and fair; for, in my own way, I could live for my friends.
Dec. 8th, 1840.—My book of amusement has been the Evenings of St. Petersburg. I do not find the praises bestowed on it at all exaggerated. Yet De Maistre is too logical for me. I only catch a thought here and there along the page. There is a grandeur even in the subtlety of his mind. He walks with a step so still, that, but for his dignity, it would be stealthy, yet with brow erect and wide, eye grave and deep. He is a man such as I have never known before.
I went to see Mrs. Wood in the Somnambula. Nothing could spoil this opera, which expresses an .ecstasy, a trance of feeling, better than anything I ever heard. I have loved every melody in it for years, and it was happiness to listen to the exquisite modulations as they flowed out of one another, endless ripples on a river deep, wide and strewed with blossoms. I never have known any one more to be loved than Bellini. No wonder the Italians make pilgrimages to his grave. In him thought and feeling flow always in one tide; he never divides himself. He is as melancholy as he is sweet; yet his melancholy is not impassioned, but purely tender.
Dec. 15, 1840.—I have not time to write out as I should this sweet story of Melissa, but here is the outline:— More than four years ago she received an injury, which caused her great pain in the spine, and went to the next country town to get medical advice. She stopped at the house of a poor blacksmith, an acquaintance