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[40] deal of one of his tragedies, began to write his Prigioni, which, however, he ventured upon with very great hesitation, and not till after Balbo had encouraged and stimulated him not a little to undertake it.

When the Prigioni were published, the minds of a good many persons were changed by it, but not the minds of all. Among those who now sought his acquaintance were the Marquis and Marchioness Barolo, persons of large fortune,—two hundred or three hundred thousand francs per annum,—of an old family, of intellectual tastes, and much devoted to doing good. They were always intimate friends of the Balbo family, and Count Cesare had made some movements earlier towards introducing Pellico to them; but he had found in them a little repugnance to receiving him, and he did not press it. Now they asked him to bring Pellico to their house, and the result has been, that they have become attached to him, have invited him to take the nominal place of librarian, with the salary of twelve hundred francs a year, and established him as their inmate completely, except that in winter, when they are in Turin, he lodges with his father and mother. It is a quiet situation, and he says he is very happy in it. I doubt not it is so. The Marquis and Marchioness have no children, and spend a large part of their great income in works of benevolence. When the cholera appeared at Turin last year, they at once gave up a journey they had projected to Florence and Rome, and moved into the city from their villa, devoting themselves to the means of preventing the progress of the disease, as well as to the hospitals, which the Marchioness, as well as her husband, visited regularly. She has constantly, at Turin, a House of Refuge for the most unhappy class of her own sex, and in her very palazzo she has established an infant school, where the poor can leave their children when they go to their daily work. . . . .

While Pellico was still sitting with us . . . . Sir Augustus Foster, the British Minister, came in, and I was glad to find that he treated Pellico with unaffected kindness and consideration, and invited him to dine. . . . . . Sir Augustus is the same person who was Minister in the United States when war was declared with Great Britain,1 and has been Minister here eleven years, till he has grown quite a Piedmontese in his tastes. . . . .

October 2.—. . . . We dined with the Marquis Barolo, at his villa, . . . . about six or seven miles from Turin. . . . . Our road was for some time on the banks of the Po, through a rich and beautiful country,

1 In 1812.

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