Mdlle. Bayard, the lady superintendent of the school, was 
a person much respected ; and the pupils were sure of enjoy- 
ing care and attention from her. Jenny seems to have been 
exceedingly happy both with her, and with the other girls ; 
but, alas ! her trouble came from where we might least expect 
it — from her mother. Was it that her strong, and resolute 
nature had been warped by early disappointment ? — that the 
early marriage with Captain R&dberg at eighteen, with its 
rapid disillusion, had left serious damage behind it on 
temper, and character ? Certainly, the world had gone hard 
with her. She had had to fight her way along for herself, 
under the burden of straitened circumstances. These things 
are apt to tell ; if they do not sweeten, they sour. And she 
was somewhat proud, and stubborn, and self-willed. She, 
probably, fretted at the sense of being below the conditions 
which her burgher blood might expect and justify. From 
passages in her letters, we shall see, that she was quick to 
resent a slight, and hard to pacify. She had a strong idea of 
her rights. She would not yield them, even to her own 
convenience. Altogether, from her recorded words and 

1880-36.] PUPILAOS. 83 

ezpressionB, we can feel that she was one for whom tbinga 
would not mn smoothly, — one to whose exasperated seoBi- 
CiTenesB life would never prove an easy, aleek, comfortable 
afiair. There is a tone of defiance in her, as if she were 
at war with her fellows. She had a touch of haughty pride 
in her, which would find Itself engaged in many battles. 
It is perfectly natural to suppose that she had got a bit 
worsened by the vigour of the strifa She had not mach 
softness of sympathy to spare ; she did not make people love 
her. She was apt to show herself cross-grained, violent, 
har^ ; and this, not only to others, but also to her child. 

Before going on to tell the pitiM story of this early harsh- 
ness, it may be well to remember that the dat^hter's 
memory of her mother was not all dismal and unkind. 
Their characters had, probably, many elements in common; 
her mother's force, her mother's haughty persistence re- 
appeared, to some extent, in Jenny Lind. She, too, was not 
apt to take life too easily. And, again, «he warmly recog- 
nised all that she owed, at this early time, to her mother's 
talents, and resolution, and effort. There was, below all the 
divergence, a strong tie of underlying attachment. The 
actual intercourse was, indeed, tmhappy ; it was marred by 
cruelty, and narrowness, and suspicion, which left a life-loi^ 
shadow on the child. But it was not without something is 
it, which could, under brighter circumstances, open out into 
the tenderness and gentleness which belong to the name of 
mother. It ia comforting to find with what emotion Jenny 
Lind could look back on the past, in spite of its bitterness, 
when death had closed the record. It was, indeed, far on in 
lif^ when this death occurred ; but it may soften us, as we 
approach the story of Fru Lind's faults, to read, by anticipation, 
Uie words, in which her daughter sums up the tale. It was in 
America, in 1851, that the sad news reached Jenny Lind ; and, 
reviewing the event, she wrote to an old friend in Sweden : — 

VOL. I. D 

84 JSNN7 LIND. [bk. LGB. XXL 

'' My mothei^s death I have felt moet bitterly ; everything 
was now smooth and nice between us ; I was in hopes that 
she would have been spared for many a long year • . • and 
that, now that she was quieter and more reasonable, I mi^ht 
have surrounded her old age with joy, and peace, and tender 
care. But the ways of t^e Lord are ott&a not our ways* 
Peace be with her soul 1 " * 

The affection is there, and the deep bond of blood ; but, 
alas I there had been bad days when all had not been so 
''smooth, and nice," and when the mother had not been 
" quiet and reasonable." 

It is these bad days of which we have now to speak. It 
appears that the pupils found the treatment they received 
from her too stem and hard ; and they were soon removed to 
rooms at the top of the theatre itself; and placed under the 
charge of Mdlle. Bayard. Here they fared excellently ; and 
were extremely happy. Jenny, who remained at her mother's, 
used to visit them there ; and it was now that she struck up 
her intimate friendship with one of the pupils, Mina Fundin, 
who became her favourite playmate, and with whom she kept 
up, for life, an affectionate relationship. This lady is still 
alive, residing in Stockholm. It would seem that the contrast 
between the lonely severity of the home and the lively 
society of the theatre-rooms was too much for Jenny ; and, 
at last, after some bout of harsh treatment, on the 30th of 
October, 1834, she took matters into her own hands, and ran 
off to Mdlle. Bayard. The Directors saw the merit of the 
proceeding, and allowed her to remain there. But her 
mother was not a person to acquiesce in such an arrange- 
ment, and the result was a long dispute with the theatre for 
the recovery of the child. It can serve no good purpose, 
now, to follow the track of this unhappy wrangle. It is 
enough to say that the mother was not content, until she had 
appUed the pressure of the law against the Directors ; that, 

; ? Written to Herr Carl Forsberg, of the War Office^ in August, 1B52. 

1880-^6.] . PUEILAQB.. 85 

at first, she only rested her appeal on the bond with the 
theatre, and that, when this failed', in January, 1835, she set 
to work with a more determined effort Mr. Lind, who had, 
hitherto, kept in the background, was called to the fix)nt to 
take part in the struggle ; and, together, they combined to 
make good their full parental claims over their child. Such 
a claim, once formally established, and put in force, was, 
necessarily, irresistible; and the theatre was obliged to 
surrender Jenny, by a final judgment of the Eoyal Upper 
Town-Court, on the 23rd of June, 1836; and was^ also, 
directed to recognise the existing contract of 1833 as still 
standing, and to pay, therefore, to the parents the stipulated 
sum for Jenny's keep, which was owing from January 1st, 
1835, to April 1st, 1836, together with lawyer's fee, etc. 
There the quarrel ended ; on June 6th the theatre notified to 
the parents that Jenny would return to their house on 
July 1st, to be boarded at the old terms ; and both Mr. lind, 
and his wife, countersign the notice. 

It is pleasant to think that, in spite of these most un- 
comfortable proceedings, the little creature over whose 
person home and theatre were fighting so strenuously was 
spending a most happy time at Mdlle. Bayard's ; and it is 
delightful to read the brimming letter which she wrote, in 
the very thick of the wrangle, in August 1835 — the very 
first word that we actually possess from her pen. It is 
written from Skytteholm, a place lying on one of the inland 
lakes which, in Sweden, are called by the pleasant name of 
" Sweet-Waters," where the pupils were taken for their summer 
holidays. It is addressed to the mother of her little playfellow, 
Mina Fundin — the Mina mentioned in the letter, who has 
made such desperate resolutions from which she is only saved 
by the state of her nerves and the motherliness of the " sensible 
old woman." With Mina's mother, Jenny is evidently on the 
brightest and most affectionate terms. Here is the letter : — 

D 2 

36 JENN7 LIND. [be. i. ch. nr. 

c7 ^ir 

..^^T^ CCurri^ J^l^ihj€Ct>r>Ji9CXj CMJ^ !^7"'^^ '^^''^ 

^^i^L^y^/t^r^ -€ii/^ yi^ cUr ^m^ ^^^^ «/n^c> 

^jQuj <f^^yL^ ^^^^ 75^ Jy^yoi ct43r 


Skytteholm, 5 Aug., 1835. 

My deab Little Auntt, 

Pardon me for taking the liberty to write to you — but 
— I really don't know what to write about I Yes, I know ! 
I hope that my little Aunty and Lotta are quite well ; — wg 
are flourishing, all of us ! 

Ah I thank God ! soon we return to town ; I long dreadfully, 
for now there is no more fun down here. You must not feel 
uneasy, Aunty, about Mina going to drown herself, for she 
has not yet done so, because she is too nervous even to go 
near the water — Oh, yes ! — occasianaily she does run the risk 

1830-36.] PUPIL AQE. 37 

^iffr t^^xXZ*^ A-4yrvS /^^om^^^ 

of it, but / will look after her — ly who am a sensible, old 

We eat firuit in such quantities that sometimes we are not 
able to walk, but we can't get so very much, for the simple 
reason that there are so few ripe ones ; we only eat currants, 
and those are most wholesome, aren't they ? 

Adieu, kind little Aunty ! Do not mind tny having written 
so badly, I shall write better another time. I venture to 
enclose myself in Aunty's friendship. 

Yours truly obliged, 

Jenny LiND. 

Oh I how beautifully written ! 

M jmiifT LIND. [bk. I. CH. ni 

The applause of the last phrase refers to the signature, 
a facsimile of which is here given, that we may all enter 
into her burst of enthusiasm over it. The tone of the 
letter is delicious, — simple, gay, and tender. They must 
have been bright days out of which such words came; 
and it must be confessed, we fear, that some of the bright- 
ness was probably left behind her, on the day when she 
returned to her own mother's house on the 1st of July. 
The nature of the return, to begin with, was not likely to 
be very auspicious; and, then, there was the partial loss 
of her merry companions. However, there is a letter from 
her mother to Mr. Lind, written on the 2nd of August, 
1836, which tells of Jenny's intense happiness: "You 
may imagine how Jenny enjoys herself among the hay-stacks 
every day. Do yoa know, the child enjoys the pleasure of 
country-life with all the lively brightness of innocence." 
^* And she has with her, to share her enjoyment, Mina, of 
whom she is so fond." "It is a treat to listen to their 
charming little duets together, which, no doubt, one day 
will enchant papa, too." At the close of the letter comes 
a postscript : " Welcome home, sweet papa, and do take care 
of your health ; this is the wish of your faithful daughter, 
Jenny.** This is all happy, enough: and there must have 
been many times like this, in which all went smoothly, and 
the relations of the household were free and affectionate. 

And, in the mean time, too, success is coming, and con- 
tinually growing, to enliven, and enhearten the days. 
Whatever the struggle, and trouble, that her life brought in 
it, certainly of one grief, which is apt to darken the days of 
young artists, she was absolutely free. She was never 
troubled by a lack of recognition. From her earliest child- 
hood, her gifts were felt to be surpassing ; and this feeling 
never flagged. From the beginning of her dramatic career to 
its close, it is one unbroken triumph; and she had this 




singular good fortune of finding her way to the exercise of 
her gifts, before a sympathetic public, as soon as she had 
them to exercise. We shall see, in the next chapter, the 
way in which this happened, and the direction which her 
success took. We shall see that this risk on her behalf, 
which the Theatre Boyal ran, and to which we have ventured 
to give cordial praise, was one which justified itself, by 
practical results, almost as soon as it had been nuu The 
theatre had hardly sown before it found itself reaping* The 
child, whom Count Puke thought more of an age for a 
Or^he than a Eoyal Theatre, was already, before she 
was In her teens^ bringing grist to the Boyal mill. 

40 JENNY UND. [) 



We have seen that it was the chfld's mtigieal talent that, 
first, evoked the wonder of her neighbours. The stnpor ot 
the grandmother at the baby's fanfare on the piano; the 
amazement of the passers-by at the song which was being 
confided to the ears of the patient and appreciative cat; 
the tears that started to the eyes of Croelius — ^these are the 
earliest signals of her marvellous gifts. But we, now, have to 
recognise a new characteristic, which was almost more pheno- 
menal than her singing. Indeed, it may well be doubted 
whether, during her first ten years at the Eoyal Theatre, 
it did not surpass her voice in witnessing to the presence in 
her of a unique genius. This was her dramatic power. It 
was through the marvellous acting which she combined with 
her smging, that, as a tiny chUd, she won her first triumph, 
and fascinated the spectators : and, as we shall learn &om 
the deeply interesting account of the development of her 
voice given to this volume by a contemporary critic,* it 
was not her vocal power alone which, at her earliest operatic 
period, would account for her overwhelming attractiveness. 
Precocious and extraordinary as her child-voice had been, 
both in versatility and in tenderness, yet her early woman's 
voice did not exhibit or develop its after-gifts of high sonority 
until after her return from the Paris training. It was still 
thin, and veiled. Eather, at that time, the secret of her 

* See page 156. 

188(^7j CARESB. ' 41 

BuccesB lay in that intense and irresiatiUe identification of 
herself, voice and all with her part, which is the highest proof 
of dramatic genius. 

In later years, those, who heard her sing in Opera, would 
often say, that if she had not been the greatest singer in the 
world, she would have been the greatest actress. And we 
shall see the evidence for the truth of this anticipation, if we 
glance over the early records of her performance at the 
theatre ; and we shall, also, understand through what years 
of actual experience it was that she had obtained that thorou^ 
mastery over all the detail and method of the stage, which 
made her acting so consummate. 

The long list of her performances, kept in the records of 
the lioyal Theatre, reveal to us that already, in the very first 
year of her admittance to the school, as a little creature of 
ten years old, she made her appearance on the boards, on 
Kovember 29th, 1830, in a play called The Polish Mine, 
described as a " Brama, with Bance " ; and in which she 
played the part of " Angela." " Angela " is a little girl of 
seven, who has been carried off to a wild castle in the hills 
by a tyrant lord, to amuse and cheer her mother, whom he 
has seized and shut up as his prisoner. The child is to amuse 
the company at a grand fSte in the castle, and contrives, 
in an improvised dance, to convey to her mother comfort and 
aCTection, But, on recognising her father disguised among 
the guests, in pursuit of his wife, a cry of surprise escapes 
her ; the father is detected, and all three, father, mother, and 
child, are thrown into prison in the Mine. There little 
Angela succeeds in getting hold of the warder's key while be 
is speaking with her mother, and in opening the barrier 
without being discovered. The father and mother are Uius 
enabled to meet, and to fly, with their diild, from the Polish 
Mine ; after a series of exciting adventures, they make good 
their escape ; all is made right. It is a part full of occasions 

42 JENNT LIND. [bkCi. o^ iv. 

for the brilliant little dancer, whose ingenuity and skill are 
the key to the plot. The play was repeated five .times in the 
December, and twice more in the January, following. On 
March 18th, ISiSl, she made her first appearance in the play 
that is noticed in the newspaper quoted below ; it was called 
' Testamentety a Drama,' in which her part was that of 
"Johanna/* She appeared, in this character, for the third 
time on April 14th, 1832, and on the 24th April, 1832, we 
have the following notice of her appeEirance in a periodical 
for literature and art, called Heimdall, which signalises the 
extraordinary significance of her child-eflforts. The paper 
begins by an apology for not having, long ago, put on record 
the wonder that had already for some time been aroused. 
" We take this opportunity," it writes, " of performing a 
long-neglected duty — that of calling attention to a young 
pupil of the theatre, Jenny Lind, only ten or eleven years of 
age, who has, several times appeared in the play TestamerUei 
which preceded Fidelio. She shows, in her acting, a quick 
perception, a fire and feeling, far beyond her years, which 
seem to denote an uncommon disposition for the theatre." 

This play The Will is a charming piece by Kotzebue; 
and the part taken by Jenny is one which would give 
delicious opportunities to her arch and winning grace. It 
is impossible, as one reads the part, not to picture her every 
look and gesture, so admirably is it suited to qualities in 
her which were vividly present to the very last We 
venture to extract a scene from it. The plot turns on an 
old Colonel wounded in the wars, who has been carried, 
unknown to himself, to the house of a daughter whom he 
had utterly cast ofif for a marriage of which he disapproved. 
He is full of gratitude for the care with which he has been 
nursed. His heart is stirred with a longing for home : he is 
longing to leave his fortune to his kind nurses; but the 
daughter, who has recognised him, keeps ever out of sight; 

1830-37.] CABEEB. 43* 

and he only sees her two children, Henriette and Johatma. 
Henriette, the eldest,, having been told by her mother who-' 
this old man is, has been singing him a song which he had, 
loved in long-past days, " sweet, and holy Nature \ " He 
has broken down under the strain of bitter memories: and 
he has to beg her to cease singing, and to send him her little 
sister, for '' the gracious child knows so well how to charm 
away all bitterness." After a sad monologue, bewailing the 
loneliness in which he is drawing near to that last hour, 
when there will be no one ever to say over him, " Here lies 
a brave man in peace I " Johanna (Jenny) comes springing 
into the room, saying : — 


"Good morning, dear old Colonel! — 'Mister Colonel,' I 
ought to have said ! My mother scolds me, if I don't ! " 

" CoL. Good morning, little Jacky I Come, and be merry 
with me I Do some of those funny tricks, that you are so 
fond of ! And call me ' Colonel,' plain and simple, please ! — 
Or, what do you think of calling me ' Papa ' ? 

'* JoH. Papa ? Oh ! that I could never do ! My papa is 
in the picture upstairs, and he is so beautiful, and yoimg, 
and kindly 

"CoL. Well, I own I am not young and beautiful: but 
kindly I — that I am, indeed ! Don't you believe it ? 

" JoH. Oh yes I very often you are ! 

"CoL. You must remember how ill I was: sick people 
cannot be very kind to others : but now, you shall always 
find me bright and good, right until I go away. 

" JoH. What ? Must you go away from us ? 

" Col. Certainly : in a few days. 

" JoH. Are you in earnest ? 
CoL. I am, indeed. 

JoH. Oh ! don't go away from us ! We all love you so 
dearly ! 

" CoL. Do you love me ? 

" JoH. Oh ! yes I At first, you know, I was very frightened 
of you ; but now — not a bit ! 

" Col. And how did you get over your fright ? 

" JoH. Why, because when you are as kmd as you were, 
no one could help being fond of yoiu And when you arp 
dull, and cross, then I just take myself off. 


44 JENNY LIND. [bk. t. oh. iv. 

" Col. Ah ! then, to-day, my Jacky will not take herself 
off, will she ? 

" JoH. Yes, I will, if you ever again call me ' Jacky * ! 
that is a dreadful name ! 
Col. Why dreadful ? 

JOH. I don't know. But there are such lovdy names in 
the books which my sister reads ; and specially nice English 
names, like Liddy, and Betty, and Arabella ! Oh ! if only 
they had asked me before I was baptized, I would have 
chosen the very loveliest of them all ! 

" Col. It was, really, a great shame that they did not ask 

" JoH. My mother says, that she only had two names to 
give to her daughters, because my grandfather had but two 
names, John, and Henry ! 

" Col. John Henry 1 Why, those are my names, too ! 

" JoH. Once I cried over the stupid name, Jacky. But, 
then, my mother began to cry, too, and she said : * Dearest 
child, you bear a name which reminds me of a noble man ! ' 
Now, I don't know at all why I should remind her of him. 
But then mother began to cry ; so, you see, since then, I 
don't take any notice of it ! 

" CoL. Well, let me try and teach you why you have the 
name. I am too old, you say, to be your fieither, so will you 
try to think that I am your dear old grandfather, John 
Henry ? 

" JoH. Yes ! All right ! But then, you know, you must 
never go away ! 

" CoL. Or will you come with me, when I go ? 

" JoH. Away from mother ? Oh ! what a horrid thing 
to do! 

" CoL. Well, but, some day, you will have to leave her, 
when you go to be married. 

" JoH. Ah ! yes I when I am married ! I say ! have you 
got a son ? 

"Col. Why? 

" JoH. Why, because, if he is nice, I would marry him 
and, then, we might all stop together. 

" CoL. No, Jacky ! I have no son — no child at all ! 

" JoH. Poor old man I 

" CoL. (sighing). Yes, indeed ! 
• " JoH. It's a shame ! A horrible shame ! I should have 
been so glad to have married your son I 

1830-37.] CABEEB. 45 

" Col. Why so glad ? 

" JoH, Why, because you are rich ; and, then, I should be 
rich ; and I could help my sister ! 

" CoL. What is there that she needs ? 

*' JoH, ril tell you. Only, you must promise never to 
betray me ! 

" Col. I promise faithfully. 

" JoH. Well, you know, she loves the head-ranger, and 
the head-ranger loves her ; and my mother says that it is all 
right : she often says, ' It would be the joy of my old age I ' 
But he has nothing, and we have nothing : so nothing can 
be done. 

" Col. Dear me ! Is that how it stands ? 

" JoH. Ah ! if only I could manage that mother should be 
able to say to me ' You are the joy of my old age ! ' That 
would be lovely ! I declare that if only I could do that, I 
would not mind calling all my own children, ' Jacky ! ' 

" Col. Listen to me, dear child ! I have an idea. If it 
was in your power to make your sister rich enough to marry 
the head-ranger, would you not do it ? 

" JoH. Of course I should 1 

*' CoL. Well, then, you can do it. 

" JoH. You are only laughing at me ? 

" CoL. No ! I promise you ! Come away with me ; be my 
little daughter ; and I will give your mother enough money 
to buy this joy for her old age ! 

" JoH. Oh ! that's very hard I Where shall we have to go ? 

" CoL. Far, far away from here. 

" JoH. Oh dear ! and shall I never see my mother again ? 

" CoL. Oh yes ! I shall let you have a beautiful carriage 
with four beautiful horses, and you will jimip into it, and 
cry * Coachman, drive me quick to mamma ! ' 
JoH. Will you really give me that ? 
CoL. I promise it. 

"JoH. And I shall, then, bring joy to my mother's 
old age! 

CoL. Yes, you alone ! of your own self! 
JoH. Come along, you dear old Colonel ; I will be your 

" CoL. Away we'll go, my Jacky ! Only wait a minute 1 
I must go and arrange things. {Goes out). 



46 JKNNT USD. [n.Lca.i^. 

** JcftL (aUme). Oh ! How happy mother will be ! mnd my 
dear siater I and the head-ranger! And it shall be a splendid 
wedding ! and we will hare £he nm«ician« to play ! Oh yes I 
we must have musicians ! My old man must not refiiae me 
tiiat, or else I won't go with lum ! Oh dear ! I wish I was 
not going ! I shall cry so ; and the others wiU cry too ; for 
they all love me ! — Ah ! but then just think what it will 
be when I come back in the beantifol carriage with fonr 
horses; and say ^Coachman, drive me home!' and away 
we go, over stock and stone, until we draw up here at 
our own house, prr! prr; and mother will put out her 
head at the window; and cry 'Jacky is come! Jacky is 

Such was the delightful part played by the tiny little girl 
of ten years old. Every word in it would suit her — ^the 
merry quickness of the child, the sudden, turns firom gaiety 
to tears, and back again to gaiety, the mysterious con- 
fidences, the prattling innocence, the brimming affection. 
In all this she would instinctively reveL It will be seen 
that the part gave great scope for versatile acting; and no 
wonder that the Heimdcdl was fascinated. 

In the year preceding this notice, 1831, she had played, for 
three nights, in what is called by the serious name of " an 
historic drama " — Johanna de Montfaucon, in which she took 
the part of " Otto " ; and, besides this, had appeared five 
times as "Jeannette," in a "Comedy, with Dance," called 
the Pasha of Suresne. During the following year, 1833, she ' 
appeared in twenty-two performances — ^her new characters 
being " Louise " in a bagatelle in one act, called The Students 
of SmMand, and " Georgette," in a drama of five acts, called 
Thirty Tears of a Oambler*s Life, which ran for ten nights 
during November and December ; and was constantly repeated 
in 1834. This early brilliancy was apparently at its very 
height in 1834 — when, on June 24th of that year, a paper, 
TJie Daily Allehanda seems quite bewildered by the child's 
extraordinary power. "In the play known in its French 

1830-37.] CAREER. A7 

fonn as La fazLsse Agnes** (so it writes) "there is a cldld's 
part which is rendered with an almost incomprehensible, a 
really unnatural cleverness, by Jenny lind." This cleverness 
must indeed have been almost incomprehensible : for it leads 
the critic to indulge in an anxious complaint that the little 
girfs " temperament seems readily to lean to everything that 
is not of a serious character." So absolutely had she dis- 
guised herself by the freedom with which she had thrown 
herself into her part! All that deep impressive seriousness, 
which was the innermost note of her being, had absolutely 
vanished out of sight ; and the paper feared for her light- 
headed frivolity ! Yet, in calling, as it does, upon Jenny's 
instructors and guardians to see to it that the danger be 
averted^ and that '' her happy natural gifts, high-spirited as 
they are, should be carefully and judiciously dealt with," 
the Daily AllehandawBa giving proof of a tender and noble 
solidtude for the good guidance of the child. And it does 
more. For it goes on to complain of the immoral character 
of this play, in which she was allowed to appear ; it speaks 
strongly of the deep ethical corruption of the society which 
it portrayed, and of the responsibility incurred by those 
who permitted a child to put out her powers in a part so 
full of "coquetry, boldness, and heartlessness." It does 
honour to the press of Stockholm that it should have made 
this protest. As we read it, we shudder at the terrible 
perils which were swarming round the child. Here was a 
case in which her very innocence of evil, at that tender 
age, allowed her to revel in the fun and the audacity of such 
a character, without any of the checks which a know- 
ledge of the villainy in it would have suggested to a pure 
mind. Her very innocence is used to encourage her to 
abandon herself to the fling and swing of the scandalous 
play. So perilous was her path ! Yet along it she moves, 
untainted and unhurt, in the security of the pure in hearty 

48 JENNY LIND. [bk, l ch. iV. 

with such sure feet as those with which^ on Raphael's 
canvas, St. Margaret passes, without an effort, 'or a fear, in 
maiden gentleness, over the writhing Dragon and through 
the gate of Hell. 

It is not to the credit of the Directors, that they let her 
appear in two more performances of this abominable play, in 
the year after the protest had been made. The play, itself 
was a sign of the French influence, which began to make 
itself felt in Sweden during the reign of Adolf Fredrik 
(1751-1771), mainly owing to the sway exercised by the 
France of the Grand Monarque over civilised Europe ; and 
which culminated, under Court pressure, during the reign of 
his son, Gustaf III., who was, for political reasons, murdered 
at a Fancy Ball in 1792. Since then, the national literature 
has gradually thrown ofif this malign shadow; and has 
recovered its own native inspiration. But, in 1830, the 
older atmosphere, with its corruption, still widely pervaded 
the Swedish theatre. 

She appeared, altogether, twenty-two times in 1834, and 
twenty-six times in 1835 — the principal new character being 
" Pierrette," in a drama from the French in three acts, called 
The Foster-Son, which ran for thirteen nights in the course 
of the year ; and " Leonora " in a vaudeville, with music by 
Berwald, called The New Garrison. 

In several of these plays, there seems to have been music 
and dancing; possibly, too, some singing from Jenny. At 
any rate, she sang publicly at some concerts in the theatre, 
during these years ; taking part in a duet from La Straniera, 
with her master HerrBerg, on November 24th, 1832; and in 
a trio, on November 28th, 1835. And long before this there 
appear to have been performances given, in private rooms, by 
Herr Berg, in which to exhibit her phenomenal talent, the 
news of which spread abroad: for, in the Heimdall, the 
periodical from which we have already quoted a description 

1830-37.] CAREER. 49 

of her acting, there is the following record given, in its 
number for April 24th, 1832 :— 

"Her (i.e. Jenny's) remarkable musical gift, and its 
precocious development, have made quite a sensation in the 
circle in which she has appeared, guided by her master, Herr 
Berg. Her memory is as perfect as it is sure ; her receptive 
powers as quick as they are profound. Every one is, thus, 
both astonished, and moved, by her singing. She can stand 
a trial, in the most difficult solfeggi, and the most intricate 
phrases, without being bewildered ; and whatever turn the 
'improvisation' of her master may take, she follows his 
indications with the liveliest attention, as if they were her 
own. Nothing can be more interesting than to listen to Herr 
Berg with this little pupil by his side ; and one is tempted to 
believe in a magnetic ' rapport ' between them, so entirely do 
both seem to be one soul and one heart. 

"If this young genius does not ripen too prematurely, 
there is every reason for expecting to find in her — although 
alas ! not until the distant future — an operatic artist of high 

This is a fascinating little glimpse of the child of twelve, 
absorbed in her teacher, miracidously interpreting and 
reproducing his mind. It is an omen of the reSptive speed, 
with which she, afterwards, absorbed, in a short ten months, 
everything which Garcia had to teach her. Her innate 
originality of character did not at all stand in the way of 
her rapid assimilation as a pupil. Her musical genius carried 
her into the very heart of what was set before it, with extra- 
ordinary rapidity of insight. We shall find many instances 
of this. And, here, it leads us to dwell, for a few moments, 
on the name of this, her early master. 

Berg had succeeded Croelius, as Head of the School of 
Singing, within a year, or so, after her entry at the theatre. 
Already, yi April, *32, he had made the child entirely his 
own, in the manner described in the periodical. Croelius 
had the merit of first believing in her ; but it is Berg, who 
is to be credited with her entire training for the Swedish 


50 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. cjh. iv. 

staga It was out of delicacy for Berg, that good old Croelius 
forebore from pressing his claims upon her grateful remem- 
brance, in the beautiful letter to her which was given at the 
close of Chapter IL He, evidently, todc the most intense 
and devoted interest in her from the very first; and she 
became the intimate friend of his home. He was a clever 
and cultivated musician, confident, sanguine, and eager ; well 
considered in Stockholm society. How fjEur he succeeded, 
and how far he failed, in developing her fall powers of 
song, we shall be better able to judge when we have 
seen her pass from out of his hands into those of the 
great Parisian master, whose help she afterwards sought. 
At least, we can say this — that Berg, to his infinite credit, 
never appears to have shown himself wounded at the 
prompt reversal of method, which took place as soon as she 
had passed under the new training. He neither seems 
to have been irritated at her resolution to seek further 
instruction elsewhere ; nor do we hear of his being slow to 
recognise the immense improvement which was the result. 
He remains always her devoted admirer; and she is ever 
drawn towards him by strong afiection. Their relations keep 
warm and intimate to the very end. It is he who, by her 
desire, accompanies her long afterwards to England, in 1848. 
It is his deep personal influence on which the King of 
Sweden relied, when he sent him to Lubeck, in 1849, 
to try to persuade her, if possible, to sing yet again in 
opera, at Stockholm. Her own feelings towards her first 
teacher cannot be better expressed than in the words which 
she wrote at that time to her guardian. Judge Munthe, in 
November, 1849.* "Herr Berg arrived so unexpectedly! 
I was delighted to see him! Oh! Gk)dl those memories 

* This letter, together with all the others addressed to Judge Munthe 
which are made use of in this book, have been kindly supplied by Judge 
Carl Munthe, his 8on« 

1830-37.] CAREER. 51 

of childhood! At this unexpected meeting with him, 
remembrances of all kinds from my early years arose iu 
my soul ! We all, indeed, have our shortcomings, that is 
certain — therefore, let us cover them over! Herr Berg is 
one of my nearest Mends ; and gratitude is a feeling that 
I love, and desire to cultivate. • . . And old friend Berg is 
interwoven with the history of my whole life." 

Such, then, was her master ; alert, talkative, confident, with 
a quick-eyed face, not unlike Schubert in type ; too pressing, 
perhaps, in his zeal for his pupil, to estimate the overstrain 
on her powers — an overstrain, forced on, no doubt, by 
theatrical necessities behind him, but constantly noticed and 
feared by the Press of the day. 

In 1836, there is no record of Jenny lind appearing at 
any concert; but her dramatic engagements continue, and 
some of them, with music, and singing. And, especially is 
to be noted her first attempt in an Opera, during the month 
of February, when she played " Greorgette," for four nights, in 
a ** grand opera," by Lindblad, called Fronddreme. Long 
afterwards, in 1860, he sent her the piano-score of this, his 
only Opera, then newly published, and wrote on the fly-leaf, 
" not even your singing could save it ! " But, on its revival 
in the same year, it met with warm appreciation, and Geijer 
refers to it in glowing terms.* 

Apart from this, the year was not specially signalised ; she 
made rather fewer appearances, only eighteen during the 
year, her new parts being " Emilie " in a comedy with song 
from the German called The New Blue-Beard — and " Carolina, " 
in a big drama in five acts, of Kotzebue's — called The Un- 
knaum Son. She sang again in the popular vaudeville. The 
New Oarrison, which had for its second title Seven Girls in 
Uniform ; and just at the close of December, she took the 
part of a girl in Sacchini's opera (Edipus in Athens — the 

♦ Collected Works, vol viii., Ed. 1873-76. 

£ 2 

62 JENNT LIND. [bk. l ch. nr. 

masterpiece of that composer, which retained its poptilarity 
at the Paris Academy right down even to 1844. It depends 
for its effect mainly on its use of the chorus. It was given 
only once, in this December at Stockholm, perhaps for some 
special occasion. 

The 1st of January, 1837, marks a new departure. Accord- 
ing to the contract of 1833, with the mother, the Directors 
were to decide at what date Jenny lind should be given a 
fixed salary, as actress at the Boyal Theatre. Hitherto the 
money paid her by the Directors, has been simply an 
arrangement for her keep; she has performed, on their 
behalf, under this arrangement one hundred and eleven 
times, besides her appearances at concerts. It is now con- 
sidered time to give her a fixed and salaried position, after 
which she is still bound, by the original contract, to be in 
the service of the Directors for ten years, if they require it 
ol Ler. Her salary is fixed at 700 R. D. Banco ; about £60 a 
year.* And, certainly, she was to do a lot of work, in the 
course of the year, in discharge of her obligations under the 
bond. She appeared ninety-two times on the boards; in 
twelve new characters. Four of the pieces were produced for 
the first time in Stockholm. The parts varied greatly in 
character: "Betty," in a drama, with music, chorus and 
dancing, called Jenny Mortimer ; " Zoe," in a comedy of 
that name, by Scribe; and "Marie," in another of his 
comedies called Adele de Sinanges ; " Justine," in a verse- 
comedy of five acts, from the French, called The Jealom Wife ; 
"Lovisa," in a burlesque comedy, with song, by Nicolo 
Isouard, called The Lvdicrous Encounter ; "Rosa," in a two- 
act comedy by the Princess Amelia of Saxony, called The 
Bride of the Capital ; " Erik," a boy's part in a drama, with 

* In estimating these figures concerning her fixed salary, it must be 
remembered that there was, besides, "Play-money," ».e. a bonus given 
on each appearance. 

1830-37.] CAREEB. 63 

music and dancing, called The Fisherman ; " Laura," in The 
JSentinel, a comic Opera by Kifaut ; " Fanny," in Marie de 
Sivry^ a drama in three acts. Here was a great deal of bright 
and light business ; and besides this, there was work of a 
more serious kind : " Emma," in a three-act tragedy in verse, 
by Delavigne, called The Sons of King Edward ; " Clara," in 
The Bride of the Tomb, an historical drama in five acts, which 
ran for eight nights on end; "Dafiie," in Victor Hugo's 
Angdo Malipieri ; and " Fraulein Neubrunn," in The Death of 
WaUenstein. Two performances were given of Mozart's 
JZauherfidtey in which she sang as '' Second Genius." 

Evidently, she had a wide range of characters ; and she 
must have accumulated a mass of dramatic experience. It 
will be noticed that this is all in her sixteenth and seven- 
teenth years ; and this disposes of a familiar rumour that, at 
that period, her voice entirely failed, and that she had to lie 
by. There was no positive pause in her work. The year 1836 
was, no doubt, one in which she did least ; but, then, it was 
the very year in which she first used her voice in a grand 
opera. The year 1837 was, as we see, a time of growing, and 
incessant work, and is the first year of her offixsial engage- 
ment. The rumour arose from her own pronounced opinion 
that it is a time at which a girl's voice absolutely requires 
rest ; to which opinion she had been brought by her bitter 
experience of the damage done to her own vocal organs by 
the absence of this needful relaxation. Her voice was 
terribly tried by the exertions of that particular time, which 
made demands upon it just when it was not in a fit condition 
to respond. It was no peculiarity of her own voice which 
was in question ; it was the normal conditions under which 
all voices develop into their final state. She ought to have 
had the repose for quiet and orderly growth, which all need, 
and which she was not allowed. 

Before 1837 quite closed, a noticeable event took place, 

54 JENNY UND. [bk. l ch. iv. 

full of prophetic meaniiig, to our heroine. A new name is 
becoming important in the operatic world, — ^the name of 
Meyerbeer ; his fame stands high in Berlin and Paris ; and 
the Boyal Theatre is anxious to test the prospects of his 
popularity in Stockholm. So a concert is arranged, in which 
a part of the fourth act of Robert de Normandie should be 
tentatively given. Oddly enough the part of the Opera 
selected for the experiment was one that is not generally 
given when the work is performed as a whole. It is the 
scene in which, after a chorus of women, the Princess Isabella 
recognises the face of the girl, Alice, as she enters; and 
learns from her what she bears to Boberto from his mother. 
Four performances of this excerpt were given in the course 
of that December ; and Jenny Lind was chosen to sing the 
short passage in which " Alice " appears. There is a melo- 
dious phrase, twice repeated, in the recitative, and a pathetic 
cadence at its close. The tradition still lives of the instan- 
taneous effect produced by her on those who heard it. It 
was a short flight ; she just felt her wings ; she was to hear 
much more of Meyerbeer, and of " Alice." For the moment 
all is still again* It is but a passing trial. We must wait 
a little longer. 

( 55 ) 


Tir it ia to be but a very little longer; for we now 
come to tbe year which was, to her, the epoch, the 
toming-point of her career. It had opened with an 
itnmenae run, for twenty-two nights, all throt^h January and 
February, of a French melodrama in two acts. The American 
Monkey, in which she played " Hyacinthe." Then foUowed 
three performances of the serious tragedy, in verse, 2%« Son* 
^ King Edward. And, then, on the night of March 7th, 
came the moment of momenta. "I got up, that morning, 
one creature : " she herself often said ; " I went to bed another 
creature. I had found my power ! " And, all through her 
life, she kept the 7th of March, with a religions solemnity ; 
she would ask to have herself remembered on it with 
prayers ; she treated it as a second birth-day. And rightly ; 
for, on that day, she woke to herself; she became artistically 
alive ; she felt the inspiration, and won the sway, which she 
now knew it was given her, to have and to hold. 

She achieved this in the character of " Agatha " in Weber's 

She used often to tell how, in studying this part in 
preparation for her d&mt, with Madame Erikson, one of 
the chief leaders and teachers in the school, of whom 
she was very fond, and who did much for her, she, one day 
when they two were alone, was seized with a desire to satisfy 
her teacher, and put her whole soul and power into her 

56 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

portrayal of the character— only to be met with dead silence. 
** Am I, then, so incapable and so stupid ? " she thought, till 
she saw the tears trickling down her teacher's face; and all 
Madame Erikson could say was, ** My child, I have nothing 
to teach you ; do as nature tells you ! " 

The day of her dibut was an agony ; but, with her first 
note, she felt all fear and nervousness disappear. She had 
discovered herself; and, certainly, the discovery was absolute. 
The experience of that night was final. " She had found her 
power." That is her own record of what happened on that 
evening. We know not all the details ; but, evidently, the 
expression signifies, not merely that she had the witness in 
herself to her own capacity, but that she received proof^ from 
without, of the mastery she could exerdse over others. She 
who was perfectly accustomed to a public audience, and to 
the applause of a public audience ; she who had, already, for 
years, won her steady successes ; she, who had already charmed, 
and astonished, and excited ; still, felt that all this success 
had never shown her the real potency which it was in her to 
wield* Still, for her, that 7th of March, was a disclosure, a 
revelation, a new thing. It was not so much a better edition 
of that which had preceded it. It was a step out into a new 
world of dominion. Something happened that night which 
had never happened before. She knew, at last, where it 
was that she stood ; and what she was to do on the earth. 
She caught sight of the goal. She learned something of her 
mission. For, to her religious mind, the discovery of a gift 
was the discovery of a mission. She saw the responsibility 
with which she was charged, through the mere possession of 
such a power over men. The singer, with the gift from God 
— ^that is what she became on that night " She went to bed 
a new creature." 

The memory of that eventful moment remained perma- 
nently recorded in^ the shape of two silver candlesticks, 

1838-40.] DISCOVERY. 57 

presented to her by the Directors of the Eoyal Theatre, " in 
remembrance of March the 7th/' so the inscription ran. It 
was the first of the many tributes that were made her in 
her life; and it had, as such, a peculiar value which no 
after-gift could exceed. We can fancy the joy of such a 
tribute, paid by the spontaneous admiration of those who 
could best appreciate her task, to the young girl of seventeen. 
She held those silver candlesticks, in special affection ; and 
left them, at her death, to her daughter. 

The FreischiUz was given nine times in the course of 
1838 ; but, for most of the year, she returned to her old 
parts which she had already played, appearing in melodrama, 
comedy, and burlesque. Her most popular character seems 
to have been " Lovisa," in The Ludicrous Encounter ^ which 
she played as late as February 1st, 1839. She undertook one 
new dramatic character, '' Marie," in a drama of that name 
by Herold, with music and dance. This was the last play 
that she appeared in before she passed over to opera, playing 
it for three nights in April, 1839. After that, the opera 
possessed her wholly. And this was heralded, before the 
year 1838 was out, by three signal operatic appearances : i.e., 
" Emmelina," in Weigl's The Swiss Family ; " Euryanthe," 
in Weber's opera, which ran for four nights in the first half 
of December ; and " Pamina," in the Zauherflote, for four 
more nights, before the year was over. In all, she had made, 
for her salary of £60, seventy-three appearances. 

In 1839, her success bore its fruit in a rise of the salary to 
900 R D. Banco. She appeared, in the course of the year, 
only fifty-three times ; but, perhaps, this is to be explained, 
by the growing importance of her operatic parts, and the 
gradual dropping of the light comedy characters in which she 
had figured hitherto. She sang the part of " Laura " in an opera 
called Le CliMeau de Montenero, by DalajTac — a famous com- 
poser of the French school, whom not even the Eeign of Terror 

bS JENNY LIND. [bk. l ch. v. 

could deter from producing new operas. She repeated 
'' Agatha " four times. She appeared in a character which 
she greatly enjoyed, and in after years frequently repeated 
— ^that of " Julia " in Spontini's Vestale. In spite of her 
enthusiasm for Weber, she was very fond of this work of 
Weber's historic opponent. It was one of her famous rSUs, 
in the great days at Berlin, and on the Shine. 

But the event of the year was her appearance in her 
traditional part of "Alice" in Roberto, by which she was 
destined to win her most memorable triumphs. It was a 
character in which her splendid dramatic power fused itself 
with her gifts of voice, so as to leave an indelible impression 
of force and of beauty on the imagination of those who saw 
and heard. It was a part which drew on her own vivid per- 
sonality, with its intensity of faith, with its horror of sin, 
with its passionate and chivalrous purity. Voice, action, 
gesture, and living character were all combined into a single 
jet of dramatic individuality. 

She opened, in this part, on May 10th and, evidently, with 
overwhelming eflfect ; for she has to play it for twenty-three 
times before the year is out, and to repeat it for twenty-three 
more, in the following year. It is on " Alice," that the interest 
is concentrated, in Stockholm drawing-rooms, when Jenny 
lind's name is announced as a guest She will have to sing 
the part 60 times, on those same boards before she has 
done, between the 10th of May on which she first sang it, 
and the 30th of December, 1843, when she will give her last 
performance of it in the Royal Theatre. 

Boumonville, a distinguished composer of operatic ballets, 
in Copenhagen, of whom we shall hear more later on, writes 
in his ' Theatrical Life ' of this performance : 

" She was only eighteen when I first heard her, but had 
already so eminent a talent, that her performance of * Alice ' 
could be compared to the best I had seen and heard in Paris. 

1838-40.] DISCOVERY. 5& 

Although her voice had not yet reached the high development 
it afterwards attained, it ab^ady possessed, even then, the 
same sympathy, the same electric power, which now makes it 
so irresistible. She was worshipped." 

The year 1839 was marked by several appearances at 
concerts in the Koyal Theatre: on February 11th, and 
February 14th, she sang some verses of Berwald's, the 
Boyal Capellmeister, in connection with the tableau vivant of 
Saint Cecilia ; on March 10th, when she sang an aria from 
Oberon, as well as in a quartette ; on April 13th, when she 
sang a recitative and aria from Mdelio, Imd on April 20th, a 
rectitative and aria from Tancred, On November 5th, it is 
noticeable that she sang in a duet from Norma, the first signal 
of her interest in that drama: and on November 16th, she 
sang, for Kellerman's benefit, a romance of his, accompanied 
by a violoncello solo. But, above all, on May 12th, she gave 
her first great concert on her own behalf. At this, she sang 
a recitative with aria, from Anna Bolena, and in a duet 
by Mercadante : besides giving a scena from the second act 
of the Freischutz, 

Not only at Stockholm did she sing. We find her at 
Upsala on the 19th June, giving a concert in her own 
name, in connection with the great Whitsuntide festivities, 
of which that university ^wn is, annually, the scene. Here, 
for the first time, she had the fascinating triumph of an escort 
home, accompanied by the Students' Song. And here, too, 
is the first note of danger given, as to the strain that is being 
put on her voice. Evidently, her inner genius is already 
beating against the bars of her technical skill. In her 
" strivings after perfection " she is attempting more than her 
present knowledge and training enable her to express. She 
" surpasses the limits " which, according to the paper, " Nature 
has set '* ; though, indeed, it was not " Nature," but the lack of 
knowledge, which had set the limits. " Nature " was yet 

60 JENNY LIND. [bk, i. ch. v. 

imprisoned, waiting for the sure insight of the Parisian 
master to set it free to overleap the limits against which it 
was now, ineffectually, struggling. It is just about this time, 
in May, 1840, that the famous Swedish historian Geijer, who 
was a most sympathetic admirer, notices " a certain inequality 
in her acting " in the part of " Lucia." Something there was, 
which was, as yet, missing to her full development. Here is 
the interesting extract from the Correspondenten, a journal of 
politics and literature, in which the tone of warning or alarm 
is so gracefully struck. 

" We could hardly name any musical treat, given in Upsala, 
which has met with a more general appreciation than IWken 
Jenny Lind's concert, last Sunday. The spacious hall was 
required in order to prevent a crush amongst the pubUc, 
which in number, no doubt, was nearer two thousand than 
one thousand persona The well-merited applause, which 
the charming singer earned, burst forth in die most spon- 
taneous manner, in repeated plaudits and cries of ' Bravo,' 
during the concert, whence she was escorted home with the 
Students' Song, which was offered again, later in the evening 
before her lodgings. The modest bearing which is so notice- 
able in this gifted singer contributes, in no mean measure, to 
enhance the enthusiastic reception, with which she will 
always be greeted by an impartial public. But she herself, 
and those who, in one way or another, are disposing of her 
talents, ought to bear in mind that an artist's strivings after 
perfection can, in the case of a delicate physique, easily 
become a devouring fire. May we err in our conjecture, but 
there seems to be some foundation for the fear that this 
enchanting voice not rarely surpasses the limits which Nature 
itself has suggested. From here Froken Lind, according to 
report, went to Gothenburg, having, however, promised to 
visit us again, later on." 

At Gothenburg, Jenny Lind had a most delightful rest for 
the summer. She stayed there all July, singing indeed at a 
concert now and again, but without any serious work, and 
in hearty enjoyment of the delicious open-air country-life 
which was so near her heart. Her mother is with her, and 

1838-40.] DISCOVERT. 61 

writes to Mr. Lind on July 12th, 1839, a vivid account of 
the pleasant days, in which we can feel how the public excite- 
ment is working round Jenny, who "receives many visits 
every day from all possible artists and amateurs." 

" In my last letter I gave you an account of our pleasant 
journey, etc. We have now settled down temporarily at the 
sweetest little spot, called ' Gubbero,' belonging to the Russian 
Consul Lang, whose chief property is separated only bv a 
garden from our lodgings which consist of three furnished 
rooms with ante-room. I think this year we should not 
travel any further, for, truly, we could not wish for a better 
place to spend the summer than this one. Besides, for grea 
part of the day, we have the company of the Consul's charm- 
ing family. His wife was my school-fellow and there is a 
daughter of Jenny's age. All this makes time pass in a most 
agreeable way ; and, moreover, we have a great many visits 
every day from all possible artists and amateurs. Our Jenny 
recruits herself daily, now in the hay-stacks, now on the sea 
or in the swing, in perfect tranquillity, while the town people 
are said to be longing for her concert and greatly wondering 
when it will come off. Once or twice she has been singing 
in rather good circles, the divine air of * Isabelle ' from 
Bobert le JDmble. Nearly everybody was crying— one lady 
actually went into hysterics from sheer rapture ; this has got 
abroad already. Yes, mon petit vieiix, she captivates all, 
all! It is a great happiness to be a mother under such 
conditions. She sends fondest love to her papa, wishing from 
all her heart to meet you in quite good health. About the 
20th, Jenny will give her first concert — everyone says she 
ought to raise the usual price." 

The last touch is as eminently characteristic of Fru Lind,. 
as it is unlike her daughter. We find the same note again 
in an amusing bit of disappointed complaint with which she 
closes a most pretty account of a surprise which they had 
had, earlier in the year — an account which we insert here, 
not only as a graphic story of the way in which Jenny was 
responding to the buzz of popular enthusiasm which already 
b^an to besiege her, but, also, as illustrating what Fru 


62 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. ▼. 

Lind here notices, of Jenny's power to draw tears of joy, by 
her singing. Ever in her voice rang the sympathetic vibra- 
tion, at which tears flow. As it had been at her earliest 
interview with old Croelius at nine years old, so it is now 
with this old Baron, when she is all bnt nineteen. 

" Do you know," writes the mother from Stockholm, on 
the evening of Feb. 22, 1839, "the other day we had a 
<5urious visit, a certain Baron de G- — , an old gentUhamme, 
who had travelled all the way from his country-seat, with 
the hope of seeing and hearing Jenny in the Freischiitz, 
but he was disappointed, through a change of performance, 
owing to Almlofs indisposition. Eandel* (whose patron this 
man is) undertook to forward, in the most delicate way, his 
request to me and to our Jenny, that he might call upon us 
and be allowed to hear, ever so little, the voice of the adored 
one, so highly spoken of in his own part of the country. 
Jenny agreed, and so they came — Eandel, Baron de G — , 
and his son. Little Jenny was liberal, the noble aspect of 
the old man prepossessed her in his favour, she sang both her 
grand airs. The old man was delighted, and this was clearly 
visible, because he could not keep back his tears. Our little 
home looked particularly neat, and chocolate was served, and 
they parted with us, quite charmed. But probably, it ends 
there ! For who rewards talent in our country ; even when 
people are ever so rich ? " And " what," she asks in this 
same letter, " has this good, this incomparable Jenny for her 
increased labour ? Not even the advantage of providing for 
lier indispensable wants, without incurring debt ! But I say, 
like you, ' Come day, comes counsel ' ; we shall see." 

These characteristic passages, which we have quoted to 
illustrate the stir of fame that is moving about the daughter, 
will well serve to explain a domestic crisis which we are now 
approaching — a crisis which had, for its issue, an event that 
told deeply upon Jenny Lind's artistic development. For, 
indeed, as we read them, we cannot but be conscious that this 
mother, proud as she is of her wonderful child, and delighting 

* Randel was, then, 2Dd Leader of the R. Orchestra. He became 1st 
Leader in 1861. 

1838-40.] DISCOVERT. 63 

in the glow of her success, yet lets drop expressions which 
reveal the gulfs that gape between the two temperaments. 
Every one who reads can understand why it was that, in 
spite of the pleasant, and affectionate intercourse of these 
summer holidays at Gk)thenburg, there was something which 
would make mother and child impossible companions for one 
another. This practical and determined mind which was bent 
on acquiring the just profits that were due from a public 
that talked so enthusiastically about ''our incomparable 
Jenny " — how it must have offended the primary instincts of 
the artist herself ? How was it conceivable that she should 
tolerate this insistent voice iil her ear, suggesting always how 
easy it would be to raise the price of the tickets ; while she 
was, on the other hand, shaping steadily, into clearer vision, 
her recognition of her gift as a charge from God, to be used 
in His service, for the help of mankind? There might 
be much affection, at heart, between the pair, but companion- 
ship, there could not be. They had antagonistic consciences : 
and neither of them had the temper that easily yields. This 
very letter from which we have been quoting contains a most 
characteristic instance of the temper of which we are speak- 
ing — a temper which was bound to fill a house with the 
noise of clash and quarrel, such as would be miseiy to 
one who needed in her home, shelter, softness, refuge, ease, 
and peace. Here is the story : — 

'* I must tell you " (she writes) " that I have just returned 
from the theatre with rather a long face, to find that no seat 
is accorded to Jenny's mother, although there still were 
empty seats, and, besides, the performance had already 

begun. M , with his insinuating smile, asked me to 

wait on the chance of there being room after the second piece 
had begun. But I answered, as no place is accorded me, I 

shall go without altogether,' and so I left. Z is always 

overbearing and rude. This is the gratitude we get for our 
leniency with these people. Jenny, on hearing of this mis- 

64 JENNY LIND. [wl i. ch. v. 

adventure, went straight up to Z , and gave him t(> 

understand her annoyance at my not having a seat His 
answer, that there could not be room for everybody's mother, 
was just like him ; but Jenny's remark on this took him a 
little down ; a messenger was despatched to offer me a seat 
on the first tier ; but, to Jenny's surprise, mother was gone 
— and best so ! " 

This episode is amusing enough ; and, moreover, no one 
who knew the daughter can resist the recognition of qualities 
in her which vividly recall the mother in this most cha- 
racteristic scene. Certainly they bore likeness to one 
another. But, then, this would only make matters worse 
where, as in this case, the mother's sensitive haughtiness had 
all been brought to the surface by the imfortunate hardships 
of her life. Her jealous pride in Jenny seems to have rather 
aggravated than soothed her sense of wrong, her irritability, 
her suspicion. We cannot be surprised if such an atmosphere 
became intolerable, and if explosions occurred. 

So it was that, towards the end of 1839, Jenny took the 
decisive step which, finally, separated her from actual home- 
life. It came about with a certain touch of humour. She 
had, some time before this, pressed her old friend, Louise 
Johansson, now engaged in a Magasin de Modes, to take a 
spare room, which was to be let in the Linds' house. This 
secured her a companionship which she greatly valued, and^ 
through which, things were tolerable. After a year Fru 
lind proposed to raise her terms : and, when Mdlle. Louise 
could not agree to this, she lost her temper, and declared 
that both Jenny and she were welcome to leave her roof. 

This was told to a well-to-do relation, Mdlle. Apollonia 
lindskog, known to Jenny as "Tante Lena," living with a 
sister of Mr. Lind's father, Fru Stromberg, who, having 
adopted Mr. Lind at his father's death, was known to Jenny 
as " Grandmother." These two ladies agreed to receive the 
exiles : but how were they to manage the transfer ? In this 

1838-40.] DI8C OVERT. 65 

way. Jenny packed all her clothes into a large wash-basket 
on the plea that they were to go to the dressmaker. She, 
then, invited her parents to a performance of Roberto, in 
which she played ''Alice:" during which time Louise put 
ap her things, and sent them off to Mdlle. Lindskog. Next 
morning, at breakfast, Louise announced that she wished to 
leave her present lodgings. Fru Lind, with much heat, 
broke out into her old phrase, and declared that if so, she 
might take Jenny with her. Jenny, then, took her at her 
word; and left the house, going, first, to Herr Berg, and, 
then, joining Louise at Mdlle. Lindskog's. Her parents ap- 
peared there, to claim her : but found themselves imable to 
force a girl of nineteen from the house of so near a relation. 
Yet Jenny, in fear that they might yet succeed, on a Sunday 
shortly after, left the house, escorted by her maid, Annette, 
and turned her steps toward the Bonde Palace, close to the 
theatre, overlooking the Norrstrom, in which lived the 
fiEunous musician, Adolf Fredrik Lindblad, the chief of 
Swedish song-writers, her warm admirer, and friend. Into 
his fEunily she was received : she foxmd, in Madame Lindblad 
a second mother : and from Herr Lindblad himself, and from 
the society into which he brought her, she inhaled an in- 
fluence, which affected her entire development, artistic, in- 
tellectual, and moral. Of this, we shall have more to say in 
the following chapter. In his house she remained until her 
final departure for Paris in July, 1841. Back to rooms in 
that house, she came, on her return to Stockholm in 1842. 
There was her home. There she could rest at peace. There 
she found the sympathy, the understanding, the inspiration, 
which her nature ardently needed. Though in some points 
endowed with a " Finnish *' stubbornness, she was, in others 
singulcurly self-distrustful, uncertain, easily unnerved. She 
greatly needed an atmosphere of affection to give her con- 
fidence, and security. She was passionately domestic; she 


66 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch, v. 

must have the assurance of love about her, to save her from 
the miseries of suspicion and of distrust, into which her lofty 
idealism was very apt to lapse, unless buoyed against the 
shock of rough and hard facts by the encompassing force of 
sympathetic intimacy. It was not that she did not have 
affection for her parents : on the contrary, she held them 
very deep in her heart. But it was impossible for them to 
enter into her motives and aims : and, moreover, Fru Lind 
had a certain twist of temper which made actual life with her 
exceedingly diflBcult. 

. So it happened: and Jenny, now, could at last bring 
together her life into a single whole. Her daily surroundings 
were no longer in collision with her artistic inspiration. 
Bather, they aided, fed, succoured it. Her spirit breathed an 
air that was congenial, and bracing : her heart found warmth, 
and nourishment in the cherishing kindliness of a family. 
The year must have been a happy one. It was full of 
success. It opened with a brilliant continuation of her 
" Alice," in January, to be repeated in April, and all through 
November. She sang, again, in her former parts of " Agatha ; " 
"Euryanthe;" "Pamina;" "Julia" (the Vestale); and 
" Marie," in Herold's operatic drama of that name. All is, 
now. Opera : not a single one of her old comedy parts does 
she play. Her career in pure acting is alas! over altogether. 
She adds, to her score, two important characters; "Donna 
Anna," in Don Juan: and "Lucia" in Luda di LaTnmer^ 
moor. This last part, one of her famous rfiles, had a furore. 
She introduced it into Stockholm on May 16th and played 
it for twenty-eight nights in the year. It was after her 
thirteenth performance of " Lucia," that, on June 19th, 1840, 
a number of the actors, together with members of the or- 
chestra, and chorus, gathered before her dressing-room, and 
serenaded her : and, on her return home, she was presented 
with a silver tea and coffee service, which was ever highly 

1838-40.] DISCOVERY. 67 

valued by her, and was left, by specific direction in her will, 
to her eldest son. The donors appeared in gala costume, 
among them being his Excellency Count J. G. de la Gardie, 
Count Carl de G«er, Count Carl Axel Lowenhjelm, Count 
Gustaf Trolle Bonde, etc., etc. Lindblad's eldest daughter, 
now Mme. Lotten von Feilitzen, remembers well how Jenny 
lind had to go to the window, after receiving the present, to 
wave her handkerchief to the crowd that had collected below 
in the street. Altogether, she made sixty-nine appearances. 
In the half-year that remained, before her departure for 
Paris, she played forty-nine times more, chiefly in Lucia 
and Roberto and the Freischutz: her new parts were 
"Alaida" in Bellini's Straniera; and in a selection from 
Gluck's opera " Armida," for a single performance. She sang 
in eiglit concerts at the theatre, in 1840, and in two more in 
1841. In two of them she sang a duet from JessoTida, with 
Herr Gtinther : and in three, she sang a duet from Norma, 
with her playmate at the school, Fru Gelhaar. 

Two special events may be, finally, noticed. First, she 
goes again, at Whitsuntide, to Upsala : and we have a letter 
of Geijer, written at the time, which speaks of the intense 
interest of Lindblad in his charge. 

" Lindblad, who in the general enchantment is particularly 
enchanted with Mdlle. Lind, was also here and staying with 
us. He left this morning, upon which Upsala may be likened 
to a barrel from which the bottom has been taken out, so 
that the contents run away.'*^ 

And our old paper, the Correspondenten, has some graceful 
words which we cannot but insert, for, besides the warm and 
intelligent enthusiasm of its praise, it uses the symbol of 
the nightingale which became, afterwards, her familiar 

"But, in addition to Nature's beautiful singing-birds, 
there came, flying thither on Whitsun eve a nobler nightin- 

F 2 

68 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

gale, the famous Jenny Lind, whose arrival many a one has 
heartilj looked forweuxl to. For, indeed, she lias been the 
object of a homage, such as, in its truest form, can be given 
only in a city of culture and of youth. True, it is in the 
first place, a great, an extraordinary talent one admires in 
her ; but how infinitely is the value of this artistic power 
increased by the unpretending, modest, charming manner, 
in which it presents itself to an enraptured listener. With 
her all seems Nature, simple and glorious, so as to make 
one forget what great influence Art has also exercised! on 
her development. It is by this harmonious combination 
of a noble nature and art, that Froken Jenny lind in 
every respect stands out as of exceptional and unalloyed 

So goes the judgment of Sweden. It could not be better 
expressed. It embodies, exactly, the constant impression, 
which, year after year, in far lands abroad, she is to create. 
Somehow or other, wherever she is to go, and whatever her 
triumphs in Denmark, Germany, England, and America, no 
one can succeed in recording his experience without arriving 
at this very identical conclusion of the XJpsala periodical. 
Always he finds himself saying, that " great and extraordinary 
as is the talent which one admires in her, how infinitely is 
the value of this artistic power increased by the modest 
and charming manner in which it offers itself to the en- 
raptured listener ! " That is it. That is what everyone feels : 
and what everyone tries to say. We shall find that type of 
comment quite invariable. It is this especial interest of her 
singing to which we propose to devote the following chapter. 
Here, we pause, for a moment, in our narrative of her early 
dramatic career, and take note of where we stand. We 
have followed her from the lowest rung of the ladder, — a 
tiny mite in the theatre-school, performing its first miracul- 
ous feats — to the high platform on to which she has 
passed, in secure possession of unqualified supremacy on 
her native stage. Nothing has interrupted, or broken this 

1838-400 DIBOOVEBT. 69 

8uie progress. Nothing has come to traverse, or criticise it. 
It has been a steady upward movement towards its final 
bewildering triumpL As a child, she had fascinated by her 
acting : as a singer, her very first dSbut had been to her an 
immediate and unmistakable revelation of her supreme 
powers. Her nation have greeted her with acclamation. 
Their enthusiasm for her voice can only be outdone by their 
enthusiasm for herself. So it is, as we look back along the 
road she has travelled. Her troubles have all been domestic. 
As an artist, her career has been unchecked, and unclouded. 
She might well think that she had, at twenty, already touched 
the summit. All the world about her was ready to assure 
her that it was so. How little she herself thought so, we 
ahaUsoon see. 

But, before doing so, we are bound to stop, and review the 
personal character, which had developed under these con- 
ditions. What type of person was the Jenny lind, of whom 
all Sweden was now talking? In answering this general 
question, we shall not refuse the help which records and 
memorials of her in her later life supply, in emphasising 
those distinct and enduring lines, which formed the unchang- 
ing ground of her character. And we do this with con- 
fidence, because nothing comes out more obviously firom the 
records of her story, than the absolute and continuous 
identity, from end to end, of the main elements of her per- 
sonality. Always, at all periods of her life, the terms used 
to describe her are the same. Always the same person 
walks, and speaks, and stands, and sings, whether it be the 
simple girl in her sweet modesty, or the grown woman in 
fall possession of her assured powers. Whatever men tell 
US of her, whatever she does, or says, we recognise her at 
once. A single phrase, or pose, or gesture is enough. '* That 
is Jenny lind," we say ; no one can mistake it. Whether it 
Gome early, or whether it come late in the day, it is all of a 

70 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. ▼. 

piece ; it tells the same tale ; it leaves the like impression ; 
it belongs to the same picture. 

We need not, then, be at all a&aid to mingle the evidence 
yielded by differing years, and varying places : for, indeed. It 
is only by so doing that we can receive the full impression of 
this strong and unbroken continuity of type, which was so 
marked a feature in her character. 

( 71 ) 



Thzbb are artists, in whom their art is so predominant, that, 
like a despotism, it concentrates all efforts and capacities 
upon itself. The man is absorbed within his main interest. 
Through it alone does he find energetic vent. In it he 
verifies the attributes of genius : he gives evidence of some- 
thing in him which is surpassingly excellent: but, outside 
its ring-fence, in all the other departments of life and 
charactery he shows himself as ordinary, and unremcurkable 
as the rest of us* His artistic genius does not flow over, and 
animate, his other sensibilities, and gifts : it abides in itself : 
and seems, even, to drain originality out of all rival channels ; 
so that we might think the man commonplace, and dull, xmtil 
we saw him transfigured and illuminated in the exercise of 
his own peculiar talent. This is a perfectly possible type of 
genius : and, because it exists, men are loud in asserting the 
proverbial disappointment often felt at meeting, in society, 
some one who has been, through his gift, the inspiration of 
their lives. In the ordinary affairs with which all are 
concerned, this glorious hero, this poet, this musician, with 
whose fame the world is ringing, shows no particular power, 
has no especial facility, may, indeed, prove himself 
inferior in judgment and in insighti to many a man who 
prides himself on making no claim to be a genius. More 
especially, in the field of executive art, involving curious, 
and special facilities of organization, we may expect to come 
across such surprises as this. 

72 JENNT LIND. [bk. i. ch. vi. 

All the more noticeable then is it, that, in the case of 
Jenny Lind, the surprise is all the other way. There is a 
universal consent, in all who record her influence, that what 
they experienced was the effect of a character whose genius 
penetrated every comer of her being, so that her unique gift 
of song appeared but as an incidental illustration of the 
originality which was everywhere in her. Even those who 
felt her singing most profoundly, felt ever as she sang, that 
she was more than her singing : while those whose lack of 
musical perception made them impervious to her special 
talent, experienced as much as any the full fascination of her 
personality. This impression of her belongs to her early, as 
well as to her after years ; and it cannot be better given than 
in an expressive phrase, used long after our present date, 
indeed, but which vividly and exactly embodies what was 
already so characteristic of her. '' After all, I would rather 
hear Jenny talk, than sing, wonderftd as that is," writes 
Mrs. Stanley, the wife of the Bishop of Norwich, to her sister, 
Mrs. Augustus Hare, in September 1847, after a rapturous 
account of what her singing had been. Surely, a most 
striking remark to make: and one which cannot be too 
emphatically reiterated, a£^ giving a cue to the indescribable 
impression left by this great artist on the memory and the 
hearts of those who came nearest to her. ^'I would 
rather hear her talk than sing 1 " And at the very moment 
when the words were written there was another person, 
in that palace at Norwich, who gave a cordial adhesion 
to this sentiment. There could be no better instance of 
Jenny Lind's social impressiveness than her intercourse with 
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, son of the Bishop of Norwich, 
afterwards the famous Dean of Westminster. He was a man 
of the highest type of culture, of sensitive imagination, of 
most delicate intellect — a man, too, who was habitually in 
contact with all the finest minds and the richest experiences 

1840.] CHARACTER. 73 

of his day — ^and yet he was absolutely excluded from even 
the slightest sympathy with all that made her " the greatest 
artist whom Mendelssohn had ever known/' for he was 
unable to enjoy one note of her music ; and still, though her 
voice is no more to him than an inexplicable interruption to 
their conversation, he was absorbed under the sway of her 
personal fascination, and became her life-long and intimate 

And, again, far down her career, the same instinctive 
impression greets us, showing how from first to last, this was 
her typical character. We quote from notes made by Mr. 
Parker Willis, at the time of the American tour, in 
November 1850, published in 1856 in a work called ' Famous 
Persons and Famous Places.' These notes express, with 
^derfol feUdty and vividness, the particular point on wUch 
we now are dwelling. For they tell how the author, after 
being enthralled by the magic of her singing, obtains the 
privil^e of intercourse with her ; and the effect on him is 
just that recorded in Mrs. Stanley's happy phrase. He 
cannot resist the impression that she could have written at 
least as brilliantly as she sang ; and that, somehow, it is only 
■ciicumstances that have chained her to what he ventures to 
call ''her lesser excellence." He feels as if she were a 
'' Poetess whom song has hindered and misled." He notices, 
especially, as the key to her character, her '^ singularly 
prompt and absolute power of concentration." " No matter 
what the subject, the 'burning glass' of her mind was 
instantly brought to bear upon it," " her occasional anticipa- 
tions of the speaker's meaning, though they had a momentary 
look of abruptness, were invariably the mile-stones at which 
.he was bound to attain, .... and the graphic suddenness 
with which she would sum up, could receive its impulse firom 
nothing but genius." And, after much more, he winds up 
with this remarkable conclusion : — 

74 JENNY LIND. [bk. l CH. vi. 

" In reading over what I have hastily written, I find it 
expresses what has grown upon me with seeing, and hearine 
the great songstress — a conviction that her present wonderftu 
influence is but the forecast and shadow of a dififerent and 
more inspired exercise of power hereafter. Her magnetism is 
not all from a voice, and a benevolent heart. The soul while 
it feels her pass, recognises the step of a spirit of tall stature, 
complete and unhalting in its proportions. We shall yet be 
called upon to admire rarer gifts in her than her voice.'* 

It would be hard to give better, or fuller expression than 
this, to the sense that we desire to convey — the sense, the 
feeling that Jenny Lind was, not less, but more, than her 
Art. What men saw, and found in her was, not that a 
common piece of the stuff of human nature had been caught 
up, by the artistic inspiration, into some unspeakable heaven, 
and been transfigured by some sudden and strange glory 
which carried the human spirit beyond itself No! rather 
they felt that here was a character of supreme value, of 
unique excellence, which had contrived to find its way down 
into the world's scenery, through the particular channel 
provided for it by song. Music gave it its chief opportunity 
for discovering itself to men ; but it itself stood above the 
Art which it used as its finest medium of communication. 
Hence the intensity of spiritual interest, which greeted her 
singing. Men seemed to themselves not so much to be 
listening to a voice, as to be catching sight, through the 
door which music opened, of a high and pure soul, moving 
down to them, through the pathway of song, out of some 
far untainted home of purity and joy. It was this soul 
which they greeted with such amazement, such warmth; 
it was its felt presence which made the tears start, always, 
to their eyes as they listened. It was Jenny Lind herself 
who, by means of her wonderful gift, was the revelation 
to them of the heights which it was still open to men to 

1840.] CHARACTER. 75 

And, because this was so, we desire, both in the present 
chapter, and in chapters to come, to dwell, especially, on the 
social impression produced by her, wherever she went. This 
book, it is true, is a memoir of Jenny Lind as the artist. 
But the distinction, which we have attempted to draw 
between the two types of artists, will make it clear why, in 
her case, it is impossible to dissociate her artistic success from 
her effect as a woman, as a personal character, upon the 
people among whom she came. She was one of those whose 
art reveals a character behind it, out of which its own 
excellence is drawn ; and, in estimating that Art, therefore, we 
inevitably find ourselves drawn into the presence of this 
inspiring force of character which it disclosed. It would be 
impossible to represent the effect of Jenny Lind, as an artist, 
without making it continually clear what it was which 
Mrs. Stanley meant when she said in 1847, ** After all, I would 
rather hear Jenny talk than sing," or, as she wrote again in 
the same year : '' Her singing is the least part of ^er charm ; 
she has the simplicity of genius." 

We shall have frequent occasion, as our stoiy proceeds, to call 
attention to this significant characteristic ; as, for instance, to 
note that wherever she goes, over the cities of Europe, she is, 
somehow, always foxmd to be staying in the house of someone 
who is of special, and even European, reputation. Men of 
this high stamp seem, always, to foregather with her ; she has 
the entry ; she finds her home with them. And, again, in her 
own city of Stockholm, where the circumstances of her life, 
with which we are familiar, might be expected to stand some- 
what in her way, and where there was, necessarily, so much, 
in her bringing-up, which would make it difl&cult for her to 
break down social barriers, nothing is more remarkable than 
her complete acceptance, before she has passed her girlhood 
not only into those circles where details of birth and position 
are supposed to be of vital importance^ but what is far 

76 JENNT LnmO. [m. I. CH. VI. 

more, into those high literary intimacies where nothing but 
character counts. 

Let us give illustrations of this. Here is a most graceful 
and brilliant picture of a soirde in Stockholm in 1839, which 
we cannot but give as a whole. It is perfectly trustworthy, 
being the record of a lady, still living, in whose old home the 
scene took place. Evidentiy, as all who read it must fed, the 
impression of that marked evening stamped itself upon the 
girl's brain, so that every detail stood out sharp and dear, 
when, in 1887, nearly fifty years later, she- wrote out the 
sketch for a periodical called the Dagny — ^published by the 
^'Fredrika Bremer Association," the object of which is to 
further the cause of those women who are anxious to make 
their own living. The lady, who wrote it, herself 'the 
daughter of the house ' mentioned in the narrative, intended to 
send it in a letter to Madame lind-Groldschmidt herself in 
order, by reminding her of the evening it records, to interest 
her in the Fredrika Bremer Association; but, before the 
letter could be sent, the news of her illness and death reached 
Stockholm ; and it was, then, published in the Dagny, as 
a memorial of her who had gone. Here is the account : — 

" It is a cold winter's evening in the year 1839. In the 
house of 11 Begeringsgatan cluoideliers and lustres are gra- 
dually being lit. Along the street is stopping a row of 
closed carriages, which, each in its turn, dnve up to the 
entrance. Footmen in livery open the carriage-doors and 
smart women, followed by men in imiform, get out cautiously 
and disappear through the porch of the faintiy illuminated 
passage. A few minutes later the fresh arrivals find them- 
selves in the cloakroom, the wraps are taken off, silk dresses 
are rustling, shawls are draped, a look in the glass is directed 
to the fantastic head-dresses, while the men are touching up 
their plumed cocked hats or straightening their gold-fringed 
epaulettes — and now they enter the glowing suite of rooms, 
either in groups or one by one. 

" In the first saion, where various musical instruments are 
seen, they are received by the host. Baron L , an 

1840.] CHARACTER. 77 

elderly man, with noble features, shaded by silver-grey hair, 
of dignified deportment, and an air of kindliness and refine- 
ment about him generally. Passing through a smaller ante- 
chamber, the guests now proceed to the great, half-round 
salon^ where the hostess is awaiting them. She is a tiny little 
lady, about thirty, youthful in her movements, with expres- 
aive eyes and a smile of great fun, as well as of courtesy, 
round her lips. With an unconventional and gracefiil 
movement, she gives her hand, introducing the people 
to one another, showing that she understands the art of 
forming acquaintances, right and left, by means only of a 
few words. 

** There comes Baron B , with his wife and daughters, 

one of whom, later on, married a Minister for Foreign Afiairs, 
whilst the other became the mother of Sweden's greatest poet 

in our times. In their wake are seen Baron F ^ the great 

Chamberlain to the King Carl Johan, and Geneml C— — . 
There some fashionable young ladies are advancing, surrounded 
by their court of a few officers and civilians. Behind these 
are seen the popular violinist in the Court-Chapel, Herr 

Elvers, a young cellist, Herr F , etc., etc. And now there 

appears a striking couple ; it is Count and Countess B , 

both bearers of great historical names, and she a queen in 
the realm of beauty. A murmur of homage foUows her as 
she moves on and she is scarcely seated before a crowd of 
admirers throw a ring round her. However, all of a sudden, 
the whispering becomes louder, changing tone altogether, 
while every head is directed towards the ante-chamber. 

*^ On the threshold stands the host and by his side, shaking 
hands with him, a young girl, with an abundance of curb 
round the pale cheeks ; a gown in simple style softly clings 
round the maiden figure and there is a dreamy, half absent, 
and fascinating look in the deep-set eyes. 

*^ The hum is increasing still more when the old nobleman 
leads the visitor into the midst of his guests ; but he has not 
time to pronounce her name, it is already on everybody's lips, 
and is now flying round the room with a subdued soxmd : 
Jmrny lAmd 1 Jenny Lind ! 

" The beauties of the season are forgotten and, what is 
more, they forget all about themselves; flirtation is sup- 
pressed ; etiquette is sinned against impunished ; and as soon 
as the new guest has been cordially welcomed by the hostess, 
and by her, personally, introduced to the principal ladies, a 

78 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. cb, vi, 

crowd of the high assembly gathers round the plain-lookiiig 
young girl, thus for once justly conceding the preference of 
genius to birth — of beauty of soul to beauty of features. 

" A singular liveliness is breathing through the hitherto 
rather formal company. The hostess attracts both young and 
old to her animated conversation with the honoiured guest ; 
and every one is gratified who catches a word or a look firom 
this Jenny lind who, for the last few weeks has, as ' Alice,' 
in Robert Ic Diahle and ' Agatha ' in the Freisckutz captivated 
and enchanted both themselves and the whole Stockholm 

" Somewhat monosyllabic, at the start, amongst all these 
strangers, the guest begins, by-and-by, to shake oflF her 
reserve. She smiles an incredulous smile when one of la 
jeunesse doree compares her to ' la divine Malibran,' and laughs 
openly at some old general's grotesque flattery. To a 8enti<* 
mental inquiry as to what heavenly thoughts had filled her 
mind when, the preceding evening, she had, as 'Alice' 
embraced the cross, she answered, a little hesitatingly : * I 
believe I was thinking of my old bonnet.' But, wherever 
she encounters genuine and deeper imderstanding in the 
compliments uttered, her answers are sympathetic, almost 

" By her side stands the clever pianiste Mina Josephson, a 
sister of one as yet unknown to fame — Axel Josephson. A 
girl of fourteen, the eldest daughter of the house, timidly 
approaches her in order that by her she may be introduced 
to Jenny Lind, who bestows upon her a warm pressure of 
the hand. 

" How the gay party went on, how the musical programme 
was opened by the daughter of the house and her teacher, 
after which followed one of Beethoven's most beautiful trios ; 
and how Jenny Lind sang the 'Lieder' of Geijer and 
Lindblad as they never were, nor ever more will be sung — 
we must here only glance at. And further how the host and 
hostess were obliged to check the too eager wishes of their 
friends to hear more and ever more — ^in order to show that 
the object of the invitation had been the personal acquaint- 
ance of the charming artist, not only the enjoyment of her 
song lovely though it be. That Jenny Lind was satisfied 
with her evening, and, in this milie^i, found several of her 
most enthusiastic, and faithful admirers, is quite certain* 
And, as she was the first operatic singer received in the best 

1840.] CHARACTER. 79 

society of the capital, in which she became a dear and 
honoured guest, it has seemed of some interest to preserve a 
few details of her appearance in this domain. 

'* In the memory of the writer of this paper, Jenny land 
stands out a unique apparition, like no one else, simple, 
unpretending, but dignified — ^penetrated by a sort of sacred 
responsibility for her mission — the mission of Art in its 
lofty purity — ^which she felt that God had confided to her." 

The last touches of this graphic record will serve to 
justify our insistence on this social aspect of Jenny Lind's 
life; and to redeem our motives from the suspicion of any 
unworthy interest in these formalities of society. For it is 
just through this lofty sense of artistic mission that she took 
her place amid her fellows. As at Stockholm, so everywhere, 
it is this, her spiritual sense of responsibility, which gave her 
social distinction, and carried her, in dignified ease, through 
these surroundings. It is deeply interesting to notice how it 
is exactly this characteristic, here noted by the Swedish 
lady as the secret of Jenny Lind's effect upon those about 
her, which afterwards won to her the intense devotion of 
the Stanleys at Norwich. "Every morning when she got 
up, she told me," writes Mrs. Stanley, "she felt that her\ 
voice was a gift from God, and that, perhaps, that very day 
might be the last of its use." And Arthur Stanley repeats ; 
this, as if this was what gave her such fascinating interest. 
It was this, which secured her that aspect of independence, of 
detachment^ which is so vital, if an artist is to preserve moral 
dignity, in face of a " society " which is too apt to flatter 
itself that it is doing a favour to those to whom it kindly 
permits an entry, and which is encouraged in this self- 
flattery, if the artist is obviously grateful for the attention. 
Nobody could see Mademoiselle Lind for two seconds, and 
suspect her of any such flattery. She moved about " like an 
apparition " : .like one " with a mission " : charged with a 
serious responsibility. That is her social character : that is 

80 JENNY LIND. [be. x. (sltl 

her note^ her charm, as this paper beautifully records : and 
this made all touch of over-deference to external position 
absolutely impossible to her. No one could mistake that 
free independence: that moral '^ detachment" Indeed, 
criticism on her social qualities, would turn on the very 
opposite defect to that at which we have been hinting. It 
might be said that this spiritual aloofness gave a sense of 
haughtiness to her manner in public, and with those who were 
not intimate. There was a '^ hold-off" look — a drawing 
away, a critical survey of a new comer, which made many an 
introduction to her, in after years, a moment of supreme 
agony to those who had, perhaps, dreamed of that happiness 
for hours and days before, but who now that it had come, 
and that she was looking them over with a cold and lofty 
gaze, could only pray that the earth might yawn, and swallow 
them up, before things had gone any further. It was a 
severe ordeal : and, unquestionably, no worldly rank, or 
position, would have the slightest effect in modifying its 

Again, this spiritual attitude of one '' charged with a 
mission," made ''Society" most distasteful to her. She 
never could care, the least, for it as such; she hated its 
frivolous distractions, its social pettiness, its wearisome routine; 
it had no attraction for her. She liked " intimates." And 
" Society," therefore, in admitting her, never felt that it had 
done her a great kindness, or that she hung on its favours. 
Bather, it knew that something was there in her, which made 
all social distinctions become very small matters indeed. 
For the standards, which her presence forced to tlie front, 
were not ''social" but moral and spiritual: and it was 
impossible to have intercourse with her, without becoming 
conscious of this : and, tried by those standards, it was she 
who brought the honour, not society which conferred it 
'* There is no one," writes Mrs. Stanley, in 1847, " who does 

1840.] CHARACTER. 81 

not feel, that it was an honour for the Bishop, to have given 
her the protection of this house." 

In this temper of moral independence, she passed up, out 
of the struggles and clouds of her childhood, into the faU 
sunlight of success, with absolute ease, without a shadow of 
encumbering consciousness, without a breath of worldliness 
ever crossing her spirit. She retained, without even an 
effort^ all her inherent and native simplicity, her freshness, 
her undaunted sincerity. Never did she slacken, for a 
moment, her demand that the worth of men should be 
estimated, wholly and utterly, according to their moral value. 
Never, for one instant, did the mists of conventionalism dim 
her vision, or confuse her insight. She had one set of 
balances ; and one only. She never even seems to have been 
tempted to exchange them. Swept up, in the sudden rush 
of an overwhelming success, out of obscurity into the company 
and the friendship of princes and kings, this girl, in her 
simple-hearted virginity, kept a conscience as true and fine 
as steel. No illusion bewildered her : no worldly splendour 
ever succeeded in beguiling her. Failings of another tyi)e 
might be laid to her charge. She could be hasty, and hard, 
sometimes, in her judgments. She was liable to misunder- 
stand people. She had vehement impulses, and equally 
vehement reactions, which were apt to gain for her, from those 
who knew her little, the character of capricious fitfulness. 
She could magnify slight lapses into great sins. A certain 
spiritual haughtiness there was in her ; a certain suspicion of 
the motives on which she, by bitter experience, learned that 
men too often act. All this might be said. But one thing it 
was for ever impossible, even for an enemy, to imagine : that 
Jenny lind ever condescended to lower the steady standards 
by which she tested all human worth, high or low, rich or 
poor. Thus it was that she secured, as we shall hear, "a 
homage" from the best society in Stockholm, which was 

VOL. I. G 

82 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch, vi. 

quite peculiar in its type. '' Homage I'' that is the 
very word to express what it was that was given her. 
One feels it, in the delightful refusal of the lady of the 
house, in the Dagny sketch, to ask her to sing again, lest she 
should seem to have been invited for her singing, and not 
for her personal qualities. It was this complete acceptance 
of her,' in her own independent character, which worked a 
real and lasting change in the social respect given to actors 
and actresses in Stockholm, by which the dif&culties that 
had stood hitherto in their way disappeared. And this 
absolute sincerity of character wliich won her this homage as 
a girl of nineteen, remained so entirely untouched to the last, 
that every gesture and every look, recorded in that graceful 
portrait of her behaviour on her earliest dihut, is familiar to 
those who only knew her in the latter years of her English 
life. That is the very lady whom they knew : every phrase 
recalls her. They can see her, as she stands there, at the entry 
of the salon, when the old nobleman is receiving her : rather 
monosyllabic, at first ; and, then as she shakes off her reserve, 
responding, to any genuine speech, with a sympathy, that is 
"almost humble." They can feel her as she bends and 
smiles incredulously, at the pretty compliments paid her by 
the young men : they can positively hear her laugh as the 
old generals come up to fumble out their "grotesque flattery" : 
they can catch the very ring of her voice, and the very look 
in her arch eyes, as she meets the earnest inquiries as to the 
nature of her secret thoughts when clasping the cross in the 
scene from Roberto, with the frank statement that " she was 
thinking of her old bonnet ! " "A unique apparition, like 
no one else ; simple, unpretending, dignified ! " How much 
the words recall ! How many a similar scene was embodied 
in them ! To the very last hour of her life, they would have 
been the only possible description of her. Surely, a singular 
force of sincerity lay in her, which could make that early 

1840.] CHARACTER. 83 

picture of her so speak to those who saw and loved her forty 
years after^ as if it were alive with her very presence, and 
instinct with her very tones ! Not a jot or tittle of that 
intense and spontaneous originality of hers had " the world "^ 
succeeded in moulding to its own liking, or society in 
refashioning according to its own convention. There she 
stood, from first to last, " a unique apparition, like no one 
else; simple, unpretending, dignified." The notes of Mr. 
Parker Willis from which we have already quoted, describing 
her in America in 1850, convey, admirably, the identical 
impression, which belongs to this Dagny sketch and which 
belonged to her throughout: 

" the freshness, and sincerity of thoughts taken as they rise — 
the truthful deference due to a stranger, and yet the natural 
cordiality which self-respect could well afford — the ease of 
one who had nothing to learn of courtesy, and yet the im- 
pulsive eagerness to shape word and manner to the want of 
the moment — ^these, which would seem to be the elements 
of a simple politeness, were all there ; but in Jenny 
lind, somehow, they composed a manner which was alto- 
gether her own. A strict lady of the court might have 
objected to the frank eagerness with which she seated her 
company Uke a schoolgirl preparing her playfellows for a 
game at forfeits ; — ^but it was charming to those who were 
made at home by it. In the seating of herself in the posture 
of attention, and disposal of her hands and dress (small lore 
sometimes deeply studied, as the ladies know) she evidently 
left all to nature — the thought of her own personal appearance 
never once entering her mind. So self-omitting a manner 
indeed, in a case where none of the uses of politeness were 
forgotten, I had not before seen." 

