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[346] Pleasant occupations are abundant, and pleasant people to be found everywhere in the salons and at the dinner-tables. Anna the elder, having once gone thoroughly through all the phases and fashions of Roman society, has declined it this time . . . . . Anna the younger, passing every forenoon in an atelier at landscape-painting, and the rest of the day in sight-seeing, began the season with the same purpose of abstinence; but, since the Carnival came in, she has thawed out a little, and been to sundry balls and parties, which have amused her a good deal. I have worked a good deal, more than I expected to, and have found more than I anticipated in the Libraries, which seem to expand as I advance. . . .

February 17.—. . . . . We are in the midst of the Carnival, with mild, delicious, clear weather, that makes everything gay, carries everybody into the Corso in open caleches, and fills the Villa Borghese with blue violets, and the Villa Pamphili with roses and camellias. We have a balcony in the Corso, and grow as crazy as the crowd below us. Ristori is acting, and we have a box at the theatre. The upper society is as active as the lower, mingling with it on even terms all the afternoons, and setting up for itself with dinners and balls in the evenings. . . . . It is all very strange, often a mad scene. I think I never saw so much of it before, or was so much with the people that carry it on. Certainly I never watched it so carefully, or knew so much about it, as I do now.1 . . . .

I will fill up my little space with an account of a dinner yesterday, unlike any I have seen here.2 It was at the Duc de Rignano's, a statesman who was in poor Rossi's excellent cabinet, and one of the ablest and most respectable men in Rome. He lives with great luxury in his palace on the declivity of the Capitol, and had at his table yesterday the President of the French Academy here, a professor from the Sapienza, de la Rive, Ampere, Visconti, Pentland,—who wrote the Murray on Rome, and is more than half an Italian,—the Duc de Sermoneta,3—who is accounted the pleasantest man in society here,

1 In 1837 the amusements of the Carnival were prohibited from fear of cholera. In 1818 they were free from the noisy and boisterous manners of foreigners, and Mr. Ticknor remarked on the difference, saying that then, instead of the present indiscriminate pelting with cruel plaster confetti, nothing but bouquets and bonbons were thrown, and those only as signs of recognition despite the mask and disguise.

2 Mr. Ticknor dined also during the winter at the French and Sardinian Embassies', and at Prince Borghese's, as well as at other tables, both Roman and foreign.

3 Marchese Gaetano of the earlier visit. See ante, p. 70.

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