From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1864Another Ovation at the Workers' Association.
By train to Holte and from there by coach to visit Mrs Louise Neergaard (widow to Johan Ferdinand Neergaard at Gundersholm). HCA is to be a guest at her small country seat in Søllerød (until 18th July):
"The drive out was quite pretty, the first time I went by railroad; Mrs Neergaard's house is small and old, but under the roof there are several cosy guest rooms; I have one of the largest, it is very much like a cabin. I was cordially received and am very welcome, that is quite clear"
(letter to Edvard Collin, 3rd July).
In the same letter HCA enquires about the peace settlement. He has read in the papers about a rumour which claims Denmark is to be under German rule:
"I make every effort to gather in my thoughts all the mercy and the blessings that God has granted me, unmerited in this life, in order to find the strength to drain that cup of woe that I must. The good times are at an end for us elderly, the new generation is elastic, perhaps it can grow [...] Should you outlive me, please think of what were known as my good points and not of my weaknesses".
Accompanies Mrs Neergaard to visit the queen dowager at Sorgenfri Castle. HCA is suffering from a nasty toothache and on the way in to see the queen he steps on the dress of the lady-in-waiting,
"causing it to say Ritschratsch! The queen appeared and greeted me, Rasmus Nielsen read my psalm aloud, and I: Comfort in Belief, then Nielsen read my poem Denmark. He was moved by it and the queen had tears in her eyes. My toothache got worse, the queen gave me her eau de cologne, but I begged to be excused before Nielsen read. The queen shook hands with me twice, in a hearty manner. I went home; the doctor was still here, he ordered me to bed, placed sour-dough under my feet and gave me a glass of strong toddy to sleep on"
(the diary, same day).
Takes part in several outings whilst at the house in Søllerød (to Rudersdal Forest, Vedbæk, Skodsborg, The Erimitage and the park Dyrehavsbakken). Here he works on the opera Saul.
Mrs Neergaard is a devout follower of Grundtvig and goes to Vartov every Sunday to hear him preach. HCA does not join her.
HCA's "psalm" (from Basnæs), "Jeg har en Angst som aldrig før" (I am Fearful, as Never Before) is printed in the periodical Dansk Kirketidende (The Danish Church Chronicle).
Returns to Copenhagen, feeling "shattered and saddened by life; one long motley day of living, that was my life. Now the night draws near, I see no future" (the diary, same day).
Takes his opera Saul to Hartmann and discusses it with him.
By train from Copenhagen to Fredensborg, where also Bournonville and Paludan-Müller are present. HCA seeks out both of them.
Continues to Elsinore by train; goes to the seaside hotel Marienlyst and lodges there. Walks to Elsinore on 23rd and sees his old school yard again.
Meets the Swedish Prince Oscar at Marienlyst on 23rd. On 25th, he meets Mathilde Fibiger (Clara Raphael) once more. Spends time with his friend Scharff, who he has invited up to Marienlyst for a couple of days.
He and Scharff go by train on 27th to Frederiksborg Castle, where HCA is given a tour of the restored castle ("the walls were a convincing representation of the old ones, but the poetry of the Middle Ages, of the memories, now gone with the fire", diary, same day).
Travels back to Copenhagen with Scharff on 28th.
Departure aboard the steamship 'Flora' to Bøget and from here by day-coach to Christinelund. Without enthusiasm, HCA takes part in an outing from here to Nysø Estate. There are political discussions, with Jonna Stampe accusing the king of being German and labelling HCA as belonging to the reactionary set, i.e. the "royals": "I became very upset, later lay there like a wet mop; rushed out into the field, ranted loudly and was in a complete rage". Afterwards however, Jonna does admit that HCA has sacrificed a great deal by severing all ties with Germany, and they are reconciled once more.
Takes the day-coach via Næstved to Ringsted and continues, upon invitation, from here by train to Sorø to visit Mrs Ingemann. Hears that she has burnt most of her husbands manuscripts. Ingemann had wanted HCA to publish his work, but Mrs Ingemann had advised HCA not to do so, out of consideration for his own work. Visits Peter Heise, the composer.
13 August 1864
Passes Pedersborg on the way to the estate Conradineslyst, to visit the Countesses Tekla and Marie Moltke. Goes on an outing from here on 15th to see the Countesses brother, Ernst, at Aagaard. Also visits the home for the ailing which had been set up by the countesses. Reads "a great number of fairy-tales" out loud while there (the diary, 18th). In return, the farmers' children sing "Risens Datter" for HCA.
Goes to Roskilde, where HCA stays with Ortwed, the rural dean. Disagrees with the dean regarding the racial issue. HCA supports "the emancipation of blacks", whilst the dean maintains that they are "a race inferior to us" (the diary, 20th).
Visits Hartmann, also the painter Wilh. Marstrand and the organist and composer G. Matthison-Hansen, who he hears play whilst being shown around the cathedral.
Return to Copenhagen. Goes on an outing (31st) from here to Klampenborg, in order to visit Martin R. Henriques and his family at their country-home near the beach.
Pays 9 rdl. and 8 skilling in income tax for the April quarter, as well as war taxes of 27 rdl. and 60 skilling for half a year.
Is summoned to a soirè at Christiansborg, held in honour of a visit from the Prince of Wales (the later King Edward VII) and his Danish wife, Alexandra. Prince Edward informs HCA that he is familiar with most of his work.
Commences sitting as model for the sculptor Fr. Chr. Stramboe, who is to make a bust in replacement of the one made by Kolberg.
Is the guest of honour at the anniversary of the founding of the Worker's Association. Receives an ovation for his readings here.
Attends an evocative evening of music at the home of Mrs Heiberg.