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[44] always to be seen in the city, and this year the cholera has made it a desert, so that hardly one box in ten had anybody in it. . . . . Belisario, by Donizetti, was pretty well performed by Tadolini as the prima donna, whom we had heard at Vienna. . . . .

October 9.—We spent a very agreeable day to-day with the Manzoni family, at their villa about five or six miles from Milan, where they live half the year. The family now consists of the elder Mad. Manzoni, who is the daughter of the well-known Marquis Beccaria, and an interesting old lady; Manzoni himself, who has been a widower these two years; and his five children, with an ecclesiastic, who is almost always found in respectable Italian families, as a tutor and religious director. To this party was added to-day, to meet us, Baron Trechi, . . . . who some time since expiated the sin of having more than common talent and liberal views of politics, by a fifteen-months' confinement in an Austrian prison.

The whole was pleasant, but the person who most interested me was Manzoni himself, who must, I suppose, be now admitted to be the most successful author Italy has produced since the days of Alfieri, and who has, besides, the merit of being a truly excellent and respectable man. He is now fifty-one years old, for, as he told me to-day, he was born in 1785, and he has been known as an author since he published his Inni sacri, in 1816 . . . . . But no degree of success encourages him to write much. He has a sensitive, retiring spirit, and what he has achieved amidst almost unbroken applause is said to be no compensation to himself for the occasional murmurs of critical censure that reach even those who least need or deserve them. In conversation he showed some of this character. He seemed, so to speak, to be strong through his fears; and talked with the most energy where he felt the most misgiving.

Thus, for instance, he was positively eloquent when he urged his fears that the attempts to introduce liberal institutions into Europe would end in fastening the chains of a heavier despotism on the people, and that the irreligious tendencies of the age would but arm the priesthood with new and more dangerous power. In the question of slavery in the United States he was much interested, and said he wished the northern portion of America were separated from the southern, that New England and the other free States might be entirely relieved from this odious taint. He talked well, too, upon other subjects, especially literary subjects; but he is more thoroughly interested, I should think, in what relates to religion and government than anything else, though his fears and anxieties will probably

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