previous next

[451] of the Austrian power, as well as still larger ones within it. But though his incomes are diminished, they still enable him to live in great luxury, which he most generously and pleasantly shares with his less fortunate fellow-sufferers.

It was strange to find everything in relation to the modes of living arranged in a Dutch chateau upon Italian habits and fashions. The day was cold and bright, ice having formed a little over night, but the rooms, filled with fine furniture and pictures, had no carpets, and only one had a fire. They dislike — with a true Italian repugnance-direct heat, and after we had taken a little walk round the grounds,—which made Mad. Arconati shudder, in the rich, warm sun, and on which her sister would not venture,—we all went into a grand room in one of the round towers of the castle, where, the walls being about sixteen feet thick, that pleasant moderate temperature is preserved which the people of the South of Europe prefer to every other. There we talked until dinner.

Mad. Arconati is a sweet, winning, intellectual lady of the simplest manners, entirely devoted to her husband, whose fortunes she has followed in his exile,—though she might have lived in great splendor at Milan,—and to her son, who is now a student at Bonn of much promise. The Marquis is a frank, high-minded gentleman, and Arrivabene is an original thinker, who is much valued by Whately, Senior, and that set of men, and who was consulted upon the subject of the English Poor-Laws by the committee of Parliament, in whose proceedings his report fills a considerable space.

Salviati has just published an Italian translation of Goethe's ‘Faust,’ a bold, and—from what I saw of it—not a successful undertaking, but he talked very agreeably. Indeed, we passed an hour or two very pleasantly in that grand old room, covered with recollections of the days of Egmont and William of Orange, and lighted only with painted glass, which suited well to the tone of the room itself.

Dinner followed. It was served in a room without a fire and miserably chilling and cold. The table was covered, after the Italian fashion, with an abundant and beautiful dessert of fruit, ornamented with flowers, and various wines; but the soup, meats, etc., were carried round by the servants. The cooking, service, and so on, were all excellent, but it was so cold it was not possible to enjoy it, at least not for me. Indeed, they all complained, and as soon as we could get through seven or eight courses we went into the room with a fire, warmed ourselves and took coffee, and had more very pleasant conversation, after which I parted from them and came back to Brussels.

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)
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.
Italian (2)
Arconati (2)
Whately (1)
Wolfgang A. Von Goethe (1)
Giovanni Arrivabene (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: