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[1147] I hoped, so much had the time been necessarily broken up. I have with me the works of Goethe which I have not yet read, and am now engaged upon ‘Kunst and Alterthum,’ and ‘Campagne in Frankreich.’ I still prefer Goethe to any one, and, as I proceed, find more and more to learn, and am made to feel that my general notion of his mind is most imperfect, and needs testing and sifting.

I brought your beloved Jean Paul with me, too. I cannot yet judge well, but think we shall not be ultimate. His infinitely variegated, and certainly most exquisitely colored, web fatigues attention. I prefer, too, wit to humor, and daring imagination to the richest fancy. Besides, his philosophy and religion seem to be of the sighing sort, and, having some tendency that way myself, I want opposing force in a favorite author. Perhaps I have spoken unadvisedly; if so, I shall recant on further knowledge.

And thus recant she did, when familiar acquaintance with the genial and sagacious humorist had won for him her reverent love.


Poet of Nature! Gentlest of the wise,
     Most airy of the fanciful, most keen
Of satirists!—thy thoughts, like butterflies,
     Still near the sweetest scented flowers have been
With Titian's colors thou canst sunset paint,
     With Raphael's dignity, celestial love;
With Hogarth's pencil, each deceit and feint
     Of meanness and hypocrisy reprove;

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