friends in the happiest and simplest manner. Mad. Litta was there [one of the daughters]; Mad. Arconati [another daughter], always intellectual and agreeable; and several of the friends and relations of Count Confalonieri; and I had a very pleasant visit of one or two hours. June 10.—. . . . One morning Mad. Arconati, with her brother, the Marquis Trotti, and two or three other persons, took us out to an old and deserted villa of the Marquis Trotti, and showed us there a very large establishment for raising silk-worms, the great staple of this part of Lombardy . . . . . . . . Two evenings we spent at Manzoni's, whose house is the only one in Milan, I am told, where society is freely received. His wife was ill, and we did not see her, but his venerable mother was there, his daughters, and a few of his friends, the Casatis, Baron Trechi, and some others. Among them was one of Confalonieri's brothers, whom I met at Prince Metternich's last summer. Both evenings were very agreeable, for it was impossible not to feel that the people were kind and good. Manzoni talked well, and upon subjects where he might have been excused from talking at all, because it would have been no discredit to him to have been ignorant; such as the commercial difficulties in the United States, which he regarded in their most important point of view, their moral effect on the people; the slave question, on which he is a thorough abolitionist, so far as to hold that it is our duty at once to do something which shall insure emancipation at some future time, however remote, so that the principle should be now acknowledged. Of his timid sensitiveness I have heard many more striking facts: such as, that he does not like to be in any sort of solitude, not even to go alone to say his prayers in church; that he makes no visits, because he does not know whom he may meet, etc. Yet with all this he has a high and even bold sense of duty, and not a little moral courage, maintaining his liberal opinions on all occasions with frankness. His popularity as a writer is extraordinary. Nothing like it has been known in Italy for a century; nor has any man since Alfieri produced so striking an effect on the popular feeling. Traces of the ‘Promessi Sposi’ are found everywhere, from the Pitti Palace where the Grand Duke is having a room painted in fresco with designs from it—to the chintz on the sofas and chairs in the taverns, which are often covered with its story. Of the editions of it there seems to be no end. Meantime, he himself loses nothing either of the
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