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[477] as an innocent infant sleeping—the most beautiful of their appropriate treasures; intimating by it that he would himself gladly give to her beauty and purity all that there is most precious and graceful in the universe. Others have also a direct or allegorical relation to her, but in general they were mere offerings of his fancy. . . . . The whole is exquisite, and as we turned it over seemed the very concentration, or perhaps I ought to say the fragrant exhalation, of what is most peculiar, delicate, and graceful in his genius.1

February 6.—This evening. . . . I heard Tieck read ‘Midsummer Night's Dream.’. . . . I found quite a party. . . . . Several of them asked me to select something from Shakespeare, as it is known Tieck prefers to read from him, and I mentioned ‘Midsummer Night's Dream,’ because it contains such a variety. Luckily the piece is a favorite with him. . . . . He read it admirably. Puck's frolicsome mischief and the lightness of the dainty fairies were done with the greatest tact and delicacy. . . . . When he came to the play represented before Theseus I received quite a new idea, that some of the repetitions and groans, especially in the part of Pyramus, are merely the expression of the actor's personal embarrassment and anguish, and not what was set down for him. The whole was a great pleasure.

As soon as it was over, and I had made my acknowledgments with the rest to Tieck for the great treat we had enjoyed, I hurried off to the British Minister's, where we finished the evening in a very small party.

February 7.—There was a Court ball to-night. . . . . I had a great deal of talk there with Prince John, and one or two other persons, about the state of the art of painting in Germany at this moment. It has, in the course of the last twenty or thirty years, begun anew upon the old foundations, as Walter Scott began, upon the foundations of the old ballads, traditions, and histories of the country, to renew its literature. . .. . I supped this evening at the table of the Princess Amelia. . .. . The Princess seemed to know a good deal about Shakespeare, and I was glad to have her say, very decidedly, that she could not imagine how anybody could think of making the character of Lady Macbeth interesting, by an expression of more human feeling and tenderness in the mode of representation; for it is quite the fashion in Germany now, to consider her a sort of abused person who is not half so bad as people have thought her, and it is

1 Mr. Ticknor afterwards obtained from Retzsch a repetition of one of these drawings.

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