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smallest pretension to be vornehm (fine), “Till a man is accroché on the court by you can only live Unter den Linden, or some title, order, office, or what not, he in the Wilhelms-strasse.
may be fairly said not to exist. The “Social life does not exist in Berlin, Germans are becoming clamorous for though people are always in company, freer institutions, but how much might and oneis, as Ranke said, gehetzt (hunted). they emancipate themselves. A vast In the fashionable parties one always deal of this servility is perfectly volunsees the same faces—faces possessed by tary, but it seems in the blood. They ennui. The great matter is for the men dislike the King of Hanover as much to show their decorations and the women as we do; but when Madame de 1 their gowns, and to be called excellency. whispered to me at a ball, Voilà votre Generally speaking, it strikes me that Prince et Seigneur,' and I replied in the Prussians have no confidence in no whisper, Prince oui, mais grâce their own individual power of com- à Dieu, Seigneur non.' She looked manding respect. Much as they hold frightened, and so did all the ladies to all the old ideas and distinctions round her-and why? He could do about birth, even that does not enable them no more harm than me. them to assume an upright independent “ In Dresden I met the Grand Duke attitude, not even when combined with of Saxe Weimar, who told me the folwealth. Count G- -, a man of old lowing anecdote on the authority of his Saxon nobility, with large estates and mother-in-law the Enpress of Russia :the notions and feelings of an English • When Paul and his wife went to aristocrat, tells me that he is completely Paris, they were called, as is well-known, shouldered in Berlin society, because he le Comte and la Comtesse du Nord. neither has nor will have any official The Comtesse du Nord accompanied title, wears no orders, and, in short, Marie Antoinette to the theatre at stands upon his own personal dis- Versailles. Marie Antoinette pointed tinctions. The idea of going about the out, behind her fan, aussi honnêtement world stark naked to one's mere name. que possible, all the distinguished Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, Mr. Canning-a persons in the house. In doing this German would be ashamed !
she had her head bent forward; all of “The other day I went up three pair a sudden she drew back with such an of stairs to call on a nice little pro- expression of terror and horror that fessor's wife. Arrived at the top, I the Comtesse said, “Pardon, madame, rang the bell, and out comes a great mais je suis sûre que vous avez vu hulking maid, who looks down upon me quelque chose qui vous agite.” The from a height of three or four steps. queen, after she had recovered herself, • Is Madame Gat home?' Answer told her that there was about the court, (stereotype) 'I don't know;' after a but not of right belonging to it, a pause-Do you mean the Frau Pro- woman who professed to read fortunes fessorin ?' Yes, Madame G- on cards. One evening she had been On this out rushes a second maid, looks displaying her skill to several ladies, half stupid, half indignant-'What, and at length the queen desired to have do you mean the Frau Geheimräthin?' her own destiny told. The cards were The joke was now too good to drop. I arranged in the usual manner, but when said again, 'I mean Madame G the woman had to read the result, she as it seems you do not hear distinctly; looked horror-struck and stammered take my card to Madame G-I out some generalities. The queen inwas admitted with the usual words, sisted on her saying what she
but most agreeable,' and found the very she declared she could not. “From pleasant Frau Professorin Geheimräthin, that time," said Marie Antoinette, for she is both, whose servants seem “the sight of that woman produces ashamed of her name. Yet it is a name in me a feeling, I cannot describe, very illustrious in learning.