In saying all this, it is not intended that she could be ever 
called, in the strict sense, a " conversationalist." Her talk 
was not continuous enough, to give it the character. Her 
lack of literary and scientific education forbade it. She 
talked as an artist, not as a conversationalist. She dropped 
out a vivid sentence, a pungent epithet; she shot out a 

G 2 


84 JENNY LIND. D«. i. oh. vi. 

sudden, and brilliant expression : she put one in possession 
of a whole situation by a gesture, or a glance : but she did 
not follow up a theme, or ai^ument : she did not carry on 
a train of thought, or help a conversation to develop a 
eequent thread of consecutive reflection. That would not be 
her manner. She would be dramatic, abrupt, intense : but 
she could not yield herself to the stream of a common dis- 
cussion, carrying all along in a persistent process, according 
to the Socratic ideal of talk. 

And here, as we speak of her social effect, it is necessary 
to touch upon her personal appearance. Yet how useless it 
seems ! No words can be used which will not convey a 
wrong or exaggerated impression to those who never saw 
her : and to those who have seen and known her, no words 
are necessary. Her features were strong, and homely ; of a 
usual Swedish type, we believe : very pliable, and expressive, 
<3spccially about the nose and the mouth; and it was this 
expressive pliability, which allowed such strange, and delicious 
transformation to pass over it, as it changed from repose to 
action. We shall come upon a vivid description, in the 
course of this book, in which the contrast between her actual 
appearance as it first caught your eye, and that which she 
became when once she began to speak, or move or sing, will 
be spoken of as nothing short of " transfiguration." * At the 
start, you would pronounce the face plain ; but, then, it lent 
itself to express, in a peculiar degree, the wiiniing simplicity, 
and freshness of girlhood : it was full of animation, and into 
it, moreover, there ever passed the singular grace of her 
** pose," and her movements. It was a face which it was 
delightful to watch. It could express ever}'thing with a 
graphic intensity that made one laugh from pure joy. It 
could brim over with fun : it had an irresistible archness, 
when she was amused : it was callable of an almost awful 

♦ Cf. page lOa 






/,,.»,/J>,J«A^ri»^fn>.,,'f',,,ffA-m.,^.,,A'>. /y.-dt %,^>^/-. 

1840.] CHARACTER. 85 

solemnity: and it could, when she was suspicious and on 
her guard, become absolutely stony. A transparent counte- 
nance^ indeed, on which every emotion revealed itself with 
^unqualified spontaneity. It was the ever-changing mirror 
of her soul, and therefore became charged with interest : a 
speaking iiewje, which could captivate by its overflowing 
vitality, until it became delightful to observe, and to re- 
member, for its own sake ; and this illumination from within, 
combined as it was, with the buoyant movements which filled 
her whole body, gave her, both off and on the stage, when- 
ever she was animated, that positive charm, that personal 
fascination, which is associated, generally, with beauty. 

She was,' firmly, persuaded of her own plainness. Her 
description of herself, as a girl, has, already, been given, in 
all its comic exaggeration, " broad-nosed, ugly, gauche," etc. 
And Mr. Parker Willis notices tliat she was perfectly in- 
different to the photographs taken of her, and allowed, 
" with careless willingness, painters, and Daguerreotypists to 
make what they will of her." Perhaps, this indifference 
renders touching one tiny hint of her finding a humble 
pleasure in a compliment to her looks. It was on an occasion 
when she appeared, at a Stockholm party, in a tableau-vivant, 
as Carlo Dolce's St. Cecilia : and it was said that she looked 
exceedingly like the picture : and she took special deligiit in 
this personal resemblance to the Saint Cecilia ; and after her 
death there was found, among her private stores of little me- 
mentoes, the rouge-card used at the tableaux, with her own 
writing on the back to say that it had been given her by 
Fredrika Bremer as a memorial of that evening. 

The picture on the opposite page is taken from an original 
panel, which was in her own possession, which has no story, 
but which, devoid though it be of artistic merit, and common 
and crude in its workmanship, yet seems to preserve the 
likeness of what she was when about eighteen years old. It 

86 JENNY LIND. [, 

is the earliest record we have of her appearance : and though 
the artist has not the skill or the insight to give the anima- 
tion that illuminated the face, or the movement that gave it 
its grace, he has preserved the main outlines. 

She was five feet three to four inches in height : but she 
held her head so erect and had trained herself so carefully 
in standing and walking that she appeared to be taller. 

All the portraits taken of her, take notice of the fine mould 
of her arms, and especially, of their characteristic position, in 
repose, with her hands clasped on her lap. In the Stockholm 
days, she wore her hair in bunches of curls at each side of 
the forehead, as is the case in Sodermark's portrait of her, 
painted in 1843, which she had in her own possession. 
About the year 1844, she seems to have adopted for herself, 
that wavy droop of the hair, laid down low about her ears, 
which became so familiar and noticeable a mark of her 
appearance, that it alone sufficed to make a likeness resemble 
her. As long as the lines of her hair were given, one knew 
whom it was intended, at least, to portray. 

The main elements of her character, as of her type of 
countenance, were radically national. She was a down- 
right and typical Swede. She was fond of dwelling on the 
artistic capacities of her people, to whom she owed her own 
quick sensibilities, her alert and receptive imagination, her 
vivacity of temperament. She believed them to have all the 
artist's possibilities in them, with all the attendant perils. 
And, in view of these perils, to which aU such gifted natures 
must be liable, it is remarkable that she should have included 
within this national groundwork of her character, a profound 
moral stability, a depth of seriousness, such as would be rare 
in any race ; and, moreover, with this, she had a persistence, a 
stubbornness, which, among Scandinavian races, is traditionally 
attributed to the Finn. And if she had the vivacity of her 
people, she inherited also from it the strong, passionate feel- 

1840] CffASACTEB. 87 

inga, and affections, which make the home-relationships, in 
Sweden, ao rooted, and so deep ; and, also, that undertone of 
melancholy, into which such artistic sensitiveness is prone to 
re-act, — an undertone, which seems to creep, like the sighing 
of a wounded spirit, out of the black heart of Swedish pine- 
woods, and to hover over the wide surfaces of her inland 
waters. Such notes of pathos underlie the songs of her 
people : and she was a true Swede when slie wrote of herself, 
" When I am alone, you have no idea how different I am — bo 
happy, yet so melancholy that tears are rolling down my 
cheeks unceasingly." 

This personal impression, which we have faintly suggested, 
told, as we have said, not only upon the higher social circles 
of Stockholm, but also upon the literary and cultured society, 
where, again, she formed affectionate intimacies with Uie few, 
and the best 

There was Johan Thomander, Professor of Theology at 
Lund, of which place he was, afterwards, bishop, a celebrated 
preacher, and an eminent member of the Swedish Academy. 

There was Fredrika Bremer, the famous novelist, and in- 
defatigable philanthropist. 

There was Baron Bemhard von Beskow, a distinguished 
author, member and permanent Secretary of the Academy, 
whose name, as Intendant of the Royal Theatre, will appear 
in connection with the Lind Scholarships. 

There was Atterbom, one of Sweden's best poets, an 
eminent student in the history of literature ; University Tutor 
of Philosophy, — a man of peculiar gentleness and amiability. 

Then, again, we might mention the Count Jacob Gustaf de 
la Gardie, Grand Master of the Ceremonies, and a warm friend 
of poetry and art, the owner of a superb library of 12,000 
volumes ; who was one of the first to detect the great gifts of 
the child-singer. 

Here was the environment into which the girl of nineteen 


found herself admitted^ and, within which she made fast 
friends. But two names must yet be mentioned, which 
embody a special interest in her life. 

First, A. F. lindblad, the famous song-writer. We have 
seen into what close contact they had been drawn. In his 
house she found a refuge, and a home, through which she 
was brought into constant contact with the higher culture of 
the Swedish capital. Lindblad was bom in 1801, and 
studied music in Berlin, under Zelter : and also in Paris, 
between 1825-27, after which he returned to Stockholm, and 
lived there until 1864, when he moved to near Linkoping. 
His renown rests, chiefly, on his songs. 

•*They are eminently national, and full of grace, and 
originality, tinged with the melancholy which is characteristic 
of Swedish music. In short songs, in which extreme sim- 
plicity is of the essence of their charm, his success has been 
most conspicuous." * 

There can be no doubt that Jenny Lind's intimacy with 
Lindblad had an immense influence on her musical develop- 
ment. Besides the vital effect of his personality, she heard 
at his house all the best instrumental music of the great com- 
posers then flourishing : it was there that she was first intro- 
duced to the music of Mendelssohn, — especially, to the 
Songs without Words, which had, just at that time, taken 
Europe by storm. Nor was she herself merely receptive : she 
brought power to bear on Lindblad, which had a positive 
effect upon his work. The effect has been emphasised by 
Professor Nyblom, in a memoir on Lindblad in 1880 in 
which he mentions that there were few only who were able 
to render his works in the right manner : and, among those 
few, was " Jenny Lind : who impressed the individuality of 
her genius, in flaming letters, on not a few of the composer's 
works of that time when she had her home in his family : — 

* Grove's * Dictionary of Music,' Art ** Lindblad." 

1840.] CEARACTEB. 89 

works easily identified, and made interesting and precious to 
those who are willing and able to observe the mutual at- 
traction and meeting together of two burning artist-souls ! " 
She wrote herself, in 1882, after having read this biography 
of Lindblad : 

"I have to thank him (Lindblad) for that fine com- 
prehension of Art which was implanted by his idealistic, 
pure, and unsensual nature into me, his ready pupil. Sub- 
sequently Christianity stepped in, to satisfy the moral needs, 
and to teach me to look well into my own souL Thus it became 
to me, both as an artist, and as a woman, a higher chastener." 

So she described her spiritual progress, looking back to the 
influence of Lindblad as anticipatory of that yet deeper hold 
of the meaning of Art which was given her under the later 
dominance of the full Christian ideal. Not only did she 
repay, in counter-influence, all the attention that Lindblad 
concentrated upon her, but also, she by her singing, carried 
his songs into fame all over Europe. And still, in long 
after-years, in England, in hours of lonely quiet, or at times 
when she was depressed and needed comfort, she would sit 
at the piano, and "croon" over to herself those songs of 
Lindblad's, which had in them, so many memories — memories, 
that had passed into her very being, of far days in the old 
country, when those sounds, so saturated with the inspiration 
of her home, were, first, in her ears, and she was tasting the 
spring sweetness of her fresh young powers. 

And, lastly, we must mention the great name of Erik 
Oustaf Geijer, a man at the very summit of Swedish litera- 
ture. Bom in 1783, he became Professor of History, at the 
University of Upsala, in 1816 : where his lectures had un- 
exampled popularity. In spite of the offer of a bishopric. 
Professor he still remained, planning the great history of 
Sweden, of which his introduction was a masterpiece of skill 
and knowledge : and producing various historical works. He 


was much occupied with political and economical specu- 
lations ; and, for thirty years, continued to be one of the 
chiefs of the Swedish literary world. He died on April 23, 
1847. Besides his historical and political work, he had a 
real talent for music ; and published a volume of songs, of 
which Lindblad wrote a famous account.* Through music, 
he crossed the path of Jenny Lind ; and in her he took a most 
warm interest. 

" Jenny and I have become very good friends," he writes 
in January 1840. " I call her ' Thou ' : and she calls me 
• Uncle.' She is a simple attractive being. Lindblad, and 
Madame Lindblad both stand to her in almost fatherly, and 
motherly relation, which becomes both parties very well. 
All the same, I am afraid she is a kind of * comet ' which 
may interfere with their domestic peace, for comets have tails : 
and their house is besieged by Jenny's admirers, who now 
may be said to consist of the whole public." 

Again, in March, he writes, " Jenny Lind sang two of my 
songs, z.e., * Tlie Drawiwj-Room or the Wood* and ' Spring, 
will it come f * It was quite excellent. I went behind the 
curtain to thank her, and accompanied her home to her 
door. I do not think lightly of the good graces in which 
I believe myself to stand with her." 

For her he wrote songs, both words and music : and it is 
in one of these songs, that we discover the record both of his 
estimation of her character, and, also, of the profound effect 
which such an estimate, coming from such a man, had upon 
her to whom it was addressed. And, indeed, we cannot 
wonder at this effect : for the author of the song is not afraid 
to acknowledge, in this fresh young girl, the signs and omens 
of that supreme genius, which is the highest born of Heaven, 
and which, yet, because it is highest, is also as a " consuming 
flame," to which the devoted and sacrificial Will must yield 
itself, as a victim, offered on an altar. The deep and serious 
import of such momentous words, addressed to her by the 

• Cf. Biography in Geijer's Collected Works, 187^-75. 

1840.] CHARACTER. 91 

highest intellectual authority of her native land, and ranking 
her, the young opera-singer from the Theatre School, with that 
rare band of spiritual heroes whose lives are as a torch lit by 
divine fire, must have been as a revelation : and the traces of 
this remain on a copy of these verses, in her own hand- 
writing, found among her papers, across the bottom of which 
she has written, " On these words I was launched into the 
open sea." To her, they marked the date at which she felt 
herself a public, an historic, character. For her, they con- 
tained the secret of her mission, of her expectations, of her 
future. It was his insistence, as we believe, which urged her 
to seek a wider world : and, now, from him she learned with 
what spirit she was to make her venture. She was to move 
out into the open day of her fame, not to win a reputation, 
not to enjoy, not to taste triumph, not to satisfy her own 
craving for expression, not to find a world of honour, and 
wealth, and ease. Nay! She was to be clad about with 
prophetic solemnity. She was to yield herself to the stem 
necessities of genius : she was to consume, in giving : the 
steps up which she was ever to be passing, were to be the 
steps of an altar : and she was the sacrifice. Such were the 
words that were behind her, when she found herself *' launched 
into the open sea." * 

We give them in a free and rough translation — 

"Oh I if from yon Eternal Fire, 

Which slays the souls that it sets free — 
Consuming them, as they aspire — 
One burning spark have fallen on thee I 

" Fear not I Though upward still it haste, 
That living fire, that tongue of flame ! 
Thy days it turns to bitter waste ; 
But ah ! from heaven — from heaven it came I " 

* They were printed, with music, in the *Linnaea Borealis Poetisk 
E:alender,' 1841 : 

"Mod och fbrsakelse. Till en ung S&ngerska den 24 December^ 1839. 

**(Up8ala, 1840.) (Signed) E. G. G ^r." 

92 JENNY LIND. . [bk. l ch. vn. 



The sign of the sacrifice was already upon her, in the year 
1840. On the surface, she had every thing which could satisfy 
her. She had become the idol of the National Drama. She 
had been made Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of 
Music in 1840, and had received the high official recognition 
by being appointed Court-singer, on the 13th of January, 
1840, by His Majesty, Carl Johan. This was an honour 
which her mother had, already, been anticipating, from the 
summer of 1839, and had rejoiced over the fact that it 
included a salary. " It is a great mark of distinction," she 
writes to her husband ; " and a great joy for us ! ** She had 
the best social "world" at her feet. She enjoyed the 
delightful companionship of some of the most cultivated men 
and women in Sweden. Her position at the Royal Theatre 
was assured her. The Directors were, at the very moment, 
proposing to her a fresh, and advanced contract. Indeed we 
shall see that their zeal outran their discretion and their 
proper consideration for her ; for they were but too anxious 
to use her gifts, at the risk of overstraining them. Her 
popularity was at its height; she was pursued with 
enthusiasm. The musical authorities of Stockholm had no 
more to teach her ; they were content to praise her, as the 
perfect exponent of their art. 

And, yet, what was it that worked within the girl's heart, 
and told her that all this was as nothing — told her, that, far 

1840-41.] PILGRIMAGE. 93 

from having reached the end, she was not even at the 
beginning — told her that her art had secrets yet to unfold to 
her, and that this adulation which encomp£issed her was but 
a prophecy of what she ought to become hereafter ? What 
was this insistent whisper of some buried conscience within 
her, which spoke to her alone — spoke of some perfection 
which could be sought and found elsewhere ? As she bowed 
in courteous acknowledgment of the loud plaudits of an 
enthusiastic theatre, she heard, above all the genial tumult 
this " still, small voice " within, which said to her, " Yes ! 
you may, some day, live to deserve that kindly, that 
encouraging applause ; but, to-day, you know that, by rights, 
it is not yours ! You know not, as yet, how to merit it. It 
is given you, in spite of yourself. But you have that in you 
which may, indeed, deserve to receive that which is generously 
offered you, in anticipation, to-day. Far away, over the sea 
the secret is kept which will unlock the shut doors, and will 
set free your true self. Far over the sea, there is a power at 
whose touch the sleeping queen will wake and spring to life. 
There it is that you will know what now is hidden from your 
eyes. There it is that Art will disclose the mystery, which is 
now felt but not perceived — the mystery, that moves veiled 
behind the glory of to-day's success." It was the inspiration 
of genius which spoke to her. She had but her own soul to 
trust to. She had no ideal, no articulate standard given her, 
by which to test herself ; yet she knew her lack, she felt what 
she was missing. And, in so feeling, she knew, also, that, to 
discover the ideal, to win that which was lacking, all her 
present triumph must be surrendered, must be tlirown to the 
winds. The voice within must be obeyed at all costs ; out 
over the sea, far from home and its happy honours, she 
must seek, alone, and undirected, the meaning of the 
mysterious summons. Surely, the pressure of the prophetic 
words was upon her : 

94 JENNY LIND. [bk.lch.vii, 

*' Fear Dot, though upward still it haste. 
That living fire, that tongue of flame ! 
Thy days it turns to bitter waste ; 
But ah ! from heaven — from heaven it came ! " 

So it was that she took her own resolution. We give 
it in her own remarkable words. They were written in 
answer to the new proposals made by the Directors, who, 
on the 15th of December, 1840, "wishing," as they said 
" most particularly, to attach to the Swedish stage, a talent 
so eminent as the Court-singer, Froken Jenny Lind, make 
her the highest offer of which their regulations afford them 
the power." This highest offer was, it is true, not ex- 
travagant; it ensured her £150 a year; it provided her 
with all her costumes out of theatrical funds; it allowed 
her one "benefit" every year; and special "extra service 
money for the parts in which she appears." It offered her 
the months of July and August for study abroad; and 
promised to try to extend this interval The engagement 
was to last for the full period permitted, t,e., three years. 

To this, Froken Lind sent the following answer : 

" To the Directors of the Eoyal Theatre. 

"In reply to the letter from the Directors of the 
Eoyal Theatre, dated 15th December last year, I have 
the honour to state as follows : The musical and dramatic 
capabilities, which, from my earliest years, I have felt 
myself to possess, have, thanks to the cultivation received 
at home, though hitherto insufficient, still been able to 
attract some attention to my dawning talent; but it is 
not with half developed, if even happy, natural gifts thai 
an artist can keep his ground ; and, greatly as I prize the 
appreciation I have been fortunate enough already to win, 
I feel I ought to consider it not so much a homage to the 
artist I was and am, as an encouragement to what I might 

" With this conviction and in order to attain the artistic 
perfection open to me, I have thought it a duty to do what 

1840-41.] PILOBIMAOE. 95 

I can, and not to draw back before any sacrifice, either of 
youth, health, comfort or labour, not to speak of the modest 
sum I have managed to save, in the hope of reaching what 
may, perhaps, prove an unattainable aim. In consequence 
I have decided on a journey to, and a sojourn at, some 
place abroad, which, through furnishing the finest models 
in art, would prove to me of the greatest profit 

" It is, then, chiefly this journey which constitutes the 
real obstacle to my immediately accepting, in its entirety, 
the kind ofier of the Directors of the Royal Theatre ; for 
it defers, for another year, the possibility of my re-engage- 
ment. I am in hopes, however, that the Royal Directors 
will not disapprove of my resolution, all the more as it aims 
solely at perfecting myself in my art; while all sacrifices, 
inseparable from a similar undertaking, will fall on myself 
alone. Trusting that the Royal Directors will accord te these 
reasons due consideration, and, in accordance with the request 
made in their kind letter, I beg leave to submit my counter 

" On returning to my native country, next year, I under- 
take to serve at the Royal Theatre for the two following 
years at the salary proposed by the Royal Directors in 
the above-mentioned letter of the 15th December last, but 
with the following modifications; that my engagement, 
for each year, may not exceed eight months, viz., from 
1st October unto the following 31st May, so that a leave 
of the four months, June, July, August and September may 
be accorded to me. 

" Furthermore, I must, rather as a humble petition, than 
as a condition for my return to the service of the Royal 
Theatre, express my wish to be free this year from next 
31st May, since in the beginning of June an opportunity 
oflfers for me to start on my intended journey in company 
with a family without whose protection I should not venture 
to undertake it. I hope the Royal Directors will, kindly, 
give due weight to this invaluable advantage, and, in view 
of its importance to me, excuse my earnest request. 

"Jenny Lind. 

" Stockholm, 9 February, 1841." 

A notable document, this. Had she any counsel to aid 
her in its production ? Did Berg, did Lindblad advise the 
step ? We have no record of such advice from them. Both, 

96 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ce. til 

indeed, seem to have agreed to the step, and to favour its 
carrying out ; for Berg is found with her at the start in Paris ; 
and it is only out of her own delicate affection for her foimer 
master that she delays her beginning with the next one. 
Moreover she owns to having consulted him as to what wbb 
to be done when it became clear to him as to her, that he ^^ 
no more to teach her. But nothing is said of his suggestixig 
a remedy. Lindblad, also, visits her in Paris, and interests 
himself in her iinal fortunes there. But, still, there is no 
sign of their being the prime movers. No evidence exists 
of her seeking other counsel than her own heart in making the 
final decision. 

Yet two influences there were that told strongly upon 
her at the time, and urged her forward. Tlie first was 
theoretical and ideal : it was that of Geijer. He was dear 
that she belonged to mankind, rather than to Sweden, and 
he pressed upon her the necessity of widening her range of 
knowledge and skill. She, herself, attributed the momentum 
that drove her afield to Geijer*s insistence. " He kicked me 
out . . . into the great world/' she would say, with humorous 
vigour. The second influence was direct, and practical 
It was the example of Belletti, the celebrated barytone, 
then singing with her at the Eoyal Theatre.* He showed 
her, vividly, what scientific singing in the great Italian 
manner really meant ; and he would be able, if consulted as 
to where such style could be gained, to say at once, — " At 
Paris, imder Garcia.*' 

The decision, then, from wliich she is not to draw back, 
even at " the sacrifice of youth, health, comfort, and of her 

♦ Dahlgren's important History of the Swedish Stage has the following 
about Belletti (bom in 1813, at Sarzana): "Giovanni Battista Belletti, 
came from Italy encouraged to do so by the sculptor, Professor BystrOm, 
who had made his acquaintance at Carrara ; he remained connected with 
the R. Opera from 1839—1 July 1844." 

1840-41.] PILGRIMAGE. 97 

modest savings '* appears to be largely the issue of her own 
insight, and deliberation. Later on, in Paris, she speaks as if 
it were her own " artistic conscience " whose dictates she had 
obeyed. Certainly, it was left to her own courage and 
resolution to find the funds by which to carry it out. And it 
was, for this end, that she had already in the summer of 
1840 set out on a provincial round of concerts, accompanied 
by her father; in which she, probably, wore out what 
remained of her voice after the hard work of the theatrical 
season, but, in compensation, won triumphant successes and 
accumulated supplies that would carry her through a year's 
training at Paris, whither she was determined to go and 
discover the true secret of song. 

We have a letter from her written, in the middle of this 
tour, towards the early part of July, to her friend Louise 
Johansson, from Malmo, at the extreme south of Sweden 
whence she could actually see Copenhagen, in which she 
records how things have gone in the series of towns through 
which she has passed. ''The journey has gone off well 
enough, thank God ! That is to say, the roads were so bad 
that the wheels, now and then, sank a foot deep into the 
mud, and it was very horrid sitting about in the atrocious 
weather ; but as soon as I arrive in a town, and see the 
exceeding great kindness and friendliness the people have 
for me, then I feel it wicked to grumble. You cannot think 
to what an extent they all vie with each other in serving me. 
It is quite astonishing ! " 

She teUs how they began at Norrkoping ; how she slept 
through a thunder-storm ; how they went to some country 
sea^, with Herr Cederbaum, and Baron Ahlstromer; how 
they got to Ekesjo on Midsummer Eve; and how, at 
Qvamarp they were received for a whole week by the 
kindest and most amiable people she had seen for a long 
time. ^'I shall not have so much fun any more, this 


98 JENNY LIND. [bk.lch.vii. 

summer/' she laments, ** and besides — ^be this said without 
conceit — ^my departure was r^retted, for they all cried, both 
young and old" Then on to Wexio, Christianstad with its 
tiny theatre crowded, and so to Malmo. She is to visit 
Copenhagen from there, without singing ; and, then, to pass 
through Helsingborg, Jonkoping, linkoping and Norrkoping, 
back to Stockholm^ giving concerts at each place by the way. 
She asks most earnestly after her grandmother ; not her dear 
old Mme. Tengmark who had died in 1833, but Fru Strom- 
berg, a connection of her father's. She fears lest she be 
already dead ; if not, she sends her, with deep respect, her 
fondest love, and an assurance that ''Papa is quite well! 
(jod grant I may not come home too late to see her ! ** 

After some messages to her Aunt Lona (z.e., ApoUonia 
lindskog) the letter closes with a commission which shows 
how veiy early in life her characteristic charities had begun : 

*' My dear Louisa, would you be kind enough to render me 
the service of going to Clara Vestra, Kyrkogata 13 or 25. I 
am not sure which of these numbers is the right one, but 
after you have crossed the Clara churchyard, and when you 
arrive at the gate on the Vestragatan, turn to the left, then 
it is the first door on the right-hand side, on the ground floor. 
Ask for Bruhn, the painter, a poor sick man ill in bed these 
last fourteen years; I forgot to bring him his monthly 
allowance, before coming away ; will you be good enough to 
give him, on my behalf, 8 r. d. banco, and to tell him this is 
for the months of July and August. Greet him much from 
me, as also his wife, and pardon your friend who troubles 
you in this way. 

" Jenny." 

A note is here struck, which is to sound on through her 
life. It expresses one of the most vital instincts of her 
nature — an instinct which roots itself deep down in her 
artistic impulses — this instinct which bids her dedicate her 
gift to the cause of the poor, and the unhappy. That in 
her which made her an artist, made her also charitable. 

1840-41.] PILGRIMAGE. 99 

It was the sense of possessing a gift which prompts the giving. 
That which had flowed in, must flow out. She was respon- 
sible for her great possession ; she held it in trust ; she must 
put it out to usa It was no mere liberality of disposition ; 
it was no mere genial beneficence; it was an obligation, 
binding, and urgent ; a joyful duty ; a holy privilege which 
it would be a sin to neglect. Everything in her which made 
her recognise the powers lodged in her to be a divine endow- 
ment, made her, by a like impulse, recognise her duty to give 
away what she gained. No one will understand her, who 
does not see how closely her charity was interwoven with 
her art ; and how it was that, in after days, in deciding the 
question of marriage, she made it the prime necessity that her 
husband should leave her free in her charities. It is because 
it was so interwoven, that it seemed to her to be no work 
of merit; it was done by a plain law of right; it was spon- 
taneous, natursd, inevitable. So it is that already, at twenty, 
in the flush of youth and personal success, her nature is at 
work with instinctive security ; she has found out the poor 
sick painter; and, quite modestly apologising for the trouble, 
just as if she were giving a commission to buy something at 
a shop, she begs her friend to see to it that he gets what he 
had the right to look for from her. 

Back to Stockholm she got in August, where she was 
singing in Luda di LammermooTy on August 19th ; and all 
through the autumn, and spring, she is hard at work, 
fulfilling her bond to the Directors, though, owing to her 
concert-tour, she had had no holiday whatever. No wonder, 
that her voice was left fatigued and strained after such 
unintermittent work, with all the weariness of incessant 
journeys, and the anxieties that beset new appearances in 
nnfftnnilmr rooms. It was in this effort to raise funds by 
which to reach Paris, that she ran so near to doing ir- 
reparable damage to her vocal powers. Twenty-three times 

H 2 

100 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. yn. 

does she perfonn in Lucia, between Angost 19th when she 
returned, and June 19th, when she closed her engagement 
Fourteen times did she give '' Alice," in Bdberto ; and 
nine times she repeated her former rSU of '^ Agatha'' in 
the FreiscMUz. And, besides these, there were incidental 
appearances ; in the Zauberflote as " Pamina " ; in The Swiss 
Family as " Emmelina " ; and, seven times, as '* Alaida '' in 
Bellini's Straniera. And, moreover, there were concerts at 
the theatre, in which she sang, on August 27th, and October 
17th^ and November 14th, and on January 11th and 20th. 
And, finally, for the closing nights in May and June, came 
her first seven performances of Norma. At the last of 
the concerts, she had sung, as her piece, a duet from Norma^ 
with Mme. Gelhaar, her old playmate in the schooL And, on 
May 19th, the full opera was produced, in which her own 
people recognised, and greeted, one of her most brilliant and 
impressive impersonations. They loved to see her in this 
character; and they prize as their favourite memorial of 
her, the picture taken of her by Sodermark, as " Norma," of 
which a print is given in our second volume. 

With Norma she ended, on June 19th ; it was her 447th 
appearance on the boards of the Boyal Theatre, since, as a 
tiny child of ten, she played " Angela " in The Polish Mine, 
on November 29th, 1830. The Directors had, indeed, been 
justified by the venture they made with the little creature, 
whom they sent on the stage to dance and sing before she 
had been many months at the schooL She had well repaid 
them. For her sixty-nine performances in the year 1840, 
she is only receiving, besides the regulation play money, 
1100 r. d. banco — about £95 a year. Her voice is fatigued, 
and worn ; she has done more work than she could rightly 
afford. But her spirit is not looking back, but ahead. She 
is not calculating her present gains ; but is all on fire with 
the great hope, that is astir within her, at the bidding of 

1840-41.] FILQBIMAGE. 101 

which she will wander out, a ^Hgrim of Art, seeking the 
better country, sure that there is a vision to be seen, a victory 
to be won, to which as yet she has not even come nigh« 

She has found her opportunity ; and has made her resolu- 
tion. Some good, kind friends, M. and Madame Yon Soch 
in whose house she found constant friendship and affection 
have arranged for her journey, and have lent her a maid, 
as a companion. A safe road is thus laid open for her to 
Paris. So, on June 21st, she gave, in the Ladug&rdslands 
Church, a final concert on her own behalf, singing an 
aria irom Anna Bolena, and another from Norma; winding 
up with a 'Lyrical Farewell,' written and composed, for 
the occasion, by lindblad; and, in July, she leaves the 
lindblads' house, and enters on the pilgrimage which was to 
mean so much. Home has been gracious to her; she loves 
her country which has loved her so freely ; her one desire is 
to return to Stockholm, worthy of the enthusiasm which it 
has poured about her. But home cannot tell her the great 
secret. Somewhere else it lies, far off; she must seek it, and 
find it, even though, on its behalf, she sacrifice ''youth, 
health, comfort, labour, and savings.'' 



( 105 ) 



On Thursday, the first of July, 1841, after taking leave of 
Herr and Madame Lindblad, Mr. Edward Lewin, and her 
Mends in Stockholm, Mademoiselle Lind embarked, on the 
steamship Gauthiod — Captain Nyl^n — for Lubeck ; in com- 
pany with His Excellency, Count Gustave Lowenhielm, the 
Swedish Minister at Paris, Signor Bellettiy and one or two 
less intimate acquaintances ; and attended by a trusty female 
companion, recommended to her by Madame von Koch, 

"The dear little girl," wrote Madame Lindblad, "was 
almost crushed. I never thought that it would cost her so 
much. On the last night she never slept, but wrote letters 
the whole night through, coming occasionally into our rooms 
to have a good ciy. On the first of July she left, at 


11 o'clock, A.M." 

On reaching Travemunde, Count Lowenhielm disembarked, 
and proceeded by land, to Hamburg. Mademoiselle Lind 
and Signor Belletti continued their voyage to Lubeck ; and 
thence travelled to Hamburg by post. On arriving there, they 
rejoined Count Ldwenhielm, who introduced Mademoiselle 
Lind to the Swedish Minister in Hamburg, and left nothing 
undone which could make her short sojourn in the old 
Hanse-town agreeable. 

It was a pleasant little episode — a delightful holiday, on 
the road to hard work. 

106 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. i. 

After these few days of rest and enjojanent, she proceeded 
with her companion to Hfivre by the steamboat; and thence, 
by diligence, to Paris. 

To a nature so sensitive, the change from the natural 
simplicity of domestic life in Sweden, to the restless activity 
of the French capital, with its crowded streets, its ceaseless 
craving for pleasure and excitement, its passion for amuse- 
menty its caprices of fashion, above aU, its splendid theatres, 
its art-collectionsy and priceless opportunities for mental 
cultivation and improvement — ^to such a nature, all this, so 
new, so unexpected, and, in many respects, so strangely 
incomprehensible, must have been fraught with an all- 
absorbing interest. 

And we must not forget, that the Paris of eight-and-forty 
years ago was a city, very different from, and, in many 
respects, very much more interesting than, that in which it 
delights us to spend our holidays to-day. 

Eight-and-forty years ago, there was no Boulevard Haus- 
mann ; no Temple of the Muses worthy to be compared with 
the new home of the Orarvd Op6ra which excites our envy 
and admiration, every time we indulge ourselves with a loge 
in its goodly salle; no sign of the new streets, and squares, 
and palaces, which were destined to spring up, as it were, in a 
night, under the influence of the * Second Empire,' But in 
place of these, there were sights, infinitely more pleasing to 
the sense of the artist, and the poet Whole streets, like 
the Eue du Toumiquet-Saint-Jean, described by de Balzac, 
were so little changed since the dark days of the Terreur^ that 
it needed but little effort of the imagination to re-people them 
with the sansculottes, and the tricoteuses, who had whirled 
through the giddy mazes of the carmagnole, or yelled the 
Marseillaise, within their time-stained precincts, in the days 
of Eobespierre and Danton ; streets which formed part of an 
older Paris, as different from the Paris of to-day, as the 

1841.] IN PARIS. 107 

Hamburg of to-day is, from the Hamburg that suffered in 
the conflagration of 1842. 

It was to this older Fans that Mademoiselle lind re- 
paired, in the summer of the year 1841, in the hope of per- 
fecting herself in the technicalities of the Art she so dearly 
loved — that Art of Singing, of whose mysteries she knew so 
little, and longed to know so much ; and the details of which 
she found it so impossible to acquire satisfactorily in 

For her advancement in Dramatic Art, she trusted to 
herself alone. Ko one could teach her to act, and she 
sought no teacher ; for her method was part of herself, based 
upon her own natural impulses, idealised by the deep and 
noble romance which, in all that appertained to the stage, 
was her never-failing guide, an inward light, by aid of which 
«he was enabled to identify herself with every character she 
•cared to impersonate, and even to "create," anew, many 
famous parts, which she interpreted in a manner peculiarly 
ler own. She needed no help for this. But her need of a 
<X)mpetent Maestro di Canto was a very pressing one, indeed ; 
And she had long been convinced that one, and one only, could 
teach her what she so much desired to know. But it will 
be readily understood that the assistance and hearty co- 
operation of such a master as she needed were not to be had 
for the mere asking ; and some little time elapsed before her 
•desire was accomplished. 

On first reaching Paris, Mademoiselle Lind found a com- 
fortable home with a family named RufiGiaques, who kept a 
boarding-house, in a street near the Rue Neuve des Augustins. 

Here, she was visited by Madame Berg, the wife of her 
former singing-master, who was then staying in Paris, with 
ier little invalid son, Albert ; and, also, by Herr Blumm, a 
Swedish gentleman of kindliest disposition and infinite 
bonhomie, who held the appointment of Chancelier to the 

108 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. cd. i. 

Swedish Legation, in the Eue d'Anjou,* and to whom 
she was indebted for innumerable acts of courtesy and kind- 
ness, during the period of her residence in Paris. 

On leaving Sweden, she had brought with her letters 
of introduction, from Queen Desideria,t to her relative, 
the Duchesse de Dalmatie (Madame la Mar6chale Soult) ; 
and, soon after her arrival in Paris, she was invited by 
this lady to an afternoon reception. Among the guests 
present at this little riunion were Count Lowenhielm, and the 
Comtesse de la Bedortes (Marshal Soult's married daughter). 
It was understood that Mademoiselle lind would be asked to 
sing: and, by invitation of the Duchesse, Signer Manuel 
Garcia, the brother of Madame Malibran and Madame 
Viardot, and the most renowned Maestro di Canto in Europe, 
came to hear her. 

She sang some Swedish songs, accompanying herself on 
the pianoforte ; but, either through nervousness, or fatigue, 
she does not appear to have done herself justice, and her 
singing seems to have produced no very favourable effect 
upon the assembled guests. Her voice was worn, not only 
from over-exertion, but from want of that careful manage- 
ment which can only be acquired by long training under a 
thoroughly competent master. Such training she had never 
had. She had formed her own ideal of the difficult rSUs 
that had been entrusted to her — all too soon for her welfare, 
if those in office at the lioyal Theatre in Stockholm had but 
known it ! — and had tried to reach that ideal by the only 
means she knew of — means, very pernicious indeed. The 
result was, that the voice had been very cruelly injured. 
The mischief had been seriously aggravated by the fatigue 

• Then called Rue d'Anjou St. Honor^ The street still existrt, but 
not the house formerly occupied by the Swedish Legation. 

t The wife of IMar^hal Bernadotte, who became King of Sweden and 
Norway, in the year 1818, under the title of Karl XIV. Johann. 

1841.] IN PABI8. 109 

consequent upon her long and arduous provincial tour ; and 
the result was a chronic hoarseness, painful enough to pro- 
duce marked symptoms of deterioration upon the fresh young 
voice, which had never been taught either the method of 
production, or the cultivation of style necessary for the 
development of its natural charm. 

Signer Garcia was not slow to perceive all this ; and he 
afterwards told a lady, who questioned him upon the subject, 
that Mademoiselle Lind was, at that time, altogether wanting 
in the qualities needed for presentation before a highly- 
cultivated audience. 

Soon after this. Mademoiselle Lind called, by appointment, 
upon Signer Garcia, who then occupied a pleasant deuxieme 
itage, in a large block of houses in the Square d'Orl^ans, near 
the Bue Saint Lazare ; a handsome residence, built around a 
turfed courtyard, with a fountain in the centre, and a large 
tree on each side of it.* As, on this occasion, she formally 
requested the great Maestro to receive her as a pupil, he felt 
it his duty to examine her voice more carefally than he had 
been able to do at Madame Soult's afternoon party; and, 
after making her sing through the usual scales, and forming 
his own opinion of the power and compass of the vocal 
roisters, he asked her to sing the well-known scena from 
L'iicia di Lammermoor — " Perche non Ao." In this, unhappily, 
she broke completely down — ^in all probability, through ner- 
vousness, for she had appeared in the part of " Lucia," at the 
Stockholm Theatre, no less than thirty-nine times only the 

* The house is still iincbanged. The Square, now called the Cit^ 
d'Orl^QS, is situated midway between the Boulevard des Italiens, and 
the Barri^re Moutmartre, and forms No. 80 of the Hue 1 aitbout, near a 
spot formerly called the Kue des Trois Fr^res. Chopin, and Professor 
Zimmermann — the father of Madame Gounod^-once lived here ; the latter 
keeping a ' pension ' for musical students, in which Garcia's pupil, Made- 
moiselle Nissen (of whom more detailed mention will presently be made), 
for some time resided. 

110 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. i. 

year before, and the music must, therefore, have been more 
than fSamiliar to her. However, let the cause have been what 
it might, the failure was complete ; and, upon the strength of 
it, the Maestro pronounced his terrible verdict — " It would 
be useless to teach you, Mademoiselle; you have no voice 
left " — " Mademoiselle, vovs n'avez plus de voix.'* * 

The effect of this sentence of hopeless condemnation upon 
an organisation so highly strung as that of Mademoiselle 
lind may be easily conceived. But her courage was equal 
to the occasion, though she told Mendelssohn, years afterwards, 
that the anguish of that moment exceeded all that she had 
ever suffered in her whole life. The shock must have been 
a cruel one, indeed ; yet her faith in her own powers never 
wavered for an instant. She could not forget the triumphs 
of the past. Her success in Stockholm had been so genuine, 
and so brilliant, that many a prima donna would have been 
satisfied to accept it as the final reward of a long and 
honourable career, the just recompense of a life devoted to 
the service of Art. But she herself was far from satisfied. 
She knew that she was capable of greater things, and meant 
to accomplish them. She knew what Garcia could not 
possibly know — that there was a power within her that no 
amount of discouragement could ever subdue. 

Instead, therefore, of accepting his verdict as a final one, 
she asked, with tears in her eyes, what she was to do. Her 
faith in the Maestro' s judgment was no less firm than that 
which she felt in the reality of her own vocation. In the full 

* It is necessary that these words should be very distinctly recorded; 
for, their frequent misquotation, in the newspapers, and elsewhere, has 
led to a very false impression, equally unjust to master and pupil. The 
Maestro* 8 exact words were, ^^Mademoiselle, vous rCavez plus de voix^ — 
not, " Vous rCavez pas de voixJ* Mademoiselle Lind had once possessed 
a voice; but it had been so strained, by over-exertion, and a faulty 
method of production, thivt, for the time being, scarcely a shred of it 

1841.] IN PARIS. Ill 

conviction that, if she could only persuade him to advise 
her, his counsel would prove invaluable, she did not hesitate 
to make the attempt; and the result fully justified the 
soundness of her conclusions. Moved by her evident distress, 
he recommended her to give her voice six weeks of perfect 
rest; to abstain, during the whole of that time, from 
singing even so much as one single note ; and to speak as 
little as possible. And, upon condition that she strictly 
carried out these injunctions, he gave her permission to come 
to him again, when the period of probation was ended, in 
order that he might then see whether anything could be done 
for her. 

112 JENNY LIND. [ 



To any really earnest aspirant, six weeks of enforced idleness 
would have been a martyrdom. For Mdlle. Lind, such a 
period of inaction was simply impossible. Disobedience to 
the Maestro' 8 orders was, of course, out of the question. But, 
if she was forbidden to sing, or to speak, she was, at least, 
permitted to read, and write. Never doubting, for a moment, 
of her ultimate success, she knew that she would, one day, 
have to sing in Italian, and possibly, also, in French. She 
therefore spent the six weary weeks in the diligent study of 
those languages ; and there are actually in existence, at this 
moment, no less than sixty-one large foolscap pages, in her 
own handwriting, closely filled with exercises in Italian 
grammar, and twenty-three similar pages in French, the 
greater part of which appear to have been completed during 
this trying period ; not mere notes, or scattered memoranda, 
but systematic declensions of nouns, conjugations of verbs, 
long lists of exceptions, and other methodical work, such as 
would have been executed by an industrious student on the 
eve of a severe critical examination. 

But, the time was a weary one, nevertheless. Her 
nerves were excited to the last degree of tension, and never 
did she forget the exasperating effect of the cries which, day 
after day, reached her, from the street, as the long dull hours 
dragged on. Two of these, repeated with a persistence truly 
agofant, she imitated, sometimes, when speaking of her Paris 


life, in the presence of her daughter, who thus noted down 
the " words and music." 

J/Z iiJVJ' 


Ha- ri - oots, ha - ri -oots verts I 


Ah! le vi • tri • eri 

The first of these street-melodies speaks for itself. The 
second is the cry of a wandering glazier ; and may still be 
heard, in the poorer streets of Paris, sung by men who carry 
panes of glass on their backs, to mend broken windows. 

Intense indeed must have been the relief, when the time of 
probation — ^hard enough to bear, in spite of the conscientious 
labour by which it was lightened — expired, at last. Once 
more, Mdlle. lind sought an interview with the master, in his 
pleasant deuxieme, in the Square d' Orleans ; and, this time 
her hopes were crowned with success. Signer Garcia found 
the voice so far re-established, by rest, that he was able to 
give good hope of its complete restoration, provided that the 
faulty method of production which had so nearly resulted in 
its destruction was abandoned ; and, with the view of attain- 
ing this important end, he agreed to give her two lessons, 
regularly, every week — an arrangement which set all her 
anxieties at rest, and for which she was deeply grateful, to 
the end of her life.* 

* The exact date of these two interriews with Signor Garcia cannot 
now be ascertained. The account given in the text rests upon information 
furnished by Signor Garcia himself, many years afterwards, to a lady who 
questioned him upon the subject, and to whom he narrated the circum- 
stances, as nearly as he could then recollect them. No doubt, the account 
he gave was, in the main, correct ; but, it is not easy to reconcile it with 
the date of some of Mademoiselle Lind*s letters. In a letter, dated the 
15th of August, 1841, she told her friend, Louise Johansson, that she 

VOL. I. I 

114 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ge. n. 

The delight of the artist, at being once more permitted to 
sing, may be readily imagined. Though discouraged, some- 
times, by the immense amount she had to learn — and, with 
still greater difficulty, to un-leam — she never lost heart; 
and so rapidly did the vocal organs recover from the 
exhaustion from which they had been suflTering, that, before 
long, she was able to practise her scales and exercises 
for many hours daily. 

To the uninitiated, this amount of study may seem exces- 
sive, for a voice that had so narrowly escaped destruction 
through over-exertion. But the experienced teacher well 
knows that the danger lies, not in the amount of work accom- 
plished, but in the manner in which it is accomplished. A 
vicious method, a want of due attention to the management 
of the breath, attempts to produce extreme notes in an 
imsuitable register, and a hundred other fatal habits well 
understood by those who have carefully studied the subject, 
exert a more deleterious influence upon the voice, and injure 
it more seriously, and far more surely, than any reasonable 
amount of honest and well-directed practice. 

was then practising her scales, from three to four hours a day, without 
a master, not wishing to take lessons until after Herr Berg*s departure 
from Paris: in another, dated the 19th of August, she told Madame 
Lindblad that she sometimes delighted Madame Buffiaques' boarders, 
after the day's practice was over, by singing to them some of the Swedish 
songs which she afterwards made so famous: and, in a third letter 
written on the lOth of September, she told Froken Marie Ruckman that 
she had already taken five lessons from Signor Garcia. This leaves no 
time for the compulsory silence, of six weeks' duration, prescribed, by 
Signor Grarcia, as the condition of her admission to the privil^es of his 
instruction. That the condition really was prescribed, on the one side, 
and loyally observed, on the other, we know, on her own authority; for, 
she herself— as the writer perfectly well remembei's — ^related the circum- 
stance to Mendelssohn, in the winter of 1845-6. But we have been 
unable to collect any evidence tending to fix the exact time at which the 
occurrence took place. 


Under the vigilant supervision of Signor Garcia, it was im- 
possible that Mdlle. Lind could relapse into the errors which 
had already cost her so dear; for she had now a guide upon 
whose experience she could unhesitatingly rely. Signor 
Garcia's claim to rank as the greatest singing-master of the 
present century, was, even then, and still is, incontestable. 
In fact he fills, in the vocal school of the nineteenth century, 
the place that was so nobly filled, in that of the eighteenth, 
by Niccolo Porpora. Not only do many of the greatest 
vocalists of the age owe their mastery over the art, and their 
brilliant and well-earned reputation, to his judicious training ; 
but many more, unable to benefit by his personal instruction, 
have nevertheless benefited largely by his experience. For, 
his researches into the mechanism of the human voice, his 
discoveries with the laryngoscope, and the dear-sighted intel- 
ligence with which he has turned those discoveries to account, 
have placed the art of singing upon a sounder physiological 
basis than it has ever previously been able to claim. The 
vocalist can now study, with certainty, phenomena which, at 
the beginning of this century, were either totally misunder- 
stood, or, at best, regarded as mysterious possibilities ; and 
the advantage accruing to technical science from the know- 
ledge thus patiently acquired, and intelligently utilised, is in- 

The lessons appear to have begun about the twenty-fifth, 
or twenty-sixth of August ; and to have been continued, twice 
a week, from that period, until the month of July, 1842. 

Mdlle. lind thus describes her first introduction to the new 
system, in a letter to her friend, Froken Marie Ruckman : — 

" I have already had five lessons from Signor Garcia, the 
brother of Madame Malibran. I have to begin again, from 
the beginning ; to sing scales, up and down, slowly, and with 
great care ; then, to practise the shake — awfully slowly ; and, 
to tiy to get rid of the hoarseness, if possible. Moreover, 

I 2 

116 JENNY LIND. [BK.n.GB.11. 

he is very particular about the breathing. I trust I have 
made a happy choice. Anyhow, he is the best master; 
and, expensive enough — twenty francs for an hour. But^ 
what does that signify, if only he can teach me to sing? 
Mdlle. Nissen has been his pupil, now, for two years, and 
has made immense progress." * 

A fortnight later, she writes to Madame Lindblad: — 

"I am well satisfied with my singing-master. With 
regard to my weak points, especiaUy, he is excellent. I 
think it very fortunate for me that there exists a Gktrcia. 
And I believe him, also, to be a very good man. If he 
takes but little notice of us, apart from his lessons — ^well ! 
— that cannot be helped; but I am very much pleased, 
nay ! enchanted with him as a teacher." f 

And, again, to Herr Expeditionschef Forsberg : — 

*« Paris, February 1, 1842. 

"Garcia's method is the best, of our time; and the one 
which all here are striving to follow." 

And, it is pleasant to know that the Maestro was 
equally well pleased with his pupil, who, in a still later 
letter, writes : — 

" Paris, March 7, 1842. 

" You know, to-day, four years ago, I made my dilmt in 
Dcr FreMiutz, — No! five years ago, I mean. No! it is 
four, I think. — ^Well! yes! I do not know. — ^Anyhow, it 
was on the 7th of March." t 

"My singing is getting on quite satisfactorily, now. I 

* From a letter to Froken Marie Buckman. (Fkris, September 10, 
1841.) For the rest of the letter, see Chap. Y., page 134. 

t Letter to Madame Lindblad. (Paris, September 26, 1841.) From 
the collection of letters in the Lindblad family, kindly furnished by 
Madame Grandinson (nee Lindblad). 

t The <2^M really took place on March 7, 1838 ; t^. ^ four yoirs igo.** 
See pp. 55-57. 

1841-42.] TEE MAESTRO DI CANTO. 117 

rejoice heartily in my voice ; it is clear, and sonorous, with 
more firmness, and much greater agility. A great, great 
deal still remains to be done; but the worst is over. 
Gkurcia is satisfied with me." 

We may readily believe that Signer Garcia was more 
than " satisfied " with a pupil so apt to learn, and so well 
able to profit by the instruction she received. So swift 
was her comprehension, that she learned without knowing 
it. In all save that which concerned the mechanical basis of 
her art, her unerring musical instinct taught her far more 
than the greatest of living masters could impart to her. Of 
the management of the breath, the production of the voice, 
the blending of its registers, and a thousand other technical 
details upon which the most perfect of singers depends, in 
great measure, for success, she knew nothing — and, but for 
Signer Garcia, in all probability never would have known 
anything. But, of that which concerned the higher life of 
her art, neither Signer Garcia nor any one else could teach 
her anything at alL She evidently felt this, herself; for, long 
years afterwards, she wrote : — 

" The greater part of what I can do in my art, I have myself 
acquired, by incredible labour, in spite of astonishing diflBcul- 
ties. By Garcia alone have I been taught some few impor- 
tant things. God had so plainly written within me what I 
had to study ; my ideal was, and is, so high, that I could find 
no mortal who could in the least degree satisfy my demands. 
Therefore I sing after no one's method — only, as far as 
I am able, after that of the birds ; for, their Master was the 
only one who came up to my demands for truth, clearness, 
and expression." * 

But, though thus dependent upon her own natural genius 
for the high qualities which placed her above the greatest of 
her contemporaries in everything which concerned her 

* From tho letter to the Swedish Biogi^aphical Lexicon already quoted. 
See pp. 17-20. 

118 JENNY LIND. [ 

loftiest aspirations in the realm of Art, she was none the less 
gratefdl to Signor Garcia for the ''few important things'' 
which gave her her first practical insight into the tethmgue 
of singing — an insight, without which, as she herself felt, 
she would never have been able to bring her own great 
artistic ideal to perfection. 

( 119 ) 



Fob some few weeks after her first interview with Signer 
Garcia, and her subsequent entrance upon a course of regular 
study under his guidance, Mademoiselle Lind continued to 
reside with Madame Ruffiaques. She found the society of 
her fellow pensionnaires very pleasant ; and she was treated 
with unvarying kindness by the whole circle, during the 
time that she remained with them. But she soon awoke to 
the conviction that a boarding-house was scarcely a fitting 
place for continuous and undisturbed study ; and — a still more 
serious consideration — she found that the terms for board and 
lodging were too high for her slender means. It was really 
necessary that she should go to a cheaper and a more 
convenient home ; but the removal was not effected without 
tears on either side. The Rufl&aques had been so kind to 
her, and had liked her so much; and she felt that their 
good will had been of real service to her. Madame RufSaques 
cried bitterly when she left, saying that they had all 
" hoped for a longer stay on her part," and '* could scarcely 
have believed such dignity of conduct possible in a young 
person coming alone to Paris ; " * speaking with such evident 
emotion that it was impossible to doubt her truthfulness. But 
it was indispensable that the step should be taken. Towards 
the close of October, therefore, she removed to the house of 
Mademoiselle du P^get ; a lady, who, though not a Swede by 

* From a private letter. 

- I 

120 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. iii- 

birth, had, at any rate,been educated in Sweden, was thoroughly 
Swedish in all her thoughts and habits, and had familiarised 
the French with the literature of Sweden by her excellent 
translations of many well-known Swedish works — circum- 
stances of no small importance in the eyes of an exile whose 
heart was continually yearning for her beloved country, and 
who seemed incapable of being thoroughly happy while 
absent from it. 

Though a pleasant, and, in many ways, a sjrmpathetic 
companion, Mademoiselle du Puget was not free from certain 
amusing peculiarities which Mademoiselle lind occasionally 
described with genuine good humour. In a letter to Madame 
Lindblad, dated, * Paris, November 26, 1841,' she narrates au 
amusing little episode : — 

"You must know that I am beginning to be an ape — a 
fact of which I was not aware until yesterday. I was singing 
to Mademoiselle du Puget, and she seemed a little bit 
surprised when, just once or twice, I displayed all my powers 
— you know what I mean — and she looked at me as if she 
had not given me credit for this. (Mademoiselle du Puget — 
you must know — is a person who has heard all the great 
artists, and is herself musical.) First, I sang ' in Persiani's 
style,' and then ' in Grisi's ' ; and she was kind enough to say 
it was excellently imitated — ' could not, in fact, be better/ 
The compliment was rather hard to digest. I was so ashamed^ 
that, for a long while, I could not look up. But, after a 
considerable pause, I asked, ' Do you really think so ? ' — with 
a feeling of pride which my look — even the look of my back 
— must surely have reflected. God help me ! I am so proud 
that I cannot bear people to tell me 1 * imitate.* I loathe 
the very word to such an extent that I cannot conceive what 
its inventor was thinking of ! It seems to nie, that to take 
what is another's, and use it for one's self, and then to make 
believe that it is one's own, is positively to steal. But, I 
seize so quickly the impression of what is good, or bad, that 
I should not feel surprised if I have caught something from 
the Italian Opera, which I have already visited pretty fre- 
quently. But be this as it may, the reminiscences I am 
carrying away from the Italian Opera here are much better 

1841-42.] TEE STUDENT. 121 

than those connected with Stockholm and the school and 
style that prevail there ? " * 

But Mademoiselle Lind was not deprived of the com- 
panionship of critics better able than Mademoiselle da Paget 
to appreciate her talents at their true value. Her most 
intimate friend, at this period, was Mademoiselle Henrietta 
Nissen,t who was also a pupil of Garcia, and a great favourite 
with the master. The two talented young vocalists frequently 
sang together ; and, before long, a feeling of generous rivalry 
sprang up between them, which must have been of infinite 
advantage to both. Mademoiselle Lind thus describes her 
young friend in a letter to Madame Lindblad : — 

" Paris, August 19, 1841. 

" Yesterday I went to see Mademoiselle Nissen, to whom 
I go pretty often; and we sang to one another. She has 
a beautiful voice. Still, I think I agree with what 
Adolf I once said — *it is getting a little thin in the upper 
notes.' But, notwithstanding this, it is a splendid voice. 
In future we are going to have music together at Herr 
Blumm's." § 

The meetings at Herr Blumm's became an institution* A 
month later, she writes : — 

" Paris, September 19, 1841. 

" I am just expecting Philippe — || not King Philippe ! — 
who is going to take me to Herr Blumm's, where Mademoi- 
selle Nissen is waiting for us, with an old relative of hers ; 
and we four are going somewhere into the country for the 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t Afterwards, Madame Siegfried Saloman. 

% Herr Lindblad. 

§ From the Lindblad letters. 
. I Philippe was an old servant of Herr Blumm's, who, with his charac- 
teristic kindness and courtesy, sent him to attend Madame Lind to and 
from her lessons with Grarcia. Philippe was said to be the model of an 
old French servant of the period, and it was said of him, Td maitre^ 
id vdleL 

122 JENNY LIND. [bk. xl oh. m. 

day. She is a very sweet girL I am really glad to have 
made her acquaintance. The divine song draws us to each 
other." ♦ 

And, again : — 

"^ Paris, September 26, 184L 

'' Mademoiselle Nissen, whom I have already mentioned to 
you, is an extremely nice sweet girL She lives in the same 
house as Garcia; so I look in upon her, every time I take 
my lesson." f 

But there were other bonds of sympathy between them, 
besides those cemented by their mutual love for ** the 
divine song." Wlien Christmas drew near. Mademoiselle 
lind's heart was torn by yearnings for home. As the time 
approached she wrote to Madame Lindblad : — 

" Paris, Deoember 9, 1841. 

** Do you know what I am doing, besides writing to you ? 
I am munching away — at what ? — just guess ? — at a bit of 
genuine Swedish KndckehrddX which Herr Blumm has 

brought me Ah! think of me, when you go to the 

JiiloUa,^ for it is the most glorious thing your poor Jenny 
knows of." II 

And again : — 

" Paris, December 16, 1841. 

"Ah! who? who will light the Christmas Tree for my 
mother ? No one ; no one ! She has no child who can bring 
lier the least pleasure. If you knew how she is ever before 
nie ! how constantly she is in my thoughts ! how she gives 
me courage to work ! how I love her, as I never loved her 
before ! " 1 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t lb. 

t A kind of rye bread, baked in large tliin roimd cakes, with a hole 
in the middle, by which they are hmig up in bundles, and thus kept crisp 
and fresh for a long time. 

§ The early service, on Christmas Day. Jul means Christmas (Yule), 
and otta, 8 o'clock. 

II From the Lindblad letters. 

^ lb. 

1841-42.] TEE STUDENT. 123 

And, in the midst of this cruel burst of home-sickness, 
good Mademoiselle du Puget bethought her of an expedient, 
of which we hear in another letter, written four days after 
Christmas: — 

"Paris, December 29, 1841. 

" Christmas Eve passed off better than I expected ; for. 
Mademoiselle du Puget went to fetch the dear sweet 
Nissen, and, all of a sudden, as I was standing in my room 
alone, she came creeping in to ma We sang duets together 
— but my thoughts strayed homewards." * 

It is beautiful, as the time progresses, to mark the utter 
absence of jealousy which characterised this rare artistic 
friendship between two young students, each of whom had a 
reputation to ensure, and a name to render famous. Though 
Mademoiselle Lind had already established a brilliant repu- 
tation in Sweden, Mademoiselle Nissen was, nevertheless, 
far in advance of her on the road to European honours — or, 
at least, it must have seemed so to both of them. On the 
26th of November, 1841, Signor Gkircia gave a " grand soirSe " 
in her honour. She was to be the star of the evening. 
Several hundred people were invited to meet her ; and it was 
arranged that she should sing not only alone, but also with 
the support of a chorus. Mademoiselle Lind was among the 
invited guests, and, it was arranged that Mademoiselle du 
Puget should accompany her ; but, not one thought of envy 
passed through her mind. She spoke of nothing but her 
friend's success. Four months later, her generosity was put 
to a still sterner test. On April 3, 1842, she writes : — 

** Do you know that Nissen is just upon the point of con- 
cluding an engagement for three years at the Italian Opera ? 
For the first year, she is offered four thousand riksdaler 
banco ;t and, when the three years are over, she will, no 
doubt, be able to command from sixty to seventy thousand 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t Equal to 8,000 francs ; or £320 sterling. 

124 JENNY LIND. [bk.ilch.iii. 

riksdaler banco * per annum. Ah, yes ! Gtod help her ! She 
is a nice good girL Yet, notwithstanding all this, I am 
contented with my own lot, and would not change with 
any one, though my prospects for the future are poor, and 
dark." t 

And again on May 1 : — 

'' I am not depressed on Mademoiselle Nissen*s account. 
Ah, no ! Besides, how foolish it would be not to stand aside 
for a merit greater than my own — and this I do. Thank 
God ! I feel no jealousy, and — shall I tell you ? — ^it is true 
that I can never get her voice ; but I am quite satisfied with 
my own. And, furthermore, I shall be able, in time, to learn 
all that she knows ; but she can never learn what I know. 
Do you understand ? She is a nice girl ; and, with all my 
heart, I wish her every happiness. Her stay here is of great 
advantage to me, for she spurs me on." % 

In truth, every brilliant manifestation of real talent served 
only to spur Mademoiselle Lind on to still greater exertions 
on her own account. She was a constant attendant at the 
Italian Opera ; and recorded her impressions of the principal 
performers with the most perfect frankness. In one letter 
she writes : — 

" Oh ! if you could have heard Madame Persiani sing in 
La Sonnamhula, yesterday ! Oh ! oh ! it was beautiful ! " 

Of Grisi, though she admired her greatly as an actress, she 
spoke less enthusiastically ; and, especially, of her shake, 
which, she said, was not good. The shake was certainly not 
one of Madame Grisi's strongest points. Indeed, this parti- 
cular grace was then but very little cultivated in the Italian 
School, from an idea — entirely fallacious, though very 

* It is possible that this may be a lapsus calami^ for '* six to seven 
thousand "—i.e. 12,000 to 14,000 francs, or £480 to £560. The larger sum 
seems improbable, to the Last degree. 

t From the Lindblad letters. 

X lb. 

1841-42.] TEE STUDENT. 125 

generally entertained — that its frequent practice was dele- 
terious to the voice. 

But Mademoiselle Lind's observations were not confined 
to the Italian Opera> or to singing alone. She was a great 
admirer of Mademoiselle Bachel ; and studied her perform- 
ances with peculiar interest. In one of her letters she 

writes: — 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 

"There is a remarkable dearth of good actresses here. 
Mademoiselle Eachel is the only one — after her, GrisL" * 

And again: — 

" Paris, November 20, 1841. 

" Shall I tell you my thoughts ? The difiference between 
Mademoiselle Bachel and myself is, that she can be splendid 
when angry, but she is unsuited for tenderness. I am 
desperately ugly, and nasty too, when in anger ; but I think 
I do better in tender parts. Of course, I do not compare 
myself with Eachel. Certainly not. She is immeasurably 
greater than I. Poor me ! " f 

It is evident from this, that, while striving, with all her 
might, to master the technical difficulties of singing under 
the guidance of Signer Garcia, Mademoiselle Lind never, for 
a moment, forgot the importance of the dramatic element. 
Indeed, her letters prove that, though she sought no instruc- 
tion in this from any one, she was for ever endeavouring to 
perfect her own ideal ; observing others, but always thinking 
for herself, and trusting to herself alone for the final result 
Her correspondence teems with observations which show 
how constantly her thoughts were dwelling upon this im- 
portant point. In one more than ordinarily interesting 
letter, she writes : — 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 
" I am longing for home. I am longing for my theatre. 
I have never said this before, in any of my letters. I know 
I am contradicting myself, but I rejoice over it. Oh! to 

* From the Lindblad letters. 
t lb. 

126 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. oh. m. 

pour out my feelings in a beautiful part ! This is, and ever 
will be, my continual aim ; and, imtil I stand there again, I 
shall not know myself as I really am. life on the stc^ has 
in it something so fascinating, that I think, having once 
tasted it, one can never feel truly happy away from it, 
especially when one has given oneself wholly up to it, with 
life and soul, as I have done. This has been my joy, my 
pride, my glory ! True, it is a great thing to be free from all 
the worries connected with it ; but, when I return home, I 
know not what people could have to reproach me with. 
Then the die will be cast ; and I shall not change very much 
for the better after that, I suppose — and, consequently things 
will be different." * 

Later on she writes :— 

" Paris, March 7, 1842. 

" Sometimes I act by myself ; and it seems to me that I 
have gained more feeling, more verve, more truth in my 
rendering ; at least, I feel, now, better than I used to do, 
what life really is. It is just possible that I may not act as 
well as before ; but I do not think so. Nobody acts as I act. 
What do you say to such language as this ? But, you will 
not misunderstand me." t 

But there were moments of doubt, bordering sometimes 
almost upon despondency. On one occasion she says : — 

" Paris, May 30, 1842. 

" Then Garcia pretends to believe that I shall never more 
act in tragic parts ! X What do you think of that ? I leave 
him to say what he pleases. In the meantime, may God 
preserve me from being altogether bewildered ! I do not 
think there is any danger. I acted ' Norma; this morning, 
and it was not much worse than at Stockholm." § 

In the midst of these alternations of hope and anxiety, the 
studies were interrupted, for a moment, by a sudden shock 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t Ih. 

X Possibly, Mademoiselle Lind's idea of tragedy may have diflfered from 
Signor Garcia*s. Oa such a point, the Scandinavian and the Keltic 
temperament were scarcely likely to be in very close accordance. 

§ From the Lindblad letters. 

1841-42.] THE STUDENT. 127 

merciful escape from an accident so full of horror and 
death, that one almost shudders, even now, at the immi- 
nence of the danger, after reading the letter in which it 
is described. 

On the 8th of May, the Baroness Schwerin accompanied 
Mademoiselle Lind on an excursion to Versailles. 

Herr Blumm was anxious that the party should return to 
Paris by a train which would give them an opportunity of 
passing through some very beautiful scenery on their way 
home. But, that very morning, the Pr^fet de Police offered 
the Baroness a box at one of the theatres. In order to 
render this available, the plans were changed at the last 
moment; and it was not until after their return, that the 
little party of friends learned that the train by which they 
intended to travel had been wrecked by the bursting of the 
boiler, and that, of the four hundred persons who were injured 
by the explosion, one hundred were either scalded to death 
or cut to pieces, in a manner too horrible for description. 

Mademoiselle Lind's account of the occurrence shows that 
it affected her, very deeply indeed. But her nature was not 
of the weak type which is rendered iinfit for exertion by a 
sudden fear, however great may have been its effect at the 
moment ; and her subsequent letters show that after the first 
burst of thankfulness was over, she was at work again as 
heartily as ever, thinking no amount of labour too great for 
the attainment of the end she had in view, and upon which 
she felt that all her hope of future success depended. She 
had come to Paris to work; and she left nothing undone 
which could, even in the slightest degree, tend to perfect her 
in the art to which every energy of her life was uncompro- 
misingly devoted. 

128 JENNY LIND. [bk. xl ch. iv. 



Mdlle. Lind's course of study, under Signor Garcia, lasted 
ten months, from the 26th or 27th of August, 1841, to the 
end of June 1842 — by which time she had learned all that 
it was possible for any master to teach her. 

The result for which she had so ardently longed, so 
patiently waited, so perseveringly laboured, was attained at 
last. Her voice, no longer suffering from the effect of the 
cruel fatigue, and the inordinate amount of over-exertion 
which had so lately endangered, not merely its well-being, 
but its very existence, had now far more than recovered its 
pristine vigour * — ^it had acquired a rich depth of tone, a 
sympathetic timbre, a birdlike charm in the silvery clearness 
of its upper register, which at once impressed the listener 
with the feeling that he had never before heard anything in 
the least degree resembling it. No human organ is perfect. 
It is quite possible that other voices may have possessed 
qualities wliich this did not; for voices of exceptional 
beauty are nearly always characterised by an individuality 
of timbre or expression which forms by no means the least 
potent of their attractions. The natural flexibility of the 
Gontessa de' Kossi's voice was phenomenaL Mdlle. Alboni's 
involuntary mbrato breathed a languid tenderness of 
passion which could never have been attained by any 

* The last mention of the chronic hoarseness is found in a letter, 
written on the 1st of May, 1842. 

1841-42.] WITHIN SIGHT OF THE GOAL. 129 

amount of study. But, the listener never stopped to analyse 
the qualities of Mdlle. land's voice, the marked individuality 
of which set analysis at defiance. By turns, full, sympathetic, 
tender, sad, or brilliant, it adapted itself so perfectly to the 
artistic conception of the song it was interpreting, that 
singer, voice, and song, were one. Time had been, 
when, from sheer lack of technical knowledge, she had 
been unable to give expression to her high ideal; when 
her method was as yet too imformed for the utterance 
of her grand conception of the parts of Agatha and 
Euryanthe, of Pamina and Donna Anna, of La Vestale and 
Alice, and Amina and Norma and Lucia; all of which 
she had already sung, in Stockholm, and felt deeply, and 
made her hearers feel, by resistless force of sympathy 
alone, though every one had fallen short of the perfect 
artistic interpretation which can only be attained when 
the poetry of the mental conception is supported by an 
amount of technical skill equal to its demands. But this 
time had passed away, for ever. Her voice was now so 
completely imder command, that its obedience to every 
changing phase of the singer's thoughts, to every demand of 
the composer's genius, was absolute, and instantaneous. All 
the technical perfection that could be attained by un- 
limited perseverance, under the guidance of an enlightened 
teacher, she had gained since her arrival in Paris ; the 
rest she had always possessed, for it was part of herself. 
She was bom an artist ; and, tmder Garcia's guidance, had 
now become a virtuosa. The scales, sung " slowly up and 
down, with great care," and the ** awfully slow shake," had 
borne abundant fruit. Followed by exercises of a more 
advanced character, they had resulted in producing a facility 
of execution which serves materially to strengthen our faith 
in the legendary stories told of Farinelli and " II Porporino," 
Signore Strada, and Cuzzoni, and Faustina, the Cavaliere 
VOL. I. K 

130 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. nr. 

Nicolini, and other marvellous vocalists of the eighteenth 
century, whose feats of skill have been described by admiring 
contemporaries in such terms of rapture, that one class of 
modem critics has been tempted to reject the whole story as 
a gross exaggeration, while another school would have us 
believe that the art of vocalisation, as practised in that 
golden age, is lost beyond all possibility of recovery. There 
is no logical necessity for the acceptance of either of these 
trenchant theories. The music written for, and sung by, 
those giants of a bygone age proves that the stories told of 
their marvellous power are in nowise exaggerated.* And, 
the assumption that the art has been lost is absurd. The 
method may have been neglected, and temporarily forgotten. 
We do not deny that. But there is not— or ought not to be 
— the possibility of such a thing as a " lost art." What has 
been done once can be done again. And it would be diffi- 
cult, in the face of the Cadenze given in the Appendix con- 
tributed to this work by Mr. (Joldschmidt, to imagine any 
tour de force — whether involving difl&culty of intonation, or 
rapidity of .execution, prolonged sustaining-power, or contrasts 

* Handel wrote passages, in Biccardo Primo^ for the Cavaliere Nicolini, 
which no singer now living could execute; and scarcely less trying 
divisions, in Ariadne^ and other Operas, for Carestini, and Signora Strada, 
and Senesino. The Operas of Porpora, and Hasse, abound with similar 
passages for Farinelli, and ** II Porporino," Faustina, and their great 
contemporaries of the Italian School. No one now attempts to grapple 
with these monstrous tours deforce; but Mdlle. Lind proved them to 
be still attainable by exceptional talent, supplemented by equally excep- 
tional perseverance. Had Edison's Phonograph been invented, in the 
time of Farinelli, we should have been left in no doubt as to our esti- 
mate of the powers possessed by the leading singers of the eighteenth 
century, as compared with those of the nineteenth. When the instrument 
is brought to absolute perfection, this question will be one of very easy 
solution ; since the critics of the twentieth century will be able to report 
upon the performances of vocalists now living, as clearly as tKe musical 
reporter is able, now, to describe them on the day after they have 
taken place. 

1841-42.] WITHIN SIGHT OF THE GOAL. 131 

obtainable by apparently unlimited exercise of the mcssa di 
voce—oi which Mdlle. Lind was incapable after the comple- 
tion of her course of study. One great secret — perhaps the 
greatest of all — the key to the whole mystery connected with 
this perfect mastery over the technical difficulties of vocalisa- 
tion — ^lay in the fortunate circumstance, that Signor Garcia 
was so " very particular about the breathing." For the skilful 
management of the breath is everything ; and she attained the 
most perfect control over it. Gifted by nature with compara- 
tively limited sustaining power, she learned to fill the lungs 
with such dexterity, that, except with her consent, it was 
impossible to detect, either the moment at which the breath 
was renewed, or the method by which the action was accom- 
plished. We say, " except with her consent," because, on the 
stage, there are moments when, for dramatic effect, the act 
of breathing has itself a rhetorical, or, in extreme cases, even 
a passionate significcmce ; when the correct delivery of the 
words demands that breath should be taken, without any 
attempt at disguise, in accordance with the grammatical 
punctuation of the text ; and of this means of expression she 
fully appreciated the value. But, where pure vocalisation 
was concerned, and unbroken continuity became an imperious 
artistic necessity, the moment at which the lungs were 
replenished remained as profoimd a secret as it did in the 
performances of Eubini — who, fortunately for him, possessed 
a much greater natural capacity for abundant inspiration, 
and had therefore a less amount of difficulty to overcome in 
bringing his art to the inefifable perfection he so well 
succeeded in attaining. The result was the same in both 
cases ; but, in the one, it was materially aided by a happy 
physical organisation, while, in the other, it was wholly 
the effect of art — an art which, though possible to all, 
is so difficult to acquire, that, through want, in most 
cases, of the necessary perseverance, not one singer out of 

K 2 

132 JENNY LLND. [bk. n. cb. iv, 

a hundred succeeds in attaining it, even in a moderate 

With these rare powers at command, Mdlle. lind was 
able, without efifort, to give expression to every phase of the 
artistic conception which she had formed by the exercise of 
innate genius. Her acting, as we have seen, in former 
chapters, had grown up with her from her infancy, and 
formed part of her inmost being. She had found no one in 
Paris capable of teaching her anything that could improve 
that, though she thought it necessary to take lessons in 
deportment; Dramatic Art she had studied for herself; she 
had gained experience by observation of others ; with fearless 
modesty, she had measured her own powers against those of 
Mdlle. Rachel, and dared to tell herself what she believed to 
be the truth, with regard to their comparative merits ; she 
had acted the part of Norma to herself, and calmly passed 
judgment upon her own performance; she had carefully 
thought out the matter, and the acting and the singing had 

* Signor Frederic Lablache once told a friend of the writer, that, 
when singing, on one occasion, with Bubini, in the Matrimonio SegretOf 
he held the great tenor's hand in his own, during a passage in the famous 
duet, and, at the same time, looked him full in the face, without being 
able to detect the act of breathing in the least degree. This wonderful 
power of concealment led the vulgar to believe that Bubini could sing, 
during the act of inspiration ! Of course, it was simply the triumph of 
coDsimimate art, misunderstood only by those who were ignorant of the 
first principles of singing. An absurd story was even invented, to the 
effect that he, who never forced a note, and whose vocal registers were 
more perfectly equalised, more delicately blended into one than those of 
any other tenor that ever existed, once broke his collar-bone in the attempt 
to deliver a mighty Si de poitrine by aid of a violent effort of clavicular 
breathing ! He was just as likely to have broken his neck ; mnch more 
likely to have displaced the odontoid process of the axis vertebra, and fallen 
dead on the spot. Yet, to this day, the story is dted as an instance of 
the dangers of a vicious method of filling the lungs : a proof that the study 
of breathing is still recognised as a necessary part of the singer's 
education, tliough few understand its value as it was understood by the 
two great artists of whom we are speaking. 

1841-42.] WITHIN SIGHT OF THE GOAL. 133 

become so closely interwoven with each other, that they 
naturally united in the formation of one single conception. 
Each part as she interpreted it to herself was a consistent 
whole, dramatic and musical, breathing poetry and romance 
from beginning to end ; yet, as true to nature as she was 
herself, and no longer fettered by the fatal technical weakness 
which had so long stood between the ideal and its perfect 
realisation. There was no weakness now. The artist was 

134 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. v. 



And now arose the crucial question — should the finished 
artist make her d4but in Paris ? — or, should she return, at 
once, to Sweden, and reappear, in all the glory of her newly- 
acquired powers, in her beloved Stockholm ? 

There were arguments to be brought forward, on both sides. 
The problem was no new one. It had frequently been dis- 
cussed ; but her own feeling on the subject was very strong 
indeed. She could not reconcile herself to Paris. She 
despised its frivolity, its selfishness, its restless love of 
excitement, and its lust for gold ; and recoiled, with horror, 
from its shameless vice. From the very first, she had 
suspected the hoUowness of its social organisation. As 
early as the 10th of September, 1841, she had written to her 
friend, Froken Marie Euckman : — 

" My best Friend, — 

" There might be much to say about Paris, but I put 
it off until I am better able to judge. This much, however, 
I will say at once, that, if good is sometimes to be found, an 
immeasurable amount of evil is to be found also. But, I 
believe it to be an excellent school for any one with dis- 
cernment enough to separate the rubbish from that which is 
worth preserving — though this is no easy task. To my mind, 
the worst feature of Paris is, its dreadful selfishness, its greed 
for money. There is nothing to which the people will not 
submit, for the sake of gain. Applause, here, is not always 
given to talent ; but, often enough, to vice — to any obscure 
person who can afiford to pay for it. Ugh ! It is too dread- 

1841-42.] UNDER WHICH KING f 135 

fill to see the claqueurs sitting at the theatre, night after 
night, deciding the fate of those who are compelled to appear 
— a terrible manifestation of original sin !" 

To Madame Lindblad, some six weeks later, she writes : — 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 

** All idea of appearing here iu public has vanished. To 
begin with — I myself never relied upon it ; but people said 
so many silly things about *just one peformance,' that, at 
last, I began to feel as if I were in duty bound to try. But, 
monstrous and imconquerable diflficulties are in the way. In 
any case, I want to go home again. But, if I can arrange to sing 
at a concert, before leaving, I will do so ; in order that I may 
not return home without having at least done something." * 

Three months later, in a letter dated February the 1st, 
1842, and addressed to Herr Expeditionschef Forsberg (who 
controlled the Dramatic School attached to the E. Theatre 
at Stockholm at the time at which Jenny was numbered 
among its pupils), we find her dwelling touchingly on her 
desire to consecrate her talents to her native country. 

" I came hither," she says, " because I felt my talent too 
insignificant. I knew, indeed, that it was not really so. 
But, having no one to consult but my dear Herr Berg — who 
was miserable at his inability to help me through with my 
incessant work — I resolved simply to break off, and to take 
two years' leave of absence. 

" I am gifted by Nature ; and to that I am indebted for a 
certain amount of success : but, Art, I did not know, even 
by name. I felt this bitterly ; and it made me receive the 
applause of the public with sorrow, rather than with joy : for, 
I felt that I did not deserve it. I knew that I had not made 
myself worthy of it, through my own work. Ah ! I was 
right ! I was perfectly right ! God does all for the best ; 
that I know. I was guided by a Higher Hand, when I em- 
barked on the Svithiod t en route for Paris. I am working on, 
now ; have made progress ; and — need I say it — if they want 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t This is a slip of the pen. It was the Qauthiod. See p. 105. 

136 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. v. 

to hear me again, in my Sweden, with what joy will I not 
hasten thither ! I have only made these sacnfices, in order 
that I may become worthy of the public ; and, if I do not 
succeed, I shall, at all events, have satisfied my artist's 

" Therefore, Herr Exi)editionschef, if I can only learn to 
sing, and if my presence is not felt to be quite superfluous, I 
shall certainly return, in a year and a half — quite certainly — 
but, not if I meet with coldness, or am regarded as altogether 
imnecessary. I am almost afrsdd of that. Elma Strom has 
everything in her favour, which I have against me. She has 
a much softer and better voice to work with than I ever had, 
during the whole time of my working period She ought, 
therefore, to sing very well. The actress, probably, will come 
later on. I do not wish to stand in her way, or in the way of 
any one. Rather than that, I would settle down here to give 
singing-lessons ; for Garcia's method is the best of our time, 
and every one, here, is striving to follow it But, in any case 
I shall come home, in order that people may hear what 
progress I have made — ^if I really have made any. Will 
they accept me, and give me a suitable engagement? If 
so, I shall remain. If not, I shall go abroad again. And 
yet ! — my Sweden ! my Stockholm ! All that is dearest to 
me on earth is there — two people, for whom I would give 
my life, if they asked for it, and apart from whom I could 
not spend an entire lifetime. But, my stay here has cost 
both money, and trouble. I have sacrificed everything, in 
the hope of acquiring a * talent.' I hope, therefore, that I 
shall not be misunderstood; that people will not imagine 
that I have gone abroad witli foolish conceited ideas about 
this little self of mine ; but, that they will rather meet me 
with confidence and good-will. I shall then have no higher 
wish, than to go back to my dear theatre, and pour out my 
heart in song, to a beloved public. 

** The Italian Opera ! Oh ! how lovely it is ! What a rich 
time of enjoyment for me ! and the concerts of the Con- 
servatoire ! Mon Dim ! They are the best of all 1 They 
are perfectly divine ! But, apart from them, there is much 
here that is verv far indeed from divine. And this is well. 
For, we human creatures might possibly be unable to bear it, 
unmixed. I dare say it would be so. 

** But, ah, me ! what a long letter I am inflicting upon 
you. Shall I be pardoned ? I will flnish directly : but, I 

1841-42.] UNDER WHICH KING f 137 

wanted to tell you that I am living with a certain Mdlle. 
du Puget, who was educated in Sweden, and is Swedish, 
to the heart's core; and, that I am doing welL I have 
had my crying days, and many longing moments; but I 
am fairly wise, and work with a will. 

"Herr Blumm is quite indefatigable in his goodness to 
me, and takes care of me, like the kindest brother ; so that I 
have nothing to complain of, except — ^where is my Sweden ? 
Where are my friends ? Do they still remember me ? Shall 
I be welcome, when I return ? What do you think, Herr 
Expeditionschef ? 

" May the future for yourself and your family be as happy 
and prosperous as is the most sincere wish of 

" Your ever grateful, 

" Jenny Lind." 

When the time for arriving at a decision began to draw 
near, she wrote to Madame lindblad : — 

" Paris, April 3, 1842. 

" I dare not tell you how I long for home ! I dare not tell 
you how far from happy I feel, here ! but, there is one thing 
in your letter that really frightens me. You say, that, if I 
come back, without having previously appeared in public, 
here, they will say I was not fit for it, however well I may 
sing. Ho I ho ! what will happen, then ? It might, perhaps, 
be better for me to engage myself somewhere as nursery- 
maid ; for it is a very difficult thing to appear, here, in public. 
On the stage it would be out of the question. It could only 
be in the concert-room : and there I am at my weakest point, 
and shall always remain so. What is wanted here is — * ad- 
mirers.' Were I inclined to receive them, all would be 
smooth sailing. But there I say — stop ! 

" To sing, without a name, is difficult ; for, here, everything 
depends upon the accessories. It matters not how little 
talent there may be. My position is, indeed, a hard one ! 
If only I belonged to a country having more self-confidence 
when passing judgment on its own artists, then, all would be 
well. But, the misfortune is, that they never believe in 
themselves. However, I have never said fiiat I should appear 


in public, though others hare. Besides, God will oeitainly 
help me ! I needed a course of exercises — and the rest I 
leave in the Lord's hands. 

