1867Honorary Citizen in Odense
Goes to Basnæs Estate, where a large wedding is held for Lucie Scavenius and Carl Castenschiold.
Returns to Copenhagen. HCA gives a vivid description of the trip back in an (unpublished) letter to Mrs Scavenius:
"The trip home was fairly slow; we left Slagelse at 12.30 and did not arrive in Copenhagen until 5.30 in the evening, in other words, five whole hours for that route which had only taken two last summer. The stops at each station took forever. Unfortunately it was the first of November and a great number of servants were headed for service; they had with them monstrous chests, drawers and cupboards. It was like a set-up for a moving day. The rain poured down and it took ages, as the expression goes, to get hold of one's clothes at the railway station. What's more, the carriages were terribly hard and narrow, never before had I travelled in a second-class carriage like that".
Is invited by Bishop Engelstoft to come to Odense on 28th November and be celebrated on 30th. In mid November it is leaked through the newspapers on Funen that HCA is to be an honorary citizen of Odense, and be given the freedom of the town. HCA then receives a letter from the Odense municipal authorities about this matter. He then postpones the arrangement until 6th December. The newspapers write that the prophecy about how the town would one day be lit up for him - as mentioned in Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) - would now come true.
Act 2 and 3 of HCA's text to an opera, Kong Saul (King Saul), is printed in Fra danske Forfattere. Digte og Skizzer (From Danish Authors. Poems and Sketches), which is released by Chr. Richardt.
Leaves for Odense, overnighting in Korsør. (During the trip, and generally speaking of late, he has a lot of trouble with his false teeth). Stays with Bishop Engelstoft in Odense.
In a letter to Henriette Collin (same day), HCA describes the reception in Odense and the forthcoming arrangements as follows:
"I wish tomorrow was over and done with. It is, I suppose, a bright and notable day in my life, but thinking about it makes me feel upset [...] I wonder why so much joy and honour is granted me? It's almost alarming".
At the town hall, in the morning, HCA is proclaimed honorary citizen. The schools are closed for the day to mark the occasion. A large gala dinner is held at the town hall in the evening, with 240 guests. The royal family send a telegram to congratulate and there is a deputation from the Association of Work and Industry. Flags are raised throughout the town, there is a torchlight procession and while when he appears at the window of the town hall, HCA is met with song and a nine-fold hurrah from the crowd on the square below.
On the following days, dinners are held for HCA by the mayor, the bishop (where there are 130 guests) and by the dean.
Goes with the bishop to see the charity school, which he had gone to himself, as well as Lahns Foundation and the childhood home.
11 December 1867
Is back in Copenhagen. Senses some envy with regards to the celebration held for him in Odense:
"Some had taken comfort, so to speak, in the belief that it [the celebrations] surely had not been as great as the papers reported. Others felt that Christian Winther really ought to have suchlike, rather than I. But he was not, after all, born in Odense, was my answer"
(the diary, 21st).
But Paludan-Müller and Bjørnson congratulate him heartily on the honour bestowed.
Bjørnson tells him (20th Dec.) that Grundtvig and he (HCA) are:
"the two true poets of the people, absorbed by the public. Other poets may, to be sure, provide a scent"
Release of Femten Eventyr og Historier. Ny Udgave. Med Illustrationer af Lorenz Frølich (Fifteen Tales and Stories. New Edition. Illustrated by Lorenz Frølich) (all the texts are reprinted). Also release of Kjendte og Glemte Digte (1823-1867) (Known and Forgotten Poems).
Celebrates Christmas first with the Koch family (Ida Koch is the daughter of Admiral Wulff), then with the Henriques and the Jerichaus.
HCA's assets amount to 14,150 rdl. In 1867, 450 rdl. were earned in interest and 45 rdl. were paid in tax.
Spends New Years Eve with the English ambassador, Sir Charles Murray.
"Left Muries before eleven, ate at home, listening to the New Year's firecrackers, and now the year 1867 draws to a close, the year which has brought me most honour and been the most changeable for me [...] I am now titular Councillor of State and in Odense I have experienced a tribute which stands amongst the rarest in this world [...] Lord my God, my only God, thank you for the year that passed. What might, dare, will and shall the new one bring; I pray thee Lord, give me the strength to bear it, do not let go of me!-"
(the diary, same day).