of aversion and horror, and she seems
studiously to throw herself in my un mot.” “ C'est que je n'ai pas voulu,"
replied I.' - The Grand Duke told very curious “This in a young girl who talked well stories about a sort of second sight; and liked to talk, shows great resoluespecially of a Princess of s- who tion, and is a curious proof of the was, I believe, connected with the strength of the hatred of French rule. House of Saxony. It is the custom “I went to see Figaro's Hochzeit, among
them to allow the bodies not Le Nozze di Figaro. If you have of their deceased relations to lie in a mind to understand why the Italians state, and all the members of the family can never be reconciled to Austrian go to look at them. The Princess was rulers go to see Figaro's Hochzeit. A a single woman, and not young. She Herr Dettmer, from Frankfurt, did had the faculty, or the curse, of always Figaro, a good singer, I have no doubt, seeing, not the body actually exposed and not a bad, i.e., an absurd, actor. but the next member of the family who But Figaro, the incarnation of southern was to die. On one occasion a child vivacity, espièglerie and joyous grace ! died, she went to the bedside and said, Imagine a square, thick-set man, with 'I thought I came to look at a branch blond hair and a broad face, and that but I see the tree.' In less than three peculiar manner of standing and walkweeks the father was dead. The Grand ing with the knees in, the heels stuck Duke told me several other instances of into the earth and the toes in the air, the same kind. But this faculty was which one sees only in Germany. I not confined to deaths. A gentleman thought of Piuco, a young Maltese, whom the Grand Duke knew and named never, I believe, off his tiny islandto me, went one day to visit the whom I last saw in that part. I Princess, as soon as she saw him she saw before me his élancé and supple said, 'I am delighted to see you, figure, his small head clustered round but why have you your leg bound with coal-black hair, his delicately up?' Oh,' said her sister, Princess turned jetty moustache, his truly M- it is not bound up; what Spanish costume, the sharp knee just are you talking of?' I see that it covered by the breeches tied with gay is,' she said. On his way home his ribbons, and the elastic step of the carriage was upset and his leg springing foot and high-bounding instep. broken,
What a contrast and what can Art “I was saying that the Italians would do against Nature in such a case ? Then not learn German. Madame de S
the women; I had seen) Ronzi de said, 'I perfectly understand that; I Begnis in the Countess. What a had a French bonne, and when a child Countess! What a type of southern spoke French better than German. voluptuous grace, of high and stately When the French were masters in beauty and indolent charm! Imagine Germany, M. de St. Aignan was resident a long-faced, lackadaisical-looking Gerat the court of Weimar. He and other man woman, lean and high-shouldered, French officers used to come every and with that peculiar construction of evening to my mother's house. I never body which German women now affect. spoke a word, I never appeared to An enormously long waist, laced in to understand a word. When the news an absurd degree, and owing its equally of the battle of Leipsig arrived, M. de extravagant rotundity below to the St. Aignan escaped through our garden. tailor. Happy we, says Countess I was alone when he came to ask per- Hahn-Hahn—who, with so many ells mission, and I answered him very of muslin or silk, can have beautiful volubly in French. “Mais, mademoi- figure.' selle," said he, astonished, “vous parlez “The Susanna was a pretty waitingle Français comme l'Allemand. J'ai tou- maid. How far that is from a Spanish jours cru que vous n'en comprenez pas Susanna, it is beyond me to say. Cherubino was the best, but he was moiselle Rachel, with all her vast talents only an espiègle boy playing at being in as a declaimer, would have been too hard love—not the page whose head is turned for the heart-stricken mother. at the sight of a woman. Then the “ Emil Devrient's Don Cesar was quite language !
as good. His acting in the last scene, “After all, how immensely does this where Beatrice entreats him to live, inaptitude of Germans to represent was frightfully good. The attempts at Figaro raise Mozart in our estimation; paternal tenderness, instantly relapsing for he had not only to represent, but to into the fatal passion, ignorantly conconceive the whole-and what a con- ceived, made one's heart stand still. ception. The sweet breath of the south And yet such was the extreme delicacy vibrating in every note. Variety, grace, of his art, one felt none of the disgust lightness, passion, naïveté, and, above which attends every allusion to such all, a stately elegance which no one love. One saw before one only the ever approached." His Don Giovanni youth vainly struggling with the herediand his Almaviva contain the most tary curse of his house—the doomed courtly, graceful, stately music that ever victim and instrument of the vengeance was conceived ; and nothing like it was of an implacable destiny. ever conceived. Only the real grandee, “Anything more thoroughly heathencourtier, and fine gentleman could ish than the play I cannot conceive, and express himself so.