" With regard to my actincr, I can compete with any one 
out here. But, there are many other things that I lack. 
Should there be any who think it worth while to envy me, 
how contented will they not be, when they see me quietly 
disembark at the Stockholm Skeppsbro, while Nissen will 
soon be prima donna at the Italian Opera. I do not under- 
stand how it is that this takes no effect upon me ! For my 
part, I only want to go home."* 

A week later she wrote to her &ther : — 

«Ftoi8, April 10, 1842. 
'* GoDE Pappa ! — 

" So many thanks for your last letter. I see, firom it> 
that you and Alamma are well. It gives me no slight com- 
fort to know this ; and I should be even better satined, if I 
were also to learn that you prosper in your country home. 

" As yet, my dear Pappa, I have not grown particularly 
stout ; but, what I shall be, when I grow old, I cannot tell. 
However, I trust the Lord will save me from being obliged 
to sing on the stage, until my life's end ; and then, I shall 
rest tranquil. 

" Apropos of the Opera ! I wonder when I shall next be 
allowed to show myself ' on the boards,' as the term is. I 
clearly see — ^yes, I do see, Pappa — that I am bom to stand 
on them. God grant that I may always stand ' on firm feet,' 
as Gelhaar said, t In one respect, Pappa knows that I do^ 
In the other, I am in God's hands. Think only, if, when I 
come home, I find no engagement ! 

" Yes, yes. ' Comes time, comes counseL'' Perhaps I may 
liave to sit on the Djurgards Common, with a little money- 
l)Ox in front of me, to gather in small contributions, and sing 
while tlie day lasts — for, says the proverb, ' There is no day 
so long that it has not its evening ' — and, after that, I go to 
my Father's bosom, to awake in a better land. And this is 
surely tlie highest aim. It does not matter how one gets 
there, so that one only does get there, somehow, and, ' he that 

* From the Lindblad letters. 

t Herr Gelhaar was a member of the Royal Orchestra at Stockholm. 

1842.] UNDER WEICE KING f 139 

hurableth himself shall be exalted/ says the Scripture. — But, 
be this as it may ! 

" I was obliged to act as I did ; otherwise, the whole thing 
would have remained at a standstill with me. Perhaps I 
have not yet been quite forgotten — though I have some 
doubt about it : and, in that case, and if I have also made 
some progress, people may perhaps find pleasure in listening 
to me, when I come back again. I wish for nothing better 
than this. 

"A concert was to have taken place, yesterday, at the 
Italian Opera. Rossini's Stdbat Mater — ^his latest composition 
— ^was to have been given ; and Nissen was to have sung in 
place of Grisi, who is away in London. But, the President 
of the Chamber of Deputies gave a concert instead, and, 
as this was attended by all the great people, nothing came 
of it — a very annoying thing for Nissen, for it would have 
been a good opportunity for her. 

" Adieu, lille Fader. Write, if occasion offers, to your 

" Affectionate Daughter." 

A letter addressed, on the same day, to Madame Lindblad, 
announces still greater indecision with regard to the future : — 

" Paris, April 10, 1842. 

' "I am really anxious to see how a life, begun like mine, 
will end. Oh ! what emptiness beyond description there is 
around me ! An unwonted amount of courage is necessary, 
for prolonging my stay here for another year. But I need 
this, for several reasons. This journey has altogether 
changed me. The foundation of the building was tolerably 
safe, and needed no pulling down. But, the superstructure ! 
— ^this has crumbled away, through not having been better 
put together." * 

The spirit which pervades these letters is unmistakable ; 
and clearly shows Mdlle. Lind*s own feeling, with regard to 
the critical question, on the settlement of which her artistic 
destiny seemed now mainly to depend. 

But, she was not, and could not possibly be, the only, or 

♦ From the Lindblad letters. 

140 JENNY LIND. [bk. u. ch. v. 

even the best judge, of what was best for her. From the 
very nature of the case, she was placed very much at the 
mercy of others, who, moved by feelings of friendship, or sdf- 
interest, as the case might be, took an active part in the dis- 
cussion ; and it was mainly through their intervention that 
the question was solved with the results which we propose 
to describe in our next chapter. 

( 141 ) 



On the 24th of May, 1842, while Mdlle. lind was still 
tortured by doubts as to the best course to follow, in this 
difficult crisis, the Directors of the Royal Theatre at Stock- 
holm sent her the offer of a definite and official engagement — 
or rather re-engagement — at the Opera-House in which her 
early triumphs had been achieved. It must be confessed, 
that the terms proposed by the Direktion were more in 
accordance with her former statics at the Royal Theatre, 
than with that which was the just due of the great artist 
she had now become. The engagement was to last either 
one, or two years ; from the 1st of July, 1842, to the same 
date, in 1843, or 1844 — the longest period for which an 
engagement was legally possible. The salary was fixed at 
1800 riksdaier banco, i>er annum^eqnal to about £150, in 
English money ; with the privilege of an extra " benefit " ; 
and " extra service-money, according to the regulations of the 
Royal Theatre," for each appearance; the necessary "silk 
costumes and bridal gowns " being provided at the expense 
of the management. In return for these emoluments, Mdlle. 
Lind was engaged to submit, in all things, to the regulations 
laid down for the direction of the Royal Theatre, in the year 
1839; but she was permitted to extend her stay abroad, 
until September, 1842, without diminution of salary, as a 
compensation for the expenses connected with her home 

142 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. vi. 

To this not very tempting offer, she replied, as follows : — 

" Paris, June 6, 1842. 

" I have had the honour to receive the Eoyal Direction's 
flattering offer of an engagement, for one or two years, from 
the Ist of July, 1842, at the Eoyal Theatre of Stockholm, 
and hasten to submit my humble answer. 

" Although the period which I intended to devote to my 
studies abroad does not terminate until next year, and, 
therefore, an earlier return home will either interrupt these 
studies, or entail redoubled efforts for the accomplishment of 
the course on which I have entered, I feel not (Usinclined to 
accept the offer of the Eoyal Direction, for two years ; but^ 
well remembering the rather too heavy service to which I 
had to submit in former times, at the Eoyal Theatre, and 
from the evil consequences of which I am still suffering, I 
am compelled to attach the following conditions to my en- 
gagement, viz. : — 

" (i.) That, while enjojring the salary, benefices, and other 
advantages proposed by the Eoyal Direction, I shall not be 
obliged to appear in more than fifty representations during 
the season. 

" (ii) That an extra fee of 66 Rdr,, 32 si.,* Banco, mB,j be 
granted to me for each representation over and above the 
said fifty, during the season. 

'' (iii.) That the representations be so arranged, as not to 
compel my appearance more than twice during the week. 

" (iv.) That leave of absence be granted to me, from the 
15th of June, to the 1st of October, in each year. 

"I trust that the Eoyal Direction will appreciate the 
fairness of the above-named conditions, and will consider 
them as pardonable forethought with regard to my health and 
future, both of which are particularly uncertain, and difficult 
to ensure, by a dramatic artist, in Sweden. 

" Jenny Lind." t 

On the same day, she thus confided her diflBculties to 
Madame Lindblad : — 

* Rather less than £5 lOs. 

t Letter to the " Direction ** of the Royal Theatre at Stockhohn, kindly 
furnished by Herr Bureau-chef Alfred Grandinson. 

1842.] TEE RETURN. 143 

" raris, June 6, 1842. 

"I have been offered an engagement at the theatre in 
Stockholm, and this has somewhat altered things. There is 
much to be said for, but much also against it. It seems to 
me that my demands are not exaggerated, when I propose to 
appear fifty times during the season, for 1800 Rdr. Banco in 
the form of salary, with extra money, etc. ; while, for other 
evenings, beyond that number, they will have to give me, 
each time, 66 Rdr,, 32 sh. Banco — the same as to BeUetti. I 
shall not do it for less ; so, if they do not agree to this — well 
and good I 

" Adolf wished me to limit the number to forty ; but I 
am dreadfully afraid of appearing presumptuous. 

" So, it may happen that I come home in the autumn. 
What do you say to that ? I rather long for home ; and 
this offer, on the part of the Direction, will furnish a good 
opportunity for closing the mouths of those who might feel 
inclined to say something about my incapacity for another 
theatre." * 

Herr Lindblad, who was in Paris, at this time, wrote to his 
wife: — 

••Paris, June3,1842. 

" Jenny has had an offer, from the Direction of the Eoyal 
Opera, to come home ; and she seems inclined to accept it. 
If so, she will return, in the autumn. She does not care, at 
all, to appear here ; nor are the circumstances tempting. 
She is bound up with Sweden, and asks for nothing better 
than to make her living there, and thus to give enjoyment 
to our people." t 

This seems to imply that Herr Lindblad took no un- 
favourable view of the arrangement; yet when, in conse- 
quence of a letter from the Direction, dated June 20th, 
1842, and agreeing to all Mdlle. Lind's conditions, the 
engagement was finally concluded, he wrote to Madame 
Lindblad : — 

* From the Lindblad letters, 
t 11. 

144 JENNY LIND. [bk« n. cs. vi. 

« Paria, July 4, 1842. 

" Jenny has engaged herself at too small a salary. This 
she regrets, now, but it cannot be helped. Her love for 
Sweden, and the kind letter from the Director of the Opera, 
have dimmed her vision." * 

And again : — 

" Paris, Friday, July 15, 1842. 

** I conducted Meyerbeer to Jenny, when she sang for him 
airs from Boberto, Norrruiy and several of my songs. He 
thought much of her voice, and wishes to taJce her to the 
Grand Opera-House, in order to hear how it would sound on 
the stage there; for he believes that its carrying power would 
grow in the large room, t 

And, again : — 

« Paris, July 18, 1842. 

"So it is, however, that, had Meyerbeer arrived here 
before Jenny accepted the engagement at Stockholm, she 
would probably not — unless tempted by home-sickness — 
have returned so soon to Sweden, for Meyerbeer was not 
against engaging her for Paris or Berlin. Not a soul has 
here done the least towards making her known. She has 
been living as in a convent. 

" Still, she is not sorry to return home ; for, the greatest 
stage reputations are here won only through sacrificing honour 
and reputation. While the world is resounding with their 
praise, every salon is closed to them ; and this, even in easy- 
going Paris. Such homage as Jenny met with in Sweden, no 
foreign artist ever received. This, she feels; and it is for 
this vivifying atmosphere that she is longing." J 

As may well be supposed, Meyerbeer's influence was 
no unimportant factor in the arrangements which concerned 
the future. He had come to Paris, for the purpose of making 
preparations for the production of Le PropJiete — which, 
however, through an accumulation of difl&culties, was not 
really produced until the year 1849 ; he had there heard of 
Mdlle. Lind — probably, from Herr Lindblad; and — as we 
gather from that gentleman's letter of the 15th of July — 

* From the Lindblad Letters. f -^*« t -^^- 

1S42.1 THE BETURN. 145 

had already heard her sing, in private. But he seems to 
have entertained doubts as to whether her voice was powerful 
enough to fill the salle of the Grand Op^ra ; and, in order to 
satisfy himself on this point, he wished to hear her sing on 
the stage of the theatre itself. Whether, or not. Signer 
Grarcia felt any doubts upon the subject, we do not know. 
On the 13th of June, Herr Lindblad had written : — 

" On Saturday last, I met Garcia, and spoke to him about 
Jenny. He has found out that she has much esprU, and 
feeling ; but considers her voice still somewhat /o^^i^." 

But, whatever Signer Garcia may have felt, it is quite 
certain that Meyerbeer was determined to carry his point; 
and, that he made the necessary arrangements with M. Leon 
Pillet, then the Director of the Grand Op6ra, for the gratifi- 
cation of his wish ; for, on the 22nd of July, he wrote (in 
Grerman) to Herr Lindblad : — 

"HoNOUKED Sir, — 

" I was unable to answer your kind letter, yesterday, 
as I foimd it impossible to speak to the Director of the Op^ra. 
But I have since seen him, and have arranged that, to- 
morrow, Saturday, at two o'clock in the afternoon, precisely, 
a well-tuned pianoforte, and an accompanist, shsJl be in 
readiness, on the stage of the Opera, to accompany Mdlle. 
Lind in her songs. 

" I have told the Director, that Mdlle. lind wishes to bring 
with her six or eight persons with whom she is acquainted ; 
and orders have been given to the porter to admit them. The 
entrance, however, will not be from the Eue Lepelletier, as 
in the evening; but, in the Eue GrangebateliSre, No. 3, 
through the great gateway, on the left hand of the court. 

" Begging you, honoured sir, to make my compliments to 
Mdlla lind, and in the hope of seeing you again to-morrow, 
at the Op6ra, at two o'clock, 

" Yours most sincerely, 

" Mbyerbeee." * 
* From the Lindblad letters. 
V0L.L L 

146 JENNY LIND. [ 

Of the proceedings which took place at this probationaiy 
meeting, no detailed account has been preserved. M. Castil- 
Blaze * tells us, that the pieces sung were, the tliree grand 
scenes from Der FreischiUZf Robert le Diable, and Norma; but, 
as we shall presently see, his account of the occurrence is so 
glaringly incorrect, in other respects, that it is not safe to 
accept any part of it Herr lindblad, however, has described 
his impressions ; briefly enough, it is true, but, in language 
which may be accepted as thoroughly trustworthy. His 
account of the eflfect produced is thus recorded : — 

" Paris, July 26, 1842. 

"Nothing worth mentioning happened, in the course of 
last week, except that Jenny appeared at the Grand Op6ra, 
here ; t but, without the lights, and with no other listeners 
than Meyerbeer, the Hiertas, Herr Blumm, Branting, the 
Director of the Op^ra, and myself. It was in order to hear 
how her voice would tell, in the immense salle. Jenny was 
unusually nervous ; and, you know, she never does herself 
justice until she is in full action on the stage. But, notwith- 
standing this, she sang well; though it seemed pale in 
comparison with what she can do. Meyerbeer said the 
prettiest things : * Une voix chaste et pure, pletne de grace et 
de virginalitS,' etc., etc. Yesterday, I breakfasted widi him ; 
and, in the presence of Berlioz, and some other Frenchmen, 
he spoke of her with an enthusiasm so great, that I almost 
felt inclined to question its sincerity — for, Jenny had not 
sung nearly so well as she is capable of doing. 

" In the meantime, she is coming home, for which she 
longs with her whole heart. May the Swedes receive her 
weU, now, and not soon get tired of her ! Otherwise, we 
shall take her to Berlin, and get her an engagement there, in 
accordance with Meyerbeer's wish. He maintains that she 
ought to appear there." J 

This proves, clearly enough, that, after hearing the effect of 
Mdlle. Lind's voice, in the scdle of the Grand Op^ra, Meyer- 

* Eistoire de VAoadSmie Roycde de Musiqtie, (Paris.) 
t The date of this letter establishes Saturday, July 23, 1842, as the 
day on which the trial took place. 
1 From the Lindblad letters. 

1842.] TEE RETUBN. 147 

beer was of opinion that BerKn would offer a better field for 
the exercise of her talents than Paris ; and subsequent events 
proved that his judgment was perfectly correct. Neither the 
style, nor the tastes of the singer, would have found a con- 
genial home, on the stage of the Grand Opera ; and it would 
have been a miracle indeed, if the pronunciation of any 
foreigner, though never so accomplished, could have perfectly 
satisfied a Parisian audience. There was, in all probability, 
no difference of opinion between any of the parties concerned, 
on this point ; and, for the moment, this probationary per- 
formance passed off, without any practical result. But, in 
after years, the circumstance was brought before the public, 
in a distorted form which entirely changed its import, by 
giving a glaringly false account of the circumstances under 
which the trial took place. 

It was said, that "Mdlle. lind had vowed a profound 
artistic dislike to France, in remembrance of the check which 
she had there experienced, and for which she retained a Uvdy 
resentment ; " that " she constantly refused the engagements 
offered to her from Paris, because she had been heard there, 
without success, at the beginning of her career, by the 
Direction of the Opera ; " that she had even " made a dSbut 
at this theatre ; " that " this debvi had not been a happy one ; " 
and that it was this " that provoked her resentment." * 

These false reports were publicly contradicted, in November, 
1887, by M. Arthur Pougin — the author of the Supple- 
ment to M. F^tis's well-known Biographie Uhiverselle des 
Musiciens — who, in an article commimicated to 'Zc> 
Minestrd* related the circimistances, precisely as they are 
here recorded, with the addition of some farther details 
furnished by M. L^on Pillet, the Director of the Grand 

* See Xe Menestrd, (Paris, November, 1887, pp. 372, 373); also 
The Muskal World, (Londoiii November 12, and 26, and December 3, 

L 2 

148 JENNY LIND. [ 

Op6ra under whose auspices the trial performance took place 
upon the unlighted stage. 

These reports appear to have originated, or, at least, to 
have reached their culminating point of falsehood, in the 
year 1846, when the management of M. Lfon Fillet was 
severely criticised, both by the public, and the press. 

M. Fillet published, in his defence, a brochure* in which he 
alludes, in no uncertain terms, to the circumstances in question. 
In answer to the accusation, that he had neglected more than 
one opportunity of engaging so famous a vocalist, he says : — 

"It has been pretended: (i) That Meyerbeer himself 
presented Mademoiselle Lind to me, four years ago, and,. 
that I rejected her. 

(ii) That, after her success in Germany, he again pressed 
me, in vain, to engage her. 

" Some have even gone so far as to say, that Mademoiselle 
Lind offered herself ; and the exact amount of the salary that 
I refused her has actually been published, in some of the 
theatrical journals. 

" These were so many fables, on the value of which it is 
necessary that I should enlighten you. 

" Four years ago, when Meyerbeer was in search, not of a 
soprano, but a tenor, for Ze Proph^te, he came, on the evening 
before his departure,t to ask me for permission to hear, on 
the stage, a young person of whom he had heard a very good 
account. * It is not for you,* he hastened to add ; ' it is a 
voice which is described as pretty, but too weak for the 
Grand Op6ra. I want to see whether I can make use of it, 
for Berlin.' 

" I gave Meyerbeer all the facilities he demanded ; placing 
at his disposal, not only the theatre, but an accompanist — 
M. Benoist. Finally, I myself escorted Mademois^e lind 
to the stage, where I prepared to listen to her, when I was- 
told that the Commission, which was then assembled at the 
Op^ra, was waiting for me. 

* Aeademie JRoyale de Musique, Compte rendu de la gestian, depuis 
U 1" Juin, lUO, jusqu'au 1* Juin, 1846, par L^n Pillet. (Paris, 1846.) 

t It will be remembered that Meyerbeer, in bis letter, mentions details 
which confirm the microscopic correctness of M. Fillet's acooont. 

1842.] TEE RETURN, 149 

" I excused myself to Mademoiselle Lind, and to Meyer- 
beer, and left them, without hearing a single note. 

" On the next day, I asked what Meyerbeer had thought 
of his singer. 

"He had said — I was told — that she was not without 
talent, but had still much to accomplish. 

** This did not indicate that she had made any very great 
impression upon him; and, in fact, he thought so littife of 
her, for the Op^ra, that he did not even speak to me about 
her. It was only last year, when talking about Mademoiselle 
Lind, at Cologne, that he recalled the circumstances that I 
have had the honour to relate to you. 

" As to the other assertion, that, after this period, Meyer- 
beer vainly pressed me to engage Mademoiselle Lind, it is 
as inexact as the preceding. Meyerbeer did indeed tell me, 
last winter, that he had the highest opinion of this artiste's 
talent, and that, if it were possible to engage her, and 
Madame Stolz, at the same theatre, it would be an admirable 
thing. But, he hastened to add, that he believed this to be 
impossible ; that it would probably be with them, as with 
Kourrit and Duprez ; that, both being strong enough to take 
the first rank at the theatre, neither the one nor the other 
would be content with the second ; that Mademoiselle Lind's 
pecuniary demands would also be very considerable ; and 
that, so far as he himself was concerned, he would be quite 
content with Mademoiselle Brambilla, or Madame Eossi- 
Gaccia, for the part of seconda donna in Le PropKete. 

" On my own account, however, in order to satisfy my 
mind, I begged him to ask Mademoiselle Lind whether she 
would quit the country of her triumphs, for Paris. But, he 
refused to undertake the commission. 

" I was about to take this step, myself, when M. Vatel — 
the then Director of the Theatre Italien — who entertained the 
same desire, sent me the following letter, which he had just 
received : — 

« * Berlin, December 9, 1845. 

" ' MoNSiEXJR Le Directeuk, 

" * I have had the honour of receiving your letter of 
November 13, and I must ask your pardon for having left it 
BO long unanswered. But, before replying to you, it was 
necessary that I should reflect. 

" ' I have decided. Monsieur, to remain in Germany, for 
the little time that 1 shall continue on the stage, and there 
to pursue my artistic career. 

150 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. vi. 

" ' For, the more I think of it, the more I am persuaded 
that I am not suited for Paris, nor Paris for me. 

'* ' I shall quit the stage, in a year from this ; and, until 
that time, I shall be so much occupied in Germany^ that it 
would be impossible for me to accept any other engagement, 
either at Paris or in London. 

" ' Permit me, nevertheless, to express my thanks to you 
for having thought me worthy to appear before the first 
audience in the world. But, rest assured^ also. Monsieur le 
Directeur, that I do you less wrong by not running the risk 
of bringing a failure upon you. 

"'Jenny Lind.'" 

" ' One can see from this,' says M. Pougin, ' what to think 
about the pretended resentment of Jenny Lind against the 
public of Paris ; and, also, about the unfortunate dSbid she 
was said to have made, either at the Op^ra, or the Th^tre 
Italien. This famous dShut never took place ; and, if Jenny 
Lind was never heard in Paris, it was undoubtedly because 
she felt too much distrust of our public, persuaded as she 
was— as she herself says, in her letter — that she was not for 
Paris, nor Paris for her.' " * 

We have thought it necessary to reproduce this corre- 
spondence, in extenao, because, of late years, the subject has 
been discussed, both in England, and in France, in terms 
calculated to give Parisian audiences a very false idea of the 
esteem in which they were held by an Artist, who, during 
the time she spent in Paris, derived such intense delight from 
the performances she witnessed at the Grand Op^ra, the 
Theatre Italien, and the Conservatoire, as well as those of 
Mademoiselle Bachel. 

Wlien the great singer — then, Madame Goldschmidt — 
gave a concert, at Cannes, in 1866, for the benefit of the 
hospital,! Le Phare da Littoral announced : — 

• Le Menestrd. (Paris, November, 1887.) 

t The concert took place in the rooms of the Club [^Cercle Nautique], at 
Cannes, on ine 7tli of April, 1866 ; and, after all expenses were paid, 
produced, for the Hospital the sum of 3300 fr. A full account of the 
performance, and the enthusiastic reception accorded to the singer, is 
contained in the Bevue de Cannes for April 14, 1866. 

1842.] TEE RETURN. 151 

" Jenny Lind will sing in France ! ! I It is true, that it will 
be at Cannes : and, for the benefit of a charitnr. It is not yet 
at Paris. But, it is still a concession of the celebrated 
vocalist, who had declared that she would never sing in 

She never made any such declaration. But it is strange 
that she should have been accused of this, on the one hand, 
and, on the other, of having actually sung in France, 
and failed. Both Mendel, * and La Bousse, f assert 
that she sang at the Grand Op&a, without success; while 
M. Castil-Blaze, in the work already quoted, gravely tells 
us, that, ''strongly recommended by Garcia, under whom 
she had been studying, and by Meyerbeer, who had heard 
her sing, Jenny lind applied in 1840, for an engagement 
at the Grand Op6ra, but was refused, after a private 
hearing, through the influence of Madame Stolz with M. 
Uon Fillet;" and Mr. Sutherland Edwards, commenting 
upon this, in the Mrmcal World, for December 3, 1887, 
says, that, ''justly susceptible, Jenny lind did not forget the 
slight; and when, seven or eight years later, after her 
brilliant success in London, an engagement was offered her 
at the Paris Opera-House, she refused it, without assigning 
any definite reason." 

We have seen, from the letters of Meyerbeer and Lindblad 
that these statements are without a shadow of foundation — 
so baseless, that, but for the deductions drawn &om them, 
with equal unfairness to the dibutante, to the Director 
of the Op^ra, and to the Parisian public, we should not have 
thought this long digression necessary for their refutation. 
Mademoiselle Lind was not in Paris, in 1840. Kever having 
sung before a Parisian audience, she could have had no 
possible cause for resentment against it ; and, at no period of 

* Munkalisches Conver8aii<m9-Lexicon. 
t Dictionnaire du Dix-neuvihme Sihde, 

152 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

her life did she ever entertain so unworthy a feeling. More- 
over, when the trial performance took place, in 1842, she was 
not open to an engagement, either in Paris, or elsewhere ; for, 
the contract with the " Direction " of the Eoyal Theatre at 
Stockholm had already been signed and ratified. The die 

was cast. 

«* Paris, July 25, 1842. 

"Jenny is now returning home," wrote Herr Lindblad, 
" and longing for it, with her whole heart. She will accom- 
pany the Hiertas. There is a question of returning by way of 
England, and staying there until the 11th of August, when 
the steamer leaves for Stockholm. If this is possible, we 
might aU be back, by the 14th of August, or the 15th, at the 
latest" * 

And it was possible. The journey to Paris, with its hopes 
and fears, its long hours of diligent study, its cruel alter- 
nations of confidence and despondency, dominated by a firm 
and righteous determination to achieve success in spite of every 
obstacle, at the cost of every sacrifice of personal ease and 
comfort that the nature of the case might demand — the 
eventful journey to Paris, so carefully planned, and so 
bravely brought to its conclusion, had accomplished all, and 
more, far more than ever was expected from it. And the 
second phase of the great Art-life was at an end. 

* From the Lindblad letters. 



( 155 


home: and after? 

" Land of my birth ! Oh, that I could one day show how 
dear thou art to me ! " That had been the deep desire of 
Jenny Lind, as she toiled in Paris. And^ indeed, it had 
seemed as if the Fates were set on fulfilling her desire. 
Back to Stockholm it was decreed that she should go. 
Paris, in one way or another, failed to open its doors to her. 
Berlin, in the shape of Meyerbeer, had hovered about her, 
but had let her slip. The Continent remained passive as 
yet ; it suffered her to come and go, without any positive 
sign. She had made her pUgrimage; and now, at its close, 
she was, it would seem, to return to her familiar boards — ^to 
put herself under the old yoke. At home, then, lay her 
mission; not in the open field of European drama. That 
great Italian Opera, with its famous heroines of song, 
was to remain a vision of what was doing in the big world 
outside. She was not to enter, it would seem, on that 
magnificent scene. Enough for her to carry out her bond 
with that Theatre, which had been her nursery and her 
home, in her beloved Stockholm, at a humble salary of 
1800 r. d. banco, i.e., £150 a year. Very happily, so far as 
we can see, she set to work ; though inwardly conscious of 
the immense increase of knowledge and power which had 
become hers since she had begun again with Garcia '^ at the 
beginning of the beginning," and had learnt what "Art" 

156 JENNY UND. [bk. m. cb. i. 

meant She arrived in August, 1842, and rented rooms for 
herself and Annette, the maid, on the upper floor of the 
same Sonde Palace, where the Lindblads still lived. "With 
them she had the delight of feeling at home, and all the 
comfort of domestic affection ; but, in the following year, she 
found it well to establish herself in an independent position, 
and she took rooms in another house, whither she invited 
her old friend, Louise Johansson, to come, and be her 

On October 10th she opened, at the theatre, with a per- 
formance oi Norma — the veiy Opera in which she had dosed 
her appearances on June 19th, 1841. It must have been a 
direct challenge to the critical world of Stockholm, to 
recognise the change that had intervened between the two 
performances. What that change was, we learn firom an 
estimate which has been kindly supplied us by a most com- 
petent and judicious critic, himself a musician, who sang 
with her often, both before and after her visit to Paris. We 
give his own words : — 

'' So much has already been written, concerning Mdlle. 
Jenny lind's artistic career, that farther discussion of its 
details may possibly be regaided, by some of your readers, as 
needless. Those, however, who enjoyed the opportunity of 
intimate acquaintance with this rare apparition in the world 
of Art, and were gifted with the insight necessaiy for true 
appreciation of its significance, well know that the subject is 
far from being exhausted. 

'' Among many things still remaining untold, the follow- 
ing are worthy of notice, as characteristic of the Artist's 
extraordinarily rapid powers of perception. 

" When, during the years 1838, 1839, and 1840, Jenny 
Lind enraptured her audience, at Stockholm, by her inter- 
pretation of the parts of 'Agathe,' 'Pamina,' 'Alice,' 
' Norma,' or * Lucia,' she succeeded in doing so solely 
through her innate capacity for investing her performances, 
both musically and dramatically, with truthfulness, warmth, 
and poetry. 

"The voice, and its technical development, were not. 

1842-44.] EOME: AND AFTER f 157 

however^ in sufficiently harmonious relation with her inten- 

" In proof of this, it was noticed that the Artist was not 
always able to control sustained notes in the upper register 
-Hsuch, for instance, as the A flat, above the stave, in 
Agathe's cavatina, ' UticL oh die Wolke' — without perceptible 
difficulty; and, that she frequently found it necessary to 
simplify the fioritura and cadenze, which abound in florid 
parts like those of Norma and Lucia. 

" Nay ! — ^there were not wanting some, who, though they 
had heard her in parts no more trying than that of Emilia, in 
Weigl's Swiss Family — a r<5fe, which, in many respects, she 
tendered delightfully — ^went so far as to doubt the pos- 
sibility of training the veiled and weak-toned voice in a 
wider sense. 

" Jenny Lind, however, went to Paris, fully determined to 
cultivate her Art more fully, under Garcia's direction. 

" Garcia, finding the voice fatigued, enjoined three months' 
absolute rest ; and the period of twelve months originally set 
apart for study was thus reduced to nine. 

" Yet, in spite of this, Jenny Lind, when resuming her 
sphere of action at the Stockholm Theatre, proved to have 
not only acquired a soprano voice of great sonority and 
compass, capable of adapting itself with ease to every shade 
of expression, but to have gained, also, a technical command 
over it, great enough to be regarded as unique in the 
history of the musical world. 

" Never have the walls of the Eoyal Theatre at Stockholm 
— so famous for their excellent acoustical properties — echoed 
to a more finished, more enchanting song than that of 
Jenny Lind, in the part of ' Amina,' in La Sonnarnhda, after 
her return from Paris, What exquisite sonority ! What 
mastery over the technique ! Her tnessa di voce * stood alone 
— ^unrivalled by any other singer. As the awakening 
'Amina,' in the last scene of the above-named Opera, she made 
a long-sustained G (above the stave) express, first, her 
surprise, bordering on consternation, at the sight of ' Elvino,' 
penitent, at her feet; then, doubt, as to whether it were 
really he ; and finally the blissful rapture of receiving back 

* A teclinical term, applied to the art of swelling or diminisliiiig the 
tone of the voice, by imperceptible gradation from the softest attainable 
piano^ to the full volume of its utmost power, and vice verm. 

IM JESSr USD. [jK. m. OL I. 

^ais him by wbom she befiered hanelf to have been alwa- 


" In like manner, in her shake, her scales, her Ugaio and 
ttaeeaio passages, she evoked astoniahment and admiia- 
tun, no less from competent jndpes than from the geieaal 
public : and the more to ance it was evidei^ that, in the 
exercise of her wise discrimination, tJie soaustress made 
use of these ornaments, only in so &r as mey ware in 
perfect harmony vitfa the inner meaning of the music. 

" The incredibly rapid developmeot 5i Jetmy lind's Toace 
and Uehniqtu, caosed many people to question the value of 
the instruction she had originally received. Such donbta 
mast, however, be dismissed, as onjostifiable. Tha true 
reason why Jenny Lind's singing, before she went abroad, 
coold not be said to flow in the track which leads to per- 
fection, is Dndonbtedly to be foond, in the fiist place, in the 
fact that she was a so-called 7%«a<m2rv— « papal educated at 
the expense of the Directors of the Theatre itself — and, as 
such, was unable to escape from the necessity of appearing in 
public before her preparatory education was completed — a 
proceeding no less di^trous to the pupil than contmy to 
the good sense of the teacher. 

" To the impartial critic, it must, indeed, be evident, that, 
though the teclmical development of Jenny Ond is to be traced, 
in the main, to her quick reception of Garcia's training, she 
was aerertheless greatly indebted, with regard to several im- 
portant details, to her first teacher.f for the high rank she 
subsequently occupied in the world of song." 

Such, then, was the transformation that had come over her 
rendering of Xorma. She had sung it before, with a iMa 

* This woDilerful G, m the extended form here described, foims no put 
of Bellini's Bcore. The germ from which Mdlle. Lind developed it is to be 
found in a short phrase of exceedingly c<nnmoii-plsce recitative : — 

fto - >: 

The first Ah ! gioja \ was an agitated whisper ; after which, the singer 
prolonged the miuim — here marked with an asterisk — to a length 
almost incredible, with the effect described in the text. This beautiful, 
nnd altogether original conception, was entirely due to the genius of Hdlk. 
Lind ; not to that of Bellini.— Ed. 

1 1. A. Berg. 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 159 

voice^ in a " provincial ^ style, with a throat fatigued, using 
bad methods of technique. She sang it now with a voice 
that, besides its new tone and sonority, had become capable of 
a vocalisation which placed her among the phenomenal singers 
of European history, No wonder that Stockholm was wild 
with enthusiasm. . 

She sang in seven performances of Norrna, and in six of 
Liieia, besides giving some scenes &om Bossini's Semiramide, 
and in January, 1843, repeated her favourite " Alice," three 
or four times. 

She took up several new characters — " Amazili," in 
Spontini's Ferdinand CorteZy the second act of which was given 
eight times during the spring ; " Valentine," in the Huguenots ; 
" Minette," in La Gazza Ladra; *'La Contessa," in Mozart*s 
NoKse di Figaro ; above all, ** Amina," in the Sonnambuia — 
one of her representations which was to become so famous in 
after-years, and which she sang, for the first time, on March 
Ist^ 1848. Altogether, before the nine months of the year's 
engagement were out, she had made, between October 10th, 
1842, and June 21st, 1843, one himdred and six appearances 
in thirteen different parts. 

But, besides her normal work, those nine months were 
chiefly memorable for two main incidents, one, personal and 
domestic ; the other, national and dramatic. 

The personal event formed the last crisis in her home- 
relations. These relations were still strained ; for we must 
remember that she has never gone back on that first decision 
to leave her parents' home, which landed her in the lindblads' 
household. She is still living apart from them ; and this is all 
the more marked, now that she is independent of the Lind- 
blads, and living in her own hired rooms, with the sole 
companionship of the faithful Louise. A woman, by Swedish 
law, at that time, was bound to be under guardianship until 
she married. Yet it must have been as difScult as ever for 

160 JENST LIND. [m- m. m. i. 

her to remain under the gnardianahip of paientB, irtio cated, 
indeed, for her, and valoed her highly, hat who, ytib, coold 
not possibly enter into her motivea and aims, which were 
beyond the range both of the easy-going conscience of her 
father, and of the embittered temperament of her motlier. We 
have only to recall her deep and peculiar sense of the obliga- 
tion she was under, to devote her art and its rewards to the 
service of God and man, to see how tongh a difficulty this 
desire would prove to Herr Lind, who had never taken life 
very serionsly, and to Fni lind, who had fought her own 
way along, with sturdy resolution, under the u^y burden of 
poverty, and who had seen no good cause to be over tender 
towards a world which had dealt hardly enou^ wit^ her. 

In view, then, of this radical difficulty, Jenny lind took a 
step, which, with characteristac generosity, put an end to 
the long and tangled story. Out of her earnings, scan^ 
though they were, she managed to secure a little home 
in the country, in which she established her father and 
mother. And, then, she won their consent to transfer a 
guardianship, which they could not well exercise at a 
distance, to an official gnardian, duly appointed by law, to 
whom they would hand over aU parental responsibilities. 
This they did ; and the transference was a marked mconent 
in her Ufe. Not only did she thereby put a total end to 
all the domestic troubles which had so darkened her young 
days ; not only did she set &ee her natural affection for her 
mother, by releasing it from all the a^ravation of jarring wills ; 
but also she did something towards securing for herself what 
she, always, most sorely needed — needed, indeed, wiUi all the 
innermost necessities of her being — a strong and steady per- 
sonal influence at the back of her life, to calm her agitations, 
to control her uncertainties, to abide constant throughout her 
reactions, to correct her self-ntistrust, to dissipate her sua- 
piciona, to Ex her emotions, to andior her conscience. She 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 161 

had all the fervour and the lapses, the starts and the recoils, 
of a dramatic genius ; and, firm and high as was her moral 
ideal, its very force brought it into confused collision with the 
bewilderment of circumstances, and it was as liable to perplex 
and distress her, as to cheer and impel. This made her pas- 
sionately feel for something which could from without 
buttress and reassure her spiritual intentions, which so often 
found themselves sadly at fault in a world that would not 
correspond with them. Shaken, as she herself often was, by 
the strong emotions which swept across her soul, she needed 
an external mark, a sign, a symbol, of the unshaken security 
of that moral End in which she trusted. Some one ought to 
be near at hand, from whom she could receive the profound 
assurance that " all was well '* — that her belief in goodness 
had not played her false. This is what her home had sadly 
omitted to give her: and for this loss nothing could now 
compensate. But it was, at least, a profound relief, under 
such a strain, to have obtained a guardian whose presence 
abode with her, from then to his death in 1880, as a 
permanent pledge of all that was wise, and kindly, and 
excellent, and of good report Herr Henric M. Munthe, 
Judge of the Court of Second Instance, the guardian 
chosen, was a man of high character and distinguished 
position ; she could confide in his judgment with absolute 
confidence, while she could also rely on his apprecia- 
tion of her art, as he was himself a cultivated musician, 
and took his part in the best amateur quartette in Stock- 
holm. His portrait suggests a benignant and benevolent 
" Thackeray " — a face full of fatherly interest and mild good 
humour, yet with the discreet wisdom of one who knows the 
Law. He looks compact with honesty, of unqualified worth, 
charged with measured advice, sober and yet not unsympa- 
thetic. And, indeed, with the shrewdness of a councillor, he 
combined true sympathy with all that was most deeply im- 
VOL. I. M 

162 JESNT LIND. [bk. iii. oh. i. 

planted in her heart She -wrote to him constantly and 
freely ; and she found in hini one who could tmdeistand her, 
even in those respects in which a l^al trustee is most apt to 
Ml. For it was he who directed and managed for her, so long 
as his guardianship lasted, those abundant charitieB which she 
showered upon her native Stockholm. About these she could 
pour out her mind to him, sure of intimate comprehension. 
And his open recognition of her ideas in all this, is evidenced 
by the fact that he stored up her letters to him, and left them 
at his death inscribed with this description, "the mirror of a 
noble soul " ; though, according to her own words to his son, 
these letters were almost entirely occupied with the distribu- 
tion of her charitable gifts. She declares this, in a letter 
written, in June 1880, to Carl H. Mnnthe, the son of the 
Judge, after she had learned from hin t of the existence of 
these letters, on the father's death in April, 1880. Her letter 
throws so much light on her character that the main portion of 
it is printed here. It shows her own instinctive feelings about 
her gifts, and how natural she thought them. And it shows, 
also, how entirely the old man had acquiesced in her designs, 
and how faithfully and loyally be had set himself to the task 
of carrying them to a wise issue, without raising objections, 
or hampering her with cautions ; while, by his preservation of 
the letters, he evinces Ms recognition of the special nobility 
of the soul which he was serving. 

This letter to Carl Munthe has an interest, also, that 
belongs to the present memoir, for it will be noticed that she 
here mentions her intention of writing an autobiography ; 
and, above all, of recording her artistic experience. Though 
this purpose was utterly abandoned (or, rather, was never put 
in action), yet her words lend a sanction to the effort made, in 
these volumes, to give some record of her career as an 
artist. In lier last years, she was prone to justify her aban- 
donment of the autobiography by indignant remonstrances 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTERS 163^ 

at the hopeless failure of the public to understand Carlyle's 
* Reminiscences.' Her experience of the cruel stupidity with 
which a mighty character like his could be maltreated and 
misinterpreted, made her put the thought utterly away. " If 
they could so treat him, who was so great, what respect would 
they pay me ? " she said. " No ! let the waves of oblivioft 
pass over my poor little life ! " 

But we must go back to our letter : here it is : — 

Extract of a Letter from Fru Jenny Lind-Ooldschmidt to 

HofrattsrSdet Carl Munthe. 

** 1 Moreton Garden s, June 15th, 1880. 

" The letters from me, left in your charge, my dear brothers 
and my sister Emma, can contain' only dispositions for distri- 
bution of pensions and purses to different people. What good 
would there be in exhibiting these letters to the curiosity of 
the public, long after that the writer thereof is decayed and 
forgotten ? To me, the most acceptable course would be the 
burning of those letters after you all are gone. There is nothing- 
I have shunned more, during my life, than praise for the assist- 
ance I have been fortunate enough, through the grace of God^ 
to render to my fellow-men as far as lay in me, and it can 
never be a merit to give of that which has been given to us. 
These are my views — and if I am not much mistaken about^ 
you, brother Carl, you will say I am right. 

" Moreover, I intend to write an autobiography. My life — 
especially as an artist — has furnished material for a biography 
in such abundance, that I almost look upon it as a duty to 
produce something of the kind, before leaving a world where 
I had been called upon to take so active a part. That in such 
a biography, written by myself, my beloved guardian should 
take his well-deserved place, is only natural ; that the help 
he gave me with the distribution of my little bounties in my 
fatherland, was of the greatest importance for those who* 
received them, is a fact nobody can dispute, and, conse- 
quently, his part in this page of my life must be clear and 
unmistakable. Alas ! in my letters to him, he does not by 
any means occupy the place to which lie is entitled, conse- 
quently they would be only interpreted to my advantage \, 
and still, had he remonstrated against my urgent commis'' 

M 2 


Sbr.€B — TmesL le "vaft imra 'xsa siicuf ant bdisl 3» 


^!2L '90:$ lii^ V^i^ Uii ^COlKT J"''-^^***«*nf' V^OCft 

viL 5:>r aerssld. Tzds & 

3ili.j<s?r i Lf:<3r«r TywzL Cmn «& ^ite S?ck 4f JoExinr, 1;^I3, 

'^ ^RxTtnq iedkisA vy laar^ Scod^ola ior good, and 
cl^^iliIt \jf^ii:z tkEabk ii> sessov dae assaxtiaR to the sviidtu- 
^Lfp <:^ mj dear *ia:::^er. the Coan-sn^i; Jcbbt LimI, 
I hsrAj l4z ihar I CLAT be relieTed ficm tkk dHtr, aad thai 
HiETT H. IL Mznzhe, J^idge of the Hisli CoBit, maj be 
in mr place to the goanliaiwhip " 

This is ggned by X. J. lind, with the title of "Fabrikor * 
i/«, mannfactnrer, to which he was entitled dnoi^ harii^ 
acqniRd ownership of a weaving-locRn. After that Heir 
Mnnthe has formallT signified his amsent» the Bojal 
Conn agrees to the reqnest, and Jndge H. IL Monthe 
^ is herewith appointed guardian of the Court-singer, 
Jenny Lind^ in accordance with regulations provided bj 
the law." 

So happily closes a long and chequered chapter of 
/Jornestic history. The parents contentedly enjoy the fruits 
of tlieir daughter's generosity . Their discomforts, and their 
;inxieties are over. They seem to have been very fond 
of one another; and henceforward^ the days seem to have 
lK5gnn of which their daughter speaks in her letter from 
America, on her mother's death — days of quiet and kindly 
]HiSi('Ai hi which the natural affections found free way. 

The Hecond great event of that spring was the National 
Jubihie, to celebrate the twenty-fifth year of the reign of 

1842-44.] EOME: AND AFTER f 16& 

King Carl Johan. The Eoyal Family of the Bemadottes,. 
in spite of their abrupt introduction into the country, have 
succeeded in attracting about them the national associations ;• 
and the Jubilee was to be celebrated by appeals to everything 
that was native, and popular, and Swedish. The Eoyal 
Theatre set itself to the task by the production of a " Diver- 
tissement National," — a medley of national scenes, with words 
and dances by Bottiger, Tegner's son-in-law, and himself a 
poet; and with music by Berwald, the conductor at the 
Theatre EoyaL In this, Jenny land sang, in the character 
of a peasant girl from Wermland. This piece ran for 
twenty-seven nights, all through February, and March, into 
April; and it was followed in May, by another Piece 
d^Occasion, of the same type, with national melodies and 
dances, called A May Day in Wdrend — ^full of Swedish 
customs, and melodies, and dresses; in which she sang 
the part of "Martha," the heroine, riding in, at one part, 
on horseback on to the stage, and singing as she rode. 
This ran for fifteen nights before June was over. She 
was capitally supported by the barytone, Belletti, in the 
character of an itinerant Italian. We can imagine how 
her Swedish blood would tingle, as she threw herself^ 
with her whole heart, into the delight of rendering the 
native peasant life which was so dear to her, and which 
she so instinctively interpreted. She would pour her soul 
out in melodies which touched the very fibres of her being,, 
as they spoke to her of the soimds and sights which make 
Sweden what it is to Swedish hearts. She must have felt 
that the opportunity was indeed come to put out all the 
new powers, which she had gained abroad, to prove to her 
own people how dear they were to her. 

We find that, from this time on, the Court began ta 
take delight in showing her both favour, and friendship ; 
and especially kind to her was the Queen, Desideria, wife 

166 JENNY LIND. [bk. iil ch. iu 

of Bemadotte. We are allowed to use the interesting notes 
from the diary of a lady-in-waiting on Queen Desideria, 
which belong to this, and the following years. This lady, 
Froken Marie von Stedingk, had, in quite early days, pre- 
dicted a great future for Jenny Lind, when she heard of 
her wonderful dramatic gifts, as a child of eleven or 
twelve. And, now, after the return from Paris, it was ** her 
greatest treat " to witness the fulfilment of her prophecy ; 
and to hear " Our nightingale, the charming Jenny lind," 
both in the Divertissement National, and in her great parts, 
*' Norma," *'la Sonnambula," etc. She had, also, "often 
the advantage of hearing her, through the winter, in private 
houses, where one and all treated her with distinctioiu 
Her behaviour, and her reputation are faultless ; her manners 
pleasant and modest. Without being pretty, she has an 
•expression of purity and genius, which, combined with her 
youth, and her charming figure, is exceedingly prepossess- 
ing." This is a delightful picture of her at the time — the 
simple modest girl, with her light, graceful, quick-moving 
figure ; and, then, the last, the crown of all — " a look of 
purity and genius ! " We shall hear more of this diary in 
the years 1844 and 1845. 

So the first year of the home engagement ended — prospe- 
rous, happy, secure. But, after all, was it to be possible 
that this great gift of hers should be left to be the private 
possession and prize of her Swedish home ? Could it be so 
hid ? Was no rumour to creep about of this strange singing 
'mid the northern seas ? Was the " Nightingale " caught, 
and caged for ever ? 

It could not be ; and we have, now, to follow her first 
flights outside the home-limits, and to watch her, as she dis- 
covers that her voice has that in it which can overleap all the 
^ barriers set up between people and people, and can speak to 
; Jbhe souls of those whose tongue is imknown to her, and whose 

1842-44.] HOME I AND AFTER f 167 

eyes have never seen the woods and waters of Sweden. 
There was a little experiment first, in Finland, in the summer 
of 1843, which met with overwhelming response. A grace- 
ful and pathetic record of the visit is given us in the verses 
of the aged poet of Finland, Topelius, written for s, festival in 
1888, on the news of Jenny Lind's death. The old poet is 
carried back to recall the days when he first heard her sing 
so long ago ; and we venture to give, in a free translation, a 
few of the opening verses, which describe, with delicate 
accuracy, the effect she then made on all — the effect of one, 
who, using all the subtlest resources given her by skill and 
training, still spoke straight home, from soul to soul, mth the 
natural direct ease with which a bird sings its heart out, in 
sheer simplicity and joy : — 

" I saw tbee once, bo young and fair, 
In thy sweet spriDg-tide, long ago ; 
A myrtle wreath was in thy hair, 
And, at thy breast, a rose did blow. 
• *..•• 

" Poor was thy purse, yet gold thy gift ; 
All music's golden boons were thine : 
And yet, through all the wealth of Art, 
It was thy soul which sang to mine 1 

" Tea I sang, as no one else has sung, 
So subtly skilled, so simply good ! 
So brilliant ! yet as pure, and true 
As birds that warble in the wood 1 " 

So it went well in Finland. 

But yet another step outward was to be made that 
simimer — a step into a country, near enough to be familiar, 
yet remote enough to be almost foreign. Once before, she 
had just looked in at Copenhagen, in the middle of her pro- 
vincial tour, in 1840 ; and, now, she visited it again. It was 
in connection, again, with a provincial tour which she made ; 
and of which we have some happy records in the life of the 
musician, Jacob Axel Josephson. 


168 JSlfNT LIND. [bk. m. ch. l 

This name is so closely linked with these yean of Jenny 
Lind's life, that ve muat pause upon it before going on 
wid) our story. Josephson vas a Svedish comp(»er — 
bom in 1818, and died in 1880 — whose songs have become 
widely famous in Sweden. In these songs he has proved 
liimself a futhfiil successor to Geijer, and Lindblad; he 
lias much of their spirit; on the otiier hand, he repro- 
duced less of the national type of music than they did, 
and showed more of the influence of the great German 
song-writers of his own day. The event of lus life 
' was a toor through Germany and Italy, for the study of Art ; 
it was this which brought him under the full sway of classical 
culture in music ; and it was with this tour, as we shall see, 
that Jenny Lind was so personally and deeply concerned. He 
returned from it in 1847, and was appointed Musical Director 
of TJpsala University in 1849. He devoted himself with 
indefatigable perseverance to producing the great works of 
the great masters, especially the oratorios of Handel, Haydn, 
and Mendelssohn. Through these efibrts, as well as through 
his lectures on the ' History of Music,' given at XJpsala, he 
has done much to kindle and to purify, by the power of 
music, the minds of the present generation in Sweden. All 
liis compositions, and they were many, including one 
symphony, prove him to have been an earnest and highly- 
trained musician. 

Now, in 1843, Josephson was just at the critical point in 
his musical education ; he was longing to get abroad ; he had 
no sufficient funds. Here was a situation which Jenny Lind 
would thoroughly understand ; for it had been her own. We 
shall soon see how she dealt with it. They met, in the 
August of this year, at this town, Linkoping, whither 
Josephson had gone, on the occasion of an annual concert, 
to be given under the direction of Concert- Master Eandel, in 
aid of the fund for the widows and orphans. It was a 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 169 

most pleasant surprise, as he tells us in his Diary,* to 
meet with a number of old acquaintances and friends, and 
among others Jenny Lind and Giinther, who had come to 
give a concert of their own, and joined in this preliminary 
entertainment. Crowds were present from all parts of the 
country, partly owing to the presence of some of the royal- 
ties ; and the heat and the crush in the church, where the 
concert was given, were intolerable, and he did not enjoy it 
so much as he expected — " even Jenny Lind was less success- 
ful than usual." This was on the 18th August; but, at her 
own concert, in the evening of the following day, she was 
in excellent voice, and he was enraptured ; ** she sang in 
a manner unsurpassed. What brilliancy of delivery, side by 
side with that grandeur which is so characteristic of her ! 
What energy and pathos, even in the very Jioriture ! What 
classical finish in her cadenzas ! " In the evening she was 
serenaded. And on the following day, at the concert given 
by her and Herr Gtinther, he heard her sing, in costxmie, 
a scena from the Freischutz. " She is incomparable ! " is his 
verdict " The beautiful gentle calm during the first part of 
the scene ; her fine attitudes, full of feeling, when listening 
for the horns ; her rapture and glowing prayer at the sup- 
posed victory of her beloved — all this is so glorious, so true, 
so enchanting, that in reality, nothing can be said, while the 
full heart feels all the more from the lack of words." She 
sang one of Josephson's own songs, at this concert, " Believe 
not in Joy!" After this musical feast at Linkoping, the 
Mends separated. Josephson and Gunther went on a tour of 
their own, giving musical soirees, while Jenny Lind took the 
opportunity of a run across to Copenhagen. Before the three 
meet again, we must see what happened to her there. She 
had intended only to make a visit ; but there was in Copen- 
hagen, an eager, and enthusiastic friend who was not to be 

* ' Gedenkblatter an Jakob Axel Josephson : ' von N. P. Odman, 1886. 

170 JENNT LIND. [wc m. cb. i. 

denied. This was Mr. A. A. BoamonTille, of whom we have 
already spoken as being delighted with Jennj lind's operatic 
singing as far back as 1839, when he was indignant at the 
pittance at which she was rendering such magnificent service 
to the Boyal Theatre. He was eminent, both at Copenhagen 
and at Stockholm, as a composer, and master of ballets ; he 
was made knight of the Danebrog in Denmark, and of the 
Wasa in Sweden ; he was greatly respected and beloved, and 
it was at his house that Jenny Lind usually stayed, on her 
visits to Copenhagen. He urgently pleaded that she should 
give them " her incomparable Alice" in Roberto ; and suggested 
that she should sing her part in Swedish, while the rest sang 
in Danish, as the languages were so nearly akin. 

•* All the theatre showed the greatest good- will," he writes 
in his memoir of his theatrical life ; " but the one obstacle 
was the fear of Jenny Lind herself; she dreaded a foreign 
stage. And when she saw Fru Heiberg act in the &m 
of the Desert she felt such enthusiasm for her, and, at the 
same time, such depression for herself, that she begged me, 
with tears of anguish, to spare her the pain of exhibiting her 
own insignificant person and talent, on a stage which had, at 
its disposal, the genius and the beauty of Fru Heiberg. In 
addition to this, my counter-arguments excited her to such a 
degree that she began to reproach me for having laid a trap 
for her. This both frightened, and wounded me ; and I pro- 
mised to cancel alL But now the 'woman' came to the 
front ; for as I began to doubt, she waxed firm." 

An admirable episode, as amusing as it is natural ! So 
long as it is only her omn doubt, it is only due to nervous- 
ness, however real its anguish; but if another doubt her 
powers, it constitutes an attack, a challenge; and "the 
artist," as well as " the woman," is up in arms to repel it. 
Bournonville seems to have seen how to reap the advantage of 
tliis mode of argument with her ; he must have deepened his 
doubts to the point which secured complete conviction in her. 
For. certainly, he obtained her consent. She sang ; and the 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTERS 171 

success was tremendous, was overpowering. " Jenny Lind 
gained in Denmark a second Fatherland," writes Bournonville. 
And, after deploring the slackness which failed to secure her 
services for the Danish Opera, he speaks, significantly enough, 
of the impression which the event made on her — of the dis- 
covery which she made for herself. " The ice was broken. 
Jenny Lind discovered that she could get her living out of 
Sweden; and also she learned that the Artist, in reality, 
should not settle down on the native-soil, but, like the bird of 
passage, should go there only in search of rest." The words 
are those of the theatrical master, who has made the drama 
his world. They are singularly unlike what she would have 
used, at any time. But they may describe, in his language, 
an effect which she would have differently expressed, if 
indeed she could have expressed it at all, but which did 
take place within her secret self. She must have experi- 
enced a sense that the doors were being flung open, and 
that she might pass out through them, if she would. There 
was a world, she now knew for certain, out and away 
beyond the range of home, where she would find that her 
powers would tell, her gifts be welcomed, her genius be 
met with the warmth of sympathy. There were worlds 
which she could conquer, elsewhere. This must have, 
indeed, been something like a revelation, to one who, as we 
have just seen in the scene with Bournonville, was terribly 
susceptible to self-mistrust. There can be no doubt that 
Copenhagen marked an eventful hour in her destiny. It was 
the omen of what was to come. Bournonville records what 
80 shortly followed, with a touch of justifiable pride in his 
own anticipatory judgment. "Her name soon became of 
European fame ; gold and praise were showered upon her ; 
princes and nations vied with one another in their offerings 
to her ; poets sang of her ; in the midst of winter, she never 
wanted flowers." 


172 JESS7 LIND. [bk. ra. oh. i. 

She only sang twice in the theatre, on September 10th and 
13tb : and in one concert, in the large hall of the H6tel 
d'Angleterre, on September 16th. The Opera, on each occasion 
was Roberto. The following words &om a History of Danish 
Dramatic Art, by Th. Overskou, form an admiiable comment. 
Alter stating that, in her case, it was not a single party of 
admirers, excited into ecstasy by some one or other brilliant 
quality, but that it was the entire public which was moved 
to enthusiasm by all the harmonising elements of true artistic 
beauty, it goes on ; — 

" It was said about Jeuuy Lind, that in her everything is 
combined to make the perfect dramatic singer; a clear, full, 
BonorouB voice of large compass ; an easy and charming 
method of singing, which she never overburdens with in- 
appropriate ornament: astyle, in the highest degree expressive 
and enchanting: and an extraordinary dramatic talenL 
Added to this, there lies diffused throughout the whole 
personality of this admirable artist, a peculiar charm, a 
naturalism rare on the stage, which makes an immediate 
appeal to the goodwill of the audience. And, after all, this 
eulogy, however detailed and true, can only give but an 
imperfect account of the gifts by which, without dazzling 
through beauty, she fascinates all by her appearance, her 
singing, and her speech ; or her power derives its origin and 
its life from a loveliness altogether characteristic and 
individual, such as it is impossible to describe, and which 
banishes all disturbing influences, and collects all her rare 
and x)rcclous advantages, so as to create an irresistible 
impressiou of grace and purity of souL" 

Ko words could be more delicately chosen, to convey the 
efl'eet which Jenny Lind invariably produced. It is most 
interesting and curious to note how all attempts to describe 
this effect, whenever they come from elevated and sympa- 
thetic observers, fall into the same language. " Genius and 
Purity," said the Lady of the Court at Stockholm. " Grace 
and Purity of Soul," says the Danish History. " A noble 
Nature," said the Upsala Journal. The same phrases come 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER 1 173 

to the surface again and again : and all of them testify to the 
intensity of the personal character^ which fused all the varied 
gifts of Art and Nature into a vivid, and irresistible unity. 
It is she herself who lends the wonderful bewitchment to the 
voice, and to the action : and the impression, so received, 
though without the aid of physical beauty, has always (as 
they tell us) all the character of that which we call 
" beautiful," so that they cannot but speak of her possessing 
^' charm " and " loveliness." 

Nor was it only the possibility of a wider public, which 
opened upon her at Copenhagen. She also found that here, 
as at Stockholm, she won, in a peculiar manner, the admira- 
tion and the friendship of eminent men, such as the artists 
Jensen and Melbye, the poet CBhlenschlager, and, above all, of 
Hans Andersen, who was absolutely fascinated, and who for 
a long time after, paid her a devotion, which had in it all 
that delightful mingling of simplicity, and childishness, 
which was so characteristic of him. In bis ' Story of my 
life ' he tells in beautiful words how he was called in by 
Boumonville, to take part in the work of persuading her to 
fling : — 

" Except in Sweden," she said, " I have never appeared in 
public. In my own country all are so kind and gentle 
towards me ; and if I were to appear in Copenhagen, and be 
hissed I I cannot risk it ! " " When she appeared in Alice** 
he writes, " it was like a new revelation in the domain of art. 
The fresh young voice went direct to the hearts of all. Here 
was truth and nature. Everything had clearness and 
meaning. In her concerts, Jenny llnd sang her Swedish 
flongs. There was a peculiar, and seductive charm about 
them : all recollection of the concert-room vanished : the 
popular melodies exerted their spell, sung as they were by a 
pure voice with the immortal accent of genius. All Copen- 
hagen was in raptures* Jenny Lind was the first artist to 
whom the students offered a serenade : the torches flashed 
round the hospitable villa, where the song was sung. She 
expressed her thanks by a few more of the Swedish songs, 

174 JENNY LIND. [bk. in. ch. i. 

and I then saw her hurry into the darkest comer, and weep 
out her emotion. 'Yes, yes/ she said, * I will exert myself; 
1 will strive ; I shall be more efficient than I am now, when 
I come to Copenhagen again ! 

9 » 

This is the remarkable note of her character — so natural^ 
yet so rare — that every triumph, instead of satisfying her with 
her skill, spurs her to further eflforts to be more worthy of 
its joy. Hans Andersen goes on : — 

" On the stage, she was the great artist, towering above all 
around her ; at home, in her chamber, she was a gentle young 
girl, with the simple touch and piety of a child. . . . The 
spectator laughs and weeps, as she acts : the sight does him 
good : he feels a better man for it : he feels that there is 
something divine in Art One feels, at her appearance on 
the stage, that the holy draught is poured from a pure vessel." 

We will close this visit to Copenhagen with the graceful 
and touching words in which Mr. Boumonville has clothed 
an incident which seemed to him to embody the secret of 
Jenny Lind's significance at that time. In translating the 
words from their congenial French, we must, we fear, strip 
them of half their charm : but here they are : — 

" Again and again have the delights of Nature, the glory of 
Art, the enthusiasm for the true and the beautiful, inspired 
in me some attempts at verse. How, then, is it that, to-day, 
the sweet singing of Jenny Lind has left my lyre mute ? 
How is it that I fail to find even an echo within me which 
might pass on into the distance the sound of that music which 
laid open to my soul a world as yet unknown ? Alas ! To 
paint in words the tones of a voice steeped in all the utter- 
most tenderness of the human heart, is as vain as to «eek 
shadows in the darkness ! Moreover, the sound of my voice 
would be lost in the thunders of a people's praise. The little 
flower that alone I could offer to the artist, in the midst of 
her triumphs, would be crushed under the feet of the crowds 
that press round her. No! Eather let me treasure up the 
memory of her gifts, and of her story within my home, and 
let me leave, as a legacy to those that come after, one trait of 
her life, which will serve to bring her honour in the day when 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTERS 175 

the loud applause will have died away, and when the poets 
will be singing the praises of other, and newer names. 

" I had a friend who enjoyed all the privileges of happy 
comfort, of public esteem, of cultivated taste, of the affection 
of his family, of the love of his fair, young wife. A cruel 
sickness brought him down to the very edge of the grave ; but 
by God's mercy, he was saved. He was lying, still weak and 
faint, in his bed, when the thrill of excitement which Jenny 
lind had kindled in Copenhagen, reached even to his sick- 
room ; and bitter were the regrets of the young wife, at the 
sick man's loss of that which would have been to him such a 
delight. Jenny heard of her desire, and offered, at once, to 
sing to the invalid : and so, in the very heart of her triumphs, 
when the Court, and the Town were anxiously craving to 
know whether they could yet keep her one day more, she 
found time to charm, with her heavenly voice, the hearts of 
the two young people. It was on a Sunday, the 16th of 
September, 1843, at the hour when all the churches were 
filled with the praises of God, that Jenny, without any 
strangers to observe her, without any public notice, did this 
act of charity ; and the tears of gratitude which flowed from 
the eyes of Mozart and Mathilde Waage Petersen were the 
waters in which they christened her with the name of 'Angel.* 
The emotion, and the pleasure of the visit served to help the 
recovery of my friend. 

" May God ever bless Jenny Lind ! 

" May she receive the reward of her charity, if, one day, she 
be wed ! 

" And if God grant her children, may it be given them to 
know of this, their mother's act." 

This kindness of hers was not forgotten, we shall find, 
when she returned to Copenhagen about two years later ; for 
on the back of the picture then presented to her — a picture 
of white roses by Jensen — appear the names of this happy 
little couple, Mozart and Matliilde. 

It may be further noted, that she went to sing to the sick 
man in spite of having to appear, on the afternoon of that 
same day, in the large room of the Hotel d'Angleterre, at her 
great concert, at which she sang two songs from Norman and 
Swedish Ballads, and National Melodies. 

176 JENNY LIND. [bk. m. cb. i. 

So ended the first flight outside the house, the first brief 
act of achievement beyond her native stage. She crossed 
back to Sweden, to continue her series of concerts ;. and on 
reaching Westerwik about the 25th of September, hj the 
steamer ^ Scandia," she found herself once again in company 
with Gunther and Josephson, who had lingered on in the 
town, after a successful musical soiree. The firiends joined 
together at the hotel in the evening. ** I greatly rejoiced/' 
writes Josephson, ''to meet her again after the brilliant 
triumphs she has achieved at Copenhagen." 

"Her genial modesty had lost nothing through her 
success. Her Nature wins more and more harmony ; and in 
consequence there is more equanimity in her disposition and 
in her friendliness, than before she went abroad." 

Josephson was just parting with Gunther, at the dose of 
their tour ; so, while Gunther went straight home to Stock- 
holm, Josephson decided to tack himself on to Jenny lind 
and her companion, now on their way to give a concert at 
Norrkoping, where he might be able to help. So, on the 
28th, he started after her in a light cart, caught up her 
carriage at Yida, and, after that, took Ms seat alternately on 
his own trap or on the box of her carriage, while she read aloud 
to him some of Hans Andersen's poems, from a book presented 
to her by Hans himself. At the country inn they improvised 
a rough dinner, which they enriched with the music of an old 
barrel organ, by chance discovered on the premises. They 
arrived at Norrkoping that night ; and spent the next day 
in arrangements and rehearsals, while, in the evening, Jenny 
was serenaded by singers from Upsala. 

"After the rehearsal," Josephson goes on, "I spent a 
pleasant evening with the ladies, partly at the tea-table, 
partly at the piano. Jenny sang many of Lindblad's newest 
and unpublished songs. Like the earlier ones, they are 
marked by genius ; and. he clearly, in the Lied gains more 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 177 

and more a character of calm development in the melody. 
The mysticism which envelopes most of his earlier songs with 
peculiar fascination, has now somewhat diminished; the 
melody is more flowing, though not more captivating; the 

whole has gained in transparency and sweetness 

Through the great development Jenny's song and voice have 
attained, through the grandeur which gives colour to her 
diction, the Lied^ as rendered by her, has lost much of the 
unconscious inspiration of the moment. She sings the 
Lied better than nearly everybody else, as a matter of 

course ; but still, not as . In that case, the character of 

the Lied never gets lost, just because the voice has not 
arrived at any developed power of execution. Such a power 
always must imply reflection upon its own use ; the natural 
devotion to the subject is not any longer so independent. 
The strength and sonority developed in the voice have, with 
Jenny Li£d. received every kind of noble grandeur, which, 
perhaps, ought to draw her, chiefly, to compositions of a 
grand character. In the meantime it is always interesting 
to hear her sing ; her genius always shines through in fall 

This most interesting personal criticism seems to show 
that, just at this period, before her own inherent spontaneity 
had wholly absorbed her new-trained technical development, 
she was apt to prove too overpowering for those lighter and 
simpler effects of song, which, a year or two later, when the 
mastery over her art was matured, she could render with 
such exquisite delicacy of tone, and effect, that she made 
those very songs of Lindblad speak with wonderful direct- 
ness, to the first musicians of Germany. 

On the 30th of September she gave her concert, singing 
airs from Figaro, Norvia, Roberto, and Niole. At supper 
that evening at General Cronhjelm's she was again serenaded, 
and next morning was off to Stockholm. 

She returned, for another year's work, at her old salary ; 
in the course of which, between October 4, 1843, and 
July 5, 1844, she made sixty-six appearances, in sixteen 

* N. P. Odman in op. ciU 
VOL. I. N 

178 JENKT USD. [bc.iilcb.1. 

different characters, six of th^n being wholly new. She 
reached her sixtieth performanoe of '' Alice " ; her forty-ninth 
of "Lada"; her thiity-sixth of ^Agatha"; her twenty- 
sixth of Xorma ; her eighteenth of the Sommambula, The 
jubilee play, Tk€ May Day in Wartnd, ran on to within a 
few days oi the Xational monming for the King Cad Johan, 
whose death closed the theatre from March 4 to May 2. Her 
new parts weie ** Thyra " in The St€$y an opera, by a Dutch 
pianist ol nuirk, residing in Stockholm, called Van Boom: 
"Fiorilla'' in Rossini's Turn in Italia: "Annicf in 
GIucl:*s fiunous work: and "Anna Bolena" in IXmizetti's 
o|XMra of that name. Of Armida, she wrote a characteristic 
note to Judge Munihe, on Februaiy 17, 1S44 : — 

"^ I sand Tou some seats fco' mx * benefit ' on the 19th in 
Oluok^s Armida. I trast that you will gieatly enjoy the 
music. Both the music\ and the piece» are so grand, that my 
sinallness will be shown out. thereby, in its true light But 
I am so thrilled by the sublime spirit of the music that I am 
onlv too readv to risk mv own personalitv," 

During the opening of this year, 1S44, she was, in concert 
with Gunther, interesting' herself <rreatlv in the fortunes of 
Josephson. Guntlier hiad begun to scheme on behalf of his 
tour abroad, during their trip together in the autumn ; and 
had already in Xoveml^r written to him about a proposal to 
give a concert to raise funds for this, in Stockholm. " Jenny 
Lind," he had then reported, ^ knows all ; and has besides 
received an anon}'mous letter from Upsala on the matter.** 
On the 12th of January, 1844, Josephson received, \iith 
rejoicing, a kind letter from Jenny Lind, confirming the news 
of the concert which she and Gunther were to irive for his 
benefit* On the 6th of March, he spent the morning arrang- 
ing with them the details ; but, towanis the close of April, the 
concert, to liis great joy, was shifted from Stockholm to Upsala, 
and was fixed for Whit Monday. It succeeded beyond all 

Biogrmpby of J. A. Josephaoa/ p. 106. 

• < 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 179 

expectations. " All have come forward in the most generous, 

spontaneous manner, and the result has, by Grod's grace, 

turned out for the best. My journey is now guaranteed." So he 

writes on the 30th of May : " K hitherto I have belonged to 

Art privately, I am now challenged to work more generally 

for the holy cause. This gift from my friends ought to bring 

with it a blessing on my way, for their sympathy has had the 

largest share in bringing it about. I am all round besieged with 

kindness. How remain faithful and grateful ! " * So loyally 

and generously had she worked to fulfil the dream of another, 

who shared in her own profound aspiration after the highest 

ideal, and was beset by the same obstacles. For two long 

years. Josephson had been yearning for this opportunity, and 

now it was given him. It was a good work, which proved 

well rewarded. 

As to the Season, it must have passed much as usual. She 

wrote to Hans Andersen, at the time of the national 

mourning : — 

« Stockholm, 19th March, 1844. 

** My good Brother : 

"Mr. Boumonville mentioned in his last letter to 
me that you have been shedding tears because of my 
silence. This, naturally, I take to be nonsense, but as my con- 
science does reproach me in regard to you, my good brother, 
I hasten to recall myself to your memory, and to ask my 
friend and brother not to be angry with me, but rather 
to furnish me soon with a proof that I have not forfeited my 
right to his friendship and goodwill. A thousand, thousand 
thanks for the pretty tales ! I find them divinely beautiful 
to such a degree as to believe them to be the grandest and 
loveliest that ever flowed from your pen. I hardly know to 
which of them I should concede the palm, but, upon reflection 
I think The Ugly Ihickling the prettiest. — Oh, what a 
glorious gift to be able to clothe in words one's most lofty 
thoughts ; by means of a scrap of paper to make men see 
so clearly how the noblest often lie most hidden and 
covered over by wretchedness and rags, until the hour of 

♦ lb., p. 124. 

N 2 

180 JENNY LIND. [bk. ra. ch. i. 

transformation strikes and shows the figure in a divine light ! 
Thanks, from all my heart, thanks for all this — as touching 
as it is instructive. I long now very much for the moment 
when I shall be allowed to tell my good brother by word of 
mouth how proud I am of this friendship, and with the help of 
my Lieder to express — if even in a trifling d^ee — my grati- 
tude ! only that you, my brother, are surely better fit than 
any one to comprehend our Swedish proverb : * Every bird 
sings according to his beak/ 

" This country is now in mourning — ^peace to those who are 
gone ! After all one is happiest when once well out of the 
way. Our theatre is now closed for about seven or eight weeks, 
and this is not pleasant, but meanwhile, we are busy, studying 
new things. I must tell you, my good brother, that I have 
here quite a cozy little home. Cheerful, sunny rooms, a 
nightingale and a greenfinch : — the latter, however, is greatly 
superior as an artist to his celebrated colleague, for, while 
the first remains on his bar grumpy and moody, the other 
jumps about in his cage, looking so joyous and good- 
natured, as if, to begin with, he was not in the least je^dous, 
but, instead of that, supposes himself created merely for 
the purpose of cheering his silent friend ! And then he sings 
a song, so high, so deep, so charming and so sonorous, that 
I sit down beside him and, within, lift up my voice in a 
mute song of praise to Him whose ' strengtfi is made perfect 
in weakness.' Ah! it is divine to feel really good. My 
dear friend! I do feel so happy now. It seems to me I 
have come from a stormy sea into a peaceful cottage. Many 
struggles have calmed down, many thoughts have become 
clearer, many a star is gleaming forth again and I bend 
my knee before the Throne of Grace and exclaim : ' Thy will 
be done.' Farewell ! God bless and protect my brother is 
the sincere wish of his affectionate sister 

" Jenny." 

This peace in the "cosy little home" is to be quickly 
broken up. A flight abroad is now to be taken, which will 
carry her further afield than Finland, or Copenhagen. It is 
no less a place than Berlin that has begun to take note of 
this wonderful singing, and is preparing to capture it for its 
own service and joy. Meyerbeer is there, engaged in bringing 
out a work, which is to celebrate all the glories of the 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER f 181 

Prussian kingdom : and he is anxious to secure all the talent 
open to him. He had heard her sing, as we know, in Paris, 
and had felt, then, that Berlin was her proper sphere : and, 
now, his memory and his zeal are kindled anew by the en- 
4^m of J.«i,. of no Mean .biU^, .ho L,od .t 
Berlin from Stockholm, with a fervent admiration for what 
he had seen and heard there. This artist was M. Paul 
Taglioni, a brother of the famous danseuse, a descendant, 
on the mother's side, of the Swedish tragedian Karsten, and 
well known both in Paris and BerUn, not only as a graceful 
dancer, but, also, as a skilful composer of Ballots, and a 
ludicious and competent critic. During the course of a 
conversation with her son, many years afterwards, Madame 
Goldschmidt spoke of the visit of M. Paul Taglioni to 
Stockholm as having undoubtedly revived Meyerbeer's 
recollections of what he had heard of her singing, at Paris, 
in the month of July, 1842 ; and to M. Taglioni's report of 
the successes he had witnessed at the Eoyal Theatre she 
attributed Meyerbeer's marked anxiety to engage her at Berlin 
in order that she might take the principal part in the new 
opera — Das Fddlager in ScMesien — which he was composing 
for the opening of the new Koyal Opera House in the 
Prussian capital. 

The records of the proposals made by Meyerbeer are lost ; 
but, some time in that summer, they reached sufficient 
definiteness to induce her to determine on a visit to Dresden 
in July, in order that she might work up her German to the 
level demanded by an appearance, on such an historic 
occasion, in the Opera House at Berlin. Off to Dresden she 
resolutely went, as soon as her season was over, ending, as it 
did, on July 5, with eight performances of the Turco in 
Italia — an almost forgotten opera of Eossini's — in which she 
played the part of Fiorilla. Mdlle. von Stedingk tells us 
how she stole off to the Theatre, incognita, owing to the 

IS J1A31 11S3L 

GcixK lipirnr s^ ir mnsrrnzu;. sni l iLut hat 5x ^^k OpeEi» is 
wiQca^ K <ft^ BT^ *'s^ iim5t 'PPBT ^1^ iiiijiiiiBiiMiri psit cf 

^viii:^ aif pT^. ^Jj. lumncr if fcnxw lima, |»prkm tt> 
lisr a amtnai;^ frr G tf i aim.t : Cki sue Osk^osk* ^v^e ^e 

i»m^«r»irt» .*»« 

^ir ^j^**^ jiai3f!D:^ Tg^ssffTfiTTig bsT visi. pSESCU suiUs id 

re 125w^ "^ 

Tbe wiiid 15 ::p : tLe sil« ire *«ec : fht ztths jc- "Hae 

Ch:: iijyj iLk da^pET l»i5 tLe 52*1:1^ czrretis will nr«p her. 
The zr*ai Esr4*f3&:i TCTli, 1:5 p<y>f v-es. iis kfr^irs. :is XLTSskiuis, 
fe L-^roess, will elo&e in rcx:iii hex; — will *'^^-tt* her with 
irre^istihln: ii.rist^fiice. Her ret^ims 10 Sccckhc&a — her 
" belovn^d S^xkLoIia " — ^will become nrer, aad mio- : mi hsL, 
sLe will cc/me back only to enrich it with ecdowioeiits, mud 
u> bid it ** Gor/d-bye " ! 

• A?. Cocit aiid Gxmtes Ciri Bv3(ri5txTTiA. 




( 185 ) 



And now, once more, the Curtain rises on a new Act in our 
Drama— a new phase in the great Art-life which we are 
endeavouring to depict, as faithfully as we may, by aid of 
the records that have been preserved to us, and the memories 
of some whose recollections are even more precious than 
written evidence or printed criticism. 

Now, for the second time, we find Mademoiselle Lind 
leaving home and friends and all that lay nearest to her heart, 
and departing, in obedience to the call of Art, to seek 
new fortunes in a country utterly unknown to her ; and we, 
who followed her earlier venture, must once more accom- 
pany her on a journey, undertaken, not as in the former 
case in the character of a timid student in search of 
knowledge, but in that of a profoundly cultivated and highly 
accomplished mistress of her Art, distrustful as ever of her 
own artistic power, yet quite capable of displaying that 
power to the wonder and delight of the most exacting critics 
in the world. 

The opportunity was a splendid one, and might well have 
tempted any aspiring artist But there was the terrible 
home-sickness in the way — the aching void which, in her 
case, seemed almost to verge upon physical malady, the cruel 
nostalgia of the medical schools. 

Still, we may fairly believe that, to a nature so thoroughly 



ScandmaTian, Grerman tiuHi^ht and G€xxdj;ii habits would 
seem less nnsrnipatii^ie than those of Fiance. For FiaDoe, 
in temper, manners, and assodatioDS, stands cnnauslj alcHie 
among the nations of Enzope ; while between the Teotcmic 
and the Scandinavian peoples thexe exist, indnlMtaUj, many 
ties and bonds, which continue to exerdse a Tital inflooice 
such as is recognised and felt in the most intimate depart- 
ments of life. 

Xo bond exists of stronger tenure than religions con- 
formity. Now, religions thought was no less deeply affiscted 
in Sweden and Xorway than in the ncrthem j^Tinces of 
Germany by the doctrines set forth in the religions tearhing 
of Lather and his disciples, and the afiBnity thns established 
when those doctrines were first preached to the woild was 
certainly not weakened by the terrible experiences of the 
Thirty Years' War. 

Again, the touching pictures of Scandinavian home-life, 
painted in such glowing and natural colours by Frederika 
Bremer and Hans Christian Andersen, find a ready response 
under many a German roof-tree, and are in living sympathy 
with practical home-life on the banks of the Elbe and the 

Here, then, are two points which may be fairly looked upon 
as connecting links between the two races — ^to say nothing of 
others which it would be manifestly beyond our province to 
notice in our present chapter. 

We may hope, therefore, if we give due weight to these 
considerations, that Mdlle. Lind did not feel herself quite so 
much a stranger in Germany as she had previously done in 
France, though her attachment to her own country was so 
deep and passionate that it seemed as if she could never be 
truly happy in any other. 

But it rarely falls to the lot of genius to choose its own 
sphere of action. Events had shaped themselves irrevocably. 

1844.] IN DRESDEN. 187 

The die once cast, nothing remained but to submit to the 
necessities of the case; to press forward on the only 
path that still remained open, while all side issues were 
hopelessly barred; and to determine that, come what 
might, it should lead to success; and this is what Mdlla 
Xind did. 

Her figurewell to Sweden had been, as we have already 
.i9een, a touching one. 

Th0 reader will not have forgotten the incidents mentioned 
in connection with it by Froken Maria von Stedingk, who 
•supplements the account in her Diary with the words, 
" I was also present at the farewell representation, and 
felt that I had never seen anything so superior as Jenny 

She was indeed " Superior " in every sense of the word. 
It was time that the Germans should know this; but it 
needed careful preparation. 

It had never been her wont to trust to genius alone for 
results which, she well knew, could be attained only by the 
union of genius with conscientious industry. As a cul- 
tivated musician, a singer, an actress, a sympathetic inter- 
preter of the master-pieces of the greatest dramatic composers 
of the modem schools, she had nothing more to learn. She 
did not even need experience ; for, after forming her method 
in Paris, she had already had ample opportunity for testing 
its excellence in practical connection with the stage. But 
in order to ensure her success at Berlin it was necessary that 
:she should add to these high qualifications an intimate 
acquaintance with the pronunciation, at least, of the German 
language, if not, indeed, a thorough mastery of its granunatical 
construction. We have already witnessed the zeal with 
which, in Paris, she strove to overcome the difficulties of two 
languages — French and Italian — the necessity for studying 
which then presented itself to her for the first time. She 

188 JENNY LIKD. [ 

nofw found herself placed in piecisdy the same position with 
r^ard to German ; and, far from attempting to evade the 
difficulty, she adopted the best possible expedient for over- 
coming it. She determined to set apart a sufficient time for 
qniet and r^;ular study, not in the city in which she was to 
appear for the first time before a Grerman audience, but 
in Dresden, where she would not only be able to obtain 
without difficulty the best possible instruction, but could 
also usefully supplement it by attending the performances 
at one of the best Opera-Houses in Germany. And here, 
too, Meyerbeer had arranged to meet her, for the purpose of 
consultation with r^ard to the principal part in the im- 
portant work — Das Feldl<iger in Sehlesien — ^which he was 
preparing for the reopening of the Grand Opera House in 

To Dresden, then, she repaired, accompanied by her aunt, 
Froken Apollonia Lindskog — familiarly known by her 
relatives as Tante Lona — arriving there on the 25th of 
July, three weeks only after her last performance in Stock* 
holm. Truly, it was not her habit to waste much time in 
" needful rest." 

By the luckiest of chances she was welcomed at the veiy 
moment of her arrival in the Saxon capital by her trusty and 
valued friend, Herr Jakob Axel Josephson, who was then, 
through her generous assistance, prosecuting his studies in 
Germany, and who, while accidentally crossing the Alte 
Briicke, the grand old bridge over the Elbe, passed a crowd 
of carriages conveying passengers into the town from the 
terminus of the Leipzig Eailway, and, peeping into one 
of these, saw Mdlle. Lind with Tante Lona sitting by her 

" I hailed the driver immediately," he writes in his Diary. 
' The carriage stopped ; and, as soon as I could force my way 
through the crowd, I paid my respects to the travellers ; ar- 

1844.] IN DRESDEN. 189 

ranged to call on them, later in the day, at their hotel, and 
left them to continue their journey."* 

After paying his visit, and finding her " happy and con- 
tented," he resumes : — 

"It was, in fact, to Jenny that I was indebted for the 
means of coming here myself. I had therefore a great deal 
to say to her, but I found it difficult to express my meaning, 
and she herself seemed to turn a deaf ear to me. Between 
old friends there is no need of many words." f 

The evening was pleasantly spent in a walk on the 
Brnhl'sche Terrasse by moonlight, followed by a friendly 
sapper at the hotel ; and after devoting the next morning to 
an exhaustive exploration of the town in search of private 
apartments for the ladies, a pianoforte for Mdlle. lind, and 
another for Herr Josephson, the three friends walked together, 
at six o'clock, to the fine old Opera-House,t to hear Wagner*s 
BiensA, which had been produced there, with great success, in 
1842, and had furnished the first stepping-stone to its 
composer's subsequent reputation. 

It will naturally be understood that, having visited Dresden 
for purposes of study only, Mdlle. lind lived a life of com- 
parative seclusion, residing in the private lodgings found for 
her by Herr Josephson, and very rarely going into society. 
She was furnished however, as a matter of course, with 
letters of introduction to the Swedish Consul, Herr Karl 
Kaskel — ^who happened to be a personal friend of Meyerbeer 
— and Herr Josephson's sympathetic pen has furnished us 
with an account of her appearance at an evening party given, 
during the last week in July, at the country house of that 

* ' Aus dem Lehen tines Schwedischen Componisten ; Oedenkhldtter an 
Jakob Axel Josephson* von N. P. Udman (Stockholm, 1886), vol. iL 
t Ibid. 
X Long since burned down, and rebuilt on a still grander scale. 

190 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. l 

gentleman's father. Making due allowance for the some- 
what highly coloured language of a young man just entering 
upon an artist's life and determined to employ his critical 
faculties to the best possible advantage^ we shall find the 
narrative a very interesting one. 

