mean to have a visit from Mr. Von Hammer. Nothing could be more condescending than he was, nothing more kind; but it was in vain the Orientalist told him he knew me very well and moved again towards the door, for the Prince insisted, though merely by his manner, upon hearing there what he had to say. It was simply to ask when he might present to him Mr. McNeill, the British Ambassador to Persia, which the Prince told him he might do the next morning in his cabinet, and then most politely bowed away the somewhat disconcerted scholar. He took me now directly into his cabinet, and seating me in the same comfortable easy-chair where I sat the other day, took the somewhat more simple one opposite, himself, leaving the same plain little table between us, with a few business-like looking papers on it. ‘You know M. Von Hammer, then,’ he said, laughing. I told him I had brought letters to him, and that he had been very kind to me. ‘A very extraordinary person, quite unique in his department in Europe. But, like almost all the philologists, he is very quarrelsome. I do not know what it is in their pursuits that makes them so sensitive; but I have known a great many in my life, and almost all of them have been frequently in personal difficulties. Perhaps M. Von Hammer has told you about his quarrel with Captain Basil Hall.’ I told him he had. ‘I thought so,’ said he, laughing heartily. ‘Captain Hall is a man of talent,—un home d'esprit,—he writes well, but he seems really to have been a little unreasonable in his visit at the old lady's castle in Styria.’ And again he laughed very heartily. ‘There is nothing more important for a man’—he then went on, mero motu suo—
than to be reasonable and moderate in his expectations, and especially not to wish to do anything he cannot accomplish. I am myself moderate in everything, and I endeavor to become more moderate. I have a calm disposition, a very calm one, —J'ai l'esprit calme, tres calme. I am passionate about nothing,— Je ne suis passione pour rien. Therefore I have no foolish mistakes to reproach myself with,—Ainsi je n'ai pas de sottises à me reprocher. But I am very often misunderstood. I am thought to be a great absolutist in my policy. But I am not. It is true I do not like democracies; democracy is everywhere and always—partout et toujours —a dissolving, decomposing principle; it tends to separate men, it loosens society. This does not suit my character. I am by character and habit constructive,—Je suis par caractre et par habitude constructeur.