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Title: Italian Letters of a Diplomat's Wife: January-May, 1880; February-April, 1904

Author: Mary King Waddington

Release date: November 8, 2011 [eBook #37953]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team










"A most interesting book of gossip, which, considered from the point of view of the general public, contains not a dull line from the first to the last. The letters have all the freshness of the best class of feminine correspondence."

London Athenæum.


Illustrated. 8vo. $2.50 Net

Elena, Queen of Italy. Elena, Queen of Italy.


January-May, 1880
February-April, 1904






NEW YORK :: :: :: :: :: :: 1905

Copyright, 1905, by

Published, March, 1905



In December, 1879, M. William Henry Waddington resigned the Premiership of France, and the following month, accompanied by his wife, left Paris for a winter of rest and recreation in Italy, chiefly in Rome. The letters from Madame Waddington to her mother and sister, which constitute "Part I" of this volume, describe this journey and residence. Those forming "Part II" relate the incidents of a similar Roman sojourn some twenty years later, M. Waddington having died in the meantime. The two series together compose a picture of life and society in the Italian capital with a wide range of contrast and comparison, corresponding with those of London and Moscow in the well-known "Letters of a Diplomat's Wife" by the same writer.



Elena, Queen of ItalyFrontispiece
Mrs. Charles King12
President Charles King of Columbia College, New York City30
The Spanish Steps52
     In the Piazza di Spagna, Rome.
Pope Leo XIII.60
King Humbert of Italy66
Queen Margherita of Italy76
Queen Margherita and King Humbert84
Queen Margherita and the Prince of Naples (Present King of Italy) in 188094
Victoria, Crown Princess of Germany104
Gardens of the Villa Torlonis, Formerly Villa Conti, Frascati, Opposite the Villa Marconi, Where we Spent the Summer of 1867108
Tomb of Viniciano, Between Frascati and Tusculum112
Grounds of the Villa Doria-Pamphili, Rome116
     From an unpublished photograph taken about 1869.
Pope Pius IX.145
Last Benediction of Pope Pius IX. from the
Balcony of St. Peter's158
St. Peter's from the Pincio172
The Barberini Palace238
     The residence of the Storys
Victor Emanuel III., King of Italy244
Pope Pius X.250
Great New Bridge from Albano to Ariccia264
     Built by Pope Pius IX.
Roman Huntsmen on the Campagna266
     Ancient Roman aqueduct in the background
Waiting for the Hounds268
Cardinal Antonelli288
     From a portrait painted for the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. From a photograph given to Madame Waddington by the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar at Rome.
The Dining-room in the Brancaccio Palace304





To G. K. S.[1]

31, rue Dumont d'Urville, Paris,
January 10, 1880.

Well, dear, here I am back again in my little hotel, and very small and uncomfortable it looks—like a doll's house after the enormous rooms of the Quai d'Orsay—however I am very glad to be a private individual once more (no longer a "femme publique" as our friend used to say). Our departure was hurried, as once W.[2] had made up his mind and resigned he wanted to get away at once. We got off in two days, which I thought quite wonderful. Of course ever since the opening of the session in November it was evident that he couldn't stay. He and his Ministers were hardly ever agreed on any point, and it wasn't worth while for him to spend his energy and intelligence in trying to carry out a policy which neither the Chamber nor the country apparently desired. There were endless conferences all through December, but it was clear that it was time for him to go.

The weather was something awful—bitterly cold—the Seine frozen tight, booths and games established, and [4]everybody sliding about and trying to skate—but that was under difficulties as the ice was rough and uneven. I walked over with Francis,[3] that he might say he had walked across the Seine. We had great difficulty in warming the house—many trains with wood and coal were blocked just outside Paris, and nothing could get in. I don't know what we should have done, but happily the Ministre de la Guerre gave us an order to take some wood from some dépôt in Paris where they had a provision; so for the two days before we moved in great fires were going in the calorifère. I really think the only person who hated to leave the Quai d'Orsay was Francis. He was furious at seeing all his things packed up, and was carried out to the carriage kicking and screaming—"veux pas quitter ma maison—veux pas aller vilaine petite maison." The huissiers (6, all standing solemnly in a row to say good-bye) were much impressed, and the old grey-headed Pierson who has been there for years and seen many Ministers depart, remarked—"au moins Monsieur Francis est désolé de partir." It seemed funny to drive out of the big gates for the last time. I wonder if I shall ever go through them again. Things go so quickly in France now.

You can't conceive anything more uncomfortable than this house to-day—no carpets down nor curtains up; all the furniture, books, rugs, dumped in the middle of the rooms, and the hall and corridors full of trunks and boxes. W. has had a steady stream of people ever since we arrived—some to condole—some (old friends) to congratulate him upon no longer serving such an infecte government—some a little embarrassed to explain that, though they regret him extremely, still ... they must serve their country, and hope he won't take it amiss[5] if they make up to the rising sun (in the shape of Freycinet, who has taken W.'s place). I expect we shall have some curious experiences. When one is no longer in power it is surprising how things change their aspect. I had to settle the salons as soon as I could as I had invited a big party for Francis's Christmas Tree, thinking it would be at the Quai d'Orsay. I didn't want to put the people off—particularly the diplomatists who have all been most civil and proper—so after a consultation with Kruft—(chef du matériel at the Quai d'Orsay) who had already begun to make his preparations, I decided to have it here, and Kruft and one of his men came and helped dress it. Of course the tree had to be cut at the top—our rooms are fairly high, but nothing like the Quai d'Orsay naturally—but it looked rather prettier, quite covered with toys and shiny ornaments. Francis had beautiful presents—a hand-organ with a monkey on top from Madame Sibbern, the wife of the Swedish Minister, from which he can't be extracted. He can't turn it alone, but some of the bigger children helped him, and we had the "Cloches de Corneville" and "Niniche" almost all the afternoon. There were about 100 people, children and parents, and the rooms looked pretty. All the people and lights warmed them too—it wasn't quite so Siberian. We couldn't attempt cooking of any kind as the kitchen range was out of order, and besides we hadn't fuel enough—l'Oncle Alphonse[4] who lives next door feeds us. W. and I go to him for breakfast and dinner, and his chef (a very distinguished artist and well dressed gentleman—quite a superior person—Monsieur Double) submits Francis's menu every morning to Nounou, as he says he has no experience with children.

We have decided to go to Italy for two or three months,[6] and shall make Rome our headquarters. W. has never been there, and says it wouldn't be worth while going for less than three months. What fun it will be to be there together—I can hardly believe it is true. I am sure we are wise to get away. There must always be little jarring things when one has been in office some time—and it would be rather a bore to W. to take his place as senator and be in opposition to the present Ministry. If he stayed in Paris he would have to take part in all the discussions, and would certainly be interviewed by all sorts of people to whom he would say nothing (he never does—he hates newspaper people) but they would say he did all the same, and so many people believe implicitly whatever they see in a paper. The Minister has offered W. the London Embassy, but he won't take it, doesn't wish to have any function of any kind at present. He is looking forward to long, happy hours in Rome, deciphering all the old inscriptions, and going over the old city with Lanciani[5] and some of his literary friends.

January 12, 1880.

After all I have been back to the Quai d'Orsay. W. said I must go and make a formal visit to Madame de Freycinet (who is a very nice woman—a Protestant, and has one daughter—a charming intelligent girl). Henrietta and I went together, taking Francis with us, who was delighted as soon as he got to the Place de la Concorde and crossed the bridge—"C'est Paris—C'est Paris." Poor little boy—the rue Dumont d'Urville is so quiet, nothing passing and nothing to see when he looks out of the window. He was always at the window at the Quai d'Orsay looking at the boats, the soldiers,[7] and the general liveliness of a great thoroughfare. It was a funny sensation to go and pay a visit to Madame de Freycinet in the little blue salon where I had received her so often, and to be announced by my own pet huissier, Gérard, who spent his life all the time I was at the Quai d'Orsay sitting outside the door of any room I happened to be in. He knew all my visitors—those I wanted to see and those I didn't—kept all the cards, and books, and remembered every quête I had given to—and the bills that had been paid. I don't remember that he ever occupied himself with my garments, but I am sure that he could have found anything that I asked for.

The house is gradually getting warm and comfortable, and the furniture settling into its place; but I have a curious feeling of smallness—as if I hadn't room to turn. We hope to get off in three or four days. We leave Francis of course, but Nounou and Hubert will look after him, and he will go to breakfast every day with Mother, where of course he will be well spoiled and have everything he asks for.

To G. K. S.

January 18, 1880.

I hope we shall get off now in a day or two—W. really needs the rest, which he never will get here as all day long people come to see him and suggest various plans. We have written to the Hôtel de Londres. You or Eugene might go there some day and see the rooms they propose. It will be nice to be back in our old quarters Piazza di Spagna. We had a pleasant small dinner last night at the British Embassy—Lord Lyons is always so nice and cordial. He was a little surprised and not quite pleased that W. hadn't accepted the London Embassy, he would have been so entirely a "persona grata" with[8] his English education, connections, etc. All the Diplomates seem to regret us (but I think they will like the Freycinets just as much) and really here, where Ministers are such passing figures in the political world, they would have a hard time if they set their affections on any particular man.

I am becoming very philosophical—though the attitude of some of my friends has rather surprised me (not W.; he is never surprised at anything). L'Oncle Alphonse keeps us well informed of what is said on the other side. He is quite a Royalist, a great friend of the Orléans Princes, and a great deal at the club where they always call him "l'oncle du gouvernement"—and when the "gouvernement makes a 'bêtise'" (which sometimes happens) they criticize freely, and he tells it all to us. I fancy he always defends W. in public—but of course in private pitches into him well.

I rather miss the big life—seeing so many people, and being as it were behind the scenes—also our conversations at night when W. had finished his signatures, and Pontécoulant[6] came up from his quarters with the report of the day, and got his instructions for the next morning. W. is not at all "matinal" and hates doing any kind of business early—must always have his ride first. We used to sit in W.'s cabinet until two in the morning sometimes, telling our experiences—some of mine were funny. I hated an official reception day, but the gentlemen of the protocol department thought it absolutely necessary, so I was obliged to give in—and certainly nothing I did tired me so much as those long Fridays in the big yellow drawing-room. From 3 to 6 streams of people—women mostly—of all nationalities—and of course no conversation possible—however it wasn't always banal, as you will see. [9]Our last Friday one of my friends had been in, very much taken up with the journey to Rome—her clothes, the climate, which hotel was the best, etc. When she went out in a whirl of talk and excitement I turned to one of the 14 women who were seated in a semicircle on each side of me, and by way of continuing the conversation said: "Il me semble qu'on serait très bien à l'Hôtel de Londres à Rome en plein soleil," to which she replied haughtily "Je n'en sais rien, Madame, je n'ai jamais quitté Paris, et je m'en vante." W. wouldn't believe it, but as I told him I couldn't have invented it. I was rather sorry I hadn't pursued the conversation, and asked her why she was so proud of that particular phase of her life. I suppose she must have had a reason, which naturally I couldn't understand, having begun my career so very far away from either Rome or Paris. It is a real pleasure though to be back in my own salon, and have my nice little tea-table, and three or four of my friends, and talk about anything and everything, and even do a little music occasionally.

January 20, 1880.

I didn't find my tea quite so pleasant the other day. I was sitting in the little salon talking to one or two ladies, and receiving their congratulations at being no longer of the official world, and obliged to associate with the Government people, when the footman appeared with his eyes round, to announce that "La Présidente" (Madame Grévy) was coming upstairs to pay Madame a visit. I flew to the door and the top of the stairs (I couldn't get any further) and received "ma Présidente" in proper style. I ushered her into the salon where I had left my friends (mad Royalists both). They were much disgusted—however they were too well-bred to make[10] things disagreeable for me in my own house—and rose when we came in. I named Madame Grévy—and as soon as she had taken her seat, and declined a cup of tea, they went away. Of course they hated getting up for Madame Grévy, but there was nothing else to be done as she and I were both standing. Happily no one else came in but Prince Orloff, Russian Ambassador, who of course knew Madame Grévy and talked easily enough. She didn't stay long—it was the classic "visite de condoléance" to the wife of the ex-Minister (if she only knew how glad this Ex was to return to private life and her own house, and to be no longer "logée par le gouvernement"). This is the second visit of condoléance I have had. When Marshal MacMahon dismissed (suddenly) all his cabinet presided by Jules Simon, 16th of May, 1877, Madame de MacMahon came also to see me—and at the same time—5 o'clock on my reception day—so I knew precisely what the conversation would be—and Madame Grévy and I both said exactly the same things that the Maréchale and I had said two or three years ago. I suppose everybody does say the same thing on certain occasions. After she had gone Orloff asked me if I remembered those two ladies meeting (for the first time in their lives) at the Quai d'Orsay on one of my Fridays. Just after the Marshal resigned Madame de MacMahon came to see me. She was announced by all the servants and I had plenty of time to get to the door of the first drawing-room, not quite to the anteroom, to receive her. When her husband was President she was received always like Royalty—at the door of the apartment. She was very simple and easy, quite pleased evidently at still having all her honours. Prince Orloff came in to pay a visit, and we were having a very pleasant talk, when I heard quick footsteps in the second salon, and[11] again appeared my faithful Gérard (I had also visions of numberless doors being opened all down the enfilade of salons) announcing Madame Grévy. I was embarrassed for a moment as I didn't like to leave the Maréchale, and yet I knew I must go and meet Madame Grévy—all the ceremony of course was for the official position, and one Présidente was just the same as the other. Madame de MacMahon was most amiable—said at once—"Je vous en prie, Madame, ne pensez pas à moi"—and "au fond" was rather curious to see her successor. I went as quickly as I could (Orloff giving me a funny little smile, almost a wink, as I passed him) and got my other Présidente just at the door. She was rather astounded I think at her reception—she hadn't been long in her exalted position. We proceeded majestically through three or four salons, and when we arrived at my drawing-room Madame de MacMahon got up at once, saying quite simply "Voulez-vous me présenter, Madame, à Madame Grévy?" She was quite at her ease—Madame Grévy rather shy and embarrassed—however Madame de MacMahon talked at once about some of the great charities, artists, etc., and it really wasn't too stiff—Orloff of course always helping and making jokes with the two ladies. One or two visitors came in and gasped when they saw the situation—also one of the young men of the Cabinet, who instantly disappeared. I always thought he went to tell W. what was happening upstairs so that he might come to the rescue in case I wasn't up to the mark ... but he swears he didn't. When the Maréchale got up to go there was again a complication as I wanted to accompany her to the door, and I didn't like to leave Madame Grévy. She wouldn't hear of my going through all the salons—took leave of me at the door—and then Orloff came to the[12] rescue—gave her his arm and took her to her carriage. It was a curious meeting, and, as Orloff said just now, "je lui devais une fameuse chandelle."[7]

February 6, 1880.

We are starting to-night, straight for Florence, where we shall stay a week or ten days with the Bunsens before going on to Rome. W. is much pleased at the Roman prospect—and I can hardly believe that I am going to see Rome again. We have our lit-salon straight through to Florence, and I hope we shall be warm enough. It is bitterly cold to-day—even walking I was glad to have my sealskin coat. Nounou is rather tearful at being left in sole charge of Francis, but as that young gentleman is perfectly well, in roaring spirits, and will be given everything his heart desires by his Grandmother and Aunts, I don't feel very unhappy about him. It seems incredible that we should be going to meet soon. How we will prowl about Rome. I suppose I shall find it absolutely changed—so many more people—not our dear old dead Rome.

Mrs. Charles King. Mrs. Charles King.

To H. L. K.[8]

Florence, Via Romana, Villa McDonnell,
February 8, 1880.

We arrived quite comfortably, dear mother, but almost frozen, particularly W. He has not been extracted from the fire since we got here. Henrietta will have told you of our start. Pontécoulant and one or two men were at the station to see us off—also the Chef de Gare, most civil, and saying we should not be disturbed at the frontier[13]—and that our coupé-lit would take us straight through to Florence. We had a perfectly easy journey, and I slept quite peacefully—waking up merely when we passed through the tunnel, as the guard came in to shut all the windows. It was a beautiful, cold, starlight winter night. The great mountains covered with snow looked gigantic as we approached—"sinistres" as Madame Hubert[9] said. She was much impressed and rather nervous. There were very few people in the train. When we arrived at Modane the Chef de Gare was waiting for us—he had been telegraphed from Paris to expect us. We had breakfast in the private room, and a nice woman was waiting for us upstairs in the ladies' room with hot water, towels, etc. I made quite a toilet—she carried off my dress and jacket to brush—and then we went down to a nice little breakfast which tasted very good, as I hadn't had anything since our 7 o'clock dinner. They offered us coffee somewhere—Dijon I think—but I didn't want anything then. All the first part of the road—in fact all the road to Turin was lovely. It was a bright, cold morning, and the snow mountains looked beautiful. It was such a pleasure to hear Italian once more—even the names at the stations "capo stazione"—"grande velocità"—"uscita," etc., also the shrill "partenza" when we started. The last time I crossed the Mont Cenis was by the Fell railway when we all started together from Aix. That was certainly very beautiful—but rather terrifying—particularly as we neared the top and looked at the steep places and the various zigzags we were to follow going down. One couldn't help feeling that if a brake or chain broke there would be a terrible catastrophe. I remember so well some of the women who were quite sea-sick—the swaying motion, I[14] suppose, as we rounded the curves, of which there were many. I can see one now stretched out on the floor on a rug in the small salle d'attente at Susa, quite exhausted and absolutely indifferent to the outside world.

We had quite a wait at Turin. Our coupé was detached and put on the Florence express. They locked the doors, and we left all our things—books, shawls, bags, etc.—and had a very fair dinner at the buffet. We had so much time that Madame Hubert and I went for a little walk. There was not much to see close to the gare—but it was delightful to me to hear Italian again, and to see the idle, placid crowd standing about—nobody in a hurry apparently, and nobody jostling and pushing through, though there were trains starting or coming in all the time. W. was too cold to move—he really should have had a fur coat—which he utterly despises—says that will do when he is 70, and can't walk any more. It was warm and fairly light in the buffet so he established himself there with a paper and was quite happy. We got here about 6.30—Charles de Bunsen was at the station with a carriage—so we came off at once, leaving Madame Hubert and Francesco with the trunks. How she will get on in Italian I don't know, but she is very active and débrouillarde, and generally makes herself understood. Mary[10] was waiting for us with tea and those crisp little grissini[11] we always used to have in Casa Guadagni. They have a charming "villino"—part of the McDonnell villa. One goes in by a small door (in one of the narrow grey streets of old Florence, with high walls on each side—Via Romana) and straight up a fine broad staircase to a good palier with large high rooms opening out on it. All the bed-rooms and small salon open on a [15]loggia overlooking the garden—a real old Italian garden. I shall never be dressed in time for anything in the morning, as I am always on the loggia. The flowers are all coming out—the birds singing—the sky bright, deep blue—and the whole atmosphere so soft and clear—and in fact Italian—different from everything else.

Mary has arranged the small salon (which they always sit in) most prettily and comfortably—with bibelots and quantities of books about in all languages—there are usually four going in the establishment—Charles and his daughter speak always German to each other—the rest of us either French or English—it depends rather upon what we are talking about—and always an undercurrent of Italian with the servants and "parlatrice" (such a sweet, refined looking girl who comes every day to read and speak Italian with my belle-mère). Mrs. Waddington strikes at the mixture at meals and insists upon one language, either English or French. There is also a charming German girl here, Mlle. de Sternberg, a niece of Charles de Bunsen—so we are a most cosmopolitan household. The life is utterly different from the one I have been leading for the last two years.

To H. L. K.

February 10, 1880.

I try and write every day, but am so much taken up and so tired when I come in that I don't always find the moment. W. is all right again. He really got quite a chill from the cold night journey—and for two or three days sat in the fire. Francesco, the Italian servant, took excellent care of him—was so sympathetic the night we had some music and W. couldn't appear. It was a pleasant[16] evening—a Russian Prince (I forget his name, and couldn't probably spell it if I remembered), a great friend of Mary's, an excellent musician and a great Wagnerian offered to come and play some of the Nibelungen. I was delighted as I only know Tannhäuser and Lohengrin. I remember now your sigh of relief when Seilern and I finished playing à 4 mains the Walpurgis Night years ago in the Champs Elysées. I daresay it was trying for the public—but we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The big drawing-room looked very pretty, with plenty of flowers, and I think there were about 50 people—almost all (except Lottie and Madame de Tchiatcheff) ardent admirers of the great man. One lady appeared in a sort of loose, red gown (it seems red is the only colour Wagner admits), her hair, very pretty, blonde, hanging down her back, just tied with a ribbon—and carrying two partitions. Mary said, "Wouldn't you like to sit by her, and she will explain it all to you?"—but I said there was nothing I would like so little. I knew enough of the legend to be able to follow, and moreover I had always heard that Wagner's descriptive music was so wonderful that one understood everything without any text, etc. The great man appeared—the grand piano was opened all over to give as much sound as possible—and he requested absolute silence. He played beautifully—it was enchanting—one quite heard the little waves in which the Rhein-Töchter were disporting themselves. It was wonderfully melodious and delicate—I should have liked it to go on forever. He played for about three-quarters of an hour—all Rheingold—then suddenly pushed back his chair, and rushed to the anteroom, exclaiming "de l'air—de l'air," followed by all the red and musical ladies. It is a pity there must always be such a pose with Wagner—for really the music was a joy. I met of course[17] quantities of old friends, and agreed to go to Lottie Van Schaick's ball.

February 12, 1880.

W. and I had a lovely long flânerie this morning. He is quite well again, and the sun was tempting. It seems quite a different Florence living over here, and I must say much more old-world and Italian than the Lungarno, with all the modern hotels and apartments, and evident signs of forestieri[12] everywhere. As soon as we cross the bridge it is quite different—a gay, bustling, northern city. W. was so much amused the other day—we were in a fiacre and the driver put on the brake to go down the almost imperceptible descent on the other side of the bridge. We went straight across to the Piazza del Duomo to-day, where the market was held, and wandered in and out among the stalls. It was all so familiar—little green cucumbers, almonds, and strings of fried fish, with a good healthy smell of "frittura." The people were all most smiling, and so pleased when I spoke Italian to them, and said I was so happy to be back in their country again. W. has no opinion of my Italian. He came to my room this morning followed by the Italian servant to tell me to tell him that his razor must be sharpened. I began, and came to a dead halt—hadn't the slightest idea what razor was in Italian. W. was much disgusted, but I explained that when I was living in Italy before as a girl, I hadn't often had occasion to ask for razors—all the same he has evidently lost confidence, and thinks my reputation as a linguist "surfaite."

This afternoon we had a lovely drive up the Fiesole hill with Mary and Beatrice. Their man, who goes on the carriage, is called "Bacco" and is so Italian and sympathetic—takes a lively interest in all our proceedings—knows[18] everybody we meet, and talks cheerfully with any of his friends we happen to cross. The view from Fiesole was divine—the long slopes of cyprus and olive trees—with Florence at the bottom of the valley, and the Arno just visible—a streak of light. I am so fond of the grey green of the olives. It all looked so soft and delicate in the sunset light.

February 13, 1880.

We are getting dreadfully mondain. The other night we had a pretty, typical Florentine party at Edith Peruzzi's.[13] We went a little after ten and thought we would be among the first, but the rooms were already full—quantities of people (not many of my old friends) and splendid jewels. It was much more real Florentine society than the people we used to see when we lived in Casa Guadagni. They were generally the young, sporting, pleasure-loving set, with a good dash of foreigners, artists, diplomatists, etc. These were the real polite, stiff Italians of the old régime. Many people were introduced to us, and W. enjoyed his evening immensely—found many interesting people to talk to. He was delighted to meet Bentivoglio again, and they immediately retired into a corner, and plunged into Asia Minor and coins. Edith looked very well, did the honours simply and graciously; and Peruzzi really not changed—always the same tall, handsome, aristocratic type.

Last night was Lottie Van Schaick's ball, very gay and handsome. Mary wouldn't go—so I chaperoned the two girls—Beatrice and Rosa Sternberg. They made a very pretty contrast—Rosa von Sternberg is fair and slight, a pretty, graceful figure. Beatrice on rather a larger scale, with a very white skin, and beautiful dark[19] eyes. W. and Charles Bunsen came too, but didn't stay very long. We went late as the Florence balls always last so long. I met quantities of old friends, and made a tour de valse with Carlo Alessandri for the sake of old times. W. was much amused to see all the older men still dancing. At the Paris balls the danseurs are all so young—few of the married men dance—only the very young ones. I didn't wait for the cotillon—it hadn't begun at 3.30. The supper is always before the cotillon which of course prolongs the festivity.

I was lazy this morning, as we came in so late last night, so W. and I only went for a turn in the Boboli Gardens. The shade was so thick it was almost black—but it was resting to the eyes. There are very few flowers, one had a general impression of green. This afternoon we have been driving about leaving cards, and ending with a turn in the Cascine. There everything seemed exactly the same as when we lived there ten years ago. The same people driving about in the same carriages, and everybody drawing up on the Piazza, and talking to their neighbours. It amused me to drive down the Lungarno to our bridge. There were quantities of carriages and people lounging on the pavement, and looking at the river. The instant one crosses the bridge it is perfectly different—narrow streets, high walls, few carriages, no loiterers.

Our garden was beautiful to-night—a splendid moon just rising over the black trees, and a soft delicious air. We have had a quiet evening, talking and reading in the small salon. Charles was very interesting, talking about old Italy and their beginnings in Turin. It seems the etiquette of that Court was something awful. Mary told us that she was talking one day to the Marchesa S. (a lively little old lady who took snuff) who had been in[20] her time a famous wit and beauty, dame d'honneur to the wife of Carlo Alberto. Mary was rather complaining of the inconvenience of going to the winter reception of the Duchess of Genoa (she had only one in the year) where all the ladies of the Corps Diplomatique were obliged to go in full dress décolletée at about 4 in the afternoon. "Ah, ma chère," said the old Marchesa, "what would you have said in our time?" She told her that when the Queen-Mother was ill in the winter at the Château of Stupinigi, some miles from Turin, all her ladies had to go and inquire for her in full dress and manteaux de cour, and that when they knew she was in bed, and could see no one. Mary has splendid Italian lace which she bought from one of the ladies of the old Queen after her death. It would cost a fortune now, and in fact could not be had unless some private individual in reduced circumstances was obliged to sell. I had a nice visit from Alberti to-day—just the same—gay, impossible, saying the most risqué things in a perfectly natural way, so that you can hardly realize the enormities you are listening to. They don't sound so bad in Italian—I think the language veils and poetizes everything. He is very anxious we should go out and spend the day at Signa—his most lovely place—and I wish we could, I should like W. to see it—so much natural beauty—and, with our northern ideas, so absolutely neglected—splendid rooms, painted ceilings—no practical furniture of any kind, and a garden that was a dream of wild beauty—flowers everywhere, climbing up over the roof, around bits of grey wall, long grass that almost twisted around one's feet, and such a view from the terrace. I told W. afterward of our great day there long ago, when we started at 10 in the morning and got back at 2 a.m. I wonder if you remember the day? We were a large party—Van[21] Schaicks, Maquays, Coxes, and others whose names I forget and pretty much every man in Florence (of all nationalities). We started by rail—the women all in light muslin dresses and hats. We were met by carriages of all kinds—Alberti's own little pony-trap—and a collection of remarkable vehicles from all the neighbouring villages. The drive was short, but straight up a steep hill—the villa most beautifully situated at the top, with a background of green hills. Two or three rooms had been arranged for us—so we took off cloaks—a nice, sympathetic Italian woman brushed off the dust—and we went at once to breakfast in the state dining-room—the big doors on the terrace open. Some of the men had their breakfast out there. After breakfast we all wandered about the garden—such thick shade that it was quite comfortable. It was pretty to see the white figures flitting in and out among the trees. About 3 I got into a riding skirt and loose jacket, and went for a ride with Alberti and a Frenchman, Brinquant, a friend of Alberti—very gay, and entrain, and perfectly amused at the entertainment—so sans façon and original. We had a lovely ride—through such narrow roads—branches of the orange trees and roses nearly coming into our faces as we cantered along the little steep paths. I had a pretty little mare—perfectly sure-footed, which was an absolute necessity as the hill paths were very steep, with many curves, and full of rolling stones. We pottered about for an hour, and when we got home I thought I would retire to one of the rooms and rest for half an hour before I got back into my afternoon dress, but that was a delusion. They all came clamouring at the door, and insisted upon my coming out at once, as the whole party were to be photographed. As I was perfectly confident that they would all come in if I didn't come out, there was nothing[22] to be done, and I joined the group. It was rather a long affair, but at the end seemed satisfactory. Then we had tea on the terrace, and sat there watching the sun go down behind the Signa hills, leaving that beautiful afterglow which one only sees in Italy—the green tints particularly.

Three or four men came out for dinner who hadn't been able to get off early (diplomates, I fancy, for they were certainly the only men in this gay city who had any occupation), also a tapeur[14] and little objets for the cotillon. We did have about an hour before dinner to rest and make ourselves look as nice as we could—but naturally a long, hot day wandering about in a garden, and sitting on half-ruined crumbling stone walls doesn't improve muslin dresses. The dinner was very gay and good, and the hour on the terrace afterward with coffee, enchanting. One or two of the men had brought guitars, and there were scraps of songs, choruses, "stornelli," going on all the time. One man, with a lovely tenor voice, sat on the lower step singing anything—everything—the rest of us joining in when we knew the song. The terrace was quite dark—the house brilliantly lighted standing out well; and every now and then the Italian servants would appear at the door with their smiling faces—black eyes and white teeth—evidently restraining themselves with difficulty from joining in the choruses. I really don't think Mary's "Bacco" could have resisted. I always hear him and Francesco singing merrily over their work in the morning. They certainly are an easy-going, light-hearted race, these modern Florentines. One can hardly believe that they are the descendants of the fierce old Medici who sit up so proud and cold on their marble tombs at San Lorenzo.


We began the cotillon about 10, and it lasted an hour and a half. There were 10 couples, plenty of flowers and ribbons, and, needless to say, an extraordinary "entrain." We ended, of course, with the "Quadrille infernal" (which Alberti always leads with the greatest spirit), made a long chain all through the house down the terrace steps (such a scramble) and finally dispersed in the garden. I shouldn't like to say what the light dresses looked like after that. We started back to Florence about midnight in two coaches—such a beautiful drive. The coming out of the gates, and down the steep hill with a bad road and a narrow turn was rather nervous work—but we finally emerged on the broad high-road looking like a long silver ribbon in the moonlight winding down the valley. We had the road quite to ourselves—it was too late for revellers, and too early for market people, so we could go a good pace, and galloped up and down the hills, some of them decidedly steep. It was a splendid night—that warm southern moon (so unlike our cold white moonlight) throwing out every line sharply. It was just 3 o'clock when we drew up at Casa Guadagni.

I didn't intend to write so much about Signa, but I had just been telling it all to W., and I think it will amuse the family in America.

To H. L. K.

Villa McDonnell,
February 15, 1880.

I try and write every day, but it is not easy. We are out all the time. The weather is divine, and it seems wicked to stay indoors. W. and I go out every morning, and we do a good deal of sight-seeing in a pleasant, idle way. I go sometimes to the Boboli Gardens and wait for him there when he has letters to write. It is all so[24] unlike our Florence of ten years ago; I love the quiet grey streets. The gardens are delicious; dark and cool; you see no one, hear nothing but the splash of the fountains, and the modern busy world doesn't exist. I am becoming quite intimate with the custode—he is most friendly—smiles all over when W. appears—and remarked the other day casually when he was late and I was waiting at the gate, "Il marito si fa aspettare." This morning we pottered about the Ponte Vecchio, where all the shops look exactly the same, and apparently the same old wrinkled men bending over their pearls and turquoises. So many foreigners have bought pearls that the prices have all gone up. There has been a great influx of strangers these last days as Easter is early, and we hear English on all sides. Two pretty fair-haired English girls were loitering about the bridge and shops, attracting much attention and admiration, quite freely expressed, from some of the numerous young men who are always lounging about; but the admiration is so genuine and so open that no one could be angry or consider it an impertinence.

Do you remember one of my first Italian experiences in crossing the Piazza di Spagna one afternoon with my white kitten on my shoulder, and one of the group of "paini"[15] standing at the door of the bank remarked smilingly, "Che gatto fortunato!" I was rather taken aback but pleased certainly. At Doney's in the Via Tornabuoni, there is always the same group of men on the pavement about tea-time, when every one goes in for a cup of tea or chocolate—all much interested in the pretty girls who go in and out—also the society men standing at the door of the Club making remarks and criticising, with rather more reserve perhaps.


We took a fiacre when we had crossed the bridge and drove to Santa Maria Novella. The black and white façade looked like an old friend, also the spezeria where we used to buy the sachets of iris powder in the old days. We wandered all over the church, looked at the frescoes and the wonderful Cimabue Madonna, and then through the cloisters. A monk (one of the few left) in the long white robe of the Dominicans was working in the garden. He looked very picturesque in the little square of green, and was apparently engrossed in his work as he didn't even turn his head to look at us. He wasn't at all an old man as we saw when he raised himself—was tall and broad-shouldered. What a life it must be for a man in the full force of strength and health. One can understand it in the old days before books and printing, when the Dominicans and Benedictines were students and their parchments made history, but now when everybody reads and discusses everything it seems incredible that a man should condemn himself to such an existence.

