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The calamities of genius are notorious. It is either in jail, like Savage; or is pitted with small-pox, like Mirabeau; or gets drunk, like Burns; or lives a life of continual warfares with sheriffs, like Steele; or dies of hunger, like Cervantes; or puts an end to itself, like Chatterion; or never comes to an end at all, and goes to law besides, like Count George Johannes. The old citizens of Richmond all remember this gifted Bohemian chevalier. In former days, he graced the theatrical boards of the Old Marshall under the simple, republican appellation of George Jones. He afterwards traveled in foreign parts, became the pot of royalty, as genius sometimes is, and was intimate with Napoleon and the Emperor of Russia,--so he says, --and we defy any man to prove the contrary. It is often the lot of scientific and esthetic men, of poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, inventors and artists, to be looked down upon by the great ones of the earth. The quondam hero of the Marshall Theatre escaped this tribulation. He went to Europe plain George Jones. He came back Count Johannes. But the destiny which decrees peculiar sufferings to genius, in some form or other, is upon him.--The thorn in the flesh of the Count Johannes is going to law. At the last accounts, this uncommon person had appeared in the Court of Common Pleas of the city of New York as plaintiff in an action of libel against one Horace Greeley, an editor in that city. He lays his damages at ten thousand dollars; but even if the jury who are sitting on that demand should hatch to the extent of his expectations, it can afford no equivalent for the injury to a good name and the harassing vexations incident to law. Moreover, the uncertainties of the law are as proverbial as those of battle. With such an antagonist as Mr. Greeley, the Count Johannes, before he gets through his case, may be carried up, and up and up, till he sees more courts in America than he ever saw in Europe. Dr. Johnson compared plaintiff and defendant in an action of law, to two men ducking their heads in a bucket, and daring each other to remain the longest under. We cannot contemplate, without a shudder, the head of Count Johannes testing the question of endurance by such an ordeal with Horace Greeley, who is the original temperance man of New York, and has never had his head out of a bucket of cold water since the day he was born. We can only wish Count Johannes a happy deliverance. In the meantime, we advise him to get out of law, as soon as he can, by a compromise with his adversary. Let him propose a Peace Conference with the Tribune, and see what will come of it. His charge that Mr. Greeley has maliciously libelled him can be withdrawn upon an assurance of the said Greeley that no one could entertain malice against a man like Johannes; and the averment that he had "disgraced him in the estimation of the public" is an impossibility so manifest that no one but Count Johannes could ever have imagined it.
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