|LIFE OF CARDINAL MEZZOFANTI|
Home > Mezzofanti > Biography > 1823 to 1830 > Prince of Prussia In the year 1828, the Crown Prince- of Prussia, (now King Frederic William,) while
passing through Bologna, on his way to Rome, sought an interview with Mezzofanti.
In common with all other visitors, he was struck with wonder at the
marvelous variety and accuracy of his knowledge of languages. On his arrival at Rome,
he spoke admiringly of this interview to Dr. Tholuck, the present distinguished
professor of Theology at Halle, (at that time chaplain of the Prussian Embassy in Rome,) who has kindly communicated the particulars to me. " The prince urged me," says Dr. Tholuck, in an exceedingly interesting letter which shall be inserted later, " not to leave Italy without having seen him. ' He is truly a miracle,' exclaimed the prince ; 'he spoke German with me, like a German ; with my
Privy-Councilor Ancillon, he spoke the purest French; with Bunsen, English; with General
Groben, Swedish.' 'And what
is still more wonderful,' subjoined M. Bunsen, then minister resident in Rome,
' all these languages he has learnt by books alone, without any
teacher.' This opinion of M. Bunsen's, Dr. Tholuck afterwards ascertained to be
a mistake, or at least an exaggeration.