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[161] had become only a temptation to violence which she could no longer resist. Among other things, I observed that the millet,—the potato of the ancients,—which Strabo says grew abundantly here, is no less abundant now; and that the vine is wedded to the elm as in the days of Horace, and passes from tree to tree in graceful festoons as when Milton crossed the same plains a hundred and fifty years ago. If, amidst these more classical fields, I saw for the first time in Europe the cultivation of Indian corn, the recollections it awakened of homely happiness were not discordant from the feelings with which they were associated, and I can truly say that I have seen few things since I left that home which have given me more heartfelt pleasure.

Milan, October 1.—We again commenced our journey early this morning, and when the sun rose found ourselves for the first time in the rich plains of Lombardy, where no mountains bounded the horizon . . . .We were still accompanied by the mirth and frolics of the vintage till, after passing through a great number of villages, we entered Milan. . . . .

In the evening I presented my letters to the Marquis, or Abbate, de Breme, a man of talents and learning, and son of one of the richest noblemen in Italy, who, in the times of French domination, was Minister of the Interior, and now lives in Turin, in the confidence and favor of the King of Savoy.

The son, to whom I was presented, is nearly forty I should think, and converses remarkably well, with taste and wit. He was formerly grand almoner to the court,—a place, I suspect, to which his religion did not promote him; and, though he seems to have been no friend to the French usurpation, he abhors Austria, and has refused all offers to come into the government. He carried me immediately to his box in the great theatre Della Scala; for here everybody goes every evening to the play, and what society there is . . . . is at this great exchange and lounge.

October 7.—The Marquis de Breme, whose kindness has been such that he has hardly left me an unoccupied hour since I have been in the city, proposed to me last evening, if I would stay to-day, to show me some curious things in the environs, that strangers are not generally permitted to see. This morning, therefore, we set off with a little party he had collected, consisting of Count Confalonieri,1 a young man of much culture, who has travelled Europe quite over;


1 The name of this accomplished young nobleman afterwards became widely known, and acquired a melancholy interest from his long imprisonment in the fortress of Spielberg.

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