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[343] of course much of a French tone, and where, amidst all the luxury of Paris, and in grand old tapestried halls, such as Paris cannot show, you find the most simple and unpretending ways; the children and their playthings, in the third and fourth generation, mixed up with a stray cardinal or two, or a couple of foreign ambassadors and their wives, as I witnessed the last time I was there. . . . .

Of the French, except the personnel of the Embassy, . . . . I know hardly anybody that I care to see often . . . . But we are promised Ampere, who comes to Rome as often as he can, and generally writes something good about it afterwards. Indeed, in consequence of his visit last year, he has lately published some remarks about the period of decay in the Roman Empire, which, by an intended ricochet, hits the present Emperor so hard that, as his Ambassador said to me the other night, speaking of Ampere, ‘on l'a terriblement gronde,’ meaning that the imperial newspapers had come down very hard upon him.

But he will be well received at the Embassy here notwithstanding, he is so agreeable.1 You must recollect him in Boston, full of esprit, and with vast stores of knowledge, partly inherited as it were from his remarkable father, but chiefly acquired by hard work and very extensive travels. He is a member of two classes of the Institute, and one of the few very popular men of letters now in Paris.

The Germans are better off, as they always are in Rome, where they have loved to come ever since their first irruption, fourteen centuries and more ago. The ablest man I meet is, I suppose, Count Colloredo, the Austrian Ambassador, living in great state and luxury in the vast old Palazzo di Venezia. He is a spare man, looking much like a Yankee, quick and eager in all his motions, yet unmistakably a grand-seigneur, both by the dignity and by the attentive politeness of his manners. We knew him very well twenty years ago, just beginning his career as Austrian Minister at Dresden with auguries of great success,

1 In the margin of this letter Mr. Ticknor wrote: ‘Feb. 15. Ampere has been here a fortnight, and is extremely agreeable. The first place in which I met him, the day of his arrival, was that Embassy. But he goes everywhere.’

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