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[70] them, and the result was, that the meetings were transferred to the Farnese Palace, and the number of persons, including the Marchese Gaetano,1 and one or two other of the Roman nobles of some literary taste, was increased to fourteen or fifteen. The thing, of course, began now to be talked about, and whatever is talked about is unwelcome to a government as weak and as anxious as this. About a year ago they received a very remote, gentle, and indirect hint, as mild as priestly skill could make it, that it was feared the tendency of such meetings was not good. The hint was taken, and the meetings have since been discontinued. Yet Count Ludolf is a legitimist of unquestionable fidelity, and the whole party as far as possible from anything political. I could not help contrasting such a state of things with that in Saxony . . . .

On my way to the Capitol this forenoon, walking with Colonel Mure,2 I went to see a house not far from the foot of the hill, which Bunsen pointed out to us, lately, as an ancient Roman house. Certainly the walls looked as if they were of ancient materials and workmanship, and certainly the whole seemed as uncomfortable as we have ever supposed the Romans lived; but so much has been changed in the arrangements, and so much crowded in and upon the structure, that it is not possible to make much out of it. . . . .

After the lecture Mr. Bunsen went, with old Mr. Elphinstone and myself, through all the forums, beginning with the Forum Romanum and ending with that of Trajan; descending into all the excavations, and visiting every trace and relic of each of them, whether in cellars, barns, or churches, or in the open air. It took about three hours, and was quite curious; for Bunsen is familiar with every stone in the whole of it. He showed us, among other things, that it was possible, when these forums were in their palmiest state, to have walked from the Tabularium, or Aerarium, on the declivity of the Capitol, round by the Coliseum, and up to the farther end of the Forum of Trajan,—which he supposed to have ended near the Piazza di Venezia, on the Corso,—and yet have been the whole time sheltered by grand porticos and in the presence of magnificent buildings. This gives an idea of what Rome once was. What it now is, our senses too faithfully informed us, as we passed through almost every possible variety of filth, wretchedness, and squalid misery, while we made our researches.

1 Now Duca di Sermoneta.

2 Colonel William Mure, of Caldwell, author of ‘Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece.’

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