" It is just a month," he says in his Diary, " since I left 
Sweden. This short time has already been rich in ex- 
periences, and brought me into contact with many interesting 
acquaintances. I have heard a great deal of music, and 
made various discoveries in connection with its condition in 
Germany at the present time. Although the love for music 
of the best kind, as it has been fostered in Germany for more 
than a century, is more at home there than in other countries, 
one must confess that it is only instrumental music that is 
thus encouraged, while the Art of Song lacks representatives 
everywhere. It is therefore not to be wondered at that a 
talent so genial as that of Jenny Lind, awakening great and 
unusual interest wherever it is brought into notice, should 
now, like a lightning flash, illumine the darkness of the 
singer's night in Art-loving Germany, penetrate the over- 
flowing mass of German music and landle the flame of 

"The beginning of this was effected this evening, and 
though only in a private soiree, still in such a way that its 
repetition on a larger scale can scarcely be delayed. Consul 
Kaskel had, in addition to some music-loving residents 
in Dresden, invited Fraulein Lind, Froken Lindskog, 
Herr Beskow and family, Pastor Odberg with his 
pupils, and myself. We were really however the guests 
of Consul KaskeFs father (the head of a rich and influential 
banking firm), who lives in a pleasant country house on the 

" The evening began, as usual, with conversation, for the 
polite and true-hearted Saxons are well known as excellent 
hosts and the Saxon ladies as entertaining hostesses. But 
after a little time they begged Jenny Lind to sing; and, 
sitting down to the piano, she began with Berg's Fjerran i 
skog* Scarcely had she ended it before a cry of satisfaction 

* Uerdefjossen ; a Swedish song, by Herr Berg, containing some long- 
sustained notes concerning wliich we shall have more to say in a future 

1844]. IN DRESDEN. 191 

rang through the room. She repeated the song, followed it 
up with Tro ei gladjen, sang Fjerran i skog, for the third 
time, and finished with the Eomance from Winter's Das 
unterhrochene Opferfest, which flows so sweetly and lovingly 
on the true classical stream. As Jenny, later on, sang the Aria 
from Niobe* in her grand style, and adorned it with her most 
beautiful y?ori^2^ra, the general delight burst forth into loud 
applause, and all remained throughout the rest of the 
evening simply enchanted, for God knows how long a time 
had elapsed since any one had heard anything like it. 

"For us Swedes the meeting was a truly brilliant in- 
auguration of Jenny's entrance into Germany, and an 
especially joyful one, though only in so small a house ; and 
we remarked with pleasure how anxious the good Germans 
were to hear her in public, whether on the stage or in the 
the Concert-room."t 

Apart from the sensation she created on the occasion 
to which Herr Josephson alludes, she lived, in company 
with Froken Apollonia, in strictest privacy during the 
whole of the time she remained in Dresden. She had 
indeed but little time permitted to her, even for consultation 
with Meyerbeer or for the purpose of study; for on the 
28th of August — one month and three days only after her 
arrival at the terminus of the Leipzig Eailway — she was 
recalled to Stockholm, to assist, in her character of " Court 
Singer," at the festivities which graced the Coronation of 
King Oscar I. 

Queen Desideria's watch had already marked the hour for 
the wanderer's return, J though on this occasion it was to 
be represented by a very brief visit. 

The Court was now out of mourning, and all Stockholm in 
festal attire to do honour to the approaching ceremony. 
Unfortunately, Froken Marie von Stedingk, being in close 

* * H soave e hen contento,* from Pacini's Niobe, with its brilliant 
cahaileUa — * I tuoi frequenti palpiti ' — in B b. 

t N. P. Odman, in op, cit. vol. ii 
t See page 182. 

192 JENNT LnSD. [bk. IT. CE. I. 

attendance on the Queen Dowager, was pievented by the 
imperions demands of Cooit etiquette from attending the 
performances at the Eoval Theatre, and her Diazy therefore 
furnishes us with no account of Mdlla lind's appearances. 
But we know, from the archives of the theatre, that th^ 
were ten in number — ^viz., three of La Sonnamhula ; three of 
Norma; one of Gluck's Armida; and three introducing 
single acts of Der Freischuiz, Norma, Lueia di Lammermoar, 
and Anna BoUna* 

So well prepared were the Swedes to appreciate their 
talented countrywoman at her true value that they could 
not endure the idea of losing her. In the hope of pre- 
venting her from singing in Germany, Count Hamilton, the 
then Director of the Soyal Theatre, offered her an engage- 
ment as principal singer, for eight years, at an annual salary 
of five thousand dollars,! which was to be continued to her 
after the termination of the contract as a pension for lifa 
To this offer she felt very much inclined to agree, though 
her best friends tried hard to make her see that, by so 
doing, she would deprive the rest of Europe of all participa- 
tion in the advantages derivable &om her exceptional talent. 
For a long time her resolution remained immovable. But 
one day a trusted friend bethought himself of a curious 
method of persuasion, which could only have occurred to one 
who understood her nature thoroughly. After leaving her, 
as he feared on the point of signing the dangerous contract, 
he encountered in the street a certain Consul General who 
prided himself upon an intimate knowledge of everything 
connected with music. To this gentleman he narrated the 
circumstance, with many expressions of regret as to the turn 

* The dates were: — Sept. 18, 20, La Sonnarribula; Sept 24, Der 
Freischutz (act ii.); Sept. 26, Norma and Anna Bolena (single acts); 
Sc[)t. 27, Der Freischiitz, and Lucia (single acts); Sept. 30, Armida; 
Oct. 2, La Sonnamhula ; Oct. 4, 8, 9, Norma, 

t About £420 sterling. 

1844.] IN DRESDEN. 193 

affairs were taking. But to his great surprise the Consul 
Greneral took the opposite view, maintaining that, notwith- 
standing her successes at home, the artist herself must have 
known that her powers were unequal to the attainment of a 
similar result in a more extended sphere. Well knowing the 
effect which this absurd misrepresentation of the true state of 
the case could not fail to produce upon Jenny's mind, her 
Mend lost no time in making her acquainted with it ; and 
then and there he had the satisfaction of seeing her tear up 
the fatal contract and thus put an end to the discussion for 

Betreat was now impossible, and as soon as practicable 
after the last performance of Norma, on the 9th of October, 
she took leave of her friends and started on her trying journey 
— ^a journey now forced upon her by her refusal to accept the 
engagement offered to her at Stockholm, but none the less 
trying on that account, and rendered painful, moreover, by 
those fears for the unknown future which her constitutional 
diffidence forbade her to shake off. 

VOL. I. 

194 ) [bc it. cb. n. 



NoTwnHSTAXDES'G the temporary intermptioii of her lin- 
goistic studies at Dresden, Mdlle. lind was far from beiiig 
unprepared for her approaching trial when the appointed 
time drew near. 

Of the severity of that trial and the gravity of its inevi- 
table though as yet wholly uncertain consequences it would 
have been difficult to form an exaggerated idea. The 
successes achieved by the young artist in her own country 
counted as nothing when considered in connection with the 
ordeal that awaited her in Berlin. That a native singer of 
rare and undoubted talent should have been received with 
acclamation by her own admiring coimtrymen, that her 
reappearance on the stage she had trodden as a child should 
have been regarded by the audience assembling at the Eoyal 
Theatre as a national triumph, that the critics of Stockholm 
should have been ready to endorse, in its fullest significance, 
the verdict pronounced, in a moment of enthusiasm, by the 
general public ; all this was naturally to have been expected, 
and might indeed have been easily foreseen by any one 
with discernment enough to read the signs of the times, 
as Froken Marie von Stedingk's account of the circum- 
stances sufficiently proves. But would the critics of Berlin 
endorse the verdict pronounced by those of Stockholm ? 
That was indeed another and a very different question. 
Stockholm was not, and never had been, a centre of artistic 


progress^ even of the second order. The Koyal Theatre, at 
its best, gave but a dim reflection of glories which in the 
more famous European Opera Houses were of too common 
occurrence to excite any extraordinary amount of astonish- 
ment. On the other hand, though for very dilBferent reasons, 
the triumph at Stockholm could not be dismissed as an 
altogether unimportant factor in the coming crisis. And 
here lay the gravest difficulty in the situation — an almost 
unprecedented paradox, which the future alone could solve. 
Though, in so far as her European reputation was concerned, 
Mdlle. Lind was really preparing to make, at Berlin, her 
true dibut in the great world of Art, she had been preceded 
by rumours which rendered it imperative that she should 
appear there, not in the character of an unknown dSbutante, 
but in that of a finished and recognised artist of the first 
order; of a prima donna, to be judged, not by the measure of 
her own merit, but by the achievements of the greatest 
prime donne who had appeared before the world since the 
beginning of the century. For however limited might have 
been the experiences of the Stockholm critics, there were 
critics in Berlin who were familiar with the performances 
of Mesdames Malibran and Pasta, and Mara and Sontag and 
Schroeder Devrient, and even of the famous Madame 
Catalani herself, to say nothing of Mesdames Grisi and 
Persiani and other brilliant stars in the contemporaneous 
operatic firmament; and it was absolutely certain that 
with the performances of these bright luminaries of past and 
present years would the performances of Mdlle. Lind be 
mercilessly though, it was to be hoped, not unjustly com- 

We hear people wonder sometimes why she was 
so modest, so diffident, so distrustful of her own powers. 
But surely she had reason on her side a thousand times. 
She was not blind, could not possibly have been blind, 


196 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. n. 

to the perfection of her own ideal ; but she did not know, 
and had no means of informing herself, how far the great- 
ness of that ideal was likely to commend itself to the 
severely critical audience before which ishe was about to 
appear. She had never heard either Catalan! or Pasta, or 
Sontag or Malibran, yet circumstances had placed her in 
rivalry with them alL Was her ideal really greater than 
theirs ? Was it even as great ? How could she tell ! She 
must have seen the difficulties of the situation ; must have 
felt that her position was, in many respects, an altogether 
exceptional one. Yet, for all that, she did not shrink from 
the ordeal, and when the time of trial came she was ready 
to meet it. 

After her last performance at Stockholm, on the 9th of 
October, she made instant preparation for her journey, and, 
accompanied by Mdlle. Louise Johansson, arrived, in the 
third week of October, at Berlin, where she made arrange- 
ments for residing, during the winter, in the house of 
Madame Eeyer, No. 43, in the Franzosische Strasse.* 

While preparing for her first appearance on the stage, she 
passed her time in complete retirement from public life, 
but her reception by the circle of private friends to whom 
she was introduced was of the warmest character. Meyer- 
beer was, of course, unremitting in his attentions. His 
position towards her was, indeed, an almost painfully 
responsible one. He alone was answerable for her presence 
in the Prussian capital, and her success or failure were 
matters of scarcely less importance to him than to her. His 
taste, his experience, his artistic judgment were staked upon 
her fitness to sustain the position to which he had introduced 
her. Through him she was privately presented to the 
Eoyal Family, the members of which, and especially Queen 

^ Madame Keyer (sister to the Baroness von Ridderstolpe) appears 
to have been the wife of a schoohnaster in Berlin. 


Elizabeth, received her with a grace and courtesy which did 
much to render her visit more than ordinarily agreeable. On 
one occasion — ^memorable as the first on which she was 
called upon to display her talent in the presence of the Court 
— she was invited to a reception given by the Princess of 
Prussia* one evening during the last week in November. 
(Concerning this she thus wrote to her guardian, Judge 
Munthe — 

" Berlin, Dec. 2, 1844. 

" I have sung at Court, and been so very fortunate as to 
please greatly. This may sound somewhat conceited, but I 
do not mean it so. The Countess Eossi (Sont^) was 
present, and my modesty prevents me from telling you what 
she is reported to have said. I am meeting with extra- 
ordinary success everywhere. I go out much into fashion- 
able society, because this gives the first entrance into the 
world of Art ; and — do you know ? — I am already known by 
all Berlin, and people talk of me with an interest so lively, 
and so flattering to me, that I begin to think I must be in 
Stockholm ! 

" Forgive me ! dear M. Munthe, for thus openly speaking 
of things as they occur. I promise not to become proud or 
conceited ; only glad and happy when things go welL" 

Among the guests present at the reception thus playfully 
described were the late Earl and Countess of Westmorland. 
Lord Westmorland was at that time the English Ambas- 
sador at the Court of Prussia ; and, through the kindness of 
a member of His Excellency's family, we are able to present 
our readers with a vivid picture of the impression made 
by Mdlle. Lind's singing upon the Countess of Westmor- 
land, who, it must be remembered, was no unenlightened or 
inexperienced listener; for Lord Westmorland was himself 
an ardent student of music, an excellent violinist, the com- 
poser of no less than one English and six Italian Operas, 
and the founder of the Eoyal Academy of Music in London. 

* Afterwards the Empress Augusta. 

19S rTSyrr LUD^ jm^rtL 

WEtisi released fsrmL his polmcil 'fixCDB be Sinai ox :iiL 

4czm}t!i?liftsre •::£ Azz : imi Ljuir W^isxsDoiiMidri isacimiinT b 

^ « <■ 

w^iugii VTTtfn**sR -wTi xiXi "nifttbiisd. Sir our fnlrnimBmiL wrxoe» 
^ansr — 

rrmi x^ Btffiix "ic xnie iim jc las new" Opea Hoiiae xbisit in 
ditf ;:ar: ie 2:11: •vrir^riL r-.r ina: in liis Op^a of Ika^ FddLs^ 

* H:^ ami v.ui iZ ii:* f^t^ntfe^ • innmytwt iriusn. w«e ntr 

;:ar«iiLZ5 * ■ iJv-jir, 'ii^ •y:ct:i*rril vrjiee. joii pceifiirKfi t&^ ^bi^ 

"* E»rii;r«i ♦£>: ^c*c^5i^«i1i in. die iOtiie fee wau adked ta bcinir 

Pn.*sia'» iTXjr, Laxri I>:wiu?a Empreaft Aic^aat^') uxai&seii 
r'jr uLj=r parpr.*^. F jr *«:cie rea:soii;Sy niT &ciier w;» pfeiRHioeti 
from. ^Tjinff ; m.7 nnother v-ait jJooe^ 3iii weoc iiL, fiill of 
CTirii.»ftiLT, a.n.ii *i^w *iruiiL,r by che pcuio a t^^nr pale^ pLiiii- 

•jaj ''xinr.r7 *i:ih«>,l-zirL Slie 'ZtiuLd not believe hto" ejes. 
iirui §aiil than -Le .iji-i .ler neii^L'ioars — omoii:; wiioni wus 
^yj^iiiZKA^ RiVi-*! (H-izsi^tZr: S:EiLJir». whose t^mi** as ;i siii?*r 
:ir.ii a \fATiZT xi* iL»rz. ^uLl r^niiiiiu — betiaiL to specnLice 
•vrj^tLer llej'^r'^.^irtir wx^ pLivtzi: a practical Joke oa them, 
ar.»i wf-irrn he carie up ti:> freak :o thexa my mother asked 
r.iLi if he w;« r^iUy serio'OS in mP Anmor to biin:^ that 
frl^:'.:e:i«^i oLil-i on: in Li* C>pera. Hi-< only answer was 

" ^lien the time came for her s^r-n:! — I do not know what 
It xi.5 — niv mother lueil to savit was the most eitraordinarv 
ext-erl-rcce sLrr evrrr remeriil-ertiL The wonierfol notes came 
rjLS-^2 oat. bat over an-i abi-ve! wjlj the wonderful 
rs.Ay?»FTGViLVTi': y — no other wori could apply — which came 
*''Ver her entire face and iinre, li;zhtenini: them up with the 
whole lire and •li;.Tiity of her ;jenin5. The effect on the 
'''h'jle auiiienoe wi» simply mar^'elloiLS, and to the last day 

• Hii EJLceileiiov A&i Liut WejtmorLiDi. 


of her life my mother used to recall it vividly and its effect 
upon her. 

" When she reached home, my father asked her — 

" ' Well, what do you think of Meyerbeer's wonder ? ' 

" She answered — 

" * She is simply an angeL' 

" * Is she so very handsome ? ' 

"'I saw a plain girl when I went in, but when she 
began to sing her face simply and literally '' shone like that 
of an angeL" I never saw anything or heard anything the 
least like it.' " 

"This first effect did not wear off when she appeared on 
the stage. My mother used to say that she thought her 
dramatic power was quite as great as her musical genius, 
and that if she had had no voice she might stiU have been 
the greatest of living actresses. And there was this 
peculmrity about her acting — that it was entirely part of 
herself. It seemed not so much that she entered into the 
part as that she became, for the moment, that which she 
had to express. For this reason her acting was unequal 
She could not render anything in which there was a sugges- 
tion repugnant to her own higher nature. But in a part 
that suited her — such as the iSonnaminda — she expressed 
every varjring emotion of the character perfectly because 
she really felt it. And, for the same reasons, she never 
acted the same scene twice precisely alike, just as in real 
life no one does the same thing twice precisely in the 
same way. In her gestures and tones there were little 
unconscious variations, which the people who acted with 
her and went through their own parts with mechanical 
precision often found disconcerting. 

"In these early days she was very careless of outward 
appearances — her Art possessed her and left her no time to 
thmk of herself. She disliked the artificial adjimcts of 
rouge, &C., which are a necessity of the stage, and as a 
natural result was often unbecomingly dressed. My mother 
herself and her friend Madame Wichmann remonstrated 
with her about this and made her attend more to these 
details, and in the end she learned to dress for her parts 
becomingly and gracefully, though never conventionally. 

" On looking back I cannot help being struck with one 
thing. My parents lived a great deal in musical and 
theatrical society of all kinds, and I recollect, from my 
earliest childhood, hearing musicians and actors talked of 

200 JENXT LTVP. [wc nr.cH. n. 

and often praised. But eren qinte as a Uttle girl, in B^lin, 

lon2 before I was old enonsh w know anTthin^ about it, or 

evS to be taken to the Opera, I can distinctlT remember 

ha>-ini: the impression that Jenny Und was something qmte 

differ^! fe^in the oidinarr p^ple I heard discussed. And 

th€re has always been a son of reverence in the way thev 

«ixke oi her— as iher would have spoken of a vay beautiful 

md verv sacred picture or poem. I suppose it was the 

in-ense Vuiirr of her nature that made her veiy actmg 

n^ I cannot exactly express it, but I very distinctly 

^^ei?L as a child, associating her name with a sort of 

^^erioas reverence. And even now the same childish 

ff^in^'s^*™^ ^^ come back to me mixed with the remem- 

>iiance ci my mother's enthusiastic love for her." * 

Xiiese interesting recollections prove conclusively that 
even l^ore her first appearance in public Mdlle. Lind had 
completely won the hearts of a brilliant and influential circle 
i>f private friends, many of whom remained in aCTectionate 
intereourse with her to the last day of her life. Their kind 
svmpathy must have encouraged her to face the coming trial 
ynxh the resolution and fortitude it so imperatively demanded ; 
for, strong as was her determination when the crisis arrived, 
the time of anticipation was always one of terror and 

At this period also an event took place which exercised a 
marked influence on the artistic phase of her professional 
career, though less perhaps in connection with the Stage 
than with the Concert-room. 

She had been iuNited, on the 21st of October, to a Soiree 
at the house of Professor Wichmann in the Hasenheger 
Strasse. At the moment of startinj; Meverbeer called to 
pay her a \isit; and ha\'ing, no doubt, many important 
matters to discuss with her, stayed so long that she arrived 
at the evening party under the escort of Madame von 

* From a private memorandum written by the Lady Rose Weigall, by 
whose kind permission it is inserted here. 


Eidderstolpe some hours after the appointed time. How- 
ever, late as it was, she did arrive there, and in a letter 
dated October the 22nd she thus describes the great event of 
the evening : — 

" Last night I was invited to a very pleasant and elegantly 
furnished house, where I saw and spoke to Mendelssohn 
Bartholdy,* and he was incredibly friendly and polite, and 
spoke of my ' great talent/ I was a little surprised, and 
asked him on what ground he spoke in this way. * Well ! ' 
he said, * for this reason, that all who have heard you are of 
one opinion only, and that is so rare a thing that it is quite 
sufficient to prove to me what you are.' " 

This first meeting between the two great artists was a 
memorable one for both, and formed the foundation of a 
friendship which terminated only with the death of the 
beloved composer in 1847. 

That Mdlle. Lind stood in sorest need of all the help and 
consolation that friendship could afford during the period of 
suspense that preceded her introduction to the general 
public is evident from private letters, in which she ex- 
presses herself in terms of almost hopeless despondency 
with regard to her capacity for fulfilling the expectations 
that had been formed of her. Her anxiety had, in fact, 
become almost intolerable — so deep that it prompted her to 
writ-e, in agonised insistence, to her friends in Sweden, even 
before she had any decisive intelligence to communicate to 
them either of good or evil. 

That the true nature of the intelligence she was really 
justified in sending has long since been anticipated by our 
readers we cannot reasonably doubt ; but though the coming 
triumph seemed assured, we shall see presently that the path 
to the Stage was not exactly strewn with roses. 

* Mendelssohn was at that time residing at Frankfort, bnt he fre- 
quently came to Berlin, either in his character of General Musik Director 
to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. or for the purpose of visiting his family. 

( 202 ) [bc it. ch. m. 



Before narrating the events connected with Mademoiselle 
Lind's first appearance at the Court Theatre at Berlin it is 
desirable that we should say a few words in explanation of 
the more than ordinary interest attached to the reopening of 
that splendid Opera-House, so famous in the history of Art 
and so closely interwoven with that of the Hohenzollem 

One of the first acts of King Frederick the Great, after his 
accession to the throne of Prussia,* on the 30th of May, 
1740, was the foundation of an Opera-House, designed on a 
scale sufficiently splendid to eclipse the glories of every other 
theatre in Europe. 

The scheme was worthy of its author, who was one of the 
most enthusiastic patrons of Art then living — a "Royal 
Musician " in every sense of the word ; and the promptitude 
with which it was carried out gave early proof of the decision 
wliich formed so prominent a feature in his character. 

The preparation of the design was nominally committed to 
the Freiherr von Knobelsdorf, the Court architect ; but, if 
tradition may be trusted, its most important features were 
suggested by the King himself. 

The building was completed in the winter of the year 1742, 
and on the 7th of December its inauguration was celebrated 
with extraordinary pomp by a magnificent performance of 

* Uoder the title of King Friedrich II. 

1844.] THE NEW OPERA-HOUSE. 203 

Graun's Cesare & Cleopatra, at which the King and all the 
Court were present. The fitness of the theatre for the high 
purpose for which it was designed was pronounced by those 
best able to form a judgment upon the subject to be perfect ; 
and, fortunately for the history of Art, an eye-witness of no 
small experience who visited Berlin in 1772 — just thirty 
years after its completion — and was present at a performance 
at which the King himself assisted, has left us the following 
eloquent description of its then appearance: a description 
which we quote in preference to a more modern account, 
because it furnishes an exact and graphic picture of the theatre 
in which Mademoiselle Lind was to make her debut, for 
after the calamitous fire of 1843 the present Opera-House was 
reconstructed so exactly upon the model of the old one that 
one and the same description wiU serve for both. 

** The theatre is insulated," says Bumey, " in a large square, 
in which there are more magnificent buildings than I ever 
saw, at one glance, in any city of Europe. It was constructed 
by His present Majesty soon after his coming to the Crown. 
The principal front has two entrances : one on a level with 
the ground, and the other by a grand double escalier. This 
front is decorated with six Corinthian pillars, with their 
entablature entire, supporting a pediment ornamented with 
reliefs, and with this inscription upon it — 



" This front is decorated with a considerable number of the 
statues of poets and dramatic actors, which are placed in 
niches. The two sides are constructed in the same manner, 
except that there are no pillars. 

" A considerable part of the front of this edifice forms a 
hall, in which the Court has a repast on ridotta days. The 
rest is for the theatre, which, besides a vast pit, has four rows 
of boxes, thirteen in each, and these severally contain thirty 
persons. It is one of the widest theatres I ever saw, though 
it seems rather short in proportion. 

" The performance of the Operas begins at six o'clock ; the 
King, with the Princes and his attendants, are placed in the 

204 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. in. 

pit, close to the orchestra ; the Queen, the Princesses, and 
other ladies of distinction sit in the front boxes. Her 
Majesty is saluted at her entrance into tlie theatre and at her 
departure thence by two bands of kettle-drums placed, one 
on each side of the house, in the upper boxes. 

" The King always stands beside the Maestro di Cappella^ 
in sight of the score, which he frequently looks at, and indeed 
performs the part of Director-General here as much as that 
of Generalissimo in the field." * 

The building thus described by Dr. Bumey stood almost 
intact, with but slight modifications suggested from time to 
time to suit the conveniences of the age, for more than a 
hundred years. But a fate hangs over theatres which it 
seems impossible to evade. On the night between the 
18th and 19th of August, 1843, it was burnt to the ground, 
in the hundred and second year of its existence ; and, following 
the example of his illustrious ancestor. King Frederick 
William IV. commanded its immediate reconstruction almost 
exactly upon the lines of the original design. The task of 
rebuilding the edifice was, on this occasion, entrusted to 
Baurath C. Ferd. Langhans, jun., who departed from 
Knobelsdorfs design only in narrowing the elliptical form 
of the interior, the irregularity of which had attracted Dr. 
Burney's notice more than seventy years previously ; in re- 
arranging the boxes upon a more convenient plan ; and in 
making some indispensable changes in the disposition of the 
staircases. The modem building, therefore, with the in- 
auguration of which we are now concerned, was almost an 
exact reproduction of that described by our learned and genial 
musical historian in 1773. 

The new theatre was completed towards the close of the 
year 1844, and opened in the presence of the Court on the 
evening of the 7th of December. 

* *The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and 
United Provinces*; by Charles Bumey, Mus. Doc. (London, 1773, 
vol. ii. pp. 94, et seq,) 


It was naturally to be expected that on an occasion so 
deeply interesting to the leading members of the House of 
Hohenzollem care would be taken to present a piece in 
harmony with the spirit of the festival. To this end 
Meyerbeer had been commanded, as we have already seen, to 
compose the music for an Opera the libretto of which was 
founded upon an episode in the history of King Frederick 
the Great, and had arranged the meeting with Mdlle. lind, 
in Dresden, for the purpose of accommodating the principal 
part to the style of her performance. The piece was to be 
called Das Fddlager in Schlesicn* and the libretto, carefully 
prepared by L. Eellstab, brought into prominence an in- 
cident in the history of that famous campaign in Silesia, 
through which the world first learned to appreciate at its just 
value the military genius of the redoubtable ** Vater Fritz." 
This piece was a good one, full of highly dramatic situations, 
though entirely free from violence or exaggeration. Meyer- 
beer's music was of his best. Fired by the splendour of this 
opportunity, he had thrown his whole soul into the work, 
and it was in response to his desire that the principal role 
should be performed by the most finished artist who could be 
persuaded to undertake it that Mademoiselle Lind had been 
invited to Berlin. 

But the intrigues of the stage are inscrutable, and cannot 
be foreseen even by the most experienced directors. Meyer- 
beer's cherished project was opposed by a local interest. 

Fraulein Tuczec, who had for years sung at the theatre 
as pnma donna, claimed the right of appearing in the 
principal part, on the reopening of the house, on the ground 

* The full title of the Opera was, * Das Feldlager in Schlesien. 0|)er, 
in drei AufziigeD, in Lebensbildern ans der Zeit Friedrich des Grossen, 
von L. Rellstab. Musik von Meyerbeer. Tanze von Hoguet.* * ITie 
Camp of Silesia, Opera, in three acts, in Life-pictures from the time of 
Frederick the Great,' by L. Rellstab. Music by Meyerbeer. Dances by 

306 •/1331 UKD. " 

thai sbe^bRipg a peiiiuLiient member oT ite o imijiim % , enjcyed 
pnrileses of ^Hck it ^vr^nild lie im jnBi to deprive lier in 
fsTocr of a Bnuxcer eziira^i for *" ^nesi pezf oimuioeE " anhr ; * 
and for the peziu^ sifll BXranser msan tiisL 'iriien ii laid 
sppened daubnfd ^rheiber MademcBseOe lind, a&er haTii^ 
h&ssi recalled to S&ockhdhn iar The ocronalaan oTKii^ Osck; 
'vxicld anrre in Berlin in lime to imdenaLbe the psit. die 
herself had baen recrDe<;:«c v:* smdv il 

like case iras no: -viib.niin ixs difEcnlxies. On bach sadea 
there vas a sb?v of fssnoe ^idLh respea u^ the oonlBcsang 

Meredieer ^vks perft^TilT josirSBd in iMiiln g d«t ncK cbIt 
had he inrsen the itfir: exrsesstr for ICademcoaene Iiiid.lHt 
thai ^)e had been inTri<»i Tr? Bedin far the e^v^ prnpose of 
^"^^"»;^ XL^ trHLe on the ccLer hand he ooKld hoc cauoal 
from '^--miap^f the f&ci thai, since the pom had been gircn to 
Fra:ileiii Tticz>&c fc*r Ft::iiT. -w^hen donbi arose as :a? the prolmlile 
iai^e vf M^a-ieinc-iselle Licd's arrival in Berlir- her cha£7in 
-Brbrn she found that i: Lad l-een vithdra^im ^:ct her ^»itt fMi 
frcjzn uimamraL Tiie znonl .strength of her ^^:^fr?* -m^^s p«!ent 
to even' one. ^^^ietLer or not sLe had t&ient ezK^osh to 
jnsti^ her in forcin:^: that claim on the present oc«asHei ^^la 
another question, -which the event only oocld decide^ 
Meyerbeer, no doubt, foresaw the re?nlt of her determinaiion ; 
bnt with that result ilademoiselle lind was in no wise ccm- 
oemed. We have written to little purpoise if ottr leadefs 
have not alrea^ly obtained sufBcient insight into her character 
to feel convinced that she would be the last person in the 
world either to infringe upon a lawfiil privilege or to take 
advantage of an untoward accident. 

* Oajftrodtu, In the G^man theatres, performen Dot belc-nging to tlia 
regular oompanj, and employed for a liniitfd number of perforiDanoes 
only, are called ' guests ' (Crdffe), and ecgaged on special tenns, without a 
formal contract in writing, 

t See page 188. 

1844.] THE NEW OPERA-HOUSE. 207 

When Meyerbeer endeavoured to persuade her to take his 
view of the circumstances, she even went so far as to appeal 
to the authority of the Haus Minister, Prince Wittgenstein, 
in support of what she considered to be Fraulein Tuczec's 
just claim ; and it was actually through the Prince's interven- 
tion, imported into the case at her earnest request, that 
Fraulein Tuczec was able to fight with any prospect of 
success against the enormous weight of Meyerbeer's influence 
at Court. 

But even before the case was decided, and while Fraulein 
Tuczec's claim was still in abeyance, a false account of the 
circumstances had abeady found its way into the newspapers ; 
and to correct this Mademoiselle Lind wrote the following 
letter to her friend, M. Lars Hierta, at Stockholm : — 

« Berlin, Nov. 26, 1844. 
" Herr KonigL Secretar, 

" Kindly excuse me if, for a few moments, I beg to 
encroach upon your valuable time. 

*' Having seen, in an article in the * Aflonblad,' reproduced 
from the ' Frankfurter Ober-Postamt-Zeitung,' that my friends 
in Stockholm are incorrectly informed about my position 
in Berlin, I venture, Herr Koniglicher Secretar, to call your 
attention to the following lines. 

" I came to Berlin under the impression that the principal 
role in the new opera * had been assigned to no other than 
myself; but I found that it was also given for study to 
Mademoiselle Tuczec, under the apprehension that my deten- 
tion in Sweden might otherwise have rendered it necessary 
to delay the opening of the new Opera-House. On my arrival 
in Berlin, however, Meyerbeer took it for granted that I, for 
whom he had composed the part, should undertake to sing it 
at the first representation. He therefore called upon 
Mademoiselle Tuczec, and — ^perhaps with some temper — 
informed her that I had now arrived, that the part was mine, 
and that it was consequently my duty to sing it for the first 

" Mademoiselle Tuczec, who is very nervous, was altogether 

* Das Feldlager in ScMesien, 

306 JESM LTHK ^iK.iT.aLm. 

is ILijescT zc ^€cnh hst 5> &p;<ar a: :ht c^ieaing of the 

- Wben iifs '3a=:ii :«:•=. J isowisii^ I w»$ greadrsciprised, 
r":r I hid =?:c Lairi a *^fr wrpi o£ h. and did noc even 
incT •:''^A^ lb* ri^ Lki :eei zrrai to VfciwTK-isdle Taczec 
A~r 15 I in L.-:c fiij-l cf strife u>i nsiieBcacd nochin^ wbat- 
cTrr •:! ii.tri~:-5r I os>iai znj pLice wish pM£as;xre — the more 
v-Zliz^Ij 'c€ca;i5e I cor^i ierel tLis MidemiQiseUe Tncnec was 
r>L:, siLce sLe had L^-i ihe p«n fix socne ame, and was, 
^crecver a zr^t faTOuriLe wiA ibe pcblic here, while I am 
c:iiic urinown and a foreigner alax 

* - In a*i'i:tion to iis liTeTe lenains the question of the 
f -rtizn Un^nase. Ic snrelv wi^cld be verr nnfavooiable for 
xne, under these ciic-Timstanoes, to make my fizst appearance 
in connecdon with dialogue and melodrama ! 

"It L3 I, then, who have reallT arranged the whole 
Clatter, and ^lademoiselle Tuczec seems quite satisfied 
with me. 

" I hope, Herr Koniglicher Secretar, that tou have been 
able to understand m v disjointed phrases, and that you will 
be good enough to sav a few words in my behalf in your 
paper in onler that my friends in Stockholm may be aware 
of the true state of the matter — and also of this, that, though 
I am a poor sensitive lonely girl, in a foreign land and 
surrounded by cabals and intrigues, I am none the less 
jx/ssessed of a heart that beats high at the thought of Sweden, 
and am conse^juently not always in a cheerful mood ; and this 
1 know, tliat the pleasure I have been happy enough to give 
my countn'men — at times, perhaps, when my mind was most 
0[>pre3.sed — would ^je forgotten, beyond all doubt, if at any 
nioiuent I aj^^eare^l here without success, even though my 
Uilent remainerl undiminished. But rather than involve 
inys^jlf in law-suits I would renoimce ever}'thing; and as 
lon;( as I have mv two hands to work with I would rather 
f;ani my bread, under such circumstances, away from the 

** I trufet, Herr Koniglicher Secretar, that you will be good 
enougli to excuse this long epistle, which now draws to an 
<Mid ; and should you find anytliing in it worth writing about, 
1 venture to rely on the kindness you have always shown me, 
an«l lioj^e you will place me on this occasion in the light I 
really deser\'e. 

" Begging you to convey my kind r^ards to your wife and 

1844.] TEE NEW 0PEBA-E0U8E. 209 

the other members of your family, I talie the liberty of 
signing my self, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Jbnny Lind." * 

As the reader will, no doubt, have already foreseen, 
her intervention on the side of simple justice produced 
a marked reaction in Fraulein Tuczec's favour; and, 
to Meyerbeer's intense disappointment, the part of 
" Vielka," in the new Opera, was ofl&cially confided to the 
privil^ed prima donna. 

The inauguration of the new Court Theatre was celebrated 
with the utmost possible splendour on the 7th of December, 
in presence of the Boyal Family, the foreign ambassadors, 
and a brilliant gathering of all the rank and fashion of Berlin. 
The general success of the festival was, of course, assured 
beforehand ; but though Das Feldlager in SchUsien contained 
some of the best and most attractive music that Meyerbeer 
had as yet produced, it was evident that it failed to make the 
desired impression upon the public — ^for the simple reason 
that the principal rSle was unsuited to the style of the per- 
former who had imdertaken to interpret it The part of 
"Vielka" had not been written for Fraulein Tuczec. It 
bristled with difficulties with which but very few of the best 
singers of the day would have been able to contend ; and to 
add to the embarrassment of the situation, the music, ex- 
pressly written for Mademoiselle lind, had been so exactly 
adapted to the quality of her voice and the style of her 
execution that, deprived of the individuality which she was 
prepared to communicate to it, it would necessarily have lost 
its greatest charm if it had been entrusted to any other 
singer than herself, however highly accomplished. As it was, 
the new piece could scarcely have been regarded as having 

* Letter from Mdlle. Lind to Herr Eonigl. Secretar, Lars Hjerta, dated, 
Berlin, Nov. 25, 1844 ; and inserted by permission of his family. 


210 JESSY USD. [K.IT. 

ieSiea very much shcHt of a £Bdliire» and Meyeibeei's chagrin 
at the cold leoeption of his long-cheiished wodc was veiy bitter 
indeed. It is tme that Fiaiilein Taczec appeared in it 
altogether five times,* but after Mademoiselle lind's dBnUy 
on the 15th of December, the two last perfonnanoes were 
treated by the (mblic very much after the manner of ** ofL- 
nights.** It was an nnfortonate mistake, and the more to be 
regretted because it placed a really clever singer and actress 
— ^which Mademoiselle Taczec nndoubtedly was — in a cruelly 
false position. 

^ On Dec 7, 10, 13, 17, and 22, 1844. 

( 211 ) 



Since Mdlle. Lind had been prevented, by untoward circum- 
stances, from taking an active part in the festival with 
which the new Opera-House was inaugurated, there clearly 
remained no reason why she should not make her first 
appearance before a Grerman audience in one of her own 
favourite parts; and she herseK felt it to be eminently 
desirable that an Italian opera should be selected for the 

Her choice fell upon Norma^ in which she had already 
achieved immense success, notwithstanding the weU-known 
fact— or perhaps by reason of it — that her interpretation of 
the role differed in every one of its most striking charac- 
teristics from that adopted by every prima donna of note 
who had undertaken to impersonate the imhappy priestess 
from whom Bellini's master-piece takes its now familiar 
name. And what prima donna of note had not undertaken 
that most difficult impersonation ? It was a part in which 
all the greatest soprano singers of the age had striven to 
shine; and though Mdlle. Lind chose it for her dShit 
simply because it was one of her favourite parts, and with- 
out a thought of constructive rivalry, she really, by that 
bold and, as it turned out, most happy choice, xmconsciously 
staked her reputation against that of every pri^na donna 
who had charmed the public, from Madame Pasta, for whom 
the part was written, in 1832, to Madame Grisi, who was 

p 2 

212 JENNY UND. [bk. iv. ch. iv. 

nightly playing it in London and in Paris in the self-same 
year 1844. 

The delmt was fixed for Sunday the loth of December, 
and its success exceeded the warmest expectations of all 
concerned. The public was in raptures — ^the critics were ' 
disarmed. The heroines of the past and present were 
forgotten. The new reading of the part commended itself to 
alL Madame Pasta had rendered it with a noble energy, 
a fiery power, worthy of high admiration, though, it must be 
confessed, more remarkable for its vigour than its womanly 
tenderness. Madame Grisi, inheriting the role directly from 
her great predecessor, in company with whom she had, in 
the original cast, played the secondary part of Adalgisa * 
—Madame Grisi, with even less of tenderness and more 
exaggerated energy, delineated a Pythoness — a passionate 
savage, with whom none but a savage could have fallen in 
love. But Pdlio was not a savage. He was a true Boman, 
voluptuous, inconstant, ready to sink weakly into the arms 
of a new mistress without a thought of remorse, when his 
passion for his first inamorata began to cool, but incapable 
of yielding to the violence of a Maenad. He might reason- 
ably have fallen in love with Madame Pasta's Norma, but 
not with Madame Grisi's. 

Upon these two primary interpretations of the part all 
later ones were based, until, for the first time in its history, 
Mdlle. Lind presented the impassioned Druidess before the 
world in the character of a true woman. The critics of 
Berlin, familiar with every tradition of the Stage, early 
or recent, yielded at once to the logical consistency of this 
beautiful though unfamiliar conception, and accepted the 
new ideal as the highest impersonation of the character of 
Norma that had as yet been presented to the publia One 

* At the Teatio della Scala at Hikm, duriog the carnival of 1832. 

1844.3 THE DtlBUT. 213 

of them,* writing in the leading journal of the day, gives us 
the following account of the impression it made upon him 
both from a musical and a dramatic point of view, After 
some preliminary remarks of no general interest, he begins his 
critique proper with a description of the artist herseK: — 

"Her voice," he says, "not without fulness, but more 
pleasing than powerftd, moves within the two soprano 
octaves, from the once to the thrice-marked C,t with charm- 
ing lightness and certainty; though the middle register is 
sometimes shaded by a soft veil which serves to bring out 
the upper notes in clearest and most silvery contrast This 
beautifol natural gift is supplemented by a groimdwork of 
most diligent study. Her pronunciation — though the German 
language is not familiar to her — is pleasing, clear, and 
distinct. She possesses that sustaining-power of tone which 
in the best Italian school lends so peculiarly tender a colour 
to Eecitative. Her melodies she accentuates in truest 
measure throughout. But the high cultivation of her style 
most strikingly manifests itself in the clearness and pearly 
evenness of her passages. We have heard such passages 
sung with greater rapidity, but never with greater perfection. 
So much for the Singer. 

And the Actress — especially in the elasticity of her 
motions — is of fully equal excellence. 

" All her movements have a womanly charm, which gives 
a beautiful expression to her voice, while, at the same time, 
it shows no lack of character, or energy, or majesty. 

" One might not unnaturally suppose, from these general 
features in the portrait of our artist, that Norma, at least, 
ruled by demons of darkness, would give her some trouble. 
But it is exactly here that her conception reconciles us with 
this fearful character. She bases it throughout upon the 
element of love, that one day changes this proud priestess 
into a humble slave ; love, that thenceforth vanquishes the 
sombre flames of rage and vengeance with its soft and rosy 
rays. Pasta presents a " Norma " before whom, our artist a 

* Herr Ludwig Hellstab, critic and poet, the author of the libretto of 
J)a8 FdcUager in ScMesien, 

t That is to say, from the notes known to English pianists as '' middle 
€,** to the C two octaves above it. But Mdlle. Lind's voice really ex- 
tended fjEtr beyond this in the upward direction. 

214 JKSNY USD. [k. it. cb. nr. 

''Konna'* %rUh whom, we tremble. The art <^ die one is 
btoader, more astonishing; that of the other more swe^ and 
enthralling. Upon these essential pecnliazities the part 
depends for its culminating point of interest. 

^ Until now no singer has ever song the caTatina» KeuseAe 
GoUin* as we think it on^t to be song. Oor actress is the 
first who has satisfactorily performed this apparently easy 
task. She clothes the melody in that pale romantic moon- 
light under the influence of which it was conceiTed, and she 
knows so well how to sustain this colouring throughout the 
difficulties of the mechanical passages — ^in themselves less 
beautiful — that the highest triimiph of her thrilling de- 
liyeiy is achieved in die dear execution of the chromatic 
runs. The singer here obtained a mark of recognition which 
has never before been witnessed within the experience of 
any of us — the air was encored, and the artist called forward 
in the middle of the act ! May such barbarous applause, 
which destroys all the dramatic propriety of the work, never 
become naturalised among us ! The singer herself seemed to 
feel it in its true light ; for her demeanour was so modest, as 
the a£Eur proceeded^ that on her part, at least, no interruption 
was noticeable.f 

"We should be carried much too fiu* were we to dilate 
upon every beautiful detail of the performance. The singer 
was charming from the first note to the last, and proved 
thereby that which we have so often vainly striven to impress 
upon many other performers, that the true beauty of Art, as 
well as its most powerful effect, lies in the skilful economisa- 
tion of the means at command. There was nothing of that 
tormenting jriangendOy that ceaseless wailing, that destroys 
all beauty of tone ; yet everywhere there was inmost spiritiial 
expression, even in passages which are treated by others as 

* ** Casta diifa " in the original Italian. 

t It ifl not, we believe, generally known that the opening movement 
of the welL-known cavatina — Casta diva — ^was originally written for 
Madame Pasta in the key of G. It stood thus in the MS. score formerly 
used at Her Majesty's Theatre, and destroyed in the conflagration of 
December 6th, 1867, but the only printed edition with which we are 
acquainted in which it appears in the original key is the com^dete one 
published some years ago by Messrs. Boosey & Co. in the series 
entitled 'The Standard Lyrical Drama.' Mdlie. Lind sang it in the 
softer and far more appropriate and congenial key of F^ in which it is 
now almost uniyersally performed and printed. 

184i.] THE DilBUl. 215 

accessories introduced merely for the purpose of attesting to 
the brilliancy of a finished execution. The singer firmly 
associates each passage with the nature of the situation, and 
thus employs, as a necessary living feature indispensable to 
the perfection of the whole, that which would otherwise 
appear as a dead or superfluous ornament. A proportionate 
measurement of many of the tempi, of which expedient Pasta 
also availed herself — for instance, in the duet, ^ Empfange 
diesen Schwesterkuss* * — served materially to enhance the 
beauty of the changeful expression, whether of feeling or 

"When, however, we say that the artist attains in the 
cavatina tiie purest and most inspiring effect that we have 
ever heard produced by any representative of the part 
of "Norma," the reader would grievously misimderstand us 
were he to suppose that she has reached the summit of her 
ideaL Oh, no! She well knows how to rise from weak and 
yielding moments to passionate ones, and increases in power 
fiN)m scene to scene. She is as much mother as lover ; and 
especially in the closing scene, when she remembers her 
cluldren and the fate that awaits them after the sacrifice of 
their parents, both acts and sings with inimitable beauty 
and power of expression. 

" The summons of the singer before the curtain after the 
first act and at the close of the performance is a theatrical 
accessory which speaks for itself. Among the public there 
was not one single dissentient voice: its verdict truly 
represented the expression of its thanks for the gift re- 
ceived." t 

Warm as is this eulogium, those who are fortunate 
enough to remember her impersonation of the part of 
"Norma " will confess that it is in no degree exaggerated. 
"Norma" was certainly one of her most perfect creations, 
comparable only to her interpretation of the rdles of " Alice " 
in Bdbert le DiahU and " Amina " in La Sannarrilmla. Even 
in the master-pieces of Mozart, her vocal powers were scarcely 

"* ** Ah I 81 fa core e alhracciami ^ in the original Italian. 

t Kdnigl%€he privHegirte Berlinische (Vosnsche) Zeitwng. (Berlin, 
Dec. 16, 1845.) Vide also, ' Oesammelte Schri/ten von Ludwig BellBtab.' 
(Leipzig, 1861, vol xx. pp. 388-91.) 

216 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. co. iv. 

displayed to greater advantage, and as an actress she oonld 
not have won higher and purer praise, even in a classical 

From the moment of this first performance, the reputation 
she had already attained, in Stockholm, was more than 
confirmed, and her position in Berlin assured. She appeared 
in Norma for the second time with equal success on Friday, 
December 20th ; and again, for the third time, on Wednes- 
day the 25th. Then followed a few days of retirement from 
the turmoil of actual publicity, concerning the employment 
of which we are furnished with an interesting account from a 
Bympathetic pen. 

On the 23rd of December her young friend, Herr Josephson, 
arrived in Berlin on an invitation to spend Christmas with 
her. After calling upon her at Madame Beyer's he writes 
in his diary : — 

*^ I have seen Jenny again, now that she also has been 
abroad — and winning laurels. When, we parted, four months 
ago, in Leipzig, we little thought that we should so soon 
meet again. Fate, however, shapes our paths in a way we 
cannot foresee; and here we were pleasantly associating 
again as in Dresden last summer. 

" Jenny seemed satisfied with her reception here — ^which, 
indeed, is as splendid as it can possibly be ; and I foimd her 
in a calm and fairly cheerful mood. 

" On the following morning I called on the Swedish 
Minister, and again heard what the Baroness Eidderstolpe — 
Madame Beyer's sister — had already told me on the previous 
evening ; viz , that every one in Berlin has been in raptures 
ever since Jenny's appearance.* 

Josephson spent Christmas Eve with her at Madame 
Beyer's, and on his return home made the following entry : — 

" I have spent a merry Swedish Christmas Eve with Jenny 
and the Beyers. The Baroness Bidderstolpe was there, and 

* N. P. Odman, in op. cit,^ vol. iL 

1844.] TBE D^BUT. 217 

some Swedish ladies who were here on a visit had been 
assisting our hostess to arrange everything in true Swedish 
fashion. Amidst joyful friendly faces, cheering and beauti- 
ful gifts, and a profusion of lights, a harmonious tone 
pervaded the whole, despite a few passing clouds over the 
skv of the Swedes when thinking of the dear ones left 
behind. If we were to be so far away from home we could 
not wish for anything better or happier ! " * 

The homely little Swedish festival recalls a similar one 
which took place in Paris in 1841, at the house of Mdlle. du 


But how different the circumstances. Then Mdlle. lind 
was labouring to acquire the technical knowledge and power 
of execution, with which she hoped one day to accomplish 
something worthy of the high mission which in her heart 
of hearts she felt certain had been committed to her. Now 
she had accomplished it. The most severely critical people 
in the world in matters of the highest Art, admitted that 
they had never seen her like. It might well have been said, 
without presumption, that her reputation was already made 
and her fortune assured. There was hard work before her, 
it is true ; and it was not her wont to neglect anything that 
she believed to be her duty. Still, it was familiar work 
and there could be no reasonable doubt as to its results. 

♦ Ibid. 

t See pages 122-123. 

218 ) [K.K 



lfmj,F Lzsii's tnamph vms but a few dajs old wboi she 
began to devcAe heiself to die exocise of diat boundless 
cbantj in which, tfaroi^lioiit the whole <^ her fifis; she txwk 
infinitely greater interest than that whidi she bea Ui med i^on 
her own adrancement in the worid. 

On Sm^ajr, the 29th of Deoembo^, Hetr Josephacn — who 
had been reading one of Pkstor Lin^ren's wbtwls to her 
early in the morning at Madame Seyer^s — aonmmpanied her» 
later in the day , to thehonse of Madame BiTch-Pfiaffa;alady 
onder whose superintendence she had resumed her stody of 
the Gennan language so inopportunely interrupted in Dresden. 

^She had just returned," says Herr Josephson in his 
IHary, " from the Intendant of the Theatre, Herr von Kustner, 
who had offered her an engagement for six months^ with an 
honorarium of six thousand thalers and a benefit* She had, 
of course, not yet given her answer ; but she felt grateful and 
liappy that such a simi should have been offered to her 
without any suggestion whatever from herself 

" ' I feel bound/ " she said, " ' in one way or another, to prove 
in a practical way my thankfulness to God, who has given 
me so much prosperity. You remember--do you not? — 
something that I once spoke to you about when we were at 
Dresden ? I myself have good reason to remember it, for 
now you will be able to go to Italy whenever you likc't 

^ Six thousand tbalers equal about £900 in English money. 

t A sojourn in Italy, for purposes of study, had been the dream of Herr 
Joeq^hson's life ; and it is evident that he must have spoken to her about 
it in Dresden during the previous summer. 


''We had only a short distance to walk. There was no 
time for long explanation. I only replied, therefore, that I 
thought it was too soon to think of this, and that, moreover, 
in accepting her proposal I should always consider myself her 
debtor, as even I might hope for more success in the future. 

" Every day reveals to me some new trait in her character ; 
and I know not which is greatest, my gratitude to, or my 
admiration for, her. I stand daily on a more and more inti- 
mate and brotherly footing with her, and am therefore able 
to accept gladly and thankfully from her that which from 
many others 1 could not take without a certain reservation 
of feeling. I can only pray that, in her restless life, peace 
may one day obtain the victory." * 

Of the result of this conversation we shall have to speak 
more fully hereafter. For the moment we must follow 
Mdlle. Lind in the fulfilment of her own career. 

No record of the contract mentioned by Herr Josephson 
has been found among the archives of the Berlin Opera 
House, and that for the very good and suf&cient reason that 
it is customary for the royal intendancies to issue contracts- 
in writing only in connection with engagements offered to- 
members of the permanent staff, and not to draw them up in 
favour of visitors engaged for Gastrollen only.f It is there- 
fore impossible now to fiuacertain whether the surangement 
was actually concluded or not; though, as the duration of 
Mdlle. Lind's first visit to Berlin was limited to four months^ 
during which period she sang twenty times only for the 
directors — ^her own "benefit" taking place, as a matter of 
course, as an extra night — it is evident that, if six continuous 
months were intended, the engagement could not have been 

But however this may have been, the strength of her 
position, founded singly and solely upon the brilliancy of her 

• N. P. Odman, in op. cit. 
t FK2e page 206. 

220 JETTF LUHl ^K-nttK-iL 

ta-f'g*^ urr> cccg^tHJ izj vrrw see fciTytf && jiaDJed a 

acid ^jSPstf xhiSL Hrfzc. Herobeer w^ft§ izl n^csrcs widi 
bsr, ttki L^ desire iLs^ dae prrirrpal rfic izl Iiis 
Opisn ibxiM l« MF^gryii ^> her grev l ai i jugg sal 
ertfjd&T. TiKicgrk be bad, 2c«5fi^a«//pe^sdSsRdFzi^^ 
Tv^Ofif: Xff zi^^asi m k OIL tfae (jfcazng BiBgiEt» he bd Dever 
reth^ftdsLed his kpgHr-hm^hFd project. He bad wmfcm the 
I«ait of ''Tifelka " exprgsglr fer UdDe. liad, and w^as q[aise 
determined tLat the ta^k of interprcdzig it in aeoocdance 
with h» own idea should be ooofided to hex. It was doe to 
hu artistic pciskion that Fiaokin Tnczec sbonld lesigii into 
more masterly hands the dntj die had ao imprudently 
undertaken to fulfil, and fulfilled so imperfectly that the 
mtcoe^ of the Opera was more than endangeied by the un- 
fitness of the T(fU far her. To this compromise MdlleL lind 
was quite willing to assent, but some little time and a great 
Aesd of very hard study were needed in order to secure a 
perfect interpretation of the r6U. For, after the manner of 
the tiine-bonoured German Schatupid, the new Opera con* 
Viinhfl, in place of classical recitative, long passages of spoken 
iVmh/fpiH, and it was chiefly for the sake of attaining a more 
I^;rfect accent in the delivery of these that she had resumed 
li^rr Hturlies in German under the direction of Madame 

Shie c^^iuld scarcely have made a better or a more fortunate 
choirx', for the lady — of whom we shall have to speak again 
inore particularly hereafter — had herself been well known 
HH a clever and intelligent actress, and under her maiden 
name — Cliarlotte I*feiffer — had appeared on the stage with 
success in Munich, Vienna, Berlin, and many other import- 
ant German capitals. In middle life, she retired from the 
ftta;^e, married Dr. Christian Birch, of Copenhagen, the 


son of a late Danish Minister of State, and, uniting his 
name to her own, devoted herself thenceforward to dramatic 
authorship, producing at different times nearly seventy plays, 
some of which — such as the well-known dramas Die Marquise 
von VUlette and Die Frau Professorin — ^have kept their places 
on the German stage to the present day.* 

Under the superintendence, then, of Madame Birch- 
PfeifTer, Mdlle. Lind made such rapid progress in the Grerman 
language that within less than a fortnight after her third 
performance of Norma she was ready to appear in the new 

The gifted composer was delighted with her interpretation 
of his music, which, as was his wont, he altered, re-wrote, 
improved, and not imfrequently injured, with microscopic 
attention to every minutest detail till the very last moment. 
Herr Josephson was present at two of the last rehearsals, on 
the 3rd and 4th of January, which he thus describes in his 
Diary: — 

" January 3, 1845, Meyerbeer was altogether enchanted 
with Jenny's singing, and embraced her at the end of the 
rehearsal. January 4th. Behearsed again, in the morning. 
I drove back with Meyerbeer and Jenny. I begged the 
maestro that I, too, might be allowed to express my thanks 
for his beautiful Opera, and he answered me in a very 
gracious manner. He is a most polite man; something of 
the courtier ; something of the man of genius ; something of 
the man of ^e world ; and has, in addition, something fidgety 
about his whole being. Before re-producing the Opera with 
Jenny Lind he called upon her, to the best of my belief, at 
least a hundred times, to consult about this, that, or the 
other. He alters incessantly, curtails here, dovetails there, 
and thus, by his eagerness and anxiety, prevents the spon- 
taneous growth of the work, and imparts a fragmentary 
character to its beauty." f 

^ Madame Birch-Pfeiffer died on the 25th of August, 1868 ; and her 
husband, Dr. Birch, four days later, on the 29th. 
t Josephson, op, ciLj vol. ii. 

222 JENNT LIND. [ v. 

In this fastidious desire to secure the most perfect finish 
in everjr insignificant detail Meyerbeer was only following 
out his own invariable custom — and, after all, his crowd of 
after-thoughts was not greater than that which haunted 
Beethoven until his works were actually in print However, 
he was satisfied at last ; in conformity with previous an- 
nouncementy Das Feldlager in ScJdesien was duly performed, 
with Mdlle. Lind in the principal part, on the 5th of January, 
1845; and its effect upon the audience was even more 
striking than that produced by the great performance of 
Norma exactly three weeks previously. 

The constitutional dif&dence of her character tempted her 
to distrust her own powers up to the very moment of 
performance. Herr Josephson, who saw her in the morning, 
evidently thought she was no less " fidgety " than Meyerbeer 

" Jenny was extremely successful," he says, " in her dSlmt 
as ' Vielka.' Her singing was beautiful, her acting full of 
genius, life, and fire. The applause was spontaneous and 
enthusiastic. Her nervousness, which had kept her practising 
the whole afternoon and again before the beginning of the 
Opera, was not noticed by any one ; neither did it prevent her 
either from singing or acting her very best. The public was 
enchanted, and Meyerbeer happy. On comparing it with 
what I have seen and heard in Germany, I am amazed 
at the difference. With her the moving principle is the 
nobility of art — with others, less worthy motives are always 
apparent. The public sees this, and is astonished and fas- 
cinated. How she will be missed when she is gone." * 

The verdict of the critics, far warmer than this, was re- 
corded without reserve. Tlie most influential journal of the 
period gave an account of the performance no less generously 
enthusiastic than that wliich had appeared after the first 
representation of Norma. 

* Josephson, op, cit., vol. IL 


"Through her second r6le — 'Vielka,* in the FdcUagi 
Mdlle. Lind has proved/' says the critic,* '' that her talent 
fulfils the highest conditions not only in one direction, but 
in many. 

** With unerring sensitiveness, with the clearest knowledge 
of the heart, she has based the groundwork of the character 
upon a conception of its inner life, by which it can, through 
its forebodings, its childlike faith, and its pure intentions, 
soar into the regions of marvel Yielka's faith gives her 
the power to interpret character. Such insight she would be 
logically bound to possess; but to display this power of 
hers, as our artist does, in a living picture is a rare and a 
wonderful gift. 

** The deep earnestness with which she entered upon the 
first part of her task, when she first delivered the Bomame in 
musical form in tones full of ominous foreboding, might well 
have given rise to the presumption that she would bring 
the light and more pleasing part less prominently forward. 
But cuie justly recognised true earnestness and true cheer- 
fulness as perfectly compatible emotions, clothed them in 
the natural loveliness and grace of womanhood, impersonated 
the loving maiden no less truthfully than the inspired pro- 
phetess, and thus in her ideal fulfilled the later conditions 
as perfectly as she had fulfilled the earlier ones in those more 
exsdted moments in which she was brought into contact with 
the weightiest concerns of inner life and external histoiy. 

**An ever-living commentary on her inward conception is 
furnished by her dramatic and imitative expression, both of 
which are richly employed in the scene in which, by the 
exercise of her magic art, she terrifies, tames, charms, cajoles 
the wild country-folk. Nothing can equal the grace with 
which, in most modest, most gentle gyrations, she shakes the 
tambourine in her dance, and puts in practice all the magic 
of her loveliest allurements. The action was irresistible; 
and one could not only foresee that the wild warriors would 
obediently follow her, but could feel that they had no choice 
but to do so. 

" From this scene forward the liveliest and most enthu- 
siastic bursts of applause were accorded to her until she was 
called before the curtain. 

" Our task would never come to an end were we to notice 
every striking detail, every truthful charm, with which 

* Herr Bellstab. 


throughout the entire role she illustrated her delineations. 
Her outward expression rendered every inward feeling with 
the veracity of a mirrored picture. Fear, love, hope, joy, all 
imprinted themselves with equal ease and truthfulness to 
nature upon every gesture and every significant movement. 
She set before us earnest, tragic, joyfiil, lively surprises, in 
endless variety. We remember, for instance, the manner 
in which she rendered the little phrase, ' He is saved ! He is 
hidden ! * in the finale to the first act ; how, in the third act, 
she dragged Conrad to the writing-table ; and — more beau- 
tifal than all — ^how she sang the little added recitative at 
the close as she retired backwards from the royal cabinet 

" Some passages allotted to the artist in the dialogue hi^ 
been changed into recitative, and many others excised or 
assigned to other performers, as she was too diffident to make 
use of the foreign language unaided by the music. We 
venture, however, to give her the positive assurance that this 
precaution was unnecessary, for her fulfilment of even this 
part of her task was more than pleasing. Indeed, the soft 
foreign accent seems rather favourable than the reverse, and 
may well be accepted as a happy characteristic of the role, 
since the alien ' Yielka ' might well have retained some trace 
of her nationality in her speech. 

**But are we to busy ourselves, then, only with the 
acting ? Have we nothing to say concerning the singer ? 

*' Yes, indeed ! to repeat everything that we said after her 
first appearance. The singer is here exactly what she was 
then. The mild timbre of the voice, the clearness of the 
finished passages, the colouring of the tones through their ever- 
changing expression, are here, as everywhere, apparent In a 
host of piquant cadences introduced by the composer, no less 
than in the duet with the two flutes in the third act,* the 
art of the singer asserts itself in its most powerful form. 
And thus a picture is presented that, through the romantic 
conception of the whole no less than through the charm of 
its multifarious details, imprints itself indelibly upon the 
soul." t 

* This famous piece, in which the Yoice is accompanied by two flutes 
(phtHigatC) was afcerwards transferred, by Meyerbeer, to L'Etoiie du Nord, 

t Konigliche privilegirte Berlinische {Vossische) Zeitung, (Berlin, 
Jan. 7, 1845.) A second and equally enthusiastic critique of 2>a9 
Fddlager in SchUsien appeared in the same journal on January 13, and 
a second critique of Norma on January 24. 


It was in all probability this highly favourable critique 
which Mademoiselle lind sent to her friend, Fru Lindblad, in a 
letter dated January 8, 1845, from which we reproduce the 
following extract : — 

" Everything seems to go well in hand. It would be im- 
possible to imagine a greater success than I have made here 
in Berlin. Sontag herseK had not so brilliant a triumph. 
Last Sunday, the 5th, I appeared in Meyerbeer's new Opera,* 
and I herewith enclose a critique. 

" I do feel so happy about Meyerbeer's exceeding satis- 
faction. And I feel easier in my mind, for having been able 
to put his Opera into better relief; for through Mdlle. 
Tuczec's unequal rendering of my part it very nearly came 
to grief. I almost think I achieved a greater triumph than 
in Norma, 

''Last night Josephson and I were at Frau Bettina 
Amim's, f &iid I cannot conceive how the time passed so 
quickly. We did not return till after twelve ! The old 
lady is divinely child-like sometimes. When she is in her 
right element, and creeps up in her chair, with all those 
sweet girls dispersed around her on the floor, one can only 
envy their light-heartedness and independence of the narrow 
judgment of the world. 

" Nowadays the world is influencing me very considerably, 
and just now I cannot say that creeping is my principal 
pleasure. It looks, however, as if I might become inde- 
pendent some day ; for I am now invited to go to London, 
and it will be curious to see where all this will land me. 
This evening I am invited to Tieck's." 

Continued on the 9th of January, 1845 : — 

** Last evening was one rich in enjoyment. The talented 
old man, with that frail body of his, was a touching sight. I 
had the honour of taking turns with him ; for, when he had 
recited a poem, I had to sing a song. And in this way the 
evening flew by very quickly indeed." t 

* Das Fddlager in SchUsien, 

t Gk)ethe's * Bettina.* 

X From the Lindblad letters. 

VOL. I. Q 

226 JENNY LIND. [wc iv. ch. v. 

Though she speaks thus modestly of the possibility that 
she may some day "become independent," it was evident 
that her future was now assured. The demonstration 
that accompanied her first appearance in Das Fddkiger in 
Schlesien proved to be no evanescent burst of enthusiasm. 
The Opera was repeated on the 10th, 14th, and 19th of 
January, with raised prices and undiminished success ; and 
succeeded by four performances of Norma on the 21st, 23rd, 
28th, and 31st of the month, after which Meyerbeer's Opera 
was resumed, for one night only, to be succeeded by Weber's 

Every one of these performances was a veritable triumph, 
and so strong was the popular feeling that, after the fourth 
performance of Das Fddlager in Schlesien on the 21st of 
January, she was publicly greeted with a serenade, which is 
thus described in the journal from which we have already 
quoted : — 


"After the Opera, in which, as always, Mdlle. lind 
had achieved the most brilliant success, a number of 
singers and young musicians greeted the artist at her 
residence with a vocal serenade. Four poems, by Messieurs 
Forster, Kopisch, Schnackenburg, and Eellstab, had been 
set to music for the occasion by Messieurs Eungenhagen, 
Commer, Liihrs, and Wichmann. The artist received 
this expression of homage to her talent in the modest 
manner which so greatly enhances the value of her artistic 
gifts, and seemed deeply moved by this acknowledgment of 
them. The poems were brought to her printed upon a white 
satin fillet, and presented, with a laurel crown, upon a satin 
cusliion." * 

The white satin fillet was preserved by Madame Gold- 
schmidt. The following is the Ust of the poems : — 

• Konigliche privHegirte Berlinische {Vossische) Zeitung. (BerliD, 
Jan. 21, 1845.) 


I. ^Das Land der Tap/em und der Treuen* (Words by FSrstor. 

Music by Rungenhagen.) 
n. *Aehl wie liebiich ist das Leben! (Words by Kopisch* Music 
by Gommer.) 

III. * Woher enchaUen jene Wundertone.* (Words by Schnackenburg. 

Music by Ltihrs.) 

IV. *Die durch Tone una hegluckte,* (Words by Rellstab. Music 

by Herrmann Wichmann.) 

Q 2 

( 228 ) [bk. iy. €h. yi. 



We called attention in oar opening chapter to the fieu^t 
that, notwithstanding a very wide-spread belief to that effect, 
Mdlle. Lind's artistic reputation was neither confined to nor 
even made in the country of her final adoption — ^England. 

Nor was it the special property of Germany — ^though, for 
the world in general, it certainly originated there. 

Before she had appeared five times on the stage in Berlin 
it had spread so far that an attempt was made to induce her 
to visit London. 

She alludes to this, as we have seen, in her letter to Fru 
Lindblad, written two days after her first appearance in the 
part of " Vielka." 

The matter was brought about in this wise. 

Mr. Alfred Bunn, the then lessee of Drury Lane Theatre, 
went to Berlin in the hope of securing Mdlle. Lind, for his 
approaching season of English Opera. He was an experienced 
manager, well acquainted with the public taste, and past- 
master in all that concerned the business aspect of theatrical 
affairs. No one knew better thjin he how to draw up an 
agreement, to tempt an aspiring debutarUe, or to turn to 
good account the talent of a popular favourite. He had done 
something for Art, but not for Art of a high order. He had 
revived Weber's Oberon, brought out a number of popular 
Operas, and written a multitude of libretti, original and 
translated, some of which had been severely satirised by 

1845.] THE BUNN CONTRACT. 229 

unfeeling critics. Moreover — and it is with this point that 
we are now chiefly concerned — ^he had attained, by long 
experience, the power of predicting, with absolute certainty, 
whether or not an artist was likely to find lasting favour 
with the public; and by prudent exercise of this precious 
faculty he had succeeded, not only in engaging Madame 
Malibran, but also in bringing into notice a goodly number 
of fairly capable singers of the second order, many of whom, 
having done well, both for themselves and for him, under his 
management, remained faithful to him to the last. 

Mr. Bunn's visit to Berlin took place at a period ante- 
cedent to that at which the difficulty of obtaining tickets for 
the Opera became almost insuperable ; he was, therefore, 
fortunate enough to hear MdUe. Lind, and to be thus enabled 
to judge for himself how far the rumours he had heard were 
well foimded. To a man of his long experience one hearing 
was more than enough to decide the question. He saw at a 
glance that, if he could only succeed in attaching her to his 
company at Drury Lane Theatre, his fortune would be made. 

He was a man of prompt action, and lost no time in 
making an offer which, to a young singer, seemed not 
illiberal. But how could she form a fair judgment upon it, 
she who was utterly ignorant of everything connected with the 
stage except in so far as its artistic aspect was concerned ? 
She knew that it was to be the stepping-stone towards the 
independence she had mentioned in her letter to Fru lind- 
blad, but in what way she knew not. She stood in urgent 
need of an experienced and impartial adviser, but where was 
she to look for one ? She stood alone. A mere child, whose 
interest was pitted against that of one of the most acute and 
enterprising speculators in the then theatrical world. What 
could she do ? How was it possible for her to solve the 
problem ? 

Mr. Bunn pressed for an immediate answer. Naturally 

230 JEKST LHTD. [ 

wough^ ahe hesitated. He was mgait. It was manifestly 
tu hU iut^iorest to allow her the least possible time for leflec- 
iMMi^ aud ^ill lees fi» taking advice ; for the intervention of 
a thoxou^hly di;$mtezested and bosmess-Iike fiiend mi^ rain 
^Y^Ythujtjc — &r him. Kot a weed eoaM be said against his 
yoditiA>tt £^au a bosine^ point of view. He was perfectly 
jVHti&^ itx ettdeavoanng to seciire the services of the most 
:*(4^iMiid dramatic artist he had ever met with <m the lowest 
^K^bl^ terms^ Bot it was hard upon the aztist» who was 
^ivbdbly less able to form a true estimate of her own value 
iu the theatrical market than any one in Bedin. She knew 
what she was worth to Art; bot the manager alone knew 
what she was worth to him. And, as a man of bosinesSy he 
was certainly not bound to enlightm her <m a subject in 
which her interests were diametrically opposed to his own. 
The danger was that some one else mi^t enlighten her at 
any moment And to prevent this he pressed his offer upon 
her with the utmost possible uigency. It would be unfedr 
to blame him for it Any other manager would quite 
certainly have done the same. Yet our readers must surely 
feel, with us, that it was very hard upon her. 

On the 10th of January the matter came to a crisis. 

On that evening — a most unlucky Friday in so feir as Mr. 
Bunn's proposal was coucemed — ^Mdlle. Lind was to play the 
part of " Yielka " for the second time, and so great was the 
excitement \^ith which the announcement of the coming event 
was received that Herr von Kustner, the Intendant of the 
Opera House, finding it impossible to supply the demand for 
places, determined to raise the prices of admission. At any 
other time this proceeding would have given rise to serious 
dissatisfaction, but on this occasion the public was prepared 
to make any sacrifice rather than miss an opportunity of 
hearing the new prima donna. And the excitement was no 
ephemeral outburst of popular feeling. As the season ad- 

1845.] THE BUNN CONTRACT, 231 

vanced the demand for tickets increased to such an ** extra- 
ordinary and unaccustomed extent/' that the number of 
applications frequently amounted to twice, and even thrice, 
the number of places at the disposal of the Eoyal Intendantur, 
who found it necessary to issue elaborate instructions as 
to the form in which preliminary application for tickets 
was to be made. Even with these safeguards the number 
of final disappointments, when the season came to a close, 
was enormous; and so great was the pressure that no 
less than four clerks were kept constantly employed in 
answering the letters of application in the order of their 

In the midst of this excitement Mr. Bunn was fortunate 
enough to obtain a seat in the box of the British Ambassador. 
We have already had occasion, in a previous chapter, to 
speak of Lord Westmorland's deep interest in everything 
connected with the Art, of which, during the whole of his 
long and useful life, he was so generous and munificent a 
patron. He was no less enthusiastic in his admiration for 
MdUe. Lind's talent than Lady Westmorland, whose opinion 
on the subject we have already learned; and his personal 
regard for her was sincere and lasting — so lasting that he 
remained her friend until the end of his life. He had been 
informed that an engagement for London had been proposed ; 
and, for the credit of his country's taste, he was anxious 
that so great an artist should be heard and duly appre- 
ciated there. It is more than probable that she had, 
before this, asked his advice upon the subject; but what 
could he say ? He was as ignorant of managerial business 
and managerial terms as she was, and was an absolute 
stranger to the manifold intrigues which seem to be insepar- 
able from the destiny of a " Child of the Drama." To him 

* See the notice issued by the General'Intendantur der Kgh Schau- 
spide, and published in the play-bills of the day. 

^bt pnipcffial BdeoDfid sl BCvaOMsoBta aat^ sad iboc 
XK) ddclc liiii be sud as iDnck «& bee 

Out zs&nziBZkm mufyrnrpg ibe grenag rf lias 
graidz^ 5s i-ar; jSet :&am Arenjibttft. Im a&er life 
Gcildseimiiii oecjd xet^ be Tngnnrf to ipBik cf die 
canc^kcL !&]£ &ftsatQ2s lesnihs cf vlaeb dte <ooaM Bever 
ivmH -inibciEi piaxL W«: yau^ bomfrer, leoft Awsi ed vidi 
alls. ^^£aAicii^res3^'Sit.wm3iB^mlS»-^}fwihitiaat 
lfz& Gdocse Gia&e rwir Lpirr&i, ibe sister cf ber old aad 
Tih>Bdfiaepd(VMii^iifycciKQeSL* rf SfeQriibnlm),fto^windi 

cf is dUcS nd some ccber setf^rideMi ^SfB of 

'^ It ^ras dsxrixg ber essr^sawsni i& BeciifL tbis Hz. Al&ed 
Rim, ibe Buu^er <?f Pnar Laae TbeiiiR; T«inM. eon- 
ear^ ibe bcfe cf aC&i^ JecMj «> bis ibettR^ for tbe 

- I- ill* TirTbe r?r«ii«c re- Berlin fr ibe rKClb (I ibmk) 

ac ii» t2:£acre in ibe -tinier rf 1>*5-^. 

* -J^^Lzj (ihe cne:: iS5:::r£d n^e) -w^is imc wiZiag lo Sxm tbe 
^r^'iac^i'r^nt, ani hzn^ bick 5rr <oQ>e liise : aad Ml tbe ksti 
rxr.^r^* TTia, 45 h were, 5:=r7ri5^ inio frrrrfryg 

"Trjft -^iji&aion on wii2b sbe was f^rssaded a> sign was 


B^ertTT^r: iLe A(!ts of an Or«erm in wriei sbe w» per- 
f^T::.:r.z- t-be Earl of Wesanc-rLi^ri — -the Prr:^ AmbissMlar 
^t tb^ Corir: of Berlin — inTiicd ba 10 bis w*^ in ibe AMf, 

• S^ ;•£• 1:6. 

♦ T:i* Ve MnL Gr:ce— »-i5c» cf G<>:r» Gr:w. -b* ^5ftcra2 cf Gmc» 
— 'jh^^ %s^'XjZ \as inp^boKJfti MSS^ aa izocciriece ' lf«cat:tr cf ;br IiS» 
cf J«Li.7 Li=«d,' cm;r>c -i:-*^ :c lie T«r l?4^, *iii ilifssi ^^cveec fcfty 
iZrfi r-i:T cilrjteiT -wriniK. pac«t. This Meoicr, -wt^"^ '■'» -wriit^a Imwtw i 
tr.4 T*an 1^^ i&d ISoT, bu been eccssimcdy thr»r^ tbe ^^^^^*** cf 
Xn. Grjce i loerKj czecoxcx, so Mr. Crcadtc^siJdi. 

1846.] THE BUNN CONTRACT. 233 

attached to which was a small private salon. Jenny com- 
plied, all 'stage-attired' as she was, and on entering the 
logeioMn.^ Mr. Bonn along with His Excellency awaiting her. 
lie former urgently conjured Jenny to complete the contract 
in question, pleading that pressing business compelled him 
to leave within a few hours for London. He of course 
endeavoured to inspire her with a belief that her appearance 
at his theatre would pave the way to permanent advantages 
in England, and it is but fair to add that the sum which he 
offered her for her services was both liberal and unusual in 
amount, and that, considering the conditions on which she 
was then acting in Berlin, it bore the appearance of a hand- 
some and advantageous engagement. 

" The Ambassador warmly seconded the entreaties of the 
manager; and thus beset, and anxious not to lose what 
appea^red a respectable and lucrative offer — having nobody to 
consult with, and wholly ignorant as she was of the state 
of theatrical mattto in England, Jenny allowed herself to 
be persuaded, chiefly (she afterwards said) confiding in the 
judgment of Lord Westmorland — she took the pen, signed 
the treaty, and returned to her part, not however without 
grave misgivings as to the prudence of the step she had 
taken. Away sped Manager Bunn, contract in pocket ; the 
said ' contract ' being destined to entail a concatenation of 
diflBculties, embarrassments, and wearisome contests for the 
three years following upon this transaction." * 

In explanation of the grave anachronisms involved in this 
account it would be unfair to the writer to omit her own 
confession that " her memory respecting the exact dates of 
their occurrence was not complete." 

And it must also be remembered that Mrs. Grote did 
not write at Madame Goldschmidt's dictation, but simply 
introduced into her narrative the record of events which to 
the best of her recollection had been mentioned by her 
friend in the course of casual conversation.f In presence of 
these elements of doubt it seems not unnatural to believe 
that His Excellency may well have expressed his opinion on 

♦ From Mrs, Grote's MS. * Memoir.* 

t Vide supra, * she often assured me ' (page 232.) 

XT USD, [K.iT.atTi. 

the nutter without veaaitii^ to icutil pecsomsioii ;* and we 
iiow know with abeofaiteceRaintT tint he wis at fiist inclined 
to icgud the propoeal in a &TQnnble I^&l» but afterwards 
entirelT diajiged his mind, and r^otced gieadj that it was 
never pot into execatiGn. 

Fissins ^om the discitssioQ cf the inridental drdun- 
stances here related, we proceed to pot our readeis in pos- 
sessicxi ci a literal translation of the now fiunoos ''Bonn 
contract,' the text of which was originally drawn up in 
French to the following porpoit : — 

^Mr. Bonnt director ci Dmrv Lane Thrafre London 
makes the following offers to Mdlle Jenny lind and ei^ages 
to execute them entirely at lus own liaka and penis if Mdlle. 
Lind accepts them : 

** (1) Mr. Bonn engages Ifdlle. Lind to sing twenty times 
at Drniy Lane Theatre either from 15th Jnne to 31st July 
1845 or from 30th September to 15th Xorember 1845. It 
depends upon Mdlle. Lind to decide whidi of these two 
different epochs is most oonTcnient to her, bat she engages 
herself to make known her choice to Mr. Bonn not liuter 
than the end of the month of March. 

" (2) Mr. Bonn engages to pay to Mdll& Lind the sum of 
fifty Levis (Tor X for each of these twenty representations and 
allow her also the half of a benefit (gross receipts). 

*' (3) Mr. Bonn engages to pay to Mdlle. Lind the 
stipalated price of fifty Louis always twenty-four hours after 
each represention. 

" (4) Mdlle. Lind will sing three times a week and not 
oftener except during the last week. She will never sing on 
two following days and Mr. Bunn engages to leave an 
inter\'al of at least one day between one representation and 
the next. x 

(5) Mdlle. Lind will make her dAut in the part of 

Vielka " in the opera £in Fddlagcr in Schlesicn by Meyer- 


* A letter, written some months later, prores that whateTer amount 
of ' persuasion ' may hare been used, it came from a Yerj different 
quarter. The moving spirit was undoubtedly Meyerbeer. 

t Sic, without the Christian name Alfred. 

X Equal to about £40 in English mcn?y. 

1845.] THE BUNN CON TB ACT. 235 

beer and she will afterwards sing also the r6le of" Amina " in 
Za Sonna7nbula by Bellini if Mr. Bunn requires it. It is 
understood* that Mdlle. Lind will only sing in two roles 
during the whole course of her representations. 

" (6) Mr. Bunn will find at his cost the costumes for the 
two rSles of Mdlle. Lind. 

** (7) Mdlle. lind accepts thesfe conditions but. as she has 
not time to consider sufficiently the contract which Mr. Bunn 
presents to her to-day and as Mr. Bunn must depart 
to-morrow she reserves the right of introducing additions and 
changes into this contract if that appears to her necessary 
but she must make them known to Mr. Bunn by the 
1st of March at the latest. Meanwhile it is well understood 
that Buch additions and changes as Mdlle. Lind may introduce 
must never apply to the first or second articles which must 
remain fixed as they are now. 

" It is agreed equally that if the changes and additions are 
not agreeable to Mr. Bunn he shall have the right to reject 
them but if this be done the treaty shall be revoked and 
regarded as null and of no effect. 

"Executed in duplicate at Berlin the 10th January 
1845." t 

It has been said that taking into consideration the 
difference between the terms demanded by the popular 
operatic " stars " of the present day and those received by 
the great singers of forty or fifty years ago, those offered to 
Mdlle. Lind were both liberal and imusual in amount, and 
that the proposed engagement was "a handsome and an 
advantageous one " — but it was nothing of the kind. 

Some fourteen or fifteen years previously Mr. Bunn 
himself had engaged Madame Malibran, for nineteen nights, 
at £125 a night, payable in advance ; in 1833 she had sung 
forty nights at Drury Lane, for £3,200, with two benefits, 
which produced an additional sum of £2,000 — ^thus raising 
the honorarium for each night to the sum of £130 ; and in 

♦ ' intmdu' {iic). 

t Translated from the fiomewhat questionable French of the original 

236 JENNT UND. {toL. iY.cs.yi. 

1835 she had receiyed, at Her Majesty's Theatre, £2,775 
for twenty-four performances — that is to saj, £115 12s. 6d. 
a night. 

Sorely, after such a dSnU as she had made at Bedin, 
Mdlle. Lind's seryioes were worth more than half as much as 
those of Madame Malibran. 

Howeyer, be this as it may, it was in the tenns aboye 
mentioned that the contract between Mdlle. Jenny lind 
and Mr. Alfred Bunn was duly signed and ratified, in the 
presence of the British Ambassador, and in His Excellency's 
box at the Berlin Opera-House — and therefore, in the political 
sense of the term, within British territory — on the 10th of 
January, 1845. That is to say, 'duly signed' by Mdlle. 
Lind; but, as we shall hereafter be able to show, the 
' duplicate ' giyen to her was not signed by Mr. Bunn. 

As we shall haye occasion to recur to the history of this 
remarkable document more than once during the course of 
our narratiye, the reader will do well to bear in mind, not 
only the facts we have recorded, but together with these 
the doubts we haye expressed and the suggestions we haye 
ventured to place before him. 

The subject is a very difficult one, and for the present 
we must leave it, to follow the course of our lustory in other 

( 237 ) 


HOMAGE TO WEBER {Ev/ryanthe). 

After performing seven times in Norma, and five in Das 
Feldlager in ScMesien, MdUe. lind was announced to appear, 
on Tuesday the 7th of February, in Euryanthe, 

She had been familiar with this remarkable Opera in 
Stockholm, where she had appeared in it, for the first time, 
on the 1st of December, 1838. But she had not revived 
the part since her return from Paris, nor had she, as yet, 
attempted it in German ; and the occasion for which she was 
now preparing to do so was a more than ordinarily interesting 

Carl Maria von Weber died, in London, at the house of his 
friend. Sir George Smart, in Great Portland Street, on the night 
between the 4th and 5th of June, 1826. He had been laid 
to rest, on the 21st, far away from home and friends, in a 
vault beneath the floor of S. Mary's Chapel, Moorfields. But, 
in the autumn of 1844, the surviving members of his family, 
aided by a few devoted friends and admirers — foremost among 
whom were his pupil,Mr. (afterwards Sir Julius) Benedict,* and 
the then almost unknown Kichard Wagner — ^made a vigorous 
effort to treat his memory with the homage which had been 
denied to him by his ungrateful fellow-citizens during his 
life-time, and, at their expense, his remains were exhumed, 
transported to Dresden, and, on the night of the 14th of 
December, deposited in a vault in the Cemetery of Friedrich- 

♦ See his *' Life of Weber,'' in * The Great Musicians.' 

238 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

stadt in which his son Alexander had b^en buried only a 
fortnight before. His widow and surviving children, sup- 
ported by Madame Schroeder-De\Tient and a crowd of 
sympathising fellow-artists, covered his cofiBn with laurels 
and flowers, and it was proposed to erect over it a monument 
worthy of his fame. Great efforts were made to collect 
sufi&cient funds for the execution of this project, and a grand 
performance of Euryanthe had been promised at the Berlin 
Opera House in aid of the pious purpose. 

It was on this solemn occasion that Mdlle. Lind sang the 
part of " Euryanthe " for the first time in the language in 
which it was originally produced. 

