very day life returned, I went to school, helped my Mama indoors and in the garden, as well as did the shopping on Augsburg's numerous markets, where I got to see the most interesting and marvellous things from all over the world. Often I also watched my Papa working - "his" books were beautiful. Today, I can still clearly recall the proper order of all materials, the paper stacks, books in all stages in countless wooden presses, as well as the cleanliness of the workshop, and the smell of glue and leather. I loved his quiet and highly precise working with his hands. Getting older, I occasionally helped him out with sewing the layers in case the journeyman happened to be sick. Apart from an awful lot of religious works, he got to bind paper products of any kind, for Augsburg was full of bright people, and the 18th century was known as having really caught the reading bug anyway. Very often I took on errands and delivered the finished orders. This way I got to know personally not only many clergy-men, but also half the city, well nearly.
Here you can see the first page of a prayer-book bound and published by my Papa.
Over centuries, again and again the most famous people stayed in the Free City of the Empire, or came for a visit, emperors, kings, popes, princes, warlords, reformers, artists, and many others of a sometimes a bit contradictory reputation like Signor Casanova. So one day in April 1770, the daughter of Empress Maria Theresia, Archduchess Maria Antonia arrived in Augsburg on the way to her nuptial celebrations in Paris. Such a spectacle! What a magnificent sight, the entourage, all the carriages and terribly elegant people. It's not that something like that was new to Augsburg, but I was only just eleven years of age, the sight filled me with a sense of awe, and left me standing with an open mouth, in particular since the future Queen of France was only four years older.
-- Look, is this not a spectacular view on Augsburg?! See the Cathedral on the left and Heilig Kreuz on the right side in the foreground? Right in the middle between them there's my home, the Jesuitengasse.
During my best teenage years, I spent quite some time with Monsieur and Madame Tavernier in Munich, good friends of the Mozarts', following their invitation, for further social education, so to speak. Although Augsburg was anything but underdeveloped in this regard, Munich, however, housed a university after all, and was last but not least capital of the Bavarian Elector. I went frequently to operas, concerts as well as to the theatre and made acquaintance with lots of people.
By this first journey I also began to intensify my private contact to the Royal Mail, which helped me later to even get my son-in-law.