We dined at the Tchiatcheffs, and on our way home crossed a procession of "la Misericordia"; all the men with long cloaks and cowls drawn tight over their faces, with slits for the eyes. One could see nothing but bright, keen eyes, impossible to recognise any one. I believe men of all classes belong to the society, and we had probably various friends among them. I suppose they were going to get a corpse (which is always done at night in Florence, or, in fact, everywhere in Italy) and their low, melancholy chant rather haunted me. They say they do a great deal of good when there is an accident or a case of malignant fever, in transporting the patient to a hospital; but it was an uncanny sight. They tell me they went to get a young Englishman the other day who had fever, and was to be moved from the hotel to a private[26] hospital. It was the doctor's suggestion, and I am sure they carried him quite well and gently, but it seems his poor wife went nearly mad when the procession arrived, and she saw all those black eyes gleaming from behind the cowls.

We have been this afternoon to tea at "Camerata," the Halls' Villa. The drive out was charming, the day beautiful and bright, flowers everywhere. Quantities of peasant children ran alongside the carriage as we toiled up the hills, chattering volubly (many Inglesi thrown in) and holding out little brown hands filled with yellow flowers. The Camerata garden and terrace were lovely. It was still a little cool to sit out, so we had tea inside. The lawn was blue with violets, and there were quantities of yellow flowers, crocuses, narcissi everywhere, roses just beginning. We met various old friends there—principally English—among others Miss Arbuthnot, looking quite the same; and the two Misses Forbes who have a charming apartment in Florence—we went there to tea the other day. Our friend and compatriot, Mrs. K., was also there; very dressy and very foolish; poor dear she never was wise. She was glad to see me, was sure I was enjoying the change and rest after my "full life"; then "Did you live in Paris?" I felt like saying, "No, French Cabinet Ministers usually live in Yokohama," but I desisted from that plaisanterie as I was sure she would go away under the impression that W. had been a member of the Japanese Cabinet. W. doesn't like my jokes—thinks they are frivolous.

February 17, 1880.

Our Talleyrand dinner last night was handsome and pleasant. He was for years French Ambassador at Petersburg (Baron Charles de Talleyrand-Périgord),[27] and is the type of the clever, old-fashioned French gentleman and diplomatist. He married a Russian, Mlle. Bernadaky. She is very amiable, has a beautiful voice and beautiful jewels. I had Carlo Alessandri next to me, and we plunged into old times. After dinner Talleyrand and W. talked politics in the fumoir. He is of course quite "d'un autre bord" and thinks Republican France "grotesque," but W. said he was so moderate and sensible, not at all narrow-minded, understanding that a different opinion was quite possible, that it was interesting to discuss with him. Talleyrand confided to Mary afterward that he couldn't understand a man of her brother's intelligence and education being a Republican.

Madame de Talleyrand didn't sing, had a cold. I was very sorry as I told her I should have liked to hear her sing again "Divinité du Styx." It will be always associated in my mind with the French-German war when we were all at Ouchy together hearing fresh disasters every day.

This afternoon we went to have tea with "Ouida"[16] at her villa outside Florence. She was most anxious W. should come to her—which he agreed to do—though afternoon visits are not much in his line. As we were rather a large party we went out in detachments, and Madame de Tchiatcheff drove me. We arrived before the Bunsens and W. Ouida came to the gate to meet us, and Madame Tchiatcheff named me. She was civil, but before I had time to say that M. Waddington was coming in another carriage, she looked past me, saying, "Et Monsieur Waddington—il ne vient donc pas," with such evident disappointment and utter indifference to the presence of Madame Waddington that I was rather taken[28] aback; but I suppose geniuses must not be judged like other people. I was rather disappointed in her appearance. I expected to see her dressed either in "primrose satin with trails of white lace," or as an Italian peasant, and she really looked like any one else—her hair cut short and a most intelligent face. She was interesting when she talked about Italy and the absolute poverty of the people. She spoke either French or English, both equally well. When the visit had been talked of at home we had told W. he must read, or at any rate look over one of her books. I didn't think he could undertake one of her long novels, "Idalia" for instance, where the heroine wanders for days through wood and dale attired in a white satin dress, and arrives at her destination looking like "a tall, beautiful, pure lily"; but I think he might like one of her short Italian stories, which are charming, such beautiful descriptions. I always remember one of her sentences, "There is nothing in the world so beautiful as the smile of Italy to the awakening Spring." One felt that to-day in the garden, every bud was bursting, everything looked green and fresh and young.

Our dinner at home to-night was most agreeable. We had Mlle. de Weling, a great friend of the Bunsens, a clever, interesting woman whose girlhood was passed at the old Nassau castle at Bieberich on the Rhine. Her mother was one of the Duchess's ladies. I know the place well, and used often to walk through the beautiful park to the Rhine when I was staying with Mary. It is quite shut up and deserted now. The old Duke held out against United Imperial Germany, and never lived in his Schloss after Nassau was annexed. It is a grand old house with all its great windows and balconies facing the Rhine. One could quite imagine an animated court life (small court) there, with music, and riding, and excursions[29] on the river. It is rather melancholy to see such a fine old place deserted.

We had, too, Comandi, an Italian who occupies himself with orphan boys, and has a home for them near here somewhere in the country which we are going to see some day. Anna de Weling, too, has founded one or two small homes in different parts of Germany. She read us a letter the other day from one of her boys, quite grown up now, whom she had placed. It began "Wir brauchen Beinkleider" (we need trousers)—so naïf. The conversation was almost entirely in Italian as Comandi speaks no other language. All the Bunsens speak of course perfectly—they lived in Italy for so many years at the beginning of their diplomatic career. Mrs. Waddington is quite wonderful, speaks and reads it perfectly. Her nice little parlatrice is devoted to her.

February 19, 1880.

We have had two nice days. Yesterday we walked straight across the bridge to the Piazza del Duomo—walked about the Cathedral and the Baptistery trying to make out the Saints' processions, and figures on the marvellous bronze doors—but it would take weeks of study to understand them. I was tired, and sat (very uncomfortably) on a sort of pointed stone near the gates while W. examined them. I really think I like the Piazza and the open air and the street life as much as anything else. There was so much movement, flower stalls, fruit, cakes, those extraordinary little straw bottles of wine, children playing and tumbling all over the place (evidently compulsory education doesn't bother them much), and always quantities of men standing about doing nothing, wrapped up in their long cloaks, but what a wonderful cadre for it all. The Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Loggia, etc.—one[30] can't imagine now the horrors that have been perpetrated in that very square. I told the family the other day I wanted to read "Nicolo dei Lapi" over again, and they all jeered at me; but I must get it somewhere; it will take me straight back to Frascati and the long hot days of the cholera summer when I was reading it, and trying so hard with my imperfect and school-girl translation to make you understand the beauty and horrors of the book.

President Charles King of Columbia College, New York City. President Charles King of Columbia College, New York City.

I was telling Mrs. Waddington the other day of our life at Frascati—the great cholera year at Albano (1869), when so many people died—the Dowager Queen of Naples, Princess Colonna, and Cardinal Altieri, who came straight out to his villa as soon as the cholera broke out (which it did quite suddenly). He was wonderful—went about everywhere in all the poor little houses, relieving and encouraging the sick and dying, holding up the cross to the poor dim eyes when life was too nearly gone for any words to avail; and finally was struck down himself and died in two days. How terribly lonely and cut off we felt—Dr. Valery was the only person we saw. He was allowed to come out every day from Rome, but was fumigated at the station at Frascati, and again in Rome when he got back, obliged to change his clothes outside the gate before coming into the city. We were never at all nervous about the cholera. I don't think there was one case at Frascati, and of course all our thoughts were centred in that great big room with its pink walls and mosaic floor where father[17] lay desperately ill. It seems like a dream now, those hot summer nights, when we used to go out on the terrace (upon which his room opened) to get bouillon, ice, etc., and we fancied we could see the cloud of disease hovering over the Campagna.[31] When it was moonlight, and such moonlight, that beautiful golden, southern moon, we saw a long white line in the distance—the sea. Circulation was very difficult, all the roads leading to Albano were barred, and guarded by zouaves; and of course we heard tales of horror from the Italian servants, always most talkative and graphic in their descriptions. However on the whole they behaved well. We used to ride every day, and always passed a little chapel on the way to Castel Gandolfo, which was filled with people kneeling and praying—a long line stretching out quite across the road to a little shrine just opposite. They used to make way for us to pass without getting off their knees, only stretching out their hands for anything the Principesse americane would give them.

Some of the women were quite absorbed, looking hard at the Madonna in her shrine as if they expected some visible sign of pity, or promise of help. I rather envied them their simple faith; it must help them through many moments of trial and discouragement.

As usual I seem to have wandered from my original subject, but Italy is so full of memories. We were too tired to walk home, besides were a little late, so we took a fiacre with a most friendly coachman, who saw at once that we were strangers, pointed out all the places of interest, and said it would be a delightful afternoon for Fiesole, and he would come and get us if we would name the hour.

We found lots of letters and papers at the house, and W. plunged into Paris and politics after breakfast. I went for a drive with Mary and Beatrice to the Villa Careggi. The house is nothing remarkable—a large square building with enormous rooms, deep fireplaces, and very high ceilings. Some good frescoes on the walls.[32] The garden and terraces were enchanting—the sun really too warm on the terrace—always a divine view; blue-purple hills rolling away in the distance, and funny, crooked little roads shut in between high walls, with every now and then a gap, or a gate, which gave one glimpses of straggling, unkempt gardens, with a wealth of flowers and vines.

We had a quiet dinner and evening, which we all enjoyed. W. smoked and talked a great deal of the past year and the last days at the Quai d'Orsay. He doesn't miss the life in the least, which rather surprises me; I thought he would be so bored with suddenly nothing to do, and no part to play in the world's history; but I see that the absolute rest and being with all his family is doing him so much good. It is extraordinary how soon one forgets, and takes up a quiet life again. Already the whirl and fatigues of the Exhibition year seem so far away I feel as if somebody else had lived that life. I cannot imagine myself now dining out (and not ordinary dinners, official banquets) 19 nights in succession, but I suppose I should begin again quite naturally if we returned to public life.

Did you see the article in the "Français" saying "M. Waddington will now have all the rest of his life before him to consecrate to his studies"? I wonder! This morning we had our usual walk—as W. was ready at ten o'clock I didn't make my regular station in the Boboli Gardens. We went to Vieusseux about a book W. wanted, and then into the bank to pay George Maquay a visit. He was most cheerful, and showed us a nice article in the "Times" regretting very much W.'s departure from the Foreign Office, "one of the few men who could look ahead a little, and who was independent, not limited in his views by what the Chamber of Deputies[33] would think." I was rather pleased, but W. is very calm about all newspaper articles. He always has a "mauvaise presse" as we don't soigner any paper. I fancy, though, Henrietta is right when she says the next time he takes office she means to buy one—so many people believe implicitly all they see in a paper, especially when it says what you want to believe.

We did a little shopping, I wanted some veils, and W. remained outside looking at the grim old Strozzi Palace, standing like a great fortress with its huge stones and heavy doors in the middle of all the busy, bustling life of the Tornabuoni. I think it is the one street in Florence where people move about quickly, and as if they were going somewhere. Everywhere else there are crowds of people, men especially, doing nothing but sitting all day in the sun looking at the passers-by.

We hadn't time to walk over to San Lorenzo, so hailed a fiacre, and wandered about there for some time. I was delighted to see the Medici Chapel again and the famous monument of Lorenzo. He does look as if he were thinking out some great problem—I wonder what he would think of our go-ahead, unartistic world, and of our politicians, so timorous and afraid of responsibility—at least the men of that race were strong for good or for evil. When they wanted anything they did all they could to get it. I don't know that the women were behindhand either in energy when one thinks of Queen Catherine and of all the Huguenots she disposed of one summer evening in Paris. Do you remember our friend Mrs. A., a converted Catholic, whom we overheard one night at the Opera when they were shooting all the Huguenots in the last act, telling her daughter (remained a Protestant) that the Saint Bartholomew had nothing to do with Catholics and Protestants; was entirely a political move.

[34]We have had a long drive this afternoon with Mary and Charles, up the Poggio Imperiale—a stiff climb but such a beautiful road—villas, cypresses, olive trees, and roses everywhere. We went up to the Certosa, where a nice old monk, in his white dress, showed us the church and monastery. It was dark and rather cold in the church, and nothing particular to see—good frescoes and many coloured marbles—but the terrace outside was delightful. There were not too many beggars on the road considering that it is the favourite drive in Florence, and of course the carriage people are at a disadvantage as they must go slowly up the hill, and are escorted by a long troop of children singing, dancing with a sort of tambourine, turning somersaults, and enjoying life generally, whether they get a few pennies or not. It is very difficult to resist the children with their smiling faces and evident desire to amuse the "forestieri."

We went to Casa Guadagni before we came home, and paid a visit to the Marchesa, who was at home. The same old porter was at the door, and greeted me most warmly, much pleased to see W. "bel uomo, il marito"—had I any children, and where were all the rest of the family?—that simple, natural Italian manner, without a thought of familiarity. W. was delighted with Madame Guadagni. She talked about everything and really didn't look any older. I asked about our old apartment (piano nobile—first floor); she said it was always let—generally to foreigners. I didn't ask if she had made any modern improvements since we lived there. Shall you ever forget that cold winter with the doors that wouldn't open, and the windows that wouldn't shut, and the chimneys that always smoked, and the calorifère, which John never would light, as he was afraid it would warm the Guadagni rooms below? I should have liked to go[35] over the apartment and see the rooms again—the big ball-room where we danced so often and had so much music. We wound up with a turn in the Cascine, drawing up in the Piazza alongside of Lottie's carriage, which was of course surrounded by all the gilded youth of Florence. Maquay came to talk to us, Carlo Alessandri and Serristori, whom I hadn't yet seen. He was just the same (laughing and criticising) as in the old days when some of the swells appeared in so-called Worth garments, which he said were all made in a little room over his stables, by the wife and daughters of one of his men.

I was glad to get in and have a quiet hour to write before dinner. I am at my table close up to the open window. The air is soft and delicious—the garden just beginning to look dark and mysterious in the waning light. The group of cypresses (I don't know how to write that in the plural, it looks funny) always black. I was called off various times, and must finish now as we are going to dine at the Maquays—we being ourselves, Mary, and Charles. We generally go about a family party.

Sunday, February 21, 1880.

We are making our pacquets as we have decided to leave for Rome on Monday (22). The Schuylers are clamouring for us, and though I hate to leave here I really think we ought to go. As W. has never seen Rome two months will not be too much. We shan't have much more as he wants to get home for the Conseil Général. The Schuylers want to have a big reception for us, and would like next Sunday week, so I think we really shall get off this time. The longer we stay the more invitations we have. It has been all quite charming. Our Maquay dinner was very easy and pleasant; the Tchiatcheffs,[36] Lottie, Alessandri, Talleyrands, Mrs. Fuller, and one or two stray men. The house looked so natural—of course the ball-room wasn't open as we were a small party, but they lighted it after dinner. I wanted W. to see how pretty it was and how light—white with red seats all around. How it took me back to old times? I seemed to see everybody settling for the cotillon—the stairs too, where we all used to sit waiting for the cotillon to begin. How we amused ourselves that winter in Florence, and how scattered all that little band is now. The Florentines amuse themselves still—there must be something in the air which makes people light-hearted—one can't imagine a serious, studious life in Florence.

We spent two hours in the Uffizi yesterday looking at all the old friends again. I was delighted to see the dear little "St. John in the Wilderness" hanging just where it did before, on one side of the door in the Tribuna; also the Peruginos—I like them so much—his Madonnas with their wooden faces, but a pure, unearthly expression all the same, and the curious green colour one sees in all his pictures. We saw as much as we could in the two hours, but as it was the second visit we found our way about better. I never rested until I found the corridor with Niobe and all her children—it used to fascinate me in the old days. One realized perfectly all those big sons and daughters, so terrified, and the last little one clinging to his mother's skirts.

We went to tea, Mary and I, with Edith Peruzzi—quite quietly—as she wanted to show me her children—and fine specimens they are; a duck of a boy, quite sociable and smiling. Nina and Louisa Maquay came in—Louisa looked lovely. This morning I went to the English church with Mary and Beatrice. We didn't go out again till late—after tea—as we had various visitors,[37] among others Schuyler Crosby, who had asked us to dine but we had no evening left. I saw him riding the other day in the Cascine, and recognised him some way off by his seat. I don't know what it is, but whatever the Americans do, whether riding, dancing, or tennis, they do it differently from any one else. I was talking about it the other day to an Englishman who had seen some of the Anglo-American boat races, and he quite agreed with me, said their rowing was very good, but quite another thing from the English sport.

We drove out again Fiesole way. It was enchanting—more roses come out every day. There was a perfect fringe of pink roses hanging over some of the old grey walls. As it was Sunday, and a lovely day, there were quantities of people about. There are scarcely any costumes left, but all Italians like bright colours, and the red and green fichus and aprons looked pretty and gay as the various groups passed us. Some of the old women were terribly bent, with such brown, wrinkled faces—one could quite see that they had toiled up and down hills under the Italian scorching sun all their lives, with baskets and bundles of fagots on their backs—but the old eyes were keen and smiling. They don't look so utterly starved and wretched as Ouida (and others) say they are. I suppose they live on nothing, and go on quite simply, leading the same lives that their fathers and mothers did before them, without knowing of anything better.

Tell Henrietta I haven't made much progress in the travelling work she presented me with. I did take it out into the drawing-room one evening, but the immediate result of that was disastrous. I took it out of the bag proudly, to show that I had silk, embroidery, scissors, needles, etc., like everybody else, but left it on the table.[38] Somebody wanted a book or a newspaper also on the table; turned everything upside down, and the work, silk, needles, thimble, etc., went rolling all over the floor. When you think of the crevasses of an old parquet floor in an Italian Palace, you can imagine how difficult it was to find anything again. The two girls were hours on their knees looking for my thimble which never turned up—however, that will be an excellent reason for buying a pretty little gold thimble with a row of turquoises that I saw the other day in a shop on the Ponte Vecchio. There is evidently a fate against my becoming an accomplished needlewoman, and I am afraid the "clumsy little fingers," which used to worry you so in the old days of music lessons, have not improved with advancing years. Perhaps I shall take to work in my old age. Isn't it George Sand who says (and I don't believe she ever took a needle in her hand), "Don't despise our less ambitious sisters who work. Many great resolutions and silent abnegations have been woven into the bright flowers and delicate tracings of the embroidery in the long hours spent over the frame."

Monday Night, February 22, 1880.

We really are starting to-morrow morning—trunks are packed, compartment engaged, and we have said good-bye to everybody. I made a last little turn this morning in the Boboli Gardens. I didn't see the custode—I wanted to say good-bye to him. Then we went to the Pitti gallery, W. wanted to see one particular Botticelli, "la bella Simonetta" I think, which he and Mary had been talking about, and which we had missed the other day. It is quite impossible to see everything. I had remembered pretty well the principal pictures. Then we took a fiacre and went out to San Marco to see the[39] Fra Angelicos and Savonarola's cell. We had never once got there, there is always so much to do. We walked through the cloisters first—the frescoes are perfectly well preserved—some of Fra Angelico's and others less interesting. I wanted to see the cells, and was quite pleased to recognise the "Coronation of the Virgin" and the "Madonna and Child" surrounded by angels, all in their long green-blue robes with wings and musical instruments of all kinds. As usual people were copying them, and I will try and find a pretty one and bring it back. I want the one in a sort of light green dress blowing a trumpet. The faces are quite beautiful, so pure. He must have had a wonderful imagination—I wonder if he believed angels look like that? Somehow or other I always think of an angel in a white robe. We saw of course Savonarola's cell, and they showed us his rosary, and a piece of wood which is supposed to have been taken from his funeral pile. It all looked so peaceful and smiling to-day, one could hardly realize the long hours of doubt and self-torture passed in these solitary cells. There is a fine description in one of the numerous books the Bunsens have on Florence, of Savonarola's preaching—all the people congregated in the great square before the church, when there was no longer any room inside, leaving their shops and their work to come and listen to him. That is one of the delightful things in this household, you can always find a book in almost any language about any subject that interests you, religion, music, politics, everything.

Beatrice has a delightful German magazine, "Monatsheft," very well illustrated, with all the modern German literature, stories, essays, criticisms, etc. One could almost wish for a rainy day or a quiet evening to read a little.

[40]W. went off by himself the other night and had a very pleasant evening. First to the Piccolellis' where he found a small party and his old friend Bentivoglio, with whom he had travelled in the East. Of course they instantly got into a corner and talked shop (medals). Then to Lottie Van Schaick who had a few friends, where he amused himself very much.

Gertrude writes that our rooms are very nice, and the man at the hotel delighted to have us. I wonder what Rome will be like. It will seem funny to be back there again, a respectable middle-aged lady. I think one should always be young and gay to live in Italy.

We had a fine musical evening Saturday with the Landi family—five; mother, father, daughter, son, and grandfather. Madame Landi sang anything, everything, delightfully. Some of the stornelli and peasant songs, those particularly of the Abruzzi mountains, were charming. I wonder what Italians have got in their "gosier" that we haven't, that gives such a charm to their simplest song. I sang once or twice in French, and then Madame Landi and I did some duos in Italian which went very well. She was very complimentary over my Italian (I told it triumphantly to W., but he remains under the impression of the razor), said it was evident I had learnt in Rome; the language is so much softer, or rather the pronunciation "Lingua toscana in bocca romana."

The old father was killing, knew everything, was wildly interested, and criticised freely. I think the daughter will have a very pretty voice, like her mother's, a rich, low mezzo.

I was called off by some visits, and will finish now. My letter will go to-morrow morning. We don't start very early—9.30—but I shall not have time to write anything more.


To H. L. K.

Hôtel de Londres, Rome,
February 24, 1880.

We arrived last evening for dinner, dear mother, and are most comfortably settled. We have a nice apartment on the second floor—a large bright salon with a good bed-room on either side of it for me and W., and a very fair anteroom where Madame Hubert has just had another wardrobe put up. She interviewed the gérant and made it clear to him that it was impossible for her to unpack her mistress's dresses until she had something suitable to put them in. We found flowers and papers on the table from the Schuylers, Mrs. Bruce, and the proprietor of the hotel.

I thought we should never get away from Florence. We were so happy there with the Bunsens and Mrs. Waddington, and every day there was something to see or do. The weather was divine the last days—the hills were quite a pink-purple sometimes as we drove home after sunset, and quantities of roses climbing up all the old grey walls. We had a very easy journey—they had reserved a carriage for us, which was a good precaution, as the train was crowded. We got to Rome about six. W. was quite excited as we approached (it is too funny to think that he had never been here), and very anxious for the first glimpse of St. Peter's. I can't say we saw the dome from a great distance—I fancy it depends upon which way you enter Rome. We found the Schuylers at the station with a carriage, and drove at once to the hotel, where Gert had ordered tea and a pannettone. If I hadn't known I was coming to Rome I should never have believed it on arriving at the station. It was so[42] unlike the little old Termine of our Roman days—the funny little station so far away, with few porters or cabs, and comparatively few voyageurs. I was quite bewildered with the rush into this great, modern station, with porters and officials of all kinds, and all the bustle of a great city.

I looked in vain for some familiar landmarks as we came along. Nothing. The new streets, Via Garibaldi and Nazionale—an abomination, tall ugly maisons de location and official buildings so new and regular—awful! It wasn't until we got into the town and near the Piazza di Spagna that I really felt that I was back in Rome; that of course was unchanged. It brought back such a flood of memories as we passed 20, and all the first happy days in Rome came back to me, before father's illness, when he enjoyed everything so much, and wrote to Uncle John that "the hours were golden." The "barca" looked just the same, with boys and women leaning up against the stones, flower-girls on the Spanish Steps, and even old Nazzari's low, dark shop opposite looked picturesque. W. was quite surprised to see me so sentimental, though I had warned him that for me there was no place in the world like Rome.

The Schuylers stayed talking some little while, then had to go, as they were dining out, but promised to come in after dinner. W. asked me if I was too tired to go for a little stroll (the tea had refreshed us), so we started up the Spanish Steps to the Villa Medici, where we had that beautiful view of Rome. I showed him the stone pines of the Doria-Pamphili, which stood out splendidly against the last bright clouds of the sunset—it was quite lovely. We stayed out quite late, and were received with respectful, but decidedly disapproving greetings from the gérant when we came in. It was not at[43] all prudent for "Eccellenza" and Madame to remain out late, particularly as they must be very tired after a long journey. We dined downstairs in the big dining-room. There was a long table d'hôte full—people about half through their dinner—and at the extreme end of the room five or six small tables, one of which had been reserved for us. I didn't see any one I knew, but two men got up and bowed as we passed. The dinner was good—the head waiter hovering about us all the time, and of course always addressing W. as "Eccellenza." We had coffee upstairs. W. smoked and I read the paper and one or two notes. About ten the Schuylers appeared, very cheerful and full of propositions of all kinds. They have got a big reception for us on Sunday night—Roman and diplomatic—and we agreed to breakfast with them to-day. Gert looked very well in blue, with her diamond necklace and feathers. They don't seem very pleased with Marsh—our Minister. Always the same old story and jealousy—the ministers consider themselves so far above a consul. But really when the Consul-General happens to be Schuyler and his wife King, one would think these two names would speak for themselves—for Americans, at any rate.

We told Schuyler how many compliments we had had both in Paris and Florence for his "Peter the Great"—so much in it, and yet the subject one that had been written about so often. They went off about eleven, and I was glad to go to bed; could hardly believe I was sleeping again in the Piazza di Spagna. I certainly never imagined when I left Rome tearfully so many years ago that I would come back as the wife of a French statesman.

I was busy all the morning unpacking and settling myself, and of course looking out of the window. It is all so delightfully familiar—all the botte standing in the[44] middle of the street, and the coachman trying so hard to understand when some English or American tourists give them some impossible address in Italian—you know the kind of people I mean, conscientious tourists who think they must always speak the language of the country they are in, learned out of a phrase-book. We have various invitations, from our two Embassies, Quirinal and Vatican, also the Teanos, and W. had a nice visit from Lanciani, who wants to show him all Rome. We took a botta to go to the Schuylers. It isn't far, but I wasn't quite sure of finding my way the first time. They have a charming apartment in Palazzo Altemps, near the Piazza Navona, not at all far really from our hotel, and now that I know the way I can often walk over in the mornings when W. is off sight-seeing seriously with some of his learned friends. It is a fine old palace with a large open court and broad stone staircase. San Carlo Borromeo is supposed to have lived there. Their apartment belongs to Mrs. Terry, wife of the artist, who had arranged it very comfortably, and the Schuylers have put in all their Turkish rugs, carpets, and bibelots, so it really looks very pretty. There are quantities of green plants and flowers about (they are both fond of flowers and are always making experiments and trying something new) and of course books, papers, reviews, and a piano.

I told Gert I thought I would write to Vera and have some singing lessons—I have done so little singing since I have been married. Eugene is a charming host, and he and W. had plenty to talk about. I inspected Gert's wardrobe while they were smoking. Her dresses are all right, and I think her maid is good. I wrote all this after I came in. The man of the hotel had engaged a carriage for us—a nice little victoria with a pair of greys. It comes from Tomba's stables—do you remember the[45] name? The same loueur we had when we lived here. The coachman said he remembered me perfectly, had often driven the "signorine" to the meets, and hoped la maman was well. We were lucky to get such a nice little carriage. The d'Aubignys, a French couple, had just given it up, as they were leaving the Embassy here for Berlin.

We drove about a little—left cards for the Noailles, Desprez, Cairolis, and wound up in the Villa Borghese, which was again quite changed—such quantities of carriages and people walking, also Italian officers riding, and soldiers, bersaglieri, etc., about. We crossed the Wimpffens, looking very smiling, and saw in the distance, as we were coming out, the royal red liveries, but the carriage was too far off to see who was in it. Now we are going to dinner, and I shall be glad to get to bed early. I think I am more tired than yesterday.

Hôtel de Londres,
February 26, 1880.

I will begin again this afternoon, as I have a little time before dinner. The weather is divine, quite the same deep-blue sky and bright sun of our first Roman winter. We have had an enchanting drive out of Porta San Sebastiano and along the Via Appia as far as Cecilia Metella—everything exactly the same as when we were there so many years ago. The same peasant carts blocking up the narrow gateway, everybody talking at once, white teeth gleaming, and quantities of little brown children with black eyes and jet black hair tumbling down over their eyes and outstretched hands for anything the forestieri would put into them. W. was a little disappointed at first. The road is narrow, an atrocious pavement, and high walls almost shutting out the view. However,[46] as we got farther out there came gaps in the walls through which one saw the whole stretch of the Campagna with the Claudian Aqueduct on one side, and when we finally emerged into the open fields, he was delighted. How extraordinary all these old tombs and pyramids are, most of them falling in ruins, with roses and creepers of all kinds holding them together. On one of the largest round tombs there was a peasant house with a garden and vines, and smoke coming out of the chimney, perched quite on the top, with a steep, stony path winding down, where the coachman told me the donkey went up and down, as he too lived in the house with the family. Some of the tombs are very high—real towers. There is hardly a trace of marble or inscription left, but the original building so strong that the walls remain.

The queer old tombs, towers, and bits of ruins all along the road interested W. immensely; though he has never been here he knows them all from photographs and reproductions, and could tell me a great deal more than I could tell him. We went as far as the round tomb of Cecilia Metella, and then got out and walked a little. I wanted to show him the low wall which we used to jump always when the meet was at Cecilia Metella. Do you remember the first time you came out to see us jump, not at a hunt but one afternoon with Dyer practising to see what the horses and riders would do? You saw us start at a canter for the wall, and then shut your eyes tight until we called out to you from the other side.

This morning W. and I had our first regular turn at sight-seeing. We took a nice little botta on the Piazza, had our Baedeker—a red one, like all the tourists—and were quite happy. Some of the old colleagues were highly entertained seeing us driving about with our Baedeker; said it was W. under a wholly different aspect.[47] We wandered about the Vatican for two hours, seeing quantities of things—Sistine Chapel, Stanze Raphael, Apollo Belvedere, etc., and always a beautiful view over the gardens. Later, he says, he must do it all regularly and intelligently with one of his men friends, as I naturally could not stand for hours recognising and deciphering an old inscription. I left him from time to time, sat down on one of the stone benches, talked to the custode, looked at the other people, and gave them any information I could. It interested me to see the different nationalities—almost entirely English, American, German, very few Italian, and no French—yes, one artist, a rather nice looking young fellow who was copying something on the ceiling of one of the "Stanze," rather a difficult process apparently. There were many more women than men—groups of English spinsters doing their sights most thoroughly—the Americans more casual. The Apollo looked splendid, so young and spirited. We walked some little distance, coming home before we could get a fiacre, and I had forgotten how cruel that Roman pavement was. I don't believe any of my boots will stand it; I shall have to get somewhere here a pair of thick-soled walking shoes.

We had a quiet hour after breakfast. I have arranged a ladies' corner in the drawing-room. I was in despair the first two days over the room. I had never lived in small hotel quarters with a man, and I had no idea how disorderly they are. The table was covered with pens, papers—piles of them, three or four days old, thick with dust—cigars, cigar ashes over everything, two or three large, bulky black portfolios, very often a pot hat, etc. So we compromised; W. took one end of the room and I the other. I obtained from the gérant (thanks to Madame Hubert, who is very pretty and on the best of[48] terms with him) a small table, large china vase for a plant, a nice arm-chair, and a cushion for the sofa, borrowed a table-cloth from Gert, also some small things for my table, and my end looked quite respectable and feminine. The room is large, so we can really get on very well. We had a pleasant visit from the Marquis de Noailles, French Ambassador to the Quirinal, before we went out. He has a charming, easy manner. We are to breakfast at the Embassy, Palazzo Farnese, to-morrow for me to make Madame de Noailles's acquaintance. I wonder what I shall think of her? The men all say she is a charmeuse. She is Polish born, was a beautiful woman—I think all Poles have a great charm of manner.

Trocchi came in, too—so pleased to see me again and to make W.'s acquaintance. The two senators talked politics, and Noailles put me a little au courant of Roman society and the two camps black and white. We went out at 3.30, as I said before, to Cecilia Metella, and stopped at Gert's for tea. W. walked home, and I stayed a little while with her talking over the arrangements for their reception on Sunday. Every one—Romans, diplomats, and Americans—they have asked has accepted; but their rooms are fairly large and I don't think they will be crowded.

Hôtel de Londres,
Monday, February 29, 1880.

