Of the society, as a general remark, it may be observed, that it is divided into many circles, which know little of each other; but that, like all the Continental cities,—except those which depend on commerce, and a few of the very largest,—it is only in the highest circles that real elegance or real ease is to be found. The reason is plain. There is little wealth in the other circles, and little habit of receiving or entertaining company. Fortunately, the Court of Saxony is a truly moral, respectable, and, in many respects, quite an intellectual Court, so that the tone of the society about it is good. . . . . The diplomatic gentlemen, who form a very prominent part of this circle necessarily, are very pleasant persons, have no difficulties with one another, and add their full proportion to its agrements. . . . . Of the Saxons who belong to it, nothing can be more respectable than Lindenau, the Watzdorffs, the Zeschaus, Luttichaus, Leysers, etc. The rich and luxurious Russians and Poles, who swarm here in the winter, form a sort of appendix to the society of the Court, but not very closely connected with it. Their headquarters this winter have been at Count Stroganoff's. . . . To the men of letters I went whenever I wanted their highly cultivated knowledge and conversation, and nothing else, for they are best seen in their studies. Tieck, indeed, received every evening, but his soirees would have been very formal and dull, except for his own racy talk and his admirable readings; besides which, the res angusta domi are perceptible, though he is not so poor but that he has the great luxury of a capital and curious library. Count Baudissin's, however, and Mad. de Luttichau's houses should be noted as places where elegance and letters, the first society in rank, and the first in intellectual culture, were always to be found. . . . . After all, however, though we have now been more than five months in Dresden, we have not been really of it. The accounts, which speak of us only in our connection with society here, might leave the impression that it has consumed a great deal of our time, but such an impression would be entirely false. We have been abroad a good deal, it is true, but still we never before passed so much time in quiet enjoyment and occupation at home. We seldom went out in the forenoon till one o'clock, when we took a drive and a walk for exercise. . .. . The afternoon, too, has brought its regular occupations with it, and even the majority of the evenings have been spent at home, where I have read aloud the whole of the ‘Paradise Lost,’ and, indeed, nearly the whole of Milton's poetry, the whole of the ‘Task,’ and eleven of Shakespeare's Plays. . . . .
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