A prologue, written for the occasion by Herr Rellstab, 
was spoken by Fraulein Charlotte von Hagen, and no pains 
were spared for the purpose of rendering the performance 
worthy of its high intent. The whole musical world took a 
vivid interest in the proceedings. Dresden had nobly ex- 
piated the long course of neglect which had terminated so 
sadly, and so fatally, eighteen years before. And now 
Berlin had taken up the good cause, in the name and with 
the full consent of the whole Fatherland. 

The task assigned to her, in connection with this solemn 
festival, was, beyond all doubt, the most difficult one that 
had ever been, or was ever destined to be entrusted to her, 
during the whole of her artistic career. And she inherited 
the difficulty from Weber himself. 

From first to last, Euryantlie had never been understood, 
either by the critics, or by the public. The scope and 
purpose of its design had escaped them all. In Der 
Freischutz Weber had spoken, for the first time, heart to 
heart with the great German people ; and they had understood 
him as he had understood them, on the evening of its first 
performance, without one instant of doubt or hesitation. 
With Euryanthe it was different. As a direct inspiration of 


creative genius — not worked out, but flashed in upon the 
composer's heart and brain — Der FreUchutz stands alone in 
the history of the Romantic Opera. Euryanthe is no less clearly 
impressed with the stamp of inspiration than Der Freischutz : 
only, in this case, the idea is carefully and elaborately worked 
out with consummate skill and truest artistic instinct ; with 
richest development of musical form and exhaustive employ- 
ment of all available technical resources in one direction; 
and in the other — involving the aesthetic aspect of the 
subject — with intensest sjrmpathy, with virgin purity, with 
knightly loyalty, with pomp of chivalry, and, above all, with 
the powerful element of the supernatural. It was in con- 
nection with this last-named point that Weber was so fatally 
misunderstood. He made it the leading characteristic of his 
conception, both in his treatment of the music and in the 
conduct of the story, which was worked out by the librettist 
entirely under his direction ; and it was utterly ruined by 
the critics, who, mistaking Lysiart's infamous wager for the 
true animvs of the plot, abused the libretto for its inanity 
while overlooking the motive upon which its whole romantic 
interest depended. 

When the Opera was first produced at Vienna, in 1823, it 
soared so high above the heads of the audience, that the 
brainless wits of the period nicknamed it rEnnityantCy and the 
stupid joke was accepted as a miracle of esprit. When Madame 
Schrceder-Devrient afterwards undertook the interpretation 
of the principal role, she sang the music superbly, but treated 
the part as one needing the expression of pure passion only 
— a characteristic in which not one of her German con- 
temporaries could approach her — and missed the super- 
natural element entirely. Mdlle. Lind seized upon it as the 
leading motive of the whole impersonation. She penetrated 
Weber's meaning, though the critics did not. They could 
not withstand the power of her conception — ^it would have 

244J JESST USD. [ 

been impossible to hare done so, but thej ittUaij £uled to 
compreLeiid its moving spirit. 

The following quotation &Mn a critique wfaidi appeared in 
the Berlinixh^ Zeiiung on the 13th of Febiuazj will explain 
this clearly enough : — 


In the first act, the singer jwesents b^»e us all that she 
possesses of loveliness and grace The duet with Eglantine* 
— ^Madame Palm-Spatzer — and the finale t are pearls of 
finished execution. But for us, the greatest achievement in 
this act is the narrative of the apparition of Fjfnmii 
which, in dramatic and vocal expression, fulfils the hi^est 
demands of an Art-ideaL 

*' In the second act, the artist impresses us with the most 
perfect form of womanly innocence and purity. Her task 
here fulfils itself by the force of its fidelity to nature. Tet 
she would, perhaps, have succeeded in expressing oontoasts 
more richly varied still if she had seen some of her great 
predecessors. For instance, we can scarcely doubt that, 
if she had been acquainted with Vilhelmine SchrGeder- 
Devrieut's rendering of the passage, ' Den Blick erhcH Ihr nieht 
zic mir'X she would joyfully have availed herself of it for 
use in her own representation without losing anything of her 
individuality. That which she sets before us is b^utiful, 
womanly, but not creative — no fitting climax to the long 
chain of l>eauties in her performance. 

" The emotional problem, as propounded in the third act, 
is solved by the artist from the depths of a pure souL But 
her features exhibit too much morbid bodily fatigue. 
Perhaps an atom of rouge might remove this slight defect.§ 
The dizzy, almost maddened, rapture of the Aria in C 
major || — one of the composer's grandest creations — forms a 
crown to the rich treasures of the performance.^ 

* * UiiUr ist mein Stern gegangen* 

t That is, the quartet, * FroMiche Kldnge^ with which it conclades. 
% In the fiuale to the second act. * 

f We have alrea^ly had occasion to notice Mdlle. Lind's dislike to such 
stage-accessories. See pac;e 109. 

H ' Zu ihm I zu ihm ! ' An air filled with enormous technical difficulties. 
\ Krjl. priv. Bed. Zeitung. (Feb. 13, 1845.) 


The reader cannot fail to notice that, warm as it is, this 
critique is the first that has expressed a doubt as to th& 
truthfulness of MdUe. Lind's conception of her rSle, The 
critic had formed a conception of his own, founded on that of 
Madame Schrceder-Devrient, and the new one did not accord 
with it. But unconsciously, as it would seem, he calls 
attention to a point, in the new interpretation, which proves 
both its correctness and the keen intelligence brought ta 
bear upon it in connection with the composer's own intention* 

He tells us that, for him, *' the greatest achievement in 
the first act is the narrative of the apparition of Emma " — 
that is to say, the precise point at which the supernatural 
element, to which he makes no direct allusion whatever, is 
first introduced, and he confesses that Mdlle. Lind's con* 
ception of the passage ''fulfils the highest demands of an 
Art-ideaL" * 

The importance attached by Weber himseK to this passage, 
and. to all else that concerns the episode of Udo and 
Emma, with its ghostly sequel, is — or ought to be — ^made 
unmistakably evident before the curtain rises on the first 
act For, though the design is very rarely carried out in 
practice, the overture was intended by Weber to serve the 
purpose of a prologue and to fix the attention of the audience 
in a marked manner upon the narrative so highly praised bj 
our critic. 

At the hundred-and-twenty-ninth bar of the overture — 
where Weber introduces the wonderful Largo^ with its 
weird unearthly harmonies, its long-drawn wail, sustained 
by the scarcely audible tones of the four violini con 
sordini^ intensified, now and again, by the broken tremolo 
of the viole shuddering beneath them — at this most 
striking point Weber directed that the curtain should 
rise upon a gloomy tableau, intended to prepare the 

♦ See page 240. 

242 JESST LISD. [ 

Spectator for the secret which forms the munspniig of the 

The stage represents a sepulchral Tank, in the centre of 
which lies Emma's oofiSn, snrmounted bj a medieval herae. 
Upon the coflin is seen the ring which plavs so fiUal a pari 
in the story, behind it is a monumental figure in the stjle 
of the twelfth oentorr, at the foot of the saioojdiagDS kneels 
Enryanthe in prayer, the traitress Eglantine crouches in 
the shadow beyond, and in the vaulting of the groined roof 
hovers Emma's restless spirit, condemned to haunt ibe Boaae 
of its nnexpiated sin. 

This highly suggestive tableau having been exposed to view 
for a few moments only, the curtain slowly descends again, 
and the overture proceeds vrith the contrapuntal treatment of 
the bold subject which follows. 

The audience is now ftdly prepared to understand the 
secret of Eglantine's treachery ; and when, in the first act, 
Enryanthe narrates to her the story of the ghostly appa- 
rition, the connection is kept up by the recurrence, in the 
accompaniment to her recitative, of the weird harmonies 
and wailing orchestration already heard in the latyo of the 

Whether this tableau was exhibited or not at the Berlin 
Opera-House we cannot say; but however that may have 
been, it is certain that Mdlle. Lind penetrated the composer's 
idea, seized upon this salient point in his conception, 
and brought it out so clearly that even Herr BeUstab, 
though so strongly prepossessed in favour of another reading of 
the part, pointed to this very scene as " ful fillin g the lyi^est 
demands of an Art-ideal." And it is worthy of remark that, 
original as her conceptions invariably were, pervaded as they 
were, through and through, by the marked individuality which 
enabled her to make each part her own, she never attained 
her own ends at the sacrifice of the composer's meanings 


Her ideal, however new it might seem to superficial observers, 
rested always upon an esoteric basis, in closest connection 
with and logically inseparable from the very heart and life 
of tTie dramatic poem she was illustrating. It is precisely 
upon this same basis that every really great composer — and 
we speak of no others — builds up his own ideal ; and thus it 
was that, by following the same path as the composer, 
Mdlle. Lind always succeeded in attaining the same end by 
the same means. 

JEuryanthe was announced for repetition on the next 
Opera night (February the 9th), but in consequence of the 
illness of Madame Pahn-Spatzer, Norma was substituted for 
it; it was however repeated, with the same cast, on the 
11th, and with Mdlle. Marx in the part of "Eglantine," 
on the 14th, after which Mdlle. Lind was announced to 
appear, on Tuesday the 18th, in La Sonnamhula. In this 
ever-welcome Opera she created so profound a sensation that, 
when a repetition of the performance was announced for the 
2nd of March, the price of the boxes rose to fifty, and even 
eighty thalers, and no places could be obtained for less than 
three thalers,* even in the pit — a price which was said, in 
in the German theatrical world, to be absolutely unpre- 

It is — or, at least, was at the time of which we are writing 
— the fashion, among German reviewers, to speak very con- 
temptuously indeed of the music of La SonnamJbula; but 
Mdlle. lind, by her delightful interpretation of the roU of 
" Amina " — which was always a special favourite with her, 
— se^all to have disarmed the critics and obtained a free 
pardon for the sins of poor unfortunate BeUini The leading 
journal thus speaks of one of her later appearances in the 
part: — 

• That is to say £7 lOs., £12, and 98. in Englisli money. 

R 2 

244 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. to. . 

*' She raises the art of singing to a glorious level. Even - 
thing that the most cultivate instrumentalist can accomplish 
the scatters amongst us, in richest profusion, in lavish pro- 
digality. The singer's arpeggios move through closely com- 
bined chords which even the player would find it needful to 
treat with the greatest possible care, and which, in addition 
to this, create for the voice difficulties which only become 
graceful and beautiful by the ease with which they are 
overcome. The first act is the field in which these blossoms 
more especially flourish. For the actress it furnishes an 
opportunity for displaying the most maidenly gentleness, 
the most charming naivetS, and the merriest laughter of 
love. Earnestness is reserved for the second act, in which 
dramatic and vocal expression melt inseparably into each 
other. In the first half, until she falls asleep, the singer 
avails herself only of the indescribable beauty of Qie 
softer tones she has so easily at command : all is sweetness 
and stillest enchantment. In the latter half, when the 
weight of undeserved sorrow falls upon her, she adds the 
strongest colouring of dramatic and changeful expression to the 
wailing tones that, in her song, sink so deeply into the souL 
Here she comes out more strongly than before; yet we 
almost venture to think that the bonds within which she had 
previously confiined her expression led her into the realms of 
a purer beauty. But in the effect she produced upon the 
public she evidently won a more brilliant victory, for 
the storm of applause burst out in a veritable explosion. 
In the third act, in which the sun of blessed joy alternates 
with the darkest clouds of grief, tragic elevation with elegiac 
abandon and rapturous joy, the effect rises to its culminating 
point. Here we see the artist in full command of the whole 
range of many-sided feeling, and the rich picture, which is 
thus illuminated by the dramatic completion given to the 
poem, leaves nothing more to be unfolded." * 

We have thought it desirable to insert these long quota- 
tions from Herr Rellstab's transcendental critiques, since they 
exactly represent the feeling produced by Mdlle. Lind's per- 

* Kgl. priv, Berlinische Zeitung, (October 19, 1847.) See also 
* Gesammelte Schriften von Ludmig BellstabJ* (Leipzig, 1861, vol. xx. 
pp. 408, et seq,) 


formances at the time they were written. In reading them 
we must remember that, however extravagant or "high- 
flown " their language might appear in an English critique 
at the present day, it was not thought "high-flown" in 
Grerman critiques in 1844. Moreover, Herr Eellstab was a 
poet as well as a critic, and wrote his reviews from a 
modem German poet's point of view. It was only natural 
that he should adopt a glowing — ^nay, even an ecstatic tone. 
And yet, however glowing his phrases, they were but the 
echo of those that passed from mouth to mouth, in the theatre, 
in the salon, in the street, in every corner of Berlin in which 
the discussion of artistic topics was possible. He only gave 
utterance to the opinions that were openly expressed, on 
every side, by every one capable of forming an opinion upon 
the subject. 

But the long chain of successes suffered a temporary 

After appearing twice, in the part of " Amina," on the 
days already mentioned, Mdlle. Lmd was announced, on the 
23rd February, to sing for the fourth time in that of " Eury- 
anthe," but was seized with sudden indisposition at the close 
of the flrst act, and compelled to omit a considerable portion 
of her role as the Opera proceeded. The audience, however, 
showed the greatest sympathy throughout the evening with 
the beloved artist." * 

The indisposition continued for more than a week, to the 
unspeakable disappointment of the public. During this 
trying time the patient was overwhelmed with visits of con- 
dolence, but prudence forbade the admission of more than a 
few intimate friends, and these only at favourable moments. 
Meyerbeer seems to have been unfortunate in his choice of 
days or hours, and expressed his disappointment, on the 
28th of February, in the following letter : — 

* Kgl priv. Berliniache Zeitung. (Feb. 25, 1845.) 

246 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vn. 

" Berlin, Feb. 28, 1845. 

' My deab Mademoiselle, 

*' Though I have called on you several times since 
your indisposition, I have not been so fortunate as some of 
your other friends in seeing you. 

" It only remains, therefore, for me to express in writing 
my congratulations and good wishes on the anniversary of 
y OUT fete, which Madame Keyer tells me occui's to-day, and 
to beg you at the same time kindly to accept these few 
flowers, modest and pure as yourself. 

" But what remains for your friends to wish, to-day, for 
you whom Heaven has so richly endowed ! It has given you 
that great and sympathetic voice which charms and moves 
all hearts ; the fire of genius, which pervades your singing, 
and your acting ; and, in fine, those indelible graces which 
modesty and candour and innocence give only to their 
favoured ones, and which bring every enemy into sub- 

" One can, therefore, ask nothing more for you firom 
Heaven, than relief from those doubts in the power of your 
talent which turn even your days of triumph into days of 
anxiety; the removal of that indecision and irresolution 
which throw you into such continual agitation ; and, finally, 
the disappearance of that diffident temperament, which, ren- 
dering you distrustful of the source of the sympathies you 
inspire, may perhaps, in the end, deprive you of that most 
beautiful consolation of human life, friendship. 

" But whether Heaven grants you or not this little supple- 
ment to your other precious qualities, you will always be, for 
me, my dear Mademoiselle, one of the most touching and 
noble characters that I have ever met with during my long 
artistic wanderings, and one to whom I have vowed for my 
whole life the most profound and sincere admiration and 


" Ever devoted, 

" Meyerbeer." • 

It will be seen from the closing paragraphs of this most 
kind and sympathetic letter that Meyerbeer, like so many 

• Translated from tho original autograph, which is written in French. 


others at this period, was sincerely grieved, and even 
pained, by the diffidence for which Mdlle. land's character 
was so remarkable. We shtill have more to say on this 
subject hereafter, but at the moment at which the above 
letter was written more than one cause of uneasiness was 
at work of which neither Meyerbeer nor any one else in 
Berlin entertained the slightest suspicion — more than one 
element of anxiety quite serious enough to have originated 
the illness which the world, and probably the doctors them- 
selves, mistook for the natural result of over-study and fatigue, 

For instance, the reader will readily understand that, since 
the unhappy moment in which the "Bunn contract" was 
signed in the box of the British Ambassador, Mdlle. Lind had 
never failed to reflect upon it, in secret, even at a time when 
her mind was so fully occupied with her work upon the stage. 

She had, in fact, written to Mr. Bunn, informing him that, 
for reasons which to her appeared quite unanswerable, she 
found it impossible to fulfil the terms of her engagement 
with him; and by a coincidence which it is difficult ta 
believe accidental her letter is dated on the 22nd of February — 
the day previous to that on which she was so suddenly taken 
ill in the middle of the fourth performance of Euryanthe, 

The letter, originally written by Mdlle. Lind in French,* 
ran thus: — 
,, ^ . " Berlin, Feb. 22, 1845. 

" Monsieur, 

"I have delayed until to-day to give you the re- 
quired information concerning the time of my visit to 
London (the decision of which was left to me until the 1st of 
March), because I wished very much to fulfil my promised 

• ITie original draft of the letter was drawn up for Mdlle. Lind, in 
German, by her friend, Madame Birch-Pfeiffer. She herself only tran- 
scribed it, in French, from the copy thus supplied to her, and now in tho 
collection of Frau von Hillem (the daughter of Madame Birch-PfeiiTer)^ 
by vhose kind permission it is inserted here. 

248 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vii. 

"Unfortunately, weeks of continued study and fruitless 
efibrt have proved to me that it is impossible for me to learn 
the English language in the short time allowed to me, for 
which reason, if I were to come to London in October, I 
«hould not be ready to appear in English Opera. 

"I am therefore compelled to tell you that I cannot 
€ome to London, and that I look upon the engagement as 
null and void, because I cannot fulfil the principal condition. 
Moreover, the great exertion I have suffered here has so 
shaken my health that the doctors have recommended me, if 
I wish to preserve my voice, to take complete and continued 
rest during the whole of the summer. 

" On this account my guardian at Stockholm * — without 
whose consent, and signature, none of my engagements are 
legal — has quite forbidden me to undertake the fatiguing 
enterprise in London. 

" Do not believe the report that I count upon going to the 
Italian Opera in London. On my word of honour, which I 
pledge to you, I will no more sing, this year, at the London 
Italian Opera House than at the English one. And I 
assure you I regret very much that I am obliged to disappoint 
those hopes the fulfilment of which exceeds my physical 
jstrength and capability. 

" With the greatest respect, 

" Yours obediently, 

" Jenny Lind." t 

To this certainly not very *' business-like " letter Mr. Bunn 
replied in language which rendered anything like a release 
from the conditions of the contract almost hopeless. Nor was 
the style of his communication any more encouraging than 
its substance — and it was in all probability for this reason 
that she left it for some considerable time unanswered. 
Mr. Bunn, however, insisted upon his right to a reply, and 
some weeks afterwards demanded it in no uncertain terms. 

* Judge Munthe. 

t The letter is dated, Berlin, Feb. 22, 1845 ; and was published, in The 
Times, in the form of an English translation, on the 23rd of Febnuuy, 


We subjoin his letter, without attempting to soften the 
^ business-like " tone of the language in which it is couched. 

" Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, March 20, 1845. 

" Mademoiselle, 

" You have not replied to my last letter, and I there- 
fore address you again. 

. ** I am well aware of your great progress in the English 
language, and am also aware that you are deterred from 
fulfilling your contract with me by the falsest misrepresenta- 
tions ; and I know the parties who have made them ; and I 
know likewise the overtures which have been made to you 
to sing at our Italian Opera. 

" If you have any doubts as to the payment of your 
money, I will lodge it in a banker's hands before you leave 
Berlin,* and if there be any other obstacle I will also 
remove it 

"The public here would be ready to hear you sing in 
Gterman as well as in English, and there is no question of 
your having immense success. All I want is, for you to 
keep faith with me and for me to keep faith with the public. 
I therefore again call upon you to fulfil your contract with 
me, or to make me such ample remuneration as will justify 
me in releasing you from it. 

'* I have the honour to be, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"A. BUNN." 

It will be observed, that, while Mdlle. Lind cautions Mr. 
Bunn not to believe the " report " that she intended to sing at 
" the Italian Opera in London," Mr. Bunn tells her that he 
knows she is " deterred from fulfilling " her contract " by the 
falsest misrepresentations," and then goes on to say that he 
knows of " the overtures which have been made " to her, " to 
sing at our Italian Opera." 

After having made the most minute and diligent researches 
in every direction in which it seemed possible that light 

* She had left Berlin, for Hanover, some days before this was written. 

250 JENNY LIND. [bk., 

might be thrown upon the question, we do not hesitate 
to say that no such " overtures " were made to her until 
long after the period of which we are now treating. That 
false " reports " were current there can be no possible doubt ; 
but the *' falsest misrepresentation " of all was that which 
accused Mdlle. Lind of accepting another engagement in 
London while she left unfulfilled that contracted with Mr. 
Bunn. How or where these reports originated no one has 
ever been able to discover. But there is ample evidence to 
prove that they were extensively propagated, at a very early 
period, both in England and in Germany ; that they reached 
her ears as well as those of Mr. Bunn ; and that they 
tended to exacerbate, with fatal effect, the tone of the 
resulting controversy. 

The coincidence of dates leaves no reasonable doubt that 
the worry of this miserable controversy was a primary 
cause, though not the only one, of the alarming attack which 
prevented her from finishing the part of "Euryanthe" on 
the 23rd of February — that cruel worry which, to sensitive 
natures, is a far more potent source of illness than any 
amount of predisposition or even of actual infection. 

For a whole week the indisposition continued, to the equal 
disappointment of the subscribers and the public. 

On the 28th of February a performance of Donizetti's 
La Figlia del Reggimento* with Fraulein Tuczec in the 
principal part, was substituted for the serious opera. Mdlle. 
Lind was, however, able to reappear in La SannamhiUa, on 
the 2nd of March, with undiminished powers. On the 4th 
she sang, for the last time, in L>a$ Feldlager in Schlesie7i ; re- 
peated the part of "Amina " on the 7th and 9 th — the last two 
nights of her engagement — and on the 11th made her last 
appearance for the season in Norma, on the occasion of her 

* It was not until some months after this that Mdlle. Lind herself 
appeared for the first time in this popular opera at Stockholm. 


own benefit. She speaks of her reason for choosing that 
Opera, in preference to another which had been suggested, in 
a letter to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer : — 

,, -^ ^^ " Berlin, March 7, 1845. 

"Dbab Motheb, 

*' I hesitate no more. AU is settled, and I adhere to 
Norma for my benefit, and sing on Sunday in La Sonnam- 
hula. Why ? do you ask ? Because I have no time for 
reflection, and I cannot and will not appear before the public 
in a state of uncertainty. So I have begged to be let ofif Der 
Freischutz, and to sing the part of " Agathe '* on my return ; 
and all has been conceded. Only, dearest, kindest, best Frau 
Mutter, do not be angry with me ; but — I am really delighted 
not to be obliged to sing, act, and talk in Der Freischutz, 
on Sunday. Greetings, a thousand times (what lovely 
German !),* to the Aunt, and my best-beloved little sister, 
and two tickets for Nanni, from 

" Your heartily devoted, 

" Jenny/' t 

The annoimcement of this was followed by so frantic a 
demand for places that, long before the performance took 
place, it was found necessary to issue an official notice to 
the effect that no more tickets could be given out ; and it 
was agreed, on all hands, that on the evening itself she 
surpassed herself in the part she had already made so 

" We followed * Norma,' in her love, grief, wrath, despair, 
magnanimity, and self-sacrifice," says the Berlin journal, 
" with the irresistible sympathy she had wrung from us at 
her first performance ; nay, with more ! At certain moments 
the artist seemed to us to have reached a higher level than 

• The original is — Tausend Mai Grussel 

t Translated from the original autograph, in the possession of Madame 
Birch-Pfeififei-'s daughter, Frau von Hillem, who has kindly given us 
permission to quote largely from her valuable collection of letters. In 
future cases, these quotations will be acknowledged as, " From Frau von 
Hillem*8 collection." 

252 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

before ; as, for example, in her resolution to make known her 
fault, in the remembrance of her children, in the abandon- 
ment of her humility when she threw herseK at her father's 
feet. Her art possesses the property of rising, with so clear 
a success, into a higher sphere, that, in her interpretation, 
she always brings with her something that touches us 
supremely, as in those burning passions of the woman's soul, 
which, while thus disclosed, are purified, like asbestos, in 
their own flame. 

" After all the effect and triumph that necessarily followed 
tlie artist throughout the series of her dramatic interpre- 
tations, she reached, at the close, the highest point that had 
been yet attained. The stage was covered with flowers and 
wreaths thrown from the boxes in the proscenium ; even the 
ladies, carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment, 
heightened the meed of applause with eyes, hearts, and hands. 
The wreath that they gave her was not of laurel, but of roses ; 
a sister's gift for the artist, who, among the difficulties 
of her calling, appears as so fit a guardian of the Palladium 
of Womanhood and Purity. As for her thanks, the threefold 
summons before the curtain could win no word from the 
firmly closed lips ; but the eye overflowed and blotted out 
the faults of the mouth. 

"The artist appears to-night for the last time. She 
leaves us — but we shall see her again, and we hope in 
the full possession of her gifts ; yes, in fresher, richer un- 
folding of their spring-blossoms ! And may the mild sun 
of this spring be the omen of a long, long continuance ! " * 

And with this touching Auf Wiedersehen the Berlin public 
took leave of the actress. But the singer was yet again to be 
heard in the Concert-room. 

* Kgl. priv, Berl, Zeitung. (March 11, 1845.) See also, RelUtab's 
Gesammelte Schri/ten,' vol. xx. pp. 394-396. 

( 253 ) 



Wb have recorded, in a former chapter, the impressiou 
produced upon the Countess of Westmorland by Mdlle. 
Land's singing at a reception which took place in the apart- 
ments of the Princess of Prussia not long after her arrival in 

This, however, was not the only concert in which the 
young singer took part during her first visit to Berlin. 

On Thursday, the 13th of February, 1845, she made her 
first public appearance in the Concert-room at a SoirSe given 
by the brothers Ganz ; and, if we may accept the verdict 
pronounced by the critics of the day as a fair and unbiassed 
one, her triumph on this occasion was not a whit less 
brilliant than that which she had achieved two months 
previously at the Opera-House. 

"Our reporter," says the leading journal, "entered the 
room at the exact moment at which the first note of the air 
from Niobe * was sung by Mdlle. Lind. It was also the first 
note that the artist had uttered in the character of a concert- 
singer; and, whether it was that the hall resounded with 
peculiarly happy effect to the tone of her voice, or that this 
very effective air was especially effective for her, it seemed 
to us that the splendour of the concert-singer exceeded even 
the brilliancy of the dramatic artist — though, of course, 
in a subordinate sphere. The tones were of such pearly 
clearness, the words were so closely united with the tones ; 
piano, forte, cresceiido shaded the expression so tenderly, and 

* • II soave e hen contento,* from Pacini's Niobe, 

254 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

yet so certainly, that we never remember having been so 
delighted with a concert-singer. We noticed especially the 
charm of the little passages of f/yritura executed with 
absolute certainty in the highest register, the smooth descend- 
ing chromatic scales, and some shsJces, with which the singer 
adorned the tasteful and fascinating brilliancy of the air." * 

The same high praise was awarded to the accomplished 
vocalist on the occstsion of her next appearance^ at Herr 
Nehrlich's concert on the 10th of March. 

"Mdlle. Lind," says the reviewer, "sang the air of 
Donna Anna, in F major,t with womanly depth of expression 
and with strict adherence to the text. On the stage we 
might perhaps have wished for a little more power in certain 
passages, but for the concert-room she exactly reached the 
happy medium. The individuality of the artist was still 
more captivatingly displayed in her delivery of three 
German songs. Each of these little compositions deserves a 
word of praise. The first, by Josephson, was perhaps the 
most worthy of remark, though the low tessatura of the vocal 
part rendered it the least welcome. To the second — ' Vergtss- 
mdnnicht ' — by Herrmann Wichmann, we ourselves should 
feel inclined to give the preference, for its simple natural 
expression, which the singer brought out with full earnest- 
ness. The third, by F. Weiss, was the most successful of 
the three. Certain it is that, so interpreted, these three 
songs touched the inmost chords of artistic sympathy." t 

Of the Court-concerts in which she took part about this 
time the journals gave, of course, no published account 

Apart from the private reception given by the Princess of 
Prussia, and already described, she sang, on the 18th of 
December, 1844, in company with Herr Botticher and 
other artists, at a Court performance, in memory of which the 
King and Queen presented her with a valuable bracelet 
And again, soon after the beginning of the new year, she 

* Kgh priv, Berliniache ( Voasische) Zeiiung, (Feb, 15, 1845.) 
t * A'o» mi dir,^ from Mozart's II Don OiovannL 
t Kyi priv. Berl. ZtU. (March 12, 1845.) 

1846.] IN TEE CONCERT-EOOM. 255 

assisted at two more Court concerts — ^the last of the 
season. The impression made upon the Soyal Family by 
these performances and the personal interest taken in her 
by Queen Elizabeth, were well known in Berlin, and it is 
pleasant to know that the feeling was a lasting one and 
not the result of a mere evanescent burst of artistic 

The actual farewell for the season took place on the 
18th of March, at a concert given, in the hall of the Sing- 
Akcuiemie, in aid of the " Asylum for Blind Soldiers." The 
loom was so crowded that not only was the space usually 
devoted to the orchestra filled by the audience, but it was 
only with great difficulty that room could be foimd for the 
artists and the accompanying pianoforte. It is pleasant to 
find Fraulein Tuczec highly praised on this occasion. 

" The most piquant charm," says the journal we have so 
frequently quot^, " was produced by the duet from Sargino* 
sung by Mdlles. Lind and Tuczec, and followed by a storm 
of applause, called forth by their zealous efforts to do their 
best. Every artist, indeed, contributed his part with the best 
possible good will, and thus deserved the liveliest thanks of the 
public. Before all, however, these thanks were won by the 
beloved and modest Singer who took leave of us in this 
concert. She sang the grand air, * JSobert, toi qibe faime* t 
from Bdbert le IHable, with expression as intense as her 
execution was brilliant, rising to the high D flat in the upper 
register; and completed the cycle of her artistic achieve- 
ments in our capital city by the performance of some of 
those simple Swedish songs, which overcame us with so 
irresistible a charm. The first — 'Am Aarensee rauscht der 
vidgrune Wald ' % — she sang in German ; the two others — one 
a very tender one, dying away in the softest scarcely audible 

• An Opera huffa, by Paer. 

t This fjEunous air belongs to the part of *' Isabelle " ; not to that of 
** Alice,** which Mdlle. Lind always impersonated on the stage. 

X A strikingly original song by Adolph Lindblad, composed to German 
words by Graf von Schlippenbach, and printed, in the general collection 
of his songs, without a Swedish translation. 

256 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

tones * — ^in the original Swedish ; so that her last notes 
seemed already vanishing in the distance. 

"Amidst the loud outbreak of applause which followed 
place was found for a silent sign of acknowledgment. While 
Mdlle. Lind was singing, a lady had deposited a wreath and 
a garland erf flowers upon the pianoforte. The artist now 
took them up, with a look of eloquent thanks, and, retreating 
backwards, greeted the audience repeatedly, while the shout« 
of applause continued until she had vanished beyond the 
last steps of the platform. 

" Many heartfelt blessings accompany her into her retreat, 
where she needs must take with her the rich satisfaction that 
she has done so much and been so thoroughly appreciated." f 

And many heartfelt blessings most certainly did accompany 
her, not only firom the grateful public, but from dear ones 
with whom she had found true and, as later events proved, 
lasting bonds of friendship. 

King Frederick William IV., Queen Elizabeth, and the 
various members of the Eoyal Family, behaved to her as 
true friends, not only then but in after years also. 

By Lord and Lady Westmorland she was never forgotten, 
and among the members of their family her memory is 
still held precious. 

She has told us, in her own words, of her pleasant inter- 
course with the aged poet Tieck, and the innocent little 
family party at Frau Bettina von Amim's.J Madame Eeyer 
and her sister. Baroness von Eidderstolpe, were kind and 
home-like friends ; and through their acquaintance with the 
family of Herr von Waldenburg, a gentleman of position in 
Berlin, she was first introduced to the well-known sculptor, 
Professor Ludwig Wichmann, who, with his wife and family, 
received her, a little later on, into bonds of closest intimacy. 
Professor and Madame Wichmann had been delighted with 

* Probably, Berg's ' Fjerran i skog* 

t Kgl priv. Berl Zeit (March 16, 1845.) 

X See page 225. 

1845.] IN TEE CONCERT-ROOM. 257 

her first performance in Norma, and had begged Madame von 
Waldenburg to bring her to their house, in the Hasenheger 
Strasse^ which was then a favourite resort for artists and 
persons of culture ; and this first interview led to the forma- 
tion of so intimate a friendship between herself and Madame 
Wichmann that their affection for each other never afterwards 
cooled for a moment. The reader will not have forgotten 
that it was at Professor Wichmann's house that she first met 
Mendelssohn on the 21st of October, 1844 ; and here also, 
in March, 1845, she met for the first time Herr Heinrich 
Brockhaus, the then head of the great publishing firm of 
that name in Leipzig, a man of high cultivation and great 
influence, of whom we shall have occasion to speak again. 

Most of these kind friends were intimate with each other, 
and many pleasant little reunions took place within the 
charmed circle. It was at a party at Madame von Amim's 
that, on the 7th of January, Herr Josephson first had the 
pleasure of hearing two of his songs sung by Mdlle. Lind in 
the presence of Meyerbeer ; " and," says he, in his journal, 
"they won the approval both of the maestro and of the 
other listeners — but then, Jenny sang them in excellent 
style." * 

But notwithstanding the sympathy she met with on every 
side, the great artist seems — if we may trust Herr Josephson's 
opinion — ^to have been rather dazed than rejoiced, rather 
bewildered than delighted, with her almost miraculous 
success. He speaks with evident anxiety of her unrest, 
and the sudden transitions of her moods. 

" She is oscillating," he says, *' between heaven and earth, 
not knowing, as yet, on what terms she is with either. In 
the meantime my friendship for her is growing stronger 
every day. Daily do I call down blessings on her artist- 
soul, so great, so loving, so deep, so enthusiastic. May God 
send her all the peace and consolation of which she stands 

* ' Alls dem Leben eines Schwedischen Componisten,' vol. iL 
VOL. I. S 

258 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vm. 

in need ; and grant that, in days of storm, she may not forget 
the treasures of grace offered her." * 

The "unrest" which caused Herr Josephson so much 
anxiety may perhaps be partly accoimted for by the home- 
sickness to which, as we have known from the very beginning 
of her wanderings, she was so constantly subject. 

She herself justifies us in arri^'ing at this conclusion in a 
letter written to her guardian, Judge Munthe, just before the 
first performance of Euryanthe : — 

" Everybody is so kind to me," she says, " that it is only 
through my unbounded love for home that, in the midst of 
all these splendours, my whole soul goes out, all the same, in 
longing for Sweden. There is an inexplicable home-sympathy 
in the depths of my soul, and I look upon its possession as 
an unspeakable happiness ; for to feel so warmly as this for 
one's country is a divinely elevating sentiment. 

" The next Opera will be JSufycmthe, which is now being 
diligently rehearsed. La Sonnambvla will probably follow, 
and after that Iphigenia in Aulis. But I must make haste, 
if I am to get through my twenty appearances. Hitherto I 
have only reached the sixth. During the last weeks I shall 
have to hurry on and sing a little oftener." t 

Surely this is a sigh of longing — not of bewilderment 
And surely this, added to the ceaseless worry of the Bunn- 
contract, may have done a good deal in producing that 
" unrest " that gave Herr Josephson so much concern, and 
may, possibly, furnish a key to the mysteries of changing 
humour which seemed to puzzle him so cruelly. 

Let us bear this last sad sigh for home carefully in mind, 
while we take leave, for a time, of the turmoil of Berlin, and 
accompany her on a tour which certainly brought her nearer 
to her beloved Sweden. 

* ' Aus dem Leben eines Schwedischen Componisten,' vol. ii. 
t From a letter written by her to her gaardiaD, Judge Munthe, dated 
' Berlin, Jan. 13, 1845.' 

( 259 ) 



On Thursday, the 13th of March, 1845, as we have already 
heard, Mdlle. Lind's last notes died sofUy away in Berlin at 
a concert given for the benefit of the " Hospital for Blind 

On Wednesday, March the 19th, she made her first appear- 
ance at the Court Theatre at Hanover in her favourite 
character of " Norma." The Opera was repeated on Tuesday, 
the 25th, and immediately afterwards she left for Hamburg. 

We do not propose, during the rapid transitions from city 
to city upon which we are now entering, to dilate in detail 
upon performances which have already been sufficiently 
criticised at Berlin. It will suffice therefore for the present 
if we say that the now famous songstress was received by the 
public with enthusiastic plaudits, and at Court with a 
kindly consideration wliich, during the reign of the succeed- 
ing King and Queen, ripened into undisguised attachment 
on both sides. Years ago, in the days of the Electress Sophia 
and her descendants, the Georges, Hanover had ranked with 
Dresden and Berlin and Hamburg as one of the principal 
centres of Art in the north of Germany. Under the direct 
influence of the Abbate Steffani, and the shadow of the giant 
Handel, the Lyric Drama had prospered exceedingly in the 
fine old Theatre. The Electors had thoroughly appreciated 
the work of these great Masters, had patronised them 
liberally, and treated them with marked consideration and 

s 2 

260 JENNY LIND, [bk. iv. ch. ix. 

respect ; and the last scions of the old Electoral Dynasty 
proved faithful to the traditions of their House to the end. 

The visits to Hanover were always pleasant ones ; but on 
this occasion a disquieting communication from the manager 
of Drury Lane cast its ominous shadow over the otherwise 
happy scene, as we learn from the following sentence con- 
tained in a letter to Madame Birch-PfeifiTer, dated Hanover, 
March 24, 1845 :— 

" I have received a letter from Mr. Bunn, who speaks of 
dishonour and ingratitude, etc., etc. Dreadful! {Schreck'- 

But that shadow fell everywhere. Let us try to forget it 
as long as we can. 

On leaving Hanover, Mdlle. Lind proceeded at once to 
Hamburg, where, on the 29th of March, she made her first 
appearance at the Stadt Theater, in the Opera in which she 
had already won so many well-earned laurels for Bellini as 
well as for herself. 

And new laurels were won that night. 

The following account of the first visit to Hamburg is 
rom the pen of a careful and conscientious German Art- 

" The * guest-performances ' began on the 29th of March, 
1845, with Norma, and created a positive /t^rore. 

" It would be impossible to give any idea of the state of 
ecstasy into which the whole of Hamburg was thrown. More 
than twelve times during her visit she sang, at raised prices, 
to houses so crowded that the aid of the police had to be 
called in to regulate the crush. The celebrated Swede did 
not produce this effect merely by aid of splendid natural 
gifts supplemented by diligent study, but also through an 
ever-winning personality, shown in little details, which 
atoned for the somewhat narrow changes of a not very exten- 

* From Frau von Hillem's collection. 

1845.] AT HOME ONCE MORE. 261 

sive ripertoire* while the artist enchanted every one with her 
pure and virgin loveliness. 

" Jenny Lind was the first in Hamburg whose whole figure 
was so completely bestrown with flowers that she stood upon 
an improvised carpet of blossoms. The critics were moved 
to exhaust the whole circle of laudatory expressions : ' Her 
scales are pearls ; ' /In her mexza voce was a charm like the 
tone of an iEolian harp ; ' ' While the eaur is delighted, the eye 
sees poetry alone before it.* 

" The serenade which was simg to the artist in front of 
her hotel — ^the old Stadt London — after her last performance 
was quite a popular festival. With this ovation was com- 
bined a torch-light procession, a display of fireworks on the 
Alster, and other demonstrations, which lasted imtil long 
past midnight." t 

During this visit to Hamburg she sang in Norma five 
times, including her own benefit, on Tuesday, the 6th of 
May; five times in La Sonnamhula; twice in Idtcia di 
Zammermoor (for the first time in Grermany) ; and once (also 
for the first time out of Stockholm) in Der Freischutz. 

She also assisted on the 14th of April at a concert 
in Altona,t at which she sang the aria from Pacini's Niobe 
— ' II soave e ben contento * — in which she had created so pro- 
found a sensation in Berlin, and her own favourite Swedish 
melodies. On the 21st of April she sang the same pieces at 
a concert given by Herr Kapellmeister ELrebs — the father of 
the celebrated pianiste, Fraulein Marie Krebs — in the theatre 

* Although she sang in such an endless variety of characters at 
Stockholm — Fiddio being almost the only great operatic r6le that she 
never attempted — the persistent desire of the public to bear her in certain 
special parts, after her first great triumph in Berlin, and the labour 
also of learning new parts in a foreign language, prevented her from 
appearing in others in which she was equally great. 

t ^ Ein Beitrag zur DeuUchen CtUturgeschichte ;^ von Dr. Hermann 
Uhde. (Stuttgart Cotta, 1879.) The reader will observe that, in this 
case, the transcendental language does not proceed from the pen of Herr 
Eellstab. If he was under the spell in 1846, surely Uhde was not in 1879. 

I The town of Altona forms a suburb of Hamburg, which it almost 
joins, though it was formerly within the Danish territory. 

262 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. ix. 

at Hamburg. And on the 25th of April she sang at the 
Court Theatre of Schwerin, in Norma, followed by La Son- 
nambula on the 28th, after which she immediately resumed 
her duties in Hamburg, as above described, concluding with 
the " benefit " on the 6th of May.* 

And now, after the anxieties and fatigues of this most 
trying season — trying and fatiguing in direct proportion to 
its success — came the moment of its rich reward. 

On the doors of the Eoyal Theatre at Stockholm was 
affixed a play-bill announcing that Mdlle. lind would re- 
appear in her native town on the 16th of May, in Norma, 

It needs but little effort of the imagination to picture the 
joy with which the lonely exile — for lonely she had been, 
even amidst the glories of her most splendid triumphs ; lonely 
while critics, finding conventional terms too weak to express 
their admiration, were exhausting the hendecasyllabic licence 
of German idiom in the fabrication of new ones; lonely, 
while she stood upon the carpet of flowers in Hamburg; 
lonely, beyond all loneliness, even in company of the devoted 
friends whose affection she returned with ten-fold warmth — 
it needs, we say, but little effort to imagine the joy with 
which this lonely exile prepared to stand once more upon the 
boards of the theatre in which she had sung and acted as a 
child, to sing and act, in presence of a Swedish audience, in 
that same part of " Norma " which she had already im- 
personated upon those very boards no less than thirty times, 

♦ The dates were, March 29, 31, and April 2*, Notttm; Aprils*, 7*, 10% 
La Sonnamhtda; April 12*, 15*, Lucia; April 18, La Sonnambula ; 
April 30, Der FreischUtz ; May 2*, 4, La Sonnambula ; May 6, (Mdlle. 
Lind's benefit), Norma. Twelve performances, in all, besides the benefit. 
The asterisks denote raised prices, which were not charged on the benefit 

1846.] AT HOME ONCE MORE. 263 

and in which she had in the meantime excited the wonder 
and admiration of the most critically exacting nation in 

Such joy as that is not to be described in words, and we 
must perforce leave it to the reader's imagination to paint the 
pleasant picture — ^bearing in mind, however, that it was 
distinctly a double one. The Swedes were as glad to welcome 
home their great national artist as she was to return to them 
— as proud of her as she was of her country. And not 
without good cause! She had left Stockholm the idol of 
Sweden, she returned to it the idol of northern Europe. 
The Swedish critics had accepted her as the greatest singer 
known to them; the German critics had endorsed and 
confirmed — ^nay, glorified the verdict passed by their 
northern brethren. It was' no small thing for the credit of 
Scandinavian Art that its representatives should find their 
opinion so triumphantly vindicated. And here we must beg 
the reader to remember the position we assumed in the very 
first chapter of our history, and have ever since maintained, 
that the reputation with which we have to deal was not a 
Swedish, nor a German, nor an English, but an European 
one. This great fact, which might have been anticipated from 
very early times, was made more and more clearly apparent, 
as each successive capital expressed its opinion ; and, by the 
time of which we are now treating, there could be no reason- 
able doubt as to its ultimate acceptation. The Swedes did 
not doubt it, at any rate ; and all Stockholm went forth to 
greet the national heroine, with songs of joy and gladness. 

"Jenny Lind's return to Sweden caused general delight 
and jubilation," says Froken Marie von Stedingk, " and the 
first reception was a very cordial one. The steam-boat, with 
the celebrated artist on board — our * Northern Nightingale ' — 
did not arrive until midnight ; but notwithstanding this the 
port and neighbouring streets were so packed that I could 

264 JENNY LIND. [ 

only with difficulty find a tiny comer for myself and maid 
on a ship close by. 

** A rocket gave the signal for the liveliest shouts of delight, 
and a boat went out to meet the steam-ship with the most 
beautiful music on board. 

"When the crowd began to disperse I was able to get 
home safely, but without having caught so much as a 
glimpse of Jenny Lind, who probably went straight to her 
home as quickly as possible. Her stay at Berlin, and her 
progress through Gennany, had been a long succession of 
triumphs, and her modesty and great eminence combined 
had won friends for her everywhere."* 

It was the old, old story. Wildest excitement on the one 
side, feverish yearning for retirement on the other. It was 
the quiet of home that the wanderer longed for — not the 
shouts of the admiring multitude. 

During the course of this short visit to Stockholm, 
she sang eighteen times: twice in Norma, twice in Der 
FreischutZy three times in La Sonnambula, twice in Lucia di 
LawmermooTy eight times in Donizetti's La Figlia del Reg- 
f/iniento, and once in Kossini's H Turco in Italia,^ 

The terms under which these eighteen performances were 
secured by the direction were laid down in a special contract, 
drawn up with the consent of and duly signed by Judge 
Munthe, her guardian. 

Among the Operas mentioned the reader will observe the 
names of several which we have not hitherto critically 

Rossini's II Turco in Italia (first produced at Milan, in 
1814, as a companion piece to LItaliana in Algeri), is a 
delightful Opera huffa, full of genial melody and true Rossinian 
freshness. The part of " Fiorilla " abounds with passages of 

* From the Diary of Froken Marie von Stedingk. 

t The dates were : May 16, 19, Norma ; 23, 26, Der Freischutz ; 28, 30, 
La Sonnambula; June 2, 4, Lucia; 6, La SoiinanibtUa; 9, 11, 13, 14, 
16, 18, la Figlia del Beg. ; 20, II Turco ; 21, 25, La Figlia. 

1846.] AT HOME ONCE MORE. 265 

most delicate fioritura^ furnishing constant opportunities for 
the introduction of those inimitable cadenze in the charm 
and variety of which Mdlle. Lind stood unrivalled. And 
thus it was that the part, though not in all respects a 
pleasant one, became a favourite with her audience at Stock- 
holm, where she had first introduced it in the previous years, 
and now sang it, on the 20th of June, for the ninth and last 

Of Der FreischiUz we shall prefer to speak in connection 
with its performance in Berlin, where it was in the following 
year received with unbounded admiration. Our notice of 
Luda di Lamm&rmoor and the world-famous La Figlia del 
Reggimento we shall reserve imtil we meet with them in 

One circumstance, however, connected with the last-named 
Opera, in which she appeared for the first time on the 9th 
of June, we must not omit to notice here, since its interest 
is entirely centred in Stockholm. 

The reader will not have forgotten the " historic fanfare " 
mentioned in our account of the little Jenny's childhood; 
how delighted she had been when she heard the soldiers 
playing it in the street, or how cleverly she had afterwards 
imitated it on the little old family pianoforte. Militar}' 
music had always delighted her, and the sight of a regiment 
of soldiers gave her scarcely less pleasure in after life than 
it had done in her infancy. La Figlia del Reggimento had 
therefore a special charm for her quite apart from its claim 
for consideration as a work of Art, and she threw so much 
spirit into her interpretation of the part of the little vivan- 
diere that the Swedish soldiers were wild with enthusiasm 
about it. In a letter to Madame Birch-Pfeiflfer, dated ' Stock- 
holm, June 26, 1845,' she describes her eighth and last 
performance of the part, on the previous evening, as a 
veritable military triumph : — 

.r£.VJfr 17.VZ>. 

[ek. IV. c 

~ I am free." she savs, " and I mean to r^t myself right 

■■ Ycstentiy. the performance of I'U T-xhUr rf« Eojimtnti 
was LiiYen eutirely f.T oiSoers and soldiers. The King had 
inviied them all. and I was never so much amused in my 
life. All W.1S (.'heerfiil and good-humonrevi The soldiers 
laaghed awfully, and applaudeii me so fniiously that I really 
felt Ignite sorr%- f^r tiieir hands. All was enthusiasm, and 
it all lx>ke.l sp!v:-.d:-.l. The whole honse was filled wilh 
uniforms. It w;\* l.ts-.ulful iniseeJ! 

"Tliis evening I am going to sup with my beloved 
widowe^l Quv-en — to my unspeakable pleasure, for she is so 
very gr.ioious to me," " 

Yea. • lieautiful inde^l " '. The misohievons little rirandure 
w;is evMenily as muih dolijhteil with the gallant wamoiB 
who applaudeii her so fv;riously as they were with her. 
AMia: a treat the performance must have Wen '. and how the 
Kii^ must have enioye^l it t 

IVfides these oi*era:ic performanoes, she assisted, on the 
7:h oi" Juno, a: a con.vr. given by F. Prime, on which>Ti s!;,-; an a;r from 77 Tur\' in Italia and a duet 
^witr. Htrr C.iia:lier> from /).m /V.'iiMTrr in Sdiientn. 

It was a h-ipry and the retam to home-life and 
".■-■.^ice-sovnery ir.ex-.n'-^siMy refreshing. The fint put of the 
visit was indivd :a> ir.uch ivvupied with pioCe«ialill angii^ 
n-eats to lio-^erve :V.e iharacwr of a holiday; bntaftttthi 
tx-rfoTSiaaoes a: 1:10 Opera ww* over aha apent a few 
weeks ir. pleasiiti: retirement at the ooontry-htime o( her 
trienvi*. Herr and Maduue xoei Kodi, of 1 
:-..-.s .i'.ri.,ai.;y iwn made in pKvio.ta chaptcra.t H* % 
ii:so,ie was however hiokai in upoo. for I 
witi-.iu the sjijiv of liwle »«*.■ umc i-wiiy»% 
::.-ya'. s:::nmons — this ti 
i-o'-r: of I'mssia. 



268 JESST LHTD. la. it. 



The month of August, 1845, witnessed festivities of unusual 
interest on the banks of the Bhine. 

Between five and six o'clock on Saturday evening, August 
the 9th, the Queen and Prince Consort started down the river 
from Woolwich in the royal yacht Victoria and Albert, com- 
manded by Lord A. Fitzclarence ; and, escorted by the Black 
Eagle and the Porcupine, arrived at Antwerp on Sunday 
evening, en route for Bruhl, in response to an invitation from 
King Frederick William IV. and the Queen of Prussia. 

The occasion was especially interesting, as this was the 
first time that the Queen of England had visited the Continent 
since her accession to the throne, and the highest l^al 
authorities were somewhat cruelly exercised as to the con- 
stitutional etiquette of the proceeding. In this case, however, 
fact overpowered theory, and on Monday evening the Eoyal 
party was received at Bruhl, about six miles from Cologne on 
the road to Bonn, by the King and Queen of Prussia, and 
entertained at half past eight with a grand military concert 
in the brilliantly illuminated courtyard of the Palace, 
where seven hundred performers officiated, beginning the 
programme with ' God save the Queen * and ending with 
' Rule Britannia,' supplemented by the famous Prussian 
' tattoo * — a kind of quick march, for drums and fifes, com- 
posed about the year 1720, during the reign of King Frederick 
the Great. 


But it was not in the Military Concert that the chief 
interest of the musical performance offered to the Queen was 
centred. Her Majesty's visit was designedly coincident with 
the inauguration of the bronze statue erected in honour of 
Beethoven, which was to take place at Bonn on the following 

Accordingly, at one o'clock on Tuesday, the 12th of 
August, the monument was unveiled, amidst the firing of 
cannon, the flourish of trumpets, and the shouts of the 
multitudes gathered together firom every quarter, not only of 
Germany, but of every other music-loving nation in Europe, 
and in the presence, not only of the Boyal Families of 
England and Prussia, but of more Eoyal and Princely lovers 
of Art than we have space to mention. 

Among the great musicians present at the unveiling of the 
statue were Spohr, Meyerbeer, Moscheles, Sir George Smart, 
F^tis, Liszt, Berlioz, BeUstab, Lindpaintner, Staudigl, 
Madame Viardot-Garcia, Miss Sabilla Novello, with a host of 
singers and instrumentalists of the highest order. And 
Mademoiselle Lind was also invited — not to the festival, but 
to sing privately to King Frederick William's Eoyal and 
distinguished guests at Bruhl and the restored old feudal 
fortress of Stolzenfels on the Bhine. 

Herr Heinrich Brockhaus, of Leipzig, who, it will be 
remembered, had visited Berlin in the month of March,* 
makes the following entry in his Diary for the 7th of 
August: — 

" (1845. Leipzig, August 7.) Eduard's t birthday was cele- 
brated in quite an exceptional way ; namely, by the presence 
of Jenny Lind. 

*' She had begged us to take post-tickets for her to Frank- 

♦ See page 257. 

t Herr (afterwards Dr.) Eduard Brockhaus, then a bright eDthiisiastic 
youth of sixteen. 

270 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. x. 

fort on the Main, as she had been summoned by the King of 
Prussia, to Stolzenfels, on the Rhine, where Queen Victoria 
is to be received with great splendour ; and I took this oppor- 
tunity of inviting her to spend with us the few hours between 
her arrival and departure. 

" I met her at the station, and she seemed pleased with my 
invitation. Her Swedish companion,* who speaks but little 
German and no French, and Herr Berg, who, I believe, was 
her first teacher, came with her, and we spent a few hours 
very pleasantly together. 

" She is still in every respect the dear, sensitive, modest 
girl whom I learned to know in the spring ; and it seems as 
if the usual consequences of the excitement and jubilation 
that she everywhere creates pass over her. Art is, to her, a 
veritable religion, of which she is, herself, a pure and chaste 
priestess. 1 have known but few womanly natures that have 
made so wholly favourable an impression upon me as that of 
Jenny Lind. 

'' We accompanied the travellers to the post-carriage, and 
our farewell was a very hearty one indeed." t 

A touching little episode connected with the journey is 
told in a letter written to Madame Birch-Pfeiflfer from 
Frankfort, and dated August 10, 1845 : — 

" I have not much to say ; since, as I told you, we spent 
most of our time in the diligence. But I had one sorrow. 

" When we left Leipzig the conductor took with him a 
little dog — a Spitz — as they are always obliged to do, for the 
protection of the luggage. The little dog was engaging, and 
every time we came to a station I kissed him, but soon 
afterwards the poor little animal fell imder the wheels, and 
was run over. All ! it made me so unhappy." J 

The English correspondents of the various London journals, 
while giving detailed accounts of the " Beethoven Festival " 
at Bonn, were, of course, necessarily silent on the subject of 

* Mdlle. Louise Johansson. 

t Translated, by kind permission of bis sons, from * Aus den Tagebiichem 
von IJeinrich Brockhaus' (Leipzig, 1884), Band i. p. 56. Privately 
printed, for friends only. 

t From Frau von Hillem's collection. 


the private performances at Court ; but, fortunately, we are 
able to supply, from a private source, some valuable informa- 
tion of a very interesting character concerning the occasion 
on which the Queen and Prince Consort heard Mademoiselle 
Lind sing for the first time. 

The late Mrs. Grote, in her unpublished ' Memoir of the 
Life of Jenny Lind,' from which we have already made more 
than one valuable quotation, gives the following account of 
the circumstances : — 

" The Queen and Prince and their suite having arrived at 
the Chateau of Briihl — not far from Bonn — Mademoiselle 
Lind was invited thither, and took part in the musical enter- 
tainment offered by the Eoyal host to his guests. 

" An English nobleman * — then Lord Steward of the House- 
hold — who attended the Queen to Bruhl, and who related to 
me not long afterwards all that passed there, said that the 
expectations raised in the Eoyal minds by the reports current 
in Germany respecting Jenny Lind's singing were very high 
indeed. He himself — an amateur of great experience, and 
familiarly acquainted with the stage and its votaries all his 
life — ^was rather disposed to be prepared for a disappoint- 
ment King Leopold of Belgium, who was of the party 
at Bruhl, and aware of My lord Liverpool's scepticism, 
smilingly said to him, ' I expect, that you will be satisfied, 
when you have heard the Lind; she is something extra- 

" Whilst ' the Lind ' was singing her first aria, King Leopold 
amused himself by watching the effect produced upon his 
English friend ; and it was not long before Lord Liverpool, 
turning his head round, made a gesture sufficiently expressive 
to satisfy the King that he surrendered. 

" * It was,' said Lord Liverpool, ' a combination of style, 
vocal skill, and quality of voice, which absolutely took one by 

" The Queen and Prince Albert were, both of them, en- 
chanted with the treat provided for them ; insomuch that the 
King of Prussia pressed Jenny to favour him with a farther 
visit, at Stolzenfels, another schloss belonging to him, near 
Coblenz. Again Jenny obeyed the Eoyal mandate, and 

* The late Lord Liverpool. 

V -^ 

272 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. x. 

again Lord Liverpool was captivated by her incomparable 
powers, as were indeed the whole courtly circle there 

" The Queen of England paid her the most cordial com- 
pliments, expressing a 'hope of seeing her, one day, in 

"Jenny was very much pleased with the whole week's 
excursion ; and being afterwards at liberty to follow her own 
bent, she accepted an engagement to perform a couple of 
nights in Frankfort, where the utmost impatience was felt to 
see and judge one who was beginning to make so strong a 
sensation among the whole musical world." * 

The Queen and Prince Consort left Stolzenfels, in the Fairy, 
on Saturday, the 16th of August, and proceeded thence to 
Mainz. On Monday, the 18th, they quitted the Bhine 
Provinces, passed through Frankfort on their way to Coburg 
and Grotha, reached the first-named town on the 19th, and 
the last on the 28th; re^embarked at Antwerp, on their 
homeward journey, on the 6th of September, and returned to 
Osborne on the 8th. 

After the departure of the Eoyal party from Stolzenfels, 
Mademoiselle Lind descended the Ehine again as far as 
Cologne, where, on the 26th of August, she was serenaded 
by the company of the theatre, who presented her with a 
poem beginning, ' IVohl beherrscht Gesang die Oeister ! * 
beautifully printed on a white satin filet, and addressed to 
her by *' Die Mitglieder des Kolner Stadt-theaters, Koln, den 
26 August, 1845." 

On the following day she bade farewell to the Ehine Pro- 
vinces, and started on her journey to Frankfort, where she 
was announced to appear, in Norma, on the 29th. 

It was during this visit to Frankfort that Mademoiselle 
Lind first actually met Mr. and Mrs. Grote, of whom she had 
frequently heard, through Madame von Koch, and Mr. Edward 

* MS. * Memoir of the Life of Jenny Lind ; ' by Mrs. Ghx>te. 


Lewin ; and the acquaintance thus formed soon ripened into 
closer intimacy. Mr. Grote was a man of business-like 
habits and experience, while Mrs. Grote was almost equally 
well versed in the ways of the world ; and when, feeling sure 
of their integrity and confidence, Mademoiselle Lind entrusted 
to them the secret of the nightmare which had for so many 
months oppressed her, Mrs. Grote offered to do all that lay in 
her power, when she returned to England, to induce Mr. 
Bunn to rescind his contract, though she did not expect to 
obtain this eminently desirable result without to a certain 
extent indemnifying the manager for his disappointment-a 
condition to which Mademoiselle Lind readily agreed, 
*' adding," says her friend, " that she would ratify any terms 
which I should deem it desirable to arrange, in the way of 
dUit, or ' smart-money ' as the old phrase used to be." * 

Before leaving Frankfort, on her return to England, 
Mrs. Grote held another confidential communication with 
her, which she thus describes in the MS. sketch already 
quoted : — 

" Among the things Jenny said to me during those two 
days," she writes, " one was that her earnest desire was to 
have done with the Stage, and to retire into private life as 
speedily as was consistent with pecuniary independence. 

" I manifested some surprise at hearing her speak of her 
profession with such dislike. She went on to say that it was 
the Theatre, and the sort of entourage it involved, that was 
distasteful to her: that at the Opera she was liable to be 
continually intruded upon by curious idlers and exposed to 
many indescribable ennuis; that the combined fatigue of 
acting and singing was exhausting : that the exposure to cold 
coulisses, after exertions on the stage in a heated atmosphere, 
was trying to the chest : the labour of rehearsals, tiresome to 
a degree : and that, altogether, she longed for the time to 
arrive when she would be rich enough to do without the 
Theatre — adding, ' My wants are few — my tastes simple — a 

♦ MS. * Memoir,' by Mrs, Grote. 
VOL. I. T 

V "P 

274 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. x. 

small income wotQd content me.' She would sing occasionally, 
she said, both for charity and for her Mends, as well as for 
the undying love she felt for the musical Art ; but not act, 
if she could help it. 

" I mention this to prove how consistent her language was 
all through the subsequent phases of her artist-life. I must 
also say that her modesty and distrust of her own powers, 
at this period, showed me that she cherished a lofty standard 
of ideal excellence, and was far from thinking herself what 
every one who heard her thought her — ^a singer of the highest 
order." • 

This however was certainly the opinion of the inhabitants 
of Frankfort, whose enthusiasm was scarcely less remarkable 
than that of the audience at Berlin. 

The engagement at Frankfort was for nine nights, from 
the 29th of August to the 15th of September, and included 
three performances of Norma, four of La Sonnamiula, one 
of Der FreischutZy and one of Lucia di Lammermoor,^ The 
'Frankfort' correspondent of one of the leading London 
journals thus speaks of her appearance and reception : — 

" Eather above the middle height, Jenny Lind is slender, 
but peculiarly graceful in figure and action. She is very fair, 
with a profusion of beautiful auburn tresses ; but it is entirely 
in the expression of her eyes that the truly great artiste will 
be identified : the feeling and intelligence of those bright orbs 
are unmistakable. 

"The lessee of Drury Lane Theatre went expressly to 
Berlin to engage her, and she signed an agreement with 
Mr. Bunn for twenty performances, either for last May or 
the present month of October. 

" Most liberal ofiers have also been tendered to her by Mr. 
Lumley's agents, for Her Majesty's Theatre ; but we repeat 
the expression of our belief that, whenever her debut takes 
place in this country, it will be on the Drury Lane boards. 

" The writer of tliis little narrative had the good fortune to 

* MS. * Memoir,' by Mrs. Grote, 

t The following were the dates of the performances: Aug. 29, 31, 
Norma ; Sept. 3, 5, La Sonnamhula ; Sept. 7, Der Freischiitz ; Sept. 10, 
Norma ; Sept. 12, Lucia ; and Sept. 14, 16, La SonnambtUiu 



hear Jenny Lind at Frankfort, last month, in Bellini's La 
SonTiamhda, The house was crowded to excess, and even the 
side-scenes were filled with auditors disappointed of places 
in front of the curtain. The sensation that she created in the 
part of ' Amina ' can only be compared to that which was 
wont to attend the delineations of Malibran in the same 
part, and that is awarding the highest possible praise to the 
Swedish Siren. 

"Jenny Lind has a voice of extraordinary compass, the 
only defect in which is a deficiency of volume in the medium 
register. Her upper notes are delicious, as clear as a bell ; 
and she warbles with the facility of a^ nightingale. Her 
execution is of the most brilliant kind, and nothing can 
approach the exquisite propriety and aptness of her cadenzas. 
Tliey always come in at the right moment: she never 
sacrifices sense to sound. Her simplicity of style is, indeed, 
most rigid ; but this charming naturalness it is which goes so 
home to the hearts of her hearers. Her shake is perfect — 
truly marvellous — ^proving that she must have an intuitive 
knowledge of her Art as well as the best culture. Her style 
is full of impulse ; or, as the French call it, abandon. In the 
absence of all stage-trickery or conventionalism may be dis- 
tinguished the child of genius. Her opening Cavatina, in the 
presence of Amina's friends, and her finale were contrasted 
with the highest skill. In the first was the modest subdued 
expression of joy — in the last, the triumphant outbreak of 
rapture at being restored to El vino.* The untiring energy of 
this last vocal display, after two encores, electrified the band 
as well as the audience. Never shall we forget the amaze- 
ment of the conductor. Professor Guhr, a first-rate musician. 
Throwing away his baton, after the exhibition of this wondrous 
power on the part of Jenny Lind, he clapped his hands 
furiously over the stage-lamps." t 

It was about this time that a proposal was sent from 
Vienna, by Herr Pokomy, the lessee of the Theater an der 
Wien, for some performances at that famous Opera-House 
during the coming winter. It was a great opportunity, but 
the idea was not at all pleasing to Mademoiselle Lind, who 

* See also p. 158. 

t From the Illustrated London News for October 11, 1845. (Pages 

T 2 


thus wrote about it to her friend, Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, 
through whom the engagement had been oflfered to her : — 

'* Frankfurt-am-Main, 
" 4 Sept 1845. 

" Dear good Mother Birch, 

" What do you think of me, and my obstinacy ? For 
Heaven's sake do not be angry!— only let me tell you 
honestly all about it, and then you will quite certainly be — 
more angry than ever ! 

"Everything goes splendidly with me, and even better 
than that ! and yet I have such anxiety about Vienna that I 
scarcely believe I shall dare to go there. They have such 
excellent singers in Vienna ; and what can I do there ? And, 
besides that, I gain just as much money by the journeys 
I am now making — though Vienna is the chief thing, on 
account of the renown. 

"My good master* is now away, so I must judge for 
myself. I have had the privilege of speaking to the Prince 
and Princess Mettemich, here in Frankfort, at Baron Roth- 
schild's, and they have both advised me to go to Vienna. 
And yet — only think ! — what if I lose my whole reputation I 
If I do not please ! And this anxiety grows so much upon 
me ! And all through next winter the thought of my first 
appearance in Vienna will follow me like an evil spirit 
Ah, yes 1 I am very much to be pitied ! 

" Tell Herr Pokorny that I am very grateful to him for tJie 
oflfered half-receipts and quite satisfied on the score of money ; 
but — that he must engage some other singer ; for he camiot 
reckon on me, as I cannot accept the engagement, and cannot 
believe that I should be able to carry it out in Vienna. 
Break it oflf, good mother. I am contented with very little, 
and shall perhaps sing no longer than till next spring, as I 
can then go home, by Hamburg, and afterwards live in peace. 
For, you see, mother Birch, this life does not suit me at all. 
If you could only see me — the despair I am in whenever I 
go to the theatre to sing ! It is too much for me. This 
terrible nervousness destroys everything for me. I sing far 
less well than I should, if it were not for this enemy, I 
cannot understand how it is that everything goes so well 
with me. People all take me by the hand. But all this 
helps nothing ! Herr Pokorny would not be very well 

* Herr Berg. 


pleased, for instance, if I were to sing there once only and, 
that once, fail. For the money he offers me he can get 
singers anywhere who are not so difficult to satisfy as I am, 
and who, at least, wish for sometliing, while I wish for 
nothing at all ! 

" Mother ! what do you say to this — that I have so mislaid 
your letter to Madame — yes ! what is her name ? — that I 
cannot find it anywhere ? It is certainly hidden away some- 
where ; but where, I cannot tell. For Heaven's sake, do not 
be angry! On the day on which your letter arrived, I 
received so many, that it was possibly put aside. 1 beg you, 
above all things in the world, not to be vexed \nth me and 
not to lose your confidence in me. 

" To-morrow {La Sonnambtda) the Queen of England is 
coming to the Theatre, and the King and Queen of Bavaria, 
and all the royalties of Darmstadt ; that is what they believe 
here — but I do not ! Is not that lovely ? 

" Greet the Aunt, my dear Sister, and all, 

" From your ever grateful and devoted 

" Jenny." * 

The picture is not a cheerful one. But we shall hear 
more of Vienna later on. 

* From Frau von Hillem's collection. 

278 JENNY LIND, [ 



The short visit to Frankfort had been a genuine success, but 
a far more brilliant one was at hand. 

After singing two nights at Darmstadt, at raised prices, 
and to crowded houses,* Mdlle. Lind prepared to renew her 
acquaintance with the kindred spirits with whom she had 
entered into so close an intellectual communion in the 
autumn of the year 1843. 

With the delights of her first visit still green in their 
memory, the grateful and appreciative Danes went forth to 
meet her with demonstrations of enthusiastic welcome. 

For the moment their hopes were held in abeyance, under 
the circumstances narrated in the following communication, 

* In Norma^ on the 17th of September ; and La Sannambula, on the 
19th. In memory of the impression produced by the performance of 
NormOf an anonymous poem, beginning, " Einst war\ dctss tief vom 
Nordtn^ was privately printed, on a pink card, and circulated among the 
art-loving inhabitants of the town. We subjoin the first two stanzas : — 

'' Einst war's dass tief vom Norden, im Siegesjubelklang, 
In deutsche Herzen stUrmte der Schweden frommer Sang ; 
Der grosse Gustav Adolph zog kHmpfend mit seinem Heer, 
Als Sieger durch Deutschlands Gauen, zum Schutze und zur Wehr. 

" Und nach zweihundert Jahren tont wieder Schwedenschall, 
Doch str^Smt er aus der Eehle der Schwedischen Nachtigall ; 
Sie singt so siiss imd innig, so machtig und so stark, 
Ihr Ton schwillt an zum Sturme, durchzittert Herz und Mark. 

% % % 1^ 1^ % 

" Darmstadt, den 19ten September, 1845." 

1845.] WITH THE DANES. 279 

addressed by Herr Schoeltz von Schroeder, the Prussian 
Envoy at Copenhagen, to His Excellency Graf von Eedern, 
in charge of the Hofmusik at Berlin : — 

"Your Excellency, 

" The f8ted heroine of the day, Mdlle. Jenny Lind, 
was expected here yesterday by the steam-packet said to 
be arriving from Hamburg. Expectant worshippers without 
number were assembled on the strand ; there was no lack of 
wreaths and flowers ; the poet Andersen had prepared a 
beautiful 'Welcome' — but, alas! all fell through; and 
instead of the Singer came an apologetic letter, which 
destroyed all hopes of seeing her here 

"&c., &c., &C., 

"Schoeltz von Schbceder* 

** GopeDhagen, September 25, 1845.'* 

" Destroyed all hope " — the writer should have said — " for 
that particular day;" for she was positively announced 
to appear, three days afterwards, and arrived in ample 
time to fulfil her engagement. Her appearances were neces- 
sarily few in number, for her time was limited, and on 
one of the appointed nights the theatre was imavoidably 
closed, on account of her indisposition. But her stay was 
sufficiently prolonged to create a profound and lasting 
impression among all classes of society. 

She sang three times in Norma, twice in La Figlia del 
ReggimentOy^ and also at four concerts. % 

The effect of these performances upon the public is thus 
described : — 

* From infonnation kindly supplied by the OenemUIntendantwr der 
hgl, Schau9piele zu Berlin, who courteously submitted the Archives of the 
Royal Opera and Hofmusik to Mr. Gbldschmidt's examination for parti- 
culars without which these chapters could not have been written. 

t Sept. 28, Oct. 3, and Oct. 5, Norma ; Oct. 8, 15, La Figlia del JRegg, 
X The concerts took place on Sept. 16 and 30, and Oct. 10 and 16. 

280 JENNY LIND. [bk- iv. en. xi. 

"Then came Jenny land, whose few special GastroUen 
raised a tremendous enthusiasm among the public, and 
every time drew such crowds that the tickets were im- 
mediately sold for four times their usual price. This, how- 
ever, was of no particular benefit to the theatre, considering 
that she was paid two himdred Danish rixdoUars for every 

" The reception she had met with two years before was 
extraordinary, yet it counts for nothing when compared 
with the homage now offered to her in so unprecedented a 
manner. On the occasion of her first visit she merely 
brought from her own country a distinguished artist-name, 
supported by the rare talent by aid of which she was 
destined to acquire European fame. This fame she had 
now earned in fullest measure. In Berlin and Paris * she 
was now admired and praised, no less by the first musical 
authorities than by the enchanted public. 

"Everything she did produced a thrilling effect, leaving 
behind an impression far more lasting than the most 
marvellous execution. Endowed with a mellow, flexible 
voice, of large compass, great power, and delightfol sonority; 
with a noble style of acting, in the comic as well as the 
pathetic parts; with a personality which, though lacking 
regularity of features, was rendered charming to the last 
degree by its womanly dignity ; with eyes capable of the 
deepest expression ; with the highest finish of vocal technique ; 
with the most refined taste in the use of these musical and 
dramatic gifts ; with spiritual conception and feeling, even in 
the most varied compositions — endowed, we say, with these 
precious qualities, she carried everything before her. 

" The public had been wondering whether she was really 
able now to produce anything more beautiful than that 
which had already been so much admired as the highest form 
of perfection. But at the very beginning of the &st repre- 
sentation it became evident, from the lofty calm and clear- 
ness, the grace and power with which the notes streamed 
forth, that she actually had advanced still farther in vocalisa- 
tion, in precision, and in taste. 

" Her' Norma ' had not the wild and glowing passion which 
most singers impart to it, but there was such deep feeling, 
such energy in the acting as well as in the singing, such 
unpretending greatness, such graceful harmony in look, in 

* Tbifl, of course, is a mistake. 

1846.] WITH THE DANES. 281 

motion, in plastiqtie, and in diction, that the public was 
transported by the poetry of the personification ; and after 
the first act, amidst interminable plaudits, the artist was 
called before the curtain and received with a gentle shower 
of flowers. At the end of the performance the same act of 
homage was repeated in a still higher degree ; and from the 
theatre a great crowd rushed on to her residence, in order to 
greet her with cheers on her return home.* 

" Her performance of the part of ' Marie ' in La Figlia del 
JReggimento was received with no less rapture. Here, again, 
she did not interpret the part in accordance with the usual 
conception, but in a way which suited her temperament to 
perfection. There was so intimate and marvellous a union 
of good-nature, poetical feeling, jesting humour, and amiable 
natvetS in the delivery of her dialogue that, with whatever 
apparent lightness she threw her words about, they all, in 
accordance with the needs of the moment, teemed with a 
brightness of fun of which she herself appeared wholly 
unconscious. The effect of this was to constantly call forth 
a burst of applause the spontaneity of which was self- 
evident ; and yet the chief interest of the performance really 
lay in her singing, which, whether the intention was grave or 
merry, had in every simplest phrase, in every minutest 
ornament, no less than in the most brilliant bravura 
passages, a fulness of soul and a perfection of technique 
which, combined with the truthfulness to nature which 
everywhere pervaded it, held the public in a condition of 
never-failing enthusiasm." t 

The reader will bear in mind that this is no ephemeral 
critique, culled from the pages of a daily journal, but the 
deliberate verdict of a sober art-historian ; and it is im- 
possible to read his glowing narrative without a feeling of. 
surprise, that he should have permitted himself to indulge in 
A display of enthusiasm so little in accordance with the 
traditions of his order; yet his language is certainly no 
stronger than that to which we have already become accus- 

* As on the occasion of lier first visit to Copenhagen, Mdlle. Lind was 
the guest of her friends, Monsieur and Madame Boumonville. 

t From * Den danske Skucplads ; ' a History of Danish Dramatic Art, 
by T. Overskou. (Copenhagen, 1864, voL v.) 

282 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. xl 

tomed, in the accounts of the performances at Berlin con- 
tributed to the Berliner Zeitung by Herr Ludwig Bellstab, 
whose reviews are regarded by German journalists as examples 
of genuine criticism, second only in value and interest to 
those of Schumann and Rochlitz. What can we infer bom 
this but that a talent capable of inspiring experienced 
critics with a fire of enthusiasm so foreign, not only to their 
practice, but to their fixed and habitual principles, must 
necessarily be a very remarkable one — ^a talent of an order 
with which they had not been previously accustomed to deal ? 
And the progress of events proved this to be the trutL 

Besides the dramatic performances thus favourably noticed, 
Mdlle. Lind sang at a concert given, on the 16th of September, 
in the large hall of the Hdtel d'Angleterre ; at another, given 
in the Bidehus (or Hippodrome) of the Boyal Palace at 
Christiansborg, on the 30th of September; and at a third, 
given on the 10th of October at the Court Theatre, in the 
palace at Christiansborg, in aid of the Association for the 
Eescue of Neglected Children. 

So great was the success of this charitable entertainment 
that, on the following day, the governors of the Association 
sent her the following gratifying address : — 

»* Mademoiselle, 

" During the years that the under-mentioned Associ- 
ation has carried on its work, the object of which is the 
prevention of crime through the education of children in need 
of moral training, the aid received from private persons has 
never represented a richer contribution than that for which 
the Association begs permission to express to you its heartfelt 

" By using the rare talents you possess in such abimdance 
for the benefit of the Association, at last night's performance 
at the Court Theatre, you have procured for it an income 
which will render possible a considerable development of its 
means of doing good. 

" On leaving Denmark you will take with you the pleasant 

1846.] WITH TEE DANES. 283 

consciousness of having rescued, from dens of vice, many a 
child, who now, through your active charity, will be brought 
up to a useful and virtuous life, the blessings of which will 
follow you wherever you go." 

(Here follows a long list of siffnatures,) 

''ABsociation for the Rescue of Neglected Children, 

** October 11, 1845. 

*' To Froken Jenny Undr 

Truly, this was a worthy beginning of the work which, not 
so very many years afterwards, reached so noble a consum- 
mation at Brompton, at Norwich, and Manchester, and 
now evokes a blessing from the lips of every loyal and 
patriotic Swede in Stockholm itself. 

The last concert at which she assisted, during this visit 
to Copenhagen, took place, on the 16th of October, in the 
Bidehus; and the records of the period prove that these 
purely musical performances were no less successful than 
the dramatic representations. Mdlle. lind herself — though 
she caught a serious cold — was delighted, not only with her 
reception by the Danish public, but by the hearty and able 
co-operation of the artists with whom she was associated in 
her arduous duties. Writing to Madame Birch-PfeiflFer, on 
the 14th of October, she says : — 

" Ah ! people are here more than ordinarily kind to me. 
The ladies of the chorus have decorated my room so beauti- 
ftdly ; and the whole orchestra and chorus have been so 
friendly. On my birthday they brought me a Vivat ! and a 
serenade. Ah, yes ! I am quite at home here ! 

"But the weather has been frightfully bad; so stormy 
that, up to this time, I have not dared to venture upon a 
voyage by sea, for several ships have been lost However, as 
I am giving concerts here to four thousand people — for they 
have so large a room — J have stayed on a few days longer. 
But — alas ! — I have caught a horrible cold ; had to put off 
the performance the day before yesterday ; and feel myself 
so much knocked up that I can only sing in my farewell 

284 JENNT LIND. [ 

concert, and dare not risk any more singing this month, if I 
wish to preserve my voice ; and, as I shall have to use that 
voice for another year, I have been obliged to write to 
Hanover, Bremen, Cassel, and Leipzig, to say that I cannot 
come — to my very great regret, for nothing in the world 
grieves me so much as not being able to keep my promise. 

" It was particularly unfortunate with regard to Hanover, 
as the King had evidently looked forward to it I have 
promised to go there as soon as my engagement in Berlin 
expires, and my rSpertoire will then be more extensive. But 
it would really not have been right of me to sing any more 
now, as I must so soon be in Berlin ; for, as you know, 
mother, I need all my strength there." * 

But, the remembrance of the artistic tone which had made 
her visit to Copenhagen so thoroughly enjoyable, remained 
long after the cold, and the loss of voice, and the stormy 
weather had been forgotten. Many years afterwards she 
wrote to Madame Boumonville : — 

"I shall never forget the joy with which I sang at 
Copenhagen ; for never shice have I foimd more cultivated 
artists anywhere." f 

It was a happy time, in spite of the threatened loss of 
voice; but it owed its brightest charm far less to the 
applause of a genuinely appreciative public than to the 
atmosphere of poetry and high intellectual culture with 
which the young priestess of Art found herself surrounded 
on every side. With all that was best and greatest in the 
mind-world of the North, she was admitted to closest and 
most imreserved communion. Poet and painter, romancist 
and liistorian, vied with each other in paying homage to 
her genius. Thorwaldsen, whom she had known on her first 
visit to Copenhagen, had died in the previous year ; but her 
" brother," Hans Christian Andersen — as she delighted to call 

* From Frau von Hillern's collection. 

t From a letter from Madame Goldschmidt to Madame Boomonvillef 
dated London, June 11, J 877. 

1845.] WITH THE DANES. 285 

him, in obedience to the homely Scandinavian custom — was 
there to greet her with the 'Welcome' mentioned in the 
letter of Herr Schoeltz von Schroeder. An album which she 
kept at the period, and which is still fortunately preserved, 
is filled with the contributions of her most valued friends. 
Andersen wrote in it a poem, dated, " Copenhagen, October 12, 
1845 " ; and Anton Melbye, the painter, illustrated it with 
a beautiful little etching, executed with a reed-pen, and 
representing the steam-packet surrounded by the shipping 
in the harbour. CEhlenschlager wrote a poem also, and 
Greheimrath Jonas Collin. Music was represented by Niels 
W. Gade, the friend of Mendelssohn and Schumann, and the 
composer of CaincUa, Im Hochlande, and many other works 
of undoubted merit.* Ed. Lehmann was there also. And 
Jensen, not contented with drawing in the album, and 
unwilling that the "gentle shower of flowers" which had 
fallen upon her in the theatre should fade without remem- 
brance, drew an inspiration from Van Huysum, and painted 
a lovely wreath of white roses, which was presented to her 
as a testimonial, and is now the property of her daughter. 
The picture was painted at the desire of a few friendly 
subscribers, among whom we find the names, not only of 
her genial host and hostess, M. and Madame Boumonville, 
but also those of M. Mozart and Madame Mathilde Waage- 
petersen, the toucliing story of whose sickness was related in 
a former chapter.f 

The poems of CEhlenschlager and Andersen are of so 
great an interest that we have thought it desirable to re- 
produce them in the original Danish, for no translation 
could possibly have done justice to their strong national 

* Herr Gade filled the post of Hof Kapellmeister in his native city, 
Copenhagen, until his recent (lamented) death, 
t See page 175. 

286 JENNY LIND. [bk. 


Folkesangen har en Werden inde, 
Du har kaldt den frem til Liv paa ny; 
Sangens Muse kom, en Nordisk Qvinde, 
Snillet sMv og dog som Bamet h\f\ 

SMv dii ei Din bedste Ynde kjender, 
Sjelens Reenhed iibevidst iidtalt; 
Hellig for Din Kunst Dit Hjerte brender, 
Gud er Dig dog Stjomen over Alt. 

I Erystal-Skal Nectar-Dricken bydes, 
Norden har ved Dig ecn Stjeme meer, 
Yed Din Sang vi liittres, r6re8, fr^des, 
Gud med Dig! — ^Hans bedste Willie skeerl 

med broderligt Sind 

H. C. Akdebskn. 
Ejdbenhavn, 12 Oct., 1845. 


En lille Fugl i Busk og Dal, 
Soedvanlig kaldet Nattergal, 
Om den de gamle Sagn os sige 
At allerforst den var en Pige. 

Og Philomele hendes Navn I 
( : Hvad i Stockholm og Ki6benhavn 
Hun hedder, skal jeg strax berette; 
Dog fbrst maa jeg fortaella Dette : ) 

Formodenlig af Jalousie, 

Fordi hun sang sin Melodie 

Saa sddt, en Trold det Barn fortrylled, 

Og i en Fugleham indhylled. 

Nu qvad hnn — Trylleri til Spot — 
Soni Fugl vel ikke mindre j^odt, 
Og hver en Yaar i Blomsterdalen 
Hun qviddred sodt som Nattergalen. 

For Elskeme var hendes Sang 

Til Kildens Accompagnemcnt 

Saa kioer som for. Hunselv, bedrftvet, 

Beskedcn sad i Skyggelovet. 

1846.] WITH THE DANES. 287 

Saa gik det mange hundred Aar, 
Da vaagned hun engang en Vaar 
Igien som Pige. Hendes Stemme — 
Hvo den har hort kan den ei glemme. 

Thi Fuglens Triller, Orete lyst, 
Med Hiertet i et oedelt Bryst 
Forened denne hulde Pige, 
Saa aldrig f6r man horte lige. 

Nu stod hun der med Smil paa Kind — 
Med Taareblik — som Jenny Lind! 
Om Philomele, Nattergalen, 
Var der slet ikke mere Talen. 

Men aki vor Gloede var kun kort — 
Som Fugl hun flyver atter bort. 
Dog trost dig Hierte, stands din Klage, 
Hun kommer snart igien tilbage. 

A. (Ehlenschlageb. 


Thalia sired med Melpomene 
Om fbrste Hang paa Digterscene, 
Apollo skulde foelde Dom, 
I strid de hidsigt til ham kom. 
Sangguden i det Musamode, 
Som ingen af dem vilde stode, 
Ved Harpen hilste dem og loe. 
At begge vandt og ingen tabte 
Til Jenny Lind han dem omskabte. 
I hende see vi beggeto I 

A. (EhlenscblXgeb. 
Ki6benhavn, 21 Oct., 1845. 

The two visits to Copenhagen seem to have made a deep 
impression upon the mind of Hans Christian Andersen, 
for not only did he celebrate them in verse, but in the 
autobiographical sketch entitled ' Das Mdhrchcn meines 
Lebens^ he speaks of them at considerable length and in 
a very enthusiastic tone indeed. 