I much question if an English audience Now, as a set-off, I must
what would sit it out-on that score—not to Germans can do, and what I am quite mention others. We should find it our sure we English cannot in these days. duty to be shocked. The audience last
"I went to see Schiller's Braut von night was thin ; those who went were Messina. I expected little. The piece probably attracted by Schiller's name, is essentially lyric rather than dramatic. and knew that such “horrid opinions The long speeches, thought I, will be once existed in Greece, and that a poet dull, the choruses absurd ; the senti- imitating Greek tragedy might represent ments are pagan. What have Spanish Greek modes of thinking. In short
, we nobles to do with a Nemesis, with did not feel ourselves the least comoracles, with a curse, like that on promised by the Queen of Sicily's attack the house of Athens-with sustained upon the gods-nor. the least more speeches, the whole purport of which disposed to quarrel with our fate. is incusare Deos ?
“ The Chorus is, as in duty bound, “Well, I was wrong. In the opening versöhnend (conciliatory). The amount scene, Mademoiselle Berg has to stand of the comfort, it is true, often is, 'It for a quarter-of-an-hour between two can't be helped ;' but even this is so straight lines of senators and to make a nobly and beautifully expressed that speech-rien que cela ! Can anything one is satisfied. The Chorus has every be more difficult ? Yet such was the imaginable claim to be a bore. They beauty of her declamation of Schiller's deal in good advice, moral reflections, majestic verse, such the solemnity and and consolation of the new and satispropriety, grace and dignity of her factory kind above mentioned.
Yet so action, that at every moment one's great is the majestic, harmonious, cominterest rose. Her acting through the posed beauty of Schiller's verse, so much whole of this arduous part gave me the greater the eternal beauty of truth and highest idea of her sense and culture. virtue, that the old men's words fall on Tenderness and passion were nicely one's heart like drops of balm, and one proportioned to the austere character feels calmed and invigorated for the and sculptural beauty of the piece. I struggle with life. The Chorus spoken, cannot at this moment recollect ever to and in parts by all the voices at once, have seen an actress, French or English, can never have a good effect — but who could have done it as well. Made- somehow or other cela allait. Such
are the triumphs of the true poet and anteroom were a middle-aged lady and artist.”
a young one.
I broke out into apoloThe following anecdote dates from gies, &c., upon which the elder lady before the Russian emancipation : said, in German, 'Pardon me for being
“The Archbishop of Erlau told me so pressing. I only wished to give my that at the time the Russian troops daughter strength for the battle of were stationed in Hungary, he and life.' I was literally confounded at the another gentleman were walking in the oddness of this address, and remained streets of and suddenly heard a dumb. It seemed her daughter wished woman cry out. In a moment she ran to translate from the English. After a into the street exclaiming that a Russian short explanation she turned to her soldier had robbed or was about to rob daughter, and pointing to me, said, her. Such complaints were very fre- 'Now, my dear, you have seen the quent and sometimes unfounded. The mistress, so we will not keep her any soldiers could not make themselves longer.'. And so they went. I threw understood, and took up things without myself into a chair, and, alone as I meaning to rob. Be that as it may, was, burst into an uncontrollable fit of two Russian officers were passing and laughter. This is as good a piece of heard the woman's story. They in- Germanism as is to be found in any stantly collared the man, threw him novel. Even my Dresden friends thought down on the pavement, and, without it quite amazing making the smallest inquiry into the “Dr. Waagen and I were talking of facts, they then and there spurred the danger of disputing the authenticity him to death. This, said the Arch- of pictures. I said I had rather tell a bishop, I saw, with infinite horror and man he's a rascal than that his pictures disgust."
