‘pour causer un peu,’ which I thought rather an idle business for a Minister of State. May 24.—. . . . After we had been through the vases and the gems, we met in the gallery of pictures, by appointment, its director, Waagen,1 who, in the course of about two hours and a half, went through the whole of it, so as to give us a view of the history of modern painting, from the Byzantine times down to the present. His great learning, his admirable taste, and his genuine enthusiasm made it very interesting; and it was easy, talking as he did, rapidly and well, with specimens before him, to teach a good deal in a short time. I was very glad to find that he did not think it his duty to be excessive in his praises of his own gallery; and in truth, though we enjoyed his lecture very much, we did not admire the collection any more than when we first saw it. In the afternoon we went to the Sing-Akademie, to hear a rehearsal of the music of Faust, composed by the late Prince Radzivil, and left by him as a legacy to this Institution. It is a curious establishment, which I think could not exist in any other country, and of which, I believe, no so good specimen is to be found, even in Germany. . . . May 25.—This morning we had the pleasure of going through the collection of gems and Greek vases, with Professor Tolken, their learned keeper and director. . . . . In the afternoon I kept my appointment with the Minister Ancillon, ‘pour causer un peu.’ He was alone; comfortable, easy, and agreeable, as before. He talked about the systems of politics now prevalent in Europe, and, as far as I could learn, avowed his preference for a sort of juste milieu aristocratique, which would keep things quiet and easy; declaring, for instance, that he thought Metternich's system unwise, but the present management of Austria very important to the welfare of all Germany. ‘Enfin,’ said he, ‘ il y a trois systems de politique à present en Europe: il y a d'abord, le systeme du mouvement sans progress, c'est la revolution; il y a le systeme qui veut que tout reste ou il est; et il y a le systeme du progres, par moyen des lumieres.’ This I took to be downright phrase-making. On the arts he talked better, especially of the schools of Dusseldorf and Munich; but he talked best upon matters of literature, for he is, after all, more of a man of letters, I suspect, than anything else. He said that when Mad. de Stael was here she excited a great sensation, and that she had the men of letters of the time, as it were, trotted up
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1 Author of various works on art.
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