" The youthfully-fresh voice," he says, " forced itself into 
every heart. Here reigned Truth and Nature. Everything 
was fuU of meaning and intelligence. 

288 JENNY LIND. [bk. 

" * Yes, yes/ said she, ' I will exert myseK ; I will 
endeavour; I will be better qualified, when I come to 
Copenhagen again, than I now am.* 

*** There will not be bom, in a whole century, another 
being so gifted as she,' said Mendelssohn, in speaking to 
me of Jenny Lind; and his words expressed my own full 

" There is nothing which can dwarf the impression made 
by Jenny Lind's greatness on the stage except her own 
personal character at home. An intelligent and childlike 
disposition here exercises its astonishing power. She is 
happy — belonging, as it were, no longer to the world. A 
peaceful quiet home is the object of her thoughts ; yet she 
loves Art with her whole soul, and feels her vocation in 
it. A noble, pious disposition like hers cannot be spoiled 
by homage. On one occasion only did I hear her express 
her joy in her talent and in her sense of power. It was 
during her last visit to Copenhagen. Almost every evening 
she appeared, either in the Opera or at concerts. Every hour 
was in requisition. She heard of a society the object of 
which was to assist unfortunate children and to take them 
out of the hands of their parents by whom they were ill- 
treated, and compelled either to beg or steal, and to place 
them in other and better conditions. Benevolent people 
subscribed annually a small sum each for their support; 
nevertheless, the means for this excellent purpose were 

" ' But have I not still a disengaged evening ? ' said she. 
' Let me give a performance for the benefit of these poor 
children, and we will have doubled prices.' 

" The performance was given, and its proceeds were large. 
When she was told of this, and that by this means a large 
number of poor children would be benefited for several years, 
her countenance beamed and her eyes were filled with 

" * Is it not beautiful,' she said, ' that I can sing so ? ' 

" I feel towards her as a brother, and I think myself 
happy that I can know, and understand, such a spirit. God 
give to her that peace, that quiet and happiness, that she 
desires for herself. 

" Through Jenny Lind I first became sensible of the 
holiness of Art. Through her I learned that one must 
forget one's self in the service of the Supreme. No books. 

1846.3 WITH THE DANES. 289 

no men, have had a more ennobling influence upon me as a 
poet than Jenny lind ; and therefore have I spoken of her 
80 fully and so warmly/* * 

" She is happy," says the Danish poet, " belonging, as it 
were, no longer to the world." In the world — as the holy 
ones have ever lived — but not of it. Living among its 
people, to help them, wherever help was possible, but with- 
drawing from contact with all that was mean, and base, and 
sordid. And happy, tlirice happy, in the voluntary isolation. 

Yes, it was indeed a happy time — but even then the 
world intruded itself into the happiness of the moment, 
however little the " sensitive young girl " belonged to it. The 
nest of the ** Swedish Nightingale " was overshadowed — or, at 
least, seemed to her to be so — by a " sable cloud," which 
obstinately refused to " turn forth its silver lining on the 

* ( 

Das Marchen meines Lebens,' vod H. C. Andersen (Leipzig, 1880). 


290 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xii. 


THE *' BUNN-CONTRACT " {continued). 

Not even her intercourse with the master-minds, in com- 
munion with whom she spent so many pleasant hours during 
her second visit to Copenhagen, could free Mdlle. Lind from 
the nightmare of her dreadful London engagement. The 
remembrance of it haunted her everywhere, and in the 
midst of her brightest triumphs, oppressed her sensitive and 
unsophisticated nature with a quite unreasonable terror, 
which, as time wore on, sensibly undermined her health and 
caused her a world of unhappiness. 

On the 14th of October she wrote to Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer, in a letter which has already been partly quoted in 
an earlier chapter : — 

" What do you say to Mr. Bunn, who has lately announced 
that I must make my dibut at Drury Lane on the 19th of 
October ! ! otherwise I shall have shamefully broken my 
contract ? Ah ! ah ! mother ! More foul weather is in 
store ! But he can do me no harm, for I shall never in my 
life go to London. And — is it true ? — have I dreamed it ? — 
or was not the contract signed with my name only, and his 
name not appended to it ? Was it not so ? I do not know 
where that horrid thing ^the contract) is. Is it with you ? or 
is it in Sweden ? In either case, give me comfort ! Dear 
mother, give me comfort, and write to me once more before I 
return to Berlin, as I shall stay a few days in Altona witli 
Madame Ai'nemann. 

" Your truly loving and grateful, 

" Jenny." • 

* From Frau von Hillem's collection. 

1846.] TEE " B UNN- CONTRA CT " ( CONTINUED.) 291 

Strange as it may seem, this suspicion as to the omission 
of Mr. Bunn*s signature was found to be perfectly justified. 
Why the manager did not append his own name to a 
document so important it is difficult to understand ; but he 
certainly did not append it — at least to the copy left in 
Mdlle. Lind's possession — as we learn from another letter 
written by her to the same lady, from Nienstadten, on the 
28th of October, 1845 :— 

" I have, only to-day, found the English contract ; and I 
was quite right — the name of Mr. Bunn is wanting, and 
therefore, I am told, the contract is not valid. Altogether, 
since I received the letter from my good mother, I have been 
much easier ; and I am easier still now, in every way, than 
I was. And for that I have to thank my firm determination 
to leave the stage. Mon Dieu ! This happiness will be too 
much for me. 

" Your ever grateful, 

" Jenny.'* • 

Meanwhile, on the 18th of October, a few days only before 
she took leave of her friends in Copenhagen, she wrote to Mr. 
Bunn an unfortunate letter, which was afterwards fraught with 
the most disastrous consequences. Knowing nothing at all of 
business matters, she expected that Mr. Bunn, when her 
difficulties were explained to him, would treat her with the 
generosity which she would most certainly have accorded to 
him had he been similarly circumstanced. A more ill- 
advised step could scarcely have been imagined, for Mr. 
Bunn was emphatically " a man of business" ; but, in most 
unbusiness-like terms, she wrote to him thus : — 

" Copenhagen, Oct 18, 1845. 

"The interest that you have deigned to show for 
my trifling talent, the obliging offer that you have made 
me in London — in short, the facility that you have wished to 

* From Frau von Hillem'g collection. 

U 2 

292 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xil 

grant me relative to the debut you are preparing for me at 
the National Theatre of Drury Lane, entitles you to my 
gratitude and my highest esteem. How can I thank you 
sutficiently ? I shall exercise towards you the greatest 
frankness, and you shall judge me, not as a director, but as 
a gentleman par excellence. 

" It is impossible for me to come to sing in London. Not 
that other engagements prevent me — ^for I have not con- 
tracted any — but I do not feel that I possess sufficient 
capacity to fulfil properly the expectations of a public 
accustomed to the most remarkable abilities of the period. 
The success that I have obtained, up to this time, does not 
give me courage as to the fate which might await me in 
England. I neither possess the personal advantages, the 
assurance, nor the charlatanism of other prime donne ; and 
I feel, with fear, that a check experienced in London would 
be fatal to the rest of my theatrical career. 

" Another obstacle, no less serious, is my ignorance of the 
English language, the pronimciation of which is so contrary 
to my powers. Even supposing that, during six months, I 
were to sacrifice all my other occupations and to give myself 
up entirely to the study of the English language, it would 
still be indispensable that my organs should acquire the 
flexibility necessary to enable me to perform in a manner that 
would not expose me to the laughter of the audience. All 
the objections which I made, in the first instance, to the 
proposals you offered at Berlin, and which M. Meyerbeer 
endeavoured to combat, in order to attach me to the destiny 
of his Opera, TJie Camp of SilcMa* are still farther fortified 
by a succession of fruitless efforts. In fact, the execution of 
the project of the celebrated composer has been stopped. 
Consequently, the primitive cause of my plan for a journey 
is practically annulled. I find myself in the most isolated 
position, without a knowledge of the language and without a 
hope of success. 

"I have, then, no other resource but to beg you, as a 
favour, not to consider my signature as a contract, and to be 
generous enough to disengage me from an unconsidered 

" You know, yourself, under what influence I have been 
persuaded, not to say surprised, into taking a step so contrary 

* It was naturally Meyerbeer's wish that Mdlle. Lind should make 
the Opera as popular in England as she had already made it in Germany. 


to my interests. It is not a question of money, but simply 
of my existence as an artist, which would be compromised 
by my appearance in London, and perhaps annihilated by 
my dSmt at Drury Lane. 

" I know nothing of chicanery ; but I am of good faith, 
and I know the respect I owe to your undertaking. I do 
not count on taking any other engagement in England. Will 
you give me back my agreement ? And I promise you, that, 
even although it does not contain any article of dilit, if I 
should resolve to sing at the Italian Opera in London, I will 
pay such indemnification as the laws of your country may 
impose upon me. 

" In eight days, I shall be in Berlin, where I shall await 
your reply, and the release which I expect from your 
humanity and generosity. 

" Will you, in the meantime, receive the assurance of my 
highest consideration, and believe me, 

" M. Directeur, 

" Your very humble servant, 

*' Jenny Lind." * 

To this appeal, Mr. Bunn replied, on the 30th of October, 
in the following terms : — 

" Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Oct. 30, 1845. 

" Madame, 

"In reply to your letter, dated 18th inst., I beg to 
observe that the matter in question being purely a business 
transaction can only be answered in that Ught. 

" The sole object of your appeal to me is, to get rid of 
your liability to this theatre that you may engage at the 
Italian Opera ; on which subject I am aware of all the 
representations which have been made to you and of the 
parties who have made them. 

"The pretext of your inability to learn the English 
language, taking into consideration the wonderful facility 
you have already evinced, and the great effects produced by 
your predecessors, Madame Schrceder-Devrient, Madame 

* From a translation of the original letter, which appeared in The 
Times on the 23rd of February, 1848. 

294 JENNF LIND. [ 

Malibran, * &c., cannot be listened to. When you state that 
your contract * ne contient point d' article de dSlit,' I am led 
to suppose that you omitted it in order to evade it. But 
you will find yourself subject to damages more than any 
delit, and those damages I shall contend for. 

" I went at great expense to Berlin purposely to engage 
you. I employed an author to re-write and translate The 
Camp of Silesia ; and I incurred the heavy cost of painting 
scenery for the two first acts. I incurred this heavy outlay 
on the faith of your signature, witnessed by the British 
Ambassador. Can you suppose that I will now accept a 
promise, when you violate a contract which you have 
formally signed ? I tell you I will not. You have accepted 
an enormous salary at Berlin, and are there at the very time 
that, by law and honour, you ought to be here ; and you 
must fulfil your contract with me, or fully indemnify me 
for my expenses and my losses. 

" On giving me an undertaking that you will not appear 
at the Italian Opera House in London before the 15th of 
August next, and on paying me such a sum as will cover all 
my heavy expenses, and in some measure compensate me for 
my anticipated gains, I will annul the contract existing 
between us and violated by you ; and, if you fail so to do, I 
shall carry the whole matter to be laid before His Majesty 
the King of Prussia, who is too good to suffer an English 
subject to be defrauded by any one paid by the Prussian 

" I shall also commence an action-at-law in Berlin, 
where the contract was made, and another in England, 
whenever you land here. This is my fixed determination. 

" Oblige me, therefore, with an immediate reply, to say 
whether, by an honourable offer, we are to remain in amity, 
or, by a refusal, we are to be at war ; and, in either case, I 
have the honour to be 

" Madame, 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Alfred Bunn {Directcur)"^ 

* Madame Malibran spent two years and a half in England during her 
youth, and spoke the language fluently long before she was ready to 
Ui.ike her dihut upon the operatic stage. 

t From the transcript, published in The Timex for Feb. 23, 1848. 

1845.] THE ** B UNN- CONTRA CT' ( CONTINUED.) 295 

In order to judge this letter fairly, it is necessary to entirely 
separate the brutcUitS — we use the word strictly in its French 
sense — of its tone from the subject-matter of Mr. Bunn's 

It is impossible to deny that Mr. Bunn had the right to 
complain — or, rather, that he had the right to refuse the 
request. No doubt, he had been put to a certain amount 
of expense, and still more disappointment; but the letter 
did not contain a threat to violate the contract — it simply 
asked, as a favour, that it might be cancelled. And though 
no one with the least idea of business matters could for a 
moment suppose that Mr. Bunn would accede to that request, 
the fact that it had been preferred did not justify him in 
imputing to the writer motives which she most certainly never 
entertained. She had no desire whatever to sing at the 
Italian Opera in London, and had entered into no negotiations 
with any one on that subject. The difficulty of which she 
complained with regard to the pronunciation of the English 
language was a real one — so real that, to the last day of her 
life, even after a residence of so many years in this country, 
her accent would have sounded strangely foreign in spoken 
dialogue — and the English version of The Camp of Silesia 
would have been full of spoken dialogue. Equally real was 
the modesty which led her to dread a failure in London, 
which would " be fatal to the rest of her theatrical career." 
She doubted her own powers on the eve of her greatest 
victories, and that long after her experiences of the past should 
have assured her that the victory was certain. From the first 
word to the last her letter was written in the most perfect 
good faith, and no one whose eyes were not blinded by self- 
interest would have failed to see that tliis was the case. 
Mr. Bunn, however, preferred to assume that an attempt was 
being made to hoodwink him, and appealed to the Law in 
what he considered a necessary case of self-defence. 

296 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xii. 

We have said, in a former chapter, that Mrs. Grote had 
promised to act as intennidiaire with Mr. Bunn in this case. 
She did actually enter into negotiations with him imme- 
diately after her return to England, and indulged in the 
hope that she might have the happiness of seeing the contract 
annulled, in return for the payment of a sum of £500 by 
way of forfeit-money, or £300 if Mdlle. Lind would consent 
to sing one night for Mr. Bunn, for nothing. But at the 
very time that Mrs. Grote was expecting an answer to this 
proposal Mr. Bunn's agent (Mr. William Sams) called upon 
her, armed with the unhappy letter of October the 18th, on 
reading which Mrs. Grote, without enquiring " in what terms 
Mr. Bimn replied to Mdlle. Lind," wrote to her, saying that 
" her interposition had entirely set her aside, and leaving it 
to her to deal henceforward with the case after her own 
fashion." * 

In the meantime the most unfounded rumours were spread 
on every side. It is doubtful whether Mr. Bunn, even now, 
gave up all hope of securing his prize. One section of the 
English public, at any rate, did not give up all hope of 
hearing the coveted prima donna at Drury Lane, while 
another felt equally certain of enjoying that pleasure at Her 
Majesty's Theatre. For the idea that Mdlle. Lind con- 
templated the acceptance of an engagement at the last- 
named house — which at that period, she most certainly did 
not — was by no means peculiar to Mr. Bunn. It was men- 
tioned everywhere — and, of course, after the manner of 
reports in general, and utterly unfounded ones in particular, 
it was mentioned with the assurance that it was absolutely 
and most incontrovertibly true. Each repetition was based 
on " certain private intelligence " which no one but the 
narrator possessed, and in process of time the story was 

* From the MS. * Meraoir of the Life of Jenny Lind,* already quoted. 

1846.3 THE " B UNN- CONTRA CT " ( CONTINUED.) 297 

told 80 well that no one dreamed of questioning its 

It is scarcely ever possible to trace a rumour of this kind 
to its veritable source. How this one originated no one 
aver knew. In all probability it first found utterance in 
the mysterious an dit of some imaginative journalist. 
But it is quite possible that it may have obtained increased 
consistency from the fact that, in the hope of doing the 
best she could for her friend, Mrs. Grote asked advice on the 
subject from Mr. Lumley — who was her great friend also. 
If — as is more tlian probable — Mr. Bunn discovered this, the 
step between giving advice concerning one engagement and 
proposing another one in its place would have seemed to 
him so microscopically small that, although Mr. Lumley did 
not really propose an engagement for Her Majesty's Theatre 
until long after this,* it would have been difficult to convince 
the manager of Drury Lane that no sort of intrigue had ever 
been introduced into the business. For intrigue is the 
natural atmosphere of the Tlieatre, in England, as on the 
Continent ; and in this case Mdlle. Lind, who was ignorant 
of its simplest rudiments, was accused of being its instigator 
when she was in reality its victim. 

Ignorance is not always bliss. It was her ignorance of 
the machinations to which the Stage is chronically subject 
that caused her so much needless anxiety. She did not 
know that Mr. Bunn*s threats were absolutely nugatory ; 
that an appeal to the King of Prussia would have furnished 
the best possible opportunity for her full and complete 
justification ; that damages could no more be claimed from 
her in Berlin than they could be claimed, at this present 
moment, in Paris, from a French composer against whom 

* A year, minus one day, elapsed after this before she could be 
persuaded to sign an engagement for Her Majesty's Theatre; and she 
did 80 then chiefly by the advice of Mendelssohn. 

298 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xii. 

they had been awarded in England ; that she was as safe in 
Prussia as if the contract had never been signed. 

She was as inexperienced in all such matters as a child. 
Had she been less so she would never have written her 
unfortunate letter. But she had a reason for this which at 
the time seemed to her imperative. She never spoke of it 
to Mrs. Grote, but, in a subsequent conversation with Mr. 
Grote she said that she did not at that time possess £500 
in the world. Mr. Bunn taunted her with the " enormous 
salary " she had " accepted at Berlin," yet she assured Mr. 
Grote that, up to the moment of her engagement at Frank- 
fort, her earnings had been entirely absorbed by her expenses 
— including, be it fully understood, the maintenance of her 
parents and her munificent gifts to Herr Josephson and 
others * — and that consequently she was " in absolute want 
of pecuniary means to fulfil the conditions proposed." t 

This, then, was the state of affairs when, in the last week 
of October, 1845, she took leave of her friends at Copenhagen, 
and returned to Berlin to fulfil her renewed engagement at 
the famous Opera-House. 

* We shall see, later on, that she had sent Herr Josephson a cheque 
about the middle of June. 

t From Mrs. Grote*s MS. * Memoir.' 

( 299 ) 



The entries in the album kept by Mdlle. Lind at Copen- 
hagen extend to the 22nd of October, 1845. On the 23rd, 
or 24th, she quitted Denmark and went to stay with her 
friend Consul Arnemann, and his \vife and family, at 
Nienstadten, near Altona ; and on the 28th she wrote from 
thence to Madame Wichmann, the wife of the sculptor, 
at whose house — ^No. 1, in the Hasenheger Strasse* — 
she had been invited to spend the coming winter at 

The letter, written in French, and the first of a long and 
interesting series from wliich we shall have frequent occasion 
to quote, ran thus : — 

« Nienstadten bei Altona, 28 Oct. 1845. 

" Dear and amiable Madame Wichmann, 

" I am very grateful for the kind letter which I had 
the honour to receive from you, and more enchanted still to 
find that you retain for me the kindly feeling which makes 
me so pleased and happy. 

" I have been unwell for some time. I caught cold at 
Copenhagen, and was therefore unable to go either to 
Hanover or to Kremen or anywhere else. It is because of 
this indisposition that I am now staying with a very good 
friend, Madame Arnemann, near the town of Altona, where 
I am getting quite well, and resting myself. 

" But in the meantime it is necessary that I should start for 

* Now called the Feilner Strasse, in honour of Madame Wichmann's 

300 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xni. 

Berlin, and it is for this reason, dear Madame, that I take 
the liberty of informing you that I leave this place to- 
morrow morning — or on the 30th ; and I expect to be in 
Berlin on the 31st. 

" I go from here to Zelle, and from thence I hope to reach 
Berlin, by railway, in a day. To-day is Monday, and on 
Friday I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again. 

" It will be very nice to have my maid there. I only 
feared, Madame, on your account, that it would not be 
agreeable to .you to have so many strange faces about you. 
I hope to find you in good health, and your family also ; and, 
until then, good-bye, dear, good, and kind Madame 


** Your very grateful and devoted 

" Jenny Lind."* 

We have spoken in a former chapter of the sincere friend- 
ship which sprang up, during the winter of 1844-45, between 
Mdlle. Lind and Frau Professorin Amab'a Wichmann, nie 
f eilner — the lady to whom the foregoing letter was addressed. 
The attachment thus formed proved to be a lasting one. 
The young artist stood sorely in need of a trusty friend and 
counseller, in whose good faith and loyalty slie could 
place unbounded confidence, and upon whom she could lavish 
the wealth of afiection with which her own true heart was 
overflowing. To an ardent and impulsive nature like hers 
the love of such a friend was priceless, and Madame 
Wichmann proved herself well worthy of the confidence she 
inspired. She was a woman of marked ability, unvarying 
discretion, amiable and prepossessing to the last degree, and 
beloved by all who knew her. 

* Translated from the original autograph, contained among the letters 
written hy Mdlle. Lind to Frau Professor Amalia Wichmann, by whom 
they were carefully preserved. These letters are now in the possession of 
one of Frau Wichmann's sons, who has kindly permitted us to furnish our 
readers with numerous extracts, which in future we shall acknowledge 
as *« From the letters to Frau Wichmann." 

B WIIHJIAKK IWWM, AT DEBUS. [To /u« p. 301. 


Her husband, Professor Ludwig Wilhelm Wichmann, 
Knight of the Red Eagle,* the friend of Thorwaldsen and the 
favourite pupil of Schadow, was at this period, though much 
her senior, a vigorous and energetic man of sixty-one, of 
much general cultivation apart from his own noble calling. 
His house in the Hasenheger Strasse was the familiar resort 
of the most distinguislied artists and men of letters in 
Berlin, and one particular room in it became afterwards 
consecrated by the recollection of many happy evenings spent 
in company with the Wichmann family and Mendelssohn, 
and a host of kindred spirits, never to be forgotten. A little 
sketch of this room, painted in oil colours by one of the 
Professor's sons, the late Herr Otto Wichmann, was treasured 
by Madame Goldschmidt among her choicest relics, accom- 
panied by the following inscription (in English) in her own 
handwriting : — 

" A room in Professor Wichmann's house in Berlin, where 
we oft were sitting till late in the night conversing mth 
Mendelssohn and Taubert." 

As the reader will, no doubt, be glad to picture to himself 
the scene of so many pleasant rSunions we have obtained per- 
mission to present him with an engraving of the pretty salon. 

The approaching winter season promised to be a brilliant 
one. Mdlle. Lind took part in it for five months, from the 
9th of November, 1845, to the 2nd of April, 1846, during 
which period she sang twenty-eight times, including her own 
benefit. As her second engagement was, like the first, for 
Gastrollen only, there exists among the arcliives of the 
Opera-House no written contract from which we might 
ascertain the amount of the Itonorarium she received. All we 
know is that on Saturday, November the 1st, 1845, the 
play-bills, after announcing the first performance of Men- 

* Ritter des Rothen Adler Ordens. 

302 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xm. 

delssohn's (Edijms in Colonos in the theatre attached to 
the New Palace at Potsdam, added, in a foot-note, that 
application for tickets for Mdlle. Lind's first two operatic 
performances would be received on Monday, November the 
3rd. On the 4th of November the advertisement was re- 
peated, and on the 5th appeared a notice to the effect 
that no more tickets for the first two performances 
remained unsold, though — as during so great a part of 
the former season — ^the prices were raised, to all parts of the 

The series of Gastrollen began on the 9th of November 
with Norma, which was repeated on the 13th; and the 
journals of the day criticised these revivals with no less 
enthusiasm and no less minuteness in detail than they 
had imported into their notices of the original performances 
in 1844. The Berlin journal laid great stress on the fact 
that the artist had " learned nothing and forgotten nothing.'* 
That she had passed through the fiery trial of a long suc- 
cession of triumphs without once pelding to the temptations 
with which it is invariably associated, and had returned to 
Berlin bringing back her own lofty ideal in all its original 
purity. We will not, however, follow the critics in their 
prolonged analysis of works already fully discussed, but 
pass on, at once, to the roles produced this season for the 
first time. 

The first of these was Mozart's II Don Giovanni — the 
greatest by far of his dramatic works — in which she 
appeared, for the first time in Berlin, in the character of 
" Donna Anna," on the 19th of November, repeating the part 
on the 21st and 25th. 

Up to this period it had been the custom when this 
great work was sung in German to suppress Mozart's 
Rccitativo secco in favour of spoken dialogue. Moreover, 
since Mozart's death, the Opera had been brought to a con- 


clnsion — ^not only in Germany, but wherever else it was 
performed — with the descent of its hero to the depths below ; 
an arrangement which curtailed the Finale to the second act 
of three important movements absolutely necessary to tlie 
perfection of its artistic and logical proportions, and this in 
spite of the obvious intention of the composer to concentrate 
in two of these movements — the Larghetto in G major, 
containing the marvellously beautiful duet passages for 
" Donna Anna " and " Don Ottavio," and the Presto in D, 
with its bold contrapuntal subject, which is undoubtedly the 
most masterly piece of choral writing in the entire work — in 
spite, we repeat, of the evident intention of the composer 
that, in this magnificent epilogue, the interest of his greatest 
masterpiece should culminate. To neither of these bar- 
barisms would Mdlle. Lind consent. Undeterred by the 
absurd assertion — sufficiently disproved long before that 
time by "Weber in his Euryanthc, and destined to be still 
more satisfactorily contradicted a few years later by the 
musical dramas of "Wagner — that the German language was 
unfitted for continuous recitative, she caused the spoken 
dialogue to be expunged, and Mozart's original Recitative 
secco to be restored, throughout the entire Opera. And, 
regardless of her own personal fatigue, she procured the 
restoration of the last three movements of the Finale also — 
an act of self-renunciation, for the sake of Art, in which no 
other prima donna of the period would probably have cared 
to imitate her, for there can be no reasonable doubt that the 
omission of these movements arises in a great measure from 
the unwillingness of the lady who plays the part of " Donna 
Anna " — to say nothing of the representatives of " Donna 
Elvira," "Zerlina," and "Don Ottavio" — to reappear upon the 
scene, in a long and elaborate concerted piece, after the 
triumph of their solo performances has been completed. 
The outcry raised against an anti-climax will not bear 

304 JENNY LIND. [ 

examination for a moment in this particular case; for 
the interest of the story culminates, not in the punish- 
ment of the libertine, but in the victory of Grood over Evil : 
and the climax is not reached until the close of the last 

Two days after Mdlle. Lind's first appearance in the part 
of *' Donna Anna " her performance was exhaustively cri- 
ticised in the leading journal at Berlin; but before we 
record the critic's opinion it is necessary that we should 
say a few words in explanation of the point of view 
from which, in the then prevailing aspect of German litera- 
ture, he would be irresistibly tempted to approach the 

We have spoken, in a former chapter, of the strong pre- 
possession on the part of the Germans in favour of Madame 
Schroeder-Devrient's interpretation of the part of "Eury- 
anthe," and of the courage with which Mdlle. lind under- 
took the difficult task of contending against it She found 
herself placed at almost an equal disadvantage with regard 
to the role of " Donna Anna " ; only, on this occasion, she 
was brought into antagonism, not with a rival prima donna, 
but with a literary genius of the highest order — one of the 
then leading spirits of the German " Eomantic school" 

Heinrich Hoffmann, in his well-known ' Phantasiestucke,' 
describes an imaginary performance of Mozart's chef-d^ceuvre, 
accompanied by a fantastic analysis of the plot of Che story, 
and embodying an interpretation of its inner meaning dia- 
metrically opposed to that which Mozart, in his music, lias 
expressed with a clearness too great to admit the possibility 
of misconception. Starting with the assumption that Donna 

* We have reason to believe that spoken dialogue is still substituted 
in Germany for the original Becitativo secco. The curtailment of the 
Finale was, until very lately, universal ; but we believe it is now some- 
times performed as Mozart wrote it. 


Anna is not the pure and grossly insulted maiden depicted 
in the music of Mozart, he presents her to us in the cha- 
racter of a guilty accomplice of the libertine: a repentant 
sinner, it is true, but a sinner nevertheless : a victim — but 
not an innocent one. He would have us believe that, having 
yielded to the wiles of the tempter, she awakes from her 
dream of passion only when she finds herself face to face 
with its fatal consequences, and that then only her remorse 
takes the form of vengeance for the murder of her father ; 
that her fancied love for the " cold and vulgar Don Ottavio " 
— ^too poor a creature to assist her, of his own free will, 
in her projects of revenge — is purest self-deception; and 
that when, in the last scene of all, she begs him to defer 
their marriage for a year that she may complete her term of 
mourning for her father,* she knows very well that she has 
not another year to live, since, for remorse like hers, the only 
cure is death. 

But surely this is the character that Mozart has 
painted in the part of " Donna Elvira " — not in that of the 
pure, though cruelly outraged, " Donna Anna," whose music 
has not a shadow of affinity with that assigned to the less 
heroic victim of Don Giovanni's insidious treachery. Mo- 
zart's " Don Ottavio," too, is the very opposite of " cold and 
vulgar" — a loyal gentleman, the very ideal of a romantic 
lover. If we accept Hoffmann's interpretation of the story 
we must reject Mozart's from the first scene to the last, 
and this Mdlle. Lind, at least, was not prepared to do. As 
in the case of EuryantJie, her ideal conception and that of 
the composer were one. 

Bearing this difference of interpretation in mind, the 
reader will now find no difficulty in imderstanding Herr 

* * Lascia o caro un anno a/ncora, cdlo sfogo del mio cor^ in the Finale 
to Act IL This passage is differently rendered in the German transla- 
tion of Rochlitz. 

VOL. I. X 

306 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xni. 

Eellstab's critical description of Mdlle. Lind's reading of the 

"When the critic," he says, "exercises his calling with 
relation to the achievements of Fraulein Jenny Lind, it 
behoves him to use a special standard of measurement. The 
closest adherence to this standard is needed when one sees 
how this gifted artist grasps a role in its totality, and carries 
it through from beginning to end. We are speaking to-day 
of her performance of 'Donna Anna/ in Mozart's Don 
Juan.* It is well known that this part admits of a two- 
fold conception, in accordance with the sense given to the 
recitative ' Schon sank die Naoht herab, mit ihrem Dtcnkel.^ t 
Some critics — first among whom stands Hoffmann, in his 
richly imaginative ' Phantasien ' — ^places Donna Anna under 
the spell of Don Juan's fascinating influence, thereby in- 
troducing a morbidly romantic element similar to that with 
which some would surround the collision between Emilia 
and the Prince in Lessing's Emilia Oahtti. In so far as 
past performances of * Donna Anna,' here and there, are 
present to our memory, artists seem willingly to have in- 
clined to this interpretation ; the more so because it is the 
easiest and can be painted in the most gaudy colours. J But 
none the less do we hold such an interpretation to be entirely 
false. In the first place, it is not deducible from the text ; 
besides which it deprives 'Donna Anna' of an important 
part of her completeness as a dramatic figure ; whereas the 
element of inward leaning towards such an inclination is 
admirably represented in the part of ' Zerlina.' In one 
word, Jenny Lind clothes the part in her own modest purity 
— no other conception would be intelligilJe to her. In cor- 
roboration of what we have said we propose to mention a 
few passages which were brought prominently forward, during 

* It is by this name that Mozart's 11 Don Oiovanni has always been 
known in Germany. 

t * Era giaalquanto avvanzata la notte,^ in the original Italian, Atto I. 
Sctna 13. RecitativOy No. 9, preceding the Aria, No. 10, * Or Kit che 

X An honourable exception to this assertion must be recorded, in the 
case of Madame Grisi, whose ** Donna Anna " was free from the sb'ghtest 
suspicion of an impure reading — which indeed it would have been impos- 
sible to have associated with the noble " Don Ottavio " of Sigoor Rubini, 
with whom she first sang the part. 


the course of the performance. In the first Recitative the 
Artist expressed an almost more than earthly sorrow, in the 
words, ' Weh mir ! mit Todtenbldsse gam bedeckt** and 
* Himmel ! ich sterbe I ' f and the question, ' Wo ist mein 
Voter hin ?' J betokened a grief so childlike, and so deeply 
felt, that the daughter "seem^ to have forgotten all else that 
surrounded her. The grandest point of the performance,, 
however, was exhibited from quite another side. We mean 
the moment, in the first quartet, § when Donna Anna first 
gains the full assurance that Don Juan is the murderer 
of her father. The expression of this seems the more diffi- 
cult inasmuch as the previous words — * H&re, wie mir die 
Thranenfluth tief in die Seek gekt ' || — stand in no connection 
with, though they serve to prepare it. The whole action of 
the scene, the recognition of the traitor, is comprised in the 
words, ' Beim Himmel ! er ist der Morder meinea Voters ! * T 
We will not attempt to describe the tones in which Jenny 
lind here expressed so exactly the grief of the daughter. 
We refrain from selecting contrasted fragments of the part for 
separate praise, in order that we may show how all these 
details work together for the perfection of the whole. Only 
in this way can we prove how, in the Artist's mind, the 
whole intention of the paxt is summed up in the grief of the 
daughter for the father's death. This stands forth, every- 
where, most clearly. It may be the expression of the strongest 
determination, as in the words, ^ Der BosewicM uberlegefiv 
an Kraft, hduft seine Missethaten, da er ihn mordete' ** Or 
it may indicate resignation in connection with the happiness 
of love, as when she says, ' Liebe kann nur die Zeit mir 
ffewdhren' ft We could cite many such passages from a role 
so full of meaning, especially in connection with the purely 

* ' Quel voltoj Unto, e coperto del color di moftie,* in the origioal 

t * lo manco — io moro ! ' in the original. 

J * Ah I H padre mio dov* ^ ? ' in the original, 

f * Non tifidar, o misera.* Atto I. No. 8 of the score. 

II * II 8U0 dolor, le lagrime m* empiono di pieth,* in the original. 

^ * Quagli h il carnefice del padre mio,* in the Scena, No. 9, Atto I.> 
which immediately follows the quartett. 

•♦ • E Vindegno, che del povero vecchio era piu forte, compte il misfailo 
9UO,* In the Scena, No. 9, Atto I. 

tt * Ahbastanza per te mi parla amore.* Recit. ed Aria^ No. 10, Atto 

X 2 

808 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. co. xin. 

musical part of the performance ; though, in this case, it is 
difficult to separate the acting from the singing, so closely are 
they interwoven together. But the limited space at our 
command warns us that, for the present, we must bring our 
remarks to a conclusion." * 

Three days later Herr Bellstab resumes his unfinished 
critique, discussing, with perfect fairness and strict im- 
partiality, the points of difference between Hoffmann's fan- 
tastic theory and Mdlle. lind's pure and maidenly conception 
of the character of "Donna Anna"; and summing up his 
masterly analysis with the strongest possible arguments in 
favour of the latter, maintaining that in presence of this 
lofty ideal the exaggerated poetical licence with which the 
subject has been so fancifully surrounded loses all its pre- 
tended consistency and must of necessity be rejected, by 
'every thoughtful mind, as utterly false and artificial 

"With this favourable verdict the frequenters of the Opera 
were evidently disposed to agree : for " Donna Anna " was 
at once accepted as one of Mdlle. Lind's most powerful im- 
personations ; and though Hoffmann's utterances were received 
at that period with almost superstitious veneration, no 
less by the general public than by the literary aifd philo- 
sophical world, no sign of dissatisfaction was ever shown at 
this open and unqualified rejection of a theory propoimded 
in one of the most charming and spiritudle of his imaginative 

On the first occasion on which she undertook the part 
the performance derived an additional interest from the 
fact that it took place on the "name-day" of the Queen, 
in honour of which the Opera was mounted with new scenery 
of unusual splendour. The other parts were assigned to 
Fraulein Marx (" Donna Elvira ") ; Fraulein Tuczec (" Zer- 
lina ") ; Herr Mantius (" Don Ottavio ") ; Herr Botticher 

* Kgl. priv. Berlinische Zeitung, (Nov. 21, 1845.) 


(" Don Juan ") ; Herr Krause (" Leporello ") ; and Herr 
Behr ("Masetto"). All did good service to the general 
effect ; and the " Zerlina " of Fraulein Tuczec received high 
praise at the hands of the critics. The performance, indeed, 
was an exceptionally fine one in every respect; and the 
Opera was given five times during the season with ever- 
increasing interest and raised prices of admission.* 

* For the dates, see p. 366. 

810 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xiv. 



The next new Opera in which Mdlle. Lind appeared, during 
this, her second season at Berlin, was Weber's Der FreischtUz. 

To give entire satisfaction to a German audience in this 
iist and most famous of Romantic Operas is no easy matter. 
The work is so thoroughly German, so well known, so 
-deservedly popular, and affords so many precious oppor- 
tunities for the display of vocal and histrionic talent, that it 
is not to be wondered at that singers of other than German 
nationality approach it, on the national stage, with a 
certain amount of diffidence ; nor can we feel surprised that, 
since the part of ** Agathe " has been so often performed by 
native singers of the highest excellence, a German audience 
usually listens to its impersonation in a frame of mind 
severely critical and not inclined to be easily satisfied. 

The Opera was first produced at the then newly opened 
Schatcspidhatis in Berlin, on the 18th of June, 1821 — the 
-anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo — which Weber looked 
upon as a lucky day. The first performance took place under 
unheard-of difficulties. Spontini, who then held the post of 
General Musical Director to King Frederick William III., 
was strongly prejudiced against it. None of Weber's pre- 
vious Operas had really succeeded ; and his friends trembled 
for the fate of this. At the last rehearsal, everything went 
wrong. Yet the work was received by the public with an 
enthusiasm which bordered upon frenzy, and ever since 

1845.] DER FREI8CHUTZ. 311 

that eventful night it has kept its place on the German 
Lyric stage with undiminished success, and year after year 
it is received in every German Opera-House with a welcome 
as warm as that which greeted its first presentation years 
ago. The Germans seem, indeed, incapable of tiring of it ; 
and at the Boyal Opera-House in Berlin it is more fre- 
quently performed than any other Opera, Don Juan alone 

Mdlle. Lind first impersonated the part of " Agathe " at 
Berlin on the 30th of November, 1845 ; and on the 2nd of 
December the JBerlinische Zeitung contained the following 
remarks on her performance :— 

** It gives us more than ordinary pleasure to record that, 
through the performance of Jenny Lind, Der Freischutz has 
received a new impulse and a new birth ; a new element 
over and above that derived from the new moimting and the 
careful study bestowed upon it ; and the whole organism of 
the work is enlivened with the beat of a stronger pulse. The 
singer began her performance in a modest tone. In the duet 
with "Aennchen" — of which charming character Mdlle. 
Tuczec was the excellent exponent — she set before us the gentle 
homely element alone. One had to listen very carefully here 
in order to recognise the singer and actress who exercises so 
irresistible a power over us, and yet she rounded off the whole 
with many fine and varied touches. In the grand Ariay later 
on, the most heart-felt love and the tenderest breath of maiden- 
hood were blended together and hallowed, both of them, with 
sincerest piety. The singer was not contented with continu- 
ing her prayer so long only as it was indicated in the music : 
she retained it in her soul, that it might ring forth as a 
thank-offering even in the ecstasy of love that occupied her 
to the last moment. No singer has ever before adhered S(» 
closely, or with such warmth and clearness, to the religious 
tone with which Weber has coloured this entire scene. If 
the memorable Nanette Schechner* carried us upwards, 
by the might of her powerful tones, to bursts of inward 
gladness rising ever higher and higher — so, on the other 

* Afterwards, Madame Waajien. 

312 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xiv. 

hand, the expression of our Artist, springing from the 
inmost depths of the soul, hallowed the relations of earthly 
love, and well knew how to enthral the hearer through a 
higher bond of sympathy. Beyond this rendering of the entire 
picture, in action and expression, addressed to the eye and 
the ear, the artist delighted us with a wealth of musical 
beauties of purest worth. We well remember the ethereal 
breath with which she dwelt upon the so frequently misin- 
terpreted pause, at the words ' Wdch schone Nacht,' * render- 
ing it with the greatest possible correctness ; the pianissimo 
with which she began the prayer, 'Leise, leise, fromme WeisCy 
and which she continued to its conclusion ; and the passage 
in the Allegro, ' Himmel, nimm* des Dankes Zdhren,^ over- 
flowing with the thankfulness of sincerest piety. That this 
scene produced an outburst of stormiest applause, which was 
only with difficulty calmed down after it had long delayed 
the progress of the drama, was no more than the natural 
effect of so beautiful a performance. 

"In the third act the performance was still happier. 
In the second,t one felt sometimes that the ideal nature 
was, to a certain extent, restrained, through the neces- 
sity for accommodating it to the burgher element. But 
in the third, when the dreamy bride, clothed in her 
wedding dress, alone claims our attention, the action was 
entirely devoted to the manifestation of her love. In some 
passages in the * Prayer 'J her voice seemed to float upwards, 
like a cloud of incense — a musical glamour with which no 
other singer has ever so enchanted us in this composition. 

For most singers the role of Agatha is comprised in two 
airs alone. Our Artist carried on the interest, like a golden 
thread, from beginning to end. And so dear to her heart 
was the masterpiece, as a whole, that in the concerted pieces 
she never once assumed more than the exact share allotted 
to her, though she must have found it often very difficult to 
restrain herself within the bounds prescribed by the demands 
of the situation. 

" We need scarcely say that at the close shouts and a 

* The pause is on the F#, in the upper register, on the vowel 6, in 
schone. It is often thoughtlessly transferred to the lower F#, at the end 
of the passage, on the last syllable of the word. 

t The heroine makes her first entrance on the rising of the curtain in 
the second act. 

t ' Undob die WoUc: 

1845.] DER FREISCHUTZ, 'A\\\ 

call before the curtain resounded on every side thouj^h aft«ir 
having been so deeply moved by truest Art such a concluHioii 
to the performance is rarely pleasant."* 

If ever critic struck the right note in his analysis, Herr 
Bellstab struck it here. If ever reviewer was led, by true 
artistic instinct, to divine the secret of a great conception — 
to trace back a perfect ideal to the germ whence it originally 
sprang — ^Herr Rellstab was so led in this particular instance. 
" So dear to her heart was the masterpiece as a wJiole" he 
says — and he says well. We know, from her own words, 
how dear it was to her. He foimd it out, from the manner 
of her performance. He did not know, as we do, the 
story of that memorable 7th of March, in 1838, when she 
made the famous discovery recorded in one of our earlier 
chapters f — the discovery that she had within her the power 
of striking out an original conception, of forming an ideal of 
her own untinged by the colouring of other artists, of 
identifying herself with a being of her own creation, of 
thinking its thoughts, of speaking its words, feeling its pains, 
its agonies of anxiety, its pangs of cruel torture, its suspense, 
its hopes, its consolations, its bursts of rapturous joy. He 
did not know that she had discovered this — but he saw the 
results of the discovery, and with the instinct of a true 
critic he traced them to their veritable source — saw that it 
was not for its two great songs, but as a whole, that the 
masterpiece was so dear to her — that she had created a real 
character to illustrate the composer's meaning in its entirety, 
and that in this character she thought, and wept, and smiled, 
and lived, and had her being. How could it have been 
otherwise ? How could she, who loved all Nature with so 
true a love ; she to whom forest, and tree, and stream, and 
mountain spoke with a voice so clear and sweetly intelligible 

• Kgl, priv. Berlinische Zeitung, (Dec. 2, 1845.) 
t See pp. 55-57 and IIG. 

314 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xiv. 

that she had never once in her whole life misunderstood it ; 
she, to whom the voice of the birds was as familiar as her 
own; how could she have failed to identify herself with 
" Agathe," the Forest Child ? K she had actually lived in 
the hunting-lodge, instead of imagining that she lived there, 
would not every bird and beast and butterfly, every wild 
creature that haunted the surrounding forest, have made her 
its friend ? She was herself a Forest Child ; as true a Child 
of Nature as ever lived. And Der Frdschutz was so dear to 
her, as a whole, because it was essentially the Opera of 
Nature. Strange as it may seem to say so, it is precisely 
through its marvellous truth to nature that it reaches the 
supernatural; through the cheery halloo of the realistic 
chase, that it arrives at the infernal yell of the Wild Hunts- 
man ; through the sough of the night wind among the pines 
so truthfully depicted in the immortal Scena, that it attains 
the demoniac storm in the terrible Finale to the second act. 
And all this ghastly conflict between the natural and the 
supernatural is — or ought to be if rightly understood — 
inseparable from the part of "Agathe." The power of 
the grim fiend, Zamiel ; the weird influence of the Wild 
Huntsman ; the unholy spells of the Necromancer, Caspar ; 
all the dread forces of the supernatural are in league against 
her. And the Child of Nature conquers them all. The 
wreath of natural roses, consecrated by faith and love and 
purity, baffles every spell that the spectres of the forest can 
bring to bear against it. And in the union of this trans- 
cendental side, so to speak, of the character of " Agathe," 
with the natural picture of the simple-minded loving 
peasant girl, lay the charm which made the part one of the 
finest and most masterly of Mddle. Lind's impersonations, 
and one of her own special favourites.* 

• For the dates of the three repetitions of the Opera which followed, 
see p. 367. 

( 315 ) 


Mei^ayv Bk tovtchv rj a/ydirrj. 

And now, after having analysed in detail Mdlle. lind's 
ideal interpretation of some of the greatest masterpieces of 
dramatic and musical Art, we may be allowed to withdraw 
our attention for a moment from the Stage, with its turmoil 
and its enchantment, the glamour of its poetry on the one 
side and the disappointment of its cold illusions on the other, 
its thunders of applause in front of the curtain and its heart- 
burning cabals and conflicts of bitter jealousy and merce- 
nary self-interest behind it. We may leave, for a while, this 
strange scene of mingled reality and deception while we 
turn temporarily aside for the purpose of refreshing ourselves 
with some pictures of a diflferent kind. 

We have seen many instances of the calmness with which 
Mdlle. Lind accepted the enthusiastic applause which was so 
freely lavished upon her. It is scarcely too much to say 
that, many and many a time, she seemed to be the one 
person in the midst of the excited concourse of admiring 
spectators whom one would have supposed to be the least 
interested in the demonstrations made in her honour. But 
it would be a great mistake to infer from this that she was 
insensible to, or ungrateful for, the admiration she excited. 
The secret of her outward calmness was that she accepted it, 
not for herself, but in the name of the Art of which she 
herself was the most fervid worshipper in the crowd. Her 
standard of self-measurement was so provokingly low — if one 

316 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xv. 

can venture to use the word, without disrespect — that she 
could never be persuaded to attribute to her own genius 
the results which were evidently due to it. But, she felt her 
responsibility keenly, and worked with untiring energy in 
order that she might not incur the danger of falling short of 
the high standard that was expected of her. 

Her own state of feeling with regard to her position in 
Berlin at this particular period may be satisfactorily gathered 
from a letter written by her to Madame M. Ch. Erikson, an 
eminent Swedish actress, with whom she had long been on 
terms of intimacy, and who died, at the age of sixty-eight, 
in 1862. 

" BerUn, Nov. 24, 1845. 

" My dear Madame Erikson, — 

" It was with the wildest pleasure and rejoicing that 
I had the honour of receiving your kind letter, and I cannot 
thank you enough for it. 

" I use no empty words when I say that my rejoicing 
was intense, for I had not forgotten that it was you 
who first guided my sensitive yoimg mind towards higher 
aims, or that it was you who saw beneath the surface and 
fancied that you had discovered something, overlooked by 
others, behind those small grey insignificant eyes of mine. 

" How changed is everything now ! What a position I 
have now attained I All the musical talent of Europe is, so 
to speak, at my feet. What great things has the Almighty 
vouchsafed to me ! It gives me real pain to lose the inex- 
pressible satisfaction of submitting the progress I have made 
to the judgment of one who so well understood me before 
there was any one else who would even believe in my capacity 
to do anything at all — and that one so rare and gifted an 
artist as yourself ! 

" What a pity it is that we Swedes cannot get on in our 
own country ! No fame ! nothing ! nothing ! 

"What a celebrity you yourself ought to have become, 
with that grace of yours — that charm displayed in every 
movement when you are before the curtain ! What a 
sensation ought not that, in itself, to have produced ! for 
grace is scarce upon this earth. 

" In seven months only I have succeeded in making my 

1845.] Mei^ayv Se Tovrtov rj arfairq, 317 

reputation here: and, after seven years at home, not a 
creature knew anything at all about me. At this present 
moment all the first engagements in the world are ofi'ered to 
me ! After seven months ! Is it not strange ? 

" I have lately appeared in ' Donna Anna * ; and have every 
reason to be more than satisfied with the reception that was 
accorded to me. The Berlin public is terribly critical But, 
this I like ; for, if I take pains, I am at least properly appre- 
ciated. They want to analyse my every gesture — every 
shade of expression. Indeed one has to be careful ; but 
this certainly tends to mental cultivation. 

*' I am going to sing in Dcr Freuchutz and the Die Vcstalin ; 
for Operas such as these win the greatest and most solid 
fame ; though such rdles are not to be lightly approached. 
And, moreover, I have to sustain no trifling comparisons ; 
for the moment I step forward I am measured with the 
Sontag-measure, or that of the greatest artists that Germany 
has produced. 

" Perhaps you think that I have grown vain ? No. God 
shield me £rom that ! I know what I can do. I should be 
very stupid if I did not. But I know, equally well, what I 
cannot do. 

" I have not yet quite made up my mind whether I go to 
Vienna in the spring or not. In the meantime, I wonder 
whether I may venture to tell you that, next autumn, I 
mean to return home quite quietly, and to settle down, 
caring nothing for the world. You will call this a crime. 
But please to reflect, just a little, how difficult it is to stand 
all this racing about — alone! — alone! with the certainty of 
having to rely on my own judgment in everything, and yet 
so absorbed at the same in my roles. Oh ! it is not easy. 
However, we will not talk of this just yet. Enough 
to say that connection with the Stage has no attraction for 
me — ^that my soul is yearning for rest from all these per- 
sistent compliments and this persistent adulation. 

'* Is not this sad news concerning Aurora Osterberg !* J 
had always cherished great expectations with regard to her, 
for she really possesses charm and natural dispositions. 
But when they marry ! Ah ! 

" I wish I could hear, some day, that you were re-engaged 
at the so-called * Great Theatre.' T should so rejoice. Ah I 

* A young Swedish Artiat — afterwards Madame Olof Strandberg — who 
died, in 1850, at the early age of 24 

318 JENHY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xv. 

Do not resist the wish of the public. What a boon it would 
be to have once more the chance of seeing a true Artist 
perform ! May this, my sincere wish, become a reality. 

" I trust that I may be able to be of use to that good 
fellow, Herr Ahlstrom.* It is hard for a stranger to manage 
here in Berlin without help. 

" I do hope this long letter has not quite tired you out, 
dear Madame Erikson ; and, in proof of this, I trust that I 
may still look forward to hearing from you again. It would 
make me so happy ! 

"And here I will finish; assuring you of my sincere 
affection, and remain, 

" Your grateful pupil, 

"Jenny LiND."t 

It is interesting to compare these remarks upon the style 
of the Berlin criticisms with the copious extracts we have 
reproduced from the writings of Herr Eellstab, the character 
of which she exactly describes. And greater interest still 
attaches to the comparison of what she here says concerning 
her retirement from the Stage, with the description of its 
" fascination," contained in the letter written from Paris to 
Madame Lindblad, on the 24th of October, 18414 That 
description had, however, been written four years previously. 
Since then she had passed through many experiences 
— not all of them exhilarating; and it must be confessed 
that the remarks addressed to Madame Erikson accord very 

* Musical Director and Orchestral Conductor at several of the smaller 
theatres in Stockholm, and afterwards Bandmaster of the Second Life- 
Guards. Later on he was Organist of the parish church of Hedwig 
Eleonara, in Stockholm, where he died, in 1857. 

t Translated from the original letter, written in Swedish, and dated 
Berlin, Nov. 24, 1845. Soon after Madame Goldschmidt's death the text 
of this letter was printed in a newspaper published in the province of 
Skania, whence it speedily ran the round of the Scandinavian press. Mr. 
Goldschmidt, having had his attention drawn to it, endeavoured to esta- 
blish its authenticity, and was fortunate enough to acquire the original 

X See page 126. 

1845.] M€l^(ov Sk TOVTCJV rj aydirrj, 319 

well with the expressions she used when addressing Mrs. 
Grote on the same subject some two months before the 
foregoing letter was written.* 

But in any case, whether she then seriously contem- 
plated an almost immediate retirement from the Stage or 
only thought of it as a desirable and extremely probable 
contingency, she made the noblest use of the pecuniary 
advantages she derived from it. 

We have spoken of her oflfer to assist Herr Josephson in 
his project of carrying on his studies in Italy .f 

In the month of June, 1845, he wrote, at Vienna, in his 
Diary : — 

" Through the care of Munthe, Jenny Lind's Jiamme 
d'affaires, I have received a letter containing a cheque which 
guarantees my going to Italy. And now I am looking 
hopefully towards the south. May it prove of real use ! 
Not in vain must my good friend have tendered the 
proffered aid, accepted in the name of Art. God grant she 
may ever prosper ! She is growing into my heart, as a sister 
and as a friend."t 

Mdlle. Lind did not, however, write to him herself until 
the beginning of December, when she sent him the following 
letter : — 

" You poor boy ! so far away in a strange country and for 
so dreadl'uUy long a time, without having heard a word, 
directly, from your friend , who is now writing to you, and 
who wishes you so well and has so faithfully retained her 
friendship for you ! 

" Dear good Jacob ! I cannot understand how it is possible 
that I have left you so long without a word. But I have 
been travelling again nearly the whole summer, and have 
really not been able to write. 

" I have received your letters in due course, and hasten to 

* See page 273. 
t See page 21-S. 

t N.P. Oilman, in op. cit, torn. ii. 

320 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xv. 

answer the last. My money matters are not just now in my 
own hands, and ad you need money only at the time of the 
new year, I write this to-day before sending it. But it is 
coming soon. 

" And now I suppose I must tell you everything about 
myself. In the first place, I am splendidly welL I am 
enjoying myself very much. I am very glad and very 
grateful for the kind treatment we — ^that is, Louise and I — 
are receiving at Professor Wichmann's, and we find it verj^ 
enjoyable there. Furthermore, my voice has grown twice 
as strong as it was — the middle raster quite clear. My 
acting is something quite diflferent, with much more vivacity 
and passion ; stout and broad-shouldered, and quite first- 
rate ! If my success was great last year, it is now quite 
furious. I have appeared here as 'Donna Anna/ and 
succeeded well. Yesterday also I appeared, for the first 
time in Berlin, in Der FreischtUz — and that also went well. 
Now guess what my next part will be ? Die VestcUin. 
After that, 'Alice' and 'Valentine.' Tithatschek will 
probably be here at the new year. Meyerbeer is still in 
Paris, but is expected here soon. But, Jacob, Mendelssohn 
is here ! I see him almost every day at the Wichmanns'. 
And he is quite an exceptional man. Dear ! we are going, 
the day after to-morrow, to Leipzig. Now, at least, I shall 
sing at a Gewandhaus Concert under his direction ! 

'* Your letter to Gade * has been sent oflf in due course. 

" Mendelssohn's (Edijms has been given here, and it was 
magnificent.t To-nightJ his Athalie is to be produced, for 
the first time, at Charlottenburg, and I look forward eagerly 
to the evening. 

**It is possible that I may go to Vienna next Spring. 
True, I feel restrained by nervousness, but the engagement 
is a good one. 

" All is as before at home. Art has disappeared ! Home- 
life alone is pleasant, as before. Apart from that all is 
emptiness. But how does that help me ? I have as much 
home-sickness as ever, all the same. And my only wish is 

"^ Herr Niels W. Gadc was then residing at Leipzig, where he had been 
invited, at the instance of Mendelssohn, to accept a Professorship in the 
newly-founded Conservatorium der Musik. (See also page 285.) 

t The reader will remember that it was produced in the Theatre of the 
New Palace, at Potsdam, on the 1st of November, 1845. 

X Sunday, December iht Ist. 

1B45.] Mel^oDv Si Toimav fi arfami. 321 

to attain repose away from the Stage. And a year hence 
I shall go home, and remain at home, my friend ! Oh ! how I 
shall enjoy life ! Ah ! peace is the best of all. I have never 
had that as I have it now. Tou will come and see me 
sometimes, will you not ? 

" Well ! I am quite ready to believe that Italy must be 
beautiful. God give you success and progress, my good 
friend ! We ne^ you much in Sweden. It would please 
me well to go to Italy next spring, but I must first earn 
some money. So, (jod's peace and blessing be with you. 
Bemember me to young Wichmann. All his people are 

" I need not assure you that I always remain 

" Your faithful friend, 

It is touching to see the great Artist longing for the 
beauties of Italy, yet deferring the enjoyment of them until 
she could " earn some money," while she was really enabling 
the young student to whom she wrote to prosecute his studies 
there with money she had previously earned. But she felt 
that she was doing a good work for him and for Art, and 
with her that consideration always overrode all others. 
Her whole life was modelled on the words we have chosen 
for the heading of our preseiat chapter. She not only felt, in 
her heart of hearts, the firm conviction that " The greatest 
of these is charity/* but she so lived that every act of her 
existence was a proof of the sincerity of her convictions — a 
proof that she not only recognised the truth of the law by 
force of intelligent deduction, or even by grace of divinely 
inspired faith, but that she herself felt personal experience 
of its truth in the happiness she derived from moulding every 
thought and action of her life in accordance with it. 

It is touching, too, to see how her Artist-nature expands at 


* Letter from Mdlle. Lind to Herr Jacob Axel Joeephsoii, dated 
Berlin, Dec. 1, 1845," and translated from a copy kindly furnished by 
Madame Josephson. 


322 JENNY LINB, [bk. iv. ch. xv. 

the thought of a closer acquaintance with Mendelssohn — the 
composer whose genius was in closer sympathy with her own 
than that of any other musician then living, — and to mark 
how she revelled in the thought of singing to the accompani- 
ment of the orchestra he conducted, well knowing before- 
hand the delight she would feel in being so perfectly and so 
effectually accompanied. None but a really great singer 
can fully understand the delight of singing to such an accom- 
paniment, whether played by the orchestra or on the piano- 
forte, and in this case the vocalist was certainly not 

* She was always most particular with regard to her accompaniments, 
and was never satisfied unless they were as completely in accord 
with her own conception as if she herself had played them. At a 
later date — October 8, 1851 — she wrote, from the Palls of Niagara, 
to her guardian, Judge Munthe, with reference to a concert tour of three 
months' duration on which she was then starting : " Herr Goldschmidt 
is our accompanist, and whether he accompanies me or I accompany 
myself, it is absolutely the same thing." 

( 323 ) 



In a letter addressed to her guardian, Judge Munthe, on the 
12th of January, 1846, Mdlle. Lind writes : — 

" Felix Mendelssohn comes sometimes to Berlin, and I have 
often been in his company. He is a man^ and at the same 
time he has the most supreme talent Thus should it be." 

The words are few, but weighty enough in their relation 
to the social history of Art ; for, taken into consideration in 
connection with the expressions quoted in the preceding 
chapter from her letter to Herr Josephson, they give 
us the first direct indication of a friendship which, 
ripening with time, continued, with ever-increasing loyalty 
and warmth, until the moment at which the composer of 
Elijah entered into his rest, on the 4th of November, 1847 ; 
a friendship the full value of which can be understood by 
those only who enjoyed the inestimable privilege of friendly 
intercourse, though in ever so humble a degree, with that 
truly remarkable " Toan ; " a friendship in which the world 
of Art itself was interested. For it is absolutely certain that 
these two artistic spirits exercised a notable influence over 
each other in all that concerned the Art they worshipped ; 
insomuch that the Elijah itself owed something to Mendels- 
sohn's familiarity with her ideal treatment of the voice,* 
while her interpretation of his loveliest melodies was 

♦ See Vol. ii.; Book VIII., Chapter vii. 

Y 2 

324 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. xvi. 

undoubtedly penetrated with the spirit he infused into the 
harmonies with which he accompanied her on the piano- 

Though residing at this time in Leipzig, Mendelssohn 
came occasionally to Berlin, and had evidently taken such 
opportunities as he could of renewing the acquaintance first 
formed on the 21st of October, 1844, at the house of Professor 
Wichmann. On the 1st of November, 1845, he super- 
intended the production of his (Edipus in CoUmos, at the 
theatre attached to the New Palace at Potsdam. A month 
later he came again, to conduct the first performance of 
his music to Bacine's AthcUie, on the 1st of December, 
at the Boyal Theatre at Charlottenburg, and this visit he 
turned to excellent account in more ways than one. He 
was engaged, that winter, in conducting the famous 6e- 
wandhaus Concerts at Leipzig, which were then universally 
acknowledged to be the finest in Europe. Under his all- 
powerful baton they had met with unexampled success. The 
best artists of the day thought it an honour to be permitted 
to take part in them. He, on his part, did all in his power to 
make them as perfect as possible, and he eagerly seized this 
opportunity of persuading his friend to assist him in his 
noble work. The Intendant of the Opera-House* seems to have 
granted the necessary leave of absence without difficulty, 
and on the 3rd of December — the day following the second 
performance of Der Freischutz — the two great Artists pro- 
ceeded together to Leipzig. 

Though the dimensions of this quaint old town were greatly 
inferior, in 1845, to those of which it now boasts, it exercised 
a greater and far more healthy influence upon the develop- 

* Herr C. Th. von Kiistner, General-Intendant der Koniglichen Schau- 
spiele, from June 1, 1842, to May 31, 1851, of whose genuine kindness and 
powerful support, during her residence at Berlin, Madame Goldschmidt 
spoke at all times with warmest recognition. 

1846.] AT TEE QEWANDHAUS. 325 

ment of Art than either Berlin or Vienna. The audience, at 
the Gewandhaus, was being gradually educated on a system 
which was already beginning to bring forth excellent fruit. 
Though severely critical, it was prone to bursts of genuine 
enthusiasm; and when the good burghers who dominated 
the society of the town heard of the treat that was in store 
for them, their excitement knew no bounds. Though the 
prices of admission were instantly raised from two-thirds of 
a thaler to one thaler and a third — i.e., from two shillings to 
four — the tickets were all sold off at once, and their lucky 
possessors were able to command any price they liked to ask 
for them at second-hand. The *' free list '* was stopped, of 
course, and even the students of the Conservatorium,* who 
enjoyed prescriptive right of admission, were politely told 
that their prescriptive right would not be recognised on the 
evening of the eighth concert. 

This arbitrary resumption of vested privileges provoked an 
" indignation meeting " at the rooms of one of the ofTended 
brotherhood, at which it was resolved that a firm but 
respectful protest should be addressed to the most active of 
the Directors — a gentleman of severe aspect, but not it was 
hoped of absolutely stony heart. The difficulty was, to find 
a mouse to bell the cat. A victim was, however, selected 
and sacrificed, and in the course of the day he reappeared 
before the adjourned conclave with a face which distinctly 
showed that he had been received with the gentle courtesy 
usually accorded by College dons to students too keenly 
alive to encroachments upon their privfleges.t 

The rush for tickets was, in fact, so great that had the 
Saal des Gewandhauses been four times as large as it really 
was it could have been filled over and over again. Through 

"^ Founded by Mendelssohn in 1843, and then flourishing exceedingly 
under his energetic personal superintendence. 
t The " victim " was Herr Otto Goldschmidt. 

326 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvi. 

the kindness of Hen Julius EListner, the well-known music 
publisher, the writer, maddened with the excitement of the 
moment, was fortunate enough to obtain a seat in the front 
row, close to the orchestra, betwcQA the places occupied by 
the heroic presenter of the protest and the late Mr. Joseph 
Ascher, another member of the "Indignation Committee." 
The room was crowded to suffocation and the audience 
breathless with suspensa 

The programme contained the following pieces : — 

1. Symphonie von W. A. Mozart (D dur, ohne Menuet). 

2. Arie aus Norma, * Eeusche Grottin ' (' Casta Diva '), gesungen von 

Frl. Jenny Lind. 

3. Adagio and Rondo fur die Violine, mit Orchester, componirt and 

Yorgetragen von Herm Joseph Joachim. 

4. Duet (' Se fuggire ') von Bellini, gesungen von Frl. Jenny Lind 

und Miss Dolby. 

5. Ouverture zu Oheron, von C. M. von Weber. 

6. Recit. und Arie, aus Don Juan, von Mozart, * Ueber alles bleibst 

du theuer ' (* Non mi dir *), gesungen von Frl. Jenny Lind. 

7. Caprice fur die Violine, iiber ein Thema aus dem Firaten, von 

Bellini, componirt von H. W. Ernst, gespielt von Herm Joseph 

8. Lieder, mit Pianofortebegleitung, gesungen von FrL Jenny Lind. 

The burst of applause which, at these concerts, was 
usually reserved until the Gast of the evening had earned her 
laurels, was awarded to her, on this occasion, on her entrance 
into the orchestra ; but probably every one in the room felt, 
a few moments later, that it had been sufficiently earned by 
the veiled yet indescribably delicious sweetness of the long- 
drawn A with which the scena from AWma begins. 

Herr Heinrich Brockhaus, in his Diary, describes the 
events of the evening in terms which exactly correspond 
mth our own recollection of them : — 

" 1845. Leipzig, December 4. Jenny Lind has fulfilled 
the promise she made, in the summer, to sing at one of the 


subscription-concerts, to my great enjoyment and truly 
heartfelt pleasure. 

" Luiae * wrote to Fraulein Lind to offer her our hospitality, 
so I am actually living under the same roof with our charming 

" The expectations of the Leipzigers — who pride them- 
selves somewhat on their musical taste and are sometimes 
a little hypercritical — ^were raised very high indeed ; but the 
first air, from Norma, at once won everytUng for the Singer, 
and the enthusiasm rose higher and higher through a duet 
with Miss Dolby from Romeo and Juliet, through a recitative 
and air from Don Juan, and, finally, through some songs by 
Mendelssohn and some Swedish national airs, to a quite 
extraordinary pitcL 

" And with good reason. 

''She is a most extraordinary singer: a musical nature 
through and through, in full command of the most beautiful 
means; and, besides that, so penetrated and spiritualised 
with the singing of everything which she renders, that a 
song sung by her goes straight to the heart. 

''Soul and expression so intimately associated with so 
beautiful a voice and so perfect a method will never be met 
with again; the appearance of Fraulein Lind is, therefore, 
truly unique. 

" And with all that what noble and beautiful simplicity 
pervades her whole being ! free from all fictitious coquetry, 
though, all the same, she takes delight in the efTect she 
produces. One can only wonder, and love her. And this 
affectionate appreciation of her is universal — the same with 
young and old, with men and with women. And again, 
there is something so thorough and consistent ; a noble and 
beautiful nature ; a manifestation of the genius of the noblest 
womanhood and the highest art. 

"Who can sing either German or Italian music as she 
does?t Who is so great a mistress of National Song as 
she ? In the case of other singers people are often influenced 
by a critique, and astuteness prides itself upon the discovery 
of some weak point. With Fraulein Lind one rejoices one's 

* Frau Priedrich Brockhaus, n^e Wagner ; a sister of Richard Wagner. 

f Mdlle. Lind sang the airs from Norma and Don Juan, and two 
songs by Mendelssohn, in Grerman ; the duet from Romeo in Italian ; and 
two Swedish songs in her own language* 

328 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvi. 

self at her success, and feels with her until the applause 
bursts fortL" * 

Instead of following up her success by giving a " benefit " 
on her own account, and filling the room to suffocation, as 
she might easily have done at any prices she liked to 
demand, she announced her intention of singing, the next 
night, at the concert which she determined to give in 
aid of the Orchester-Wittwen-Fond — an institution for the 
maintenance of the widows of deceased members of the 
Gewandhaus Orchestra — for which the following programme 
was advertised : — 

1. Ouverture zu Euryanthey von C. M. von Weber. 

2. Scene and Arie aus dem Frei$chiUz^ von G. M. von Weber, gesungen 

von Fraulein Jenny Lind. 

3. Concert fiir Pianoforte, in G moll, componirt and vorgetragen von 

Herm General-Musikdirektor Felix MendelsBohn-Bartholdy. 

4. Finale aus Euryanihe^ von G. M. von Weber. Die Partbie der 

" Euryanthe," vorgetragen von Fraulein Jenny Lind. 

6. * Im Hochlande.' Ouverture fur Orchester von Niels W. Oade. 

6. Scene uud Arie aus Figaro^ ySL W. A. Mozart, gesungen von 

Fraulein Jenny Lind. 

7. Solo fiir Pianoforte. 

8. Lieder am Pianoforte, gesimgen von Fraalein Jenny Lind. 

At the morning rehearsal for this concert — which took 
place on Friday the 5th of December — the feted Gast was 
greeted, as she entered the orchestra, by an unpremeditated 
flourish of trumpets ; and, while rehearsing the finale to the 
first act of Uuryanthc, the pupils of the Thomas-Schule, to 
whom the choral portions were entrusted, were so enchanted 
with the delivery of the graceful scale-passages to the 

" Sebnen Verlangen durchwogt die Brust ; 
Wieder ihm sehen, himmlische Lust 1 " 

« ( 

Aus den Tagehiichern von Eeinrich Brockhaus* (Leipzig, 1884), 
Band ii. p. 88. Privately printed, for frienda only. 

1846.] AT TEE GEWANDEAU8. 329 

that they forgot to count their bars' rest, and Mendelssohn 
brought down his baton, at the hundred and seventh bar of 
the allegretto, amidst a ridiculous silence, which at any other 
time would have infuriated him, though on this occasion he 
joined, as heartily as any one, in the general laughter. 

Herr Heinrich Brockhaus has included a minute descrip- 
tion of this Concert also in his published Diary; but the 
account given in the impublished note-book of his youthful 
son, Edouard, is so charmingly unaffected and natural, that 
we insert it in preference to the more mature remarks of the 
elder gentleman. 

" On Friday, the 5th of December, the Lind was to sing at 
a concert for the Orchester^JVittwen-Fond. Every one was 
delighted, but I most of all, as I hoped that I also might get 
a chance of hearing her ; and, luckily, at dinner-time, mother 
gave me a ticket, which I kept in my hand all the afternoon, 
for fear of losing it.* Tickets were very rare just then, 
and, though they only cost 1 Ethl., 10 Ngr.,t I know that 
some were sold for 3 EthL, and even 5 BthL^ The concert 
was to begin at half past six o'clock, and I was at the Grewand- 
haus by half-past five ; it took me, however, a good quarter 
of an hour to get up the few steps leading to the halL For 
the steps were crammed with people, including many ladies, 
and there was scarcely room to stand, much less to turn 
round. So we moved slowly forwards, and thought our- 
selves lucky when we mounted a single step. The hall was 
soon so full that not another creature could be squeezed in, 
and many had to stand the whole evening in the little room 
where the buffet is ; but, luckily, I got a seat in the third row 
in the gallery, where I could see and hear everything. 

" The Lind first sang the scena and air from Figaro,^ and I 
can really find no adequate expression to apply to her singing. 
The power of the voice, even in the highest notes, the feeling, 
when she sang pianissimo, and, above all, the perfection of 
her execution, cannot be described in words. The shake, 

* The usual dinner-hour at Leipzig then was, and still is, one o'clock 
in the afternoon. t Four shillings. 

X Nine, and even fifteen shillings ; unheard-of prices in Leipzig. 

§ The places of the airs from Figaro and Der FreisehiJUz were changed. 

330 JENNT LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvi. 

and all the finer nuances, sounded so perfectly natural, 
and she sang with such life and expression, that she had 
to hold back continually, to keep herself from acting. 
And the people seemed as if they would never leave off 

" In the second part she sang the well-known scene and 
air from Der Freischutz, and here again, from every gesture, 
one could see that it was as much as ever she could do to 
hold herself in check so as not to act it And the expression 
she gave to every word, and the swelling of the tones and 
the feeling and the execution, were really unsurpassable. 

"After Mendelssohn had played a beautiful solo on the 
pianoforte, in the most masterly style,* the Lind sang, last 
of all, three songs. The first was Mendelssohn's * Fruhlings- 
lied,' t and the two others extremely original Swedish VoUcs- 
lieder.X Mendelssohn accompanied them on the pianoforte, 

* This solo incloded a remarkable passage of improvisation which still 
lives within the memory of all who had the happiness of hearing it. 
Beginning with a characteristic prelude in Eb, Mendelssohn played, as 
he only could play it, his own Lied ohne Worte, No. 1, Book VI. Then, 
during the course of a prolonged and masterly modulation to the remote 
key of A major, he continued the semiquaver accompaniment of the 
movement for some time longer, carrying it through new and unexpected 
harmonies, so arranged as to permit the reiteration of the bell-like Bt?, 
under constantly changing conditions, and afterwards varying it with 
other notes, similarly treated, after the manner of an inverted pedal-point. 
Presently a new figure made its appearance, invoking at first vague 
reminiscences only, but gradually settling down into the floating arpeggios 
of the Allegretto con grazia, No. 6, in the Fifth Book — the so-called 
Fruhlingslied, Every one knew now what was comiug : but all were 
taken by surprise by the agitated climax into which he worked up the 
arpeggio-form ; first, carrying it through a stormy fortissimo^ and then 
suffering it to die gently away as it approached the long-delayed chord of 
A major, until at last the lovely melody fell on the ear with a charm too 
great to be expressed in words. The recollection of it returns as vividly 
as if it had been played but yesterday. It was, we believe, the last time 
that Mendelssohn ever played this delicious movement — now, alas ! so 
remorselessly hackneyed 1 — in public : and all present agreed that he had 
never before been heard to play it with such magical effect. 

t /.c. the vocal FrvMingslied in D ; * Leise zieht durch mein Gemiith.' 

t The first of these Volkslieder was the brilliant Tanzlied aus Dalekar- 

Uen — *Kom du lilla flicka' — sung by Mdlle. Lind in A minor, and 

beginning with a bright trill on the upper A ; from which note it passed, 

inmiediately, to the upper C. This song afterwards became extremely 

1846.] AT TEE QEWANDHAUS, 331 

and with them the Concert came^ all too soon, to an 

" The Lind had promised to spend the evening with ns, 
and when we got home we found everything made ready for 
her reception. As she had begged that no company might 
be invited, mother * had only asked Tante LuiBe,t with the 
rest of the family, and the Mendelssohns. 

"About nine o'clock our court-yard was suddenly filled 
with a crowd of people, mostly students, who had come, with 
torches, to serenade the Lind. When a circle had been 
formed, by torch-light, Weber's JuMlee Overture was first 
played ; t then a song was sung ; and afterwards they sang 
and played alternately. The Lind was quite taken by 
surprise, and kept on asking father what she should do and 
how she should thank the people. 

" While she was peeping out of the window there came a 
pause, and a lot of Concert directors, with Concertmeister 
David § and Dr. Haertel || at their head, came into the room. 

popular, both in Germany and in England. The second VolksUed was 
Herr Berg's FJerran i skoff — * Der Hirt ' (fferdegoasen) — ^in FJ minor ; 
ia the ninth and tenth bars of which occurred a long-sustained pause upon 
an unaccompanied Fj(, in the middle register. While the audience were 
listening to this in breathless suspense, as it gradually died away, and 
every moment expecting it to fade into absolute silence, it gently 
descended to an aJmost equally long-drawn Ft], so wonderfully piano 
that it was all but inaudible, and yet so true and firm, that it penetrated 
to the remotest comers of the Concert-room. The effect was magical : it 
was, perhaps, the most marvellous feat of vocalisation that had ever been 
attempted within the memory of the oldest critic then present ; a living 
verification of the legendary stories told of the wonderful Farinelli, the 
history of whose exploits has been so frequently laughed at as too extra- 
vagant for credence. Herr Berg's song will be foimd, in our Appendix 
of Music, at the end of Vol. ii. 

* Frau Heinrich Brockhaus (nee Campe). 

t Frau Friedrich Brockhaus (nee Wagner). 

t Le, by a large band of wind instruments which accompanied the 
students. The number of serenaders amounted, in the aggregate, to fully 
three hundred; and as the concert was over by half-past eight o'clock, 
they easily reached the house by nine. 

§ Mendelssohn's friend, Herr Ferdinand David, the well-known 

II Dr. Haertel, the then head of the well-known music-publishing firm. 

332 JENNT LIND. [bk. nr. CH. xvL 

and, in the name of the musicians, presented her with 

a beautiM silver salver, on which were engraved the 
words: — 


To Fraulein Jenny Lind, from the grateful musicians.' 

" On the salver was placed a beautiful wreath of laurel 
and camellias. It was given to her by the musicians as 
a mark of thankfulness, because she had sung tor the 
institution for the benefit of the widows of members of the 
orchestra. David accompanied the gift with a few words, 
and the Lind was so surprised that she could only look at 
him while he was speaking, and thank him with a silent 

''During all this time I got the champagne ready, and 
many healths were drunk — ^natiirally, hers first of all. 
Father then filled a great tankard and brought it to her, that 
she might first taste it herself, and then send it roimd to the 
gentlemen; but she would not do this — ^why, I cannot 
imagine. She passed it on, however, to David, saying, 
' Drink to your own health ! ' 

** During the music she stood, for the most part, at the east 
window, in the comer, and listened to it eagerly ; but one 
could see that the crowd of people was painful to her. 
When the students had left off singing — there were two 
hundred singers, besides a multitude of others — Mendels- 
sohn led the lind into the court-yard. I followed her, 
with Xante Luise ; and Mendelssohn said that the honour- 
able task of conveying to them Fraulein Lind's thanks for 
this had fallen to his lot, and that he fulfilled it with 
pleasure; but that, in addition, and in his own person as 
* Leipziger Musikdirector,' he wished long life to Fraulein 

* Mendelssohn's exact words were : — 

*' Meine Hebrem I 

" Sie denken dass der Kapellmeister Mendelssohn jetzt zu Ihnen 
spricht, aber darin irren Sie sich. Fraulein Jenny Lind spriclit zu 
Ihnen und dankt Ihnen herzlich fur die schdne Ueborraschung die Sie 
ihr bereitet haben! Doch jetzt verwandele ich mich wieder in den 
Leipziger Musikdirector und fordere Sie als solcher auf, Fraulein Jenny 
Lind hoch leben zu lassen ! Sie lebe hoch ! und nochmals boch I und 
zum dritten mal hoch ! " 

1845.] AT THE QEWANDHAUS, 833 

" All joined, naturally, in shouting * Long life to Fraulein 
Lind ! ' And we then tried to get back into the house, but 
found it very diflftcult to do so, so closely did the crowd press 
round, on every side, to catch a glimpse of the Lind. 

** In going away, they sang the beautiful ' Waldlied/ * The 
gentlemen who had presented the silver plateau then took 
their leave after the Land had duly thanked them, and the 
Mendelssohns did not stay very much longer. 

" No sooner were the doors closed behind them than she 
embraced mother and Marie, and all who were standing near 
her, and jumped up like a child. The presence of so many 
people had worried her, and it was not until they were gone 
that her joy broke forth. 

" We now sat roimd a table and enjoyed ourselves very 
much. The Lind showed us, among other things, her 
bracelets, two of which were particularly beautiful. One, in 
the form of a serpent, was given to her by the late King of 
Sweden, and the other, which was very splendid, by the 
present King of Prussia.t At the top of this last was a cover, 
with three real pearls as large as peas ; and under this cover, 
which was made to lift up, was a little cylinder-watch, the 
size of a four-groschen piece.} She looked with great 
pleasure at our pictures and engravings, while I held the 
lights for her, and at about eleven o'clock she went down to 
her apartments." § 

The graphic and life-like picture, thus charmingly painted 
by the bright youth of sixteen, forms a fitting conclusion 

" Gentlemen / 

''You think that the Kapelhneister Mendelssohn is speaking to 
you, but in that you are mistaken. Frslulein Jenny Lind speaks to you, 
and thanks you for the beautiful surprise that you have prepared for her. 
But now I change myself back again into the Leipzig Kapellmeister, and 
call upon you to wish long life to Fraulein Jenny Lind. Long life to 
her I and again, long life to her I and, for the third time, long life ! " 

* ' Lebewohl, du schoner Wald,' Mendelssohn's Part-song for four male 
voices, then the most popular Partnsong in Germany. 

t See page 254. 

X A little larger than an English sixpence. 

§ From a MS. Journal, written, at the time, by Mr. (now Dr.) Edouard 

834 JENNT LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvi. 

to our narrative of Mdlle. Lind's memorable visit to 

She might well have retired to her rooms, tired out with 
fatigue and excitement, at eleven o'clock ; for on the next 
day — Satunlay, the 6th of December — she was to return to 
Berlin, where she was announced to reappear, for the fourth 
time, in Dan Juan on the following Tuesday. 

( 335 ) 



Here Josephson received Mdlle Lind's letter on the 12th 
of December, 1845, and on that day made the following 
entry in his Diary :— 

" Letter from Jenny Lind.* Since I left Leipzig I had not 
once heard directly from her, as her constant travels during 
the summer had prevented her from writing quietly to 
friends far away. Her words are full of friendship, and she 
writes concerning herself with a clearness which cannot but 
be gratifying to her friends. She speaks of new triumphs in 
her artistic career. Mendelssohn has been in Berlin, and 
she has been to Leipzig and sung in the Gewandhaus 

" Mendelssohn and Jenny Lind together * in Leipzig ! 
What would I not have given to have been there in those 
days ! " f 

They were very delightful days indeed, as the writer him- 
self can testify ; but to no one were they more delightful 
than to the two great Artists to whose joint offerings at the 
shrine of Art they owed the charm of their enchantment. 

Some months, however, elapsed before these two great 
Artists were again able to pursue their high task with each 
other's assistance. The dates of Mendelssohn's visits to Berlin 
were fitful and uncertain. Though the Mendelssohn family 
lived in the Prussian capital, and much regretted his absence 

* See page 319 for the text of Mdlle. Lind's letter, 
t 'Aos dem Leben eines Schwedischen Componisten ; ' von N. P. 
Odman. (Tom. iL) 

336 JENNT LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvn, 

from it, his duty manifestly lay in Leipzig, at the Conserva- 
torium which he himself had founded and in the orchestra 
of the Gewandhaus. When summoned to Berlin, in his 
capacity of Kapellmeister, by command of King Friedrich 
Wilhelm IV,, he had, of course, no choice but to obey ; but 
no such summons seems to have been issued subsequently to 
the production of CEdipics in Colanos until long after the 
winter season 'was over. In the meantime, however, the 
pretty room in the Hasenheger Strasse was not deserted. 
Many pleasant evenings were spent in it in the company of 
Taubert, Professor Edward Magnus (the weU-known German 
painter), Professor Werder, Professor Schnackenberg, Graf 
A-on SchliefiTeny Concertmeister Bies, with, on rarer occasions, 
Lenn^, (the well-known landscape-gardener, and the originator 
of the German royal plantations around Potsdam), Graf 
von Kedem (the so-called Musikgraf, or Director of the 
Court Music), and other distinguished artists, men of letters 
and other privil^ed guests, on terms of intimacy with the 
Wichmann fiunily, and welcomed at their little reunions^ in 
virtue of tlieir talents, their conversational powers, or their 
aoliievement^ in various branches of Literature, or ArL 
Madame Wiehmann enjoyed, in fact, the envied distincti(m 
of forming a salon of wliich Mdlle. Lind was by no means 
one of the least brilliant ornaments, though she herself 
wvnild probably have been the last to believe thai her 
presence could have addeil anything to the attractions of a 
si.x'ial gathering foundeil on so broad an intellectual and 
artistic basis. 

On the SOih of December — that is to sav, a little more 
than thive weeks after her return fiwm Leipzig — Mdlle. liz^i 
appeared^ for the first time at Berlin, in a new and very 
aiviuous and imjx^nant '\^< — that of *• Julia," in SponunTs 
opera. IH< V€s:.uin — which she had previously imperse&i:^ 
six times only, at Stockholm, during the whole of ker ktt^ 

1845.] DIE VE8TALIN. 337 

career — probably because it was found unsuited to the 
Swedish popular taste. 