are copies. "Yes,' said Waagen, 'I alHere we have a story which, though ways compare a man, the genuineness not absolutely new, is too good to be of whose pictures is attacked, to a omitted :
lioness defending her young.' “Dr. F-- told me the following “We afterwards came upon intercourse story of Voltaire, which I never met with princes. Waagen said, Wilhelm with before. Voltaire had for some von Humboldt, who was a great friend reason or other taken a grudge against and patron of his when a young man, the prophet Habakkuk, and affected to once said to him— My dear friend, find in him things he never wrote. your position will probably bring you Somebody took the Bible and began to into frequent contact with royalty. demonstrate to him that he was mis- Take one piece of advice from me; taken. C'est égal,' said he, with an always regard them as wild beasts in air of impatience, "Habakkuk était cages, and the courtiers as keepers. You capable de tout !
see how noble and gentle and beauti“Two days before we left Dresden, as ful they look. But if you begin to put I was dressing to go out, Nannie, my your hand through the bars and play maid, came into my room and said two with them, then you'll feel their claws ladies wanted to see me. She said she and fangs. Always ask the keepers first had never seen them—they said I did what sort of humour they are in.' not know them. I sent to say that I " Countess H wife of the Meckwas sorry but I could not receive them, lenburg Minister, a Rubens beauty, and as Madame de S
was already wait- a very good-natured woman, told me ing for me. Nannie came back with she was invited to a grand dinner party the answer that they would wait in the at 1- to meet an English great anteroom—they only wanted to speak lady. The hour was five. After everyto me for a moment. Annoyed at being body waiting till six, the hosts deterforced to commit a rudeness, I hurried mined to sit down. Some time after on my gown and went out. In the
dinner was begun, Lady
The hostess began to regret, hoped said, "Stuff and nonsense; it's bad nothing had happened, &c.
enough never to have learnt anything, “Non, madame, c'est que je n'avais without having it proclaimed aloud.' pas faim,' was the refined and graceful "Niebuhr's ideas about his own imreply.
portance, and his excessive cowardice “At a dinner party we were talking of were such, said B- that at the Niebuhr, Varnhagen von Ense's article, time of the Carbonari affairs, he actually &c. They spoke of his arrogance and wrote home to the Prussian Government caprice, which they said he had in com- that the whole of this conspiracy was mon with all Holsteiners.
directed against himself. much disliked by the Germans at Rome, “ In the steamer from Mainz to Bonn partly for these qualities, partly for his was-inter alios-an individual of the parsimony and want of hospitality. genus Rath. He sat opposite to us at
“ Herr von Raumer said — I went to dinner on the deck, and first attracted his house one evening, and we nearly my attention by the following reply to succeeded in boiling some hot water for his neighbour, a man who appeared to tea, but not quite.' Niebuhr told him entertain the profoundest admiration that it was a serious thing to associate for him. 'Oh, yes, there are lots of with Amati the Roman archæologist, theorists in the world, only too many. because he frequented a certain wine- represent den gesunden Menschenverhouse called the Sabina, where the wine stand (sound common sense).' Delighted was dear. Amati was keeper of the at this declaration, I raised my eyes and Chigi library, and held a post in the saw a face beaming with the most unVatican. His learning and judgment doubting self-complacency. He went were universally acknowledged. He was on to detail certain schemes of his for particularly well known for his transcrip- the good of his country-Oldenburg, tion and collation of codices, and a man as it seemed. My husband began to whom any one might be proud to know. interrogate him about Oldenburg, and
“When the late King was at Rome, I said all I knew of it was from Justus Niebuhr did the honours so badly that Möser. The worthy Rath looked at the King was quite impatient. He me amazed, and said this was the first showed him little fragments of things time he ever heard Justus Möser men. in which he could take no interest, and tioned by a lady. I said so much the none of the great objects. One day
worse, there is an infinity of good sense Niebuhr spoke of Palestrina. What in his writings. Yes, but he never exis that?' said the King. What, pected to hear of his being read by a your Majesty does not know that?' ex- lady, and that I was evidently the claimed Niebuhr in a tone of astonish- second representative of sound common me The King was extremely an- sense in the world, 'worthy to be my noyed, and turning round to some one disciple,' added he with emphasis.”