Letter/Extract 11

WW to Josiah Wedgwood: Goslar, February 5th, 1799.

[Residence in Goslar; inhabitants]

We have had a pleasant residence at Goslar where we have been for eighteen weeks. Our progress in the language has been very, very far short of what it would have been, had we been richer. The practice of taking people en pension is a thing almost unknown in Germany, and consequently, a price is demanded far above our calculations and our means; on this account that time which I expected would have been the most profitable has with respect to attaining the language been utterly useless, as we have been compelled to be together alone at meal-times &c, &c. Goslar is a venerable (venerable I mean as to its external appearance) decayed city. It is situated at the foot of some small mountains, on the edge of the Harts forest. It was once the residence of Emperors, and it is now the residence of Grocers and Linen-drapers who are, I say it with a feeling of sorrow, a wretched race; the flesh, blood, and bone of their minds being nothing but knavery and low falshood. We have met with one dear and kind creature, but he is so miserably deaf that we could only play with him games of cross-purposes, and he likewise labours under a common German infirmity, the loss of teeth, so that with bad German, bad English, bad French, bad hearing, and bad utterance you will imagine we have had very pretty dialogues but the creature is all kindness and benevolence, and I shall never forget him. (EY, 249).