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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 4 0 Browse Search
George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, Vol. 5, 13th edition. 1 1 Browse Search
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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 6: (search)
or society is necessary to her. To-day, however, she was less well, and saw none of us. At another time I should have regretted this; but today I should have been sorry to have left the party for any reason, since, beside the Duc de Laval, and M. Barante, whom I already knew, there were Chateaubriand and Mad. Recamier, two persons whom I was as curious to see as any two persons in France whom I had not yet met. The Duchess de Broglie, with her characteristic good-nature, finding how much I was firmness and decision of character, for every feature and every movement of his person announce it. He is too grave and serious, and gives a grave and serious turn to the conversation in which he engages; and even when the whole table laughed at Barante's wit, Chateaubriand did not even smile;—not, perhaps, because he did not enjoy the wit as much as the rest, but because laughing is too light for the enthusiasm which forms the basis of his character, and would certainly offend against the cons
ate years had fostered. The Duke de Choiseul, who at that time was minister of the marine and for the colonies, revolved in his own mind the coming fortunes of the new world; repressed regrets for Louisiana, because he saw that America must soon become independent; predicted to his sovereign the nearness of the final struggle between England and its dependencies, and urged earnestly, that France should so increase its naval force, Memorial of Choiseul, communicated to me verbally, by M. de Barante, who has a copy of it. as to be prepared to take advantage of the impending crisis. The amiable, but inexperienced men who formed the active ministry of England, were less discerning. The names of Rockingham, and Grafton, and Conway, must be pronounced with respect; yet suddenly and unexpectedly brought to the administration of an empire, they knew not what to propose. Of the men on whose support they were compelled to rely, many were among the loudest and ablest supporters of the S