head, and as he has kept up a good deal of intimacy and influence, with not only the Bonapartes, but the Wurtembergers, since his abdication of public affairs, he has a great deal of pleasant and useful matter-of-fact conversation.
Some of his accounts of the Bonapartes, of their present state and condition, . . . . showed how completely this great family has come to point a moral and adorn a tale; how completely it has sunk beneath the fears of the potentates whom it formerly displaced from their thrones, and treated as puppets and slaves.
Our most agreeable acquaintance, however, was the family of the Marquis Arconati, who has taken a house at Heidelberg for the summer, to be near his only child, who is at the University here.
They came to see us, with Berchet, the morning after our arrival, and during our whole visit treated us as old friends.
It was a great pleasure to us, for Mad. Arconati has few equals, among her sex, for intelligence and a perfectly uniform and simple elegance of manners.
We dined with them twice, and were much with them besides, and count upon the pleasure of meeting them again in Paris.
At their house we met Quinet, who, I hear,—for the first time,—is to be numbered among the living French poets of some note; a man about five-and-thirty, with a good deal of self-sufficiency; au reste, with something epigrammatic and smart in his conversation. . . . .
On the way to Paris
in the autumn,—having left Heidelberg
on the 24th of August,—the party stopped at Frankfort
I had an agreeable meeting with my old friend Welcker, kind and learned as ever, liberal in his politics, so as to be obnoxious to the Prussian government, but so true and honest in his character that no government ought to fear or dislike him. A part of the evening I spent with August von Schlegel, where I met Tourgueneff, a learned Russian, Secretary of the St. Petersburg Academy, and a great admirer of Dr. Channing.
It was very agreeable, but Schlegel in his old age is more of a fat than ever.
He can talk with comfort of nothing but himself.