I am still tired from the quantity of people we saw last night at the Schuylers. Their reception was most brilliant; all the world——However, I will begin at the beginning. We went to church on Sunday, as Dr. Nevin came to see us Saturday afternoon and said he hoped we would not fail to come. W. found him clever and interesting.[49] He said he thought I should hardly recognise him in his new church. It is very pretty—English style, built by an English architect (Street) in the new quarter, Via Nazionale, utterly unlike the bare little room outside the Porta del Popolo, where we used to go and do the music. It makes me laugh now when I think of the congregation all embarked on a well-known hymn, when suddenly Henrietta would lower the tune one note—if I was tired, as often happened, as one of the gayest balls in Rome was Princess Sciarra's on Saturday night. When I had danced until four o'clock in the morning (the test of the ball was how late it lasted) it was rather an effort to be at church at 10.30 Sunday morning and sing straight through the service. Henrietta had the harmonium and I led the singing. I will say that the effect of the sudden change was disastrous from a musical point of view. However, we did our best. I am afraid Henrietta was not always faithful to Bach and Beethoven in her voluntaries. We had no music, and she played whatever she could remember, and occasionally there were strains of "Araby's Daughter" or "When the Swallows Homeward Fly," which were quite perceptible even through the minor chords. I liked doing it all the same, and like it still. I am so fond of the old hymns we used to sing as children, and should like to hear "Shout the Glad Tidings" every Christmas. I never have since we left America and Oyster Bay, where also we did the music, and where, when we were late sometimes for church, Faust, the big black Newfoundland dog would come and bark when the bell had stopped, telling us quite plainly we were late—he knew all about it.

We made the regular Sunday turn in the afternoon—Villa Borghese and Pincio—sent the carriage away and walked home by the Villa Medici. W. loves the view[50] from the terrace. We met Mrs. Bruce, also looking at the view, and walked home together. She told W. Cardinal Howard wanted to see him, had known him in England in the old days, also a young English monsignore—called English oddly enough. She will ask us all to dine together some night next week. I asked her if she remembered her famous dinner long ago with Cardinal Howard and Dean Stanley. The two divines were very anxious to cross swords. They were such a contrast. Dean Stanley, small, slight, nervous, bright eyes, charming manners, and a keen debater. The Cardinal, tall, large, slow, but very earnest, absolutely convinced. The conversation was most interesting—very animated—but never personal nor even vehement, though their views and judgments were absolutely different on all points. However, both were gentlemen and both large-minded. W. was much interested, as he knew Dean Stanley and his wife Lady Augusta well; they came often to Paris, and were habitués of Madame Mohl's famous salon, where the literary men of all creeds and countries used to meet. It was there, too, that Dean Stanley and Renan used to meet and talk, the two great intellects finding points in common. I was taken there once or twice after I was first married. It was a curious interior; Madame Mohl, a little old lady, always dressed in white, with a group of men standing around her chair—many more men than women, and never more than twenty or thirty people. I suppose it was the type of the old French literary salon where people went to talk. I naturally listened in those days, not being sufficiently up in all the political and literary questions, and not pinning my faith absolutely on the "Revue des Deux Mondes." Mrs. Bruce, too, was often at Madame Mohl's.

We stopped in a few minutes at the Trinità de' Monti,[51] where there was a service of some kind going on. The nuns were singing a low, monotonous chant behind their grating; the church was quite dark, lights only on the altar, a few women kneeling and absorbed, and a few irreverent forestieri looking about and talking in whispers. We came down the Spanish Steps, which were quite deserted at that hour—models, beggars, flâneurs, all resting from their labours.

I was glad to rest a little before dinner, and only dressed afterward, as I couldn't well go down to the public dining-room in a low red satin dress and diamonds. We went rather early—ten o'clock—to Palazzo Altemps, but found many people already there. The apartment looked very pretty, quantities of flowers and plants wherever they could be put. Gert looked very well in yellow satin, and Eugene is always at his best in his own house—very courteous and receiving people as if it were a pleasure to him (which I think it is). We found quantities of old friends—Pallavicinis, Teanos, Lovatellis, Calabrinis, Bandini, Pagets, Mrs. Bruce, Hooker, Grants, etc., and quantities of people we didn't know, and whose acquaintance we made of course—Mesdames Minghetti, Cairoli, Despretis, and almost the whole of the Corps Diplomatique.

W. enjoyed it very much, did his manners very well, and never looked stiff or bored. I was delighted to see the familiar faces once more. I almost felt as if we had never been away. Madame de Noailles was astounded at the number of people I knew—I think she hadn't realized how long I had lived in Rome as a girl. She had heard W. say it was his first visit to Rome, and thought I, too, was here for the first time, and she was naturally surprised to hear me talking to Calabrini about the hunts, cotillons, his coach, and tempi passati generally.

[52]I have accepted so many invitations that I never can remember them, but the ladies promised to send a card. Aunt Mary Gracie was rather put out with me because I wore no necklace (which couldn't be said of the Roman ladies, who all wore splendid jewels), but I told her it was the last chic in Paris to wear your necklace on your bodice, not on your neck.

We stayed on after all the beau monde had gone with Aunt Mary, Hooker, a Russian friend of Schuyler's, and Count Palfy, had a nice little supper, champagne and sandwiches, and talked over the party, saying of course (as they say we Kings always do) how pleasant our party was. W. was much interested in the various talks he had. He found Minghetti charming—so intelligent and well up in everything. Cairoli, too, he had been anxious to see; also Visconti Venosta. He was naturally (like all the men) charmed with Madame Minghetti. She must have been beautiful, and has an extraordinary charm of manner. The Cairolis are a very big couple. He is tall and broad, fine eyes—she, too, on a large scale, but handsome. Of course there were many inquiries from all the old friends for la maman and the family generally. Mrs. Bruce says she never drives in the Doria-Pamphili without thinking of you driving about in your plain black dress and bonnet, with two or three daughters (not quite so plainly dressed) in the carriage, and all always talking and laughing, and enjoying life together. I told her about Florence, where the King of Italy always bowed to you in the Cascine, evidently taking you for the superior of some religious order (he must have thought the novices were lively), and the children in the street used to run up to you and kiss your hand. "He was quite right, to bow to you," she said, "my grand old Republican."

The Spanish Steps.  In the Piazza di Spagna, Rome. The Spanish Steps. In the Piazza di Spagna, Rome.


March 4, 1880.

Yesterday we went again to the Vatican. W. is quite happy, I thought I should never get him away. It is most amusing to walk about old Rome with him, for suddenly over a gateway or at the bottom of an ordinary little court he discovers an inscription or a slab, or an old stone which he knows all about, and we stop. He reads, and recognises, and translates to me, and is wildly interested. It is all so good for him, and puts politics and little annoyances out of his head. It is quite new for me to see Rome from a classical point de vue, but I suppose one enjoys things differently as one grows older. I certainly enjoyed the mad gallops over the Campagna in the old days; do you remember Mrs. S. who was so severe with us—first because we were Americans (she was English) and then because we knew everybody and enjoyed ourselves?—"when she was young people came to Rome to educate themselves and enjoy the pictures, museums, historical associations, etc. Now one saw nothing but American girls racing over the Campagna with a troop of Roman princes at their heels." Poor dear, she really thought it was a calamity not to be born under the British flag. I suppose that makes the great strength of the English, their absolute conviction that England is the only country in the world.

They are funny, though—I was discussing something one day with Lady S., and we didn't quite agree; upon which she remarked she supposed I couldn't understand her ideas—she came from a big country where one took broad views of things. I said I thought I did too, but perhaps it is a matter of appreciation—I think, though, I have got geography on my side.

After breakfast we drove about paying visits. We[54] found Princess Teano (who has asked us to dine on Wednesday) and she showed us her boys—the eldest one a beauty. She looked very handsome with her pure Madonna face. She told us her beau-père (the blind Duke of Sermoneta) had been so pleased to meet W. in Florence. They had a long talk somewhere, and W. was so amused with the Duke's politics and liberalism—all so easy-going, half chaffing, but very decided too, no sounding phrases nor profession de foi; simply accepting (what he couldn't really like very much) the inevitable, de bonne grâce; and seizing and ridiculing all the weak points.

In France they are frightfully logical, must always argue and discuss everything—I think they are born debaters.

We left cards on various people, Princess Bandini, Cenci, Countess Lovatelli, and then went for a little turn out of the San Lorenzo gate, but not far, as we wanted to go to Princess Pallavicini, who received that afternoon. W. was much struck with the apartment—so many rooms, all very high ceilings, that we passed through before getting to the boudoir where the Princess was sitting. It all looked so natural, I remembered the hangings—bright flowers on a light satin ground—as soon as I got into the room, and some of the pictures. She was very cordial and friendly, told W. how long she had known me, and recalled some of our rides at Frascati with her and Del Monte. She asked us to come on Friday evenings, she was always at home. No one else was there but a Princesse de Thurn and Taxis (née Hohenlohe) who was introduced to us, and the talk was pleasant enough. She was quite interested in our two audiences—Pope and Quirinal—but we told her we had heard nothing from either court yet. W. walked home, and I went on to Gert as it was her reception day. She gave me a cup of[55] tea, and I found various friends there, including Father Smith who was quite pleased to see me again. He doesn't look any older, and is apparently quite as energetic as ever. He told me he had enjoyed his talk with W. very much, and they had made a rendezvous for two days—the Catacombs and San Clemente. He remarked casually that W. wasn't at all what he expected to find him; not at all his idea of a "French Republican." I wonder what sort of trade-mark he expected to see? If he had pictured W. as a slight, nervous, black-eyed, voluble Frenchman, he must naturally have been surprised.

We have heard people discussing us sometimes in English as we pass down the long dining-room to our table—"There goes Waddington, the late French Premier." "Never—that man is an Englishman." "I have seen pictures of Waddington—he doesn't look at all like that, etc." The head waiter always points us out as distinguished strangers.

I found quantities of cards when I came home—one from Lily San Vito with a nice little message of welcome. (We crossed her in the Corso the other day and she looked lovely.) Also Valerys, Middletons, Pantaleones, etc. After I had gone to my room to dress W. had a visit from Desprez, the French Ambassador to the Vatican. He has just arrived, his wife not yet come, and he feels a little strange in this very divided society. We are going to meet him at dinner at the Portuguese Embassy. He told W. there would be several Cardinals at the dinner—a regular black assemblage. It will be a funny experience for W.

March 6, 1880.

I will finish this long letter to-night. We have just come in from the Teano dinner, which was pleasant. Teano looked quite the same (I hadn't seen him for[56] years) with his tall, slight figure and white lock. (I forgot to look if the boy had it.) She looked very handsome. We had the Minghettis, a Polish Countess—sister-in-law of the Duc de Sermoneta, the Calabrinis, and M. Heding, a German savant. Minghetti was delightful, telling us his early experiences with the old Pope, Pio Nono. He was killing over the entente between the government and the monks for the suppression of the monasteries. The gendarmes arrived, found barred doors and resistance. There was a sort of halt and parley—one father came out, then another—a little livret of the Caisse d'Epargne was put into their hands, and all went off as quietly as possible. Heding seemed to think things wouldn't go so easily in Germany, and they certainly wouldn't in France.

Madame Minghetti and I talked for a long time after dinner exchanging our experiences of the official world, which I fancy is always the same in all countries. Calabrini was of course his same courteous self—so absolutely free from pose of any kind—rather unusual in a man who has always had such a success.

This morning we went to Trajan's Forum, walked, W. as usual quite at home, everywhere recognising old friends at every step. We looked at all manner of inscriptions and basso-rilievos, and enjoyed ourselves very much. This afternoon W. and Schuyler went off together to see some churches and the Palazzo dei Cesari. I backed out, as I can't stand two sight-seeings the same day with a dinner in prospect in the evening. I went over to get Gert, and we drove about together, winding up at the Comtesse Wimpffens, Austrian Ambassadress, who has a charming apartment in the Palazzo Chigi (where Odo Russell used to live when we were in Rome). There were various ladies there, the Marquise de Noailles,[57] French Ambassadress (who immediately asked me who made my dress, the blue velvet that did all my visits the last year of the Quai d'Orsay), Lady Paget, Madame Minghetti, and a sprinkling of secretaries and attachés. Comtesse d'Aulnay, looking very pretty, very well dressed, came in just as we were leaving. We wound up with a turn in the Villa Borghese. There were grooms waiting at the gate with saddle horses, just as our old Carmine used to wait for us. It is all so curiously familiar and yet changed. I can't get accustomed to the quantities of people in the streets where there never used to be any one—occasionally a priest, or a few beggars, or a water-carrier. Now there are soldiers, people carrying parcels, small employees, workmen, carts, carriages, life in fact. There were quantities of people in the Villa Borghese. Some of the carriages very well turned out, again very different from our days when we knew every carriage, and when a new equipage or a new face made a sensation.

W. has had a delightful afternoon looking at some of the very old churches with Eugene. He had, too, a note from Desprez saying our audience from the Pope would be to-morrow at one o'clock, and giving me the necessary instructions for my veil, long black dress, etc. To-morrow night we dine at the Noailles. The breakfast there the other day was pleasant—no one but ourselves and Ripalda. Of course it is a magnificent Embassy—the Farnese Palace—and they do it very well, but it would take an army of servants to "garnish" these long anterooms and passages, in fact ordinary servants are quite lost there; there ought to be Swiss guards or halberdiers with steel cuirasses and lances which would stand out splendidly from the old grey walls. One could quite imagine an Ambassador of Louis XIV arriving with 100[58] gentlemen and armed retainers in his suite. The famous room with the Caracci frescoes must be beautiful at night. Ripalda asked us to come to tea one afternoon at his palace on the Tiber, the "Farnesina." Marquise de Noailles was charming.

Now I will say good-night, dear, for I am tired, and we have a busy day to-morrow. I wonder if Leo XIII. will impress me as much as Pio Nono did.

To H. L. K.

Rome, Hôtel de Londres,
Thursday, March 8, 1880.

The Piazza is delightful this morning, dear mother; it is bright and warm, and there are lots of people starting for excursions with guide-books, white umbrellas, and every variety of wrap. The coachmen of the little botte look so smiling and interested, so anxious to make things easy and comfortable. Vera came to see us yesterday, and told me he was hailed by one of the coachmen from the top of his box, just as he was crossing the Piazza, who said to him: "Sai Maestro, una di quelle signorine King è tornata col marito?" (Do you know, master, one of those King young ladies has come back with her husband?) He was much amused—told him he was quite right, and that he was going to see that same signorina. I dare say he had driven us often to one of the gates to meet the saddle horses.

Yesterday was our udienza particolare (special audience), and most interesting it was. Madame Hubert was madly excited dressing me. I wore my black satin, long, with the Spanish lace veil I had brought in case I should be received by his Holiness, and of course no gloves, though I had a pair with me and left them in the carriage.[59] We started at 12.30, as our audience was at one, and got there quickly enough. I had forgotten all the queer little courts and turns at the back of the Vatican. Everything was ready for us; we were received really in royal state—Swiss Guard, with their extraordinary striped yellow uniform (designed, some one told us the other day, by Michelangelo), tall footmen attired in red damask, Guardia Nobile, chamberlains, and two monsignori. The garde noble de service was Felice Malatesta. He really seemed much pleased to see me again, and to make W.'s acquaintance—swore he would have known me at once, I was so little changed; but I rather suspect if he hadn't known we were coming he wouldn't have recognised me. We had a nice talk the few minutes we stood waiting in the room adjoining the one where the Pope received us, and he gave me news of all his family—Emilio (still unmarried), Francesco, etc.; then a door was opened, a monsignore came out, bowed, and said his Holiness was ready to receive us. We went in at once, the monsignore closing the door behind us and leaving us alone with the Pope, who came almost to the door to receive us, so that the three regulation curtseys were impossible. There were three red and gold arm-chairs at one end of the room, with a thick, handsome carpet in front of them. The Pope sat on the one in the middle, put me on his right and W. on his left. He is a very striking figure; tall, slight, a fine intellectual brow and wonderfully bright eyes—absolutely unlike Pio Nono, the only Pope I had ever approached. He was most gracious, spoke to me always in Italian, said he knew I was an old Roman, and that we had lived many years in Rome; spoke French to W., who, though he knows Italian fairly, prefers speaking French. He asked W. all sorts of questions about home politics and the attitude of the clergy, saying that[60] as a Protestant his opinion would be impartial (he was well up in French politics, and knew that there were three Protestants in W.'s ministry: himself, Léon Say, and Freycinet). W. was rather guarded at first (decidedly "banale," I told him afterward), but the Pope looked straight at him with his keen, bright eyes, saying: "Je vous en prie, M. Waddington, parlez sons réserves."

We stayed about three-quarters of an hour, and the talk was most interesting. The Pope is very anxious to bring about a better state of feeling between the clergy and the people in France, and tries so hard to understand why the priests are so unpopular; asked about the country curate, who baptizes the children and buries the old people—surely there must be a feeling of respect for him; said, too, that everywhere in town or country the priests do so much for the sick and poor. W. told him the women all went to church and sent their children to the catechism, but the men are indifferent, if not hostile, and once the boys have made their first communion they never put their foot in a church. "What will keep them straight and make good men of them, if they grow up without any religious education?" The answer was difficult—example and home teaching, when they get it. Evidently he had been curious to see W., and I think he was pleased. It was quite a picture to see the two men—the Pope dressed all in white, sitting very straight in his arm-chair with his two hands resting on the arms of the chair, his head a little bent forward, and listening attentively to every word that W. said. W. drew his chair a little forward, spoke very quietly, as he always does, and said all he wanted to say with just the same steady look in his blue eyes.

Pope Leo XIII. Pope Leo XIII.

From time to time the Pope turned to me and asked me (always in Italian) if politics interested me—he believed[61] all French women were keen politicians; also if I had found many old friends in Rome. I told him I was so pleased to see Felice Malatesta as we came in, and that we were going to meet Cardinal Howard one day at breakfast. I shouldn't think he took as much interest in the social life of Rome as Pio Nono did. They used always to say he knew everything about everybody, and that there was nothing he enjoyed so much as a visit from Odo Russell, who used to tell him all sorts of "petites histoires" when their official business was over.

He also talked a good deal to W. about his uncle, Evelyn Waddington, who lived in Perugia, where he was "sindaco" (mayor) for years. He married an Italian lady, and was more than half Italian—curious for a man called Evelyn Waddington. The Pope had known him well when he was Bishop of Perugia.

We both kissed his hand when we took leave, and he said again to W. how much he had been interested in all he told him. We lingered a few minutes in the anteroom, as there was some idea Cardinal Nina would receive us, but it had not been arranged. It seemed strange to be in those high, bare rooms again, and reminded me of our visit to Cardinal Antonelli years ago with father, when he showed us his collection of gems. I remember so well his answer to Bessie Curtis (now Marquise de Talleyrand-Périgord), who was looking out of the window, and said it was such an enchanting view, would help one in "des moments de découragement." "On n'est jamais découragé, mademoiselle."

I imagine Leo XIII has very difficult moments sometimes.

W. wouldn't come out again as he had letters to write, so I stopped for Gert, and we had a lovely turn in the Villa Pamphili. Quantities of people—it looked very gay.[62] We got home about six, and had visits until it was time to dress for our dinner at the Wimpffens. D'Aulnay came first, very anxious to hear about our audience at the Vatican; and Tagliani, the auditeur of the old "nonce"; also Dr. Nevin.

Our dinner at the Wimpffens was very pleasant. Their apartment looks very handsome lighted. There was a fine, pompous old porter at the door downstairs, and plenty of servants and a "chasseur" upstairs. We had all the personnel of the Embassy, the Calabrinis, Bibra (Bavarian Minister), Van Loo (Belgian), and an Austrian whose name I didn't master, who had been a minister in Andrassy's Cabinet. After dinner we all adjourned to the smoking-room, which is very large and comfortable, lots of low arm-chairs. The Austrian ladies smoked, and I talked to Bibra and Van Loo, who told me all the diplomats had been rather struck with the cordiality of our reception—that in general the Romans troubled themselves very little about strangers. W. talked to Wimpffen and his Austrian friend, who was much interested in hearing about our audience with the Pope, and a little surprised that W. should have talked to him so freely, both of them saying that his being a Protestant made things much easier.

The Romans went off early, so W. went to Geoffroy (director of the École de Rome—French Archæological Society), who receives Thursday evenings at the Farnese Palace. He has an apartment quite up at the top of the palace over the Noailles, and I went to Gert, who also received Thursday. I found a good many people there—principally Americans, and some young diplomats. So many people were introduced to me that I was quite exhausted, and went and sat down by Aunt Mary, who looked very handsome.

[63] Sunday, March 10, 1880.

I shall not go out this morning. It is a little foggy—the first time since we came here—and I was also lazy. We are going so perpetually. Yesterday W. was off at nine in the morning with Geoffroy and Lanciani for a classic tournée. I wrote one or two letters, and then Madame Hubert and I walked over to Gert's and breakfasted. After breakfast Monsignor English came in and had much to say about the Pope, and the impression W. had made which he had heard from high personages of the Vatican. I told him all about the interview, and he was much surprised when I said we all sat down. W. came while he was still there, and of course he wanted to hear his account, and was so pleased with all W. said about the Pope, his marvellous intelligence and comprehension of the present very difficult state of affairs in France. English also said the Pope had been pleased with me (I did nothing but listen) so I plucked up my courage, and asked him if he thought his Holiness would give me a photograph signed—I should like so much to have one. He said it would be difficult, as the Pope never signed a photo—but perhaps——. I should like one so much—I hope he will make an exception for this heretic.

W. and I walked home, and then I dressed, and we started again for some visits. We found Princess Bandini, who was most amiable—very pleased to make W.'s acquaintance, also rather curious about the Vatican visit. There were quantities of people there, principally diplomats and English. W. thought the apartment very handsome.

We tried to find Madame Calabrini, but she was not receiving. We dined at the Noailles. I wore my blue[64] satin and all the diamonds I possess. The apartment looked very ambassadorial—the great gallery lighted, superb. The dinner was handsome—Wimpffens, Pagets, Uxkulls (Russian Ambassador, you will remember him in Florence the year we were there), Cairolis, Geoffroys, Schuylers, and various young men. Maffei, the Under-Secretary of State, took me in, and I had Cairoli on the other side. I didn't find him very easy to talk to. He doesn't speak French very well, so I changed into Italian (which I am gradually getting back) and then we got on better. I shouldn't think he was much of a ladies' man, and never a brilliant talker. Maffei is very clever and amusing. Gert sat just opposite, looking very well in yellow.

During the dinner Maffei called my attention to the menu "Cotelettes à la Waddington," and asked me if W. was as much of an authority in cooks as he was in coins. I disclaimed any such knowledge for him, and was rather curious to see what the "cotelettes" would prove to be. They were a sort of chaud-froid, with a thick, white envelope, on which was a large W. in truffles. The whole table was rather amused, and Madame de Noailles gave us the explanation. Her chef had been some time with us at the Quai d'Orsay, and when he heard W. was coming to dinner was much excited, and anxious to do honour to his old master—so he consulted Madame de Noailles, and that was the result. I will keep the menu for you.

After dinner we adjourned to the beautiful Carracci gallery, and there I was presented to various ladies—Madame d'Uxkull (ci-devant Madame Gheka), very handsome; and Madame Visconti Venosta, an attractive looking woman with charming manners. I had quite a talk with Lady Paget, who looks always very distinguished[65] with her beautiful figure. She told me Mrs. Edwards's baby had arrived—a little girl—to be called "Gay" after her daughter.[18] I hope she will grow up as pretty as her mother. I talked some time to Madame Cairoli who was very amiable and expansive, called me always "Madame la Comtesse"; and offered me anything I wanted from cards for the Chamber to a presentation to the Queen.

There was quite a reception in the evening—not many of the Roman ladies. Marc Antonio Colonna came up—recalled himself, and introduced me to his wife—very pretty, with splendid jewels. She is the daughter of the Duke of Sant-Arpino, a very handsome man. Her mother, the Duchess, an English woman, also very handsome, so she comes fairly by her beauty. I walked about the rooms with Wimpffen, and he showed me all the notabilities in the parliamentary world. Lady Paget asked us to go to her on Sunday afternoon, and I promised Nevin we would go to his church, but we didn't.

W. has just received an intimation that King Humbert will receive him to-morrow at one o'clock, and I have told Madame Hubert to get out his Italian decorations, as he always forgets to put them on, and it seems in all courts they attach much importance to these matters. We are starting now for a drive; first to the Villa Wolkonsky—I want to show it to W., and we shall probably go in late to the British Embassy.

Monday, March 11, 1880.

The King gave W. his audience to-day at one. He went off most properly attired, with his Italian ribbon. He generally forgets to put on his orders, and was decidedly put out one day in Paris when he arrived at a[66] royal reception without the decoration the sovereign had just sent him. The explanation was difficult—he could hardly tell the King he had forgotten. W. got back again a little after two, and said the interview was pleasant enough—the King very gracious, and he supposed, for him, talkative; though there were long pauses in the conversation—he leaning on his sword, with his hands crossed on the hilt as his father always did—spoke about the Queen, said she was in Rome, and he believed Madame Waddington had known her when she was Princess de Piedmont. I never was presented to her—saw her only from a distance at some of the balls. I remember her quite well at a ball at the Teanos in a blue dress, with her beautiful pearls. I hope she will receive us. He talked less politics than the Pope; said France and Italy, the two great Latin races, ought to be friends, and deplored the extreme liberty of the press; knew also that W. was in Rome for the first time, and hoped he would have fine weather. He did not ask him anything about his interview with the Pope. W. said the reception was quite simple—nothing like the state and show of the Vatican. There was a big porter at the door of the palace, two or three servants on the stairs, and two officers, aides-de-camp, in the small salon opening into the King's cabinet.

Soon after he came in we had visits—Hooker, Monsignor English, a French priest, head of St. Louis des Français, and Del Monte, whom I hadn't yet seen. He was so nice and friendly—doesn't look really much older, though he says he feels so. I told him it seemed unnatural not to have a piano. He would have brought his cello, and we could have plunged into music and quite forgotten how many years had passed since we first played and sang the "Stella Confidente."

King Humbert of Italy. King Humbert of Italy.


After they had all gone we started out to the "Tre Fontane," taking Gert with us to see the establishment of the French Trappists who are trying to "assainir" the Campagna by planting eucalyptus trees. It is an interesting experiment, but rather a dangerous one, as several of the fathers have died. The summer here, with that deadly mist that rises from the Campagna, must be fatal, and the two monks we saw looked yellow and shrivelled with fever. However, they will persevere, with that extraordinary tenacity and devotion of the Catholic priests when they undertake anything of that kind. I carried off a bottle of Elixir of Eucalpytus, for I am sorry to say these last bright days have given me an unpleasant souvenir in the shape of a cold chill every now and then between the shoulders, and evidently there is still truth in the Roman proverb "Cuore di donna, onde di mare, sole di Marzo, non ti fidare." (Don't trust a woman's heart, the waves of the sea, nor the March sun.)

We got home about half-past six, had tea and more visits—Calabrini, Vitelleschi, and Princess Pallavicini, who was most animated, and talked politics hard with W. We dined at home and had a little talk, just as we were finishing dinner, with Menabrea, who was dining at a table next ours. They say he will go to the Paris Embassy in Cialdini's place. W. wouldn't go out again, so I went alone to Gert's, who had a few people—Mrs. Van Rensselaer, clever and original; Countess Calice, an American; her husband, a cousin of the Malatestas; Vera; young Malatesta, a son of Francesco; a Russian secretary, and one or two others. It was rather a pleasant evening. They had tea in the dining-room—everybody walked about, and the men smoked.

[68] Tuesday, March 13, 1880.

Yesterday morning W. and I had a good outing, wandering about the Capitol. First we walked around Marcus Aurelius, then up the old worn stone steps to the Ara Cœli. I told W. how we used to go there always on Christmas Eve to see the Crèche and the Bambino. It was very well done, and most effective. The stable, beasts, shepherds, and kings (one quite black with a fine crown). There were always children singing the "storia di Gesù" and babies in arms stretching out their hands to the lights. Yesterday the church was quite empty, as there is not much to attract the ordinary tourist. We made our way slowly, W. stopping every moment before an inscription, or a sarcophagus, or a fresco, to the room of the "Dying Gladiator," which he found magnificent—was not at all disappointed; afterward the faun—and then sauntered though all the rooms. I had forgotten the two skeletons in one of the sarcophagi—the woman's with rings on her fingers, most ghastly.

After lunch Countess Wimpffen came in to know if I would drive with her to the Villa Borghese, and do two teas afterwards—Madame Cairoli and Madame Westenberg (wife of the Dutch Minister, an American and a great friend of Gert's); but I couldn't arrange it, as W. wanted to come with me to the Affaires Etrangères—so we agreed to go another day. I always liked both Wimpffens so much when they were in Paris that it is a great pleasure to find them here. Wimpffen likes to get hold of W. and talk about France and French politics.

Our dinner at Mrs. Bruce's was very gay. I told her I didn't find her salon much prettier than in our days when we lived on the first floor of Perret's house (she on the second), and she always said we made Perret send[69] up to her all the ugly furniture we wouldn't have. What we kept was so bad, that I think the "rebut" must have been something awful. We had the Minghettis, Vitelleschis, Wurts, Wilbrahams, Schuylers, and one or two stray Englishmen. Vitelleschi took me in, and I had Minghetti on the other side, so I was very well placed. It is killing to hear them talk politics—discussing all the most burning questions with a sort of easy persiflage and "esprit de conciliation" that would astound our "grands politiques" at home. Minghetti said the most absolutely liberal man he had ever known was Pio Nono—but what could he do, once he was Pope.

It was really a charming dinner—Mrs. Bruce is an ideal hostess. She likes to hear the clever men discuss, and always manages to put them on their mettle. We all came away about the same time, and W. and I went on to the opera "Tor di None." Bibra had invited us to come to his box. The house was much less "élégante" than the Paris house—hardly any one in a low dress, no tiaras, and few jewels. The Royal box empty. Princess Bandini was in the next box with Del Monte and Trochi. The Minghettis opposite with the Wimpffens. The "salle" was badly lighted—one could hardly make the people out.

W. had rather a shock—we had scarcely got in—(Bibra not yet come) when the door opened and in came Maurizio Cavaletti—enchanted to see me—seizing both my hands—"Maria mia adorata—cara regazza, etc.," utterly oblivious of "cara Maria's" husband, who stood stiff and cold (an icicle) in the background, with Anglo-Saxon written all over him; waiting for the exuberant demonstration to finish, and a presentation to be made. As soon as I could I presented Monsieur le Marquis in proper form, and explained that we were very old friends,[70] had not met for years, etc., but W. hardly thawed all the evening.

When he went out of the box to pay a visit to our neighbours I remonstrated vigorously with Maurizio, but he was so unfeignedly astonished at being taken to task for greeting a very old friend warmly, that I didn't make much impression. The ballet was pretty, and of course there was an influx of young men as soon as it began—a handsome, rather stout "ballerina" being evidently a favourite.

To-day we breakfasted with the Schuylers to meet Mrs. Bruce and Cardinal Howard—no one else. We had a pretty little breakfast, most lively. I didn't find the Cardinal much changed, a little stouter perhaps. He was quite surprised at W.'s English; knew of course that he had been educated at Rugby and Cambridge, and had the Chancellor's medal, but thought he would have lost it a little having lived so many years in France, and having made all his political career in French. I asked him if he was as particular as ever about his horses. He always had such splendid black horses when we lived in Rome, but he said, rather sadly, that times were changed. W. and he talked a long time after breakfast. He was very anxious to know whether all the religious orders were threatened in France or merely the Jesuits. Comte Palfy (Austrian) came in just as we were leaving. He is so attractive—a great friend of l'Oncle Alphonse—knows everybody here and loves Rome.

W. and I went off to the Villa Albani—out of Porta Salara. We walked through the rooms—there are principally busts, statues, bas-reliefs, etc.—and then loitered about the gardens which are fine. Fountains, vases, and statues in every direction, and always that beautiful view of the hills in the soft afternoon light.

[71]I will finish when I come home from our Black dinner. We are asked for seven, so of course will get back early, as we do not go anywhere afterward. I shall wear black, as I hear so many Princes of the church are to be there. Madame Hubert is very sorry I can't wear the long black veil that I did for the Pope—she found that most becoming.

Tuesday, March 12, 1880, 10.30 p.m.

