ion,— Pellico, and Count Balbo.
About an hour after we arrived dinner was announced, which was served about six o'clock, by candlelight, in a beautiful room ornamented with a few pieces of sculpture.
The service was of silver.
Pellico was gentle and pleasant, but talked little, and I could not help marking the contrast between his conversation and the grave, strong, manly conversation of Count Balbo, as well as the gay, lively commerage of Mad. de Barolo.
The dinner, which was entirely French, was extremely agreeable, and when it was over we went to the saloon, had coffee and more pleasant talk, looked over autographs, etc., till about nine, when we returned to Turin.
October 3.—. . . . In the afternoon we drove down the Po about as far as we drove up it yesterday, and dined with Sir Augustus Foster, at his villa.
It is beautifully situated on the opposite declivity of the height on which stands the villa of the Barolos, and commands the other view of the Alps, the plain, and
able elsewhere to settle as exactly as I wanted to. I like these old chronicling histories, full of monkish traditions, and often waste a deal of time over them.
Lately I have been looking again over another sort of book, on similar matters, and—so far as I can judge—one of very accurate and rare learning; I mean Dozy, Recherches sur l'histoire politique et litteraire de l'espagne, pendant le moyen âge, Tom. I. The author, I believe, is a Dutchman, and certainly writes in most detestable French; but his knowledge of the Arabic history of Spain, and his access to original materials for it, are quite remarkable.
The way in which he shows up the Cid as a savage marauder, who burnt people alive by the dozen and committed all sorts of atrocities, sometimes against Christians and sometimes against Moors, with a considerable air of impartiality, is truly edifying.
Once he hits upon a man who had seen the Cid, and so gives a coup-de-grace to Masdeu, if indeed that person of clumsy lear