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January 20.—At Lamartine's this evening, walking up and down his salon,—as is his wont,—he talked a good deal about himself. He said he wrote no poetry till he was twenty-nine years old, prevented, as he thinks, by the fougue de ses passions. He left it again as soon as he obtained diplomatic employment, because he much prefers the business of the state to anything else, and holds it to be a duty higher and more honorable. He liked his place as Minister at Florence very much, and he likes his occupations as Deputy. In the summer, when in the country, he still writes poetry, and has finished this year a poem of some length; but he makes everything of the sort to yield to public affairs. Indeed, he says he regards poetry as the occupation of youth and of old age, each of which has its appropriate tone and vein; while middle age should be given, as Milton, Dante, and Petrarca gave it, to the business of the country and to patriotism. There was, perhaps, a little affectation in this, but not much. His character seems frank, if not entirely natural. In speaking on politics, he said that he was the first person who urged Thiers to adopt the system of Spanish intervention, and that it was long before he could persuade him to it; but that he little imagined Thiers would be so absurd as to make it a cabinet question, when it was one which would need much time to be understood aright even in the Chamber of Deputies, and much more to be comprehended by the nation. I did not think much of his conversation on these points; it was chiefly an unsuccessful defence of himself, which to me, a stranger, he ought to have known was uninteresting, and, as far as he himself was concerned, he ought to have known was unimportant. . . . .

January 27.—From nine to ten this evening I spent with the venerable and admirable Marchioness de Pastoret. At first she was quite alone; afterwards the Duke de Rauzan came in, some of the Crillons, the Choiseuls, etc. She receives in the simplest way, in her bedchamber; and this circumstance, with the names of historical import that were successively announced, seemed to carry me back to the days of Louis XIV. at least, if not to those of Henry IV. It was, of course, the purest Carlism; but if it was nothing else, it was entirely respectable and elevated in its tone. Nothing else can approach Mad. de Pastoret. . . . .

January 28.—In the afternoon we made a visit to Mad. Amable Tastu, on the whole the most distinguished of the present female authors of France. She is about five-and-forty years old, I should think, very gentle in her manner, and of an excellent reputation. Her husband has lost his fortune, and not showing energy enough to

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