To Elisha Ticknor.
Gottingen, June 5, 1816.. . . .I was telling you of my acquaintance. Saturday evening I commonly spend with Eichhorn, whose immense learning, joined to his extreme vivacity, make it as pleasant as it is useful. In the last respect, however, I find the time I spend with Prof. Dissen the most profitable. He is still a young man of hardly thirty, and yet has been already called as professor to three universities, and is looked upon here as superior to Heyne. I desired to have two hours a week of him, to pursue the literary history of Greece systematically, under his direction. This, however, he declined, saying that what he could do for me in this way he should not consider as instruction, but as an amusement; and therefore, if I would come every week and spend one or two evenings with him, his advice and assistance would always be at my service. I commonly go, therefore, once or twice in the week at eight in the evening to him, and if I get home before eleven I think I am early, though I have trespassed beyond my rule. Indeed, there is no man in Gottingen of my acquaintance who comes so entirely up to my idea of what a scholar ought to be as he does. His prodigious learning has not by its amount impaired the freshness of his feelings, or quenched an enthusiasm which is so lively as to be even injurious to his feeble constitution, nor by its minuteness prevented him from having the most general and philosophical views of the nature and objects of his profession; while at the same time he has a deep religious sensibility, of which I know no other example here, and an earnest and prevalent desire to impart his learning and do good, which consecrates all his exertions. You see, therefore, my plan. I have every day three recitations, and besides these study nine hours, which is as much, I suppose, as my health will bear. My chief objects are still Greek and German, my subsidiary objects Italian and French, my amusement literary history, chiefly ancient, and books that will fit me for my future travels. . . . . Add to all this that I am perfectly well, and just contented enough to keep me always industrious, that I may not fall into the horrors of homesickness, and I do not think you will be dissatisfied with my situation.