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[135] of the World suspended in front of the table at which he studies, and it seemed to me at the instant to be an emblem of the immensity of his knowledge and genius, which reach on all sides nearly to the limits of human acquirement, and on some have certainly extended to those limits. I have been most surprised at his classical knowledge, at his taste, and familiarity with the ancient and modern languages, for here he might be to a certain degree dispensed from the obligation of extending his researches very far; and yet I know few professed in the depths of ‘the humanities’ who have more just and enlarged notions of classical antiquity; few scholars who understand Greek and Latin as well as he seems to; and no man of the world who speaks the modern languages with more fluency. And these all lie, as it were, out of the periphery of his real greatness; how great must he then be on those subjects to which he has devoted the concentrated efforts of his talents, and where I have not even the little knowledge and power necessary to estimate what he is!

May 17.—I went this morning to hear a lecture from Lacretelle; not because I have any desire to follow his course,—for I have long awakened from the dream in which I supposed I could find instruction in the branches I pursue, in the German way, from French lectures,— but because I wish to know what is the precise style adopted by these men, who are famous at home and even abroad. I have not been so well pleased with the manner of anybody, whose instructions I have heard, as with that of Lacretelle. He has a fine person, a fine voice, excellent command of language, which never permits him to hesitate, and a prompt taste, which never permits him to choose the wrong word. His memory too is remarkable; for, though his department is history, he never uses notes of any kind, and in relating today the story of Regulus, he repeated not less than thirty different numbers. I prefer him to the other lecturers I have heard, because there is more seriousness and dignity in his manner, less attempt at point and effect, and in general a greater desire to instruct than I have yet found,—though still even his manner is not simple enough to produce the just effect of instruction. He is, still, to a certain degree, a Frenchman talking brilliantly.

May 18.—This evening, by a lucky accident, I went earlier than usual to Miss Williams's, and found there, by another mere accident, Southey . . . . There was little company present, and soon after I went in I found myself in a corner with him, from which neither of us moved until nearly midnight. He is, I presume, about forty-five, tall and thin, with a figure resembling the statues of Pitt, and a face


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