Die Vestalin had long been a very favourite Opera, in 
Berlin, where it had been placed upon the stage with 
extraordinary magnificence, and entirely under the composer's 
own personal direction, when he was invited to the Prussian 
capital, in the character of General Music Director, by 
King Friedrich Wilhelm III., in the year 1820. The part 
of "Julia" had then been sustained by Madame Milder- 
Hauptmann, and since then most of the great German 
prime donrie had interpreted it in their turn. It was there- 
fore no easy task to satisfy a Prussian audience with a new 
conception of the work, and as Mdlle. Lind had intimated 
in her letter to Madame Erikson, her reading of the leading 
part was quite sure to be judged by the measure of all the 
greatest singers who had previously appeared in it. She had 
spared no labour in her endeavour to make it as perfect as 
possible. As is nearly always the case, when French libretti 
are translated into other languages, the text and music of the 
received version fitted together so imperfectly that without 
extensive revision it would have been impossible to do full 
justice to the composer's original intention. How this diflB- 
culty was surmounted when Die Vestalin was first produced 
in Berlin it does not fall within our province to consider 
Spontini was not an easy man to satisfy, even with regard to 
the minutest conceivable details of efiect or expression ; but 
whether he was content or not with tlie German paraphrase 
provided for him, it is quite certain that it neither satisfied 
Mademoiselle Lind nor the only friend to whose assistance 
she could trust as a means of escape from the difficulty. We 
have before us, as we write, her own well-used copy of the 
little oblong edition, published by Meyer of Brunswick, in 
which page after page is filled, in her own handwriting, with 
pencilled corrections suggested by Madame Birch-Pfeifier — 

VOL. I. z 

338 JENNT LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvii. 

phrases substituted for those contained in the generally- 
received version, in order to rectify false emphasis, to provide 
better opportunities for taking breath, and to supply a smooth 
and more flowing translation of the entire part of Julia — the 
text allotted to the other performers remaining, of course, 
untouched. The amount of labour and anxiety expended 
upon the work may be conceived from the following letter 
to the talented authoress, written in December 1845 — pro- 
bably on the 18th of the month, though the exact day is not 
mentioned : — 

" Good Motheb ! Little Mother !* 

** I cannot see you to-day. Why ? Because the good 
King wishes to have some more music in Charlottenburg this 

** How are you to-day ? I hope much better. Good 
mother, my refuge ! Wliat can I do with my Vestaltn f 
the text is not yet in order. If you do not help me, things 
will go badly. Permit me, kind soul, to complain to you of 
my dire need, while I send you the part and the pianoforte 
score. Ah ! if you have time, mother, help me, for Heaven's 
sake, for I cannot begin to study until the text is properly 
arranged. You will be quite weary of my large demands. 
Tell the servant how you are. Farewell, mother. May all 
good spirits float around your poor sick head! Greet all 
whom you will from 

" Wednesday morning. " Your 

It is pleasant to know that the improvement efiected in 
the text by this careful revision was worthily appreciated. 

The impression the performance produced upon the German 
critics generally may be gathered from the notice which 
appeared in the Berlinische Zcitung three days after the first 
performance : — 

* A paraphrase of the Swedish Lilla Moder I 
t From Frau von Hillern's collectioD. 

1845-46.] BIE VESTALIN. 339 

" A joy," says Hen Rellstab, " and more than a joy — a 
true elevation of the spirit has fallen to the share of the 
writer at the close of his year of critical activity, in that 
he is able to record an artistic achievement, among the most 
memorable that he himself has ever witnessed, and one 
which has deeply moved, not himself alone, but also a large 
and varied section of the public. 

" Jenny Lind in the part of ' Julia.' 

" Grand memories, rich in Art, revived themselves within 
us in connection with the work and with past interpreters of 
the role who have attained the sublimest heights. 

" It placed a crown on the ravishing and lofty charm with 
which Nanette Schechner* — that star so brilliant, and so 
soon to vanish from the firmament of Art — enthralled her 
astonished hearers with an irresistible enchantment. 

" Wilhelmina Schroeder-Devrient achieved, in the part of 
'Julia,' one of her grandest Art-pictures, all glowing with the 
fire of genius. 

" In short, the work marked, for many years, the culminat- 
ing point of our noblest dramatic power at a time in which 
Nature still bestowed upon us her wondrous wealth of 
powerful and splendid voices. 

" But let us now turn our eyes upon the present. It will 
give them plenty of material which cannot well be passed 
over. And this time we will occupy ourselves less with 
passing judgment than with giving a history of the impres- 
sions produced upon us by the performance. 

" The first act was over. From first to last the singer had, 
through her womanly and noble bearing, excited the closest 
sympathy. The difficult entrance during the first chorus — a 
rock on which so many singers have been shipwrecked — 
naturally afforded our Artist the opportunity for a triumph, 
through the sweetness of her tones, t Her acting and singing 
were everywhere noble, but not with the victorious effect we 
expected from her. Sometimes in the latter she exhibited, 

* See page 311. 

t By a singular anomaly, " JulLo," in La Vestale, is first introduced to 
the audience singing in unison with the chorus — but with different words 
adapted to the same notes. The intention no doubt is, that she may give 
utterance to her own sad thoughts, while singing the Hymn of the 
Vestals by compulsion. But it takes a very great singer and actress to 
make the audience understand this, and we can scarcely wonder that so 
many great singers have been shipwrecked on so dangerous a rock. 

z 2 

340 JEKXT LIXD. [bk. iv. gh. xvn. 

here and there, a trace of weariness and that veiling of the 
organ which represents h^ only weakness.* After that all 
expressed sweetest emotion. In holding forth the laurel- 
crown to Licinins her acting displayed a magic charm, due 
to the virgin purity with which the Artist glorified the 
entire scene. But we cannot deny that her two great 
predecessors, each in a different way, imparted to this very 
scene a ravishing and altogether different effect Nanette 
Schechner had here painted the victory of the Soman 
woman over the virgin, and her singing was a veritable 
hymn of triumph. Wilhelmina Schroeder-Devrient, who 
was not accustomed to enter into the lists with these 
weapons, had exhibited here the whole creative power of her 
miniic talent, and painted a changeful scene that moment 
by moment rose higher and higher and held us in breath- 
less thralL In the face of this strife between the beautifiil 
expression of the present and the still greater recollections 
of the past the first act closed. And it seemed to us — 
perhaps too much preoccupied with the Koman spirit — as 
if the Singer, whom we have always hitherto beheld as a 
conqueror, had waged too rash a battle upon too unfavour- 
able a field, and, goaded on by marvellous deeds of valour 
and genius alike had lost ! 

'*\Ve found the audience under a similar impression, 
and awaited the second act with an almost sorrowful de- 
pression of spirit. 

*' Sometimes, however — if we may still be permitted to 
use the language of metaphor — a battle which, whether by 
accident or design, may seem to have begun imfavourably, 
recovers itself, to be crowned with the most glorious and 
.signal victory. And so it was in this case. From the very 
Ijeginning of the act certain passages breathed forth, as it 
were, forecasts of the most fervid, the deepest, the grandest 
feelings that could agitate a loving womanly breast In the 
j^rand air, * Gotte, ach ! hort mein Flehen ! ' f lightning- 
flashes of magic power gleamed forth as from some strange, 

* This peculiar veiled tone of the middle register was always DOticeable 
in Mdlle. Lind's voice at the beginning of a new part, for the success of 
which she was more than usually anxious, and the peculiarity remained 
with her to the end of her career. 

t * Impitoyahles di^ux ! * in the original French. The German versioD 
by Madame Birch-Pfeiffer is inserted, in pencil, in Mdlle. Land's own 
handwriting in her printed copy of the music. 

1846.] DIE VESTALIN. 341 

oinknown region; sounds, accents such as we had never 
before heard. With an holy grandeur the artist sang the 
words, ' Was jetzo mick durchglvM, es ist die Liebe ! ' * The 
acting before the appearance of Licinius, the greeting accorded 
to him, the mimic recognition accompanying every tone of his 
air, * Die Goiter werden uns nicht gdndich sinken lassen ; ' f 
all this formed a chain of the most ravishing beauties. It 
was the picture of ecstatic love struggling by turns with the 
shadow of the sombre presage of death. And emotion and 
dread alternated, in like manner, in the breast of the hearer. 
Words such as * Vernis schutze mich, und die Liebe sei mein 
Gott,' t and * Er ist frei,* § rang out with the true blessed 
inspiration of a love upborne by an inward power that 
triumphed over every outward obstacle. And yet, with 
these great effects, the artist mounted the first step only of 
the heights to which she rose towards the close of the act. 
At the words, * Schon fasst des Todes kaltes Grauen mich 
an/ II dim shadows began to creep in as from some doleful 
world beyond. And it is worthy of remark that, through 
an uninterrupted course of the most elevated and astonishing 
appearances on the stage during the last twenty years, 
nothing has so deeply moved us as the impression produced 
by our Artist's acting from this moment onwards where 
terror awakes her from her short dream of love. The strife 
between greatness of soul and holiest faith in the might of 
Love on the one side, and on the other the overpowering 
recoil of Nature from the fear of death in a form so 
terrible that it might well have crushed the shrinking 
nerves of the boldest man; this strife, we say, is set 
before us in such sort that the soul scarcely dares to 
believe what the eye sees. It paints the last extremity of 
horror, and yet the limit of the beautiful is never over- 
passed even by a hair's-breadth. 

"Yet we stand here on the threshold only of the realm 

* ( 

Vamour, le ddsespoir, usurpent dans mon cceur une entth'e puis- 


t * Les dieux prendront pitie du sort qui vous accahle* Throughout 
this air Licinius is addressing himself to Julia. 

I * Eh Men / fils de Venus, h tes vcsux j'e me rends 1 ' 
§ *llvivrar 

II * Les horreurs du tripos sans espoir m^environne, in the original 
French. Here, again, Madame Birch-Pfeiflfer's German differs widely 
from the usual version. 

342 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvii. 

of wonder over which our artist exercises her sway. It 
seemed to us impossible that such an achievement could 
have been surpassed. And yet ! 

"The third act, that hitherto has been for all other 
singers and actresses a mild and gentle echo only of the 
previous one, asserting its claim to nothing higher than the 
lyric expression of a weak emotion — this third act supplies 
to our Artist a point of union with still higher dramatic 
impressions; or, at least, with others so wholly different 
that they belong to an altogether foreign and unsuspected 
category that irresistibly proclaims her impersonation to be 
the most powerful of all.* 

"Half hidden beneath the black veil, with difficulty 
supported by two veiled sisters, Julia glides, like a spirit, 
across the stage ; advancing, with faltering step, in the 
funeral-procession of the Vestals, like a shadow from the 
depths below. It is but a memory of life that moves in 
the procession there ; the horror of death holds her already 
in its freezing thrall. The sound of her voice trembles in 
ghostly whispers upon her lips. Over her pallid face flits, 
from time to time, a faint smile of love, like a dying sun- 
beam — a dream of the long-since- vanished past. How can 
one hope to paint, in words, a picture so incomprehensible ? 
As we said above, the soul itself doubts the testimony of 
the living eye. And it could not be otherwise ; for here 
Art works her miracles in the truest acceptation of the 
words. May we be forgiven if we defer all farther remarks 
to a future opportunity ? " f 

* The third act of La Vestale presents a difficulty which few, even of 
the greatest artists, can entirely overcome. The true catastrophe of the 
drama is represented by the ghastly procession to the living tomb, so 
powerfully described by Herr Kellstab in his next paragraph. The 
happy denouement which follows forms an anti-cUmax quite out of har- 
mony with the tragic complexion of the story, and Spontini leaves the 
heroine to create for herself the opportunity needed for the adequate 
expression of the joy she feels at her deUverance. When Herr Kellstab 
told his readers that the mterest of Mdlle. Lind's ideal culminated in the 
third act he gave her the highest praise that it lay in his power to 
b«8t<Av. It ought to culminate there — but how consummate the power 
of the actress who can make it do so ! 

t K(jJ. priu. Berlinische Zeitung. (Jan. 2, 1846.) See also, * Oesam- 
ineJte Schri/ten von Ludwig Helhtah* (Leipzig, 1861, tom. xx. pp. 

1846.] DIE VESTALIN. 343 

We cannot but regard this eloquent panegyric as the 
most just as well as the most important expression of 
critical opinion that we have as yet had occasion to tran- 
scribe from the journals of this eventful epoch in Mdlle. 
Linds artistic career. For Herr Eellstab was clearly 
writing under the influence of an almost irresistible pre- 
dilection in favour of earlier interpretations of the r6le of 
"Julia/* by German artists of the highest rank — one may 
almost say under the shadow of a foregone conclusion, 
against which nothing short of the conviction forced upon 
a thoroughly honest, though at the moment strongly 
prejudiced mind, by artistic power of the highest order, 
could ever have prevailed. That it did so prevail, in spite 
of such self-confessed resistance, adds infinite value to the 
final conquest, and the frankness with which Herr Sellstab 
proclaims his unqualified conversion does equal honour to his 
criticism and its subject.* 

Those who were familiar with Mdlle. lind's ideal concep- 
tions of the great operatic roles she interpreted, when at the 
zenith of her fame, will find no difficulty in understanding 
Herr Eellstab's disappointment at the effect she produced in 
the first act. It was her invariable custom to reserve her 
great effects, with true artistic self-abnegation, for certain 
points which the unerring instinct of her genius indicated as 
the fittest for the introduction of a logical climax, and to tlie 
power and perfection of such a climax she imhesitatingly 
sacrificed an indefinite number of those min'br effects upon 
which too many artists gifted with less creative power are 
only too ready to seize for the purpose of securing a passing 
triumph at the expense of the logical whole. It is true that 
at some of her first appearances before an entirely new 

* Mr. Chorley, who heard Mdlle. Lind, in BU VestcUin at Frankfort 
expressed his opinion of the performance in terms which entirely agree 
with Herr Rellstab's verdict 

344 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. xvii. 

audience she has been known to secure its sympathy by the 
very first phrase she delivered ; but it was the artistic 
delivery alone that produced this magical effect. Her 
dramatic power she kept always in reserve, with a reticence 
which none but the greatest artists are ever known to 
exercise, for the predetermined situations in which she felt 
that it could be successfully exhibited with logical con- 
sistency and deepest reverence for dramatic truth. And 
Herr Eellstab's conversion only proves how just was his 
judgment on this point with regard to Spontini's master- 

The particular performance of Die Vestalin criticised by 
Herr Eellstab took place on the 30th of December. The 
Opera was given on two other occasions only during the 
season, in consequence of the illness of several members of 
the powerful cast.* 

* For the dates of the performances, see p. 367. 


1846.] ( 345 ) 



We have more than once had occasion to speak of MdUe. 
Lind's intimacy with Hans Christian Andersen, whom, in 
accordance with the old-world Scandinavian usage, she was 
accustomed to address as her " brother." 

Andersen spent the closing weeks of the year 1845 and 
the beginning of 1846 at Berlin; and, in his well-known 
autobiography, thus speaks of his Christmas festival : — 

''Amidst all this festive excitement, this amiable and 
zealous interest in my behalf, one evening, and one only, 
was unoccupied, on which I suddenly felt the power of 
loneliness, in its most oppressive form — Christmas Eve, the 
exact evening on which I always feel most festive, feel 
so glad to stand beside a Christmas-tree, enjoy so much 
the happiness of the children, and love to see the elders 
become children again. I heard afterwards that, in each 
one of the family circles in which 1 had truly been received 
as a relative, it had been supposed that I was already en- 
gaged elsewhere: but, in reality, I sat quite alone in my 
room at the hotel and thought of home. I sat at the open 
window and looked up at the stax-bespangled heavens. 
That was the Christmas-tree that had been lighted up for me. 
' Father in heaven ! * I prayed, as the children pray, ' what 
wilt Thou give me ? ' 

"When my friends heard of my lonely Christmas feast, 
they lighted up many Christmas-trees for me on following 
evenings, and on the last evening in the year a little tree, 
with lights and pretty presents, was prepared for me alone — 
and that by Jenny Lind The entire circle comprised herself 

346 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cm. xvm. 

her companion * and me. We three children of the North 
met together, on that Sylvester-evening, and I was the child 
for whom the Christmas-tree had been lighted up. With 
sisterly feeling, she rejoiced over my success in Berlin, and 
I felt almost vain of the sympathy of so pure, so womanly a 
being. Her praises were sounded everywhere, the praises, 
not of the artist only but of the woman. The two united 
awoke for her a true enthusiasm." f 

And this homely little meeting, so touching in its child- 
like innocence — this pleasant and unrestrained intercourse 
between two pure honest-hearted souls, gifted, each in their 
measure, with the fire of genius — ^took place on the evening 
after Mdlle. Lind's splendid triumph on the first night of Die 
VestcUin ! 

The talented Dane tells another amusing little story con- 
nected with Mdlle. land's performances at the Opera at this 

" One morning," he says, " as I looked out of my window, 
Unter den Linden, I saw, half hidden under the trees, a 
man, very poorly clad, who took a comb from his pocket, 
arranged his hair, smoothed his neck-tie, and dusted his coat 
with his hand. (I well know the shrinking poverty that 
feels oppressed by its shabby clothes.) A moment afterwards 
there was a knock at my door, and the man entered. It was 
the Nature-Poet, B * * * * *, who, though only a poor tailor, 
has the true poetical inspiration. Rellstab and others in 
Berlin have mentioned him with honour. There is some- 
thing healthy in his poems, among which some breathe a 
true religious spirit. He had heard that I was in Berlin and 
had come to visit me. We sat side by side on the sofa, and 
his conversation betokened a contentedness so amiable, a 
spirit so pure and unsullied, that it truly grieved me that I 
was not rich enough to do something for him. I was ashamed 
to offer the little that lay in my power ; but, in any case, I was 
anxious to put it in an acceptable form. I asked him, there- 
fore, whether I might venture to inWte him to hear Jenny 

* Mdlle. Louise Johansson. 

t * Das Mdrchen meines Lehem^ von H, C. Andersen, (Leipzig, 1880, 
pp. 206-207.) 

1846.] AT WEIMAR. 347 

Lind. ' I have already heard her/ he said, smiling. ' I 
could not afford to buy a ticket ; so I went to the man who 
provides the " supers " and asked him if I could not go on 
as a " super " one evening in Norma, To tliis he agreed. 
So I was dressed up as a Eoman soldier, with a long sword 
at my side, and in that guise appeared upon the stage ; and 
I heard her better than any one else, for I stood close beside 
her. Ah ! how she sang ! and how she acted ! I could not 
stand it : it made me weep. But they were furious at that. 
The manager forbade it, and would never permit me to set 
foot upon the stage again — ^for one must not weep upon the 

Soon after this Andersen took leave of his friends in 
Berlin and proceeded to Weimar on a visit to the Here- 
ditary Grand Duke, with whom he was on terms of the 
most affectionate intimacy. And here, again, he spent some 
happy days in the company of MdUe. Lind, who had also 
been invited to Weimar, and sang there on five evenings, 
three of which were occupied by Court Concerts and two by 
performances of Norma and La Sonnambula at the Court 
Theatre.t Here, as in Berlin, her performstnces produced the 
most profound sensation. The Grand Duke and the various 
members of his Eoyal Highness's family received her with 
demonstrations of the warmest welcome. In company with 
Andersen and his friends, the Chancellor Muller, the Court 
Chamberlain Beaulieu, and the Court Secretary SchoU, she 
visited some of the most interesting places in the neighbour- 
hood, and more especially those consecrated by memories of 
Goethe and Schiller. 

On the 29th of January — ^two days after her last perform- 
ance at Court — the Chancellor Muller escorted her, in com- 
pany with Andersen, to the Ftirstengruft — the burial-vault 

* ' Das Marclien meines Lehens,^ von H, C. Andersen, (Leipzig, 1880, 
pp. 207, 208). 

t llie dates were : Jan. 23, Court Concert ; Jan. 24, Nor ma, at the 
Court Theatre; Jan. 25, Court Matinee; Jan. 26, La SomnambtUa, at 
the Court Theatre ; Jan. 27, Court Concert, at the llieatre. 

348 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xvni. 

in the Neue Kircliof, beyond the Frauenthor, in which for 
many generations past, the remains of the departed Grand 
Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and their families have 
been laid to rest — and there showed to the little party of 
friends the cofl&ns in which Goethe and Schiller now sleep 
their last long sleep * The dimly lighted burial-place, and 
the solemn associations connected with it, made a deep im- 
pression upon the friends ; and amidst its ghostly shadows 
the Austrian poet, Hermann Rollet, who accidentally met the 
little party in the vault, wrote a poem, which Andersen 
has printed in his autobiography, and the original MS. of 
which was carefully preserved by Mdlle. Lind among her 
mementos of the past. We subjoin the verses in the 
original German, which would be seriously weakened by any 
attempt at translation : — 

SRAn^nxofe, tie IDu ofhnoll 

m^ tntiUdt mit fttffem S)uft 
6a^ ^'\^ ranfen urn tie Charge 

3n ter IDif^terfOrflettgTttft. 

lint mit IDir an jetem Garge 

3n ter tottenfltaen ^aU* 
@al^ i(^ eine ff^mtr^t^udte, 

Xrdumenf(^e Slcu^tigalL 

lint xdf freute mxtfy im ^tittcn, 

9Bar in ticffter Sntfl entgucEt, 
^ea tie tunflen S)i(^tcrfdrge 

@pdt ncdf fo((^t 3aubeT f(^mu({t. 

lint tai IDuftcn tciner dtcU 

SBcgtc tuUfy tie XotUnffaW 
Snit ter 2Bc^mut^ ter in Zvaua 

Ctummgctport'nen SRaf^tigaU-t 

* The lato Grand-Duke, Carl Augustus, the father of Hans C.Andersen's 
friend, Carl Alexander, the heir-apparent, and the devoted admirer and 
intimate friend of the two great Poets, gave orders that their cofi&ns should 
be placed on either side of his own ; but as this arrangement was found 
to be inconsistent with Court etiquette, they now stand, close together, in 
another part of the vault. 

t * Bos Afdrchen meines Lehens;^ von Hans Christian Andersen. 
(Leipzig, 1880, page 211.) See also, * Uans Christian Audersens Brief- 
wtchsel ; * heraitsgegeben von Emil Jonas, (Leipzig, 1887, page 29.) 


*■»£■] AT WEIMAR. 349 

line. it to the funeral-vault nffected Mdlle. Lind verj" 

.ud she was evidently glad to relieve the sad im- 
by more cheerful thoughts. In a letter to Madame 
- '-iffer, ahe wrote : — 

Weimur, Jan. 27, 1846. 
ve jast come out of the vault in which Goethe and 
I- lie entombed, and my whole heart is impressed and 

Friday afternoon I am going to Leipzig, where I have 
iiost kindly invited to the Mcndelssohns, for the 
"g, and on Saturday I return to Berlin." • 

. her performances at the Opera at Berlin were Qaatrolkn 

, and therefore subject to no iron rule with regard to 

.dc dates, she enjoyed much greater freedom, in the 

vter of "leave of absence," than ahe could have hoped 

liad ahe formed one of the regular staff of the com- 

/. Thus privil^ed, she was able without difficulty to 

«end her little holiday some days beyond the time occupied 

■ her engagements at Weimar, as we learn from the fol- 

•ving letter, written in German, to Madame Wichmann : — 

^ _ " Weimar, 27 Jbdubij, 1846. 


" Yes ! if I might only continue in my mother-tongue 
— then would my beloved Frau Professorin have the cliancc 
of receiving a fairly nice letter. But, in German ! Ah ! % 

" Weimar is but a little place, but it is very interesting. 
However, I will not tell you all about that, but will work it 
oat in Berlin. 

"I remain here until Thursday § morning, when I go to 
—Jlrfurt, to aing; at a concert there. From thence I go on, on 
^"riday, to Lei[^2ig, ^■liere I stay for the niyht ; and you can 

e tho first cif bcr long 

350 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xviii. 

well understand, my gracious Professorin, from what source 
my kind invitation comes : * can you not guess ? and on 
Saturday we come, by the first train, to Berlin. 

" Your grateful and sincerely devoted, 

" Jenny Lind." t 

The memory of this pleasant holiday — for it really was a 
holiday, though not a time of idleness — was very dear to 
her. Soon after her return to Berlin she wrote thus to 
her friend Hans C. Andersen : — 

** Berlin, February 19, 1846. 

" My dear good Brotheb ! 

" Thanks for our last meeting. I did so enjoy it ! Do 
you agree with me that we have scarcely ever before spent 
a more charming pleasant time together ? 

" I thank you, ever so much, for your beautiful letter. I 
had a good cry over reading it4 

" Yes, yes ! (Jennany is a glorious country. I certainly do 
not long for any other except the very best — the last one. 

'* Oh ! how I have wept over your story about the Grand 
Duchess and her little sweep ! How lovely it is ! 

" In the meantime I am perfectly enchanted with her — 
and with the young Grand Duke and his wife also. 
Dear Andersen, when you ^v^ite to our high-bom friend, tell 
him — if you mention me § — that, as long as I live, I shall 
remember those few days I spent in Weimar. I can con- 
scientiously say that I have nowhere else, as yet, found such 
peace of mind and true joy ; and yet I have been treated 
everywhere in the most friendly way. I love these high- 

* The in\atation came from Dr. and Madame Mendelssohn. 

t From the letters to Frau Wichmann. 

X This letter does not appear to have been preserved. 

§ Anderson had already mentioned Mdlle. Lind and described the visit 
to the Fiirstengruft in a letter to his friend, the young Grand Duke, 
written from Leipzig, on the 14th of February — five days before the date 
of Mdlle. Lind's letter to himself — and enclosing a copy of Rollet's Poem ; 
and he afterwards sent the Duke a copy of that portion of her letter 
which referred to her reception at the Court of Weimar, although it 
was clearly intended for no other eye than his own. See * H. C. 
Andersen s Brief wechsel ;^ herausgegehen von Emil Jonas, (Leipzig, 1887, 
pages 28-29.) 

1846.] AT WEIMAR. 351 

bom personages ; and, just as you say, Brother, not for the 
stars and the diamonds they wear, but for their true and 
loyal hearts. I get quite enthusiastic when I think of these 
two people. May God preserve them and theii*s ! 

" My friends, the Arnemanns, from Altona,* have been 
here. They left yesterday. I wonder when we two shall 
meet again ? 

" I have now quite decided upon going to Vienna. Are 
you not going there, Andersen? I suppose you go on to 
Italy direct ? 

" Do you know, Andersen, I appreciate your friend Beau- 
lieu very highly indeed. I have really begun to feel a great 
friendsMp for him. Give him my kindest regards when you 

" And now, adieu ! I must start for the Theatre presently, 
to sing in Das Fddlager in Schlesien.^ God be with you ! 
Do not forget your sister. I shall remain here until the end 
of March. After that letters will find me at Vienna, from 
the middle of April until the middle of May. Write, either 
Foste restantCy or care of Herr Pokomy — the manager of the 

"May the blessing of God go with you! then you will 
have enough ! 

" I remain, 

" Your true sister, 

" Jenny." 

She was by this time once more hard at work in 
the dizzy whirl of the Berlin winter season. She had 
reappeared, after her return from Weimar, on the 3rd of 
February, in Das Fddlager in ScMesien ; and, since then, had 
been singing regularly twice a week, though on no fixed days, 
in the above-mentioned Opera and in Die Vestalin, Der Frei- 
sckiUz, and La Sonnambida. But in the meantime her pro- 
mised appearance in a new and very important pait was 
anxiously awaited by the art-loving public. 

* See page 299. 

t For the third time during this season. 

X 7.0. the Theater an der Wien, at which she was engaged to sing, in 

352 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xix. 



The next — and last — new part in which Mdlle. Lind made 
her appearance, at Berlin during the eventful winter of 
1845-1846 was that of " Valentine," in Meyerbeer's Opera 
Les JSugiienots — or, as it was called in German, Die Hv^c- 

To the uninitiated, it may seem strange that, taking into 
consideration Meyerbeer's all-powerful position and great 
popularity in Berlin at this period. Das Feldlager in Schlcsi^n 
should have been the only one of his Operas put upon the 
Stage, with a Singer for whose talent he entertained so 
sincere an admiration in the principal part, until within a 
few weeks of the close of the season. But the position will 
not be thought at all strange by those who know how 
severely punctilious Meyerbeer was, not only with regard to 
the principal parts, but with all that concerned the perfection 
of every minutest detail of his works. It was not enough 
for liim that the jyrima donna should be an artist of un- 
approachable excellence. If all the other parts, great and 
small, were not represented to his entire satisfaction he 
would not allow the piece to be put upon the Stage at all. 
Moreover, his independent position gave him advantages 
which few other modern composers have enjoyed in an equal 
degree ; and the consequence was that, when he directed his 
own Operas, they were brought out with a perfection of detail 


184G.] LES HUGUENOTS. 353 

comparable only with that insisted upon, some years earlier, 
by Spontini. 

The demands upon the personnel of the opera-staff in Les 
Hugvsnots are very heavy. The part of " Queen Marguerite 
of Navarre " is not written for a seconda donna, but a second 
prima donna — a Soprani leggieroj as opposed to the Soprano 
dramatico of "Valentine." That of ''Urbain," the page, 
needs a Mezzo-soprano of high capability. The Tenor — 
Raoul de Nangis," and the two Baritoni — *' Marcel," and 
Saint Bris " — need representatives of the highest rank. 
And in face of these demands we can scarely wonder 
that a man so hard to satisfy as Meyerbeer was not too 
ready to place his second great master-piece upon the 

It must be supposed, however, that he was satisfied at 
last, for on the 26 th of February Die Hugcnotten was 
announced for representation, with Mdlle. Lind, as we have 
said, in the part of " Valentine " ; and the performance was 
thus criticised in the journal from which we have so 
frequently and so freely quoted : — 

" Our great Artist- visitor, Jenny Lind, has evolved from 
the character of ' Valentine,' in Die Hugenotte7i — a part as 
rich in dramatic and musical expression — a dramatic creation 
which, in noble individuality, occupies quite as high a 
position in the domain of Lyric Tragedy as the earlier roles 
in which the artist enchained us with such irresistible power. 

" We do not hesitate to say — as it is more than ever our 
duty to do, in the case of an artist of such acknowledged 
worth — that the first part of her performance, especially when 
she was in the presence of the Queen, did not produce an al- 
together agreeable impression upon us. However many various 
characters may be in sympathy with her individuality, she 
seemed unwilling to identify herself with that of the Court- 
lady. And, for us, this impression was heightened by the 
style of the dress she wore, though we admit that our refer- 
ence to this savours of relapse into dilettantism. 

" So far as the Actress was concerned, the role began with 

VOL. L 2 A 

354 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xix. 

the third act,* when she emerges from the natural forms of 
life to plunge into the depths of the inner world with all its 
profoundest impressions. Here she reached the highest and 
most excellent point of all — the glorious virginal purity 
which lighted up the tender romance of the character 
throughout the whole of its development. At each fresh 
entrance of the artist we debated within ourselves whether 
the praise should be awarded to the Singer or to the Actress. 
The two were often so completely melted into one that it 
became impossible to separate them. 

" Before the time of Jenny Lind, the grandest reading of 
the part was decidedly that of Wilhelmina Schroeder- 
Devrient. She threw more brilliant lights upon it and 
invested certain passages with a more satisfactory colour- 
ing; as, for instance, at the well-known words, *Ich bin ein 
Mddchen das ihn liebt,' &c. And yet the shrinking breath 
with which our artist lightly veiled this expression cast a 
more delicate fragrance over the deep inward glow, and 
imparted to it a charm wholly its own. 

"A similar idea — if we care to continue the parallel — 
pervades the conception of the passage, * Ich Uammrc mich 
an Dich* in the fourth act. Jenny Lind undoubtedly 
clothed this with a more spiritual expression. She scarcely 
dared breathe it to her lover, whereas her great predecessor 
gave way to a rush of passion and sensualised the glowing 
confession with ravishing violence of gesture. 

" But, as was only to be expected of an Artist so rich in 
creative power, Jenny Lind also struck out for herself an 
altogether original conception of the impersonation, im- 
pressed it in the most marked manner upon the character, 

* Kellstab repeats this opinion, in a later critique on l^ladame Viardot'ft 
appearance in the part of " Valentine," in 1847, and there finds the same 
fault with Madame Vianlot that he here finds with Mdlle. Lind, but 
with the saving clause that, in both cases, the fault is inherent in the 
part and must not be laid to the account of the perfonner (See the 
* Gesammelte Schri/ten von Ludwig lielhtab ;"* Leipzig, 1861, tome xx. 
p. 403.) The truth is, that it is not until the opening of the Third Act 
that the part of "Valentine " becomes an imix>rtant one. The scenes in 
which she previously appears ofi*er no opportunity for the introduction of 
marked efiects. We have already had occasion to direct our readers' 
attention to the jealous reticence with which Mdlle. Lind was accustomed 
to keep back her greatest effects imtil the pro|)er moment arrived for 
their introduction. 

1846.] LES HUGUENOTS. 355 

and filled us with astonishment at the rich variety of her 
resources. Her third act was a touching prayer to her 
bitter fate; her fourth, a mighty battle waged against it; 
her fifth, a splendid victory over it. She sang the last 
scene under truest inspiration of faith. 

" If we would trace the course of these complications of the 
character through single passages, the choice, amidst so 
great a wealth of impressions, overwhelms us with difficulty. 
Turning back to the duet with Marcel, we remember the 
charm of its sadness ; the trembling whisper with which it 
opens ; the ever-increasing warmth of its tones and passages, 
as the certainty of love brings joy to her heart ; and, last of 
all, the fire of the vocalisation in the concluding divisions 
raising the conception to its loftiest climax. 

" In the fourth act, the silence of the Artist speaks almost 
more strongly to us than the outpouring of her soul in sound. 
Her acting, during the deliberation of the conspirators, 
her struggling resistance, her listening, her comprehension, 
her terror, her hope — her changes of position, which would 
have afforded a painter opportunities for a hundred different 
aspects of ever-varying expression — the living play of her 
motions, corroborating and contradicting each other so 
spiritually., with every scenic variation — this host of voiceless 
expressions bore the artist to the loftiest heights which make 
the history of her performance imperishable.* 

" Towards the close of the act the strained action of the 
eye is again exchanged for that of the ear, which the sweet 
earnestness of the tones, here dwelt upon and enhanced by 
the power of the composition, holds in sad and fettered 

" But through this night of fatal destiny certain dramatic 
gestures burst upon us like lightning- flashes of deepest 
significance. Such, for instance, as the inward terror mani- 
fested at the first boom of the tocsin, the ever-increasing 
dread as the delineation of the scene of blood approaches its 
climax, and at last the stunned fall upon the stage, with 
eyes now closed, now open with staring gaze, as the last 
power to resist this surfeit of horror and anxiety dies out ! 

" All these rich details, representing the sustained perse- 
verance of the battle waged by the noblest and purest of 
sentiments, against love and guilt and destiny, form a 

♦ During a great portion of this powerful scene, " Valentine's " back is 
turned to the audience. 

2 A 2 

356 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. m. 

dramatic whole, which, as we have already said, in no wise 
fell short of the loftiest heights the artist has reached as yet 
in her tragic greatness. 

** If the fifth act, when compared with the fourth, betokens 
some loss of power, in spite of the grand conception to one 
phase of which we have already alluded, the fault certainly 
does not lie with the performer, who here fulfils the whole 
intention of the drama, but is probably due, in part at least, 
to the fatigue of the hearer's overstrained attention.* 

" So much, then, for the present. 

"We have always found that the artist penetrates more 
and more deeply into the heart of her task at every repetition, 
and fulfils it with greater ease ,- we may therefore in this, as 
in other cases, look forward to even increased perfection. 
Yet we may almost ask, * What need of more ? ' in presence 
of this noblest wealth of treasures." f 

To sober-minded English readers the style of Herr 
Bellstab's critiques — and of this one especially — may seem 
high-flown and exaggerated. Moreover, as we have already 
had occasion to remark, Herr Bellstab was not only 
a critic, biit a romancist and a poet on his own account ; 
and he worked no less carefully at his critiques than 
at his other writings, for which reason a great number of 
his fugitive contributions to the Berlinische Zcitung are 
included in the complete edition of his works. % It 
must be admitted that the style of these reviews differs 
materially from that adopted in England at the present day ; 
but they are of great value to us, as records of a form of 
criticism now — in this country, at least — quite obsolete. 
Moreover, in so far as our present purpose is concerned, they 

* The last act of Les Huguenots, like that of La Vestcde, undoubtedly 
represeuts an unfortunate anti-climax, the weakness of which is increas^ 
by the firing of musketry, and other stage-expedients of common-place 

t Kgl, priv, Berlinische Zeitung. (Feb. 28, 1846.) 

X * GesammeUe Schri/ten von Ludwig Bellstab * (Leipzig, 1861) ; from 
the twentieth volume of which we have reprinted, among others, the 
critique on Die Vestalin, in Chapter XVII. 

1846.] LES HUGUENOTS. 357 

honestly reflect the feeling with which Mdlle. Lind's per- 
fonnances were listened to, at the time they were written, 
by the crowded audiences who flocked, night after night, to 
the Eoyal Opera-House to hear her. The performer concern- 
ing whom it was simply possible to write in a strain so 
exalted can have belonged to no common order in the 
Hierarchy of Art. And enough is known of the character 
of Herr Rellstab, and of his position in Berlin, to establish 
the certainty that he honestly meant every word he wrote. 

358 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xx. 



The first performance of Les Hv>guenots took place on Thurs- 
day the 26th of February, the second on Sunday the Ist 
of MarcL A third, announced for Friday, March the 6th, 
was prevented by a most unfortunate accident ; Mademoiselle 
Lind sprained her foot on the Thursday so seriously that 
for three weeks she was confined to the sofa. 

The kindest sympathy was shown to the sufferer after this 
painful misadventure, and Mendelssohn, who had been in- 
formed of the accident, endeavoured, on the 18th of March, 
to cheer her loneliness with a long and delightful letter, half 
grave, half gay, in which the serious and the playful were 
intermingled with an easy grace in which few adepts in the art 
of letter-writing have ever been able to rival him. 

We print this hitherto unpublished letter, in the belief that 
it cannot fail to prove generally interesting to the reader. 

" Leipzig, March 18, 1846. 

" My dear Fraulein, 

" The account that Taubert brought of the state of 
your health was not so encouraging as I could have wished ; * 
but as I used to like, on days such as these, to sit do\vn to 
the piano, and play to you, so now — since, unhappily, I can- 
not come to you in person — I come, at least in writing, and 
fancy to myself that I ask, in the entrance hall, whether I can 
speak with you, and am told — ' yes ' ; and Mademoiselle 

* Herr Taubert had come to Leipzig, a few days before this, for the 
purpose of playing at one of the Gewandhaus Concerts. 

1846.] AUF WIEDERSEHENl 359 

Louise opens the door for me, and I see in your hand one of 
the ten thousand pictures and engravings with which you are 
now surrounded, and then I sit down beside you and begin 
like this : — 

** Shall I tell you about Marie ? * 

" She talks to me, all day long, about Fraulein Lind, and 
how she was so kind to her ; and when I went to the children, 
yesterday, in the nursery, and found little fat Paul f practising 
his writing on a sheet of paper, I saw that he had written 
' dear Fraidein Lind ' over the whole page at least ten times. 
To-day he has finished a whole letter, and he made me 
promise that I would send it to you — I was absolutely 
obliged to promise it. Marie wanted to send her letter first, 
but I explained that one letter would be enough, and she was 
satisfied with signing it. Karl said he could not sign it as 
it was not his own letter. 

"A funny thing happened to us this evening. CecileJ 
said : * It is a long time since we have had any Swedish 
bread ; what a pity it is ! ' § I said, ' I will write to-day, and 
ask for some in your name.' Marie said, 'But Paul has 
already written to Fraulein Lind to-day.' I asked to see the 
letter — the beautiful scrawl I enclose — and as Paul came in 
at one door with his letter the servant brought in your 
present of Swedish bread at the other. 

" The children think of you daily and hourly, and their 
parents also. We long very much indeed to hear soon that 
you are better, and once more free from all the weariness that 
such a long imprisonment brings with it.|| May you soon 
send us, please God ! an account of your complete cure. 

"To-day we had a very pleasant rehearsal. Taubert 
conducted his symphony and made friends of the whole 
orchestra. To us, who are artists, must certainly be conceded 
one very delightful prerogative, in return for wliich we are 
willing to give up all other prerogatives whatever : viz. that 
in one short half-hour a host of strangers can be transformed 
into a host of good friends. That is a capital state of things, 
and many would like it, though it is given but to few. To 
my great joy, it was given very decidedly indeed to Taubert 

* Mendelssohn's eldest daughter. 

t Mendelssohn's second son. 

% Madame Mendelssohn. 

§ See foot-note, p. 122. 

II Le. the imprisonment caused by the sprained foot. 

360 • JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xx. 

to-day; and when he adds to this his playing of the 
Beethoven Concerto to-morrow he may build upon the Leip- 
zig Musicians on both sides.* 

" That which is called ' the Public ' is exactly the same 
here as elsewhere and everywhere; the simple 'PubUc,' 
assembled together for an instant, so fluctuating, so full of 
curiosity, so devoid of taste, so dependent upon the judgment 
of the musician — the so-called connoisseur. But against 
this we must set the great ' Public,' assembling together year 
after year, wiser and more just than connoisseur and musician, 
and judging so tnily ! and feeling so delicately ! 

" A grand new vocal composition by Grade was also re- 
hearsed, with full chorus, for performance next week. I 
hope it will turn out both poetical and beautiful The 
text is from Ossian ; and Fingal, with his warriors, and 
harps, and horns, and spirits, plays an important part in it. 
But Taubert will tell you aU this much better by word of 
mouth, t 

" We also sang to-day, ' Come cow, come calf,' % in such 
sort that it was worthy to have been described as a noble 
work of Art ! Taubert sings better than I ; but I pronounce 
Swedish better than he ! 

" You ask how things go with me. 

** On tlie days when I was so quiet in my room, ^v^iting 
music without interruption, and only going out from time to 
time for a walk in the fresh air, they went very well indeed 
with me — or, at least, I thought so. But, since the day 

• HeiT \V. Taubert's Symphony in F major was played at the Gewand- 
haus, under his own direction, on Thursday, March 19, 1846 ; and on 
the same evening he played Beethoven's Pianoforte Concerto in E flat. 
Op. 73. 

t Comala, a Dramatic Cantata, by Herr Niels W. Gade — the composi- 
tion alluded to in the text — was first produced at the Gewandhaus under 
the direction of the Composer on the 23rd of March, 1846, at a Concert 
given for the benefit of the poor, aud repeated on the 26th of the same 
month with great success. 

X A national melody, afterwards known, in England as the * Norw^ian 
Echo Song,' and in Germany as the * Norwegisches Schd/erlied,^ and 
sung by Mdlle. Lind in both countries with immense success. The 
original title was, * Kom kjyra ! kom kjyra mi ! ' It ended with a coda 
added by herself, and sung in imitation of an echo with an effect quite 
irresistible, and almost incredible, even to those who heard it {Sfe 
Appendix of Music.) 

1846.] AUF WIEDER8EEEN ! 361 

before yesterday, when I had more to do with the concert 
affairs and all sorts of correspondence connected with them, 
and things of that kind, to which I could only give half my 
attention because my own work lay so much nearer to my 
heart * — since then I have been a prey to such fatal excite- 
ment, and felt so miserably out of spirits, that, while every 
one says, * How well you look,' you would rather say, ' What 
is the matter with you ? ' 

*' Happily, however, this is the last week, for this year, 
during which I shall be concerned with these things ; and 
then I mean to work very hard, and after that I shall rejoice 
in the Bhine and the spring-time. 

"Yes; I rejoice in the thought of the Rhine and the 
Musical Festival,! and the real true spring — for, for many 
days past, I have been fearing that the winter would come 
back again, and that the spring would break off altogether, as 
in my old song in your book. % And farther on, I, like your- 
self, rejoice very much indeed in thinking of the time when 
I shall be able to put aside the duty of conducting music and 
promoting Institutions, and quit this so-called ' sphere of 
activity,* and have no other ' sphere of activity * to think of 
than a quire of blank music-paper, and no need to conduct 
anything that I do not care for, and when I shall be altogetlicr 
independent and free. It will, indeed, be a few years before 
this can take place, but I hope not more than that ; and in 
this we are very much alike. I believe, in good truth, that 
this is because we both have the love of Art so deeply 
implanted in our souls. 

" But, I am fancying that I have been sitting by your side 
quite long enough, and must now take my leave ; or else that 
it is Norma to-night, and that it has already chimed half-past 
three § — ^in short, I must say good-bye. 

" I hope I may soon hear that you are able to walk, run, 

* Mendelssohn was then actively engaged on the composition of Elijah, 

t The Lower Rhine Festival was to take place, on the 31st of May, 
1846, and following days, at Aix-la-Chapelle ; and it was arranged that 
Mdlle. Lind and Mendelssohn, who were both to take part in it, should 
meet at Frankfort in order that they might travel down the Bhine 

X In allusion to a MS. Song-book, written by Mendelssohn for Mdlle. 
Lind, as a Christmas present, in 1845, and illustrated with pencil drawings 
by himsell 

S Li those days the Opera began, at Berlin, at half-past six. 

362 JENNY LIND. [bk. nr. ch. xx. 

stand, jump, dance, play at billiards, sing at Ries's CJoncert, 
and play the parts of 'Proserpina' and 'Valentine/ and 
that you have become free of all farther inquiries. 

" Your friend, 

" Felix Mendelssohn Baetholdy." * 

Cheered by pleasant correspondence such as this, and still 
more pleasant intercourse with the choice circle of sympathe- 
tic friends who enjoyed the privilege of entrie to the charmed 
scdon in the Hasenheger Strasse, the three long weeks of 
dreary imprisonment passed more lightly than would other- 
wise have been expected. And they were enlivened too, from 
time to time, by another source of interest no less welcome 
and agreeabla Professor Wichmann seized upon this 
excellent opportunity for securing the " sittings " necessary 
for the modelling of a beautiful medallion-portrait of her 
in profile, designed upon a circular plaque fourteen inches 
in diameter, and eventually executed in white marble. 
It is a charming work of Art, regarded, by all who have 
seen it, as a valuable historical memorial, f 

When modelling this beautiful profile the Professor did 
not know that his guest was herself preparing a welcome 
surprise for the family in anticipation of his idea. 

Wishing to present her host and hostess with a grateful 
memorial of the happy time she had spent beneath their roof, 
she had commissioned Professor Magnus to paint her portrait, 
on a large scale, in order that she might present it to them 
before leaving Berlin. Professor Magnus had accepted the 
commission, and made some progress with the work, when the 
*' sittings " were interrupted by the accidental sprain, which 

* Translated from the autograph letter in the possession of Mr. Gold- 

t A representation of this medallion is impressed upon the binding of 
these volumes. 

1846.] AUF W1EDER8EHEN 1 363 

for a time rendered the needful visits to his studio impossible. 
As soon as these could be resumed, he proceeded with his 
work, and in process of time produced a portrait not only 
valuable as a striking likeness of the sitter but precious also 
as a work of Art which may be fairly accepted as a 
happy example of the best school of portrait-painting then 
existing in Germany. That Professor Magnus himself 
regarded it in that light is proved by the fact that, after it 
had been presented to Madame Wichmann, and treasured for 
fifteen years as a precious family possession, he consented, at 
the request of Mr. Goldschmidt, to execute an exact replicay 
forming so perfect a reproduction of the original picture, 
that the Professor himself found it necessary to attach a 
certain mark to it, in order that he might be able to dis- 
tinguish the copy from the original. By his desire, and 
that of the Prussian Government, this replica was exhibited, 
in 1862, in the Prussian Court of the Universal Exhibition 
at South Kensington, as the acknowledged representative 
of this Artist's style at his best period — and it fulfilled this 
intention perfectly and to the satisfaction of all concerned. 

The original picture remained in the Wichmann family 
until the year 1877, when the Professor's eldest son, Herr 
Herrmann Wichmann, to whom it had passed by inheritance 
after his mother's death in the previous year, consented to 
its removal, at the price of twelve thousand thalers, to the 
Berlin National Gallery, where, having now become national 
property, it is treasured as a valuable artistic and historical 
monument.* The sprain was healed, however, before the 
picture was finished. 

The public were perhaps more impatient at the duration 
of the imprisonment than the prisoner herself. But it came 
to an end at last ; and, after a term of enforced captivity 

* A copy of this forms the frontispiece to our present Yolume. 

364 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xx. 

lasting for twenty-four days, Mademoiselle Lind reappeared 
on the 29th of March in Norma, before an audience who 
welcomed her return to the Stage with every demonstration 
of uncontrollable enthusiasm — an index of public opinion 
which might indeed, by this time, have been expected as a 
matter of course every time she appeared. 

After this performance — the twenty-sixth in which she 
had taken part during the then current season — she appeared 
once more in Das Feldlager in Schlesien on the 31st of 
March ; and on Thursday, the 2nd of April — her own ' benefit- 
night ' — took leave of Berlin for the season. 

The house, we need scarcely say, was crowded to the 
roof, and the performance in the highest degree satisfactory. 
Herr Eellstab thus feelingly describes the moment of the final 
parting : — 

"The call before the curtain, which had already been 
anticipated at the end of the preceding Acts — the greetings 
represented by the wreaths thrown, in multitudes, by the 
hands of ladies — ladies too who well knew how to acknow- 
ledge worthily the noblest and the highest Art — all these 
demonstrations were renewed at the close of the performance, 
and with such increasing warmth as we have never before 
witnessed in our lives. The entire mass of the audience 
took part in the ofifering of applause : the profusion of flowers 
seemed inexhaustible. The curtain fell. But the summons 
before it was repeated, and the applause continued so long 
that the artist had no choice but to reappear ; yet no sooner 
had she again retired than she was yet again brought back 
by a newly repeated summons. 

" A burning wish seemed to inspire the multitude — that for 
one farewell word. The Artist who, from a sense of shyness, 
combined with the unaccustomed tones of the language, 
had always hitherto expressed her thanks by dumb yet 
telling motions, yielded at last to this well-understood 
though unspoken wish (for how could it be spoken amidst 
such a storm of applause ! ), and uttered, with deepest 
inward emotion, the simple and almost inarticulate words, 
' Ich danke Ihncn — ich wcrdc das in mcincm ganzen Lebtn 

1846.] AUF WIEDERSEHEN! 365 

nicM vergessen ! ' * And, like her Art, this expression of her 
thanks was a precious truth. 

" And again the call was shouted by thousands of voices, 
and yet once again she had no choice but to respond to it ; 
and then, at last, the audience was satisfied. 

"And now let us cast a glance backwards from this 
brilliant, touching, overpowering moment, upon that which 
the Artist has given to us during the course of the last few 

" In the first place ; after her first wonderful appearance 
among us, last year, she has returned with all the purity, all 
the hallowing through and from her Art, that, to us, represents 
the highest attribute of her personality. In all her triumphs 
she has lost nothing of the noblest quality that adorns her, 
and therein lies her priceless reward. But she has also 
gained much in another sense. She has returned to us de- 
veloped in many ways. She draws forth her creations from 
a deeper source. Much that was a charming bud has 
blossomed into a still more charming flower. There is not 
one of her impersonations, already known to us, that has not 
spread forth its branches to form a richer crown. To the old 
creations she has added new ones — the sweet wild-flower 
fragrance of her ' Agathe ' ; the wonderful picture of her 

* Vestal,' beautiful, even amidst the terrors of tlie grave ; 
the unapproachably rich painting of her grief and love 
in the tragic part of * Valentine.' Who shall say which of her 
Art-creations is the highest ? To scarcely any other Artist 
has it happened in the same degree as it has to her that the 
judgment of the public has differed so widely. Each one has 
chosen a role on his own account. The wavering extends 
from the gayest to those who listen only to grief and horror. 
We believe the secret lies in this, that she everywhere 
fulfils her task with the highest perfection of which it is 
susceptible. One sentiment, liowever, pervades all her Art- 
pictures — the spirit of holiness ; the transfiguration resulting 
from the purest reverence for Art, absolute freedom from all 
secondary objects and endeavours. And therein lies all, all 
that lends to her artistic representations that moral con- 
secration, which we once heard very beautifully described 
by a lady in the words — simple enough, yet full of esprit — 

* One becomes better through having seen her.' 

" And therefore it is that the Artist is everywhere spoken 

* " 1 thank you — never, in my whole life, shall I forget this 1 " 



[bK. IV. CH. XX. 

of with wonder as well as with the feeling of gratitude ; there- 
fore it is that she is accompanied by thousands and thousands 
of wishes that the most beautiful blessings of life may be added 
to the noblest gifts of Art that she possesses. Vacillating 
rumours whisper that she will soon vanish from the Stage 
and from us for ever ! May they prove false ! We can only 
express the hope, in which all will certainly join with us, 
that she may belong to Art so long as Art belongs to her, and 
that her desire to bring it back again to us may be measured 
by the certainty of her welcome." * 

And thus was the second winter season at Berlin brought 
to an end, with mutual regret and warmest good wishes on 
either sidaf 

* Kgl. priv, Berlinische Zeittmg, April 4, 1846. 

t Our accouDt of the Art-work of these two eventful seasons would be 
incomplete without a detailed list of the performances in which Mdlle. 
Lind took part; but, in order to avoid interrupting the course of our 
narrative, we have thought it best to supply this in the form of a note. 

FiBST Winter Season (1844-5). 

Dec. 15 (Sun.) Norma, 
„ 20 (Fri.) Nm-ma. 
„ 26 (Thur.) Norma, 


Jan. 5 (Sun.) Das Fddlager in 

10 (Fri.) Das Fddlager in 

14 (Tue.) Das Feldlager in 

19 (Sun.) Das Feldlager in 

21 (Tue.) Norma, 
23 (Thur.) Norma, 
28 Crue.) Norma, 
31 (Fri.) Norj,ia. 
Feb. 4 (Tue.) Das Feldlager in 

7 (Fri.) Euryanthe. 
9 (Sun.) Norma. 












Feb. 11 (Tue.) Euryanthe. 
14 (Fri.) Euryanthe. 
18 (Tue.) Die Naditwand- 

21 (Fri.) Die NacJitimnd- 

23 (Sun.) Euryanthe. 
Mar. 2 (Sun.) Die Nachtwand- 

4 (Tue.) Das Feldlager in 

7 (Fri.) Die Naditiuand" 

9 (Sun.) Die Nachtxvand- 
11 (Tue.) iVarrwa (for Mdlle. 
Lind's benefit). 

[In all, twenty-foiu- performances.] 

Nov. Soir^ at the Prin- 

cess of Prussia's. 
Dec 18 (Wed.) Court concert. 








Jan. 2 (Thur.) Court concert. 
Feb. 2 (Sun.) Court concert. 
„ 13 (Thur.) Concert of the 

Brothers Ganz. 
Mar. 10 (Mon.) Concert of Herr 

„ 13 (Thur.) Concert for BUnd 

Soldiers at the 

Second Wintbb Season 1845-6. 
Nov. 9 (Sun.) Norma. 
„ 13 (Thu.) N(yrma. 
„ 19 (Wed.) Don Juan. 
„ 21 (Fri.) Don Juan. 
„ 25 (Tue.) Don Juan. 
„ 30 (Sun.) Der Freischiitz. 
Dec 2 (Tue.) Der Freischiitz. 
[The visit to Leipzig.] 
„ 9 (Tue.) Don Juan. 
„ 12 (Fri.) Norma. 
„ 16 (Tue.) Der Freischiitz. 
19 (Fri.) Die Nachtwand- 

23 (Tue.) Die Nachtivand- 
„ 30 (Tue.) Die Vestalin. 

Jan. 2 (Fri.) Die Vestalin. 

6 (Tue.) Die Nachtwand- 
11 (Sun.) Norma. 
15 (Thu.) Don Juan. 





Jan. 18 (Sun.) Das Feldlager in 

INorma and Die Nachtwandlerin 
at Weimar.] 

Feb. 3 (Tue.) Das Feldlager in 

„ 5 (Thu.) Die Vestalin. 
„ 10 (Tue.) Der Freischiitz. 
„ 19 (Thu.) Das Feldlager in 

„ 24 (Tue.) Die Nachtwand- 
„ 26 (Thu.) Die HugenotUn. 
Mar. 1 (Sun.) Die Eugenotten. 
(The Sprained ankle.) 
„ 29 (Sun.) Norma. 
„ 31 (Tue.) Das Feldlager in 

Apr. 2 (Thu.) Die Nachtwand- 
(For Mademoiselle Lind's Benefit.) 
[In all, twenty-eight performances.] 



Six Court Concerts. 

Dec. 13. (Sat.) Concert (Swedish) 
of Herr Musik-direktor 

Mar. 2 (Mon.) Concert given by 
Mdlle. Lind for some 
poor families. 
», 28 (Sat.) A grand concert. 






VOL. 1. 2 B 




( 371 ) 



The engagement at Vienna, vaguely alluded to in the letter 
to Madame Erikson, and more decidedly, in that to Herr 
Josephson, was now finally arranged, and on the eve of fulfil- 
ment. The terms of this contract — five hundred gulden* 
each, for five performances, with an extra benefit night — 
had been carefully discussed, and gladly accepted, by Herr 
Franz Pokomy, the then manager of the Theater an der 
Wien, during the latter part of Mdlle. Lindas stay at Berlin ; 
and, as soon as she could conveniently do so, after the 
exciting scene at the Eoyal Opera-House on the evening 
of her benefit, she took leave of her kind host and hostess, 
and started, with her companion, Mdlle. Louise Johansson, 
for Vienna, via Leipzig, in which last-named town she had 
been invited to spend a few days, as the guest of Herr 
Heinrich Brockhaus, and had also decided upon giving a 
concert, at the Gewandhaus, on her own account. 

On the 8th of April, 1846, Herr Brockhaus wrote in his 
diary: — 

" At home, I found all well, and in high good humour with 
an amiable visitor — Fraulein Lind — who, early this morning, 
fulfilled a long-standing promise to stay with us. 
•* *' I was heartily pleased to see, once more, the amiable and 

* Equal to about fifty pounds, in English money. The terms for the 
" benefit " were to be, half the receipts, after payment of the evening's 

2 B 2 

372 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. l 

unafifected girl, whose natural simplicity is so beautifully 
united to the greatness of the Artist She was sociable and 
cheerful throughout the evening, which was still farther 
enlivened by the presence of Mendelssohn." 

In a farther entry, on the 9th of April, Herr Brockhaus 
continues : — 

" Unhappily, Fraulein Lind can stay no longer with us, as 
she has met with her friend from Hamburg, with whom she 
had made an appointment. 

" We lunched with her, at Mendelssohn's, where I also met 
Dr. Emanuel Geibel, whom I had previously seen in Berlin. 
One must like the girl from the very bottom of one's heart. 
She has such a noble and beautiful nature. And yet, she 
does not feel happy. I am convinced that she would gladly 
exchange all her triumphs, for simple homely happiness. She 
sees that, in Mendelssohn's house, where the wife and 
children make his happiness complete." * 

The "friend from Hamburg," by whose arrival Herr 
Brockhaus's arrangements were thus imfortunately inter- 
rupted, was Madame Amemann. Mdlle. Lind had stayed in 
this lady's house at Nienstadten, near Altona, in the autumn 
of 1845 ; and had promised to travel with her as far as 
Carlsbad, on her way to Vienna. She had now come to 
Leipzig, for the purpose of putting her long-cherished 
design into execution ; and the visit to the Brockhaus 
family was necessarily shortened, in conformity with the 
earlier arrangement. 

But this change of plan did not prevent the welcome visitor 
from thoroughly enjoying her brief stay in Leipzig, or from 
happy intercourse with her most valued friends there. 
Among other incidents connected with this memorable visit, 
the domestic happiness of Mendelssohn, whose devotion to 
his wife and family were no less remarkable than his artistic 

♦ ^ Au8 den Tagehuchem von Eeinrich Brockhaus,* Band ii. s. 100. 
^Leipzig, 1884.) See p. 326, et seq. 


talent, made a deep impression upon her. She had been 
equally impressed, at Berlin, by the charming pictures of 
home life daily presented to her in the family circle at 
Professor Wichmann's. Of such a life her own early ex- 
perience had taught her nothing. As a child, at home, she 
had never been truly understood; and, in consequence of 
this, had suffered cruelly from want of sympathy and 
domestic happiness. Who can wonder, then, at the emotion 
she felt, when witnessing, in other families, the peaceful 
eflfect of social relations to which her own childhood had been 
an utter stranger ? She alludes to this, in touching terms, in 
a letter, written about this time, to Madame Wichmann : — 

Leipzig, AprU (8 ? ♦), 1846. 

''Dearly beloved Amalia, — 

" God bless you all, and give you, some day, tenfold 
the good that you have given me ! For, Amalia, I have felt, 
for the first time in my life, as if I had tasted the blessedness 
of home. 

*' What can I say more ? All the rest, you can imagine 
for yourself. This only will I confide to you, that, if I had 
not before me the prospect of soon seeing you again, it would 
go very sadly indeed with me ; for my heart now clings to 
you so that nothing else can satisfy me. 

" I am staying with the Brockhauses, and they are all so 
kind and friendly. 

« Yours, 

" Jenny." t 

In the meanwhile, the necessary arrangements for the 
forthcoming concert had been satisfactorily completed, under 
the superintendence of Mendelssohn himself. The perform- 
ance was fixed for Sunday, the 12th of April ; and, as there 
was to be no orchestra, Mendelssohn had undertaken to 

* The day of the month is not given ; but, the letter must have been 
written on the 8th or 9th of April, since Mdlle. Lind left Herr Brockhaus's 
house on the morning of the last-named day. 

t From the Wichmann collection. 

3T4 JESST USD. Isx. t. ch. i. 

^ presi'ie a: tLe punofoiter as well as to p>IaT ai least one 
solou His frif-nd. Heir Ferimasd David, had also promised 
U> contrf bote a solo on the riolin ; an^i, when these details 
had been £ziallT decided upon, the following progiamnie was 
issued to the pnblic : — 

Sccnta^ desi 12 A^cil, 1S4^ 
izi Saajc des 

Tca Fiialem 

SfmaU TOQ L. r. Bccthoren, G d^zr, T «a e u a j e u ¥«oci den Herren G. 3L D. 

Fciix Mexidelmim Btftkckd j iix>i C ^ Darid. 
Arte aas Sioie^ Toa FkizjI, sesoztgai tc'Q Friakiii ^ *"^ 
•Scp^, fur die Violi^e, oociicioin nikd Tcrgetngen tou Hefm C 3L Darid. 
^rif * aus Ikm J man, rcn Mocart, gesungen rcn Friolein LximL 

ZvEiTER Theil. 
SoitoU^ in Cis dou, f ^oo BeethoTezi, Torgetngen too Herm Dr. 

Oivaiin^ 1T3 Euryanihe (Glocklein im TL^le), und Cara/i'Atf aci dem 
Fmtchuiz (* Ucd ob die Wolkc sie veriiuile') Toa C. M. Tcn Weber, 
zesunz^Ti Ton Fra-ilein Lind. 

/.»^</ oAiitf Wr/rtr, C'-ni:<;n:rt 'ind vorj:e:ra;:cn von Herm Dr. Mende'ssc-hn. 

Li^^, g€*ingen Ton Frailein Lind. 

No sooner did this announcement make its appearance 
in the Lclpzigtr TagdJatt, than the usual rush for tickets 
l-»egan, with a \'igorous onslaught which exhausted the 
s apply in the course of a few hours. The most ardent 
music-lovers in the town lost not a moment in their en- 
deavours to secure the best places. It s*x^n became evident 
tliat, had the room been even much lar.]:er than it reallv 
was, it could easily have been filled, over and over again. 

• ( 

Ueber alles bleil^st tiu theuer.' (* Xon mi dir.') 
t Now jjopuiarl y known as " The Mounlight Sonata " — a name which 
BeetlioTen never applied to it, and never heard. 


And it cannot be said that the excitement was extravagant, 
or unnatural ; for it would be difficult to recall to memory 
a concert, within the experience of the oldest musical 
critic now living, in which three such artists * united their 
forces for the production of so attractive a programme — 
an entertainment in which there was not one single 
weak point, one single piece falling short of the highest 
level that Art, in the department of " chamber music," could 

Madame Clara Schumann {nie Wieck), who was then 
residing in Dresden, came to Leipzig in the course of the 
afternoon, with the intention of taking a seat among the 
audience. On arriving at the railway-station, after her four 
hours' journey, she drove at once to Mendelssohn's house, 
for the purpose of paying him a visit. She found him a 
little anxious about his share in the duties of the evening, 
which was exceedingly onerous, since, beside his own solos, 
he had accepted the responsibility of accompanying every 
piece in the programme. Thus circumstanced, he begged 
Mfiidame Schumann to add to the interest of the performance 
by taking part in it herself. She was tired with her journey ; 
quite unprepared to play, and not even provided with a 
suitable toilette for the evening; but she unhesitatingly 
consented ; and Mendelssohn well knew that she would 
prove more than equal to the occasion, when the moment 
for the fulfilment of her promise arrived. 

Long before the appointed time, the room was crowded, 
to its remotest comer. The henefidaire sang— as she always 
did, when supported by Mendelssohn's matchless accompani- 
ment — her very best. Mendelssohn played Beethoven's 

* Though almost unheard in England, Heir Ferdinand David (for whom 
Mendelssohn had, not long before, composed his Violin Ck)ncerto in E) 
enjoyed, on the Continent, a reputation scarcely inferior to that of Spohr, 
and Ernst, in Germany, or Baillot, in Paris. 

376 JENNY LIND. [bk v. ch. i. 

* Sonata in CJf minor/ as no one but he could play it ; 
and, when the point in the programme was reached, at 
which he was expected to play his own * Lieder ohne WorU^ 
he came down to the place in which Madame Schumann 
was seated among the audience, and led her, in her 
travelling dress, to the piano. She was received with an 
ovation ; and played two of the ' Leider * — Nos. I. and IV.* in 
the Sixth Book — and a * scherzo ' of her own, with an effect 
which could scarcely have been surpassed. The performance 
concluded, in accordance with the previous announcement, 
with a selection of songs, by Mdlle. lind, accompanied by 
Mendelssohn, in his own inimitable manner; and the 
audience departed in raptures. 

Could those present have looked forward less than two 
short years into the future, how different would have been 
their feelings! Who could have believed that, even then, 
over the world-famous concert-room, which had witnessed 
so many of the most striking artistic triumphs of the 
period, the Angel of Death was hovering — that his dusky 
wing was, at that very moment, overshadowing the greatest 
musical genius of the age — that, in less than one year and 
seven months after that delightful evening, Felix Mendels- 
sohn Bartholdy himself was destined to be the recipient of 
his fatal message. 

Yet, so it was. 

We little thought that the concert which had given us 
such unclouded pleasure was fated to be the last but one at 
which Mendelssohn would play, in public, at the Gewandhaus ; 
or that the concluding symphony of Mdlle. Lind's last song 
would represent (with one exception) his last touch upon the 

* No. IV. is now commonly calUd, the Spinnlied; and, more vulgarly 
known by the ridiculous title of "1'he Bee's Wedding" — another instance 
of the application of sentimental uames^ unsanctioned by, and unknown 
to, the com|)oser. 


pianoforte, in the concert-room which, through his influence, 
had become so justly celebrated.* 

But, we must not anticipate the day of sadness. No one 
foresaw it, then ; and, though the audience at the Gewandhaus 
was so soon to bid its last farewell to the beloved composer 
who had so long represented its heart and soul, Mdlle. Lind 
enjoyed the privilege of his friendship for a full year and a 
half after this eventful evening.t 

* Mendelssolin's last performance in the Gewandhaus took place on the 
19th of July, 1846, when he played the pianoforte part of Beethoven's 
"Kreutzer Sonata" (Op. 47) with Ferdinand David. 

t Mendelssohn died on the 4th of November, 1847. The circum- 
stances above related, and still remembered by many, are corroborated by 
entries made in the writer's diary, at the time. 

378 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. n. 



In accordance with the arrangement previously made with 
Madame Amemann, Mdlle. lind left Leipzig, on the 13th of 
April — the day after the concert — and proceeded, first, to 
Carlsbad, where she remained until the 16th. She then took 
leave of her friend, and, accompanied by Mdlle. Louise 
Johansson, continued her journey to Prague ; remained there 
for one night, and started, the next morning, for Vienna, 
where she arrived on Saturday, April the 18th. 

In the meantime, accommodation had been prepared for 
her, at the house of Dr. Vivanot, a physician of some repute, 
who occupied a conveniently-situated residence in one of the 
principal streets of Vienna — Am Graben. 

The place was a convenient one, in every respect ; and here 
she remained en jjcimon, until the termination of her engage- 
ment for the season, perfectly satisfied with the arrangements 
made for her personal comfort, though, in its social aspect, 
her position in Vienna was far more trying than that which 
had awaited her on her first visit to Berlin in the autumn of 
1844. For, the influence of Meyerbeer was all-powerful in 
the Prussian capital ; and the introductions with which he was 
able to furnish her had undoubtedly done much towards 
ensuring her a favourable reception, both at Court, and in the 
best circles of Berlin society, before she had liad time to 
secure it for herself, either by her talent, or by the charm of 
her personal character — while, in Vienna, she knew no one, 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT VIENNA. 379 

and, except for the prestige of her artistic reputation, had no 
claim whatever upon the good-will of the people among 
whom she had come to reside. Her friends in the North of 
Germany felt this strongly ; and did their best to overcome 
the diflSculty. Madame Birch-Pfeififer wrote a letter to a 
friend in Vienna, which gives so true a delineation of her 
young friend's character that we need no apology for intro- 
ducing it in extenso : — 

" On Sunday," she says, " our Angel fled from us ; and 
to-day only have I brought myself to introduce her to you by 
this letter. 

" Jenny Lind, indeed, needs no introduction to a lady so 
truly artistic as yourself; and I only venture to give you a 
few sb'ght indications of her northern proclivities, which your 
own fine tact would easily have discovered without them. 

"She is reserved, and self-contained; pure, through and 
through, and sensitive to the last degree ; so strangely tender, 
that she is easily wounded, and thereupon becomes silent, 
and serious, when no reason for it is apparent — and I have 
long studied this marvellous character, and penetrated its pro- 
foundest depths. 

" A word will often quickly shut her up in herself ; and I 
tell you this, in order that you may see how you stand with 
her. When she suddenly becomes dumb to you, you may be 
certain that something has wounded her delicate sensibility. 
She is a true Mimosa, that closes itself at the lightest touch. 
Do not think, from this, that she is intolerable. She is, by 
nature, a truly lovable creature. True, in everything that she 
does. Do not suffer yourself to be misled, by her persistent 
silence, into thinking that she is sans esprit. She speaks 
little, and thinks deeply. She is full of perception, and the 
finest tact — a mixture of devotion, and energy, such as you 
have probably never before met with. 

'* Free, herself, from the slightest trace of coquetry, she 
regards all coquetry with horror. In short, she stands alone, 
of her kind, from head to foot. 

" I adjure you, tell all your coterie that Jenny must be 
brilliantly received ; otherwise, she will never forgive me for 
having persuaded her to perform in so large a theatre, for she 
fears that her voice will not fill it. She stands alone in 
modesty, as in everything else. 

380 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. n. 


" If you invite her to your house, and she does not sing 
when first you ask her, let it pass. Do not suffer any one to 
press her ; otherwise, it •is possible that she may not come 
again. This has often happened with her, here. She is 
passionately fond of dancing ; and cares but very little for 
the table. Nothing is more hateful to her than sitting long 
at dinner. 

"Here you have a little confidential description of her 
person. It is well that you should be forewarned ; for, every 
genius has her own peculiarities. 

" If you wish to make her really happy, invite her com- 
panion, Louise Johansson, to accompany her to your parties. 
She is an excellent girl, and Jenny looks upon her as a 

" Since she has left me, I have felt as if in my grave. I 
can listen to no singing now. You will soon understand 

No one who really knew Mdlle. Lind will fail to recognise 
the fidelity of this charming portrait ; so delicately drawn ; 
so truthfully delineated; so conscientiously describing, in 
every well-weighed word, the minutest traits of a character 
which needed so liberal a share of philosophical discernment 
for its successful analysis, and so deep an insight into the 
poetry of the human heart for its full and loving appreciation. 
Such a portrait could only have been drawn by one who had 
deeply and worthily studied the moving spirit by which a 
character so lovely had been dominated, through life ; and the 
truth of the picture is proved by the ready assent accorded tc 
it by all who had the privilege of knowing the original. 
That it helped to prepare the way for the cordial reception 
that awaited Mdlle. Lind in Vienna we cannot doubt ; and, in 
order that nothing might be left undone which could conduce 
to that most desirable end, Mendelssohn, on his part, fore- 
seeing that she might possibly need the assistance of an 
experienced adviser, should any unfortunate misunderstand- 
ing occur in her dealings with the strangers by whom she was 
surrounded, endeavoured to meet the difficulty, by providing 

1846.] THE DiBUT AT VIENNA. 381 

her, when she left Leipzig, with the following letter to his 
friend, Herr Franz Hauser : * — 

« Leipzig, April 12, 1846. 

Dear Friend, 

" These lines will reach you, through my friend, Jenny 
Lind ; and I beg you, as soon as you receive them, to call 
upon her, and to be as friendly and as useful to her as you 
possibly can during the time of her residence in Vienna. 
For, I take it for granted that it will be with you, as with 
me ; and that you will never be able to look upon her as a 
stranger, but as one of ourselves — a member of that invisible 
Church, t concerning which you write to me sometimes. She 
pulls at the same rope with all of us who are really in earnest 
about that ; thinks about it ; strives for it ; and, if all goes 
well with her in the world, it is as pleasant to me as if it 
went well with me : for it helps me, and all of us, so well on 
our road. And to you, as a singer, it must be especially 
delightful to meet, at last, with the union of such splendid 
talents, with such profound study, and such heartfelt enthu- 
siasm. But I will say no more. I only ask you to be friendly, 
and helpful to her, whenever, and wherever you can ; and to 
let her depend upon you ; and, when she sings for the first time, 
write to me, on the same day, and tell me how it all went off. 
"You are angry with me, I know, about the barbarous 
letter that I sent to you with the Antigone; but you must 
not be cross, for it was not so bad as you thought. And, 
send me these lines that I ask of you ; for it is from you that 
I particularly wish to hear about it. 

" For ever and ever yours, 

" Felix Mendelssohn BARTHOLDY."t 

* Franz Hauser was bom on the 12th of January, 1794 ; and was 
first known in Germany as a bass singer of exceptional talent. After 
having taught singing, in Vienna, for many years, with great success, he 
Mas appointed Director of the Gonservatorium in Munich, and held this 
important post from the year 1846 to 1864. 

t It must be remembered that Mendelssohn looked upon the worship 
of Art as a veritable religion; and endeavoured to impress that view 
upon all who were in familiar intercourse with him. 

t Translated from the original autograph, forming part of the valuable 
collection of letters in the possession of Herr Joseph Hauser, by whose kind 
permission we are enabled to present our readers with numerous extracts 
which, in future, will be acknowledged as " From the Hauser letters.'* 

382 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ii. 

By a strange fatality Herr Hauser's kind offices were 
needed, before Mdlle. Lind had even made her first appear- 
ance on the stage. 

The Theater an der Wien, at which she was engaged to 
sing for Herr Franz Pokorny, stood very nearly on the site 
of an older theatre, rich in historical memorials of a very 
brilliant period. Towards the close of the last century the 
original building was licensed, by Prince Starhemberg, to 
a restless manager and hot-headed Freemason, named 
Emmanuel Schickaneder, who, finding himself in difficulties, 
thought to repair his fortunes by producing an Opera, based 
upon a masonic libretto, and enriched with music by Mozart, 
who himself was a Freemason also. Mozart, who was gene- 
rosity incarnate, yielded to the entreaties of his unhappy 
* brother mason,* and produced for him, as an act of pure 
charity, his last great dramatic inspiration. Die Zavherflote, 
imposing, as Schickaneder could not pay for it, the condition 
that the score should not be allowed to pass out of his hands. 
Schickaneder accepted the gift ; but broke the conditions, by 
supplying, to every provincial manager who was able to pay 
him for it, a copy of the score. Mozart died, shortly after- 
wards, in cruel poverty. He never received anything for his 
latest masterpiece ; while the success of Die Zauherjldtc so 
enriched Schickaneder that, out of his ill-gained profits, he 
was able to build the present " Theater an der Wien," which, 
at the time of which we are now treating,* was the largest 
and handsomest theatre in Vienna. 

So large did it seem to the timid debutante — still timid, 
and distrustful as ever of her own powers, in spite of her 
triumphs at Berlin — that, when she entered it for the first 
time, in order to take her part in the rehearsal of Noi^na, she 
was appalled at the sight of its vast circumference ; felt con- 

* That is to say, before the splendid new Opera-Hoose was built« 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT VIENNA. 383 

vinced that her voice would prove insufficient to fill it ; and, 
under the influence of an utterly causeless terror, refused 
even to make the attempt. 

Herr Pokomy was in despair. He could not understand 
the lady's fears ; nor could she comprehend his remonstrances. 
Fortunately, he remembered having seen her in company 
with Herr Hauser, to whom he sent a hurried message, 
entreating him to come to the rescue, without the loss of a 
moment. By great good fortune, the messenger found Herr 
Hauser at home. He instantly responded to the appeal ; and 
reached the theatre while Mdlle. Lind was still standing on 
the stage, in an agony of nervousness and indecision. As it 
was impossible to discuss the question, in presence of the 
assembled artists, he led her to the " green-room," where he 
set the case so clearly before her, made her so plainly see that 
her fears would be misunderstood, and her position as an 
artist ruined, that the Viennese would treat the matter as a 
joke, and hold Herr Pokorny responsible for having befooled 
them, spoke, in short, so sensibly and so earnestly, that, with 
a great effort, she overcame her terror, returned to the stage, 
where Herr Pokorny was anxiously awaiting her decision, 
and at once took her part in the rehearsal, with every pro- 
spect of a successful dibut on the following evening. 

How right Herr Hauser was in his judgment she never 
forgot ; nor did Herr Pokorny ever forget the kindness of his 
intervention. During the whole remaining |)pition of the 
season, he reserved a box for Herr Hauser, at every perform- 
ance, even when the prices were at their highest, and 
applicants were sent away, in crowds, for want of room. And 
this was no small thing ; for never, within the memory of the 
Viennese, had such crowds assembled at the theatre, or such 
prices been demanded for admission. 

The paralysing fear with regard to the size of the house 
proved, we need scarcely say, entirely illusory. Mdlle. 

384 JENNY LIND, [bk. v. ch. u. 

land's voice was sonorous enough to have filled the largest 
theatre in Europe ; and the " Theater an der Wien/* spacious 
as it was, was far from being that. The scene, on the 
evening of the dehut — Wednesday, the 22nd of April, 1846 — 
was simply a replica of that which had taken place, in Berlin, 
on the 9th of November, in the previous year. The same 
Opera — Norma — was wisely chosen as the work best calcu- 
lated to produce a favourable effect upon the general public ; 
and the result proved all that could possibly be desired, not- 
withstanding the patent fact that a very unfair share of 
responsibility was thrown upon the debutante. For, except 
by Herr Staudigl, the representative of Oroveso, who was a 
host in himself, and Demoiselle Henriette Treflfz,* who sang 
the part of Adalgisa very charmingly, she was by no 
means worthily supported. Concerning the tenor, who took 
the part of Pollio — called " Sever," in the German version — 
the Wiener Mimk-Zeitung could find nothing better to 
say, than that " he sang no worse than usual." The chorus 
sang, not only without expression, but incorrectly ; and the 
orchestra fulfilled its functions very ineflBciently indeed. At 
any other time such faults as these would have been very 
heavily visited indeed upon the management of an Opera- 
House of such high repute as the Theater an der Wien ; but, 
in presence of Mdlle. Lind, all collateral shortcomings were 
not only forgiven, but forgotten — if even noticed at all ; and 
the success of the performance could scarcely have been 

After having entered so largely into detail, in our descrip- 
tion of the performances at Berlin, it is unnecessarj' that we 
should supplement Herr Rells tab's exhaustive critiques, by 
quoting, at length, those that appeared in the Vienna news- 
papers ; we shall, therefore, content ourselves with saying that 

* This lady, not long afterwards, became well known, in London as a 
concert-singer, under the name of Jetty Treffz. 

1846.] THE d6BUT AT VIENNA. 385 

Herr August Schmidt, the editor of the Wiener Allgemeiiu 
Musik-Zcitiing — a journal by no means enthusiastically 
devoted to Mdlle. Lind's interests — after saying, in one part 
of his paper — 

" For the initiated in music — those who listen, not with 
the ear only, but with the soul, and the spirit — the appear- 
ance of Jenny Lind is an event altogether exceptional ; such 
as has never before been witnessed, and will probably never 
be repeated," * 

sums up his critique of Norma, with the words : — 

"The appearance of Fraulein Lind is of the deepest 
interest, in all its aspects ; and her achievements in Art 
deserve, in the highest degree, the universal acknowledgment 
that they have received. She is the perfect picture of noblest 
womanhood; and has, through her artistic aims, and the 
liigh perfection of her artistic cultivation, united to her great 
and many-sided talents, already won the sympathy of the 
entire public, on her first appearance, in a way in which few 
other singers have won it before her. I count the moments 
that passed at her dSbut, among the most enjoyable artistic 
pleasures that I have ever yet experienced ; and eagerly look 
forward to her forthcoming performances." t 

* Wiener Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, April 19, 1846, p. 179. 
t Ibid. April 25, 1846, p. 198. 

VOL. I. 2 C 

386 JENNY LIND, [bk. v. ch. hi. 



For her second appearance, on Friday, the 24th of April, 
Mdlle. Lind again selected Norma, the reception of which 
was, if possible, still more enthusiastic than that with which 
it had been greeted on the evening of the d&mU The 
Viennese were delighted with the new reading of the part, 
so fall of passion and true womanly feeling, and so power- 
fully dramatic in all its varied shades of expression. Even 
the recollections of former triumphs — such as those of 
Mesdames Pasta, and Fodor, and Malibran — were cited by old 
and experienced critics as telling rather in her favour than 

It is true, there was a strong party against her. Three 
rival prxme donne — Mesdames Stoeckel-Heinefetter and Has- 
selt-Barth and Fraulein Anna Zerr — though bitterly jealous 
of each other's triumphs at the " Karntnerthor Theater,** * 
united their forces, in opposition to the rising star, and formed 
what a certain section of the press called a Karntner clique 
for the purpose of preventing her from singing in Vienna. 

In allusion to this opposition, the well-known poet 
Grillparzer, wrote the following clever epigram : — 

Jt)cr J&unb UUt an ten 3)Jcnt ; 

IDcT Iruc^tet toic gctoobnt, 
©iebt flt^ tux^ @tra^Un Stnn^, 

llnb blcibt — ttr Mtc 9)ient, 
@ott)ie ttr -Sunt — ctn -Sunt. 

A famous Oi^era-House, known ako as the ** Hofoperntheater.'* 


But Mdlle. Lind triumphed over everything : over present 
rivalry ; over inefficient support, in the general ensemble of the 
works in which she appeared ; and — a harder task still — over 
the shades of the great virtuose who had preceded her. In spite 
of these adverse influences, she created a profound impression, 
on Wednesday, the 29th of April, in Bellini's La Sonnamhda, 
by her inimitable union of the purest vocal method, with act- 
ing so touching, that the coldest heart could not witness it 
unmoved. It was this combined effect of legitimate vocaliza- 
tion and dramatic sensitiveness that alone could explain the 
secret charm to which none who heard her in the part of Amina 
ever failed to yield. The Viennese understood it at once ; and 
sympathised with it, as unreservedly as they had sympathised 
with, and thoroughly comprehended, the new reading of 
Norma, No sooner had they heard and seen, than they rose, 
one and all, to a pitch of enthusiasm, in no degree inferior to 
that which had been manifested, night after night, at the 
Eoyal Opera-House in Berlin. She herself was more 
than satisfied with the reception she met with ; and, on the 
day after her first appearance in Norma, wrote the following 
accoimt of it to Madame Birch-Pfeiflfer : — 

« Wien, 23 April, 1846. 

" Dear Friend, 

" It is over, at last — thank God ! and I hasten, good 
Mother, to describe it to you, though I know that the land- 
hearted Director, Pokomy, has written all about it to you. 

"Well, then! Yesterday was the all- important day on 
which I appeared here in Norma; and the good (Jod did 
not desert me, though I deserved it, for my unreasonable 

" Do not be angry with me, I beg you ! I can do nothing 
with regard to that, and I myself suffer enough for it. The 
three days beforehand were dreadful. The idea of turning 
back was ever in my mind ; and I should have done it, if it 
would not have given offence to so many people. 

2 c 2 

388 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ni. 

" But, now, we shall be jolly here, for a litUe while, and 
sing nine times ; and then we can go on still farther ! 

" But, this Public ! At the close, I was called back sixteen 
times, and twelve or fourteen before that. Just count that up ! 
And this reception ! I was quite astounded ! 

" The salle is considerably smaller than that in Berlin — Ah ! 
but I shall always love my Berlin theatre, and my Berliners, 
immensely ; they have gi'own into my heart ! Neither the 
Viennese, nor any others, can weaken this impression 

"How are you all? A raging headache prevents me 
from writing more. I have not yet been calmed down 
since yesterday. 

" Your truly loving 

" Jenny." * 

It is evident that this description of the excitement of the 
Viennese, and the countless calls before the curtain, is not 
written in sportive exaggeration; for, on the same day, 
Mdlle. Lind wrote a similar account of the circumstances to 
Mendelssohn, from whom, a few days later, she received the 
following reply : — 

" Leipzig, May 7, 1846. 

