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Chapter 3:


Florence, November 5.—A rainy day. I went, however, to see my friend Bellocq, whom I knew in Madrid as Secretary of the French Embassy there, and who is here Charge d'affaires from France, a bachelor, grown old, and somewhat delabre, but apparently with as much bonhomie as ever. I drove, too, to Greenough's house, but found he had gone to the United States;1 . . . . but I did little else except make inquiries about the cholera at Naples, which threatens to interfere with our plans.

In the evening I went to a regular Italian conversazione, which occurs twice a week at the house of the Marchioness Lenzoni, the last descendant of one branch of the Medici family. Her house is beautifully fitted up with works of art, and is in all respects redolent of the genius of Italy, and. . . . she receives more intellectual society than anybody in Florence. She is, I suppose, about fifty years old, and, like all well-bred Italian women of her class, entirely without affectation or pretension. I found there Micali, the author of ‘Italia avanti il Dominio dei Romani,’—an old man, but very full of life and spirit; Forti, who is distinguishing himself as a political economist; a professor of mathematics, and two or three other agreeable people. . . . I was particularly glad to make the acquaintance of Micali, whose book, which I have valued these twenty years, has, I find, passed through eight or ten editions, notwithstanding its severe and learned character.

November 7.—This morning I went to the gallery . . . . . The Tribune I found—as far as I can recollect—just as I left it eighteen

1 Horatio Greenough, the American sculptor.

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