Vanessa Redgrave
Stane Sever


  Janez Trdina  
  The poet with his friend Smole at Prežek

Smole usually spent winters in Ljubljana, and summers at a spa or at Prežek castle. Petrič says he cannot praise him particularly. He was spending money so very carelessly that he often could not afford the most basic things, such as salt. People had to keep waiting for their wages or even lend him their money. His hospitality had no limits. He not only served his friends the best home-produced wine, but also expensive champagne. On a particularly jolly night a whole basketful of bottles would be downed. He did not find it easy to go to bed, never retiring before one in the morning, occasionally staying up with his company till three or even until daybreak.

Once, Prešeren visited him (in 1839 apparently) and stayed with him for over three weeks. There was more noise than ever before or after. Champagne ran in torrents. What they talked about and why they laughed so loudly, the poorly educated servant could not understand. They went to bed at two or three in the morning, and then slept like logs, snoring so horrendously that it could be heard throughout the castle, till eleven or midday. After a few days, the count and poet Anastazij Gruen, joined them. And then the real mayhem started. The hullabaloo of the boisterous men rang out for days and nights; the whole family said: "This place has never seen such idiots." Luckily, it only lasted three days. After the count had gone, the other two had to continue on their own.

Janez Trdina: Sprehod v Belo Krajino (A Walk to Bela Krajina) (1873/1874), ZD XI, p. 9

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