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[470] other hand, it is said Der Oheim was sent with several other dramas, that its authorship might be entirely concealed, and that the judgment might be entirely fair.

The Princess then sent it to Berlin, where it was acted and had a great success, the incognito being strictly preserved. From Berlin it passed to other theatres with great applause, and then, when acknowledged, it was acted here; but the embarrassments and explanations, and apologies were necessarily manifold and mortifying. It is now one of the regular acting plays throughout Germany, and no doubt deserves to be so. . . .

January 18.—A grand dinner at the French Minister's; more good taste, and quite as much elegance as at the Russian's; au reste, to a considerable degree the same company. . . . . I sat next to Count Circourt,1 a Frenchman, whom I have met here occasionally, with a very intellectual Russian wife, who, like himself, is pretty deep in Dante. The Count is a Carlist, and was private secretary —though yet a young man—under the Ministry of Prince Polignac, and, to the honor of his personal consistency, refuses now to wear the tricolored cockade. The consequence is, that diplomatic etiquette will not permit the minister to present him at Court, though he receives him most kindly in his own house, and even presents Mad. de Circourt, who danced the other night with Prince John. So much for forms!

I talked with Count Circourt to-day upon two subjects, which he understood better than any Frenchman with whom I ever conversed, —Dante, and the statistics of the United States. On the last he was uncommonly accurate.

Another subject which was much talked about by all at table was the great fire at New York, the news of which came to-day; the fire

1 This was the beginning of an acquaintance which ripened into intimacy and produced frequent correspondence. Count Circourt is well known in all the intellectual circles of Europe as possessing prodigious stores of information and a marvellous memory. His powers of criticism, his habits of research, his sagacious observation of the political movements of the world, and his high tone of thought give great authority to his opinions, though they reach the public only through papers on a wonderful variety of subjects, which he gives to the periodicals. Lamartine's brilliant tribute to him is quoted in the ‘ Life of Prescott.’ Mr. Ticknor highly valued his correspondence with Count Circourt, which continued with undiminished interest to the last. Madame de Circourt was a most distinguished person, of rare talents and brilliant acquirements; and was called by M. de Bonstetten a second Madame de Stael, he having been a contemporary and admirer of the first.

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