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[465] already Count Stroganoff and General Von Leyser, President of the Chamber of Deputies, with two or three other persons whom I knew. We were received by the court-marshal and the master of ceremonies, and the company amounted to about thirty persons. When it was all assembled, two officers of the guards entered from a side door, and, crossing the room, placed themselves by the door of the dining-hall. The proper officers of ceremony followed, and then came the old King, with the Princess Amelia, his niece, who has long lived with him as his adopted daughter, who was accompanied by a single dame d'honneur. . . . They spoke to almost all of us, meaning to be agreeable, and partly succeeding. As soon as this was over the doors of the dining-hall were thrown open, the King tottered in alone, the Princess and her lady followed, and then the rest of us, without standing upon the order of our going.

At table Count Stroganoff was placed on the King's right and a Polish general on his left, in the middle of a long table, and opposite sat the Princess, with General Von Leyser on her left, and then myself, as arranged by the court-marshal. General Von Leyser is a man of talent, and very agreeable, so that I had a pleasant time. . . . . There were about as many servants as guests; four for the King, in the yellow livery of his running footmen, had their caps on. . .. . The table was loaded with a very rich and beautifully wrought profusion of plate, but there was nothing under the covers, the true dishes being all brought round. The King eat from a service of gold, and had a little gold salt-cellar before him that looked exactly like a snuff-box. It lasted about an hour and a half; then the King rose and went with the Princess into the next room, where we were first received. There coffee was served,. . . . the King spoke to most of us again,. . . . bowed to us, and went out. The Princess stayed a few moments longer and then retired. The company now took ceremonious leave of the court-marshal, as if he had been our host, and we were all at home before three o'clock. . .. . The party chiefly consisted of Russian, Polish, and Saxon noblemen, with one or two French, one or two Austrian, and one Englishman. . . . .

In the evening I passed an hour or two with Falkenstein, the head of the library establishment, a man full of knowledge and pleasant qualities, to whom I am under many obligations. We spent the time chiefly in looking over his extraordinary collection of autographs, which is most admirably arranged, and amounts now to about eleven thousand, exclusive of duplicates. I have never seen anything like it.


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