ancienne), three hundred years old. ‘Two hundred,’ I said; ‘but that is antiquity with us.’ I regret much that Mr. Wheaton1 is not here. He is passing the winter in Paris. He is at the head of our diplomacy in Europe, and does us great honor: the Princess William spoke of him to me in the most flattering terms. This society is pleasant to enter, as I do, for a few times, and with the excitement of novelty; but I think I could not endure it a whole season. The presence of the Royal Princess is too genante;and then, all is formality and etiquette. I have seen here some very pretty women, —some of the prettiest I have ever met; two of them young princesses, the nieces of Puckler-Muskau.2 Bad, however, as the society is, I should prefer it before Vienna, where aristocracy has its most select home. Personally, I can bear very slight testimony on this subject, as I left Vienna the week the season commenced. I was, however, at Prince Metternich's, where I saw the highest and proudest. Princess Metternich is thought very beautiful. I do not think so. She tosses a slight nod, if a proud prince or ambassador bends his body before her. The Austrian nobility only await the death of the Prince,3 her husband, to take their revanche.On my entering the salon, the Prince covered me with all those pleasant terms of French salutation: ‘Je suis bien enchante de faire votre connaissance,’ &c. He spoke of our country, for which he professed the greatest regard; said we were young, and Europe old: ‘Mais laissons nous jouir de notre vieillesse.’ I disclaimed for myself and the better portion of my countrymen any vulgar propagandism. He spoke of Washington with great respect, and inquired about Sparks's ‘Life and Writings,’ and this new labor of Guizot. He requested me, on my return to America, to make the acquaintance of the Austrian Minister. After this reception from the Prince, I should probably have found the way easy to extending my acquaintance. But I left Vienna immediately, rode a night and a day and night over a dismal country to Prague: there passed a day; saw its bridge, its ancient towers, and the palace of the Bohemian kings. Then another night and day to Dresden, where I thought of Italy as I looked upon the beautiful paintings; then to Leipsic, on a railway where one of the cars was called ‘Washington.’ At Leipsic, examined that great battlefield, and drank the red wine in Auerbach's cellar, where ‘Mephistopheles’ once was; then another night and day to Berlin. But this must soon end. This bright charm of travel will be soon broken,—my book and staff sunk in the deepest well, and I in Boston. In a week or fortnight, I shall leave here,—make a rapid course (‘we fly by night’) to Heidelberg; then down the Rhine to Cologne; then to Brussels, Antwerp, London,—where I shall be at the end of January,—thence to sail for America. If this letter reaches you by the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
1 Henry Wheaton, 1785-1848; author of ‘The Elements of International Law,’ and of ‘The History of the Law of Nations.’ Sumner had met him in Paris, in the winter of 1837-1838. He paid a tribute to Mr. Wheaton, at the time of his death. Works, Vol. II. pp 63-73.
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