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[68] Things looked dreary enough, as they always do in these vast palaces; but the conversation was carried on with Italian vivacity and vehemence, and the bonhomie, simplicity, and earnest kindness of the Princess were, as they always are, irresistible. At last dinner was announced, and we were led through the same wide halls by which we had entered, across a magnificent ballroom and through a dark passage, to a moderate-sized dining-room, hung in a careless way with pictures by Perugino, Raphael, Claude, and Andrea del Sarto. The dinner consisted of strange Italian dishes, and was served in the Italian fashion. All the attendants, who were cumbrously numerous, were in shabby liveries, except the major-domo, who was in black. Some of them were old; all were easy and familiar, as they always are in these ancient families, and whenever a good joke occurred they laughed, and seemed to enjoy it as much as any of us.

The conversation was lively without any expense of wit. On this point the Italians are not difficult. They content themselves with as little of what is intellectual, in their daily intercourse, as any people well can, but their gayety is none the less for all that. Monsignor Piccolomini—a great name that has come down from the time of Wallenstein—says his mother was named Jackson, and that her family is connected with that of our President-General; a droll circumstance if it is true. His stories, however, are better than his genealogy. We had coffee at table, and then, after freezing a little in the saloon, after the true Roman fashion, we came home in about three hours after we left it. In the evening we had a pleasant visit from the Trevelyans. . . . .

January 23.—. . . . After his lecture was over this morning Mr. Bunsen took us into the Tabularium, and explained it to us in a very interesting manner. It has been fully explored only within a few years, and is now one of the grandest monuments of ancient Rome.

I walked home—as I have often lately—with an elderly English gentleman, whom I have seen a good deal of within the last three weeks, and who is full of knowledge, wisdom, and gentleness; I mean Mr. Elphinstone, who wrote the ‘Embassy to Cabul,’ was thirty years in India, was long Governor of Bombay, and refused to be Governor-General of India. It is rare to meet a more interesting man.1

February 6.—. . . . We dined to-day at Prince Massimo's, and met there the Prince, his son; Monsignor; several other Italians; three or four English, whom we are in the habit of meeting everywhere in


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