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[2326] seemed quite absorbed in his wife and child. I cannot remember ever to have found Madame Ossoli alone, on those evenings when she remained at home. Her husband was always with her. The picture of their room rises clearly on my memory. A small square room, sparingly, yet sufficiently furnished, with polished floor and frescoed ceiling,—and; drawn up closely before the cheerful fire, an oval table, on which stood a monkish lamp of brass, with depending chains that support quaint classic cups for the olive oil. There, seated beside his wife, I was sure to find the Marchese, reading from some patriotic book, and dressed in the dark brown, red-corded coat of the Guardia Civica, which it was his melancholy pleasure to wear at home. So long as the conversation could be carried on in Italian, he used to remain, though he rarely joined in it to any considerable degree; but if a number of English and American visitors came in, he used to take his leave and go to the Cafe d'italia, being very unwilling, as Madame Ossoli told me, to impose any seeming restraint, by his presence, upon her friends, with whom he was unable to converse. For the same reason, he rarely remained with her at the houses of her English or American friends, though he always accompanied her thither, and returned to escort her home.

I conversed with him so little that I can hardly venture to make any remarks on the impression which I received from his conversation, with regard to the character of his mind. Notwithstanding his general reserve and curtness of speech, on two or three occasions he showed himself to possess quite a quick and vivid fancy, and even a certain share of humor. I have heard him tell stories remarkably well. One tale, especially, which

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Marchesa Ossoli (2)
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