previous next

[352] and already I notice how much the city is altered, enlarged, and improved since I last saw it. Everything, indeed, that I have seen of the kingdom from Spezia hither is full of a vitality and busy energy which were not to be seen twenty years ago, and which are not to be found elsewhere in Italy now.

I have been here less than two days, and of course have seen very few people; but everything I have seen in society has been as strongly marked with the changes and revolutions of the period since I was last here, as the city and its streets. The first evening—having arrived at noon—I went to see the Marquis Arconati and his very remarkable wife. When I knew them in 1835-38 at their castle near Brussels, in Heidelberg, and in Paris, they were living on the income of their great estates in Belgium. . . . . Now all his estates have been restored to him, and he has, since 1849, left the dominions of Austria and established himself here, where he enjoys, amidst great splendor, the consideration and influence which his personal character and his high position naturally give him. Several deputies were in his salon, . . . . and one or two men of letters, attracted there chiefly, I think, by Mad. Arconati, who is everywhere regarded as one of the most intellectual women of her time, but one whose remarkable powers are rendered graceful and charming by a gentleness and modesty rarely found even in those who have only a tithe of her resources. . . . .

Yesterday I had another phasis of the changes of the times. I dined with Count Cavour, the most distinguished of all Italian statesmen at this moment, and the man who, since 1852, has been doing so much to infuse new life into Sardinia. I was surprised to find him so young, only forty-seven, and not looking above forty; a round, pleasant-faced gentleman, who, to judge from his countenance and manner, has not a care in the world. His conversation is such as you might expect from his appearance, lively and agreeable; his views of everything on which he talked strikingly broad, but not, I think, always very exactly defined; and his general air natural but not impressive. His eye is very quick; it reminded me of Lord Melbourne's, which was the most vigilant I ever saw. Nothing seemed to escape the Italian Premier, and I think he not only saw but heard more than anybody else in the room. Indeed, though there was a good wide table between us, I am satisfied that he heard what my next neighbor, the Minister of the Interior, said to me, notwithstanding his tones were so low that I was obliged to be attentive to catch his words. I was introduced to a good many persons, whose names I

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Heidelberg (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany) (1)
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (1)
Brussels (Belgium) (1)
Belgium (Belgium) (1)
Austria (Austria) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Cavour (1)
Arconati (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1852 AD (1)
1849 AD (1)
1838 AD (1)
1835 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: