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Sweden (Sweden) (search for this): chapter 6
ing, and a poet whose religious odes and hymns are still read. Augustus, who was his youngest son but one, was sent early to Gottingen, where he remained five years. As his reputation was already considerable, he was soon called as professor to Jena, and married a daughter of Michaelis. . . . . He resigned his place and left the University. When Mad. de Stael went to Germany, he was without a home; he attached himself to her, and has been with her through all her travels in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and England. . . . . . The consequence of his troubles and this mode of life is, that he now looks like a careworn, wearied courtier, with the manners of a Frenchman of the gayest circles, and the habits of a German scholar,—a confusion anything but natural or graceful. I found him in full dress, with his snuff-box and handkerchief by his side, not sitting up to receive company, but poring over a folio Sanscrit Grammar; for he has recently left his other studies, even his Etruscan antiqu
Amsterdam (Netherlands) (search for this): chapter 6
ive me a very poor cup of tea, if indeed she would give me any at all; for that in Boston we once rebelliously wasted and destroyed several cargoes of it. He talked only on political subjects. March 31.—I dined with Beauvillers, a rich banker, with a party of eighteen or twenty merchants, many of them foreigners who have come to the fair now going on here. My chief amusement was to observe how exactly these people from Vienna, Hamburg, Konigsberg, and Trieste, are like the merchants in Amsterdam, London, and Boston, and to listen to their comical abuse, which all true Frankforters poured out against the Diet, its members, their operations, pride, etc., etc. I passed an extremely pleasant evening at Senator Smidt's, a man of talent, Ambassador from Bremen, with much influence in the Bundestag. There was a large supper-party, consisting of Count Goltz, the Prussian Ambassador, the Darmstadt Minister, Baron Gagern, the Minister of the King of Holland for Luxembourg,—the most eloq
Americans (search for this): chapter 6
aps, because he thought me dangerous or wished to revenge on me the little disputes I had with him,—though M. de Humboldt believes him capable even of this,— but because his bread depends on the information he gives, and he would be as well paid for denouncing me, as for denouncing any one else. On the 27th July, Mr. Ticknor says: From the early part of July almost all my French friends had left Paris, and I was very solitary, except that I had acquaintances more or less intimate among Americans. The remainder of his residence in Paris he gave to a careful study of the public places and institutions of the city, writing elaborate and historical notes on what he saw. In August, he made two visits at Draveil, the chateau of Mr. Parker, an American gentleman, who had lived in France for thirty years. Journal. It is a fine establishment, worthy of an English nobleman from its magnitude, its completeness, and its hospitality. Several persons who interested or amused me were sta
Corneille (search for this): chapter 6
nk from maintaining the supremacy of English literature in defiance of them all . . . . The affair ended by a challenge, given and accepted, to stake Shakespeare and Milton against the whole body of French poetry. The French party was to begin by reading the best passages in their language, taking none but of the very first order, and I undertook to reply passage by passage, and page by page, taking only my two favorites. All the morning the ladies were in council with Voltaire, Racine, Corneille,—in short, a whole library. In the evening they covered the table with books till there was not room to put down a pin-cushion, and were a little abashed to find I took from my pocket nothing but your little Paradise Lost, which alone exhausted their three great authors. In short, in four evenings they had no more passages of the first order of poetry to offer, and I had still Shakespeare's best plays in reserve, so that I prevailed on putting the vote, by four to two, without counting m
. St. Val, now sixty-five years old, who has not played before for thirty years; and Talma and Mdlle. Mars both played . . . .The piece was Iphigenie en Tauride, by Guymond de la Touche, which has been on the stage sixty years, but I cannot find its merits above mediocrity . . . . . Iphigenie was performed by Mdlle. St. Val, who is old and ugly. She was applauded through the first act with decisive good-nature, and in many parts deserved it; but in the second act, when Talma came out as Orestes, she was at once forgotten, and he well deserved that in his presence no other should be remembered . . . . The piece and his part, like almost everything of the kind in the French drama, was conceived in the style of the court of Louis XIV; but Talma, in his dress, in every movement, every look, was a Greek. . . . . To have arrived at such perfection, he must have studied antiquity as no modern actor has done; and the proofs of this were very obvious. His dress was perfect; his gestures
Leopold Stolberg (search for this): chapter 6
arked by a tenderness which, if it had not been so patriarchal, would have approached to gallantry; and she, though old and beginning to be feeble, discovered a kind of attention to him, . . . . which showed how deep was her affection. . . . . It was a supper of Roman simplicity, nothing but a perch from the Neckar and an omelette. . . . . The conversation was almost entirely of his early friends, of whom the world has since heard so much,—of Holtz, whose life he has written so well; of Leopold Stolberg, for whom, in spite of changes and errors, he seems to have lost none of his regard; and, clarum et venerabile nomen, of Klopstock, with whom he was intimate. Of the last he told me that, after visiting him in 1789, at Hamburg, Klopstock walked with him a mile out of the city, and when they parted, told him, as their conversation had been political, with a kind of prophetic emphasis which left an indelible impression on Voss's mind, The troubles now breaking out in France are the begin
deserve nearly unmingled praise as a politician . . . . Amidst all his calamities, it is curious that what mortifies and exasperates him the most is the loss of his place in the Academy, which was taken from him because he voted for the perpetual exile of Louis XVI. May 2.—This evening I have passed, as I do most of my Sunday evenings, very pleasantly, at Helen Maria Williams's. The company generally consists of literary Englishmen, with several Frenchmen, well known in the world,—such as Marron the preacher, whom Bonaparte liked so much, Stapfer the Swiss minister, who concluded the treaty of 1802, several professors of the College de France, etc. This evening Mrs. Godwin was there, wife of the notorious William Godwin, and successor to the no less notorious Mary Wollstonecraft. She has come to Paris to sell a romance, of which I have forgotten the title, that her husband has recently written, and thinks as good as Caleb Williams. The booksellers of Paris, I believe, are not of h
M. Barante (search for this): chapter 6
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
erland, much better. She looked on her daughter, while her eyes filled with tears, and said in English, God grant me that favor, and I left her. The impression of this scene remained upon us all gladly give a year to learn German, for he considered it now the most important language, after English, for a man of letters; and added with a kind of decision which showed he had thought of the suband have taste enough to prefer Italian and German to either French, which I find frivolous, or English, which seems to me unmeaning. At sunset always came a walk,—not as in our own more decisive cly in work and reading. French was the language of conversation, but all the party understood English, and therefore Shakespeare and Milton came in for their share. This naturally produced discussin the evening. Do not misunderstand me. I do not regret that we have none of this comedy in English, for I deprecate the character and principles out of which it grows, and should lose no inconsi
M. Villemain (search for this): chapter 6
commonly interesting party at Mad. de Stael's. Besides the family, there was the Russian Minister, Count Pozzo di Borgo, the Censor-General of the French Press, Villemain, Palissot, author of the Memoirs on French Literature, and two or three other persons. The persons present were chiefly of the order of beaux esprits, but no on me that favor, and I left her. The impression of this scene remained upon us all during the dinner; but in the evening old M. St. Leon and Mm. Lacretelle and Villemain (the latter I find to be one of the most eloquent professors in Paris) came in, and gave a gayer air to the party and conversation. May 13.—I passed this evenearted men in the world—was hardly less affected at finding he had unconsciously gone too far. . . . . I was indeed glad when the dinner was ended. June 16.—M. Villemain, of the Academy of Paris Faculty of Letters, is so famous an instructor that I have long intended to hear him, but have been prevented until this morning. He <
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