We are just home from our dinner at the Portuguese Embassy, so I have got out of my gauds and into my tea-gown, and will finish this long letter. It was most interesting—a great deal of couleur locale. We arrived very punctually—three or four carriages driving up at the same time. There was of course a magnificent porter downstairs, and quantities of servants in handsome liveries; a good deal of red and powder. Two giants at the foot of the staircase, with the enormous tall candles which are de rigueur at a Black embassy when cardinals or ambassadors dine. They were just preparing to escort some swell up the staircase as we arrived; there was a moment's halt, and the swell turned out to be M. Desprez, the new French Ambassador to the Vatican (replacing the Marquis de Cabriac). He was half embarrassed when he recognised us; W. had so lately been his chef that he couldn't quite make up his mind to pass before him—especially under such novel and rather trying conditions. However, there was nothing to be done, and he started up the great staircase between the tall candles, W. and I followed modestly in his wake. We found several people, including two or three cardinals, already there. The apartment is very handsome. The Ambassador (Thomar) looked very well—"très grand seigneur"—standing at the door of the first salon,[72] and one saw quite a vista of large, brilliantly lighted rooms beyond. All the guests arrived very quickly—we had hardly time to exchange a word with any one. I saw the Sulmonas come in. I recognised her instantly, though I hadn't seen her for years. She was born Apponyi, and they were married when we were living in Rome. Also Marc Antonio Colonna and the d'Aulnays. Almost immediately dinner was announced. Sulmona took me in and I had a cardinal (Portuguese) on the other side. I didn't say much to the cardinal at first. He talked to his neighbour, and Sulmona and I plunged, of course, into old Roman days. He was much amused at the composition of the dinner, and wondered if it would interest W. He asked me if I remembered the fancy ball at the Palazzo Borghese. He had still the album with all the photos, and remembered me perfectly as "Folie" with short skirts, bells, mirror, etc. I remember it, of course, quite well. Some of the costumes were beautiful, particularly those copied from portraits. After a little while the cardinal turned his attention to me. He was a nice old man, speaking either French or Italian (both with a strong accent), and much interested in the guests. He asked me if I belonged to the corps diplomatique. I said no—we were merely strangers spending the winter in Rome. He thought there were a good many strangers at table—he didn't know half the people, not having been long in Rome; but he knew that there was one man dining whom he had a great desire to see, Waddington, the late French Premier; perhaps I knew him, and could point him out. He had always followed his career with great interest, but there were some things he couldn't understand, "par exemple son attitude dans la question—" Then as I didn't know what he might be going to say, I interrupted,[73] and said no one could point out that gentleman as well as I, as I was Madame Waddington. He looked a little uncomfortable, so I remarked, "Il diavolo non è tanto nero quant è dipinto" (The devil is not so black as he is painted), to which he replied, "Eh, no punto diavolo" (no devil)—was rather amused, and asked me if I would introduce him to W. after dinner. We then, of course, talked a little about France, and how very difficult the religious question was. He asked me where I had learned Italian, so I told him how many years we had lived in Rome when my brother was the last Minister from the United States to the Vatican. Sulmona joined in the talk, and we rather amused ourselves. Sulmona, of course, knew everybody, and explained some of the people, including members of his own (Borghese) family, who were very Black and uncompromising. Still, as I told him, the younger generation is less narrow-minded, more modern. I don't think they mean to cut themselves off from all participation in the nation's history. After all, they are all Italians as well as Romans. The foreign marriages, too, make a difference. I don't think the sons of English and American mothers could settle down to that life of inaction and living on the past which the Black Party means in Rome.

As soon as I could after dinner I got hold of W. (which was difficult, as he was decidedly surrounded) and introduced him to my cardinal, whose name I never got, and I went to recall myself to Princess Sulmona. We had a nice talk first about her people—her father, Count Apponyi, was Austrian Ambassador in Paris when Marshal MacMahon was President, and their salon was very brilliant, everybody going to them; the official world and the Faubourg St. Germain meeting, but not mingling. Then we talked a little about Rome, and the future of[74] the young generation just growing up. Of course it is awfully difficult for families like Borghese and Colonna who have been bound up in the old papal world, and given popes to Italy, to break away from the traditions of centuries and go in frankly for "Italia Unita." Do you remember what they used to tell us of Prince Massimo? When some inquisitive woman asked if they really called themselves Fabius Maximus, he replied that it had been a family name for 1,400 years.

The present Prince Massimo is one of the most zealous supporters of the Pope. The great doors of his gloomy old palace have never been opened since the King of Italy came to Rome. One can't help admiring such absolute conviction and loyalty; but one wants more than that in these days of progress to keep a country alive.

The evening wasn't long; the cardinals never stay late, and every one went away at the same time. We again assisted at the ceremony of the big candles, as of course every cardinal and the Ambassador had to be conducted downstairs with the same form. It was altogether a very interesting evening and quite different from any dinner we had ever been at. I don't think the French cardinals ever dine out in France; I don't remember ever meeting one. Of course the "nunzio" went everywhere and always had the "pas"—but one looks upon him more as a diplomatist than a priest.

W. enjoyed his evening very much. He is now settled in his arm-chair with his very disreputable pipe, and has been telling me his experiences. He found my old cardinal very intelligent, and very well up in French politics, and life generally. He liked Sulmona, too, very much; made her acquaintance, but didn't have a chance to talk much to her, as so many people were introduced to him. There is certainly a great curiosity to see him—I[75] wonder what people expected to find? He looks very well, and is enjoying himself very much. I am so glad we did not stay in Paris; he would have had all sorts of small annoyances, and as it is, his friends write and want him to come back. He is quite conscious of the sort of feeling there is about him. First his appearance—a great many people refuse to believe that he is a Frenchman; he certainly is not at all the usual French type, with his fair hair, blue eyes, and broad shoulders; and when they realize that it is he the cautious, doubtful way in which the clericals begin a conversation with him, as if they expected red-hot anarchist declarations to fall from his lips, is most amusing. Cardinal Howard always seeks him out for a talk—but then he doesn't mince matters—goes straight to the subject he wants to discuss, and told him the other day he couldn't understand how a man of his English habits and education should ever have dropped (he didn't say degenerated, but I think he thought it) into a French republican government.

W. is very pleased to see the cordial way in which everybody meets me, and I must say I am rather touched by it myself. I have never had a moment's disappointment, and I was a little afraid, coming back in such changed circumstances after so many years. Everybody asks after you, and some one the other day—Countess Malatesta, I think—asked if you still wore in Paris your plain black dress and bonnet. I suppose she thought that even you couldn't have resisted the Paris modiste. It would seem strange to see you in a hat and feathers.

Good-night, dearest; W.'s pipe is out, and we are going to bed.

[76] Hôtel de Londres,
March 14, 1880.

Cannons are firing, drums beating, flags flying in all directions to-day, dear mother. It is King Humbert's birthday and there is to be a great revue on the Piazza dell' Indipendenza. We are invited to go and see it by Turkam Pacha, Turkish Minister, who has an apartment on the Piazza; but as he told us that we should meet Ismail Pacha (the ex-Khedive) we thought we had better remain at home. I hardly think it would be a pleasure to Ismail to meet the man who was one of the chief instruments in his downfall. My sympathies were rather with the Khedive—I never quite understood why France and England should have politely but forcibly insisted upon his leaving his throne and country—but whenever I raised the question I had always that inert force the "raison d'état" opposed to me. We crossed him the other day driving. The carriage full of red-fezzed men attracted my attention, and our Giuseppe told us who they were. He looked very fat and smiling, evidently was not rongé by his disasters. Turkam suggested that I should come alone, but that of course I could not do.

Mrs. Bailey, who has also an apartment on the Piazza, has asked us to come to her, but I think I shall stay quietly at home and look out of the window. I see lots of officers and functionaries, in uniform, passing in fiacres and riding, and a general migration of the whole city including the beggars and flower girls of the Spanish Steps toward the Piazza. W. says he will smoke his cigar walking about in the crowd, and will see very well.

Queen Margherita of Italy. Queen Margherita of Italy.

I was interrupted by a message from Gert begging me to come to her at once. Her maid was in such an extraordinary [77]state of violence she thought she was crazy—and as Eugene was away for a day or two she was really afraid. I questioned the little footman who brought the note but he was very non-committal. W. was already off to see the review and I left him a note explaining where I was and asking him if I didn't get back to breakfast to come and get me at Gert's. I then started off with the little footman who had a fiacre waiting. As I entered the court of the Palazzo Altemps a glimpse of a white, frightened face at the window told me what Gert's state was. Poor dear, she was terribly upset, and Eugene's being away is a complication. Her two men-servants are very devoted, but they evidently feel uncomfortable. She asked me if I would go with her and see the woman. We found her sitting in a chair in Gert's dressing-room looking certainly most unpleasant, sullen, and an ugly look in her eyes. She is a great big Southern woman (French), could throw Gert out of the window if she wanted to. Gert spoke to her very gently, saying I had come to see her as I had heard she was not well. She didn't answer nor move but gave Gert a nasty look—she evidently has got something against her. I looked at her very steadily—said we were very sorry she was suffering, which was most evident, and that the best thing for her would be to rest, attempt no service of any kind and go to her own room—that we had sent for Dr. Valery who would certainly be able to relieve her. She didn't answer at first, and looked as if she would like to spring upon us both, then burst into screams of abuse—"She would go to her room of course—would leave the house at once and never come back, etc." I told her I should certainly advise Mrs. Schuyler to send her away—that evidently the climate did not suit her, and she would be happier in France. She didn't[78] answer, relapsed into her sullen silence, and almost immediately Valery appeared. He insisted very quietly that she should go to her own room (at the other end of the apartment), and she went off with him, giving an ugly look at Gert as she passed. It seems she already had had such an attack, less violent, when they were at Birmingham, but once it was over went on quite peaceably and didn't seem to realize how ill she had been. Valery came back to tell us the result of his examination—said she had already calmed down and was anxious to beg her mistress's pardon, but that she was of a nervous, dangerous temperament, and at any moment might have a relapse. Of course she must go, but it is very uncomfortable. I took Gert out for a drive. W. sent me a line to say he was busy all the afternoon and would not come unless I wanted him. I think the air and distraction did her good. The streets had a decidedly festive appearance. There were a good many flags everywhere, and soldiers still passing on their way back to their various barracks. We were kept some time in the Corso seeing a battalion of "bersaglieri" pass. They had good music and looked very spirited as they moved along with all their feathers flying. They were rather small, but well set up, and marched in beautiful time with a light, quick step. We saw some cavalry too, but I didn't care so much for them. I thought the men looked too tall for the horses—their legs too near the ground.

We went to Nazzari's for tea, and the man was so smiling and pleased to see me that I asked him if he knew me—"Ma sì, certamente, la Signorina King"—had seen me various times in the Piazza or driving, and hoped I would come in some day for tea. I went upstairs with Gert when I took her home, and left every possible instruction with the maître d'hôtel to look after her, and[79] above all to look after Louise, and not let her leave her room. The cook's wife will help her dress, as the poor thing has a dinner.

We have dined quietly at home. W. was tired, having been out all day. There is a reception at the French Embassy, but we shan't go. I told W. about the maid and the exciting morning we had had. He said of course the woman must go at once—that she had evidently a grudge of some kind against Gert, and might do her some injury. He had had rather a pleasant day. He walked about in the crowd seeing everything very well. He was rather favourably impressed with the Italian soldiers—said they were small as a rule, but light and active—marched very well. The King looked well, and was very well received. He thought him a striking figure on horseback in uniform, that curious type of all the Savoy Princes. They don't look modern at all, but as if they belonged to another century. I don't know exactly what it is—one sees the same sort of face so often in old Spanish and Italian portraits.

He had breakfasted alone, as I was over with Gert, and then started off with Monsignor English to meet Father Smith at the Catacombs, where they had a long delightful afternoon. He says Father Smith is a charming guide, knows and loves every corner of the Catacombs. His brogue, too, is attractive, sounds so out of place in that atmosphere of Latin and old-world tombs and inscriptions. He also told me what pleased me very much, that the Pope will give me his photograph, signed. Monsignor English told him to tell me, and he will come and see us to-morrow. Among our cards was one from the Cardinal Di Pietro—Doyen of the College of Cardinals—coming first to see W. What would the Protocole say?

[80] March 16, 1880.

Schuyler has got back, and the maid is a lamb, but is going all the same. The doctor and the other servants advise it strongly, and I am sure Gert will find a nice Italian maid here to replace her. W. and I have done a fair amount of sight-seeing these days, and yesterday he paid a long visit to Cardinal Nina—Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Vatican. He found him reasonable and interesting. I tell him he is getting quite a "papalino"—he finds the Cardinals so pleasant. He came and got me after his visit and we went off to the Chambre des Députés. Visconti Venosta was going to make a great speech attacking the Ministry on their foreign policy, and they thought there would be a lively séance. We were in the Diplomatic box—all the Ambassadors were there, and he had just got up to speak as we got there. They don't speak from the tribune, as in France. Every man speaks from his own place—and as he had his back to us we didn't hear very well. He spoke very easily, and was very well listened to. Occasionally there would be a sort of growl of disapproval, but on the whole the house was much quieter than ours. Cairoli looked quite composed when Visconti was pitching into him, smiling even when he remarked he didn't understand the Italian character, nor how to use the great powers his position gave him, etc. Various people came up and spoke to me, among others Countess Celleri, who seems to be taking up politics now. She has grown a little older, but is very handsome still, and was evidently a great attraction to all the young diplomatists who were in the box. W. admired her appearance and manner very much. We stayed there till 5.30 hoping that Cairoli would answer, but he didn't, the discussion rather trailed on, so we went[81] for a turn in the Villa Borghese to get a little air before our dinner at the British Embassy. It was very crowded, all the swells driving—King, Queen, and Khedive all in separate carriages. The King in a small victoria with one aide-de-camp—the Queen in her big landau with one lady and the red royal liveries; the Khedive in an ordinary carriage, but conspicuous, as he and his gentlemen all wore the red fez.

Our Paget dinner was pleasant. They have got a big villa in the Venti Settembre out toward Porta Pia. There is a large garden with fine trees, and the entrance and staircase are handsome. We were 36—Italians chiefly—but a few Diplomatists. I knew almost every one, Calabrinis, Minghettis, Somaglias (you will remember her name, she was Gwendoline Doria, and married when we lived in Rome), Serristori, Castagneta and some Deputies and gentlemen of the Palace who, of course, were strangers to me. The dining-room is large with a quite round table which must be very difficult to cover, there were such spaces. I think there must have been hundreds of roses on the table. The Marquis de Villamarina, head of the Queen's household, took me in, and I had Uxkull on the other side, Lady Paget next to him. We all talked together, and I complimented Lady Paget on the quickness of the service. It was always one of our preoccupations at the Quai d'Orsay to get through these long official dinners as soon as possible. W. took in Madame Visconti Venosta, and they seemed to be getting on swimmingly. After dinner I talked some time to Countess Somaglia, and asked to be introduced to the Marquise Villamarina. She told me the Queen would certainly receive us, but couldn't quite fix the day yet as she had many official rendezvous these days. When the men came in from smoking I had a few words with Calabrini,[82] and one or two Deputies were presented, Sella, Lanza, etc., but I really only talked to Sir Augustus Paget. He said they were going to have a small ball after Easter, and hoped we should still be here. I hope we shall, I should like to see the ball-room—they say all the decoration, painting, flowers, cupids, etc., has been done by Lady Paget herself. The party broke up early, no one stays late at dinner. There is always a reception somewhere to which everybody goes.

We came home as I get tired at night. We begin our day early, and are never in the house. This morning Gert and I went out shopping in the Piazza della Minerva and Campo Marzo—it was most amusing. We got two dresses for her—one of that coarse Roman linen, and a very pretty Roman silk from Bianchi, the same man who existed in our days. He looked most smiling and evidently recognised the familiar faces, though he could not put a name to them. We got the linen in a funny little old shop, low, and as dark as pitch. I never should have dreamed of going there for anything, but some one told us it was the place for linen, and we found at once what we wanted. I bought two Roman sashes—one for Alice and a ribbon for Nounou. We pottered about for some time looking at the bits of old brocade and embroidery, some pieces stretched out on the pavement with a stone at each end to hold them down. There were two pieces of old rose brocade which looked very tempting, but when I took them up I saw there were thin places in the silk, and spots—so I resisted these "occasions." The woman was amusing, tried to make us buy, but knew quite well her silk was not first-rate. She evidently attached no importance to the spots (è vecchia), but allowed that the frayed bits were not encouraging.

This afternoon we have been again to the Chambre[83] des Députés—Cairoli was speaking. He has a good voice, we heard him much better than Visconti Venosta. I didn't find his speech very interesting. There were all sorts of details and references to despatches and blue books which were Greek to me, but of course W. liked it and knew the question thoroughly so he said he would stay and I had much better go and get some fresh air. The heat was something awful and the box full, so I took myself off. One of the Austrian secretaries came down with me to look for the carriage and I started for a solitary turn in the Villa Borghese. I hadn't gone very far when I met Comtesse Wimpffen alone in her carriage. We drew up for a little talk, and she proposed I should send my carriage away and come into hers, which I was delighted to do. We went for a little walk, and met various friends—Marchesa Theoduli[19] looking lovely. She was very amusing over the divided state of society—says she is not allowed to bow to the Queen, and as they meet almost every day driving and neither of them can pass inaperçue it is rather awkward. Mrs. Lorillard Spencer came up too, she was walking with her daughter, Princess Vicovaro, whose husband was "le beau Cenci" of our days. It was delicious lounging about on the grass under the trees, after the heat of the Chamber. We stopped at Nazzari's for tea, met Bibra at the door and invited him to come with us—also Cornélie Zuylen,[20] who had seen us from the street and rushed in to have a little talk. She is in Rome for a few days—sight-seeing hard. We had tea and very good cakes—and I was glad to have a few minutes before dressing for the Calabrini dinner.

We started off again at 8, and had really a very pleasant[84] evening at Calabrini's. Their house is not large—they can't dine easily more than 10 people. I was the only lady—the men were Vitelleschi, Sella (their rising political man) whom W. was delighted to see, a Ruspoli whom I had never seen before, a brother of the late Prince; and Alphonso Doria who looks like a tall English boy. Stella is clever enough, decidedly un homme sérieux, and Calabrini was much pleased to have him for my homme sérieux. He told us all sorts of stories about "Italia Unita" and Cavour, and his profound distrust of Louis Napoleon; how, until the very last moment when the French troops were really at the gates, he was afraid they wouldn't come. We stayed fairly late, as the talk was interesting. I don't think there is much real sympathy between the French and Italians. They are very unlike though they are of the same race. The Italians seem very excitable when they talk fast and gesticulate and their eyes flash, but au fond they are calmer than our people—at least the upper classes; I don't know about the bas peuple. They say knives play a part in their discussions. Certainly in France there are always rows when the Italian workmen arrive. They are generally terrassiers and come in bands when railroads or bridges are being made. One recognises them at once with their black eyes, white teeth, red sashes and slouched hats. There is usually a coup de couteau before the season ends. They work well enough, are light and active, but always stop to talk—don't keep up a sort of desultory talk over their work as our men do.

Queen Margherita and King Humbert. Queen Margherita and King Humbert.
March 18, 1880.

Last night we went to the Wimpffens' grand official "ricevimento." All the street in front of the house was crowded just as it used to be in the old days—people[85] coming close up to the carriages (going of course at a foot's pace) and peering in to see the diamonds. There was nothing like the display of carriages, diamonds, and liveries there used to be—many fiacres, and many uniforms. Countess Wimpffen looked very well in white satin, pearls, and diamond tiara, Wimpffen of course in uniform and his broad ribbon, Cenci (now Prince de Vicovaro) attached to the Court, was standing at one side of the Ambassadress presenting all the Court people. The Princess, his wife, stood near by looking very well, beautifully dressed, with diamonds and large pearl pendants. She was wearing for the first time her decoration of dame de palais. All the "White" Roman ladies were there. I saw quantities of people whom I knew. W. also begins to know the people. He thought the Roman women very distinguished looking, and the jewels splendid, particularly the pearls. We stayed quite late, and decidedly amused ourselves. I was rather interested in seeing when Madame de Wimpffen shook hands and when she merely bowed. When W. was at the Foreign Office and we had big receptions I was puzzled sometimes. My impulse was not to shake hands with the men. W. and Richard thought I ought to shake hands with all the Deputies, but that seemed a great undertaking and would, I think, have surprised them, as Frenchmen as a rule are formal, don't shake hands usually with ladies, but make rather a stiff bow, so I compromised by shaking hands only with those I knew.

This afternoon W. and I went out together. We left several cards and wound up in the Villa Borghese, where we walked about for some time. It was lovely under the cypress trees, long dark avenues with a fountain at one end—large vases—bits of half-ruined gateways, columns,[86] and unexpectedly a sort of rond or opening with fountains, statues, big stones, all in a heap, and then long stretches of lawn with anemones, violets, and a pretty little yellow flower I didn't know, all perfectly neglected and growing wild, but with a wonderful charm. Such a contrast when we emerged again into the regular promenade and the gay modern life of Rome of to-day. There were quantities of carriages, three or four four-in-hands with women in light dresses on the tops of the coaches; men, principally officers, riding (in uniform, which always makes a gay note), lots of victorias and open carriages. The Prince of Naples (with the Royal red liveries) driving with one gentleman. He was dressed in sailor dress, looked smiling and interested, and bowed all the time. Three or four carriages filled with pretty girls—English or American—looking hard at everything, and always bands of black-robed students, seminarists from the various colleges which abound in Rome. It is a curious motley crowd—I don't think one would see it anywhere else. The clerical element is always well to the fore, and in spite of the changes the Monarchy established, with all the train of courtiers, deputies, soldiers, and endless functionaries that it brings, one feels that it is the great centre of Catholicism, and that the long arm of the Church still retains her hold on her children scattered all over the world.

I will finish now as we have come home fairly early from the Pallavicini reception. We dined at home and started off about 10. We went to get Gert, and on arriving about 10.30 found ourselves almost the first people. Felice Malatesta was there, also Del Monte. Both being "Gardes-Nobles" they can only come early and not run the risk of meeting any of the Court people nor diplomatists to the Quirinal. Princess Pallavicini is one[87] of the Queen's ladies, but she is such an old friend of both gentlemen that they always go to her. Among the first arrivals was Massari. He and W. and Prince Pallavicini had a nice talk, and it amused me to see the people come in. There were about 30 (I knew a good many of the Romans, but of course the Court people and Deputies were strangers to me), Wimpffens, Noailles, St. Asilea, Somaglias, and a sprinkling of young diplomatists. As soon as the White diplomatists began to appear Del Monte and Malatesta departed. I had a talk with Villamarina who is very musical, also with Vitelleschi. The party broke up early—there was no music nor dancing (not even the little informal "tour de valse" there used to be in our days) and we were home before 12 o'clock. W. enjoyed his evening—talked principally to the men.

Saturday, March 20, 1880.

W. is off this morning with Father Smith to San Clemente. I was lazy as I was out all day yesterday. In the morning W. and I walked to the Palazzo dei Cesari, and stayed there two hours walking about and sitting down in the nice sunny places. It was beautifully bright, a splendid blue sky, but cold, a sharp wind, very unusual they say for the end of March. One gets a very fair walk on the Palatine Hill. There is so much to see, and the little irregular paths running up and down from the various temples and ruined buildings of all kinds give one plenty of exercise. It needs a good deal of imagination to reconstruct all the temples, tribunes, porticoes, and palaces which existed in the days of Imperial Rome, but there are still bits of coloured marble, faded frescoes, mosaics, tops of columns and broken statues in every direction. W. was quite happy—he had already[88] spent a morning there with Lanciani, and so could show me what was still well enough preserved for me to understand. The view from the terrace over Rome and the Campagna was beautiful—the mountains seemed so near. We didn't walk home as we found a botta which had just brought up a party of forestieri—French this time, with a young priest, who was evidently the guide.

Sunday, March 21, 1880.

We went to the American church this morning as Nevin was so anxious we should see it. There is no very interesting French church—a sort of Vaudois chapel—so we preferred the Capella Americana. It is a pretty little church, very full—I should think a good many English as well as Americans—very good singing and a good sermon, not too long. We had visitors after lunch, and about 4 started for a drive out to Ponte Nomentano. We got out and walked about the Campagna for some time. The view was divine—Frascati and Rocca di Papa on one side, Tivoli on the other. W. thought the old bridge most picturesque. He recognised it instantly from the aquarelle that is in the dining-room at home. As it was Sunday all the country people were out; carts filled with women and children, boys on donkeys, sitting well back, almost on the tails of the animals, and all the little courts in front of the various osterias quite full. There were not exactly costumes, but there was a general impression of colour. The men had bright coloured sashes and shirts—the women nearly all red and blue skirts striped, and a coloured handkerchief on their heads—almost all with long gold ear-rings (some of the men too had ear-rings—large gold hoops) and a string of coloured beads around their necks. Everybody talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves. We stopped at[89] the British Embassy for tea. Lady Paget receives always Sunday afternoon. There were various carriages at the door, and the villa looked pretty. The tea-table was on a broad palier at the head of the stairs. It was very well arranged with screens "cassoni," plants, arm-chairs—very original and attractive. I went in first to the drawing-room and had a talk with Lady Paget, then adjourned to the palier with Princess Sciarra and Countess Wimpffen, and we had a very pleasant hour. It was amusing to see all the people coming up the broad staircase. There were of course a great many I didn't know, as besides all the Court set and political people there were many English, all arriving for Holy Week. Mrs. Bruce, Madame Visconti Venosta, Gert, Marquise Chigi came and joined us. I was quite horrified when I found how late it was. We had just time to dress and go and dine with the Geoffroys at the Palazzo Farnese. The evening was very pleasant; decidedly archeological and scientific, but the men were all clever and talked so well that they would have made any subject interesting. We had Visconti, de Rossi, Lanciani, and some of the young men of the École Française. They all love Rome and know every stone. W. was quite in his element, talked a great deal himself, and was much interested in their excavations and all the curious things they are finding all the time. I meant to leave early and go to Gert who had a few people at dinner, but it was eleven o'clock before any one moved, and we went quietly home.

Good Friday, March 26, 1880.

I was too tired to-day to do anything, as yesterday we were out all day. W. and I walked about in the morning, going into all sorts of churches whenever we saw one open. There were always people, and in the smaller[90] churches they looked devout and absorbed, but the crowd of strangers in the large, better known basilicas took away any religious feeling. It all seemed a great show, which is practically what Holy Week is in Rome. They say they have not had so many foreigners in years. Last night the "gérant" begged us not to come downstairs until 8 o'clock, or even a quarter past, as they needed all the small tables for the table-d'hôte. It was not so very crowded this morning as we breakfast at 12.30, much earlier than the foreigners, who are usually English and come in for luncheon at 1.30.

Yesterday afternoon we went to St. Peter's and found ourselves in a long file of carriages going the same way; also all kinds of pedestrians, priests, nuns, soldiers, artists, Cook's tourists, etc. W. was rather horrified at the crowd in the church, and the regular "bousculade" at the big doors. There was to be very good singing at one of the small chapels, but it was already so full that we couldn't get in, though we had cards from one of the Monsignori. We tried to make our way in but it was utterly impossible, and then stood outside, thinking we might hear; but the people all talked so much that we heard nothing except every now and then a few notes in that curious, high, unnatural voice of the Papal Choir. Two young German priests, with keen intelligent faces, were so put out—begged the people near not to talk—"in zehn Minuten ist alles vorüber" (in ten minutes it will be all over). All Rome was walking about the church, talking and looking about as if they were in a great hall of some kind—a crowd of strangers pushing, jostling, and trying to get up to the High Altar, or the statue of St. Peter where all the faithful were kissing the toe. It was certainly not solemn nor edifying, except when we came upon a quiet corner, with some old[91] chapel filled with tombs of dead Romans, Popes or Princes, who had played a great part in their day. That took us back into the past, and we could realize that we were really in St. Peter's. I tried to show W. the part that was shut off for the great Ecumenical Council under Pio Nono, but I couldn't remember exactly. We shall come back another day with Father Smith who will know all about it. I did find the Stuart monument with the busts of Charles Edward and Cardinal York. People kept pouring into the church, but it is so enormous that, except at certain places, it was quite easy to circulate. All the women (except a few stray tourists) were in black, and every now and then one saw a long file of séminaristes, also in black, but with a coloured sash to mark their nationality. I think the Americans wear blue—the French are quite black—no colour. We talked to quantities of people—it was like an enormous reception. I was very tired when we finally came out, as of course we were walking and standing about all the time. There is no aisle with regular seats as in most churches—merely a few prie-Dieu inside the side chapels. The drive home was lovely—we went at a walk almost all the time, there were so many carriages.

I went out after all this afternoon with W. and Monsignor English to St. John Lateran, where they were singing a Miserere of Cappoci's. It is most strange, weird music, and the voices of the men are so unlike anything one hears elsewhere. There was always the same crowd. I will say Cook does his business thoroughly—wherever there is anything to see or hear he pilots all his band. After the Miserere was over we stood some time at the foot of the Scala Santa. It was black with people going up on their knees, saying a prayer at each step (I think there are 30) and some of them did look[92] serious and absorbed. They were principally peasants—every now and then some well-dressed bourgeois. Monsignor English told us we would be surprised at the class of people (society) who come early, before the great crowd of sight-seers.

We went back to the Palazzo Altemps, picking up Count Palfy on the way, where Gert had promised us tea and hot cross buns from Spillman's (very good they were).

We found a note from the Quirinal when we came home saying the Queen would receive us to-morrow at 2.30. Desprez came and sat some time. He told W. all that was going on in Paris—the Ministry as usual struggling against the Radicals who are always wanting to suppress the French Embassy at the Vatican. It doesn't make the position of the Ambassador very pleasant, but Desprez is very wise, has had long training at the Foreign Office, and will certainly do all he can to conciliate and keep things straight.

To H. L. K.

Saturday, March 27, 1880.

It was raining this morning and I was very glad. The dust was getting most disagreeable in one's eyes and throat, and covering everything. I am glad, too, that it is cool, decidedly, as I wanted to wear my blue velvet. If it had been a bright warm day it would have looked dark and heavy. It is four o'clock—we have just come in from our audience, and I will write at once while the impression is fresh. W. has a "rendezvous" with some of the French Institute people, and I shall not see him again until dinner time. We got to the palace (a great ugly yellow building, standing high) quickly enough, as[93] there was no one in the streets at that hour, and drove into the court-yard to a handsome entrance and staircase. There were a few soldiers about, but not much movement. A carriage came in behind us, and just as we were going upstairs some one called my name. It was Bessie Brancaccio,[21] who had also an audience with the Queen. She had come to thank her for her appointment as dame de palais. I was glad to have just that glimpse of her, as they are not in Rome this winter. Their beautiful house is not ready for them, so they have been spending the winter in Nice. We walked through a large anteroom where there were three or four servants and an "écuyer," and in the first salon we were received by the Comtesse Marcello, one of the Queen's ladies, a Venetian and a great friend of Mary's, and the gentleman-in-waiting, whose name I didn't master. We talked for a few minutes—she said a lady was with the Queen. The room was handsome, prettily furnished and opened into another—three or four, in fact, all communicating. After about ten minutes we saw a lady come out of the end room, the door of which was open, so Comtesse Marcello ushered us through the suite. We went to the corner room, quite at the end, where the Queen was waiting standing. We went through the usual ceremony. The Comtesse Marcello made a low curtsey on the threshold, saying, "I have the honour to present his Excellency, M. Waddington and Madame Waddington," and instantly retired. The Queen was standing quite at the end of the room (a lovely, bright corner room, with lots of windows and a magnificent view over Rome—even on a dull day it looked cheerful and spacious). I had ample time for my three curtseys. She let us come quite close up to her, and then shook hands with us both and made us sit[94] down—I next to her on the sofa, W. in an arm-chair in front. I found her rather changed since I had seen her. She has lost the girlish appearance she had so long, and her manner was nervous, particularly at first. When she began to talk and was interested and animated she was more like what I remembered her as Princess Marguerite. She was dressed in bronze satin, with a flowered brocade "casaque," and one string of splendid pearls. She told W. she was very pleased to see him, remembered that I had lived in Rome before my marriage, and asked if I still sang, Vera had talked so much about the music in Casa Pierret, and the trios we used to sing there with Lovatelli and Malatesta. The talk was most easy, about everything, generally in French, but occasionally breaking into English, which she speaks quite well. W. was delighted with her—found her most interesting and "très instruite"—not at all the banal talk one expects to have with sovereigns—in fact, I quite forgot we were having a royal audience. It was a very pleasant visit to a charming woman, in a pretty room with all sorts of beautiful pictures and "bibelots" about. While we were still there the Prince of Naples[22] came in. We both got up; she told him to shake hands with W. and to kiss me, and to ask me how old my little boy was, which he did quite simply and naturally. He told his mother he was going to ride. I asked him if he had a nice pony, to which he replied in English, "Oh, yes, jolly," and asked if my little boy rode. I said not yet; he was only two years old. The child looked intelligent, but delicate. They say his mother makes him work too much, is so ambitious for him; and he has rather that look. The Princes of Savoy have always been soldiers rather than scholars, but I suppose one could combine the two. The Queen also [95]spoke about the Bunsens, and "little Beatrice";[23] said she was very fond of Mary. I was very sorry when the audience was over and she dismissed me, saying she had people waiting.

Queen Margherita and the Prince of Naples (Present King of Italy) in 1880. Queen Margherita and the Prince of Naples (Present King of Italy) in 1880.

We found Bessie and one or two other ladies in the first salon when we came out, waiting their turn. Comtesse Marcello was delighted with all W. said about the Queen. He was very enthusiastic, for him, as he is not generally gushing. I told her she had remembered that I had lived some years in Rome as Mary King, and she said: "Oh, yes, she remembered you and all your family perfectly, and knew that you had married M. Waddington."

Tuesday, March 30, 1880.

It is much pleasanter to-day—quite Spring-like, and the Piazza is full of people. I have drawn my little writing table close up to the window, and I am afraid my correspondence will suffer, as there is always so much to see. Almost all the little botte have departed, in fact W., who has just started off with Visconti for the Vatican to look at the coins, took the last one. Cook's two big omnibuses have also just started for Tivoli—crammed. Some of the people dashed into Nazzari's, and reappeared with little paper bags, filled evidently with goodies.

Yesterday W. and I breakfasted again at the Noailles', and they took us over the palace (Farnese) which is quite splendid, such enormous rooms and high ceilings. The great gallery with the famous Carracci frescoes looked beautiful in the daylight, and we saw them much better. The colours are still quite wonderful, hardly faded, some of the figures so graceful and life-like. Madame de Noailles' bed-room and dressing-room are huge. The[96] enormous bedstead hardly took up any room at all. She said it took her some little time to accustom herself to such very spacious apartments, she almost had the impression of sleeping in the streets.

