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Chapter 4:


January 16.—Mr. Bunsen lectured this morning on the Topography of Ancient Rome. . . . . In the evening I spent an hour quite agreeably at the Princess Borghese's,1 whom I found almost alone, because everybody had gone to a great ball at Torlonia's. There I went also, afterwards, and found a brilliant and gay fete, where were assembled six or seven hundred people. The palace where it was given is the same which Henry VIII., in the days of his Catholic zeal, gave to Cardinal Wolsey, and to which the British government, long after it became Protestant, continued to lay claim. It is a fine building, especially for the purpose to which it was devoted to-night; but it seemed strange that Torlonia should thus be the heir of Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey. . . . .

January 19.—After passing the forenoon quietly, in our usual occupations, we dined with the Princess Gabrielli. It was a little dinner given on occasion of the Prince's birthday, and it would not be easy to find anything more characteristic of the modes of life here. We were led through three or four large and fine halls, all, however, ill furnished, and were received in another where, round a huge fireplace and a small fire, we found our host and hostess; General Gabrielli, the brother; Monsignor Piccolomini; another Monsignor; a young Count, who, at the age of eighteen or nineteen, is about to be married to a little girl not yet fourteen; and a French lady. . . . .

1 Mr. Ticknor went frequently to the Princess Borghese's during the winter, and on one Sunday evening, when he speaks of the party there as something more brilliant than usual, he adds: ‘Those who chose might have the edification of seeing six cardinals at once, in the card-room at whist.’

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