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[473] about it, more or less, almost always when I go to see him, and he never fails to be agreeable and instructive. This afternoon he was particularly so.

January 21.—In the evening I went to Tieck's by appointment, and heard him read the whole of the first part of ‘ Henry IV.,’ in Schlegel's admirable translation. He has universally the reputation of being the best reader in Germany, and certainly I am not at all disposed to gainsay his fame. His reading was admirable in all respects; sometimes very curious and striking to me, because his tones and manner, now and then, gave a small shade of difference to the interpretation of a passage from what I had been accustomed to give it, or hear given to it on the stage. His conception of Falstaff's character was more like Cooke's, and less like Bartley's, than any I recollect; that is, more intellectual, and less jovial, less vulgar; and the conception of the King's character was more violent and angry than I have been used to. Very likely he was right in both cases; certainly he was quite successful in the effect he produced.1

This reading is an exercise of which he is very fond, and in which he often indulges his friends, and the society that assembles at his house every evening; but for the last two months he has had a cough and abstained entirely, so that I have never heard him before to-night. He never goes out to walk or take exercise, and his physician—Carus—says these readings are physically useful to him as substitutes. He gave me my choice of what he should read, after I arrived, so that there was no possibility of preparation; and he read the whole through at once, without the least pause, without speaking or being spoken to. It occupied a little more than two hours and a half, and did not fatigue him in the least, so fine is his organ. . . . . I hope I shall hear him often.

January 22.—There was a small party at Count Baudissin's2 this evening, not above thirty or forty persons, and generally among the

1 Mr. Ticknor's habit of reading Shakespeare's Plays, in a similar way, to parties of friends at home, heightened his interest in these interpretations. His own reading was much admired.

2 A few days earlier, Mr. Ticknor wrote: ‘We went to Count Baudissin's and found a beautiful family group sitting round the table in the early evening, for it is the fashion here to make calls, at this season of the year, after candlelight. The family consists of the Count and his wife, and their two nieces, one married to a French marquis, and the other just come out, both very beautiful. . . . . The Count is a rich Holstein nobleman, who has no children, and lives in Dresden because he is very fond of letters, and likes the literary society he finds here.’

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