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[190] the very first nobleman in Europe, and, from his personal talents and virtues and fidelity, one of the chief supporters of the French throne. Immediately on the return of the king he was appointed ambassador here; not only from the great importance of the post arising from the connection then to be formed anew between the two branches of the restored family, but from the great dignity of the appointment, as the chief embassy France sends, since it is from a Bourbon to a Bourbon, and from the great personal influence he has with the king and court.

. . . . I dine with him two or three times every week, and see him more or less every day; for if by accident I do not meet him in the evening, I am sure that in the morning he will look into my quarters, telling me that he came to see whether I was sick; and still oftener he comes and sits with me to read or to talk, for he is the only Frenchman whose literary opinions and feelings coincide with my own. . . . .

Now, therefore, my dear father and mother, I hope you know who my most intimate friend here is, for I should always like to have you feel acquainted with those I know; and as this [letter] is finished, all that remains for me is to send you my love for all my friends, whom I certainly love more than ever. . . . .


The interior of the city of Madrid, taken as a whole, is far from handsome. It should not, however, be forgotten that no city in Europe can boast within its walls so fine a walk as the Prado; that Rome alone, as far as I know, has an entrance equal to that by the gate of Alcala; that several of its streets are really fine; that good buildings are not wanting, especially those constructed during the reign of Charles III., such as the Aduana, built in 1769, the Academia de San Fernando near it, and the Casa de Correos,—not forgetting the famous convent of Las Salosas, the work of Ferdinand VI.; but then, on the other hand, it may be fairly remembered there is not a fine square in the whole city, or a fine church; that the palace is a confused, irregular, clumsy piece of architecture, begun in 1737, and never to be finished; and that the new museum, and everything, in short, now doing in the Retiro and elsewhere, is worse than all that has been done before. Among all that Madrid boasts in this way, there was nothing that interested me so much as a few obscure buildings, famous for the names and history attached to them,

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