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[50] through the regular antechambers and by the noble guards on service, was conducted through a labyrinth of passages,—one of which passed near the kitchens,—until at last I reached a small room where was one ordinary-looking old servant in attendance, out of livery. In two or three minutes he told me the Grand Duke was ready to receive me, and I passed into his cabinet, which I found a large room, excessively encumbered with rich furniture, and containing several tables covered with papers, and a desk, or working-table,. . . . before which was a beautiful bust of the Grand Duchess.

The Grand Duke was standing just by the door to receive me, and carried me at once to a sofa, where we sat down together. He is thirty-nine years old, rather tall, thin, pale, and awkward. He talks French fluently and correctly, but with a strong Italian accent, and a little thickness of voice, which, added to a little real embarrassment, made it somewhat difficult to understand him, until he was en train. The subjects were chosen chiefly by himself, but after talking a little about Saxony, and the princes there, and a little more about Florence and the objects of my visit, he fastened upon the United States, and asked me a great many questions about our manners, and modes of life, our luxury, the amount of the incomes of our rich men, the way in which they are spent, etc. He was generally well enough informed to put his questions well, and always very curious and eager. Indeed, I do not know when I have seen anybody so greedy of matter-of-fact knowledge; and whenever I said anything that struck him he took out his tablets, and made a note of it, as if he meant to seize every occasion to pick up a fact.

At last, as the conversation grew more interesting to him, he kept his tablets constantly in his hand, and wrote as diligently as a German student at a lecture. On his part, he spoke of the decay of the great fortunes of the nobility in Italy with some tone of regret, though, he said, it would probably at last lead to good; and when we talked about domestic life and the purity of its relations in America, he expressed the bitterest pain at the corruption of the married state in Italy, and added, ‘If we could have in this respect your foundation to build upon, we could still have a great state in Italy. But it is too late. We are quite corrupt in all our domestic relations, and it comes chiefly, I think, from the fact that the infidelity of a husband is not thought to be at all a ground of censure.’

He asked me where I thought it the greatest good fortune for a man to be born. I told him in America. He asked why. And when I replied, that the mass of the community there, by being occupied

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