previous next

[208] and she was the only person at this tertulia of the St. Iago family, who could have induced me to go there a second time, for any purpose but that of persuading myself anew of the rudeness and corruption of the highest class in Spain.

The Marchioness de Sta. Cruz, who is certainly the most elegant Spanish woman in her manners at Madrid, did not make a regular tertulia at her house, because she went at ten o'clock every night to her mother's, the Duchess of Ossuna; but until that time she received all who came. The Spaniards, however, evidently did not like it, for they could not feel the charm of such manners as the Marchioness has learnt in better societies and more refined countries, so that after all the tone here was more foreign, and there were more visitors from the corps diplomatique than from all the rest of the capital.

At the Prime Minister's were to be found high officers of the government, those who desired to become so, pretenders to place, and those who feared to lose it, et hoc genus omne, together with the gentlemen of the diplomacy and the foreigners they introduced. Mr. Pizarro seldom came, for he really had not time. He is—I write after his fall and exile—an honorable, honest man, with respectable talents, firmness, and perseverance, but often unpleasant in society from great personal vanity. His wife—who is still to be called young, and will long be beautiful—was the most estimable and respectable Spanish woman I knew in Madrid; besides that, she had received an uncommonly good education abroad. She was born in Constantinople, and lived there many years, so that she yet speaks modern Greek easily, as her nurse was an Albanian; she also speaks Turkish tolerably. After her father's return,—for he was minister there,—she married Mr. Pizarro, and has been with him at several of the courts of Europe, and added elegance of manners to her other accomplishments, while grace and beauty were born with her. In her own house, where she lived without show, because her husband administered the royal favor and was still poor, she was simple and kind; and in the diplomatic parties, where she was almost always found, she was sought for her unaffected manners and her elegant conversation.

The house, however, to which I went most frequently, was that of the Duchess of Ossuna,—a woman extraordinary alike from her rank, her talents, and her wealth. I know not how many titles she unites in her person and her family, nor how many fortunes have served to form the foundation of her immense incomes, but the number is great. At one time during the Revolution she was, notwithstanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Madrid (Spain) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Chev Pizarro (2)
Ossuna (2)
Marchioness Sta (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: