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[261] cared anything about her or about anybody in Boston, except as a part of his own recollections and life.

In this way we continued to talk for some time, until, at last, Mad. de Duras turned and said, ‘Messieurs, you talk so much about individuals that I think you ought to know each other,’ and presented me without further words to Prince Talleyrand. Everything, of course, now became easy and simple. I asked him about the United States, concerning which I thought he did not like to talk, but he said, ‘There is a great deal to be learnt there, j'y ai appris assez, moimeme’; and then, turning to Mad. de Duras, he said, laughing, ‘If Dino [his nephew] would go there, he would learn more than he does every night at the opera.’ I asked him about Washington's appearance, and he spoke of him very respectfully but very coldly, which I easily accounted for, because it was well known that Washington had told Hamilton that he could not receive Talleyrand at his levees, and Pichon had told me, in 1817, that he knew Talleyrand had never forgiven it.1 But this naturally brought Hamilton into his thoughts, and of him he spoke willingly, freely, and with great admiration. In the course of his remarks, he said that he had known, during his life, many of the more marked men of his time, but that he had never, on the whole, known one equal to Hamilton. I was much surprised, as well as gratified, by the remark; but still feeling that, as an American, I was, in some sort, a party concerned by patriotism in the compliment, I answered,—with a little reserve, perhaps with a little modesty,— that the great military commanders and the great statesmen of Europe had dealt with much larger masses of men, and much wider interests than Hamilton ever had. ‘Mais, monsieur,’ the Prince instantly replied, ‘Hamilton avait devine l'europe.’ After this, he spoke almost inevitably of Burr, whom he had also known in America, but whom he did not rate, intellectually, so high as I think most persons who knew him have done. He said, that when Burr came to Europe, he wished to induce the French government to be concerned in a project for dismembering the United States, which he had earlier entertained. ‘But,’ Talleyrand said, ‘I would have nothing to do with him. I ’

1 Among the Writings of Washington, published in 1838, by Jared Sparks, appears (Vol. X. p. 411) a letter to Alexander Hamilton, dated May 6, 1794, and marked Private, in which the President gives his reasons for not receiving M. Talleyrand-Perigord; and in an accompanying foot-note a letter is given from Lord Lansdowne, introducing Talleyrand to General Washington. The autograph letter of Washington to Hamilton came into Mr. Ticknor's possession through Mr. Sparks.

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