We went for a drive afterward out of Porta Maggiore to look at the Baker's tomb—do you remember it, a great square tomb with rows of little cells? We wandered about on foot for some time, looked at the bits that remain of the old Roman road, and then drove out some distance toward the arches of the Claudian Viaduct. It is the road we shall take when we go to Tivoli. It was not quite clear, so the hills hadn't the beautiful colour they have when the sun is on them—but the grey atmosphere seems to suit the Campagna, which is after all a long stretch of barren, desolate country broken at intervals by the long lines of aqueducts—every now and then a square tower standing out straight and solitary against the sky, and hardly visible until one comes close upon it, and a few shepherds' huts, sometimes with a thatched roof, sometimes what remains of an old tomb, with a dried-up old woman apparently as old as the tomb spinning in the doorway. We met very few vehicles of any description.

We dined at the Palazzo della Consultà where Cairoli, Foreign Minister, lives. There were not many women—Madame de Noailles, Gert, Madame de Sant' Onofrio (wife of one of Cairoli's secretaries), and quantities of men. They divided the honours—Cairoli took in Madame de Noailles—Madame Cairoli, W. The Préfet of Rome, Gravina, took me and put me on Cairoli's left. We all talked Italian, and I rather enjoyed myself. I told Gravina how much I preferred "Roma com' era," that the new buildings and the boulevards and the bustle and the quantities of people had spoiled the dear, dead, old Rome of our days—to which he replied "but you, Madame, are[97] an American born, you surely can't be against progress." Oh, no, I like progress in my own country, but certainly not here. Rome was never intended to be modern and go-ahead—it didn't go with the monuments and the ruins and the traditions of old Rome. However he answered me quite seriously that not only every country, but every individual, must "marcher," or else they would "dépérir." Cairoli joined in the conversation, others too, and there was rather an interesting discussion as to how much could be left to sentiment, association of the past, etc., when an old historic city was being transformed into a busy, modern, political centre.

After dinner Madame Cairoli came and sat down by me, and was pleasant enough. She looked handsome—very wide awake—still continues to call me Madame la Comtesse, so I have given up correcting her. She is well up on all subjects, particularly art, music, pictures, etc. She was rather amusing over the state of society and all the great Roman ladies whom she didn't know (there is such a division between the Government people and the old Romans) but said she had a very pleasant entourage with all the diplomatists and the distinguished strangers (with a little bow to me) and really didn't notice the absence of the grandes dames. She asked me about my audience with the Queen—had we been able to talk to her at all. She had been so tired lately and nervous that any attempt at conversation was an effort. I told her that on the contrary she talked a great deal, and that I didn't find her changed.

Maffei came up and talked—asked me if I really liked Rome better as it used to be—I must surely prefer life to stagnation. He speaks English well, and likes to speak. They tell me that all the present generation of Romans speak English perfectly—much better than[98] French. There was a small reception after dinner, some of the young diplomatists and political men. We came away early—10.30, and plunged into our Paris letters, of which we found quantities.

Friday, April 2, 1880.

It is raining quite hard this morning, so I will write and not go out until after breakfast. Yesterday was beautiful, and we had a charming day at the races. I drove out with Madame de Wimpffen in her victoria—W. and Wimpffen together. I wore my brown cloth with the coat trimmed with gold braid and a great bunch of yellow roses on my hat, but I was sorry I hadn't sent for something lighter, as almost all the women were in white. I had thought of having two dresses sent by the "valise" (I hadn't time to have them sent by ordinary express). I consulted Noailles, who was very amiable, and said he would do what he could, but that the rules were very strict now for the "valise," as there had been such abuse. I rather protested, so he remarked with a twinkle in his eye that I had better speak to my husband, as he was the Minister who had insisted on a reform being made—he added that it was Princess Lise Troubetzkoi who made the final scandal—that when St. Vallier was French Ambassador to Berlin she was always sending things to Petersburg, via Berlin, by the "valise." When the "petit paquet" she had spoken of turned out to be a grand piano there was a row, and W., who was then Foreign Minister, decreed that henceforth no "paquets" of any kind that were not on official business could be sent by the "valise." I suppose a pink tulle ball dress would hardly come under that head.

The Queen was there looking very well and bright, dressed in light grey with a big black hat—very becoming.[99] There were a great many pretty women. We came away before the end and drew up a little distance from the gate where a long string of carriages was waiting to see the Queen pass. The cortège was simple—first two dragoons, then a "piqueur" and her carriage with four horses, postillion and two servants behind in the scarlet liveries. The Countess Marcello was seated alongside of the Queen—two gentlemen (I couldn't make out who they were) facing her; a second carriage with two horses with two gentlemen in it followed, all very well turned out. The scarlet liveries make a great effect, one sees them from such a distance. The crowd was very respectful—not particularly enthusiastic. The Queen bowed right and left very prettily. I talked to lots of people at the races—among others to Madame Alphonse Rothschild who is here for a few days, and to Mesdames Somaglia, Rignano, Celleri, etc. I walked about a little with Sant' Asilea, but it was not easy to move—most of the ladies stayed quietly in the tribunes. We stopped at Nazzari's coming back and W. treated us all to tea—then we sent our carriage away as we wanted it at night for the Teano ball, and we walked about in the Corso, looking at all the turn-outs. The Teano four-in-hand was very handsome, and there were one or two others we couldn't make out which were very well turned out—some of the victorias, too, very smart, with handsome stepping horses. The Corso was full of people waiting to see the "retour"—it looked so gay. About eleven we went off to the Teano ball, which was most brilliant—all the société there. Again I was sorry I hadn't sent for another dress as my red satin looked heavy and wintry. Princess Teano in white, with a diamond tiara, looked charming. Of course all the young generation who were dancing were strangers to me, but I met many old friends. I had quite a talk with Doria[100] who wanted to be introduced to W. whom he had not yet seen. We stayed until 1.30, and when we came away they were just beginning the cotillon. In the old days we used to arrive at the balls about 12.30 or 1 o'clock just so as to have one waltz before the cotillon which was usually the best of the evening, as all the serious people had gone, and the mammas were at supper fortifying themselves for the long hours before them, so the ball-room was comparatively empty and one could get a good turn.

Saturday, April 3, 1880.

It is a beautiful morning, so was yesterday, an ideal Roman day—the sky so blue and just a soft little air that makes the awnings over the shops opposite flap lazily and indisposes one to any exertion. We walked about a little before breakfast, inspected the Fountain of Trevi where Neptune sits in state, looking at the rush of water falling over the rocks and splashing into the great marble basin. The water is beautifully clear, and sparkled and glistened in the sunlight. There were a good many people about—girls with pitchers on their heads, old men and women with pails and cans, all after water. The Trevi water is considered the best in Rome and is in great demand. We loitered about in the small narrow streets that branch off in every direction, always seeing something interesting. I think we lost our way as we found ourselves down by Trajan's Column and Forum, but we managed to get back to the Piazza di Spagna in good time for breakfast.

We started again in the afternoon for tea at the Farnesina Palace with the Duke di Ripalda. We stopped at the Farnese Palace to pick up Madame de Noailles, who was coming too, and we had a charming afternoon. Ripalda took us all over the Palace, and W. was delighted[101] with the frescoes, particularly Sodoma's. The garden was lovely, though they have cut off a great piece for their quays and works along the river. They are enlarging the Tiber, making great walls, etc. The City of Rome gave Ripalda a large sum of money, but he is much disgusted as it had taken a good bit off his garden. More people came in—the wife of the Peruvian Minister, a very pretty woman, and one or two men. We had tea in the long gallery with all Raphael's and Carracci's beautiful gods and cupids over our heads. How many different scenes they must have looked down on—not always so peaceful as this quiet party.

Saturday evening, April 3, 1880, 10 p.m.

We went to the German Embassy on our way home to write ourselves down for the German Crown Princess, who had just arrived there for a short stay. I hope I shall see her—W. admires her so much. He saw her often when he was in Berlin for the Congress, and found her most sympathetic and charming. Turkam Bey came in just before dinner and had a great deal to say about the Khedive, and what France would have done if he had resisted, retired up the country, and obliged the French and English to depose him by force. It was evident that the suite had been talking to him, and talking very big—he was very anxious to have a categorical answer. W. said very quietly they had never considered that emergency, as it was quite evident from the beginning that the Khedive had no intention of resisting. "Cependant, monsieur, s'il avait voulu," etc., so W. could only repeat the same thing—that they had never been anxious on that point.

We dined quietly at home, and in the course of the evening there came a note from Keudell, the German[102] Ambassador (whom we don't either of us know), saying that "par ordre de Son Altesse Impériale la Princesse Héréditaire d'Allemagne" he had the honour to ask M. and Madame Waddington to dine to-day at 7.30 at the Embassy "en petit comité." We should find a small party—the Wimpffens and Pagets. The Princess only arrived on Thursday, and W. is much pleased that she should have thought of us at once. Keudell has been ill with gout ever since we have been here. We have never once seen him, but various people told W. he regretted so much not seeing him, that the other day we tried to find him, but the porter said he was still in his room.

Sunday, April 4, 1880.

Our dinner was charming. I was not a bit disappointed in the Princess. W. had talked so much about her that I had rather made up my mind I should find her very formal and German—and she isn't either one or the other. We left a little after seven (I wearing black satin). I am so bored with always wearing the same dresses. If I had had any idea we should go out every night I should have brought much more, but W. spoke of "a nice quiet month in Rome, sight-seeing and resting." We were the first to arrive. Keudell was at the door, introduced himself, and took us into the large salon, where Madame Keudell was waiting. She looked slight and rather delicate, and he really ill, so very white. He said he had had a long, sharp attack of gout—had not been out for some time, and was in the salon for the first time the day the Princess arrived. While we were waiting for the others to come he showed us the rooms and pictures. I recognised at once one of those pretty child's heads by Otto Brandt like the one we have. He was much interested in knowing that we had bought one so long ago, he thought[103] Brandt had so much talent. There was a grand piano, of course, as he is a fine musician. The Pagets and Wimpffens came together almost, and as soon as they were there the Princess came in. She had one lady with her and a "chambellan"—Count Seckendorff. She was dressed in black, with a handsome string of pearls. She is short, and rather stout, carries herself very well and moves gracefully. We all made low curtseys—the men kissed her hand, Sir Augustus Paget just touching the floor with his knee, the first time I had seen a man kneel to any one in a salon. She received W. most charmingly, and was very gracious to me—asked me at once why I didn't accompany my husband to Berlin. I said, "Principally because he didn't want me," which was perfectly true. He said when he was named Plenipotentiary that it was all new ground to him, that he would have plenty to do, and didn't want to have a woman to look after. He rather protests now, but that is really what he said, and I certainly didn't go. The dinner was pleasant enough. The Princess talked a great deal, and as the party was small, general conversation was quite easy. The talk was all in French, which really was very amiable for us—we were the only foreigners present, and naturally if we hadn't been there every one would have spoken German. After dinner she made a short "cercle," standing in the middle of the room, all of us around her, then made a sign to W. to come and talk to her, sat down on the big sofa, he on a chair next, and they talked for about half an hour. We all remained standing. I asked Keudell about his piano. He told me that he liked the Erard grand very much, but that they didn't stand travelling well. In a few moments the Princess told us all to sit down, particularly Keudell, who looked quite white and exhausted. I sat by Madame Keudell, and as she is[104] very fond of Italy, and Rome in particular, we got on very well. When the Princess had finished her talk with W. she came over and sat down by me—was most charming and easy. She has the Queen's beautiful smile, and such an expressive face. We spoke English; she asked me if I had become very French (I wonder?)—that she had always heard American women were so adaptable, taking at once their husband's nationality when they married foreigners. She had always remained very fond of England and English ways—the etiquette and formality of the German Court had tried her at first. She asked me, of course, how many children I had—said one was not enough. "If anything should happen to him, what would your life be?" and then spoke a great deal about the son she lost last summer by diphtheria, said he was the most promising of all her children, and she sometimes thought she never could be resigned. I said that her life was necessarily so full, she had so many obligations of all kinds, had so many to think about, that she would be taken out of herself. "Ah, yes, there is much to do, and one can't sit down with one's sorrow, but the mother who has lost her child carries a heavy heart all her life." It was all so simply said—so womanly. She said she was very glad to meet W. again, thought he looked very well—was sure the change and rest were doing him good. She regretted his departure from the Quai d'Orsay and public life generally. I told her he was still a Senator, and always interested in politics. I didn't think a few months' absence at this time would affect his political career much, and that he found so much to interest him that he really didn't miss the busy, agitated life he had been leading for so long. She said she intended to spend a quiet fortnight here as a tourist, seeing all she could. She then talked to all the other ladies, and about ten said [105]she was tired and would go to her own rooms. She shook hands with the ladies, the men kissed her hand, and when she got to the door she turned and made a very pretty curtsey to us all. We stayed on about a quarter of an hour.

Victoria, Crown Princess of Germany. Victoria, Crown Princess of Germany.

The Wimpffens have arranged a dinner for her on Thursday (to which she said she would like to have us invited), just the same party with the addition of the Minghettis. As we were going on to Madame Minghetti's reception, Countess Wimpffen asked us to tell them to keep themselves disengaged for Thursday, as she wanted them for dinner to meet the Princess—she would write, of course, but sent the message to gain time. They brought in tea and orangeade, and I talked a little to Count Seckendorff—he speaks English as well as I do. He told me the Princess was quite pleased when she heard W. was here, and hoped to see him often. We hadn't the courage to stay any longer—poor Keudell looked ready to drop—and started off to the Minghettis'.

It was a beautiful, bright night, and the Capitol and all its surroundings looked gigantic, Marcus Aurelius on his big bronze horse standing out splendidly. We found a large party at Madame Minghetti's—principally political—not many women, but I should think every man in Rome. Alfieri, Visconti Venosta, Massari, Bonghi, Sella, Teano, etc. It was evidently a "centre" for the intelligent, serious men of all parties. There was quite a buzz, almost a noise, of talking as we came in—rather curious, every one seemed to be talking hard, almost like a meeting of some kind. They were all talking about the English elections, which apparently are going dead against the Ministry. Minghetti said it was quite their own fault—a cabinet that couldn't control the elections was not fit to live. Of course their time was over—there was no use in[106] even attempting a fight—they had quite lost their hold on the country. Madame Minghetti seems as keen about politics as her husband. She has many friends in England. I told her about the Wimpffen dinner—they will go, of course. She asked a great deal about the Princess—said she was very glad she had decided to come to Rome, that she couldn't help being interested and distracted here, which she needed, as she was so upset by her son's death. We talked music—she sings very well—and we agreed to sing together some afternoon, perhaps at the German Embassy, as Keudell is a beautiful musician and loves to accompany.

Mrs. Bruce was there and I sat down by her a little while, looking at the people. She pointed out various political swells, and a nice young Englishman (whose name I didn't catch) joined us, saying he wished he understood Italian, as it was evident the group of men around Minghetti was discussing English politics, and he would so like to know what they were saying. Mrs. Bruce told him it was just as well he didn't understand, as, from the echoes that came to her, she didn't believe it was altogether complimentary to John Bull. I don't believe political men of any nationality ever approve any ministry. It seems to me that as soon as a man becomes a cabinet minister, or prominent in any way, he is instantly attacked on all sides.

We didn't stay very long, as we had promised to go for a few moments to the Farnese Palace, where the Noailles had also a reception. I had some difficulty in extracting W. from the group of men. He naturally was much interested in all the talk, and as almost all the men were, or had been ministers, their criticisms were most lively. They appealed to him every now and then, he having been so lately in the fray himself, and he was a[107] funny contrast with his quiet voice and manner to the animated group of Italians, all talking at once, and as much with their hands as with their tongues.

It was very late—after eleven—but we thought we would try for the Noailles, and there were still many carriages at the door when we drove up. We met so many people coming away, on the stairs and in the long anteroom, that it didn't seem possible there could be any one left, but the rooms were quite full still. The palace looked regal—all lighted—and there were enough people to take away the bare look that the rooms usually have. They are very large, very high, and scarcely any furniture (being only used for big receptions), so unless there are a great many people there is a look of emptiness, which would be difficult to prevent. Madame de Noailles was no longer at the door, but I found her seated in the end room with a little group of ladies, all smoking cigarettes, and we had an agreeable half hour. Madame Visconti Venosta was there, and another lady who was presented to me—Madame Pannissera, wife of one of the "grand-maîtres de cérémonie" at court. W. was at once absorbed into the circle of men, also talking politics, English elections, etc., but he was ready to come away when I made the move. Noailles insisted upon taking me to the buffet, though I told him I had done nothing but eat and drink since 7.30 (with a little conversation thrown in). It was rather amusing walking through the rooms and seeing all the people, but at 12.30 I struck. I really was incapable of another remark of any kind.

I will finish this very long letter to-day. I wonder if you will ever have patience to read it. I am sure I shouldn't if it were written to me. I hope I shall remember all the things I want to tell when we get back—so much that one can't write. My black satin was right—the[108] Princess was in mourning, the other ladies equally in black. W. wants me to be photographed in the black dress and long veil I wore at the Pope's audience. He found it very becoming, and thinks Francis ought to have one; but it is so difficult to find time for anything.

Saturday, April 10, 1880.

We had a nice musical evening the other night at Gert's. All the vieille garde turned up, Vera, Malatesta, Del Monte (with his violoncello), and Grant. We sang all the evening, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I was sorry Edith Peruzzi couldn't come, as she sings so well, and it would have been nice to have another lady. She has been nursing her mother, who has been ill (so ill that they sent for Edith to come from Florence), but she is getting all right now, and I don't think Edith will stay much longer. Charles de Bunsen has arrived for a few days. We took for him a room at our hotel, and we have been doing all manner of sight-seeing. Thursday morning we went to the Accademia of San Luca, where we had not yet been. It was rather interesting, but there is much less to see than in the other galleries. There are some good busts and modern pictures—a pretty Greuze.

Gardens of the Villa Torlonia, Formerly Villa Conti, Frascati, Opposite the Villa Marconi, Where we Spent the Summer of 1867. Gardens of the Villa Torlonia, Formerly Villa Conti, Frascati, Opposite the Villa Marconi, Where we Spent the Summer of 1867.

Our dinner at the Wimpffens' was very pleasant. We arrived very punctually at 7.20 and found the Keudells already there. He told us the Princess was very tired, she had been all day in the galleries standing, looking at pictures, and he didn't think she would stay late. He still looked very tired and pale, but said he was much better and that the royal visit did not tire him at all. The Princess was very considerate and went about quite simply with her lady and Count Seckendorff. The other guests arrived almost immediately—the Pagets, Minghettis, Gosselins of the British Embassy, and Maffei,[109] Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office. About a quarter to eight the Princess arrived with her lady and chamberlain, she was dressed in black, with a long string of pearls. We went at once to dinner (which was announced as she entered the room), Wimpffen of course taking the Princess, who had Minghetti on her other side. Sir Augustus Paget took me, and I had Gosselin on the other side. W. sat next Countess Wimpffen. The talk was easy and animated, quite like the other day at the Palazzo Caffarelli (German Embassy). The Princess talked a great deal to Minghetti, principally art, old Rome, pictures, etc.—she herself draws and paints very well. After dinner she sat down at once (said she didn't usually mind standing, but the long days in the galleries tried her), made us all sit down, and for about half an hour she was most charming, talking about all sorts of things, and keeping the conversation general. When she had had enough of female conversation she said something in a low tone to Lady Paget, who got up, crossed the room to where W. was standing, and told him the Princess wished to speak to him. He came at once, of course—she made him sit down, and they talked for a long time. She is naturally a Protestant, but very liberal, and quite open to new ideas. She was much interested in French Protestants—had always heard they were very strict, very narrow-minded, in fact, rather Calvinistic. She kept W. until she went away, early—about ten—as she was tired. She has an extraordinary charm of manner. Her way of taking leave of us was so pretty and gracious. She dines quietly at the British Embassy to-morrow night, and when Lady Paget asked her who she would have, said: "Cardinal Howard and Mr. Story." She wants to see all manner of men.

Yesterday we made our first excursion to Frascati, and[110] most unpleasant it was. We had chosen our day so as to have Charles Bunsen with us, and one also when we had nothing in the evening, as one is so tired after being out all day. We started about 9—in the carriage—W. and I, Gert and Charles. It looked grey (was perfectly mild) and rather threatening, but the hotel man and coachman assured us we should have no rain—merely a covered day which would be more agreeable than the bright sun. Schuyler promised to come out by train for breakfast. The drive out was delicious, out of the Porta San Giovanni, the whole road lined with tombs, arches, ruined villas, always the aqueducts on one side, and the blue hills directly in front of us. The sun came out occasionally through little bits of white clouds, and the Campagna looked enchanting, almost alive. We passed close to the Osteria del Pino—where the meet used to be often in old hunting days. It was so familiar as we drove up the steep hill and recognised all the well-known places—the Pallavicini villa at the side of the road, half-way up the hill; the Torlonia gardens, and the gateway of the funny little town. We went straight to the hotel, the same one as in our day, Albergo di Londra (that shows what a haunt of "forestieri" it is), ordered breakfast, and then sallied out for a walk.

The little piazza before the hotel was filled with donkeys and boys, all clamouring to us to have a ride, expatiating on the merits of their beasts, and making a perfect uproar. We explained to the porter that we wanted beasts of some description to go up to Tusculum, and he said he would arrange it for us. However, the boys pursued us to the gate, dragging their donkeys after them. We went first to the Palazzo Marconi, which is just outside the gates opposite the Torlonia villa. I wanted so much to see the old house again, it was inhabited by a[111] Russian family, and at first there seemed some little difficulty about getting in, but W. sent in his card, and after a little parley a servant appeared and took us all over the house, except the dining-room where the family were breakfasting. It looks exactly the same—only much more neglected and uninhabited. The broken steps were more broken, the bright paint more faded, and the look of discomfort much accentuated. I showed W. the room where father died. It looked much more bare and empty, but the pink walls were still there, and the door open giving on the terrace. How it brought back those long, hot nights when we tried to hope—knowing quite well there was no chance—but never daring to put the fear into words. W. was much struck by the lonely, desolate look of the whole place. The little salon which we had made so comfortable with tables, rugs, and arm-chairs brought from Rome, looked perfectly bare—no furniture except one or two red velvet benches close to the wall, and rather an ugly marble table with nothing on it. The big round salon with its colossal statues in their marble niches and the marble benches, was exactly the same—only no piano. We went through the bed-rooms at the other end (our three), the marble bath still in the middle one, which used to be Henrietta's, but there was no trace of occupation, neither beds, washing apparatus, tables, nor chairs. I suppose the "locataires" live in the two rooms at the other end. There wasn't much furniture there, but I did see some beds. We went out into the little raised garden behind the big statue, but it was a wild waste of straggling vines and weeds. It was rather sad—nothing changed and yet so different.

I explained our life to W.—our morning or evening rides, our music, which was enchanting in the big salon—so[112] mysterious, just a little glow of light around the piano and other instruments, and the rest of the great room almost dark, the white statues looking so huge and grim in the half light. I was rather nervous the first nights out here when I had to cross that room to go to mine with a very small Roman lamp in my hand—but I soon got accustomed to my surroundings, and it seemed quite natural to live our daily, modern life in that milieu of frescoes, marble statues, hanging gardens, and strangers. I tried to find some little flower in the mass of weeds in the garden, but there wasn't one, so I send these periwinkles and anemones picked in the Villa Torlonia, where we walked about for some time under the splendid old ilex trees.

Tomb of Viniciano, Between Frascati and Tusculum. Tomb of Viniciano, Between Frascati and Tusculum.

Breakfast, a fairly good one, was ready when we got back to the hotel, but no Schuyler. I think he was a wise man and foresaw what was going to happen. Quite a number of strangers had come out by train—all English and American, no one we knew—and the table-d'hôte was quite full. As soon as the gentlemen had had their coffee, about 1.30, we started for Tusculum, Gert and I on donkeys with two pretty, chattering Italian boys at their heads—Bunsen on a stout little mountain pony, and W. on foot. He wouldn't hear of a donkey, and preferred to walk with the guide. We climbed up the steep little path, between high walls at first, then opening out on the hillside to the amphitheatre, which we saw quite well. The arena and seats are very well preserved. There are still rows of steps, slippery and green with moss. We went on again toward Cicero's Villa, and for a moment the clouds cleared a little, and we saw what the view might be straight over the Campagna to Rome (the dome of St. Peter's just standing out—on one side the hills with the little villages where we have ridden so [113]often, Monte Compatri, Monte Porzio, the Campi d'Annibale and Monastery of Monte Cave in the distance). I wonder if the old monk would tell us to-day what one did years ago, when we were standing on the terrace looking at the magnificent view: "Quando fa bel tempo si può vedere le montagne d'America" (When it is fine one can see the mountains of America). I thought it was rather pretty, his eagerness to make us understand what an extended view one had from his mountain top, and he probably didn't know where America was. However, our little gleam of sunlight didn't last—first came big drops, then a regular downpour, and in a few minutes a thick white mist closed around us, shutting out everything. We took refuge for a few moments under a sort of ruined portico, but the rain came down harder, and we decided to give up Cicero's Villa, and turn our faces homeward.

The descent was neither easy nor pleasant—a steep little path with the donkeys slipping and stumbling, and the rain falling in buckets. I was wet through in ten minutes, as I was very lightly dressed in a white shirt and foulard skirt (having stupidly left my jacket at the hotel as it was very warm when we started). Gert was better off, as she had her tweed dress. I shan't soon forget that descent, and as we passed Mondragone—the Borghese Palace—we had thunder and lightning, which didn't add to my comfort—however, the donkeys didn't mind. I was wet to the skin when we arrived at the hotel, and had to undress entirely and go to bed wrapped up in a blanket. The chambermaid lighted a fire in the room, and she and Gert dried my clothes as well as they could, and I had a cup of hot tea. About 5 my things were fairly dry—Gert went shopping in the town, and bought me a piece of flannel which I put on under my corsage[114] which was still damp. It rained a little when we started home, but cleared about half-way, and we had the most glorious sunset.

It was too bad to have fallen upon such a day, and I am afraid we shan't have time to attempt it again. I was half tempted to stay at Frascati all night and try again the next morning, but the others thought it better to come home. I went to bed immediately after dinner, and feel quite well to-day—only a little stiff—the combined effect of the donkey and the damp.

April 11, 1880.

Yesterday it rained hard all day, there was quite a little stream of water in the Piazza coming down from the Pincio. Certainly Rome needs sunshine, everything looked forlorn and colourless and everybody so depressed. The Spanish Steps were quite deserted, no models nor children galloping up and down. The coachmen of the fiacre-stand on the Piazza dripping and dejected on their boxes—nobody wanting carriages and very few people about. I really believe the Romans stay in when it rains. We didn't, of course, as our time is getting short, and the galleries are always a resource. We went off about 10 to the Vatican and spent two hours there. Charles de Bunsen was very glad to see it all again. We went first to the Cappella Paolina where there was not much to see—some frescoes of Michelangelo's, not very well preserved. It used to be so beautiful, Holy Week in Rome, when we were here before, brilliantly lighted for a silent adoration and filled with people kneeling and motionless.

Then we went on to the Cappella Sistina where there were a good many people taking advantage of a rainy day to do the Vatican. It wasn't at all dark—I don't know exactly why, for the rain was pouring straight[115] down. The Last Judgment is an awful picture. I had forgotten Charon and his boat and the agonized faces of the people whom he is knocking back with his oar. Some of the faces were too terrible, such despair and suffering. I can't think why any artist ever chooses such subjects, one would think they would be haunted by their own conceptions.

We walked through the Stanze, I wanted to see the Deliverance of St. Peter; I remember so well the engraving that was in the dining-room at Bond Street, which I have sat opposite to so often. I used to be fascinated as a child with the Roman soldiers, particularly the one with a torch. We sauntered through the picture gallery looking at the beautiful Foligno Madonna, Communion of St. Jerome, and of course the Marriage of St. Catherine, and really my copy by the young German is good as I see the original again. We finished in the Galerie des Inscriptions where W. always finds odd bits of inscriptions which are wildly interesting to him. I think for the moment yellow-books and interpellations and the "peuple souverain" generally as represented in the Chambre des Députés are out of his head.

The sun came out bright and warm in the afternoon and we drove to the Villa Pamphili. We stopped at San Pietro in Montorio on our way. It is there that St. Peter is said to have been crucified. The view from the terrace is very fine—the whole of Rome at our feet stretching out over the Campagna to the Alban Hills. It was too early really for the view, as one ought to see it at sunset, when the hills take most beautiful rose blue tints and the Campagna looks vague and mysterious, not the long barren stretch of waste uncultivated land it is in the daylight.

We stopped again at the Fontana Paolina, looked at[116] the rush of water that tumbles into the stone basin, and climbed up the Janiculum, every turn of the road giving the most enchanting view, out of the Porta San Pancrazio to the Villa Pamphili—all Rome apparently was doing the same thing; there were quantities of carriages. It was charming in the Villa—many people had got out of their carriages and were walking about in the shady alleys. It was a relief to get out of the sun. The stone pines of course are magnificent, but I think I like them best from a distance—from the terrace of the Villa Medici for instance they stand out splendidly. What is grand is the view of St. Peter's. It seems to stand alone as if there were no Rome anywhere near it. The dome rises straight up above the green of Monte Mario, and looks enormous.

We walked about the gardens with the queer, old-fashioned flower-beds and the little lake with a mosaic pattern at the bottom, and talked to quantities of people. The drive down was enchanting; the sun setting, clouds of every colour imaginable and a sort of soft "brume" that made every dirty little street (and there are many in Rome) look picturesque.

Grounds of the Villa Doria-Pamphili, Rome.  From an unpublished photograph taken about 1869. Grounds of the Villa Doria-Pamphili, Rome. From an unpublished photograph taken about 1869.

We went to the ball at the British Embassy in the evening, taking Charles de Bunsen, who protested at first he didn't go to balls any more, etc., but he found plenty of old friends and was very glad he had gone. The house looked very handsome—the ball-room with its decoration of flowers, cupids, etc., had a decidedly festive appearance. I danced two quadrilles—one with Count d'Aulnay and the other with the Duke of Leuchtenberg who was here with his wife, Comtesse de Beauharnais. As it is a morganatic marriage (he is a Royal Prince) she can't take his name and title. She was beautifully dressed, had splendid jewels—pearls as big as eggs.[117] The ball was very gay, lots of people. We stayed quite late; went to supper, which W. generally refuses with scorn, and only left at 1.30. They were preparing for the cotillon, but were going to dance a "tempête" (whatever that may be) first. I hear they danced until 4 o'clock.

Thursday, 12th.

We had a nice dinner at the Villa Medici Tuesday night. The Director M. Cabat, his wife and daughter, M. and Madame Geoffroy and 5 or 6 of the young men. They all love Rome and say it is a paradise for an artist. Such beautiful models of all kinds in the old pictures and statues. I ventured to say that I thought one or two of the modern Roman things—fountains and statues—were pretty, but I was instantly sat upon by the whole party—"no originality; no strength, weak imitations of great conceptions, etc." I suppose one's taste and judgment do get formed looking at splendid models all the time; still the world of art must go on and there is no reason why the present generation shouldn't have graceful fancies, and power to carry out their dreams. We didn't stay very late and went on to Countess Somaglia, who was receiving. There were only two or three ladies. Her younger sister, Olympia Doria, married to a Colonna, the Marquise Sant' Asilea and two others I didn't know. Quantities of men came in and out, Calabrini, Vitelleschi, Minghetti. The "maître de maison" was not there. I was sorry, as I had never seen him. Lucchesi-Palli came up and claimed acquaintance—said he had danced at Casa Pierret in the old days. I introduced him to W. who was rather interested at meeting a half brother of the Comte de Chambord. He is much astonished at the quantity of people I know, but I told him one couldn't live years[118] in Rome without seeing almost every one worth knowing, as everybody comes to Rome.

Yesterday Gert and I went out together. W. had an expedition of some kind with de Rossi, and gave a dinner at the Falcone to Charles and some of his men friends. The Roman menu didn't tempt me. I heard them talking about porcupines and peacocks. I preferred dining with Gert—she asked Mrs. Van Rensselaer, and we had a pleasant evening. Mrs. V. R. is clever and original, very amusing over her Italian and the extraordinary mistakes that she knows she makes, but she keeps on talking all the same. It is curious how much colder Gert's apartment is than our rooms at the hotel—I suppose no sun ever gets into that narrow street, and one is quite struck with the cold the minute one gets into the palace and on the stone staircase. We had a little fire and it wasn't at all too much—of course in the Piazza di Spagna the sun streams into the rooms all day. I came home early—about 10—and found the two gentlemen, Charles and W., settled very comfortably each in a large arm-chair with pipe and newspaper (you can imagine the atmosphere in a small hotel sitting-room). They said their dinner was very good, even the ordinary Roman wine, but they both agreed they wouldn't care to have that menu every day. The talk was very interesting; some of the men had been in Italy years ago, before the days of railways or modern conveniences of any kind, and their experiences in some of the little towns near Rome were most amusing—most of the peasants so mistrustful of the artist baggage, white umbrella, camp-stool, etc., and so anxious, when they finally understood no harm was intended, that they should sketch a nice new house or a bit of wall freshly plastered instead of old gateways and tumble-down palaces.

