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[61]

December 11.—. . . . The evening I passed at the Princess Borghese's, who receives every evening, but has grande reception only once a week. Guards of honor were stationed at the gates of her palazzo, the court was splendidly lighted, and a row of thirty or forty servants was arranged in the antechamber, while within was opened a noble suite of rooms richly furnished, and a company collected just as it is in one of the great salons of Paris. The Princess, indeed, is a Frenchwoman, granddaughter of the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, who wrote travels in the United States; and the Prince, though of Italian blood, lived at Paris for thirty years and until about two years ago, when he came to the title and estates and removed to Rome. I brought them letters, but I knew them formerly, both at Florence and Paris, . . . . and they received me most kindly.1

The Prince Borghese is now, I suppose, fifty-five years old, very simple, direct, and, as we should say, hearty in his manners; the Princess about forty-five, with the remains of much beauty, with a good deal of grace and elegance, and that sort of good-breeding which puts a stranger immediately at his ease. She presented me to her eldest son, the Prince of Sulmona, and to his wife, a daughter of Lord Shrewsbury, one of the most beautiful creatures I ever looked upon; to her second son, who has the title of Don Camillo Borghese; and to her only daughter, the Viscountess Mortemart, who with her husband, an intellectual Frenchman, is passing the winter in Rome. . . . .

The rooms filled between nine and ten o'clock. There were a few cardinals, . . . . two or three foreign ministers, half a dozen English, and the rest were Roman nobility,—the Chigis, Gaetanos, the Piombinos, etc. I talked with some of them; but, except one of the Gaetanos, I found none of them disposed or able to go beyond very common gossip.

December 13.—The evening I passed at the French Minister's, the Marquis de Latour-Maubourg, who holds a soiree once a week. He is a quiet, gentlemanlike person, whom I have seen once or twice before; graver than Frenchmen generally are, and, I should think, of very good sense. The company was much like that at the Princess Borghese's, but the tone somewhat less easy and agreeable, for the Ambassador evidently cares little about it, and the Marchioness has not come to Rome, on account of the cholera. He lives in one wing of the Colonna Palace, and has two or three fine reception-rooms . . . .


1 See Vol. I. p. 256.

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