*' My dear Fraulein, 

" You are indeed a good, and excellent, and very kind 
Fraulein Lind. That is what I wanted to say to you (and I 
have said it often enough, in thought), after receiving your 
first letter from Vienna, written so soon after your opening 

" That you wrote to me on the very next day ; that you 
knew there was no one to whom it would give greater pleasure 
than to myself; and, that you found time for it, and let no- 
thing hinder you, or hold you back — all this was too good and 
kind of you ! 

" Your description of the first evening, and of the twenty- 
five times you were called before the curtain, &c., &c., re- 
minded me of an old letter written to me by my sister, when 
I was in London, a long time ago : and I looked for the old 
letter until I found it. 

" It was the first time that I had left the shelter of the 
parental roof, or had produced anything in public ; and it 

* From Frau von Billern's collection. 


had gone well, and a stone had been lifted from my heart ; 
and I had written an account of it all to her. And, there- 
upon, she answered me thus : — 

" There was nothing new to her, she said, in all that, for 
she had known it all, quite certainly, beforehand ; she could 
not, therefore, very clearly explain to herself why, in spite of 
this, it had been so very pleasant to her to hear it all con- 
firmed — but it was very pleasant, nevertheless.* 

" It was precisely so with me, when I received your letter. 
And then, you write so well ! In fact, when I get a letter 
like that from you, it is just exactly as if I saw you, or heard 
you speak. I can see the expression of your face, at every 
word that stands written before me ; and I understand all 
that took place on the first Norma evening at Vienna, 
almost as well as if I had been there. 

" There came also a very pretty description from Hauser ; 
a happier letter than I ever before received from him. And 
in this way you give me so much, and such great pleasure, 
even in a secondary form, through the soul of my friends. 

" But, tell me, now ; how comes it that half the Berlin 
Opera is so suddenly in Vienna, the Kapellmeister included ? 
Hauser wrote to tell me that your Viennese associates in 
Norma were by no means excellent ;t so, Botticher^ and 
the others could, after all, give the Viennese something worth 
hearing — if only Taubert beat time to it ! 

" I really feel, however, more pleasure in the enthusiasm ot 
the Viennese, and the twenty-five calls before the curtain, 
than these few lines will perhaps express to you. It is great 
fun for me, too — not because of what people call triumph, or 
success, or anything of that kind, but, because of the succes- 
sion of pleasant days and evenings that it expresses, and the 
numbers of delighted and friendly faces with which you are 
surrounded. You must tell me all about this, very particu- 
larly ; or rather, I must worm it out of you. 

* The letter here spoken of is not included in the collection printed, by 
Herr S. Hensel, in *■ Die Familie Mendelssohn ;' which, however, contains 
one, of as nearly as possible, the same period, addressed, by Mendelssohn's 
sister, Fanny, to Herr Elingemaun, and dated, " Berlin, June 4, 1829,'* 
in which she writes exactly in the strain here indicated, declaring that, 
with reference to his successes, she has '*an almost silly belief in pre- 
destination." (See * Die Familie Mendelssohn,' Berlin, 1879.) 

t See page 384. 

X The principal bass at Berlin. 

390 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ni. 

" You are, undoubtedly, quite right in what you say about 
Vienna, in your second letter. Where, then, is there more 
than a little nucleus that feels anything sincerely, or honestly 
rejoices about anything at all t 

" How pleased I am that you like Hauser ! He is one who 
has crept very much into my heart ; and for whom I could, 
at no time, or for any reason, feel diminished affection. And, 
how much good has he not done to me ! 

" And now, let me send you a thousand thanks for what 
you have written to me about Antigone, Yes ; I should like 
to do that over again. But, out of this, I must weave the 
material for a new letter, and a consultation with Madame 
Birch-Pfeiffer — not, indeed, about Antigone itself, but about 
something else of the same kind. 

" But, my paper has come to an end. We are all well, 
here, and think of you every day. I shall write once more, 
before long, to Vienna ; and then, please God, we shall see 
each other again, on the Ehine, and make a little music to- 
gether, and talk to each other a little, and I think I shall 
enjoy myself a little over it ! Au revairJ* 

" Your friend, 

" Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." t 

The allusion to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, in the above letter, 
is connected with an episode of some importance in Mendels- 
sohn's Art-life, concerning the details of which the public has 
never been very fully informed. 

It will be remembered that it was under the superinten- 
dence of this lady that Mdlle. Lind resumed those studies in 
the German language which had been interrupted, at Dresden, 
by her recall to Stockholm, for the coronation of King Oscar I. J 

* These remarks refer to the " Lower Rhine Festival " which was to be 
held on the 31st of May, and two following days, at Aix-la-Chapelle. 
Mdlle. Lind had been engaged as the principal soprano ; and Mendelssohn, 
who had accepted the office of conductor, had promised to act as her 
escort, during her journey down the Rhine. 

t This and other letters inserted in this work, addressed by Mendels- 
sohn to Mdlle. Lind, are translated from the originals in the possession of 
Mr. Qoldschmidt, and now published for the first time. 

X Fide pp. 220-221. 


While prosecuting this course of study, she had met with 
frequent opportunities of observing, and appreciating at 
their true value, Madame Birch-Pfeiffer's literary talent and 
thorough acquaintance with what is known, in dramatic 
circles, as " the business of the stage." And this experience 
led to negotiations, which, though they afterwards broke down 
completely, seemed, at the time, to promise very important 
results indeed. 

During their conversations, Mdlle. Lind and Mendelssohn 
had frequently discussed the possibility of a union of forces, 
which, had it not been interrupted by his early death, would 
probably have exerted a marked efiTect upon the future of the 
musical drama. The scheme was, the production of a serious 
Opera, for which he should compose the music, with special 
reference to the character and scope of her vocal and 
dramatic talent The one great difficulty with which the 
project was threatened, was that of procuring a really good 
libretto suitable for the purpose. On this point, Mendelssohn 
was well-known to be severely exigeant. But both he and 
Mdlle. Lind thought that they had found, in Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer, a colleague on whom they could thoroughly depend ; 
and, as we shall see, from the following letter — ^written a 
week later than that just quoted — Mendelssohn was already 
in active correspondence wL the lady upon this engrossing 
topic; and, while his friend was gathering new laurels in 
Vienna, was endeavouring to open a still wider field for the 
exercise of her talents in the future. 

« Leipzig, May 15, 1846. 

^' My dear Fbaulein, 

" If I am not mistaken, my last letter to you must 
have seemed very stupid — ^with absolutely nothing in it.* 
Moreover, I fear it will not be very different with the present 
-one ; and that the two together will mean no more than just 
a hearty greeting. 

* See Mendelssohn's letter to Herr Hauser, p. 403. 

392 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ni. 

" You must have been sufifering severely from home-sick- 
ness ! I can see that, plainly enough, from your last letter ; 
and Hauser also wrote something to me about it. But, I 
hope this has long since passed away ; and, that you are again 
fresh and cheerfid, and make music, and gladden the hearts of 
the people by means of the many noble gifts with which God 
has endowed you, and which you yourself have now made 
your own. 

" Will you not, then, sing * Donna Anna ' at Vienna ? I 
have long been looking for news of it ; but it has never 

" How happy you have again made my dear good Hauser ! 
Such a delightful letter came from him, after you had been to 
his house for the second time. And, about this, I am always 
. thinking — ^what if, of all the true joy that you shed around 
you, the brightest rays could fall back upon yourself, and 
could as thoroughly warm and quicken you as you warm and 
quicken others ! But this is not to be. And, when we meet 
again, I will show you a passage from Goethe, in which it 
stands written why it is not to be. Yet, how I wish it 
could be ! 

" You must know, my dear Fraulein, that I have now again 
good hope of coming to a satisfactory arrangement with 
Madame Birch-Pfeiffer. We have lately exchanged several 
letters ; and, as it seems to me, she has had a very lucky find, 
and, out of it, will work up a subject that speaks to me 
strongly, and unites in itself a great deal of that which you 
like so much in Antigone. And yet it is not antique. How- 
ever, I will not write to you about it, but describe it, viva voce, 
when we meet again. We have quite given up the subject of 
the Peasant War ; and I have no other \\4sh than, (1) that 
the whole idea may please you ; (2) that Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer may put it together dramatically, and trutlifuUy ; 
and, (3) that I may Avrite really good music for it. Apart 
from these little matters, all is in order. 

" I write these stupid letters, because, for the last fortnight 
I have been kept at home by a very bad cold ; and, still more, 
because I have been working very hard, and without inter- 
mission. To-morrow, or the day after to-morrow, the first 
part of my Oratorio * will be quite finished ; and many pieces 
out of the second part are already finished also. This has 
given me immense pleasure during these last weeks. Some- 

♦ Elijah. 


times, in my room, I have jumped up to the ceiling, when it 
seemed to promise so very well. (Indeed, I shall be but too 
glad if it turns out only half as good as it now appears to me.) 
But I am getting a little confused, through writing down, 
during the last few weeks, the immense number of notes that 
I previously had in my head, and working them backwards 
and forwards upon the paper into a piece, though not quite in 
the proper order, one after another. Would that the Opera 
were already as far advanced as this ! I would then play some 
of it to you. But, what if it should not please you at all ! — 
Sometimes it seems to me as if it were an imperative duty to- 
compose an Opera for you, and to try how much I could ac- 
complish in it — and it is, in fact, a duty. However, it does 
not altogether depend upon me, and it will certainly not be 
my fault, if only the thing be possible. If it were but possi- 
ble ! Au rcvoir, 

" Ever your friend, 

*' Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

It is evident, from passages in this letter, that the difficulties 
in the way of obtaining a satisfactory libretto for the pro- 
jected Opera were very grave indeed. In fact, it is impossible 
to read Madame Birch-Pfeiffer's letters to Mendelssohn * — 
written in a hand sometimes almost illegible — without 
arriving at the conclusion that, so far at least as co-opera- 
tion with that lady was concerned, the cause was hopeless^ 
however sanguine Mendelssohn himself may have felt about 
it. Madame Birch-Pfeiffer wrote, sometimes, while suffering 
from painful headaches. Her letters contain allusions to- 
an endless variety of historical and other subjects, which 
she passes in review, one after another, only to condemn them 
as unsuitable. The Bauemhrieg — or " Peasant War " — and 
Der Tmcchsess von Wcddhurg ; Tieck's Gcnofeva, and another 

* It is well known, through the medium of his biographers, that Dr. Felix 
Mendelssohn's correspondence was systematically preserved by him, in a 
series of volumes bound in green, which are now carefully preserved by 
bis children, through whose kindness we are enabled to present copious 
extracts from tbem to our readers. In future cases, these extracts will be 
acknowledged as taken '* From the Green volumes." 

394 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. cm, iu. 

Genofeva^ by Hebbel ; De la Motte Fouquet's Kronenicdchier ; 
and other like subjects, including a sentimental hint at 
Cansuelo, are aU treated in turn, and in turn dismissed. She 
was much disheartened, too, by a remark of Meyerbeer's to 
the effect that she had talent for the elaboration of a plot, 
but, that her verses were not suitable for musical treatment. 
But we shall have so much to say on this subject, in a future 
chapter, that it is needless to discuss its minute details here. 
All this worried Mdlle. Lind, no less than Mendelssohn ; 
thougli the letters she received from him, and from other 
friends at a distance, gave her great comfort, in her loneliness 
— ^for, lonely indeed she was, in the midst of her constantly- 
xecurring triumphs. It was e\'ident, that she was far less 
happy, in Vienna, than she had been in Berlin. Yet, though 
suffering from the home-sickness alluded to by Mendelssohn, 
and — through the painful mistrust of her own merits, con- 
cerning which we have so frequently had occasion to speak — 
oppressed, rather than elated, by the enthusiastic adoration 
which everywhere awaited her, she could not close her eyes 
to the fact that her Aisit to the Austrian capital had been 
successful beyond the wildest expectations of her most san- 
guine admirers. More than once, she described her new 
and brilliant triumphs to Madame Wichmann, in the un- 
familiar German in which she still found it difficult to express 
her thoughts with cleai-ness. The following letter, written 
nine days after her arrival in Vienna, gives a gi^aphic picture 
of her then frame of mind : — 

" Vienna, 27 April, 1846. 

" Mein Alskade ! * 

" I have again been suffering from home-sickness ; and, 
though I may well say that I am at home everywhere, I 
really feel quite homeless. Do you understand me, Amalia ? 
That is the way it is with me : it is so. Only, during the 
time that I lived with you, I had no such longings. 

* i( 



" Hitherto, all has gone here splendidly. I have appeared 
twice in Norma ; and was called so many times before the 
curtain that I was quite exhausted. Bah ! I do not like it. 
Everything should be done in moderation ; otherwise it is not 

" How glad I should be, if Taubert were really to come here. 
I dare not build too much upon it; but it would be very 

" Thine, 

And, again, nine days later : — 

«* Vienna, May 6, 1846. 

*' Alskade, 

" I think of you, daily, and hourly ; and it goes badly 
with me, since I parted from you, my beloved friends. 

" I have been so home-sick, that I scarcely knew whether 
I should live or die ; and so frightfully melancholy, and sad, 
that it is a long long time since I have felt anything like it. 
Do you understand me ? I never felt this anguish while I 
was with you. 

"But, I am better, now; and the day before yesterday, 
Taubert came. Ah ! This joyful suprise ! — this reminiscence 
of the past existence ! — ^all now comes so brightly before me I 

"And, now, I must tell you a little about the Theatre, 
and things of that sort. 

" Dearest, dearest lady ! 

" Do you know, I have been placed in the very worst, and 
the most unfavourable circumstances ; and yet, I have never 
had a greater triumph ! Just think of this ! 

" To begin with ; Herr Pokomy actually had the rashness 
to demand such frightful prices, that a single reserved seat 
cost eight gulden, and a box forty ! t So that, since the 
time of Catalani, such a thing has never been heard of; and 
the public were furious about it. 

" Secondly ; with these high prices, Pokomy engaged, for 
the first ten performances, a tenor, at whom everyone 

* From the Wicbmaim collection. 

t Eight gulden = about sixteen shillings, in English money, and forty 
gulden, about four pounds. The usual prices were, thirtynsiz or forty- 
eight kreuzers, for a single seat ; and five gulden for a box on the grand 
tier : that is to say, about one shilling and twopence ; one shilling and 
eight pence; and ten shillings. 

396 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. m. 

laughed. EvcrytliiDg depended upon me; so I was made 
the sacrifice. And all this, I had to bear, and do penance 

" In the third place ; the whole Italian faction was opposed 
to me ; * and was determined to hiss if there was the slightest 
thing that could be found fault with. Nevertheless, every- 
thing has gone well ; and my success is only so much the 

" Taubert is sitting with me, now, and playing to me ; 
and I persuade myself that I am with you, and live in quiet- 
ness and peace, and am assured that you all know with what 
deep and true love I cling to you, and how impossible it 
would be for me ever to love you less."t 

The last leaf of this letter, together with the signature, is 
missing ; but enough has been preserved, to show the state 
of the writer's feeling, both with regard to the attitude of the 
public, and her own inner life. 

Though it contains no allusion to the circumstance, this 
account is proved, by its date, to have been written exactly 
a week after the first performance of La Sonnambula, This 
was followed, on the 8th of May, by JDer Freischutz ; and, on 
the loth, by Die Ghihcllincn in Pisa, The first of these 
proved, as in Berlin, an immense success ; the second was 
less warmly received — and, not without good reason. Few 
English readers, we think, will be prepared to hear that Die 
Ghihcllincn in Pisa was neither more nor less than a German 
version of Meyerbeer's Lcs Hnguenots, the music of which 
had been tortured into association — or the reverse — with 
another historical event, more closely in sympathy with 
religious and social conditions in Vienna at the time. Under 
the title of Die We J fen uiul Ghihellinen, this version had been 
brought out, with the same libretto, at the " Hoftheater," in 
1844 ; and on this, its first introduction at Vienna, it had 
proved by no means a brilliant success. On the present 

* See page 386. 

t From the Wichmann collection. 


occasion, moreover, neither the chorus, nor the orchestra, 
proved equal to the demand made upon them for the general 
effect, and neither Mdlle. Lind, Herr Tichatschek, nor Herr 
Staudigl, felt at home, in roles dissevered from their logical 
connection with the story they were originally designed to 
illustrate. It was, really, very much to the credit of those 
three great artists, that they found it impossible to lend 
themselves to so barbarous a travestie, the comparative failure 
of which was a real gain to the cause of true Art. Mdlle. 
Lind never sang in it again, and the blame of its cold recep- 
tion was certainly not visited upon her ; for, on the 20th of 
May — the night fixed for her benefit — she received an ovation, 
accompanied by circumstances, which, even among the 
brilliant triumphs to which she was now so well accustomed, 
can only be described as altogether exceptional. 

Of Der Freischutz, she writes, on the 18th of May, to 
Madame Birch-Pfeiffer's sister — whom she familiarly called 
" Xante " :— 

" Yesterday, Der Freischutz was given. Tichatschek sings 
beautifully in it; and it is the only Opera that has gone 
fairly well; for Taubert was good enough to conduct it 
himself, and the public was beside itself." * 

For Mdlle. Lind's "benefit" La Sonnamhda was again 
announced, as the Opera most likely to please the public, who 
had been delighted with it, on its first presentation, and 
flocked, in crowds, to hear it a second time. Every available 
seat in the house was filled with the elite of the Austrian 
capital. The noblest representatives of Art and Literature, 
the highest of the nobility, and the various members of the 
Imperial family, assembled, en masse, to do honour to the 
occasion. Each act of the Opera, each scene in which the 
henefidairc took part, was received with acclamation ; and 

* From Frau von Hillem'» collection. 

398 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ni. 

when the curtain fell, after the last Finale, and she was re- 
called before it, to receive the grateful acknowledgments of 
the audience for the pleasure she had given them, while 
flowers were falling in showers upon the stage, the Empress- 
Mother dropped a wreath, with her own hand, at Mdlle. 
Lind's feet. 

Such a favour, involving so bold a departure from the 
severity of Court etiquette, had never before been granted, 
by a member of the Imperial family, to any artist of any 
rank whatever, though Vienna had not been slow to acknow- 
ledge the claims of true genius, or to crown it with well- 
earned laurels. 

As at Berlin, the audience seemed bent upon obtaining a 
spoken word of farewell ; and, when silence had been 
obtained, Mdlle. Lind came forward, to the foot-lights, and 
said, in German : " You have well understood me. I thank 
you, from my heart."* These few heartfelt words were 
received with a shout of sympathetic recognition ; and it 
was only when that had subsided, that the audience, 
quite overcome with excitement, consented at last to 

And, this was not all. 

When, after the performance was over, the heroine of the 
evening prepared to return to her temporary home, Am 
Graben, the street, in front of the stage-door, was found to be 
so crowded with worthy citizens, anxious to catch a glimpse 
of her, that it was thought imprudent to make the attempt. 
Hour after hour, she waited, in the hope that the watchers 
would disperse. But, the crowd was as patient as she was. 
The honest burghers, who had brought their wives and 
daughters to see the singer, at least, if they could not hear 
her, were determined not to be cheated of their hardly- 

* ''Sie haben mich recht verstaDden. Ich danke Ihuen aus mcineiu 



earned pleasure. They waited on, in perfect order, until the 
day began to dawn; and then only did she think it safe- 
to step into the carriage, with Mdlle. Louise Johansson 
by her side, and her man-servant in attendance, on the 
*' dicky," behind. Up to this time, there was no attempt at 
disorder, though the greatest excitement prevailed; but,, 
before the carriage had had time to traverse the "Drei- 
hufeisengasse," a band of enthusiastic young men unharnessed 
the horses, and would have dragged the vehicle, with its 
occupants, through the crowded streets to the door of Dr. 
Vivanot's house, had they not been prevented from doing 
so by a detachment of cavalry. Fortunately, the military 
force arrived in time to prevent a serious disturbance;, 
but, even with this protection, the carriage was escorted 
to the Graben by a crowd of excited spectators, who* 
insisted upon walking by its side ; and, when Mdlle. Lind 
reached her hand out of the lowered window, those who- 
were near enough rushed up, in the hope of respectfully 
kissing it. 

Unhappily, the excitement produced a very serious acci- 
dent. The man-servant, Gorgel, who, as we have said, was 
seated behind the carriage, either fell, or was dragged from 
his place, while the enthusiasm was at its highest, and so 
severely crushed, that, even with the best medical assistance 
that could be procured, he was unfit to travel for some con- 
siderable time, in consequence of which, the departure 
from Vienna was seriously delayed, at a time when the 
hindrance proved of the greatest possible inconvenience ta 

She mentions the circumstance, though without entering 
into the details — which she probably thought too closely 
connected with her unbounded popularity to admit of nar- 
ration by herself without appearance of conceit — in a letter 
addressed to Madame Birch-PfeiJBFer : — 

400 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. hi. 

" Wien, 23 May, 1846. 

*' Dear good Friend, 

" I really do not know whether I am dead, or alive — 
so you must just ask the Director, Pokorny, who will, no 
doubt, tell you all about it. 

" It gives me unspeakable regret, to think that you will 
perhaps come here to-day, just as I am going away ! 

** It is four o'clock on Saturday morning. Two hours ago, 
I came from Herr Pokorny ; and, tliink of my horror ! my 
poor Gorgel has been almost crushed to death ! * He was 
brought home in a frightful condition ; and it does not look 
at all well with him. I have already postponed my journey 
four hours later. God grant that it may not turn out to be 
anything dangerous. 

" Except for this, I have spent delightful days here. I 
have never met with such kind people as the Viennese in 
^jeneral. I can find no words in which to describe my stay 
in Vienna. Enough ! Thank Heaven for helping me so 
much ! 

" I had much to fight against, here ; and some day, I will 
tell you all about it. For the present, good bye, dear 
Mother. I am as I have ever been, and shall never change. 
May all good attend you. May the good God shield you, on 
your way, from all that is called grief, and sorrow ! I shall 
always think of you with heart-felt love. 

" From, 

" Jenny.*' t 

The style of this letter sufficiently shows the haste and 
excitement amidst which it was despatched ; but no sur- 
rounding circumstances, however trying, could make the 
writer forget her affection for those whom she loved. 

* Zerquttschtl 

t From Frau von Hillern's collection. 

( 401 ) 



Herr Hauser had not forgotten Mendelssohn's wish to be 
kept au courant with regard to the events which took place 
at the Theater an der Wien, He had written more than one 
account of the various occurrences we have described ; * and, 
on the morning after the " benefit/' he wrote again, giving 
his friend a brief general description of the events of the 
evening, but leaving the details to be "wormed out" by 
Mendelssohn himself during the projected voyage down the 

To the first and second of these letters Mendelssohn sent 
the following reply, containing much that will interest the 
reader, even in certain passages which are not very closely 
connected with our present subject : — 

'^ Leipzig, 11th May, 1846. 

« My dear Friend, 

" I well knew how pleased you would be with Jenny 
Lind — I never for a moment doubted it ; and I was pleased 
indeed to find, from your letter, that I had not been mis- 
taken, and that you had been so truly refreshed and 
encouraged by an artistic nature so splendid and so 
thoroughly genuine. 

" TeU her that no day passes on which I do not rejoice 
anew that we are both living at the same epoch, and have 
learned to know each other, and are friends, and that her 
voice sounds so joyous, and that she is exactly what she is, 
and, with that, give her my heartiest greetings. 

• See pp.:382-383, 388-389, &c 
VOL. L 2d 


402 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. iv. 

" And accept my best thanks for your two good letters. 
It says something when you — ^miserable correspondent that 
you are! — ^awake out of your sleep, or when 1 — miserable 
correspondent that I am ! — awake out of mine. I should, 
indeed, have thanked you long ago for your first letter, had 
not my time been so wholly absorbed by music that writing 
was impossible, for I sit, over both my ears, in my Mijah, 
and if it only turns out half as good as I often think it will, 
I shall be glad indeed ! The first part will be quite finished 
within the next few days, and a goodly portion of the second 
part also. I like nothing more than to spend the whole day 
in writing the notes down, and I often come so late to dine 
that the children come to my room to fetch me, and drag me 
out by main force ; and people seem to have agreed together 
just at this particular time to worry me with all sorts ' of 
business letters and questions, and such like odious things, 
so that, sometimes, I feel inclined to rush out of the house — 
for, at such moments, one can neither converse to any 
purpose by word of mouth, nor by letter. So now you know 
what I mean, and how I am, and I only wish we could soon 
see each other again. 

" But, really, I must come some day to Vienna. I hear 
so much said about it, right and left, and you all say such 
kind things about my music, and give me such extraordinary 
accounts of your performances, that you make my mouth 
water. Perhaps I may bring my Elijah, while it is quite 
new, about the winter-time — for, naturally, it cannot be 
given at Aix-la-Chapelle, since it is barely half-finished ; or, 
perhaps I may wait until I have found a subject for my 
Opera, and composed the music — if Jenny Lind is still there 
— and this last would be the best. But, in some way or 
other, I hope to see our imperial city ; and I shall not then 
make my first visit to the tower of St. Stephen's, or to the 
Sperl, but to the Bitrenmulile.* But perhaps you no longer 
live there, in which case I shall come wherever you do live. 

" As soon as our copyist is free again he shall transcribe 
the score of the (Edijms for you, since you wish to have it, 
sub rosd, and I shall rejoice if it gives you any pleasure. In 

* Literally, the "Bear's Mill." This was the name of the house in 
which Herr Hauser had formerly lived; though Mendelssohn was right 
in thinking that he had now removed to another part of the city. The 
tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the Sperl, have always heen two of 
the great attractions of Vienna. 


any case, find a place for it in your library, and perhaps that, 
or the other piece, may prove suitable for your society. Is 
it still going on happily ? Are you very much worried with 
stupidity ? Have you not yet got over that ? I have sworn, 
a thousand times, that I would never allow myself to be 
vexed about it again, and, a thousand times, I have broken 
my oath. But I have lately discovered, from some passages 
in Goethe's later works, that, to the end of his life, he never 
attained to that, and, since then, I have preferred not to 
swear any more, for it does not help one in the least. Some- 
times I fancy that the Devil — the real Evil One — ^is nothing 
else than stupidity, though, truly, there are other degrees 
that one does not love. 

'*But it is getting late, and I must leave off. Do you 
know whether Jenny Lind is going to sing the part of Donna 
Anna in Vienna ? I should like you to hear it If she does 
not sing it, ask her to sing the last or the first aria to you in 
your room ; and, when you greet her, from me, tell her that 
I will write to her this week, but she must forgive me if my 
letter is stupid, for, just now, I cannot do anything better. 

" Let me soon hear from you again. What happened at 
the second performance of Antigone? And how are your 
sons, and your wife? Greet them all many times, and 
continue kind to 


** Felix." * 

Herr Hauser's letter of May 21 — the day after the benefit 
— ^was, in some sort, an answer to this. He renews the 

invitation to Vienna, though complaining that he is not 
living so comfortably as in his former house in the Baren- 
muhle. He says that he duly reported to MdUe. Lind 
Mendelssohn's thankfulness that they were both bom in 
the same epoch, and himself hopes that they will all long 
continue to give thanks to God for so artistic a nature — ^and 
not without grave reason, for there are some still living who 
thank God heartily that they were, to a certain extent, con- 
temporary with Mendelssohn. And he speaks of the 

* From the Hauaer letters. 

2 D 2 

404 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. iv. 

Antigone as having been sung to an audience in fullest 
sympathy with it " body and souL" It was not quite fair to 
call him a " miserable correspondent" He was scarcely a 
less voluminous letter-writer than his accuser, who certainly 
repeats the playful charge against himself; but the most 
interesting part of his correspondence is almost exclusively 
addressed to his friend, Herr Moritz Hauptmann — the then 
Cantor of the Thomas-Schule at Leipzig, and one of the 
most distinguished successors of the great John Sebastian 
Bach in that responsible office. A few days after hearing 
Mdlle. Lind for the first time, he thus described his 
impression in a letter addressed to the learned Cantor : — 

"Vienna, 4 May, 1846. 

"Dearest Friend, 

" Jenny lind is singing here, and I will say no more 
than that I have caught the 'fever,' and that in its most 
violent form. I tell you she is a dear one to devour, and a 
dear, genial, honest, intellectual, lovely, &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., 
child she is ! Such a voice I have never heard in all my 
life, nor have I ever met with so genial, so womanly, so 
musical a nature. Yet I can quite understand that she 
might easily be so put out in the concert-room that she might 
almost fail to be recognised as an extraordinary singer. On 
the stage she is the loveliest, purest, most charming creature 
that one can possibly see or hear. There is a charm in her 
voice that I have never known before, surpassing all that 
other singers have attained to, however powerful their acting 
on the stage. The Lind soars above all; but not througli 
any single quality. It is the mastery wielded by this anim^ 
Candida that works the magic." 

And — let it be clearly understood ! — this high eulogiuni 
is addressed to one of the most conscientious and least 
impressionable musicians then living, and proceeds from tlie 
pen of a critic noted for the deliberate caution with which 
he was accustomed to hedge round his published opinions on 
matters connected with Art. A vestige of this deliberation 


is discernible in the saving clause referring -to possible 
weakness in the concert-room. 

Mdlle. Lind had sung, with her usual success, at Herr 
Taubert's matinie in Streicher's Konzert-Salon on the 10th of 
May, contributing to the programme two of Taubert's songs, 
and a northern melody ; and, on the 21st, she sang, for the last 
time that season, at a grand orchestral concert, given for an 
institution for the support of little children at the Theater an 
(ler Wien under the patronage of His Imperial Highness the 
Archduke Franz Carl. 

On this last-named occasion — a matinSe, b^inning at half- 
past twelve in the afternoon — she sang the aria from H Don 
Giovanni which Mendelssohn so much wished Herr Hauser 
to hear; a Wiegeniied, by Taubert, and the Norwegisches 
Schdferlied, and Tanzlied aus Dalekarlien, which had already 
produced so marked a sensation in Berlin and Leipzig, but 
had not previously been heard in Vienna. 

"Jenny Lind's rendering of the Lied" said the Wiener 
Musik Zeitung, in criticising this performance, " is so tender 
and full of feeling, so simple and expressive, that the hearer 
is irresistibly impressed by it, and even the exotic element 
in these Swedish songs, which, performed by any other 
singer, would certainly sound strange to us, rejoices the very 
soul through her interpretation. She yielded to the wish of 
the enraptured audience in repeating the Schdferlied, and 
afterwards sang a little German song, which concluded the 
performance." * 

And thus ended the first short season in Vienna. It had 
been, for all concerned, a tentative one, for no one could 
predicate, until trial had been made, the temper in which 
the Viennese might feel inclined to accept it. But the 
experiment had proved eminently successful, and there could 
be no possible doubt on the mind of any one as to the result 

* Wiener AUgemeine Musik-Zeitung, May 26, 1846, p. 251. 

406 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. iv. 

of a similar enterprise undertaken during the ensuing winter. 
If the Viennese critics had seemed somewhat more cautious 
in their expressions than those of Berlin, the public had 
certainly been very much less so in their actions. 

We can hardly give a clearer idea of the profound impres- 
sion produced upon the literary world, in Vienna, than by 
closing our present chapter with the charming verses,* 
addressed to Mdlle. Lind, on the 2nd of May, by the poet, 
Grillparzer : — 

€$tc nenttcn IvSf btc 9laf^tigaU 

SRit bftrfi'gcm SUbcnoubc; 
€$0 fuf maSf beinct Siebcr €<^d(I, 

S)oc^ nnm' ic^ bic^ \k SouBe. 

lint) btfl bu Sloec, Ysivt bu'« Vi% 

€k);'l boin btc fl()»(it(ofc, 
S)ie, too fic| Ck^iue unb Scbcn fftft, 

9ltt«glfl^t aiK tunlUm 9bpfe- 

S)u Bifl ii4t 9arbe, bifl wOfi Sii^t; 

S)af Sorbc er^ tcdftntet, 
S>af, toenn fetn 9Betf an Siembm Bru^t, 

S)ie bunte ^cu^t entjunbet. 

Unt fprnbrn @ie be« !Beifa(U So^n 

IDen SBuntem beinec itc^U, 
^irr ifl nu^t Sihtftt, ifl nu^t Son, 

3(^ ^ore bdne 6ee(e. 

* The poem is here given on the authority of Grillparzer's autograph, 
found among Madame Goldschmidt's papers, after her death. It was idso 
printed, at Vienna, in a volume entitled, ' Austria ; oder OesterreiehUcher 
Universal KcUender fiir das gemeine Jahr 1847/ In this version, how- 
ever, the last line hut one differs from the MS., and reads thus : 

^tcr tfl ntd^t Stbtiptr, Uum ourft Zen. 

( 407 ) 



As early as the month of January, 1846, the committee of 
the " Lower Rhine Musical Festival " * entered into n^otia- 
tions with Mdlle. Lind in the hopes of obtaining her 
assistance at the twenty-eighth meeting of the Association, 
which was appointed to take place that year on the 31st of 
May and the 1st and 2nd of June, at Aix-la-Chapelle. 

The Association was, and still is, one of the most important 
in Europe, and one of the oldest also. First suggested in 
1811, and regularly organised in 1818, it had since that year 
given an annual festival at Whitsuntide, either at Cologne, 
Dtlsseldor^ or Aix-la-Chapelle, each town taking upon itself 
the responsibility of arrangement, in its regular turn. Up to 
the year 1833 two concerts had been given annually, on 
Whitsunday and Whitmonday ; but Mendelssohn, who that 
year had been for the first time appointed conductor, pro- 
posed an additional concert on the Tuesday morning ; and, 
as the programme was on that day miscellaneous, it was 
called " The Artists' Concert," under which title it has ever 
since been annually repeated. The festival was held that 
year at Dusseldorf. Mendelssohn again conducted, in 1835, 
at Cologne ; and in 1836 he produced his Saint PmU, at the 
eighteenth festival at Dusseldorf. Since then he had 
conducted three times ; and now he was engaged again for 

* Das NiederrheiniBche Musikfest. 

408 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. v. 

Many hindrances had arisen, and many changes been 
made with regard to the arrangements, chiefly in consequence 
of the difficulty of engaging an efficient company of artists to 
support Mdlle. lind; for, unlike Herr Pokomy, the com- 
mittee had determined that she should not be asked to sing 
with vocalists of inferior merit. But all was satisfactorily 
arranged before she left Berlin in April, and the programmes 
for the two first days decided upon in the following order : — 

WmrsuNDAY, May 31, 1846. 

1. Symphony in D major (No. 5) Mozart. 

2. Otetorio, The Creation Haydn. 

(Mdlle. Lind singing the music of Gabriel, 
in Parts I. and II. ; and that of Eve, 
in Part III.) 

Whitmonday, June 1, 1846. 
Pabt I. 

1. Symphony in C minor (No. 5) Beethoven. 

2. Motett, with Chorus, Iste dies Chervhini. 

Part II. 

Overture, Oberon CM. von Weber. 

Oratorio, Alexander's Feast Handel. 

Tuesday, June 2, 1846. 
(" The Artists' Concert.") 
Miscellaneous Programme. 

The first grand rehearsal was fixed for Wednesday, the 
27th of May, and it had been arranged that Mdlle. Lind 
should leave Vienna on the 23rd, meet Mendelssohn at 
Frankfort on the evening of the 26th, and proceed with 
him down the Khine to Aix-la-Chapelle on the 27th. But 
when the hour fixed for the departure from Vienna arrived 
it was found that the injured man-servant was quite unfit to 


Always thinking of others before caring for herself, Mdlle. 
Lind consulted with the doctors, and found that they 
demanded twelve hours longer in order that the sufferer 
might be comfortably bandaged and prepared, in so far as 
was possible under such circumstances, for the fatigues of the 
journey. To this delay she consented, in preference to 
leaving him firiendless in Vienna. It was a great risk, and 
involved a terrible increase of fatigue for her at a time when 
she needed all her physical powers, as well as those of the 
mind, in preparation for the responsibilities devolving upon 
her at the festival. But she did not hesitate; though in 
consequence of the lateness of the hour at which she was 
obliged to start, it was nearly midnight on Tuesday, the 
26th of May, before she arrived at Frankfort, where 
Mendelssohn had been awaiting her all the afternoon at the 
well-known hotel Der Weisse Schwan, in an agony of anxiety 
and suspense. 

It was, indeed, a desperate venture; if, through any 
accidental hindrance, either of them had failed to appear at 
the rehearsal on Thursday the 28th, the success of the entire 
festival would have been endangered. But all fear of that 
was now at an end ; and, leaving Gorgel the wounded man- 
servant under careful medical attendance in Frankfort, the 
two friends, accompanied by Mdlle. Louise Johansson, started 
down the Rhine, on Wednesday the 27th, by the steamboat, 
and in due time reached Aix-la-Chapelle, where Mdlle. Lind, 
in accordance with the previous arrangement, became the 
guest of the Marquis and Marquise de Sassenay, and 
Mendelssohn occupied an apartment provided for him 
by the committee at the principal hotel — the Grand 

The festival was declared by all present to have been the 
best that had taken place within the memory of the public. 
The two principal songs in Haydn's oratorio, On mighty 

410 JBNNY LIND. [m. v. ch. ▼. 

pens and With Verdure Clad^ and the solo and chorus. The 
marvellays Work, were calculated to display Mdlle. Lind's 
powers, whether of voice, method, or poetical conception, to 
the greatest possible advantage — ^indeed, they became great 
favourites everywhere in later years. And yet it was un- 
doubtedly in the third part of the Oratorio that her ideal con- 
ception of the work reached its culminating point. Would it 
have been a true conception, a natural, a logical one, if it had 
been otherwise ? There can be no doubt that her version of 
it coincided with Haydn's, in every particular. Both saw 
that the whole interest of the work must of necessity con- 
centrate itself upon the point at which the whole purpose of 
the Almighty Creator is consummated — the creation of man. 
Neither she, nor Haydn, had studied in the school of 
philosophy which teaches us than man's place in the great 
scheme of nature is that of a mere accidental atom. They 
believed that the material world was designed as a fitting 
residence for the being who had been created in the image of 
God. Penetrated with this idea, Haydn clothed the part of 
Gabriel with florid beauty perfectly in keeping with the most 
perfect ideal he was able to form of the angelic nature ; and 
that of Eve, witli the tender grace which he supposed to 
express the noblest conception of ideal woman. And it was 
in closest sympathy with this conception — whether true or 
false — tliat his careful interpreter sang the music assigned by 
the composer to " tlie mother of us all." Can we believe that 
either he, or she, was mistaken ? That their joint ideal was a 
false one ? that the *' Third Part " of TJie Creation forms an 
anti-climax, which may be dispensed with, at will, without 
injury to the logical development of the whole ? It is clearly 
possible to arrive at this extravagant conclusion ; for, since 
the Lower Rhine Festival of 1846, this portion of the Oratorio 
has been omitted, over and over again, both in Germany, 
and in England, at performances conducted upon a very 


grand and liberal scale. But it is equally clear that this 
opinion was irreconcilable with Mdlle. Lind's, for she 
threw the whole poetry of her womanly nature into this 
part of Eve, and emphasised its importance in a way which 
attracted the attention of every deep thinker among the 

Her part too in Alexander's Feast was a very impor- 
tant one, demanding the combined powers of virtuosa and 
poetess. But her greatest success, perhaps, was achieved 
on the Tuesday morning, at the "Artists' Concert," in 
Mendelssohn's Auf Fliigeln des Gesanges and Fruhlingslied, 
in which, say the critics of the period, '*she produced 
an effect wholly unparalleled," insomuch that the meeting 
of 1846 was afterwards known as the " Jenny^Lind' 

Many dear friends, both of the conductor, and the singer, 
assembled that year at Aix-la-Chapelle to do honour to the 
occasion ; and it was altogether a very happy time, as some 
letters, fortunately preserved, sufficiently prove. 

It will interest the reader to glance at three descriptions 
of the same pleasant Whitsuntide holiday, drawn from three 
different points of view — like P. de Champaigne's threefold 
portrait of the great Cardinal de Eichelieu in the National 
(Jallery — ^less gorgeously toned, indeed, and by no means 
so grandly modelled ; but certainly not less true to nature, 
though only in playful miniature. 

Among the sympathetic friends who flocked to Aix-la- 
Chapelle, and certainly not among the least welcome of these, 
were Professor Geijer of Upsala and his wife, who had not 
breathed a word to any one of their intention to come. Their 
presence in the town was a surprise indeed ; and Madame 
Geijer thus describes the meeting, in a letter forwarded to us 
by her son-in-law Count Hamilton, the Lord-Lieutenant of 
the province of Upland. 

412 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. v. 

" Aachen, Whitsunday, 1846. 

" Geijer was infonned that ' Fraulein ' Lind and Dr. 
Mendelssohn were at home, so he went to Madame la 
Marquise de Sassenay's, where Jenny was staying during 
her visit to Aachen. 

" Jenny, however, was at rehearsal, so he went to the theatre 
and enquired for her there. 

" Soon afterwards Jenny came out, and could hardly believe 
her eyes. She did not know whether she was dreaming, 
whether she was in Germany or in Sweden ! 

" She put her hands to her forehead, and was ready to cry. 
Later on, she followed Geijer to the hotel at which we were 
staying. She was joyous, excited, and exceedingly interest- 
ing and animated. She asked with warmth and emotion 
after friends and acquaintances at home, and more particu- 
larly after the Lindblads. Geijer told her that llndblad 
was engaged on an Opera. * Well,* she cried, ' and who is to 
sing it ? ' Geijer answered, * You had better say who.' 
' Yes,' she said, * I may help him to bring out an Opera, both 
at home, and here in Germany; there is no doubt about 

" She spoke of the great success she had had in Vienna, 
and told him how, after her last appearance, an attempt had 
been made to draw her carriage, in consequence of which her 
man-servant had been severely injured, so much so that she 
had been obliged to leave him behind.* 

" Jenny promised to get tickets for us for the concert, 
adding, * I shall tell them that I will not sing, if they do not 
give me tickets for you.' She also promised tliat she would 
arrange for Mendelssohn to play to us, and, since the world 
now turns round according to her wishes and commands, one 
may feel quite safe when she has pronounced her fiat in 
one's favour. 

" In the evening we were present at the rehearsal of the 
Creation^ and we then heard the good news that Mendelssohn 
had declared his willingness to play to us, and that he would 
have a piano sent to our rooms for that purpose. 

*' So, in the evening, Jenny and Mendelssohn came to us. 
Jenny sang some Lieder, and I need neither describe nor 
praise them. Geijer was quite beside himself vnth delight 
and pleasure. 

* Le, at Frankfort, as already related. 


" Mendelflsohn thought Agnes* and Jenny so like each 
other that they might be taken for sisters." t 

Five days after his departure from Aix-la-Cliapelle, 
Mendelssohn, who was then in Dusseldorf, sent the following 
account of the Festival to his friend Franz Hauser, at 
Vienna : — 

'< Dusseldorf, June 8, 1848. 

" You wish me to tell you about the musical festival at 
Aachen. Well, it was very good, very splendid, towering 
above all the others, and chiefly owing to Jenny Lind ; for, 
as to the orchestra, I have heard it perhaps better on some 
other occasions, and the chorus, though splendid, has been 
equally so at previous festivals. But they were all so up- 
lifted, so animated, so artistically moved by land's singing 
and manner, that the whole thing became a delight, a genend 
success, and worked together as it never did before. 

" I had the clearest evidence of this at the last rehearsal, 
when I had begged of her, for once, not to be the first and 
most punctual in attendance, but to take some rest and 
come in towards the end of the rehearsal. To this she agreed, 
and it was quite a misery to notice how feebly things went — 
so devoid of swing that even I became listless, like all the 
others, until, thank God ! Jenny lind appeared, when the 
needfiil interest and good humour came back to us, and 
things moved on again. 

" There were, of course, wreaths and poems, and fanfares, 
again and again, and the audience was seized with that 
excitement which manifests itself wherever she goes. The 
manner of its manifestation is of no consequence. 

'* After the Festival, we went together a little way on the 
Bhine ; spent a very pleasant day at Cologne, Bonn, up the 
Drachenfels, at Konigswinter, and back (to Cologne), and on 
the following day she left for Hanover, and I for this place, 
where I took part yesterday in a concert which also would 
have been a fine one if Jenny Lind had been there. 

" To-morrow I leave for liege, in order to hear the Lauda 

* Professor G^ijer's daughter ; the late Grafin Hamilton, 
t Translated from an extract from the original letter, kindly furnished 
by Count Hamilton, 

414 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. t. 

Sion, which I have composed for the Festival of Corpus 
Christi there." * 

The rest of the story is told in Mendelssohn's letter to his 
sister, Madame Fanny Hensel : — 

" Leipzig, June 27, 1846. 

"You ask what I did on the Ehine, but, unfortunately, 
Cecile's letter to Paul (giving, at my request, all the par- 
ticulars of my journey) crossed your letter to me, so that I 
cannot possibly tell what you do or do not know. 

" The best way will be for me to write only what I know 
Cecile cannot have told you, for there is much choice of 

" The principal feature of my stay in Aix-la-Chapelle was 
that both the Marquis de Sieissenay and Burgermeister 
Ncllesen made incredible exertions to feast me upon rice- 
milk, Mdlle. Lind having told them of my weakness for it. 
But they did not succeed, for their French cooks always 
produced something quite different — much grander, but not 

" A Frenchman — a real Parisian — asked me, on Sunday, 
* QiCest-ce qu^ellc chante ce soir, Mdlle. Lind ? ' I replied, 
' La Creation' whereupon he turned upon me and said, ' Coni- 
mcnt peiit elle chanter La Creation? La demierefais que fai 
(iitcndu Jja Creation en France^ cetait un hassc-taillc qui lo 
chantait /' 

" The choruses were splendidly sung, and if Paul couhl 
have heard Jenny Lind sing the two first airs in Alexander .^ 
Feast, he would have applauded as he did that time at the 

" On the Saturday before Whit Sunday, Simrock spent an 
hour with me over Elijah, At 8 (a.m.) the rehearsal began, 
and lasted till two, when there was a grand dinner, at which 
I was obliged to be present, and which was not over until 
half-past four. At five, the general rehearsal of Tlie Creati<ni 
began, and lasted till about nine. At nine I went to see the 
Swedish Professor Geijer — you remember him at Lindblad's — 
when we had some music, and I played the Sonata in (7Jf 
Minor and some Licder ohne Worte, &c., &c. 

*' Immediately after Aix-la-Chapelle came Dusseldorf, 
where they serenaded me twice, for the two local Lieder- 

* From the collection of Herr Joseph Hauser. 


tafdn hate each other so thoroughly that they could not be 
persuaded to unite." * 

Finally, Mdlle. lind recorded her own impressions of this 

Whitsuntide holiday — for earnest work in the cause of Art 

is really a holiday to earnest artists, however hard it may 

be — in the following letter to Herr Eudolph Wichmann, the 

Professor's second son : — 

« Aachen, June 2, 1846. 

" My dear Eudolph, 

" My pleasure in Aachen will soon come to an end, 
for aU will be over to-day, and early to-morrow we leave. 
But I believe Mendelssohn means to accompany us a little 
way, and we hope to see the view from the Drachenfels, 
which will be very nice. 

" How well everything went with me in Vienna ! only my 
man-servant was very nearly crushed to death, owing to the 
enthusiasm, so that I had to leave him behind in Frankfort, 
and he has only just now rejoined me. 

" Farewell, my dear boy. Greetings from 

" Thy Sister." f 

Mdlle. Lind was evidently sorry to leave the gloomy old 
city of Charlemagne, but she was not allowed to do so with- 
out an ovation. On the day of her departui*e she was 
presented with a poem, beautifully printed in black and 
gold, on a sheet of white satin, twelve inches in height by 
ten broad. The feeling displayed in the verses is so good, 
and the occasion— entirely imconnected with the dramatic 
successes we have recorded — was so important in its bearing 
upon a concert performance, that we think no apology 
necessary for the introduction of a portion of the poem, of 
which we subjoin the first stanza : — 

'* Wie au8 des Chaos duuklem Schoos entsprungen 
Die junge Welt in brautlich holder Pracht, 
Der erete Lenz zu Gottes Lob erwacht, 
Hast mit des Engels Stimme du gesungen," &c. 

* Translated from the ' Familie Mendelssohn,' by Mr. Sebastian Hensel. 
t Translated from the original letter, by the kind permission of Herr 
Rudolph Wichmann. 

416 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. v. 

It had been a happy time for all ; but for Mendelssohn, 
with Elijah not yet finished, though on the eve of production, 
and some hard days' work still waiting for accomplishment 
in Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Liege, the fatigue was dangerously 
heavy, and the amount of excitement with which it was 
accompanied more disproportioned still to the then con- 
dition of his mental and physical powers, which sorely 
needed the rest he was nevermore able to accord to them. 

But when did Prudence ever come to the front, to calm 
the suicidal eagerness of Genius ? 

( 417 ) 



The view from the Drachenfels answered all the bright 
expectations that had been formed of it ; and, after supple- 
menting it with an afternoon at Konigswinter, and a 
pleasant day at Cologne, Mdlle. Lind proceeded to Hanover, 
where she was engaged for four performances at the Court 
Theatre, and a concert. 

The Operas selected were Norma (June 6), La Sonnambula 
(June 8), Der Freischutz (June 9), and Iduna di Lammermoor 
(June 11). The concert took place on the 13th of June. 
The success, on each occasion, was that to which all concerned 
had so long been accustomed, that it was now looked for as 
a matter of course. But, of far greater importance than any 
amount of local enthusiasm was the fact, that, during this 
visit to Hanover, Mdlle. Lind was brought into immediate 
relations with the then Crown Prince and Princess — after- 
wards King George V., and Queen Marie — who, amidst the 
heavy trials destined afterwards to fall upon them, never forgot 
the friendship with which they then learned to regard her ; 
a friendship which remained undiminished until the day of 
her death, and which, even since then, has been most 
touchingly alluded to by Her Majesty, Queen Marie. 

After fulfilling her engagement at Hanover, and singing 
once at a concert at Bremen, Mdlle. Lind proceeded to 
Hamburg, where she vas engaged for a series of twelve 

VOL. I. 2 E 

418 JENNY UND. [m. T. CH. ▼!. 

" Guest-perfonnances " at the Stadt Theatre, sapplemented 
by a benefit in aid of the "Theatrical Orchestra Pension 
Fund " ; another for herself, and a Concert for the poor. 

During this visit, she did not reside in Hamburg itself, 
having accepted an invitation to the house of her friend. 
Consul Amemann, at Nienstadten, near the neighbouring 
township of Altona. Here she spent many pleasant weeka 
with her host and hostess and their family, who had invited 
another friend — Mdlle. Mina Fundin — to keep her company, 
and had also sent a pressing invitation to Mendelssohn, in 
the hope that he would be able to take Nienstadten on his 
way to England, whither he was bound, in August, for the 
purpose of producing his Elijah at the Birmingham Festival. 
TMs project, however, failed entirely. Though Mendelssohn 
would have been pleased indeed to have availed himself of 
so pleasant an opportunity for refreshing himself with a 
brief rest, before Ms heavy work began, it was quite im- 
possible for him to do so. He was working beyond his 
strength, as he himself well knew ; and let the consequences 
be what they might, there was no help for it 

Mdlle. Lind arrived at Nienstadten, on the 19th of June ; 
and began her second season at Hamburg, on the 22nd, with 
her favourite Opera, Norma, followed, in turn, by La Son- 
namhula, Don Juan, Lucia di Lammermoor, and, for the first 
time in Germany, La Figlia del Reggimento,* concerning 
wliich she wrote from Nienstadten to Madame Birch-Pfeiflfer, 

* The dates were : — June 22, Norma ; June 25, La Sonnambula ; 
June 27, Norma ; July 1, La Sonnambula ; July 3, Don Juan ; July 8, 
Lucia di Lammermoor ; July 11, Don Juan ; July 14, La Figlia del 
Eeggimento; July 18, La Figlia dd Reggimento; July 21 (for the benefit 
of the " Orchestra Pension Fund " at the Stadt-Theater), Ni^rma ; July 24, 
Lucia di Lammermoor; July 26, La Figlia del Eeggimento; July 28, 
La iSonnambula ; July 30 (benefit), La Sonnambula (act ilL), La Figlia 
del Eeggimento (act ii.), with Swedish Songs introduced, in the scene at 
the piano. August 1, Concert, at the Stadt-Theater, for the poor. 

1846.] IN VIA BEQUmS. 419 

on the 26th of June : — " Comet * plagues me about Die Tochter 
des Regiments ; and, although I do not know how that can 
be managed without your help, dear mother, I must try " 
— a sentence which proves how deeply she was indebted to 
this lady for the help afforded to her in the German transla- 
tions of works which she had already sung, in her own 
language, at Stockholm. 

The terms of the engagement were one hundred Louis d!or 
for each performance — about eighty pounds in English 
mojiey. During her first season at Hamburg, she had 
received forty Imiis 6!or only — about thirty-two pounds 
sterling. But she did not forget to devote a large share of 
her earnings to charitable purposes. The performance in aid 
of the " Orchestra Pension Fund " realised twelve hundred 
and forty-one marks — more than sixty pounds sterling ; and 
the concert for the poor, about five pounds less. The per- 
formances were received with even greater enthusiasm than 
those of the previous year; and no less hearty were the 
demonstrations of personal respect, and grateful recognition 
of benefits afforded, for charitable purposes, to the old Hanse 

If a local journal of the period may be trusted, Mdll& 
lind's horses were again unharnessed, after the Concert on 
the 1st of August, and her carriage drawn home by the 
crowd. And she was also serenaded with a Farewell-Ode, 
composed for the occasion by Herr Elrebs, the conductor at 
the Theatre. 

Yet, during the course of this visit to Hamburg, she was 
made, for the first time in her Art-life, the subject of a long 
series of virulent attacks, prompted by the spirit of petty 
jealousy with which inept mediocrity never fails to resent 
the respect paid to true genius. 

* A well-known tenor singer, and, at that time, the manager of the 
Stadt-Theater at Hamburg. 


420 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. vi. 

In 1845, an anonymous author published a little 
biographical sketch, entitled, 'Jenny lind, the Swedish 
Nightingale/* giving a short 'and fairly correct account of 
Mdlle. land's early career, prettily written, and accompanied 
by a pleasing, if not very accurate lithographic portrait. 

This little brochure, pleasant enough to read, met with 
a very extensive sale, and its success tempted certain 
pamphleteers of low degree to venture into the field, on 
their own account, either with weak imitations of the original, 
or with attempts to turn it into ridicula 

In the same year appeared, * Jenny lind in Hamburg. 
An Apotheosis,'t and * Jenny Lind and the Hamburgers ; or 
half an hour in the Jungfemstieg.' t 

But it was not until the following year that the annoyance 
reached its climax. In 1846, the booksellers' shops were 
deluged with feuUletons, in which vulgar calembours and 
senseless epigrams were made to do duty for wit and humour. 
A disappointed genius lamented, in coarsest satire, the fate 
of the ill-used poet, who received less, for the work that had 
cost him months of labour, than the singer could gain in 
three hours in a single evening. At the ' Theater im Vorstadt 
S. Pauli,' a singer appeared under the pseudonym of * Jenny 
Bind/ and nightly attracted large audiences of the lower 
orders, and the name of Lindwurm — a word used in old 
German romances as a synonym for Dragon — ^was passed, 
from mouth to mouth, among the envious and disappointed, 
as an excellent joke. 

But the loyalty of the public itself never wavered for a 
moment. Hamburg was as true to its allegiance as Berlin, 

* * Jenny Lind, die schwedische NachtigalL' (Hamburg, 1845.) 
t * Jenny Lind in Hamburg. Apotheose.' (Hamburg, 1845.) 
X ' Jeuny Lind und die Hamburger : ein Stiindchen im Jungfemstieg.^ 
Hamburg, 1845. The Juni^femstieg is the principal street around the 
Alsterbassin ; in it stood Mdlle. Lind's hotel, the Alte Stadt London* 

1846.] IN VIA REQUIE8. 421 

or Yienna. As at the Eoyal Opera House, and the Theater 
an der Wien, the prices for admission to the Stadt-Theater 
were raised, whenever a "guest-performance" took place; 
the local journals were loud, and unanimous, in their praise ; 
and the demonstrations in the Theatre were of the warmest 
and most enthusiastic character. 

MdUe. Lind prolonged her visit at Nienstadten — ^with 
interruptions — ^for some considerable time, after the termina- 
tion of her engagement at the Theatre. like Mendelssohn, 
she had, for some time past, been working far beyond her 
strength, and the fatigue was now beginning to tell upon 
her with serious eflfect. She herself saw this very plainly. 
Madame Wichmann, with two of her sons, had spent four 
days with her in Hanover, and tried to persuade her to 
accompany the family on a journey to Switzerland, towards 
the close of the summer ; and had written to Mendelssohn, 
telling him of her hope that the plan was finally and success- 
fully arranged. But, on the day after the first performance 
of Don Juan, at Hamburg, Mdlle. Lind wrote to her friend, 
deploring her long neglect of rest, and explaining that the 
journey was impossible : — 

'* Nienstadten, July 4, 1846. 

" Dear Amaua I 

" Beloved Amalia ! I feel very much pulled down. 
After all, these fatigues leave their trace, and convince me 
that I am not strong enough to undertake such a journey, 
without injury to my health. I must sing here a few times 
more — but that cannot be helped. I have consulted a 
physician ; for, these nervous contractions from which I am 
suffering rendered it indispensable. He says it is im- 
peratively necessary that I should go to some bathing place. 
My nerves, he says, are seriously attacked ; and I ought to 
have done it, long before this. I know that the doctors in 
Sweden recommended this, four years ago ; but I could not 
possibly do it, then. 

** I have quite mcule up my mind, that, next summer, or 
next autumn at the latest, I will leave the stage. I will, 

422 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. vi* 

therefore, make the best use I can of the time; and, as I 
have already arranged for the coming season, it will be only 
reasonable, now, to provide the necessary strength for next 

" Greet my beloved there, from thine ever loving 

" Jenny/* ♦ 

The project for retiring from the stage was, as we are 
already aware, no new one ; but it was forced into greater 
prominence, just at this time, by the inroads that excessive 
fatigue was making upon Mdlle. Lind's health and strength. 
Indeed, one can only look on in wonder at the amount of 
work she was able to accomplish, withont actually breaking 
down. The constant performance of familiar parts, with new 
associates, needing, every time, laborious rehearsal ; the 
exposure to draughts on the stage, and to changing weather on 
the long journeys between ; the excitement of the calls before 
the curtain ; the nocturnal serenades ; the social claims ; the 
constant appeals for pecuniary help, afterwards so strongly 
animadverted against by Mendelssohn ; all these might well 
have worn out a constitution of steeL The work of older 
and more firmly established prime donne, such as Madame 
Persiani, or Madame Grisi, with regular seasons in London, 
during the summer, and in Paris in the winter, was light 
indeed compared with it. But it had to be done, for the 
present at least, whatever the sacrifice might be. 

In the meantime, the correspondence with Mendelssohn 

was not allowed to languish. Towards the end of July, he 

wrote thus : — 

« Leipzig, July 23, 1846. 

" My dear Fraulein, 

" As usual, I come to you, to-day, asking a favour. 1 
mean, that I am anxious to know how matters stand, with 
regard to your travelling arrangements, both now, and in the 
future — and I hope you will explain them to me. In your 
last letter, you told me that you were going to Switzerland,. 

• From the Wicbmann collectioD. 

• r 

1846.] a VIA BEQUIES. 423 

with the Wiclunaims, on the first of August Does this plan 
still hold good ? And, is it true, or not, that you will be at 
Frankfort in September ? Also, are you going straight from 
Hamburg to Berlin, to fetch the Wichmanns ? All this I 
want to know. And it is because I want to know this, that 
I ask you to tell me of your plans, both before and after your 
journey to Switzerland and Vienna ; and whether you still 
adhere both to the one and the other intention. The reason 
is, that, since my return from the Ehine, I have lived the life 
of a marmot I was rather frightened, when, on coming 
back, I saw the amount of work that lay unfinished,* and 
compared it with the time that remained to me. Then, I 
mcule up my mind not to write to you until my Oratorio was 
quite complete ; but, for the last few days I have not been 
well (you will find it out, sooner or later), so now I shall not 
be ready till August, and I dare not delay my letter so long 
as that, or it will be brought to you while on the back of some 
mule or other, to some cow-herd's hut 

" Madame Amemann has written me a very friendly letter, 
and invited me to Nienstadten. As yet, I have not been able 
even to thank her for it; and yet, how gljuily would I have 
accepted the invitation ! But, I cannot get away from here 
before the middle of August ; and, even then, I must make 
haste, in order to reach England in time. To-day, however, 
I really will write to Madame Amemann, or she wiU be 
vexed — and with good cause. 

" Is it true that you have been singing the * Regimentstoch- 
ter ' in German ? If so, I should have liked to have been one 
of the audience. And, do you know that the Geijers have lately 
been here ? and, that they invited me to go to Sweden, to feast 
on a roasted reindeer ? (I can get rice-milk at your house !) 
And, that Fraulein Geijer sang * Vorwdrts so heisst des SchickscUs 
Oebot ' to me again ? and the song, by lindblad, in C major. 

" But, I will leave off, for to-day. My letter is tiresome, 
and stupid, and will continue so to the end. Only, grant 
my requests. And tell me aU about yourself, and how you 
are getting on, and whether you are having much music, 
and whether you are in good spirits, and in first-rate voice ? 

" We are aU well, at home, and often remember you. 

" Your friend, 
" Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

* For Elijah^ which was to be produced, at the Birmingham Festivaly 
in August. 


424 JENNY LIND. [nc ▼. ch. ti^ 

The idea of the journey to Switzerland was never levived, 
after the doctor had recommended a coarse of baths ; and the 
changed plans for the autumn were thus detailed, in a letter 
to Madame Wichmann : — 

*" NienstSdten, August 1, 1846. 

*' Deaslt Beloved A malt a ! 

** To-day, I sing for the poor ; and positively for the 
last time. 

'' On Thursday, the fourth of August, I go to Coxhaven, 
with the Brunton family. (Do you remember the long 
letters that the daughter* used to write to me?) They 
have always been veiy kind to me. But there, I shall be 
quite at rest ; and take the sea baths for four wed^. 

" In the meantime, Louise stays here, to take care of her 
health; for she is ordered to drink the mineral waters. 
When I have done with Cuxhaven, I shall come here 
again ; for I am very happy here, and I can only compare 
this family with yours. 

'' I shall rest until about the 20th of September. Then 
I go, first, to Frankfort; and, from thence, to Munich, as 
you know ; and, from Munich, to Stuttgard — but this will 
be later on. From Stuttgard, I go to Vienna. 

" When shall I see you again ? If we could only go to 
Pari^ together, next summer, somewhere about the month 
of June! I should so much like to see Garcia again, 
before I leave Germany for ever. 

" God keep you ! Farewell ! Write to me soon again ; 
and I will duly answer you. Ah, Amalia! Next spring, 
I shall be free! I am afraid so great a happiness will 
never fall to my lot. 

" Your ever truly loving 

" Jenny." 

" P.S. — ^Many thanks for the portrait of MendeLssohn.f 
Kemember me to Magnus, and thank him for it" t 

* Fraulein von Seminoflf. 

t This was a replica of the portrait painted by Magnus, and by him 
presented to Mdlle. Lind, who suhsequently bequeathed it to Mendels- 
flohn's daughter, Mrs. Victor Benecke. 

X From the Wichmann collection. 


1846.] IN VIA BEQUIE8. 425 

The events which took place between this period, and 
the beginning of September need no detailed record. It 
was a time of rest, much needed, and hardly earned. We 
shall, therefore, resume our history, with the return to a 
more active Art-life, in the autumn. 

426 JENNY LIND. \jsk. v. ch. vii. 



Aft££ leaviiig GnxhaTen, Mdlle. Lmd wrote again to Madame 

Widmuum: — 

^'Kienstadten, 3 Sept 1846. 

'* Beloved Amalia, 

" I am thinking whether I can, by any possible 
means, manage to visit you for a few days. For I long for 
you all with my whole soul, and you would not believe, 
Amalia^ what an impression my stay in your house has left 
upon my inner life. 

"You will write to me soon, and tell me you are well. 
I shall stay here a fortnight or three weeks longer. My 
good Louise has been ill, and is not yet so well that I can 
put a strain upon her. So I am not going to begin my 
' guest-performances ' just yet. 

'' The baths seem to have done me a great deal of good. 
I am at Nienstadten again, and shall continue to rest myself 

"All good angels be with you! Farewell, dear friend. 
Forget not your for ever and ever loving and grateful 

" Jenny." ♦ 

Mdlle. Johansson's illness was not a serious one, and soon 
after the middle of September she was able to accompany 
Mdlle. Lind to Frankfort, where the business of the autumn 
season began. 

MdUa Lind had by this time acquired a thoroughly 
methodical and business-like way of keeping records, and 
one of her first acts, on arriving at Frankfort, was the pur- 

* From the Wichmann letters. 


chase of a thick and sturdy memorandum-book, a square 
bulky volume, of quarto size, labelled, "Annotation-Book * of 
Jenny Lind," and filled with ruled " sermon-paper," in which 
she entered every one df her engagements, from that time 
forward, up to the moment of her marriage, in America, in 
the year 1852. 

Tlie value of this document to her biographers may be 
imagined. Henceforward we shall no more have to send to 
Berlin, or to Vienna, for official lists of the various perform- 
ances with which we are concerned. It is true that, up to 
this date, such lists have been furnished to us through the 
intervention of Mr. Goldschmidt, with never-failing courtesy^ 
by the officers in whose charge the aiduves of the different 
theatres are placed. The information for which we have 
asked, whether at Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Copenhagen, 
Hamburg, or elsewhere, has never once been refused to us, 
and as much care has been bestowed upon the verification of 
a date as if the welfare of the theatre itself had depended 
upon its correctness. For this we tender our best and most 
sincere thanks ; but henceforth every date, in whatever coimtry, 
will be given on the authority of Mdlle. Lind's own hand- 
writing, and the juivantage of this is manifest. 

The first entries in the book are : — 

" Frankfort a/M. 1846. 

Sonnambula Sept. 25 

Norma f» 28 

Figlia ,,30 

Figlia Oct 2 

SonrMmbuUi „ 5 

VesidU (50 Louis d'or for the members of the 

chorus) X »> 7 

Figlia (benefit for the orchestra pension-fund) x „ 10 

We subjoin a fac-simile of the first page. The little cross 
means that the performance was given, wholly or in part, for 

* < 


428 JENNY LIND. Dbk. v. ch. vn. 

charitable or benevolent purposes, and the number of such 
crosses in a single page is sometimes very remarkable. In 
the present case fifty Louis d^or of the proceeds, on the 7th 
of October, were given to the chorus, and on the 10th the 
whole was devoted to the ** Orchestra Pension Fund " of the 
Frankfort Stadt Theatre. 

The performances were crowned with the usual success, 
and followed by the usual demonstrations of enthusiastic 
admiration ; but this visit to Frankfort was memorable for 
reasons quite unconnected with its individual triumphs, for 
it was here that the idea of an engagement at Her Majesty's 
Theatre, in London, first took a definite and palpable form. 

When, in her letter of October 18, 1845, Mdlle. lind 
assured Mr. Bunn that she ^' did not coimt upon taking any 
other engagement in England,'' she wrote in perfect good 
faith. She had made no engagement with any other English 
manager, and did not contemplate making one. 

On the other hand, when Mr. Bunn, in his letter of 
October 30, accused her of trying to get rid of her liability 
at his theatre, in order that she might make an engagement 
at the Italian Opera, he probably believed that he was telling 
the truth, though he based his conclusions upon reports which 
might or might not have reached the ears of his correspondent. 

Long before that, some of her friends in London — 
including Mrs. Grote, who herself mentions the fact in the 
MS. " Memoir '* from which we have so frequently quoted — 
had " urged Mr. Lumley to make efforts in this direction," * 
and he had, in fact, '' made more than one tentative to obtain 
the services of the celebrated songstress for Her Majesty's 
Theatre." t Hearing of this — as no doubt he did — Mr. Bunn, 
looking at the circumstance from his own point of view, put 
the worst possible construction upon it, and took it for 

* MS. * Memoir,' by Mrs. Grote. 
t Ihid. 

^/f-^<i'!<'i>'7a^^^^c^^ ^y^^ j^ 

(^,^.M„.;iiir.:^ /gyi 

/(J^ ZE?- QVZC^ 

1/ ,^ y*-i 





granted that his correspondent was cognizant of all that took 
place — which was not true. She did not know of it, until the 
period affected by Mr. Bunn's contract had long been over- 
passed. It was not until long after that date that Mr. 
Lumley made her a definite and tangible offer for Her 
Majesty's Theatre; and, when the offer came, she refused 
even to think of it. She was so terrified at the penalties, 
the law-suits, and the disgrace with which Mr. Bunn had 
threatened her, that her dearest and most trusted friends 
could not persuade her to entertain the idea of appearing at 
an English theatre, under any circumstances, or upon any 
terms whatever. 

And yet her destiny seemed to be weaving a net round 
about her, from which no way of escape was visible. She was 
brought, apart from her own will entirely, under the steadily 
increasing influence of English friends. Mrs. Grote was 
most anxious that she should come to London. Her brother, 
Mr. Edward Lewin — of whom more will be said in a future 
chapter — saw no insurmountable difficulties in the way of an 
engagement at Her Majesty's Theatre. Mr. Lumley was un- 
ceasing in his endeavours to induce her to rescind her decision ; 
and, while she was still in Frankfort, the musical correspon- 
dent of one of the most influential art journals in England 
turned aside from his travels, in the hope of hearing her sing, 
and begged an introduction to her, from a quarter whence he 
well knew that it would be favourably received. 

The following letter from Mendelssohn, which arrived in 
Frankfort almost simultaneously with Mdlle. Lind herself, 
will explain the situation exactly : — 

<* Leipzig, September 23, 1846. 

" My deak FrAulein, 

" If you will do me a real favour, and if you are not 
too much occupied and worried during your stay in Frank- 
fort, let me beg of you to receive the bearer of these lines. 

430 JENNY LIND. [bk, v. ch. vn. 

Mr. Chorley (an acquaintance of mine of long standing, and 
a great lover of music), with your usual kindness, and to sing 
him one of my songs.* 

" He is an excellent listener, and you will make him very 
happy if you grant my wish. I believe he is going to 
Frankfort solely on this account, so that I have really no 
choice but to come to you with this new request. 

" Many thanks for your last letter, which I only received 
after I had left London, and at the moment of starting for 
Ostend. f 

" I have so much to say about England, and your journey 
thither, that I really do not know how I am to write it-t 
In any case, everything depends upon the way in which one 
establishes oneself there ; or, rather, upon the way in which 
you establish yoursdf^ for you have the whole thing entirely 
in your own hands, and English lovers of music are expecting 
you, in a frame of mind, and speaking of you, in terms, which 
please me very much indeed — a thing which very seldom 
happens — ^when I hear you spoken of. So you can manage 
it exactly as you wUl ; though, for that very reason, you 
alone are in a position to decide upon it. 

" Till we meet again, merry, happy, unchanged. 


Felix Mendelssohn Babtholdy." 

Thus prepared for Mr. Chorley 's visit, Mdlle. Lind received 
him when he called, a few days later, with the friendly 
courtesy which she felt it no less a pleasure than a duty to 
extend to the friends of those with whom she was herself on 
terms of intimacy. He repeated his visit more than once, 
heard her sing in La Figlia del Reggimento, and afterwards in 
La Sonnambula and Die Vestalin, and wrote, on the 4th of 
October, to Mrs. Grote, describing, in the most enthusiastic 
terms, the pleasure he had felt in hearing her sing. *' And 
now let me tell you," he says, " how thoroughly, with my 

* Mr. Chorley was the musical critic, attached to the Athenmum, 

t That is, on his return home, after the first performance of Elijah, at 

the Birmingham Festival. 

X Mendelssohn evidently supposed the negotiations with Mr. Lumley 

to have advanced farther than they really had at this moment. 


whole heart, I like her as a singer, more, by twenty times, 
than I had expected. The only fault I can find, or fancy, is, 
that she is too fond of using all her powers, the end of which 
is a feeling of heaviness — the one tinge of (Jermanism which 

remains about her style I was really delighted to find 

that I am not past the old thrill, or the old beating of the 
heart, and that I could not go to bed till I had written a note 
(in horrible French) to say * Thank you,* *' * 

On the same day (October 4th) he also wrote to Mendels- 
sohn, to thank him for " the very very intense pleasure *' that 
had made him ^' laugh and cry like a child again," after ** a 
fear of disappointment " which he " hardly liked to describe," 
ending his letter with the words, " She says she will not come 
to London," f — ^^0°^ which it is evident, that, if he did not 
endeavour to persuade her to come, he had, at least, discussed 
the subject with her. 

She would have liked to come, very much indeed, if only 
to please Mendelssohn, who was most anxious that she 
should do so» and whose wish was shared by many other 
friends in whose judgment she placed great confidence ; but, 
believing, as she did, that Mr. Bunn's threats were no mere 
idle words, but menaces which he possessed full power to 
carry out, and certainly had the will to carry out, if she 
ventured to set foot upon English soil, she did not dare to 
listen, either to the whispers of her own feelings on the sub- 
ject, or the wishes of her friends. Her fears overcame every 
other consideration; and, against these fears, Mr. Lumley 
found himself absolutely pow^less to contend. 

The next engagement was at Darmstadt, where she sang 
three times at the Court Theatre, in La SonnamJnUa, 
on the 13th of October, and in Norma and La Fifflia 
dd Beggimento, on the 16th and 19th. The memory of the 

♦ Prom Mrs. Grote's MS. ' Memoir.' 

t From the original letter, presenred in the * Green Yolumea.' 

432 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. vn. 

pievious performances in September 1845 were still green and 
flourishing, and the success of the second visit was greater than 
that of the first. The account of La Sonnarnhula, given in the 
local journal, on the day after the performance, was written 
in a strain as exalted as that of Herr Eellstab himself; and 
described a wealth of wreaths and flowers rivalling those of 
Berlin and Vienna. The prices were raised, after the usual 
manner, for these three performances ; and, when these were 
over, Mdlle. Lind gave a concert, for the young son of a 
musician named Panny, who stood in need of help for the 
development of his talent, and thus supplemented her 
engagement, as she had so often done before, by an act of 

In the meantime, Mr. Lumley had not been idle. He had 
now abundant hope — having gained the all-powerful support 
of Mendelssohn — and the engagement of Mdlle. lind was 
a matter of such vital importance to him that he could 
not afford to let the subject drop. Since the close of the 
previous season, the afiairs of Her Majesty's Theatre had 
been in the utmost possible disorder. Tlie company, with 
Mesdames Grisi and Persiani at their head, had revolted, and 
there was no one to take their placa Mr. Lumley's friends 
in England — among them, Mrs. Grote, who took the keenest 
interest in his negotiations, and in whose judgment and 
discretion he placed great faith — and a host of amateur 
musicians who had the interests of the musical drama really 
at heart, saw, in the proposed engagement, his only chance 
of escape from absolute ruin, and urged him to leave no 
stone imtumcd that might help to bring the matter to a 
successful issue. By their advice, he followed Mdlle. Lind 
from Frankfort to Darmstadt, and there again presented 
himself to her, armed, this time, with a letter from Mendels- 
sohn, whom he had seen in Leipzig, and to whom he had 
taken a letter from herself. 


Feeling sure that the missive with the delivery of which 
he was entrusted was a very valuable one, and not at all 
likely to be written in opposition to his own interests, Mr. 
Lumley lost no time in presenting it in person ; and thus it 
ran: — 

" Leipzig, October 12, 1846. 

"My dear Fraulein, 

" I intended to write to you on the day on which 
your first letter arrived ; but a few hours afterwards came 
your second letter, and Mr. Lumley, who brought it. All 
that he said to me, and all that passed through my mind in 
connection with it, and the different thoughts that crossed 
each other hither and thither, made it impossible for me to 
write to you until to-day ; and I told Mr. Lumley that, if he 
should be coming here again after his journey to Berlin, I 
would meanwhile think it all carefully over, and would then 
tell him whether I could advise you to go to London 
or not. 

" Upon that — i.e., upon my advice — ^he seems to set great 
store, and I have already told you in my former letter that 
the whole success of his undertaking depends upon your 

" In short, I can only repeat what I then wrote — I should 
like you, as far as is humanly possible, to arrange, as 
completely as one covld mish, for your own comfort, and, 
when that has all been settled, I should like you to go 

" I should have strongly urged Mr. Lumley — at least, on 
his return here — to speak clearly and exactly about money 
matters ; because that is a very serious point, in England ; and 
because you could, and ought, to make such terms as no one 
else could at this moment, since you are the only one upon 
whom alone the whole thing depends. But — do not be 
angry with me ! — I had not the courage to do this : not even 
for you, though I know that you understand that kind of 
thing even less than I do — ^in other words, not at all. But 
it is such a very sore point with me, and I rejoice so much 
when I have nothing to hear or say about it, that I could 
not bring the words to my lips. And, at last, I thought, ' It 
18 not my pEOvince/ and so, after all, I let it pass. 

** Theretee I con only repeat, it must all be as is just and 
flnt tn Toii- 

2 r 

484 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. vn, 

'* Nevertheless, you will certainly meet with such a recep- 
tion there, that you will be able to think of it with pleasure 
throughout the whole of your future life. When the English 
once entertain a personal liking for anyone, I believe that no 
people are more friendly, more cordial, or more constant ; and 
such a feeling you will find there. For, as I told you before, 
I have noticed that they entertain this tnie feeling there, not 
only about your singing, but about your personality, and 
your whole being, and upon this last they even set more store 
than upon the singing itself. And this is as it should be. 

" In my opinion, therefore, it cannot for a moment be 
doubted that you will be received there as you deserv'e — 
more warmly, enthusiastically, and heartily, perhaps, than in 
all your former experience : and you have experienced a great 
deal in that way. You will therefore give your friends great 
pleasure if you go there ; and I, for my part, should be verj- 
glad indeed if you were to go. 

" Insist upon all possible conditions that can in the least 
degree make things agreeable to you, and insist upon them 
very firmly, and strictly, and clearly. Do not forget any- 
thing that may be pleasant for you, and have nothing to say 
to anything that may be unpleasant. Going to London, and 
singing there, can, in itself, be nothing but pleasant — of that 
I am firmly persuaded. Eveiything else depends only upon 
the manner in which this is done, and all that you have in 
your own hands. 

" I am selfish, too, in my advice ; for I hope that we shall 
there meet in the world again. While still in England, 
I had half promised to return there next April ; had I only 
known that you would be there at that time, or would be 
j^^oing there, you may imagine how much more willingly I 
should have settled it. Mr. Lumley, also, in the kindest 
manner, jaoposed that I should compose an Oj^era for him 
next May, and I could only answer, that, on the self- 
same day on which I succeeded in getting a good libretto, on 
a good sul)j(ict, I would begin to write the music; and that, 
in doing so, I should be fulfilling my greatest wish. He 
hopes soon to be able to procure such a libretto, and has 
already taken some decided steps with regard to it. God 
grant that some good results may follow. From Madame 
l^iirch-rfeilfer, 1 have not heard a single word, for a loni; 
time. In the meantime, I have music-paper and finely- 
nibbed pens lying on the table — and wait. 



" But, apart from this, I hope, as I have told you, to visit 
London again next spring, and what a pleasure it will be to 
me to witness there the most brilliant and hearty reception 
that can possibly fall to an artist's lot ! For I know full 
well that that is what your reception will be, and it will be 
great fun for me that you yourself will be the feted artist. 

*' For myself, I am doing well ; but, during the three 
weeks that have elapsed since I returned here, I have done 
scarcely anytliing but rest, so tired was I — and still am, 
sometimes — with the work that preceded the journey to 
England, and the journey itself. The performance of my 
Elijah was the best first performance that I have ever heard 
of any one of my compositions. There was so much go, and 
swing, in the way in which the people played, and sang, and 
listened. I wish you had been there. But I have now 
fallen back into the concert trouble, and can neither get 
true rest, nor quietness here. So I have built myself a grand 
castle in the air ; namely, to travel, next summer, with my 
whole family, in my favourite country — which, as you know, 
is Switzerland — and then to study uninterruptedly for two 
months on one of the lakes, living in the open air. If God 
gives us health, we will carry out this plan ; and when I 
think of such a quiet time in the country after all the hurry 
and bustle, and aU the brightness of a London season, and 
remember how dear both of them are to me, and how well 
they please me, I almost wish that the spring were already 
here, and that I was taking my seat in the travelling 

" And now, to-day, I have still a request to make. Write 
to me, at once, when you have come to a decision concerning 
England ; and tell me everything, with all the details : for you 
know how much it all interests me. Before all things, then, 
write to me, from time to time ; and think kindly ol me, 

" As for myself, you know that I am, and remain, 

" Your friend, 

"Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

The result of Mendelssohn's advice will be most clearly 
manifested, by a letter which Mr. Lumley wrote to him after 
his interview with Mdlle. Lind — a letter which is all the 

2 F 2 

436 JENNT LIND. [bk. v. ch. vn. 

more interesting, inasmuch as it treats, also, of the loDg 
hoped-for libretto in such sort as to show that the manager 


had ah-eady begim to look upon it as ''a matter of 

" Darmstadt, October 17. 

"Deaii Mr. Mendelssohn, 

" I am delighted to tell you that your letter has had 
its effect ; and that the lady has signed an engagement. * 

"Your letter charmed her so much. It was a most 
l)leasing picture — her countenance, when reading it. No sun 
could have infused more joy into a beautiful landscape, than 
your letter did on her. 

"To give her peace of mind, I added clauses to the 
engagement, which, if known by persons not intimately 
acquainted with her charming character and feeling of 
honour, would perhaps incur for me the charge of folly. But, 
I know I can depend on her honour ; and I am perfectly 
happy and contented on that head. I have prepared the 
engagement wholly in her favour ; but I proposed to her to 
add anything else that you might think advisable, and I 
added a clause to that effect. 

" She would not enter into the question of money ; but I 
am quite sure you will be satisfied that I have done every- 
tliin<^^ right in that way. 

" I need not tell you how truly grateful I am to you. The 
English, as a nation, will owe you a debt of gratitude ; for I 
look upon tlie engagement of Lind as a new era in the 
progress of Art in England. Her success will be transcen- 
dent. Independently of her great genius, she has tliat 
purity and cliastity of manner which none but a really good 
person can possess, and which, in England, will gain her 
partisans on all sides. I say * on all sides,* because, even 
with the vile, there is that in real goodness and virt^ue which 
commands admiration. 

" Pray remember me most kindly to Madame Mendels- 
solm, and to her mother,t and permit me to send my love to 
your children, not forgetting the baby, and that beautiful 
boy Carl, who, though suggestive of the pictures of Eaphael, 
and Correggio, reminds us that there is an artist far above 

* The document was formally signed, on the 17th of October, 1846. 
t Madame Jeanrenaud. 


the greatest of human artists, and that the real is frequently 
more beautiful than the ideal. 

" My joy on the completion of the affair is not unsullied. 
I am fearful that she may, for a time, at least, tease herself 
with fears, which, though entirely groundless, may equally 
torment her. I will venture to entreat you to assure her of 
the absolute certainty of her great success to give her 

" I shall lose no time in occupying myself, immediately, 
mth the libretto for our grand affair ; and I do not despair of 
providing you with a libretto which shall give you pleasure 
and ensure your valuable aid. 

" It is of importance that this affair of Lind should be kept 
private for the present. I shall lose no time in occupying 
myself about the ' affaire Bunn* 

** I need not say that it will give me great pleasure to hear 
from you. 

" Yours most truly, 

" B. LUMLEY." * 

Without wearying our readers with a literal transcript of 
the "Lumley Contract," with its endless circumlocutions and 
technical legal phraseology, we may briefly say that it 
provided : — 

(1.) An hoiuyrarium, of 120,000 francs (£4800) for the 

season, reckoned from the 14th of April to the 20th 

of August, 1847. 
(2.) A furnished house, a carriage, and a pair of horses, free 

of charge, for the season. 
(3.) A farther sum of £800 if Mdlle. Lind wished to spend 

a month in Italy before her dehU, for the purpose 

of studying the language, or for rest. 
(4.) Liberty to cancel the engagement, if, after her first 

appearance, she felt dissatisfied at the measure of 

its success, and wished to discontinue her 

(5.) Mdlle. Lind was not to sing at concerts, public or 

private, for her own emolument. 

* Transcribed from the original letter, preserved in the * CJreen Volnmes.' 

438 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. vii. 

So, the question of appearing at Her Majesty's Theatre was 
decided at last ; and, when Mdlle. Lind left Darmstadt, for 
Munich, she had bound herself to the most important 
dramatic engagement, and prepared the way for the most 
solid artistic triumph that ever had been, or was ever 
destined to be, associated with her name. 


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