[119]Charles is going back to Florence to-morrow; I think he has enjoyed his visit very much, it brought back so many recollections (he was born in Rome and spent all his early childhood there).[24]

I wish they would settle in Rome instead of Florence, the life is so much more interesting here. Florence is charming, but asleep—here there is life, and the contrast between the old patrician city full of old-world memories and prejudices, and the political, financial atmosphere of this 19th century is most striking. W. has decided to go to Naples for four or five days. I shan't go with him. He will be all day in the museums, as there is a great deal to see, and I should bore myself sitting alone in the hotel. If we could stay long enough to make some excursions—see Sorrento, Capri, and Ischia, I would not hesitate, I should love to see it all again. They say Vesuvius is giving signs of a disturbance.

As we were talking about Capri and Vesuvius I told them my experience there so many years ago, and both gentlemen told me I ought to write it while it was still fresh in my memory, so here it is and you will send the letter to the family in America.

We went to Naples in October, 1867. Father died at Frascati the 27th of September, and we all needed change after the long nursing and watching. All our friends in Rome were most anxious we should get off; affairs were rapidly coming to a crisis in Italy and it was evident that the days of the temporal power of the Pope were numbered. At any moment the Italians under Garibaldi[120] might appear at the gates of Rome and it was not considered safe for women and foreigners to remain there. No one thought or talked of anything else, and though we were absorbed by father's illness and the numerous duties that a sick room entails we were quite as excited as all our friends. Of course we heard the two sides—the liberals who had high hopes of liberty and "Italia Unita" and the "papalini" who were convinced that the Italians would only enter Rome over the bodies of the faithful. Our young imaginations pictured anything, everything; the Garibaldians penetrating quite to the Court of the Vatican, the Swiss Guard, Charette and his Zouaves, massacred; priests flying in every direction pursued by a crowd of soldiers and infuriated populace. Good old Dr. Valery, who knew his countrymen better than we did, assured us there was no danger. When resistance was perfectly useless it would be wicked to shed blood, and Pio Nono himself would be the first to advise submission to the inevitable. We couldn't believe that such a tremendous change and uprooting of the traditions of centuries could be accomplished so quietly. We stayed two days only in Rome after leaving Frascati. We laid father at rest in the little English churchyard just by the San Paolo gate. There was a mortuary chapel where he could stay till he was taken home to the old family churchyard at Jamaica where Grandpapa King and a long line of children and grandchildren are buried. We had to see about our mourning and were finally hustled out of Rome the third day, Mr. Hooker (the American banker), our great friend, fairly standing over us while the trunks were being packed. He was quite right. We took the last train that went through to Naples, carrying with us a number of letters which our liberal friends had asked us to mail as soon as we crossed[121] the frontier,—they naturally being unwilling to trust them to the Roman post-office. Rome looked deserted, very few people about, some of the shops and hotels still closed, but one felt a suppressed excitement in the air. Some of our friends, jubilant, came to see us off at "Termine" and promised to send us a telegram at Naples if anything happened. Mr. Hooker was rather anxious. He too thought the Papal court wouldn't make any resistance if the Italians came, or rather when the Italians came, as they were marching on Rome; but he thought there might be trouble in the streets. He had his large American flag ready to protect the bank. We of course made our journey very quietly and comfortably, as Garibaldi and his men were not on that road. I was rather disappointed, I should have liked to have had a glimpse of the famous revolutionary leader in his classic red shirt. We found Naples just the same, very full, people everywhere, in the Via Toledo, on the quays, etc. There wasn't much apparent excitement, all the red-capped, bare-legged fishermen were lounging about on the quays or in the numberless little boats of all descriptions flying about in every direction. The same songs, "Julia Gentil," "La Luissella," "La Bella Sorrentina," were sung under our windows every night with an accompaniment of mandolins and a sort of tambourine. From time to time the voices would cease and then there would be a most lively dance—tarantella, saltarella—all the dancers moving lightly and quickly and always in perfect time. The nights were beautiful—warm and clear—the whole population lived in the streets and we were always on the balcony. The islands, Ischia and Capri, took such beautiful colours, at sunset; seemed almost like painted islands rising straight up out of a perfectly blue sea. Vesuvius, too, was most interesting. Savants were prophesying an eruption and[122] every now and then faint, very faint curls of smoke came out of the crater. We knew nothing of what was going on; had no communication with Rome, and were entirely dependent for news on the landlord, whose information was certainly fantastic; also the little Naples paper, the "Pungolo," which made marvellous statements every morning—the streets of Rome running with blood, etc. Finally came the first news—the battle of "Monte Rotondo," Garibaldi and his men victorious. From Paris we heard that the French troops had started and were at Cività Vecchia, but there were so many conflicting stories that we really didn't know how much to believe. Then came Mentana—the Garibaldians driven back by the Papal and French troops; the Pope still supreme in Rome. We had a telegram from one of our liberal friends, "Le malade va bien," which meant that the Pope had conquered, and Rome was not yet the capital of "Italia Unita." There was no fighting at all in the streets of Rome; a great deal of patriotic talk among the young liberals, but I don't think any of them absolutely enrolled themselves in Garibaldi's band. It wouldn't have made any difference—they could do nothing against the combined Papal and French troops—but it might have been a personal satisfaction to have struck a blow for the liberal cause. There again the common sense of the Italians showed itself—there was no resisting "le fait accompli," they had only to bide their time. We had lovely days at Naples, making all sorts of excursions—Posilippo, Capo di Monte, Camaldoli, etc. Every morning we went to the Museum; I was madly interested in the Pompeian relics, particularly the mummies. It seemed impossible to believe that those little black bundles had once been human beings feeling and living as keenly as we do now. We always kept our eyes on[123] Vesuvius as it really did seem as if something was going on. The column of smoke looked thicker and we could quite well see little jets of sand or small stones thrown up from the crater. One afternoon when we came in from driving everybody in the street was looking hard at the mountain and the padrone informed us that the eruption had begun. We didn't see anything, but after dinner when we were standing on the balcony suddenly we saw a great tongue of flame leap out from the crater and a stream of fire running down the side of the mountain. The flame disappeared almost immediately; came back three or four times in the course of the evening, but didn't gain very much in height or intensity. The next day, however, it had increased considerably and was a fine sight at dark, every few moments a great tongue of fire with quantities of stones and gravel thrown high in the air. We almost fancied we heard the noise of thunder, but I don't think we did. People were flocking into Naples, and we of course, like all the rest, were most anxious to make the ascent. The landlord told us there was no danger; that the authorities never permitted an ascent if there was danger, and no guides would go, as they are very prudent. One would go up on one side (the only thing to avoid was the stream of red-hot lava). Mother was rather unwilling, particularly as we were to go at night (and at night from our balcony the mountain did look rather a formidable thing to tackle). We waited still another day and then when we had seen some English people—two ladies and a youth who had made the excursion and said it was not at all alarming and most interesting—she agreed to let us go. Anne stayed with her, she doesn't like donkey riding under any circumstances, and a donkey at night on the slopes of Vesuvius in eruption, with a stream of red-hot lava running[124] alongside, didn't strike her absolutely as a pleasant performance. We started about 7 o'clock, William, Henrietta, Gertrude, and I. The drive out all the way to Resina was most amusing. Quantities of people, the famous Naples "cariole" crammed with peasants and children, and all eyes turned to the mountain. Our landlord had made all the arrangements for us, secured the best guides, donkeys, etc., and we were in great spirits. The mountain looked forbidding; as we came nearer we heard the noise, rumbling and thunder—the thunder always preceding a great burst of flames and showers of stones thrown up very high and falling one didn't know exactly where. I didn't say anything as I was very anxious to make the ascent, but I did wonder where these red stones fell and how one could know exactly beforehand. We drove as far as we could and then arrived at the Hermitage and Observatory, where there was a very primitive sort of wooden house, half tavern, half inn. Here donkeys and guides (very voluble) were waiting, and we started. It had begun to rain a little, but the guides assured us that it would not last and we should soon be above the clouds. It was almost dark—not quite—and everything looked weird, even the faces of the guides seemed to me to have a curious expression; they looked fierce and wild. We went on quietly at first though the rumblings under our feet and sudden light as the flames burst out were unpleasant. When we began the last steep ascent I had got very nervous. I was the last of the party, and when the donkey-boy (an infant) took a short cut, when the path was steep, calling out cheerfully "Coraggio Signorina," and left me and the donkey alone to clamber over the great slippery blocks of lava, I was frightened and felt I should never get up to the top. It was really terrifying—the rain and mist had increased[125] very much, it was pitch dark, rumbling and thunder all the time, and such noises under our feet that I was sure a great hole would open and we should all be swallowed up. I didn't like the dark, but I certainly didn't like the light either, when a great tongue of flame would spring out of the crater spreading out like a fan and throwing a mass of stones and gravel high in the air which all fell somewhere on the mountain. The red stream of lava looked wider and seemed to me to be coming nearer. I called out to William, who was far ahead and looked gigantic in the mist where he was crossing some great rocks of lava (quite black and shiny when they are old), and told him I was too frightened, that I should go back to the Hermitage and wait there. He was much disgusted—said there was no possible danger. All the guides and donkey-boys repeated the same thing, but it was no use, I was thoroughly unnerved and couldn't make up my mind to go on. We had a consultation with the guides as he didn't like the idea of my going back alone to the inn, but they told him it was all right, that the padrone was a "brav'uomo" and would take care of me until they came back; so most reluctantly they went on, and I turned my face homeward, always with my minute attendant whom I would gladly have shaken as he was laughing and chattering and repeating twenty times, "non c'è pericolo." I think the going down was rather worse; I had the rain in my face, heard all the same unearthly noises around me, and from time to time had glimpses of the whole country-side—Naples, the little villages, the islands, the bay standing out well in the red light thrown on them by the flames from the crater; then absolute darkness and stillness, nothing apparently on the mountain but me and the donkey scrambling and stumbling over the wet, slippery[126] stones. How we ever got down to the inn I don't know, but both boy and donkey seemed to know the road. I was thankful when we emerged on a sort of terrace and saw a faint light, which meant the little inn. The boy helped me off (it was pouring), called out something at the door, told me to go in and go upstairs, then disappeared around the corner with the donkey. I called—no one answered—so I went upstairs, just seeing my way by the light of a little dull, smoky lamp put in a niche of the wall. I saw two doors when I got up to the top of the stairs, both shut, so I called again, knocked; a man's voice said something which I supposed to be "entrate" and I walked in. I found myself in a big room hardly lighted—a small lamp on a table, a fire of a sort of peat and wood, a bed in one corner on which was stretched a big man with a black beard and red shirt; another man not quite so big, but also in a red shirt and a hat on his head, got up when I came in, from a chair where he had been sitting by the fire. He said something I couldn't understand, first to me and then to his companion on the bed, who answered I thought rather gruffly (they both spoke Neapolitan "patois" which I couldn't understand at first). I didn't feel very comfortable (still I liked even that room with those two brigand-looking men better than the mountain-side with the flames and the lava), but I tried to explain, took off my wet cloak which spoke for itself, and went toward the fire. My friend with the hat always keeping up a running conversation with the man on the bed, brought up a chair, then a sort of stand over which he hung my cloak, and proceeded to take a bottle out of a cupboard which I supposed was their famous wine (lacrima Christi) which one always drinks at Naples. However that I declined and established myself on the chair by the fire. He took the other one,[127] and when I looked at him I saw that he had rather a nice face; so I took courage. He pointed to my shoes, which were wet as we had walked a little, and wanted to talk. After a little while I began to understand him, and he me; and we had quite a friendly conversation. He looked at my shoes, asked me where they were made, and when I said in Rome was madly interested; he had a brother in Rome, a shoemaker, perhaps I knew him "Giuseppe Ricci," he might have made those very shoes—instantly confided that interesting piece of information to the gentleman on the bed. He told me they were three brothers, the eldest was the shoemaker, then came he the padrone of the osteria, and the other one "there on the bed" had vines and made very good wine. He asked me if I had ever seen the Pope, or Garibaldi (there was a picture of Garibaldi framed on the wall), and when I said I had often seen the former, and that he had a good, kind face, he again conversed amicably with the gentleman on the bed, who first raised himself into a sitting posture, and finally got up altogether and came over to the fire, evidently rather anxious to take part in the conversation. He was an enormous man and didn't look as nice as the "padrone." He rather startled me when he bent down, took my foot in his hand and inspected the shoe which he pronounced well made. We must have sat there fully half an hour talking—they were perfectly easy, but not familiar, and wanted to hear anything I would tell them about Rome. Every now and then they dropped off into some side talk in their "patois," and I looked at the fire and thought what an extraordinary experience it was, sitting alone with such odd-looking companions in that big, bare room on the top of Mount Vesuvius. The fire had almost died out, the miserable little lamp gave a faint flickering light that only made everything[128] look more uncanny, and every now and then the whole room would be flooded with a red lurid light (heralded always by a violent explosion which made the crazy little house shake) which threw out the figures of the two men sitting with their long legs stretched out to the fire, and keeping up a steady talk in a low voice. Still I wasn't afraid; I was quite sure they would be respectful, and do all they could to help me. They had a sort of native politeness, too, for they stopped their talk occasionally and made conversation for me; one looked out of the window and said the rain had stopped, but that the night was "brutta" and they referred to other eruptions and told me stories of accidents that had happened to people—two young men, "Inglesi," who were killed because they would go on their own way and not listen to the guides, consequently were knocked on the head by some huge stones; always assuring me that this eruption was nothing. However I was getting tired, and found the time long, when suddenly we heard the noise of a party arriving, and for a moment I thought it was my people; but no, they were coming the other way, up the mountain. There was a great commotion and talking, lanterns flashing backward and forward, donkeys being led out and all preparations made for the ascent—but there seemed a hitch of some kind and I heard a woman's voice speaking English. The "padrone" had rushed downstairs as soon as he heard the party arriving, and presently he reappeared talking very hard to a lady and two gentlemen who were coming upstairs behind him and evidently wanting something which they couldn't make him understand. He was telling them to have patience, that there was an "Inglese" upstairs who would talk to them. They were so astounded when they saw me that they were speechless—il y avait de quoi—seeing a girl[129] established there in rather a dishevelled condition, her hat off, wet cloak hanging over the chair, and entirely alone with those "Neapolitan brigands"—but one man ventured to ask timidly "did I speak English." Oh yes—Italian, too—what could I do for them. They explained that the lady was tired, cold and wet (she looked miserable, poor thing) and wanted a hot drink—brandy, anything she could get. She didn't look as if she could go on, but she said she would be all right if she could have something hot, and that nothing would induce her to give up the excursion, having come so far; so a fresh piece of wood, or peat rather of some kind (it looked quite black), was put on the fire, also water in a most primitive pot. I suggested that she should take off her cloak and let it dry a little. The men brought in some more chairs and then the new comers began to wonder who I was and what I was doing there alone at that hour of the night. They were Americans, told me their name, but I have forgotten it, it is so long ago. I told them my experience—that I was absolutely unnerved, in a dead funk, and would have done anything rather than go on toward that horrible crater. They couldn't understand that I wasn't much more afraid of spending two hours in that lonely little house in such company, and begged me to try again—there was really no danger, people were going up all the time, etc. The older man was very earnest—said they couldn't leave a compatriot in such straits—he would give me his donkey if another one couldn't be procured and would walk—how could my brother have permitted me to come back alone, etc. However I reassured him as well as I could—told them I was perfectly accustomed to Italians and knew the language well (which was a great help to me, I don't know what I should have done if I hadn't been able to talk and understand them).[130] They stayed about 20 minutes—the lady said her drink was very nasty, but hot, and she looked better for the rest and partial drying. She wasn't as wet as I was, the rain had stopped when they were half-way up. I told them who I was and begged them to say, if they met my people coming down, a gentleman and two ladies, that they had seen me, and that I was quite dry and comfortable. They went away most reluctantly, were half inclined to stay until the others should come back, but the guides were anxious to be off. Even at the last moment when they had got downstairs, the older man came back and begged me to come with them—"I assure you, my dear young lady, you don't know in what a dangerous position you are; if I had any authority over you I should insist, etc." He was very nice, and left all sorts of recommendations in English and a very good fee to the padrone, who of course didn't understand a word of what he was saying, but seemed to divine in some mysterious way. He looked smilingly at me, told me to cheer up ("Coraggio" is their way of saying it) and told the American, in Italian, that he would take good care of me. He was very sorry to go and leave me, said he had never done anything he liked so little. As soon as the excitement of their departure was over the two men came back. The "vigneron" went back to his bed, from where he conversed with us occasionally, and the other one settled down in his chair, and seemed half asleep. It wasn't very long before my party came back. The men heard them before I did, and told me they were arriving. I must say I was glad to see them. They had had a splendid time, seen everything beautifully, gone quite up to the stream of red-hot lava, put umbrellas and canes into it (the ends were quite black and burnt)—they were not in the least nervous, and jibed well at me. William said[131] he had rather an uncomfortable feeling at first when he saw me and my very small attendant depart, but he forgot it in the excitement and novelty of their excursion. He thanked the padrone for taking such good care of me, proposed a hot drink (very bad it was) all round, and we took quite a friendly leave of the two gentlemen. I promised to try and find the brother shoemaker. They had crossed my American friends on the way back—William said they were just starting down when they saw another party appearing and he heard a gentleman say, "I think this must be Mr. King." He was very much surprised to hear his name, but rode up to the speaker, to see who he was, and then the gentleman told him of his amazement at meeting his sister in that wretched little shanty and how miserable he had felt at leaving me there alone, with two Neapolitan brigands, but that I had assured him I was quite safe and not at all afraid of the two black giants—but he begged William to hurry on, as it was not really the place to leave a girl—even an American who would know how to take care of herself. We made our journey down quite easily. It was still pitch dark, except when the fire of the mountain lighted up everything, but there was neither rain nor wind, the air was soft, and the little outlying villages looked quite quiet and peaceable, as if no great mountain was throwing up masses of ashes and stones just over their heads, which might after all destroy them entirely. There must always be a beginning, and I suppose in the old days of Pompeii and Herculaneum the beginning was just what we have seen—first columns of smoke, then the lava stream and showers of red-hot stones, and none of the people frightened at first. We found Mother and Anne waiting for us with supper. They had been a little anxious, particularly as the weather was so bad,[132] and they evidently had had more of a tempest than we had. They were of course madly interested in our expedition and were astounded that I was the coward. They wouldn't have been at all surprised if it had been Gert. It is true she is nearly always timid, and we used to play all sorts of tricks on her when we were children at Cherry Lawn, beguile her up into the big cherry tree, then take the ladder away and tell her to climb down; or take the peg out of the boat, let in a little water and pretend it was sinking—so she was triumphant this time. I can't understand why I was so frightened. I am not usually afraid of anything, but that time no reasoning would have been of the least use, and nothing would have made me go on to the crater. Mother was rather like the American—she wouldn't have liked the flames and the awful rumbling noises any more than I did, but she would have been much more afraid of the lonely house and long wait on the mountain in that wretched little inn with those two big, black-bearded Neapolitans.

Le monde est petit—years afterward my brother William was travelling in America, and in the smoking-room all the men were telling their experiences either at home or abroad—many strange adventures. One gentleman said he had never forgotten a curious scene on the top of Mount Vesuvius in eruption, when he had met an American girl, quite alone, at night, in the dark and rain, in a miserable little shanty with two great, big Neapolitans "looking like brigands" (he evidently always retained that first impression of my companions). He told all the story, giving my name, which excited much comment; some of the listeners evidently thought it was a traveller's tale, arranged on some slight foundation of truth—however, when he had finished William said: "That story is perfectly true. The young lady is my sister,[133] and I am the Mr. King to whom you spoke that night on the mountain, in the dark, begging me to hurry down, and not leave my sister any longer alone in such company." They naturally didn't recognise each other, having merely met for a moment in the dark, both wrapped up in cloaks and under umbrellas. They had quite a talk, and the gentleman was very anxious to know how they found me—whether I wasn't really more uncomfortable than I allowed, and what had become of me.

We decided to move on to Sorrento and settle ourselves there for some time. We also wanted to go to Capri, but the steamers had stopped running, and we could only get over in a sailboat. The man of the hotel advised us to go from Sorrento, it was shorter and a charming sail on a bright day. The drive from Castellamare was beautiful; divine views of the sea all the time and equally lovely when we came down upon Sorrento, which seemed to stand in the midst of orange groves and vineyards. The Hôtel Sirena is perched on the top of a high cliff rising up straight from the sea. We had charming rooms with a nice broad balcony, and at our feet a little sheltered cove and beach of golden sand. There were very few people in the hotel—the one or two English spinsters of a certain age whom one always meets travelling, and two artists. We were only about twelve people at table-d'hôte; and as we were six that didn't leave many outsiders. It was before the days of restaurants and small tables. There was one long, narrow table—the padrone carved himself at a smaller one, and talked to us occasionally. There was too much wind the first days to think of attempting Capri, so we drove all over the country, walked about in the orange groves and up and down the steep hills, through lovely little paths that wound in and out of olive woods along the side of[134] the mountain, sometimes clambering up a bit of straight rock, that seemed a wall impossible to get over—when it was too stiff there would be steps cut out in the earth on one side, half hidden by the long grass and weeds.

Henrietta and I had discovered a pony trap with a pair of sturdy little mountain ponies, quite black, and we drove ourselves all over. Mother wouldn't let us go alone, so the stableman sent his son with us, aged 12 years. He wasn't much of a protector! but he knew the ponies, and the country, and everybody we met. He was a pretty little fellow—not at all the dark Italian type, rather fair, with blue eyes, but always the olive skin of the South. He invariably got off the little seat behind and took a short cut up the hills when the road was very steep, though I don't think his weight made any perceptible difference.

The evenings were delicious. We sat almost always on the balcony—sometimes with a light wrap when the breeze from the sea freshened about 9 o'clock. How beautiful it was; the sea deep blue, the islands changing from pink to purple, and as soon as it was dark Vesuvius sending up its pyramid of fire. It looked magnificent, but very formidable. Almost every morning we saw a party come and bathe in the little cove at the foot of the cliff—a pretty little boat came around the point with a family party on board—two ladies, one man and three children. I think they were English, their installation was so practical. They had a small tent, camp-stools, and table, also two toy sailboats which were a source of much pleasure and tribulation, as they frequently got jammed in between the rocks, or caught in the thick seaweed, and there was great excitement until they were started afresh. We made great friends with the sister of the man at the hotel. She was a nun, such a gentle, good[135] face—she came every morning to get flowers for the little chapel of Maria—Stella del Mare—which was near the house, standing high on the hill and easily seen from the sea. One day she seemed very busy and anxious about her flowers, so we asked what was happening, and she said it was their great fête, and they were going to decorate the chapel and dress the Virgin—"should we like to see it?" The Virgin had a beautiful dress—white satin with silver embroidery and some fine jewels which some rich forestieri had given. We were delighted to go, and went with her to the little chapel, which looked very pretty filled with flowers and greens, one beautiful dark, shiny leaf which made much effect. The Virgin was removed from her niche—her vestments brought in with great care, wrapped in soft paper, and the good sister most reverently and happily began the toilet. The dress was very elaborate, had been the wedding dress of an Italian Principessa, and there were some handsome pins and rings—a gold chain on her neck with a pearl ornament. She was rather lamenting over the cessation of gifts—when I suddenly remembered my ring—quite a plain gold one with the cross (pax) one always sees in Rome, which had been blessed by the Pope. I put it on with three or four other little ornaments one day when we had an audience. I took it off, explained to her what it was, that it had been blessed by the Saint Père and that I should like very much to give it to the Virgin, if she wasn't afraid of accepting anything from a heretic. She was a little doubtful, but the fact of its having had the Pope's blessing outweighed other considerations, and the ring was instantly put on the Virgin's hand. She told us afterward that she had told it to the priest, and he said she was quite right to accept it, it might be the means of bringing me to the "true church." We grew really quite fond[136] of her. It was such a simple, childish faith, her whole life was given up to her little chapel, cleaning and decorating it on feast days. All the children in the country brought flowers and leaves, one little boy came once, she told us, with a dead bird with bright feathers that he found, quite beautiful.

We made friends with the people at the table-d'hôte and they were very anxious we should come down to the reading-room at night and make music—but our mourning of course prevented that. We used to hear the piano sometimes and a man's voice singing, not too badly.

At last the wind seemed to have blown itself out, and our landlord said we could get easily to Capri. He could recommend an excellent boatman who had a large, safe boat and who was most prudent, as well as his son. With a fair wind we ought to go over in two hours. We wanted to stay over one night, and he arranged everything. The boat would wait and bring us back the next evening. We started early—about 9 o'clock—so as to get over for breakfast. The boat was most comfortable, a big broad tub, with rather a small sail, plenty of room for all our bags, wraps, etc. The sea was divine, blue and dancing, but there was not much wind. We progressed rather slowly, the breeze was mild, the boat heavy and the sail small, but nobody minded. It was delicious drifting along on that summer sea—just enough ripple to make little waves that tumbled up against the side of the boat, and a slight rocking motion that was delightful—couldn't have suggested sea-sickness or nervousness to the most timid sailor. There were plenty of boats about (mostly fishermen) of all sizes, some of them with the dark red sail that is so effective, and several pleasure boats and small yachts. They were almost as broad and[137] solid as our boat; hadn't at all the graceful outlines and large sails that we are accustomed to. We were exactly three hours going over though the breeze freshened a little as we got near Capri. We were quite excited when we made out the landing-place ("Marina grande") and the long, steep flight of steps leading up to the town. The last time we were there we went by the regular tourist steamer from Naples. There were quantities of people and a perfect rush for donkeys and guides as soon as we arrived; also the whole population of Capri on the shore chattering, offering donkeys, flowers, funny little bottles of wine, and a troop of children running up the steps alongside of the donkeys and clamouring for "un piccolo soldo." This time there was no one at the landing-place, but the man of the hotel with a sedan chair for mother, donkeys for us if we wanted them (we didn't—preferred walking) and a wheelbarrow or hand cart of some kind for the luggage, which was slight—merely bags and wraps. There were a good many steps, but they were broad, we didn't mind. We found a very nice little hotel, kept by an English couple. The woman had been for years maid in the Sheridan family. She told us there was no one in the hotel but one Englishman—in fact no foreigners in the island. We had a very good breakfast in a nice, fairly large room with views of the sea in all directions, and started off immediately afterward to see as much as we could. Mother had her chair, but didn't go all the way with us. We passed through narrow, badly paved little streets with low, pink houses, lots of people, women and children, standing in the doorways—no men, I suppose they were all fishing—and then climbed up to the Villa Tiberius—a steep climb at the end, but such a view. Before we got quite to the top we stopped at the "Salto di Tiberio," a rock high up over the water[138] from which the guide told us that monarch had his victims precipitated into the sea. We dropped down stones (I remember quite well doing the same thing when we were there before) to see how long it was before they touched the water, which showed at what a height one was. The palace is too much in ruins to be very interesting, but there was enough to show how large it must have been, and bits of wall and arches still standing. We went on to the chapel, drank some rather bad wine which the hermit offered us, bought some paper weights and crosses made out of bits of coloured marble which had been found in the ruins, and wrote our names in his book. We looked back in the book to see if there were any interesting signatures, but there was nothing remarkable—a great many Germans.

We came home by another path, winding down through small gardens, vineyards, and occasionally along the steep side of the mountain, all stones and ragged rocks, with the sea far down at our feet. There were a good many houses scattered about, one or two quite isolated near the top. We had a running escort of little black-eyed brown children all talking and offering little bunches of mountain flowers. The guides remonstrated vigorously occasionally and they would disappear, but were immediately replaced by another band from the next group of houses we passed.

We were rather tired when we got back to the hotel as the climbing was stiff in some parts, and glad to rest a little before dinner. The padrona came in and talked to us. It seemed funny to see an English woman in that milieu with her brown hair quite smooth and plain and a clean print dress. She said she liked her life, and the people of the island. They were industrious, simple and easy-going. She talked a great deal about the Sheridans,[139] for whom she had of course the greatest admiration, said one of the sons came often to Capri, and that his cousin Norton had married a Capri fisher-girl. We had heard the story, of course, and were much interested in all she told us. She said the girl was lovely, an absolute peasant, had walked about with bare feet like all the rest, but that she had been over to England, was taught there all they could get into her head, and was quite changed, had two children. I remember their telling us in Rome what a difficult process that education was. She was willing and anxious to learn to read and write, but her ambition and her capability of receiving instruction stopped there—when they wanted to teach her a little history (not very far back either) and the glories of the Sheridan name she was recalcitrant, couldn't interest herself and dismissed the subject saying, "ma sono morti tutti" (they are all dead). She always kept her little house at Capri, in fact was there now, perhaps we should like to see her. We said we should very much.

We had nice, clean comfortable rooms and made out our plan for the next day. We didn't care about the Blue Grotto—we had seen it before, and besides they told us that at this season of the year it would be almost impossible, one must have a perfectly still sea as the entrance is not easy—very low—and a big wave would swamp the boat. We heard the wind getting up a little in the night and we woke the next morning to see a grey, cloudy sky, little showers falling occasionally, and a fine gale, sea rough, no little boats out, one or two fishing boats racing along under well-reefed sails, anything but tempting for a three hours' sail in an open boat. Mother looked decidedly nervous; however the matter was taken out of our hands, for the boatmen appeared saying they would not go out, which was rather a relief; we didn't mind[140] staying. There was a fair library in the house, books that visitors had left, so we hunted up a history of Capri (Baedeker was soon exhausted), and got through our morning pretty well, some reading aloud, the others knitting or working. We had all taken some sort of work in our bags, various experiences of small hotels on rainy days having taught us to provide our own amusement.

It cleared in the afternoon though the wind was still very high and we set off—on donkeys this time—and mother in her chair, to the other side of the island. Two or three girls, handsome enough in their bright skirts, bare brown legs and thick braids of hair, came with us to take charge of the donkeys. As we were going up a steep flight of steps (which the donkeys did very well and deliberately) they began to tell us about Mrs. Norton and said we should pass her house. It was amusing to hear them talk of her wonderful luck in being married to this "bel Inglese"; "adesso fa la signora sta in camera tutto il giorno—colle mani bianche" ("Now she does the lady, sits in her room all day with white hands"). We passed several houses rather better than the ordinary fisherman's cottage and then came upon a nice little white house, standing rather high, with a garden and gate, which they told us was Mrs. Norton's. We stopped a moment at the gate, looking at the garden; mother's bearers put her chair down and gave themselves a rest, and we saw a lady appear very simply dressed in something dark, who came to the gate and asked us in very nice English with a pretty accent if we would come in and rest, as the day was hot and we had had a steep climb. We heard all the fisher-girls giggling and saying "Eccola la Signora." We were half ashamed to have been seen gaping in at her garden, but the invitation was simply and cordially given, and we accepted. Her manner to mother was quite pretty,[141] respectful to the older lady. We went into a pretty little sitting-room quite simply furnished, with books and photographs about. She showed us pictures of all her family, her husband (regretting extremely that he was not there), her mother-in-law, Mrs. Norton, and her children. She seemed very proud of her son, said he was at school in England and didn't care very much for Capri. I asked her if she liked England, and though she said "very much," I thought I detected a regret for her old home, though not perhaps her old life. Her face quite lighted up when we said how much we admired her island with its high cliffs and beautiful blue sea. I didn't find her as handsome as I expected, but the eyes were fine and her smile charming. Her manner was perfectly natural, she showed us very simply all she had, and was not in the least curious about us—asked us no questions, was evidently accustomed to seeing foreigners and tourists at Capri. We stayed about half an hour, and then went on our way. She shook hands with us all, and looked most smilingly at mother; couldn't quite understand her black dress and white cap—said we mustn't let her do too much, "she is not so young as you, la mamma."

Of course the fisher-girls were in a wild state of excitement when we came out—all talked at once, stopping in the middle of the path, the donkeys, too; when they had much to say, and telling the whole story over again. I said to one of them, "Should you like to marry a 'bel Inglese' and go and live in another country far away from Capri with no sun nor blue sky?" She thought a moment, looking straight at me with her big, black eyes and then answered, sensibly enough, my rather foolish question—she had never thought about it—was quite happy where she was. It was a curious meeting.

When we got back to the hotel we asked our padrona[142] about Mrs. Norton and the life she led. She told us Mrs. Norton mère[25] had been in despair when her son married the fisher-girl—he was very good-looking and her favourite, and it was a great blow to her, but that she had been very good to her and was fond of the boy. She didn't seem to think the young woman had had a very happy life, but that she was always delighted to get back to Capri. "Did she see any of her old friends?" "Not much—that was difficult—she only came in the summer, the children generally with her, and they fished and sailed and made their own life apart."

We got back to Sorrento the next morning—the sea beautifully smooth and calm—no trace of the great waves that had roared all night into the numerous caves, throwing up showers of foam.

My dear, I seem to have prosed on for pages about Naples, but once started I couldn't stop. Tell Henrietta I feel rather like her when we used to call her Mrs. Nickleby, because she never could keep to any one subject, but always made long, foolish digressions.

Monday, April 13th.

