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[123] of Jeremiah Mason,1 for, the moment I entered the room, he came up to me and began to question me about my country,—its great men, etc., like a witness on the stand, till I began to feel almost uncomfortable at this kind of interlocutory thumb-screwing; but when he had learned all he wanted to,—and his questions were very shrewd, and showed he knew what he was about,—I found him an extremely pleasant, instructive man, a true German, full of enthusiasm and hope, and trusting, as it seems to me, too much to the present flattering prospects of a more intimate union and consolidation of these independent and discordant principalities.

He told me many curious ancedotes, and, among the rest, one of his being present at a levee of Bonaparte's where our minister, Livingston, was so ignorant of all proprieties as to ask the Emperor whether he had received good news from St. Domingo lately,—at a time when everything had gone by the board there; of his having seen a letter from Napoleon to Jerome, when he was King of Westphalia, beginning, ‘Mon frere, tu ne cesses pas daetre polisson,’ etc.

Smidt told me that when the Crown Prince was in Bremen, he told him, that when Napoleon sent Le Clerc to St. Domingo (who died soon after his arrival), he sent him not only for the purpose of subduing and governing that island, but also with regular instructions and plans for extending his influence and power to the United States, and named, at the same time, four persons in France and one in America who were privy to the design, all of whose names Mr. Smidt had forgotten, excepting that of Talleyrand.

The conversation, however, was not wholly political, as there were a number of ladies in the party; and, besides, Frederick Schlegel's good-nature, literature, and wit would have anywhere formed a counterpoise

1 Mr. Ticknor, on a visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before he went to Europe, carried a letter of introduction to Mr. Jeremiah Mason, a distinguished lawyer of that city, and was invited to tea. Mr. Mason asked him endless questions, and he grew so tired and vexed that, as he left the house, he said to himself that he would never pass through that man's door again. The next day, he met Mr. Mason at dinner at Mr. Webster's, when the style of address was quite changed, and he never after regretted knowing Mr. Mason. During Mr. Ticknor's absence in Europe, his journal was for a time in the hands of his friend, Mr. N. A. Haven, of Portsmouth. Mr. Mason insisted on seeing it. The passage above, comparing Baron Gagern to Mr. Mason in his style of questioning, met his eye. Years afterwards, when acquaintance had grown to friendship, Mr. Mason mentioned that he had read that passage, which drew forth a confession about the first call, and Mr. Mason replied that he always questioned young men so.

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