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[136] by no means unlike his. His manners are a little awkward, but the openness of his character is so great that this does not embarrass him. He immediately began to talk about America, and particularly the early history of New England, with which he showed that sort of familiarity which I suppose characterizes his knowledge wherever he has displayed it. Of Roger Williams and John Eliot I was ashamed to find that he knew more than I did. Roger Williams, he thought, deserved the reputation which Penn has obtained, and Eliot he pronounced one of the most extraordinary men of any country. Once, he said, he had determined to write a poem on the war and character of King Philip, and at that time studied the Indian history and manners, which he thinks highly poetical. So near has the Plymouth Colony come to being classical ground! While engaged in these researches, and as he was once travelling in a post-chaise to London, he bought at a stall in Nottingham, Mather's Magnalia, which he read all the way to town, and found it one of the most amusing books he had ever seen. Accident and other occupations interrupted these studies, he said, and he has never taken them up again. He had read most of our American poetry, and estimated it more highly than we are accustomed to, though still he did not praise it foolishly. Barlow's Columbiad, Dwight's Conquest of Canaan, McFingal, etc., were all familiar to him, and he not only spoke of them with discrimination, but even repeated some lines from them in support of his opinion of their merits. By accident we came upon the review of Inchiquin, which, he said, was written in a bad spirit; and he added that he had seldom been so chagrined or mortified by any event of his literary life, as by being thought its author, though he should rather have written the review than the New York answer to it . . . . . He talked with me about the Germans and their literature a good deal, and said if he were ten years younger he would gladly give a year to learn German, for he considered it now the most important language, after English, for a man of letters; and added with a kind of decision which showed he had thought of the subject, and received a good deal of information about it, that there is more intellectual activity in Germany now than in any other country in the world. In conversation such as this three hours passed very quickly away, and when we separated, I left him in the persuasion that his character is such as his books would represent it,—simple and enthusiastic, and his knowledge very various and minute.

May 28.—I dined to day again at Mad. de Stael's. There were few persons there, but she likes to have somebody every day, for society


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