The prince of poets, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, had his first meeting with Beethoven, the premiere of his own theatre play that did not take place, and experienced the most erotic moment of his life in Teplice. He was sixty and she was twenty-five, he had known her from her childhood days and her name was Bettina von Arnim. This breath-taking moment is described by Milan Kundera in his novel Immortality (Nesmrtelnost).
In 1810, during the three days when both of them found themselves by chance in Teplice, she confessed to him that she would soon marry poet Achim Arnim. She told him probably somewhat shyly as she was not sure whether Goethe would consider her marriage as a betrayal of the love she had been confessing passionately to him. She did not know men well enough to be able to predict what emotions she would bring him by it.
Immediately after her departure he wrote a letter to Christiane in Weimar containing the happy sentence: “Mit Arnim ist es wohl gewiss.” “It is quite certain with Arnim”. He rejoiced in the same letter that this time Bettina was “really prettier and nicer than ever”, and we do have an idea why he found her as such: he was sure that, from then on, the existence of a husband would protect him from her expressions of extravagance, which up to then had prevented him from appreciating her charm with pleasure and in good temper.
In order to understand the situation, we must not forget one important thing: Goethe had been a seducer from his early youth; so by the time he got to know Bettina he had been a seducer continuously for forty years; over the course of that time he had developed methods of seduction and reactions and gestures that got reactions with the subtlest of stimuli. Until then, he had always had to keep it low key around Bettina, which was very tough for him. However, once he understood that “it was certain with Arnim”, he said to himself with relief that his caution was no longer necessary.
She came into his room in the evening, looking like a child once again. She talked about something nice and polite, and while he stayed in his armchair she sat down on the floor opposite him. Being in a good mood (“it is certain with Arnim!”), he bent down towards her and caressed her face as one would caress a child. At that point, the child stopped talking and raised her eyes, full of female desire for him. He took her by the hands and lifted her up from the floor. Remember the scene: he was sitting, she was standing opposite him and the sun was setting in the window. She was looking into his eyes, he was looking into her eyes, the machine of seduction was set in motion, and he did not resist it. In a voice somewhat deeper than ever, and never stopping looking into her eyes, he invited her to bare her breasts. She said nothing, she did not do anything; she blushed. He rose from the armchair and unfastened the top of her dress himself. She kept looking into his eyes and the red evening sky mixed with a blush on her skin that flooded her from face to stomach. He put his hand on her breast: “Nobody has touched your breast yet?” he asked her. “No,” she replied. “And it is so special when you touch me”, she kept looking into his eyes. Not taking his hand off her breast, he was also looking into her eyes and observed, at length and avidly, deep within, the shyness of a girl who had not had her breast touched by anyone before.
This was approximately how the scene was recorded by Bettina herself and, in all likelihood, the scene did not continue with anything else as it shines in the centre of their story, more rhetorical than erotic, as the only beautiful moment of sexual excitement.