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[125] Parisian society; the Countess de Roy, who also figures in the saloons, etc. I met, too, several men of note, whom I was glad to talk with,—Baron d'eckstein, the opponent of Lamennais; Merimee, the author of ‘Clara Gazul,’ and now employed by the government to collect whatever relates to the ancient monuments of French art; Mignet, the historian; Élie de Beaumont, the great geologist; the two Tourgueneffs, etc. It was as intellectual a party as I have been with since we came to Paris, except at Jomard's; and I enjoyed it very much. Merimee, however, disappointed me. He is affected, and makes pretensions to exclusiveness. He ought to be above such follies.

January 6.—I went this evening to the first soiree of the season at the Duchess de Rauzan's, the headquarters of the more intellectual and more fashionable of the Carlists. She is the daughter of the admirable Duchess de Duras, whom I used to know here, nineteen years ago;1 and she remembered me enough to signify her pleasure that I should come to see her. So I went, but she does not receive till half past 10 o'clock at night, and that is a little too ultra-fashionable for my comfort. I found there the Marquise de Podenas, who was the lady that managed so long the affairs of the Duchess de Berri;2 Mlle. de Bethune, of the old Sully family; a fine, white-headed old Duke, of the time and with the manners and dress of the reign of Louis XVI.; Count Circourt; the Baron d'eckstein; Count Bastard, etc.

The last person has been employed for twenty years—with the assistance of the successive governments that have prevailed in France —in collecting from manuscript miniatures the materials for a history of painting, from the fall of the art in the fourth century to its entire restoration under Raffaelle. The first numbers will come out in May next; there will be forty-two in all, and the average cost of each copy of each number will be eleven hundred francs. He prints, and illuminates, and paints sixty copies for the government and nine for himself; and though the government allows him two millions of francs, yet, like a true Carlist as he is, he complains that it should come through the budget, and be distributed through seven years, instead of being given all at once, and without condition. He interested me very much for an hour by the details of his undertaking. His reason for taking his materials for the History of Painting in the Middle Ages from manuscripts entirely, is, that he can in


1 See Vol. I. p. 254 et seq.

2 See ante, p. 41.

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