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[340] reached Florence, went off to the marriage of his eldest son with a very charming Saxon Princess. He is more changed than almost anybody I have yet seen. He stoops, and is very gray. But this can be easily accounted for. Before 1848 he thought himself a popular prince, and believed he belonged to the true party of progress. ,The rude awakening that he had from that delusion has much changed and disheartened him. Otherwise he is the same, not quick in perception, but intelligent, painstaking, honest, and absolutely beyond the suspicion of reproach, in what regards his private life and personal character. I do not envy him his high position. It is a very false one. He was very eager in his inquiries about the United States, and often acute in the questions he put to me . . . .

On looking over your letter to see if there is anything to answer, I notice with pleasure what you say of Humboldt. He is, indeed, a man worth knowing, and even more so now, than he was when I was first acquainted with him in 1817-19. His kindliness increases with his years. Every day of the fortnight I was in Berlin he did something for me, and every day I either saw him or had a note from him. The minuteness of his care would have been remarkable in a young man. One day, when, at our own lodgings, we expressed a doubt about going to Potsdam, he urged us so strongly to go, and said so much about the changes since we were last there, that we told him we would take the next day for it. The same evening there came a long note entitled ‘Plan strategique pour Potsdam,’ containing the minutest directions about going and returning, with a list of everything we ought to see there.1 On arriving, we found the librarian of the library of Frederic II. waiting to receive us, with a similar note of detailed directions in his hand, and pleased, from reverence for Humboldt, to show the whole, exactly in the order he had appointed, and then see us to the cars to go back. Once, as we were going along a walk where a cord had been stretched, to signify that the passage was forbidden, he removed it and told us to go through. I hesitated, and objected on account of the prohibition. ‘I should like,’ he replied, ‘to see anybody, in Potsdam or Berlin, who will stop me when I have these crooked lines that everybody knows’—taking out Humboldt's note—‘telling me to go on.’

Just so it was when I dined with the King, in consequence of a letter to him from the King of Saxony. It was a large dinner in honor of the arrival of the Duke of Baden, who was married three

1 He took the same pains to enable Mr. Ticknor to see to advantage his brother, William von Humboldt's, place at Tegel.

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