Last night we had a pleasant dinner at Mr. Hooker's, the American banker. He still lives in one end of his apartment in the Palazzo Bonaparte, but has rented the greater part to the Suzannets.[26] We were a small party—ourselves, Schuylers, Ristori (Marchesa Caprannica), and her charming daughter. Ristori is very striking looking—very large, but dignified and easy in her movements, and a wonderfully expressive face. The girl, Bianca Caprannica, is charming, tall, fair, graceful. Ristori talked a great deal, speaks French, of course, perfectly. [143] She admires the French stage, and we discussed various actors and actresses. I should love to see her act once, her voice is so full and beautiful. Such a characteristic scene took place after coffee. We were still sitting in the dining-room when we heard a carriage come in, and instantly there was a great sound of stamping horses, angry coachman, whip freely applied, etc. It really made a great noise and disturbance. Ristori listened for a moment, then rushed to the window (very high up—we were on the top story), exclaiming it was her man, opened it, and proceeded to expostulate with the irate coachman in very energetic Italian—"Che diavolo!" were these her horses or his, was he a Christian man to treat poor brutes like that, etc.—a stream of angry remonstrance in her deep, tragic voice. There was a cessation of noise in the court-yard—her voice dominated everything—and then I suppose the coachman explained and excused himself, but we were so high up and inside that we couldn't hear. She didn't listen, but continued to abuse him until at length Hooker went to the window and suggested that she might cease scolding and come back into the room, which she did quite smilingly—the storm had passed.

This morning we have been to the Doria Gallery. The palace is enormous, a great court and staircase and some fine pictures. We liked a portrait by Velasquez of a Pope—Innocent X, I think—and some of the Claude Lorraines, with their curious blue-green color. We walked home by the Corso. It was rather warm, but shady always on one side of the street. After breakfast Cardinal Bibra, the Bishop of Frascati, came to see us. He was much disappointed that we had had such a horrid day for our Frascati and Tusculum expedition, and wants us to go again, but we haven't time. We want to go to Ostia[144] and Albano if it is possible. He and W. plunged into ecclesiastical affairs. It is curious what an importance they all attach to W.'s being a Protestant; seem to think his judgment must be fairer. He also knew about Uncle Evelyn having married and settled in Perugia, and had heard the Pope speak about him. He spoke about the Marquis de Gabriac (Desprez's predecessor) and regretted his departure very much. I think he had not yet seen the new Ambassador. W. told him Desprez would do all he could to make things go smoothly, that his whole career had been made at the Quai d'Orsay, where every important question for years had been discussed with him.

Pope Pius IX. Pope Pius IX.
Tuesday, April 14th.

We dined last night at the Black Spanish Embassy with the Cardenas. It was very pleasant. We had two cardinals—Bibra and a Spanish cardinal whose name I didn't catch; he had a striking face, keen and stern, didn't talk much at dinner—Desprez and his son, the Sulmonas, Bandinis, Primolis (she is née Bonaparte), d'Aulnays, all the personnel of the French Embassy, and one or two young men from the other embassies; quite a small dinner. W. took in Princess Sulmona and enjoyed it very much. Primoli took me, and I had Prince Bandini on the other side. Both men were pleasant enough. All the women except me were in high dresses, and Primoli asked me how I had the conscience to appear "décolletée" and show bare shoulders to cardinals. I told him we weren't told that we should meet any cardinals, and that in these troubled days I thought a woman in full dress was such a minor evil that I didn't believe they would even notice what one had on; but he seemed to think they were observant, says all churchmen of any denomination[145] are. Their life is so inactive that they get their experience from what they see and hear. I talked a few minutes to Princess Bandini after dinner, but she went away almost immediately, as she had music (Tosti) at home. We promised to go to her later—I wanted very much to hear Tosti. The evening was short. The cardinals always go away early—at 9.30 (we dined at 7.30, and every one was punctual). As long as they stayed the men made a circle around them. They are treated with much deference (we women were left to our own devices). W. said the conversation was not very interesting, they talk with so much reserve always. He said the Spaniard hardly spoke, and Cardinal Bibra talked antiquities, the excavations still to be made in Tusculum, etc. I think they go out very little now, only occasionally to Black embassies. Their position is of course much changed since the Italians are in Rome. They live much more quietly; never receive, their carriages are much simpler, no more red trappings, nothing to attract attention—so different from our day. When Pio Nono went out it was a real royal progress. First came the "batta strada" or "piqueur" on a good horse, stopping all the carriages and traffic; then the Pope in his handsome coach, one or two ecclesiastics with him, followed by several cardinals in their carriages, minor prelates, members of the household and the escort of "gardes nobles." All the gentlemen got out of their carriages, knelt or bowed very low; the ladies stood in theirs, making low curtseys, and many people knelt in the street. One saw the old man quite distinctly, dressed all in white; leaning forward a little and blessing the crowd with a large sweeping movement of his hand. He rarely walked in the streets of Rome, but often in the villas—Pamphili or Borghese. There almost all the people he[146] met knelt; children kissed his hand, and he would sometimes pat their little black heads. We crossed him one day in the Villa Pamphili. We were a band of youngsters—Roman and foreigners—and all knelt. The old man looked quite pleased at the group of young people—stopped a moment and gave his blessing with a pretty smile. Some of our compatriots were rather horrified at seeing us kneel with all the rest—Protestants doing homage to the head of the Roman Catholic Church—and expressed their opinion to father: it would certainly be a very bad note for my brother.[27] However, father didn't think the United States Government would attach much importance to our papal demonstration, and we continued to kneel and ask his blessing whenever we met His Holiness. He had a kind, gentle face (a twinkle, too, in his eyes), and was always so fond of children and young people. The contrast between him and his successor is most striking. Leo XIII is tall, slight, hardly anything earthly about him—the type of the intellectual, ascetic priest—all his will and energy shining out of his eyes, which are extraordinarily bright and keen for a man of his age.

We didn't stay very long after the cardinals left, as I was anxious to get off to Princess Bandini. We found a great many people, and music going on. Some woman had been singing—a foreigner, either English or American—and Tosti was just settled at the piano. He is quite charming; has very little voice, but says his things delightfully, accompanying himself with a light, soft touch. He sang five or six times, principally his own songs, with much expression; also a French song extremely well. His diction is perfect, his style simple and easy. One wonders why every one doesn't sing in the same way. They[147] don't, as we perceived when a man with a big voice, high barytone, came forward, and sang two songs, Italian and German. The voice was fine, and the man sang well, but didn't give half the pleasure that Tosti did with his "voix de compositeur" and wonderful expression. He was introduced to me, and we had a pleasant talk. He loves England, and goes there every season. A good many people came in after us. I wanted to introduce W. to some one and couldn't find him, thought he must have gone, and was just going to say good-night to Princess Bandini when her husband came up, saying, "You mustn't go yet—your husband is deep in a talk with Cardinal Howard," and took me to one of the small salons, where I saw the two gentlemen sitting, talking hard. The Cardinal was just going when we came in, so he intercepted W. and carried him off to this quiet corner where they would be undisturbed. They must have been there quite three-quarters of an hour, for I went back into the music-room, and it was some little time before W. found me there. Every one had gone, but we stayed on a little while, talking to the two Bandinis. It is a funny change for W. to plunge into all this clerical society of Rome; but he says he understands their point de vue much better, now that he sees them here, particularly when both parties can talk quite frankly. It would be almost impossible to have such a talk in France—each side begins with such an evident prejudice. The honest clerical really believes that the liberal is a man absolutely devoid of religious feeling of any kind—a dangerous character, incapable of real patriotic feeling, and doing great harm to his country. The liberal is not quite so narrow-minded; but he, too, in his heart holds the clergy responsible for the want of progress, the narrow grooves they would like the young generation to move in, and the influence they[148] try to exercise in families through the women (who all go to church and confession). With the pitiless logic of the French character every disputed point stands out clear and sharp, and discussion is very difficult. Here they are more supple—leave a larger part to human weaknesses.

Thursday, April 16th.

We have finally had our day at Albano, and delightful it was. W. and I went alone, as Gert was not very well, and afraid of the long day in the sun. We started early—at 8.30—though we had been rather late the night before as Count Coello, Spanish Ambassador,[28] sent us his box for the opera. It was Lohengrin—well enough given, orchestra and chorus good, but the soloists rather weak. Elsa, a very stout Italian woman of mature years, did not give one just the idea of the fair patrician maiden one imagines her to be. The Italian sounded very funny after hearing it always in German, and "Cigno gentil" didn't at all convey the same idea as "Lieber Schwan." The tenor had a pretty, sympathetic voice and looked his part well (rather more like Elsa's son than her lover), but one mustn't be too particular. The house was fairly brilliant—much fuller than the last time we were there—and quantities of people we knew. Hardly any one in full dress, which is a pity, as it makes the salle look dull. One or two women in white (one very handsome with diamond stars in her hair, whom nobody knew) stood out very well against the dark red of the boxes. Del Monte came in and sat some time with us. He is quite mad about Wagner—rare for an Italian. They generally like more melody and less science. We invited him to come to Albano with us and show us everything, [149]and I think he was half inclined to accept, but he was de service that day and it was too late to find any one to replace him.

We finally decided to drive out after various consultations as to hours, routes, etc. It is quicker by the railway and we should perhaps have rather more time, but we both of us love the drive on the Campagna, and W. was very keen to take the old Via Appia again and realize more completely the street of tombs. It was a lovely morning and every minute of the drive interesting, even when we were almost shut in between the high grey walls which stretch out some little distance at first leaving the Porta San Sebastiano. They were covered with creepers, pink roses starting apparently out of all the crevices; pretty, dirty little children tumbling over the broken bits into the road almost under the horses' feet; every now and then a donkey's head emerging from an opening, or a wrinkled old woman appearing at some open door smiling and nodding a cheerful "Buon giorno!" to the passers-by. There was a long string of carts with nothing apparently in them. They didn't take much trouble about getting a little to one side to let the carriage pass; and their drivers—some of them stretched out on their backs in the carts, the reins hanging loosely over the seat—didn't at all mind the invectives our coachman hurled at them, "pigs, lazy dogs, etc." Of course we passed again Cecilia Metella, also two tombs said to be the Horatii and Curatii; and the Casale Rotondo with a house and olive trees on the top, but I cannot remember half the names, nor places.

We were armed with our Baedeker, but it goes into such details of all the supposed tombs and monuments that one gets rather lost. I don't know that it adds very much to the interest to know the names and dates of all[150] the tombs. One feels in such an old-world atmosphere they speak for themselves. The colours were beautiful to-day—the old stones had a soft, grey tint. It is a desolate bit of road all the same—so little life or movement of any kind. As we got further out we came upon the long line of aqueducts, but there were apparently miles of plain with nothing in sight—occasionally a flock of sheep in the distance, the shepherd riding a rough, unkempt little pony, and looking a half-wild creature himself—some boys on donkeys, and the shepherds' dogs, which came barking and jumping over the plain toward the strangers. They are sometimes very fierce. Years ago in Rome when we used to make long excursions riding to Vei or Ostia, the gentlemen of the party always carried good big whips to keep them off. They have been known to spring on the horses, who are afraid of them. One sprang on Gert once, when we were cantering over the Campagna, and almost tore her habit off. We didn't meet any cart or vehicle of any description. I wondered where all these were going that we passed on the road, and asked our Giuseppe, but he merely shrugged his shoulders and said they were "robaccia" (trash).

We stopped a few minutes at the Osteria della Frattocchie—the man watered his horses (had a drink himself, too) and was very anxious we should try some of the "vino del paese." We tasted it—a sour, white wine, very like all the cheap Italian wines. The view from the Osteria looking back toward Rome was very striking. Long lines of ruined, crumbling tombs and arches—great blocks of stone, heads of columns, mounds, wide ditches choked up with weeds, broken walls—all the dead past of the great city. The sun was bright, but there were plenty of little clouds, and the changing lights and shades on the great expanse of the Campagna were beautiful. The[151] hills seemed now so near that we almost felt like getting out and walking, but the man assured us we had still three or four miles before us, and a steep hill to climb—Albano on the top. The road was shady—between two lines of trees. As we got near the city we saw Pompey's tomb—a high tower with bits of marble still on the walls. W. is rather sceptical about all the tombs; would like to have time enough to investigate himself and make out all the inscriptions, but it would take a life-time.

We went at once to the hotel to order breakfast, and then strolled about in the streets until it was ready. It looked more changed to me than Frascati—more modern. They tell me many people go out there now for their summer "villegiatura," principally English and Americans, bankers, doctors, artists, etc., who are obliged to spend their summer in or near Rome. There were many new houses, and in all the old palaces apartments to rent. There were a few tourists walking about, but happily no Cook's this time. When we went back to the hotel we told the landlord what we wanted to see—Ariccia, Genzano and Nemi. He suggested donkeys, but that we both declined, so he said he had a good little carriage which could take us easily. The breakfast was good, we were both hungry, and after coffee we walked about in the Villa Doria under the ilex trees. W. smoked and was quite happy, and I wasn't sorry to walk a little after having been so long in the carriage. We went to the gardens of the Villa Altieri. It was there the Cardinal died in the cholera summer of '69 when we were at Frascati. We could almost have walked to Ariccia, it is so near, and such a lovely road, all ilex trees and great rocks, winding along the side of the hill. The church and old Chigi Palace look very grand and imposing as one gets near the gates of the little town. We walked about the streets and went[152] into the church, but there was not much to see, and I thought it less effective seen near; then on to the gardens of the Capuchin Convent, from where there are splendid views in every direction, and always the thick shade of the ilex. We couldn't loiter very much as we had the drive to Genzano before us. The road was quite beautiful all the way; every turn familiar (how many times we have ridden over it), and Genzano with its little, old streets straggling up the hill looked exactly the same. I had forgotten the great viaduct which one sees all the time on that road, it is splendid. We again got out of the carriage and walked up a steep little path to have a view of Lake Nemi. It lay far down at our feet—a little green pond (yet high too), they say it was a volcanic crater. The water was perfectly still—not even a shimmer of light or movement. Every way we turned the view was beautiful—either down the valley where the colours were changing all the time, sometimes quite grey, when the sun was under a cloud (one almost felt a chill), and then every leaf and flower sparkling in the sunlight—or toward the hills where the little towns Rocca di Papa and Monte Cavo seemed hanging on the side of the mountain.

The drive back to Albano by the "Galleria di Sotto" under the enormous ilex trees was simply enchanting, the afternoon sun throwing beautiful streaks of yellow light through the thick shade, and the road most animated—groups of peasants coming in from their work in the fields; old women tottering along, almost disappearing beneath the great bundles of fagots they carried on their heads; girls with jet-black hair and eyes, in bright-coloured skirts, and little handkerchiefs pinned over their shoulders, laughing and singing and chaffing the drivers of the wine carts, who usually got down and walked along with them, leaving their horses, who followed quietly, the[153] men turning around occasionally and talking to them. In the fields alongside there were teams of the splendid white oxen and quantities of children tumbling up and down the banks and racing after the carriage. They spot the foreigner at once. I had talked so much to W. about the beauty of the road, the Galleria in particular, that I was afraid he would be disappointed; but he wasn't, was quite as enthusiastic as I was.

When we got back to Albano I tried to find some of the little cakes (ciambelle) we used to buy when we rode over from Frascati; the little package wrapped up in greasy brown paper and tied to the pommel of the saddle; but the woman at the very nice baker's or confectioner's shop we went into hadn't any, but said she could make a "plome cheke" (she showed us the ticket with the name on it with pride), which was what all the "Inglesi" took.

The drive home was lovely—just enough of the beautiful sunset clouds to give colour to everything; the air soft and the world so still that a dog barking in one of the little old farms or shepherds' huts made quite a disturbance. As the evening closed in we heard the "grilli" (alas, no nightingales; it is still too early) and the bushes along the road were bright with fire-flies. The road seemed much less lonely going back to Rome; so many peasants were coming back from the fields, also boys on donkeys with empty sacks—had evidently taken olives, cheese, or dried herbs into the city—and always bands of girls laughing and singing. It was an ideal day, and after dinner we were just tired enough to settle in our respective arm-chairs and say how glad we were we had decided to come and spend these months in Italy.

The Schuylers came in for a cup of tea and Gert was rather sorry she hadn't come, as her headache wasn't very[154] serious. I think they will take themselves out to Albano for a little stay as soon as the heat begins.

Friday, April 17th.

This morning we went for a last turn in the Vatican. That is what W. likes best. There is so much to see in that marvellous collection. He wanted to copy one or two inscriptions, so I wandered about alone and talked to the custode, who has become an intimate friend of ours. He hovers about W. when he is taking notes or examining things closely, and is evidently much gratified at the interest he takes in everything—quite like a collector showing off his antiquities. We saw a little commotion at one end of the long gallery, and he came running up to say "His Holiness" was walking in the garden, and if we would come with him he would take us to a window from where we could see him quite distinctly. This of course we were delighted to do, as one never sees the present Pope, except in some great ceremony when he is carried in the "sedia gestatoria," but so high over the heads of the people that one can hardly distinguish his features. We walked down the gallery, through two or three passages, up a flight of stairs, and came upon a window looking down directly on the gardens. They are beautiful, more like a park than a garden, and one can quite understand that the Pope can get a very good drive there, the days he doesn't walk. The custode says he only walks when it is quite fine, is afraid of the damp or wind, but that he goes out every day. There is a wood, flowers, long alleys stretching far away bordered with box and quite wide enough for a carriage, various buildings, a casino, tower, observatory, etc., also fountains and a lake (I didn't see a boat upon it). In the middle of one of the alleys a little group was walking slowly in our direction—about[155] 10 people I should think. The Pope, dressed always in white, seemed to walk easily enough. He carried himself very straight, and was talking with a certain animation to the two ecclesiastics who walked on each side of him. He stopped every now and then, going on with his conversation and using his hands freely. He was talking all the time, the others listening with much deference. The suite seemed to consist of three or four priests and two servants. I didn't see either a Suisse or Garde-Noble, but they may have been following at a distance. Our glimpse of him was fleeting, as he turned into a side alley before he got up to our window—still it was enough to realize his life—think of never going outside those walls, walking day after day in those same alleys, cut off from all the outside world and living his life in the stillness and monotony of the Vatican. However it certainly doesn't react in any way upon his intellect. They say he is just as keen and well up in everything as when he was Bishop of Perugia, and that his indomitable will will carry him through.

We thanked our old custode very warmly (and in many ways) for having brought us to the window, and also said good-bye to him, as this of course was our last visit to the Vatican. He begged us to come back, but it must be soon, or he wouldn't be there, as he was as old as the Pope.

When we got to the hotel we found Monsignor English in the salon with the Pope's photograph, very well framed with a gilt shield with the Papal arms on the top. It is exactly like him, sitting very straight in his chair, his hand lifted a little just as if he were speaking, and the other hand and arm resting on the arm of the chair. He is dressed in his white robes, red cape and embroidered stole, just as we saw him; and his little white cap on his[156] head. He has written himself a few words in Latin, of which this is a free translation: "The woman who fears God, makes her own reputation. Her husband was celebrated in his country when he sat with the Senators of the land." I am so pleased to have the photograph—so many people told me I should never get it, that the Pope rarely gave his picture to anybody and never signed one. Monsignor English, too, was much pleased, as he had undertaken the whole thing. He said again that the Pope was glad to have seen W., found him so moderate, and yet very decided, too, about what the church mustn't do. Leo XIII. has an awfully difficult part to play—the ultra-Catholics disapprove absolutely his line—can't understand any concession or compromise with Republican France, and yet there are very good religious people on the liberal side, and he, as Head of the Church, must think about all his children, and try to conciliate, not alienate. It is wonderful that that old man sitting up there by himself at the top of the Vatican can think out all those perplexed questions and arrive at a solution. They say he works it all out himself—rarely asks advice. I daresay it wouldn't help him if he did, for of course there are divisions, too, in the clerical party of Rome, even among the Cardinals, where the difference of nationalities must have a very great influence. I should think there was almost as much difference between an American and an Italian Cardinal as between Protestants and Catholics. The American must look at things from a different point of view. Monsignor English quite understood that—said Americans were more independent—still when a great question came they must submit like all the rest.

We then had a most animated discussion as to how far it was possible for an intelligent man (or woman) to abdicate entirely his own judgment, and to accept a thing[157] which he was not quite sure of because the church decided it must be. I think we should have gone on indefinitely with that conversation, never arriving at any solution, so it was just as well that breakfast put a stop to it.

We went for a lovely drive in the afternoon, out of the Porta del Popolo, across Ponte Molle, and then along the river until we came to that rough country road, or lane, leading across the fields where we have gone in so many times on horseback, to the Villa Madama. We drove as far as we could (almost to the gate) and then walked up the hill to the Villa itself. There everything was quite unchanged—the garden neglected, full of weeds, and grass growing high. The oval stone basin was there still, the sides covered with moss, and a few flowers coming quite promiscuously out of walls, stones, etc. We went into the loggia to see the paintings and frescoes, all in good condition, and then sat some time on the terrace looking at the view, which was divine—everything so soft in the distance, even the yellow Tiber looked silvery—at least I saw it so; I don't know that W. did. He generally finds it sluggish and muddy. We came home by the Porta Angelica and drove through the Square of St. Peter's. There are always people on the steps, not a crowd of course as on fête days, but enough to give animation, priests, beggars, and the people lounging and looking at whatever passes in the Square. It is so enormous, the Piazza, when one sees it empty, one can hardly realize what it used to be in the old days for the great Easter ceremony when the Pope gave his blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's. I can see it now, packed black with people, the French soldiers with their red caps and trousers making great patches of colour, and Montebello (who commanded the French Armée d'Occupation in Rome) with a brilliant staff in the centre of the Square—he[158] and his black charger so absolutely motionless one might have thought both horse and rider were cast in bronze. There were all sorts of jokes and chattering in the crowd until the first glimpse of the waving peacock plumes, and banners, passing high, high up, and just visible through the arches, showed that the Pope's procession was arriving on the balcony; and when at last one saw distinctly the white figure as the old man was raised high in his chair there was an absolute stillness in all that great mass; every one knelt to receive the blessing, and the Pope's voice rang out clear and strong (one could hear every word). As soon as it was over cannon fired, bells rang, and there fluttered down over the crowd a quantity of little white papers (indulgences) which every one tried to grasp. It was a magnificent cadre for such a ceremony—the dome of St. Peter's towering above us straight up into the blue sky, the steps crowded with people, the red umbrellas of the peasants making a great show, and women of all conditions and all nationalities dressed in bright, gay colours; uniforms of all kinds, monks and priests of every order; the black of the priests rather lost in all the colour of uniforms, costumes, etc. The getting away was long—we might have had our carriage with the American cockade in one of the back courts of the Vatican, but we wanted to see everything and come home by the Ponte St. Angelo. It was a great show all the way—the long line of carriages and pedestrians streaming back to Rome, cut every now and then by a detachment of troops. Everybody was cheered, from Charette and his Zouaves to Montebello and his staff. The crowd was in a good humour—it was a splendid day, they had had a fine show, and politics and "foreign mercenaries" were forgotten for the moment. Everybody had a flower of some kind—the boys and young men in[159] their hats, the girls in their hair. One heard on all sides "buona festa," "buona Pasqua." How we enjoyed it all, particularly the first time, when we were fresh from America and our principal idea of a fête was the 4th of July. That seemed a magnificent thing in our childish days, when we had friends on the lawn at Cherry Lawn, a torch-light procession with a band (such a band) from the town, and father's speech, standing at the top of the steps and telling the boys that if they worked hard and studied well, any one of them might become President of the United States, which statement of course was always received with roars of applause.

Last Benediction of Pope Pius IX. from the Balcony of St. Peter's. Last Benediction of Pope Pius IX. from the Balcony of St. Peter's.

We went back to the Piazza always at night to see the "Girandola" fireworks, and there was almost the same crowd waiting for the first silvery light to appear on the façade of St. Peter's. It was marvellous to see the lines of light spread all over the enormous mass of stone, running around all the cupolas and statues like a trail of silver, in such quantities that the stone almost disappeared, and the church seemed made of light—quite beautiful. The illumination lasted a long time—gold light came after the silver, and I think it was perhaps more striking when they began to go out one by one, leaving great spaces in darkness—then one saw what an enormous edifice it was.

I have written you a volume—but every turn here recalls old, happy days—"Roma com'era"—and I must come back to the present and our farewell dinner at the Noailles'.

We were a small party—all the French Embassy, the Duc de Ripalda, the Chilian Minister and his wife, Maffel, Visconti Venosta, and Lanciani. W. and Noailles retired to the fumoir and talked politics hard. We shall soon be back in the thick of it now, and W. will take[160] his place again in the Senate. It will seem funny to be quietly settled in the rue Dumont d'Urville—riding in the Bois in the morning and driving over to the Senate in the afternoon, with the boy, to get W. Ripalda and I had a long talk. He tells me he still holds the same opinion about American women—they are the prettiest and most attractive in the world. There is something—he doesn't know what—that makes them different from all the others. I asked him if he remembered Antoinette Polk; to which he promptly replied, "Ah, qu'elle était belle—une déesse." I must tell her how she lives in his old memory. I always find Noailles pleasant—so grand seigneur.

We found all sorts of cards and invitations when we came in, and a surprise for me from Father Smith which pleased me greatly, a silver medal of Leo XIII. in a case. It is about the size of a five-franc piece—rather larger if anything, and so like, the small head, and fine, sharply cut features, such a nice note, too, from Father Smith; he was very glad to be able to offer me something which he knew I would prize, and that it wasn't necessary to be of the same religion to admire and appreciate a great intellect and a good man. I am very proud of my two pictures, and shall show them triumphantly to some of my Catholic friends and relations who can't understand a Protestant and a heretic caring for such souvenirs.

We can't accept any more dinners as we leave on Monday, W. for Naples and I for Florence. I wanted very much to go to Ostia, I should like W. to see that desolate, sandy shore with the pines coming down almost to the water's edge, and the old castle rising up in the distance; but it is an all-day excursion and we haven't time. We will try and do Vei, which is an easy afternoon's drive. I must stop now—W. is deep in Baedeker, looking[161] out Ostia and Vei, and must also write a note to Geoffroy about something they want to see to-morrow. I shall go and see something with Gert.

Sunday, April 19, 1880.

Yesterday we had an enchanting day at Tivoli, W., Gert and I. Schuyler was detained in Rome, much to his disgust, on business. He loves a day in the country and is most amusing to go about with. He talks to everybody, priests, peasants, soldiers, and always gets odd bits of information about old customs, legends, family histories—all that makes the story of a nation. Tomba gave us a light carriage and a pair of strong horses (our little ones were not up to the long day). We started at 8 in the morning and didn't get back until 8.30. There is a steam tram now all the way out but we preferred driving, as we wanted to stop at Hadrian's Villa. We went out by Porta San Lorenzo, crossed the Arno (the river which makes the falls of Tivoli) at Ponte Mammolo, and had a good two hours' drive (rather more, in fact) to Hadrian's Villa. I didn't find that part of the Campagna very interesting (it was much finer after one left the Villa). We left the carriage at the entrance of a sort of lane (one doesn't see much before getting actually inside) between high banks covered with every description of vine and creepers; and wild flowers and weeds in a tangle at our feet (it was really difficult walking sometimes), and found ourselves in an open space, with ruins in every direction—a half-crumbling wall, weeds choking it up; part of a theatre with broken columns and steps, a few bits of mosaic but not much colour of any kind; some bas-reliefs very well preserved; but one felt that everything of value had been taken away,[162] and what was left was so hidden in long grass and weeds that it was difficult to understand all the former magnificence of the famous Villa.

The custode was most conscientious, explained everything—the arena, theatre, baths, temples, etc., but my impression was a mass of grey, broken bits of stones and columns. There were one or two splendid stone pines standing up straight and tall, looking like guardians of past splendour, and in every direction the crooked little grey-green olive trees and fields full of flowers. Gert and I sat on the wall in a shady corner, while W. and the custode went off some little distance to look at a fountain, and we were not sorry to have the rest. The last part of the drive, winding up the hill to Tivoli, was beautiful—such splendid views all the time, either toward Rome (St. Peter's standing out, a faint blue dome at the end of the long, flat plains of the Campagna; or on the other side the Sabine Hills, Soracte, Frascati, etc.).

We went straight to the little old hotel of the Sybilla, which looks exactly the same as in our day, and ordered breakfast. We were quite ready for it, having had our "petit déjeuner" at 7.30. The padrone said he wanted half an hour to prepare it, as the regular table-d'hôte was over. Of course the railway tourists got out much quicker than we did and we met them all over the place, when we went out to see the famous Temple of Vesta. It is perched on the top of the cliff, looking as if it would take very little to precipitate it into the mass of rushing, leaping water tumbling itself over the rocks far below at our feet. We had a very good breakfast, capital trout for which Tivoli is famous, and a most talkative landlord who came to superintend the meal and give us any information we wanted. He said we must have donkeys to make the "giro," which would take us about[163] two hours, and we could finish at the Villa d'Este, where the carriage would come and get us.

We walked about a little in the town after breakfast through narrow, dirty streets with curious old bits of architecture, and into the church, or cathedral as they grandly call it, of San Francesco; but there was really nothing to see; and at two we started for our tournée to the grottoes of Neptune and the Sirena. We all walked at first, two donkeys with the usual pretty little black-eyed boys at their heads following (W. of course wouldn't have a donkey but took a cane which the padrone of the Sybilla strongly recommended as the steps going down to the grotto were steep and slippery). I wondered how the donkeys would get on, but made no remarks as I knew I could always get off. We walked through the little town under a nice old arch and up a path which was pleasant enough at first, but when we wound round the side of the hill Gert and I were glad to mount our beasts as the sun was very hot and there wasn't an atom of shade. It was a beautiful excursion, always something to see—ruins of old castles, temples, gateways—so much really that one couldn't take in details. From certain "points de vue" the Temple of Vesta seemed almost standing on air—one lost the cliff, which disappeared in a sort of mist. As soon as we began to go down the noise of the rushing water was quite overpowering; we couldn't hear ourselves speak, and the glimpses we had of the quantities of little falls leaping over big rocks and stones were quite enchanting.

Our little donkeys were perfectly sure-footed and the path good though steep. We dismounted before getting quite down to the grottoes and the steps certainly were rough and slippery. The guide took charge of Gert, and[164] I followed in W.'s wake very carefully. It was icy cold when we got all the way down. I am generally impervious to that sort of thing, but I felt the cold strike me and didn't stay long. The chill passed entirely as soon as we came out and began the ascent, leaving the dark, deep pool behind us.

The road back was, if possible, more beautiful; great ravines with olive trees half way down their sides, mountain streams in every direction making countless little cataracts, all dancing and sparkling in the sun—rocks covered with bright green moss, and fields carpeted with wild flowers. The guide pointed out various ruins—the Villa of Mæcenas—a great square mass on the top of a hill—but we didn't care to make a long détour to go up to it. We were quite satisfied with all the natural beauty we saw around us—one old bridge, the arches covered with moss and flowers, and every now and then through the olive trees one had glimpses of arches, columns, temples—quite beautiful. The only drawback was the Cook's tourists who were riding and walking and talking all over the place, making jokes with the guides and speaking the most execrable Italian. However they had already done the Villa d'Este, so we lost them there, which was a relief.

The Villa was enchanting after the heat and glare of the road, and at first we sat quite quietly on a grassy bank and enjoyed the thick shade of the enormous cypresses. The custode was very anxious we should make the classic tour with him but we told him we knew the place—it was by no means our first visit. I explained to him in Italian that I was a "vecchia Romana" (old Roman), to which he replied with true Italian gallantry, "non tanto vecchia—son to vecchio" (no, not at all old—I am old), and old he was, his face all yellow and wrinkled like the[165] peasants who live on the Campagna and are poisoned with malaria.

I should think, though, the Villa d'Este was healthy, it stands so high. It is almost uninhabited, belongs now to Cardinal Hohenlohe, but they tell me he never lives there, never sleeps—comes out for the day from Rome and goes back at night. It is sometimes let to foreigners. The garden is quite beautiful, perfectly wild and neglected but a wealth of trees, fountains, statues, terraces—it might be made a paradise with a little care. There are few flowers (like most Italian gardens) except those that grow quite wild. There is still the same great arch at one end of the terrace which just frames a stretch of Campagna, making a beautiful picture.

We had a delicious hour wandering about, stopping to rest every now and then, and sitting on some old bit of wall or column—no one there but ourselves and not a sound except the splashing water of the fountains. W. was delighted, and we were very sorry to leave. The afternoon light was so beautiful, penetrating through the black cypress avenue, however, we had a long drive back, longer even than coming, as we wanted to make a détour to look at the sulphur lakes. Our coachman was evidently anxious to leave. We heard an animated parley at the gate of the Villa, and the custode appeared to say the carriage was there and the coachman said it was time to start if we wanted to get back to Rome before nightfall. I think he didn't want to be too late on the road.

It was still warm when we started back, but we hadn't gone very far when it changed completely and I was very glad to put on my jacket and a shawl over it. It is a long, barren stretch of Campagna toward the sulphur lakes; one smelt the sulphur some time before arriving.[166] They were not particularly interesting, looked like big, stagnant ponds, with rather yellowish water. Our man was decidedly uncomfortable. The road was absolutely lonely—not a person nor a vehicle of any kind in sight, the long straight road before us, and the desolate plains of the Campagna on each side. He fidgeted on his box, looked nervously from side to side, whipped up his horses, until at last W. asked him what was the matter, what was he afraid of. "Nothing, nothing, but it was late. We were strangers and one never could be quite sure what one would meet." It was not very reassuring, and when we saw once or twice a figure looming up in the distance, a man or two men on horseback, who might be shepherds or who might be bandits, we were not very comfortable either; we seemed to feel suddenly that it was getting dark, that we were alone in a very lonely road in a strange country, and we didn't mind at all when the coachman urged his horses to a quick gallop, and got over the ground as fast as he could.

