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[60] of the remarkable persons of her time, but a very important friend and patron to him when he needed friends.1

December 10.—I went this morning to see the Princess Gabrielli.2 In personal appearance she is less changed than I expected to find her. In the extremely winning frankness and sincerity of her character she is not changed at all. During an hour that I sat with her she told me the most extraordinary succession of facts about her own family that I ever listened to. Her father, Lucien Bonaparte, is now in England, poor; . . . . the Prince Musignano3—Charles—is suing his father and mother for his wife's dowry; Queen Caroline4 is quarrelling with Joseph and Jerome for the inheritance she claims from Madame Mere; the Princess of Canino is in Tuscany, furiously jealous of her husband, and yet refusing to join him in England. One of her daughters5 is Mrs. Wyse, who threw herself into the Serpentine River in St. James's Park, a few years ago; . . . . one son is exiled to America for having been concerned in a murder; another is now in the castle of St. Angelo, under sentence of death, as the principal who committed it; and so on, and so on.

Of the whole Bonaparte family the Princess Gabrielli is, in short, the only one who can now be said to be in an eligible position in society, or personally happy, and she owes the whole of this to her good sense, to freedom from all ambition, and to her truly simple, kind, and religious character. Au reste, she lives perfectly retired in her palace, with her husband and her little boy; her daughters are in a convent for their education; she receives no society and goes nowhere, but is made happy, I doubt not, as she assured me she is, by her domestic relations and her religious duties. Certainly nobody could be more cheerful, bright, and agreeable than she was this morning; but though the Gabrielli family is rich, and her husband is now the head of it, and possesses the estates of his house, everything in her noble and beautiful palace looked neglected and comfortless. I was sorry to see it, for though this is the way in which almost all ladies of her rank in Rome live, yet one educated as she has been should not have sunk into it.


1 Wife of Wilhelm von Humboldt. See Vol. I. pp. 177, 178.

2 Whom Mr. Ticknor had known as Princess Prossedi, eldest daughter of Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino. See Vol. I. p. 182.

3 Half-brother to the Princess Gabrielli.

4 Caroline Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon I., once Queen of Naples as wife of Murat.

5 Half-sister to the Princess Gabrielli. She did not lose her life by the escapade here mentioned.

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