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[139] across Greece that interested me, and a good deal that would prevent my undertaking a similar excursion, in the assurance that less could be learned from it than I had supposed.

June 5.—Chateaubriand called on me this morning, and asked me to visit him this evening. There were only three or four of his friends there, for Mad. de C—is ill. He talked a great deal, but was not so much excited—or, as the French call it, exalte— as he was at Mad. de Stael's; and, if he was more reasonable in consequence, he was less amusing. His character, however, appeared more amiable to-night. He talked with good-nature and candor of the review in the Mercure that cut him up a few days ago so terribly; played with his cat as simply as ever Montaigne did; and went often to see how his wife did. I saw him, therefore, in a new point of view, and one which interested me for him a good deal.

June 12.—The Duke de Broglie and Mons. de Stael, who had heard of my affair1 with the police from the secretary of our legation (to whom I had sent a note upon it), called on me this morning, d la Francaise, to express their regret, etc., and asked me to dine, at Mad. de Stael's, with Lafayette. Nobody else was there; for Mad. de Stael on the whole grows worse, and the family do not like to see much company, though they still invite some, lest she should be alarmed more than her situation will bear. The dinner was very sad. Lafayette asked the Duchess some questions about her mother, but it was more than she could bear, and she was obliged to leave the table. The General himself—who is one of the most kind-hearted men in the world—was hardly less affected at finding he had unconsciously gone too far. . . . . I was indeed glad when the dinner was ended.

June 16.—M. Villemain, of the Academy of Paris Faculty of Letters, is so famous an instructor that I have long intended to hear him, but have been prevented until this morning. He is now lecturing on French eloquence, in a desultory and amusing manner I should think, from what I have heard, and this morning he was on Rousseau's Emile. The number of his hearers could not have been less than three hundred and fifty, and I endeavored to find out what were the merits or attractions which give him such an extraordinary popularity. They are certainly neither a strong and vigorous eloquence, like Lacretelle's, nor amusing anecdotes and witticisms like those of Andrieux, nor severe instruction like what all good lectures should contain, for he evidently neither seeks nor possesses these merits;


1 This affair is explained a few pages farther on.

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