and who has a great deal of literary cultivation,—with two or three members of the family, including the Duchess, who was the only lady at table. The service was silver, as in most great Roman houses, and the dinner recherche, after the Paris fashion. But it was really a dinner for talk, and in this particular was very brilliant. The curious circumstance about it, however, was, that at the end of the regular two hours, we went into the salon for coffee, and there continued the conversation on French politics, Italian literature, etc., near two hours more, with cigars, to the full content of the Duchess, —a Piombino,—who enjoyed it very much, talk, cigars, and all. Ampere, de la Rive, and Sermoneta-especially the first and the last—were admirable. I have not been present at so agreeable and brilliant a dinner in Europe. Don't you think the Italians are improving? On looking over your letter, as is my fashion when I am closing an answer, I find two things that surprise me. Who told you that I ‘outwatch the bear,’ and that I ‘keep a diary’? Both are mistakes. I have led a more regular life as to bedtimes for the last eight months than I do at home; and as for journal, I do not even write many letters, though when I do, as you see, they are apt to be long ones. However, there is an end to everything human. When we leave Rome, we shall have so much travelling to do, that I think letters on my part will be rarer than ever . . . . . But my paper is full. Are you not glad? Love to Susan, and a great deal of it, and to Elizabeth.1 We think and talk a great deal of you, and long to see you. Always yours,
Naples, March 27, 1857.my dear Count Circourt,—I received in Rome your very kind letter, enclosing one for Count Goyon, and your little note introducing Mrs. Gaskell and her two daughters . . . . . We enjoyed very much our acquaintance with the de la Rives,—excellent people, full of intelligence, and the most kindly natures. We were a good deal together, and parted from them with no little regret . . . . . With Visconti, who is in all societies, as he always has been, we went to the excavations he is superintending at Ostia, and to the Lateran Museum, which he is arranging, and found him full of knowledge, inherited and acquired. . . . .