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[484] he felt himself wounded treacherously, threw down his own weapon and grasped that of Laertes, which he wrenched from him, while Laertes in turn caught up Hamlet's and defended himself as well as he could. Indeed, the piece was acted with great effect. Many wept bitterly, and all seemed deeply interested. The royal family were all out to see it, which was quite remarkable; and, what seemed very curious to me, it was, for the sake of convenience in making the stage arrangements, divided into six acts.

Every now and then the want of the English came over me with a strange power. I was seeing what was familiar to me, and hearing what was foreign; and sometimes when a portion of the original recurred to my recollection, with its rich and beautiful rhythm, I felt most oddly confused. But it was on the whole a very interesting evening.

I spent one forenoon with Retzsch, whose genius and simplicity I admire more, the more I know him; and another forenoon I spent with Count Colloredo, the Austrian Minister, who has been with his family in Vienna all winter, on account of the death of his sister, and is but just returned to Dresden. He is a young man, and has the reputation of great abilities, belongs to one of the oldest and most powerful families in the Austrian Empire, and has a right therefore to great promotion in the state. I went to see him, to look at some fine maps of Austria, and to ask him about roads and scenery in reference to our next summer's journeyings, and found him quite familiar with all I wanted to know, and much disposed to be kind and useful.

March 21.—Last evening we were invited to the palace, and passed the time quite pleasantly in a small party of forty or fifty persons, in the Princess Augusta's apartments. The occasion was a curious one. Every spring she purchases a large amount of lace, needlework, etc., which the poor women from the mountains bring to Dresden for sale, and then, making a lottery of the whole, which contains many tempting prizes for the ladies, her grand-maitre gets rid of the tickets among the Court and her friends;. . . . and then she has the pleasure of distributing the money thus received among the same class of the poor whose work she had originally purchased.

After tea to-night we went into her beautiful saloon, where are the admirable tapestries, and there, amidst much laughing and talking, the lottery was drawn by the Princess Frederick and the Princess John.1 Whenever any person of the party drew a prize it was delivered

1 This Princess had been ill during the winter, and therefore never present at the Court entertainments.

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