In casting about for a subject suited to this audience with its diverse if fundamentally related interests I regretted at first that I was not, like some of my distinguished predecessors, inspired with a message on some general educational, literary, or linguistic topic. A technical paper from my field of study was, of course, barred. But I thought of the warning of Faust that to reach human hearts one must speak from the heart:
Doch werdet ihr nie Herz zu Herzen schaffen,
Wenn es euch nicht von Herzen geht.
And I iisked myself what in all my study of Goethe had given me the most heartfelt joy, that innre Wrme, Seelenwrme, Mittelpunkt which he prized so highly; and in that respect I had to place the appreciation of Goethe the man even above that of Goethe the poet. Moreover, human interest has a universal appeal. So I chose for my subject the human Goethe, his personality as it appears net so much in his works as rather in the details of his life.