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[475] city only once a week. . . . . I was surprised to find him with a short, stout person, and a decidedly easy look; so that if it were not for his large, deep gray eyes, I should hardly have been able to mark in him any symptom of his peculiar talent. He showed me some of his works; the rest I shall go to see another time. . . .

January 31.—This evening Prince John invited four of us— Professor Forster, the translator of Petrarca, Dr. Carus, Count Baudissin, and myself — to hear Tieck read a part of the unpublished translation of the Purgatorio.1 I went punctually at six. . . . After coffee and a little conversation, we all sat down at a table, and Tieck read, most admirably, five cantos, beginning with the eighteenth. The rest of us looked over the original text, and at the end of each canto observations were made on the translation. There was not, however, one word of compliment offered, or the smallest flattery insinuated. On the contrary, errors were pointed out fairly and honestly; and once or twice, where there was a difference of opinion between the Prince and Carus, Carus adhered, even with pertinacity, to his own, which, in one case, I thought was wrong. The translation, however, was as close as anything of the sort well can be; and in general, I have no doubt, most faithfully accurate.2 After the reading was over, and refreshments had been handed round, the conversation was very gay, and fell at last into downright story-telling and cormerage. About nine o'clock, however, some message was brought to the Prince,. . . . and he bowed to us and left us.

February 1.—To-day I dined with the venerable Tiedge. He had that nice and exact look which is always so agreeable in old men, was alert in his mind and interested in what is going forward, and talked well and pleasantly with everybody. Falkenstein, Bulow, and Reichenbach, the distinguished botanist, were at table, and the conversation was very animated. We were there three hours, the longest German dinner I have been at.

February 2.—I dined very agreeably to-day at Count Baudissin's, with Tieck and half a dozen other pleasant persons. Tieck was quite


1 By Prince John.

2 Of Mr. Ticknor's knowledge of Dante, Count Circourt wrote thus to Mr. Prescott in January, 1841: ‘The Commentary which Mr. Ticknor has begun ’—his notes made in 1832 (see p. 394), but never published, which he carried with him—‘is one of the highest interest. Few persons in the world are so intimately acquainted with the old bard; and nowhere, perhaps, such a combination of profound learning, acute criticism, and serene elevation of mind can be found as in this highly gifted and excellent man.’

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