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[174] the slightest ornament to distinguish his rank. Bell spoke no Italian, and therefore the conversation was chiefly with us, and, as we were Americans, entirely on America. The Pope talked a good deal about our universal toleration, and praised it as much as if it were a doctrine of his own religion, adding that he thanked God continually for having at last driven all thoughts of persecution from the world, since persuasion was the only possible means of promoting piety, though violence might promote hypocrisy. He inquired respecting the prodigious increase of our population in a manner that showed he had more definite notions about it than we commonly find in Europe; and when I explained a little its progress to him, he added that the time would soon come when we should be able to dictate to the Old World.

He had heard, too, of the superiority of our merchant vessels over those of all other nations, and spoke of our successes in the last war against the English with so much freedom that I suspect he had forgotten two British subjects stood at his elbow. The Abbe, however, reminded him of it by saying, as a half joke, that we had done very well, to be sure, but it was because we had always had the English for masters. ‘Yes,’ said the Pope, not willing to lose either his argument or his jest,—‘yes, M. Abbe, that is very true; but I would advise you to take care that the scholars do not learn too much for the masters.’

In the whole conversation he showed great good-nature and kindness, and a gayety of temper very remarkable in one so old and infirm. When it was over we left him with the same ceremonies with which we had entered. . . . .


The society of Naples, or at least the society into which I happened to be cast, interested me much. I do not speak of that which consists of foreigners, but of the strictly Neapolitan, which I met but in two houses, the Duke di San Teodoro's and the Archbishop of Tarentum's. At the first I dined, whenever it was possible for me to finish my excursions as early as three o'clock, and kept Lent there in a style of luxury which would not have disgraced Naples in the times of Hannibal or Horace, and yet which never offended against the letter of the injunctions of the Church.

The Duke has been minister in half the courts of Europe, and his wife, besides being one of the best women in the world, is full of culture. With Benci, a Florentine of some literary name, the Chevalier

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