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[49] years ago, and I cannot express how much pleasure it gave me. . . . . It is, indeed, a sort of holy place in the arts, and even the least interested visitors speak under their breath, and tread lightly, as they glide about from the monument of one great man's genius to that of another, consecrated already by the testimony of ages.

November 9.—I made a visit to Niccolini, the tragic writer and general scholar, who now, I suppose, ranks the first of his class in Florence. He is about fifty-five years old, with a fine head, but little beauty or dignity of person, and with manners always awkward and sometimes, as I hear, a little savage. I found him disposed to be agreeable, partly, perhaps, because I came from a republic, and he is a republican, or high liberal. . . . . He is engaged now in writing a history of the Suabian power in Italy; but I should think his want of all knowledge of German would be a grave impediment to his success, and that he must rely chiefly on the good proportions and finish of his book as a work of art. He is, however, much in earnest about it, and as he gives up the theatre because, as he says, he believes the opera is to prevail over it more and more, I suppose he will make it all he can.

November 10.—. . . . In the evening I had a long visit from Niccolini, who, I suppose, fancies himself to have inherited the genuine spirit of the old Florentine Republic, and who is, perhaps, as much of a republican as an Italian of the nineteenth century knows how to be. His ‘John of Procida,’ the tragedy on the Sicilian Vespers, shows this plainly enough, and when I alluded to it this evening he told me a curious story about it.

The French Minister here, he said, was so much annoyed by the bitterness with which the French are treated in it, that he complained to the Grand Duke, and had its representation stopped. The severe allusions to French tyranny were, however, no doubt all intended by Niccolini for the Austrians; and Count Bombelles—the same I knew at Berne—was so well aware of this, that, with his characteristic good-humor and plainness, he told his French colleague, ‘I wonder you took so much trouble about Niccolini's tragedy; the letter, to be sure, was addressed to you, but the contents of it were all meant for me.’

November 14.—I brought a letter from Prince John, of Saxony, to the Grand Duke, . . . . in consequence of which I received yesterday, from Count Fossombroni, the Prime Minister, a formal despatch, saying that the Grand Duke would receive me to-day, at twelve, in his cabinet . . . . So to-day I went to the Pitti Palace, and after passing

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