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[135]

To Judge Story.

Heidelberg, Feb. 10, 1840.
my dear Judge,— . . . You dispose of my views about raising the standard of education in Harvard College summarily enough. Would that I had your influence on that question! The age, our national character, our future destinies, demand that there should be some truer standard of taste than is to be found among us; and this will only proceed from a finished education. . . . A few days ago I received your delightful letter of Dec. 1. Thanks to you for cheating posterity out of five pages in order to bestow them upon me. I am astonished at the labor you have gone through. I am anxious to read the ‘Commentaries on Agency,’ and shall get them in London to read on my passage home.

I am here in this beautiful place to study German, before I take my final leap to America. Lovely it is, even in this season, with its hills ‘in russet clad;’ but lovely indeed must it be when they are invested with the green and purple of summer and autumn. Every thing is on the simplest scale. I dined with Mittermaier,1 who, out of deference to my habit of dining late, placed his dinner at half-past 12 instead of twelve, though he told me he was afraid it would trouble Mr. Thibaut,2—dear old man,—who was to be of the party, and who was not accustomed to such late hours. Think of me, who, in every country which I have visited, have dined later than everybody else, and never take any thing from breakfast till dinner. At the table at that hour, of course, I had no appetite; and Madame Mittermaier said, with much naivete;, ‘Why, you do not eat; you have already dined before coming here.’ I have long talks with Mittermaier, who is a truly learned man, and, like yourself, works too hard. We generally speak French, though sometimes I attempt German, and he attempts English; but we are both happy to return to the universal language of the European world. I like Thibaut very much. He is now aged but cheerful. His conversation is very interesting, and abounds with scholarship; if he were not so modest I should think him pedantic. In every other sentence he quotes a phrase from the Pandects or a classic. It has been a great treat to me to talk familiarly, as I have, with the two distinguished heads of the great schools, proand con,on the subject of codification,—Savigny and Thibaut. I have heard their views from their own lips, and have had the honor of receiving both of them in my own room. I know many other learned men here. This is almost exclusively an academic place; of course the highest titles are academic. Sometimes I am addressed as Herr Doctor,that is, Doctor of Laws; and at other times, Herr Professor. My life is somewhat different from that passed in the grand mondeof Berlin. I shall stay here about a fortnight longer; shall be in London March 1, where I shall pass only a week, merely to attend to some necessary affairs and see two or three of my particular friends,—Morpeth, Ingham, Parkes, Hayward,


1 Ante, Vol. I. p. 160.

2 Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut died March 28, 1840, at the age of sixty-six. He was Professor of Law successively at Kiel, Jena, and Heidelberg. He advocated as early as 1814 a national code. See references to Thibaut and Mittermaier, Works, Vol. II. p. 442.

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