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[69] society, . . . . a party of thirteen or fourteen. Some rooms in their magnificent palace were opened which we had not seen before, which are worthy of the oldest of the Roman families; particularly a large saloon painted in fresco by Giulio Romano, in one corner of which is the famous ancient statue of the Discobolus, for which the Prince was offered twelve thousand of our dollars, and was able—which few Roman princes would be—to refuse it. He is, too, more enlightened, I am told, than most of his caste, and the family is of such influence, that the Prussian Minister told me the other day, that he knows no individual so likely, in his turn, to become pope, as Monsignor. I talked with the Prince to-day for the first time; for, whenever I have been there before, he has been diligent at the card-table. He talked very well, sometimes with scholarship. He said, among other things, that the strangers who come to Rome occupy themselves too much with the arts and antiquities, to the exclusion of all consideration of Rome itself as a city, which, under all its governments and through all its changes, has so much influenced and continues still so much to influence the condition of the world. It was a remark worthy of a Roman Prince who felt the relations and power of his great name and family, which very few of them feel at all.

The dinner was an elegant one, in the Roman style, with sundry unaccountable dishes, all served on silver or beautiful porcelain, and with a great retinue of servants, all ostentatiously out of livery. It was, throughout, a curious and agreeable entertainment to us, for I am not aware that there is any other great Roman house where strangers are invited to dinner, or where they can see so much of Roman manners . . . .

February 11.—I had a long visit from De Crollis this morning, and a long talk with him about Dante, and other matters interesting to me. He is one of the first physicians in Rome, Professor of Medicine in the University here, a learned and, what is more rare, a liberalminded, enlightened man. He told me, among other things that six or seven years ago he began to hold weekly meetings of three or four persons at his house, to study and interpret Dante, and that they made a good deal of progress in it. Two winters ago Count Ludolf, the Neapolitan Minister, who is a great admirer of Dante,1 desired to join

1 A month before this Mr. Ticknor wrote: ‘I discovered that Count Ludolf is a great student of Dante, and I gave nearly all the time I was there [at a ball at Prince Borghese's] to a very interesting talk with him about an edition of the Divina Commedia he is now preparing. I had not before suspected the Minister of Naples of such interests or such learning.’

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