At four fifty-five, Conde's servant Lampe woke him up on time. At five o'clock, he sat in his study ready for breakfast, wearing slippers, a robe, and a nightcap, to which he added a tricorn hat. His breakfast consisted of a cup of light tea and a pipe of tobacco. For the next two hours he prepares for his morning lecture. Then he dresses. His classroom is located on the ground floor of his house. His lectures start at seven o'clock and last until nine o'clock. His class was so popular that if you wanted a good seat, you had to be there at 6:30.
Kant sat behind a small desk and lectured in a conversational tone, with a soft voice and few gestures, but his humor and eloquence made his lectures lively. His goal was to train his students to think for themselves, and he did not like his students to be busy writing down everything he said.
"Gentlemen, don't be busy writing," he said once again, "I am not reading from the oracle."
He used to cast his eyes on the student sitting next to him and determine whether he had understood by watching his expression. But a small trifle would often distract him. Once he noticed that a student's button had fallen off, and his thoughts were thus interrupted. On another occasion, a student was drowsy and yawning repeatedly, and he interrupted his lecture. Saying, "If someone must yawn, the polite way is to cover his mouth with his hand."
At nine o'clock Kant returned to his study, put on his robe and slippers again, put on his nightcap and tricorn hat, and studied until three minutes past twelve. Then he called the cook down and told her it was time for dinner. Then he changed his clothes, returned to the study, and waited for his guests to join him for dinner.
He could not bear the loneliness of eating alone, so he always had guests with him, as few as two or as many as five. When the guests arrived, Kant ordered the servants to serve the meal, and he himself went to fetch the silver spoon, which was locked in the parlor cupboard with the money.
After the guests were seated in the dining room, Kant said, "Gentlemen, please," and began to eat. The meal was very generous, as it was the only meal Kant had during the day, and usually consisted of soup, fish with dried beans, roasted meat, and finally cheese and seasonal fruit. A pint of red wine and a pint of white wine were placed in front of each guest, and guests drank whatever they wanted.
Kant liked to talk, but he liked to do it alone and would look offended if anyone interrupted or contradicted him; but his conversations were always pleasant, that is, he was alone and no one minded.
He also told humorous stories, of which there were many, and he told them very well. He said, "It is said that a laugh after a meal helps digestion."
When he ate he liked to take his time and enjoy himself, and his guests didn't get up until very late. After the guests left, he stopped sitting down so as not to fall asleep. He did not allow himself to do so, because he believed that one should not be sleepy, so that time would be saved and life would be prolonged. He began his afternoon walk.
He was short, only five feet tall, with a narrow chest and shoulders one high and one low. He was thin, almost emaciated. He had a hawkish nose, delicate eyebrows, and a good complexion. His eyes were small, but blue, angry and penetrating. He was neatly dressed. He wore a blond wig, a black tie around his neck, a shirt with frills at the collar and cuffs; his jacket, pants and vest were of good quality, and he wore a pair of gray stockings on his feet and shoes with silver and white buckles. He holds a three-cornered hat under his armpit and a gold-headed cane in his hand. He walked for an hour every day, rain or shine, but if it looked bad, his servant would follow him with a large umbrella.
The only time he did not go for a walk was when he received Rousseau's Émile, and that was when he was at home reading a book and did not go out for three days. He walked slowly because he thought sweating was bad for him, and he liked to walk alone because he had developed the habit of breathing through his nostrils, which he thought would prevent colds. If he had a companion to walk with, he would have to talk out of courtesy, and he would have to breathe through his mouth.
His walks were always along the same route, along Linden Street, which, according to Heine, he would walk back and forth eight times. He always left home at the same moment, so punctual that the people of the town could adjust their clocks accordingly. When he got home, he went back to his study, then read and wrote letters until dusk when it became dark. Then he habitually gazed with both eyes at the tower of the nearby church and pondered the question he was thinking about. At three minutes past nine, he suspended his arduous labors, and at ten he was in bed.
Although he lived to be eighty years old, he never traveled more than sixty miles from the town of his birth. He suffered from minor illnesses and ailments, but by his own will he paid no attention to them, as if they had not happened to him.
He was neither impulsive nor outwardly emotional, he was friendly, generous and helpful despite his lack of wealth. His intelligence was remarkable and his ability to think was admirable, but his inner feelings were very poor. On two occasions he seriously considered marriage, but he spent too much time considering the pros and cons of marriage, and while he was doing so, one of the young women he had noticed married another, and another left his town of Königsberg before he could make his decision.