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[79] and a Canon of St. Peter's, and may probably become a Cardinal. His English is idiomatic, but not spoken with a good accent, though with great fluency. The only striking fact he mentioned about himself was, that he learnt to talk modern Greek, easily, in eight days. . . .

March 10.—I passed, this forenoon, a couple of hours with Count Alberti, looking over the Tasso manuscripts. Cogswell, Gray,1 Sir H. Russell, and Sir W. Dundas were there on my invitation; and two Italians, a Countess somebody, and another. The whole matter is curious, very curious. The collection is large,—above an hundred pieces, I should think,—and begins with the first note of Eleonora to Tasso, when he sent her his first madrigal, and ends with a sort of testamentary disposition made at St. Onofrio, the day before his death.

The great question is the question of genuineness. None but Italians, and very few even of them, are able to settle it. Only two things occurred to me to-day: one was the suspicious completeness of the manuscripts on certain interesting points, and the other was the singular way in which they seemed to fit a great number of small circtumstances in the life of Tasso about which there is no doubt. I did not like it, either, that Count Alberti intimated nothing about their questioned authenticity, and explained very imperfectly how they came into his possession, though on some parts of their genealogy he was tediously diffuse. On the other hand, the belief at Rome in favor of their genuineness is as strong as the belief at Florence is against it. Bunsen, Mr. Hare, Count Ludolf, and Marquis Gaetano have expressed themselves to me strongly on the subject, but there has been no examination here, and some of them did not seem to know there had been one anywhere.

However, the manuscripts are about to be published at Lucca, and I think they will not then escape a very severe and critical examination, from men who will be competent to it, both from their literary knowledge and their skill in such documents.2

March 12.—I visited Cardinal Giustiniani this morning, and had a

1 Two old friends just arrived in Rome.

2 Mr. Ticknor's judgment was correct. Count Alberti proceeded to publish the manuscripts at Lucca, in 1837, under the title of ‘Manoscritti inediti di Torquato Tasso.’ So clearly was it proved, however, that they were not genuine, that in 1842, six numbers having appeared, the editor was imprisoned for counterfeiting the writing of Tasso. See Michaud's ‘Biographie Universelle,’ —article by De Angelis and Gustave Brunet.

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