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[130] Chimborazo; . . . . while, on the other hand, his prodigious acquirements, extending nearly on all sides to the limits of human discovery, kindled by an enthusiasm which has supported him where every other principle would have failed, and prevented from being oppressive or obtruding by a sort of modesty which makes it impossible for him to offend,—all together render him one of the most interesting men in the world, and the idol of Parisian society.

April 29.—I go often to see Bishop or Count Gregoire, who receives company every evening. He has played a distinguished part in French affairs, from the year 1789 till the fall of Bonaparte; but, like many other men of distinction, he plays it no longer. Amidst all changes and perils, however, he has supported with no common firmness the cause of religion; and if—zealous republican as he is—he had not soiled himself by accepting the place and revenue of senator from Bonaparte, he would deserve nearly unmingled praise as a politician . . . . Amidst all his calamities, it is curious that what mortifies and exasperates him the most is the loss of his place in the Academy, which was taken from him because he voted for the perpetual exile of Louis XVI.

May 2.—This evening I have passed, as I do most of my Sunday evenings, very pleasantly, at Helen Maria Williams's. The company generally consists of literary Englishmen, with several Frenchmen, well known in the world,—such as Marron the preacher, whom Bonaparte liked so much, Stapfer the Swiss minister, who concluded the treaty of 1802, several professors of the College de France, etc. This evening Mrs. Godwin was there, wife of the notorious William Godwin, and successor to the no less notorious Mary Wollstonecraft. She has come to Paris to sell a romance, of which I have forgotten the title, that her husband has recently written, and thinks as good as ‘Caleb Williams.’ The booksellers of Paris, I believe, are not of his opinion, and probably they are right, for Mr. Godwin is no longer at the age in which the imagination is capable of such efforts. Miss Williams herself is evidently waning. Her conversation is not equal to her reputation, and I suspect never was brilliant; since, as I should think, it must always have been affected. But still she is an uncommon woman, and, except when she gets upon politics, talks sensibly. . . . . After having been successively royalist, republican, and Bonapartist, she finds it impossible, now she has again become Bourbonist, to get along in conversation. . . . .

May 6.—I dined to-day with an uncommonly interesting party at Mad. de Stael's. Besides the family, there was the Russian Minister,


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