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[58] this, too, by no means the result of their poverty, but of indolent habits and perverted tastes, which, while they prevent their possessors from making an effort for better things, do not prevent them from feeling there are such things, and being partly ashamed that they do not enjoy them. No doubt the fortunes of the highest class have been impaired, even within the last twenty years, and men who could once receive in state are now obliged to sell their galleries and rent their palaces. This has been eminently the case at Venice and Bologna, and partly so at Florence. But this will not account for the state of social life throughout Italy; still less for the low state of intellectual culture, especially among Italian women.

Being anxious to establish his family for the winter, Mr. Ticknor left Florence on the 1st of December, and arrived in Rome on the 5th. They took up their quarters that same day in a large and delightful apartment on the southwestern slope of the Monte Pincio, where they had a broad view of the city, and the sunshine to brighten them all day; and they had no reason to regret the choice during the five months they stayed there.


December 5.—I think we were very fortunate in securing at once such good lodgings; and, to make us feel still more at home, my old friend, Mr. Bunsen,1 the Prussian Minister, came in the evening and made us a most agreeable visit. He is much changed since I knew him before, is grown stout and round, and become the father of nine children; but he is just as full of learning, activity, and warmhearted kindness as ever. It was a great pleasure to see him.

December 8.—. . . . The evening we spent at the Prussian Minister's, Mr. Bunsen's, whose wife is an English lady. There was a large party, consisting chiefly of Germans and English. I was introduced to many, but remember few, except Wolff, the sculptor, some of whose beautiful works were in the tasteful rooms; Lepsius, who is now distinguishing himself in Egyptian antiquities; Kestner, the Hanoverian Minister, and son of Werther's Albert and, Charlotte; Plattner, who has been in Rome above thirty years; Gerhard, the famous archaeologist, etc. It was, like all such soirees, agreeable in proportion as you fall in with agreeable people. To me it was pleasant because I made a good many interesting acquaintances.

1 See Vol. I. pp. 177, 178.

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