We didn't say much until the little twinkling lights of the first "osterias" began to show themselves, and as we got nearer Rome and met the long lines of carts and peasants, some walking, some riding, we felt better and agreed that it wasn't pleasant to feel afraid, particularly a vague fear that didn't take shape.

When we drew up at the door of the hotel, after having deposited Gert at her Palazzo, we asked the coachman what he had been afraid of—was there any danger; to which he (safe on his box in the Piazza di Spagna) replied with a magnificent gesture that a Roman didn't know what fear meant, but he saw the ladies were nervous. It seems absurd now this morning, sitting at the window with the Piazza full of people, that we should have felt so uncomfortable. I asked W. if he was nervous.[167] He said rather, for from the moment of starting he saw the coachman didn't want to take the side-road to the sulphur lakes, which was certainly wild and lonely, also that he was most anxious to get on. If the carriage had been merely stopped to rob us it would have been very disagreeable as we had no means of defence, nothing but our parasols, and of course nobody near to come to our rescue. I don't think our Giuseppe would have made a very vigorous resistance. After all, adventures do happen, and it would have been unpleasant to return to Paris minus one ear or one finger or any other souvenir of a sojourn in a bandit camp.

As we didn't get home until nearly nine I proposed no dinner, but "high tea" upstairs in our salon. W. demurred at first, like all men he loathes that meal dear to the female mind, but upon reflection thought it would be best. The gérant came up to speak about some boxes we want to send to Paris direct from here, and we told him of our return and the coachman's evident terror. He said he could quite understand it, that it was a very lonely, unfrequented bit of road leading to the sulphur lakes, and that we had chosen our time badly; all the tourists went first to the lakes before going to Tivoli, and it would have been a temptation to some of the wild shepherds and Campagna peasants to stop the carriage and insist upon having money or jewels. He didn't think there was any danger to our lives, nor even to our ears. They wouldn't have made much of a haul—I had no jewels of any kind, except my big pearl earrings—and W. very little money—three or four hundred francs. It was a disagreeable experience, all the same. I don't like being afraid, and I was. We went a swinging pace for about three-quarters of an hour—the horses on a good quick gallop.

[168]I went to church this morning. It is a nice walk from here and the day is enchanting—warm, but just air enough to make exercise pleasant. W. was off early with Geoffroy. They put off yesterday's excursion until to-day, as W. was very anxious to see Tivoli.

The trunks are being packed, the gérant apparently superintending operations, as I hear a great deal of conversation in the anteroom. Madame Hubert has an extraordinary faculty for getting all she wants—an excellent quality in a travelling maid. As you know she is very pretty, which again carries out my favourite theory that beauty is the most important gift for a woman. I daresay it won't bear discussion, and I ought to say "goodness," but my experience points the other way. I have so often heard father quote Madame de Staël (who was very kind to him when he was a young man in Paris) who, at the very height of her triumph as the great woman's intelligence of her time, said to him one evening at a big party in Paris, looking at Madame Récamier, who was beautiful, and surrounded by all that was most distinguished and brilliant in the room, "Je donnerai toute mon intelligence pour avoir sa beauté."

I am so sorry to go—though of course I shall be glad to see you all, but we have enjoyed ourselves so much. I wonder when I shall see it all again, and I also wonder what makes the great charm of Rome. It appeals to so many people of perfectly different tastes. W. has been perfectly happy and interested (and in many things, not only in inscriptions and antiquities) and I am sure such an absolute change of life and scenes was the best rest he could have after the very fatiguing life of the last two years.

[169] Sunday, April 19, 1880, 10 o'clock.

We have just come in from our farewell dinner with Gert, our last in Rome, or rather my last. I go to Florence to-morrow morning, but W. stays on till Tuesday. He is going to dine at the Wimpffens to-morrow night with some colleagues and political people. He has stopped downstairs to finish his cigar and give directions about some books he wants sent to Paris, and I will finish this letter. I have nothing to do—the trunks are all packed, some already downstairs, and the salon looks quite bare and uncomfortable, notwithstanding some flowers which Mrs. Bruce and Trocchi have sent for good-bye.

Gert and I had a nice afternoon. It was so beautiful that we went for a last drive in the country, and I shall carry away a last summer impression almost, all blue sky, bright flowers, deep shadows, and a warm light over everything. It is wonderful how the Campagna changes—almost from day to day (not only with the change of seasons), quite like the ocean. To-day, for instance, was enchanting, the air soft and mild, a smell of fresh earth and flowers everywhere, the old towers and tombs standing well out, rising out of a mass of high grass and wild flowers, and taking a soft pink colour in the warm sunlight—so clear that one could see a great distance—and all the little villages made white spots on the hills. It is quite different from the winter Campagna, which stretches away—miles of barren, desolate plains; the rocks look quite bare, the hills are shrouded in mist, and one has a feeling of solitude and of dead nature which is curious. I suppose history and all the old legends work upon the imagination and incline us to idealize the most ordinary surroundings; but there are always the long[170] lines of ruined aqueducts, the square, massive towers, and great memorial stones that one comes upon in most unexpected places; and an extraordinary feeling of a great dead past which I don't think one has anywhere else.

We passed through the Piazza Montanara, and by the old theatre of Marcellus on our way out. I wanted to see the little, dark, dirty corner I was always so fond of. The fruit-stall was still there, jammed up against the wall, half hidden by the great stones, remains of balconies, and arched windows that jut out from the great black mass—all that remains of the once famous theatre. The piazza was very full—peasants, donkeys, boys selling fruit and drinks, and in one corner the "scrivano" (public letter-writer) with his rickety little old table, pen, paper, and ink, waiting for any one who needed his services. Thirty years ago, it seems, he did a flourishing trade, Sundays particularly, and there would be a long string of people patiently waiting their turn. Much chaffing and commenting when some pretty girl appeared, smiling and blushing, wanting to have a letter written to her sweetheart away with his regiment in foreign parts or high up on some of the hills with his sheep or cattle. To-day there was hardly any one—a wrinkled old woman dictating something about a soldier and apparently not making it very clear, as the writer (not the classic old man with a long beard, but a youth) seemed decidedly impatient. We had quite time to take it all in, as the people (donkeys too) were all standing in the middle of the street and didn't hurry themselves at all to move apart and let the carriage pass. We were evidently near the "Ghetto," as we saw some fine types of Jewish women, tall, handsome creatures, carrying themselves very well; quite unlike the men, who were a dirty, hard-featured[171] lot, creeping along with that cringing, deprecatory manner which seems inherent in the race.

We crossed the bridge and drove through part of the Trastevere, which certainly looked remarkably dark and uninviting on this lovely summer afternoon. There are of course fine buildings, churches, and old palaces, some half tumbling down, and all black with dirt and age. The streets were dirty, the children (quantities of them playing in the streets) dirty and unkempt; clothes of all kinds were hanging out of the windows, falling over sculptured balconies and broken statues, in what had been stately palaces—every now and then flowers in a broken vase. There were some fine old arched gateways with a rope across on which clothes and rags were drying, and dreadful old men and women sitting under them on dirty benches and broken chairs. There was a smell (not to use a stronger word) of dirt and stale things, fruit and vegetables, also a little "frittura," which one always perceives in the people's quarter in Rome. I had forgotten how wretched it all was, and we were glad to get away from the smells and the dirt and find ourselves on the road along the river which leads to Ponte Molle. It was too late to think of Vei, but we drove some distance along the road. The Campagna looked quite beautiful, and every group we passed a picture in the soft evening light. Sometimes a woman with a baby on her shoulder (the child with a red cap) standing well out against the sky—sometimes one or two shepherds on their shaggy mountain ponies seeming quite close to us, but really far away on the plains (always wrapped in their long cloaks, though it was a summer evening). Every now and then a merry band of girls and soldiers. The "bersaglieri" with their long feathers and the girls with bright, striped skirts swinging along at a great pace, always singing and[172] laughing; of course the inevitable old woman carrying a heavy load of fagots or dried grass on her poor bent back; and equally of course the man with her lounging along, a cigar in his mouth and hands in his pockets, evidently thinking that to carry a heavy burden was "lavoro di donna." Poor old women! I daresay they hardly remember that they were once straight, active girls, singing and dancing in the sunlight with no thought of old age nor fears for the future.

As soon as we crossed the bridge going back there were many more people on the road. There are "osterias," gardens, and small vineyards on each side of the road almost up to the Porta del Popolo, and as it was Sunday, the whole population was abroad. Many of the women carry their babies perched on their shoulders (not in their arms) and steady them with one hand. The little creatures, their black heads just showing out of the sort of bag or tight bands they are wrapped in, look quite contented—some of them asleep.

St. Peter's from the Pincio. St. Peter's from the Pincio.

We went up to the Pincio, to have a last look at St. Peter's and the Doria pines before the sun went down. There were few people; it was late, and we had the terrace to ourselves. The dome stood out, quite purple, against a clear blue sky, and seemed almost resting on the clouds. There was a slight mist, which detached it from the mass of buildings. Rome hardly existed—we only saw the dome. I was sorry W. was not there to have that last beautiful picture in his mind. Del Monte, who was also lingering on the terrace, joined us and said he would walk back with me along the terrace of the Villa Medici, so I sent Gert back to her palazzo in the carriage and he and I strolled along and talked over old times; so many recollections of things done together—rides on the Campagna, hours of music of all kinds, particularly [173]at the Villa Marconi at Frascati. I asked him if he had ever gone back there since we left. The villa was often let to forestieri. One year there was an English family there, father, mother, one son, and eight daughters. They used to go about always in three carriages. He said he had never known any one there since us. He remembered so well all the music we did in the big room. When it was a fine night all the mezzo ceto (petite bourgeoisie) who were in "villegiatura" at Frascati would congregate under our windows, whenever we were singing and playing. If they liked our music they applauded; if they didn't (which happened sometimes, when the strains were not melodious enough) they were too polite to express disapproval, and would remain perfectly silent. We used to hear them singing and whistling our songs when they went home. We amused ourselves often trying them with music they couldn't possibly know—plantation songs or amateur music which had never been published. We would sing them one evening; the next they would come back and sing all our songs perfectly well (no words, of course). They had an extraordinary musical facility. Often when we stopped, or on some of the rare occasions when we didn't do any music, they would sing some of their songs—many of them ending on a long, sustained note quite charming.

It was pleasant to recall all the "tempi passati." We lingered a few moments at the top of the Spanish Steps, quite deserted at this hour of the evening, and when he left me at the door of the hotel I had barely time to talk a little to W. before dressing for dinner. He was rather wondering what had become of me. He had had a delightful afternoon with his friends. They had walked along the banks of the Tiber on the way to Ostia. He says there are all sorts of interesting things to be found[174] there—tombs, bits of Roman wall and pavements, traces of old quays, and subterraneous passages all mixed up with modern improvements. The City of Rome is spending a great deal of money in building new quays, bridges, etc., on a most elaborate and expensive scale. I should think the sluggish old Tiber would hardly know itself flowing between such energetic, busy banks.

They drove out for some distance on the road to Ostia, but only got as far as the Monte di San Paolo (I think), from where they had a fine view of the sea, and the pine forests. I am sorry they hadn't time to go on, but we must leave something for the next time. I wonder when it will be.

Gert's dinner was pleasant—Mrs. Bruce, Comte Palfy, Father Smith, and Mr. Hooker. They all talked hard. Mr. Hooker has lived so many years in Rome that he has seen all its transformations; says the present busy, brilliant capital is so unlike the old Rome of his days that he can hardly believe it is the same place. It is incredible that a whole city should have lived so many years in such absolute submission to the Papal Government. In those days there were only two newspapers, each revised at the Vatican and nothing allowed to appear in either that wasn't authorized by the papal court; also the government exercised a paternal right over the jeunesse dorée, and when certain fair ladies with yellow hair and elaborate costumes appeared in the Villa Borghese, or on the Pincio, exciting great admiration in all the young men of the place (and filling the mammas and wives with horror), it was merely necessary to make a statement to the Vatican. The dangerous stranger was instantly warned that she must cross the frontier.

Palfy, too, remembered Rome in the old days, when the long drive along the Riviera in an old-fashioned travelling[175] carriage (before railways were known in these parts) was a thing planned and arranged months beforehand—one such journey was made in a life-time. He said the little villages where they stopped were something awful; not the slightest idea of modern comfort or cleanliness. The ladies travelled with a retinue of servants, taking with them sheets, mattresses, washing materials (there was a large heavy silver basin and jug which always travelled with his family) and batterie de cuisine; also very often a doctor, as one was afraid of fever or a bad chill, as of course any heating apparatus was most primitive. The Italians sat in the sun all day and went to bed when it was dark and cold. One saw the country and the people much better in that way. Now we fly through at night in an express train, and the Rome we see to-day might be Paris, Vienna, or any modern capital. I mean, of course, inside the walls. As soon as one gets out of the gates and on the Campagna one feels as if by instinct all the dead past of the great city.

I told them that in our time, when we lived one summer in the Villa Marconi at Frascati, the arrangements were most primitive. The palace was supposed to be furnished, but as the furniture consisted chiefly of marble statues, benches, and baths—also a raised garden on a level with the upper rooms, opening out of the music-room, the door behind an enormous white marble statue of some mythological celebrity—it didn't seem very habitable to our practical American minds. There were beds and one or two wash-stands, also curtains in one room, but as for certain intimate domestic arrangements they didn't exist; and when we ventured to suggest that they were indispensable to our comfort we were told, "I principi romani non domandono altro" (Roman princes don't ask for anything more).

[176]Heavens, how funny all the pourparlers were. Fanny[29] did all the talking, as we were still too new to the language to embark upon a business conversation. Her mother, who was an excellent maîtresse de maison, gave all the directions, which were most particular and detailed, as she was very anxious we should be comfortable, and very doubtful as to the resources of the establishment. The agent was visibly agacé and impatient. Fanny had on a pair of tortoise-shell star ear-rings, and the man told one of our friends afterward that "quella piccola colle stellette" (the young girl with the little stars) was a real "diavolo." It was funny to hear her beginning every sentence "Dice la signora" (madame says), and saying exactly what her mother told her; the mother, standing near, understanding every word, though she couldn't say anything, and looking hard at the agent. He understood her, too. However, we didn't get any more than the Roman princes had, and made our own arrangements as well as we could, having out a large van of furniture of all kinds from Rome.

Hooker remembered it all well, as he found the house for us and had many misgivings as to how we should get along. He was always keeping us straight in a financial point of view, as even then, before the days of the enormous American fortunes, Americans were careless about money, and didn't mind paying, and paying well, for what they wanted. In those days, too, it was rather cheap living in Italy, and we were so surprised often by the prices of the mere necessaries of life that we couldn't help expressing our astonishment freely. Poor Hooker was much disgusted. "You might as well ask them to cheat you." We learned better, however, later, particularly[177] after several visits to Naples, where the first price asked for anything was about five times as much as the vender expected to get. "Le tout c'est de savoir."

Father Smith and W. got on swimmingly. It is too funny to see them together. The father's brogue is delightful and comes out strong whenever he talks about anything that interests him. He has such a nice twinkle, too, in his eye when he tells an Irish story or makes a little joke. I must say I am very sorry to go. It has been a real pleasure to be back again in Rome and to take up so many threads of my old life. I find Italians delightful to live with; they are so absolutely natural and unsnobbish—no pose of any kind; not that they under-rate themselves and their great historic names, but they are so simple and sure of themselves that a pose would never occur to them. Father Smith asked us a great deal about the German Crown Princess. He had never seen her, but had the greatest admiration for her character and intelligence—"a worthy daughter of her great mother"—thought it a pity that such a woman couldn't have remained in her own country, though he didn't see very well how it could have been managed. He doesn't at all approve of royal princesses marrying subjects. I think he is right—certainly democratic princes are a mistake. There should always be an idea of state—ermine and royal purple—connected with royalties. I remember quite well my disappointment at the first sovereign I saw. It was the Emperor of Austria coming out of his palace at Vienna. We had been loitering about, sight-seeing, and as we passed the Hof-Burg evident tourists, some friendly passers-by told us to stop a moment and we would see the Emperor, who was just driving out of the gates. When I saw a victoria with a pair of horses drive out with two gentlemen in very simple uniform, one[178] bowing mechanically to the few people who were waiting, I was distinctly disappointed. I don't suppose I expected to see a monarch arrayed in ermine robes, with a crown on his head and a sceptre in his hand, but all the same it was a disillusion. Of course when one sees them at court, or at some great function, with brilliant uniforms, grand cordon, and diamond stars, they are more imposing. I don't know, though, whether that does make a difference. Do you remember one of A.'s stories? He was secretary to the British Embassy at Washington, and at one of the receptions at the White House (which are open receptions—all the world can go) all the corps diplomatique were present in the full glory of ribbons and plaques. He heard some one in the crowd saying, "What are all these men dressed up in gold lace and coloured ribbons?" The answer came after a moment's reflection, "I guess it's the band."

I don't think I can write any more to-night. I seem to be rambling on without anything much to say. If I could tell you all I am doing it would be much pleasanter. A pen seems to paralyze me and I feel a mantle of dulness settle down on me as soon as I take one in my hand. You will have to let me talk hard the first three or four days after I get home, and be the good listener you always are to your children.

It is a beautiful bright night, the sky almost as blue as in the day, and myriads of stars. The piazza is quite deserted. It is early, not yet 10.40, but the season is over, all the forestieri gone, and Rome is sinking back into its normal state of sleepiness and calm. How many times I have looked out on the piazza on just such a night (from Casa Pierret, our old house just next door)! It is the one place that hasn't changed in Rome. I almost feel as if I must go to bed at once, so as to be up early[179] and in my habit for a meet at Cecilia Metella to-morrow morning. I do start to-morrow, but not very early—at ten. I have a line from Mary Bunsen this evening saying they will meet me at the station in Florence to-morrow. I shall arrive for dinner. I am half sorry now I didn't decide to go to Naples, after all. The weather is divine, and I should have liked to have another look at that beautiful bay, with its blue dancing water, and Capri and Ischia in the distance. We had had visions of Sicily, prolonging our stay another fortnight, but W. is rather worrying now to get home. He had a letter from Richard yesterday, telling him to be sure and come back for the Conseil Général.

There were two amusing articles in the papers the other day, one saying M. Waddington had been charged by the French Government with a delicate and confidential mission to the Pope; two days after, in another paper, a denial and most vicious attack on W., saying M. Waddington had evidently inspired the first article himself, that he had been charged with no mission of any kind, and they knew from private sources that he would not even be received by the Pope. I daresay a great many people believe both. W. naturally doesn't care—doesn't pay the least attention to what any paper says. I am getting hardened, too, though the process has been longer with me. I don't mind a good vicious article from an opposition paper—that is "de bonne guerre"—but the little perfidious insinuations of the so-called friendly sheets which one can't notice (and which always leave a trace) are very irritating.

W. has just come up. He lingered talking in the smoking-room with two Englishmen who have just arrived from Brindisi, and were full of India and all "the muddles our government is making," asking him if he[180] wasn't disgusted as an Englishman at all the mistakes and stupidities they were making out there. They were so surprised when he said that he wasn't an Englishman that it was funny; and when he added that he was a Frenchman they really didn't know what he meant. He didn't explain his personality (I suppose the man of the hotel enlightened them afterward), but stayed on talking, as the men were clever and had seen a great deal. They had made a long tour in India, and said the country was most interesting. The ruins—also modern palaces—on such a gigantic scale.

Well, dear, I really must finish now. My next letter will be from Florence. We shall stop at Milan and Turin, but not very long, I fancy, unless W. finds marvels in the way of coins at Milan. I am quite sad to think I shan't look out on the piazza to-morrow night. I think after all these years I still hold to my original opinion that the Corso is the finest street and the Tiber the finest river in the world.

To H. L. K.

Milan, Hôtel de Ville,
Thursday, May 6, 1880.

Here we are, dearest mother, almost home—only 26 hours from Paris—so if we are suddenly called back (and I earnestly hope we shan't be) we can start at once. We made our journey most comfortably yesterday, though it was long. We left Florence at 9 in the morning and didn't get here until nearly 8. The Bunsens came with us to the station. I begged them not to at such an early hour but they didn't mind. It would have been nice to stay longer. They have just taken their villa on for another month. Their gardener at Meìngenügen[181] wrote them that it was snowing and a cold wind—horrid weather; so they instantly decided to stay on another month. My belle-mère is delicate and never could have stood a cold, northern spring after this beautiful month of April here. They tried to tempt us with all sorts of excursions—Vallombrosa, Pisa (which I should like to see again, I have such a vivid recollection of the Campo Santo and some of the extraordinary tombs, wide square courts and painted windows). I don't remember if it was there or at Genoa, where we saw such elaborate modern monuments; the marble carved and draped in the most curious manner—a widow kneeling at her husband's tomb, her skirts all embroidered and carved so finely, like lace, and a lace veil—really extraordinary.

We found a long train at the station—the night express from Rome. The préfet had kept a compartment for us, and Ubaldino Peruzzi, the former sindaco, a great friend of W.'s, went with us as far as Pistoja. Minghetti was on the train, and he came into our compartment for about an hour, but then adjourned to his own carriage as he was composing a great political speech he makes at Bologna to-night. They are all much excited over the elections, which take place Sunday week, so their time is short. Minghetti has lived and fought through so many phases of Italian history that he is most interesting. They say his memory is extraordinary—so accurate. He never forgets a face or a speech. He says whenever he has an important speech to make he goes for a drive or a long walk—the movement helps him. W. is just the contrary. His great speeches (and they were not many) have always been composed sitting in his big arm-chair smoking the beloved old cherry-wood pipe Ségur brought him from Jersey. When he had got his speech[182] quite in his head, he wrote it, and then it went straight on—never a correction or an erasure. I asked Minghetti if he was nervous. He said not in the least—he was always ready for the fray, and the more he was interrupted the better he spoke, as that proved they were listening to him.

I remember so well one of the first days I went to the Assemblée Nationale years ago. Somebody was speaking—apparently well—on some question of the day, and nobody was listening. The deputies were walking about, talking, writing letters, just as if there was nothing going on. I looked down to see if W. was listening, but he was talking cheerfully to Léon Say. It seemed to me incredible that the orator could continue under such circumstances, but W. explained it to me. He was speaking for his electors in the country and for the "Journal Officiel," which would publish his speech in extenso the next day.

It was most interesting making the journey with these gentlemen as they had their history at their finger ends. All that part of the country had been so fought over—oceans of blood shed in the fierce struggle against Austrian tyranny—particularly as we got near Milan. It seems incredible what a hard iron rule theirs was—especially if one knows Austria and the Austrians a little. They seem such an easy-going, happy people. All their little villages look clean and prosperous, the peasants cheerful and singing and civil to all strangers and travellers.

The country we passed through to-day looked green and smiling, but their idea of work is still primitive, even in Northern Italy. Wherever we passed the people in the fields all stopped and looked at the train—many came running up the bank. If they do that for every train they must lose a considerable amount of time. We were[183] very sorry when our companions departed, but at every station almost Minghetti met friends, and it was evident that he had his head full of politics. It is a long time since I have met any one so interesting. It is such a quick intelligence and he touches every subject so lightly, apparently, only one feels he knows all about it.

We made a fair stop at the Bologna station and had a very good breakfast. It recalled so vividly old times and our first journeys to Rome. Even the buffet looked exactly the same. I could have sworn there was the same "fricandeau de veau." The buffet was crowded—it seems there were a lot of Indian officers arriving with their families from Brindisi, with dark turbaned servants and ayahs always in white. However the Indian nurses didn't look so miserable as they used to in winter when we first made the journey down. They were rather bewildered all the same in such a jostling, hurrying crowd. It is funny to see how they cling to their charges, holding the babies tight with one hand and guiding one or two others half hidden in their long white draperies, with the other. I am sure they are excellent, faithful nurses.

Our last days in Florence were very full. Tuesday was the day of the races—bright, beautiful weather—and we drove out to see the retour, stationing ourselves at the entrance of the Cascine until 7 o'clock. There was not much to see in the way of equipages—nothing like the Roman turn-outs—but there were some pretty women. The Comtesse Mirafiori (née Larderel), I daresay you will remember the name, was about the prettiest. Her victoria was very well appointed, handsome horses stepping perfectly; and she looked a picture, all in white with a big hat turned up with dark blue and long blue and yellow feathers. I think a woman never looks better than in a victoria—it shows off the dress and figure so well.[184] Lottie, too, looked very well, but she passed so quickly I couldn't see what she had on. I had an impression of white with some pink in her hat. Almost all the women were in white. Of course the Lungarno was crowded—all the loungers taking the most lively interest in the carriages; and when there was a stop criticising freely—but I must say with their natural Italian politeness, confining themselves to expressions of admiration more or less pronounced—never anything disagreeable.

We had a mild reception in the evening. Various friends came to say good-bye—Maquays, Peruzzis, Miss Forbes and one or two men. A scientific German—I forget his name—who told W. it would take weeks to see all the coins and interesting things of all kinds at the Milan Museum. We are very comfortable here; the hotel is old-fashioned with a nice open court, and the rooms good. We have a pretty apartment on the front, and as it is on the main thoroughfare, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, we see all that goes on. There is a church opposite—San Carlo, I believe—and we are not far from the Piazza del Duomo.

We went for a little stroll last night after dinner, just for W. to smoke his cigar. The Cathedral looked splendid—a gigantic white mass in the midst of the busy square, quantities of people in the streets and sitting at all the cafes, of which there are hundreds—quite like the Paris boulevards on a summer night—everybody talking and laughing and a cheerful sound of clinking glasses. I think they were almost all drinking beer—a great many uniforms—I suppose there is a large garrison. There seemed very few foreigners—we heard nothing but Italian spoken—so unlike Rome and even Florence where one heard always so much English in the streets and the shops. They told me in Florence that there was a large[185] English colony there, living quite apart from the fashionable world—children learning music, or some of the family delicate, needing a mild climate and sunshine—more perhaps in the villas close to the gates than in the town itself. I should think the cutting wind that sweeps the Lungarno would be mortal to weak chests; but up in the hills sheltered by the high walls and olive groves one would be quite protected. Certainly the other day on the terrace of Castello the sun was divine and the air soft and balmy, not a sign of chill or damp—but it was the month of May—the month for Florence.

This morning I have been unpacking—or rather Madame Hubert has—and settling myself in my salon, making the two corners—feminine and masculine—as I did in Rome. I have no convenient Palazzo Altemps to help me out with cushions, screens, etc., but I found lovely flowers which the landlord (who received us in dress clothes and his hat in his hand) put there, and as he was very civil and pleased to have the "Excellenza" and hoped I would ask for anything I wanted, I have asked for and obtained an arm-chair, and suggested he should give me a simple table-cover instead of the beautiful green velvet one, embroidered with pink roses, which now ornaments my salon. With my careless way of writing and facility for putting ink all over myself, even in my hair, I am afraid that work of art would be seriously deteriorated. He sent up this morning to know if I wanted my breakfast upstairs—if I would come down he would reserve me a small table in the window. I shall go down—I hate meals in a sitting-room and I should like to see what sort of people there are in the hotel.

[186] 10 o'clock.

I will go on to-night while W. is putting his papers in order. I breakfasted alone downstairs about 12. The dining-room is a large, handsome room across the court. There were very few people—not more than four tables occupied—a large English family with troops of fair-haired children—girls in white frocks and long black stockings and boys in Eton coats. They all looked about the same age, but I suppose they weren't. They were very quiet and well-behaved, quite unlike any of our small relations. I have vivid recollections of travelling with some of them—all talking at once at the top of their lungs, "Pa, give me a penny," "Pa, give me a cake," "Pa, what's that for?" etc.

The reading-room opened out of the dining-room, so I went in to have a look at the papers—found a "Débats" and the "Times," and read up all that was going on in the fashionable and political world. W. came in about 4—he had ordered a carriage for 4.30, and as it was a lovely afternoon we thought we would drive about the streets a little and out into the country. He had had a delightful morning—says the Museum is most interesting—the cabinet de médailles a marvel. He has arranged to go there every day at 10 o'clock—will work there until 3, then come back for me and we shall have our afternoon. He is much pleased with this arrangement but he doesn't think the employees of the cabinet de médailles will find it quite so satisfactory, as some one must always be with him. They never leave any one alone in these rooms. He thinks there are only two people for this service, and they will naturally hate spending a long day doing nothing while he studies and copies.

The Directeur received him to-day most enthusiastically—knew all about his collection of coins.

[187]We started out about 5 and went first to have a cup of tea at the café the padrone recommended—Cova, I think—and then told the man to drive about the streets and pass the principal buildings. We saw the Duomo again, the Scala (theatre)—if it is open we shall go one night; the great Galerie Victor Emmanuel, full of shops; and quantities of churches, Santa Maria delle Grazie, of course, where is the famous "Cenacolo" of Leonardo da Vinci, but the outside merely. The fresco is only visible until 4—so we shall see the inside of the church another day. We made a turn in the public gardens or promenade where there were quite a number of handsome carriages and saddle horses—many officers riding. It was rather late to attempt a country drive (we had said we would dine downstairs at 7.30), for the turning and twisting about in the streets and stopping every now and then had taken up a good deal of time. We had a nice little victoria with a pair of horses, not unlike the carriage Tomba gave us in Rome.

We went down about a quarter to eight. The padrone in his dress clothes was waiting at the foot of the stairs and conducted us with much pomp into the dining-room, where we found a nice round table in the window. The room was quite full—many more people than in the morning, and I should think almost all Italians. They looked at us naturally with much curiosity, as such a fuss was made with us. W. smoked a cigar in the court after dinner and talked to the man of the house who told him about all the distinguished people he had had in his hotel. I found papers and a "Graphic" in the reading-room and was quite surprised when they said it was 10 o'clock.

[188] May 7th.

It has been pouring all day—straight down. I think it has stopped a little since dinner. We didn't stay long in the reading-room as W. is fairly launched in his coins now and puts his notes in order in the evening. I prowled this morning with Madame Hubert. Before breakfast we went to the Brera. It was almost empty but we found a nice guide, a youngish man, speaking such beautiful Italian that it was a pleasure to hear him, and well up on all the pictures. There are beautiful things, certainly. I was so glad to see some old friends. I was always so fond of the "Amanti Veneziani" of Paris Bordone. The "sposo" looks so young and straight and proud, and the girl's attitude is charming, her brown-gold head drooping on her lover's shoulder as she holds out her hand for the ring he is putting on her finger. Even the inferior pictures of the Paul Veronese school are fine—there is such an intensity of colour. The whole room seemed filled with light and warmth. I think I like the backgrounds and accessories almost as much as the figures. The draperies are so wonderfully done, one can almost touch the gorgeous stuffs, heavy with gold and silver embroidery; and there are one or two high-backed, carved arm-chairs which are a marvel. The beautiful fair women with strings of pearls in their golden hair, and white satin dresses, sitting up straight and slight in the dark wooden chairs, are fascinating; and there are quantities, for Paul Veronese and all his pupils have always so many people in their pictures.

We saw of course the "Sposalizia" in a small room quite by itself. The Virgin is a beautifully slight ethereal figure with the marvellous pure face that all Raphael's Madonnas have; but the St. Joseph looks younger than[189] in most other pictures. Our guide was most enthusiastic over the picture. It was a treat to hear him say—"morbidezza" and "dolcissimo." We were there about an hour and a half, and that was quite long enough. One's eyes get tired. We saw splendid portraits of princes and warriors as we passed through the rooms—Moretto, Leonardo da Vinci and others.

It was still raining when we came out so we thought we wouldn't attempt any more sight-seeing, and walked up to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele where we were under cover. The Cathedral looked splendid—all the white pinnacles and statues standing out from the dark grey sky. We looked in at all the shop windows, but didn't see anything particularly striking or local except the black lace veils which so many women (not the upper classes) wear here. Madame Hubert being young and pretty was most anxious to adopt that fashion—thought it would be more suitable for Madame as all the suivantes here wore the veil—she would be less remarked going about with Madame—but Madame decidedly preferred the plain little black bonnet of the Parisian femme de chambre. It seems there is a swell Italian woman in the hotel—a Princess—whose maid always wears a veil when she accompanies her mistress in her walks abroad.

I was decidedly damp when I got back to the hotel. I breakfasted alone at my little table, and in fact was almost alone in the dining-room—there were only two other tables occupied. The head waiter was very sympathetic about the weather—they always had sun in Milan, just a mauvaise chance to-day. I had the reading-room also to myself, and found plenty of papers in all languages. I have rather a weakness for the "Kölnische Zeitung" (Gazette de Cologne). It is very anti-French, or I might really say anti-everything, as it is always pitching into[190] somebody, but there is a good deal of general information in it.

W. came in about 3.30, having worked steadily since 9. It was getting too dark to see much more and his attendant beamed when he saw him putting up his papers and preparing to leave. He says the man is bored to death—wants to talk at first and explain things to him, but he soon realizes that W. is bent on serious work, so he desists and reads a paper and walks about the room and fidgets generally.

We waited until 4.30 hoping the rain would stop. It didn't, but the clouds lightened a little and we thought we would go and see the Duomo. I had forgotten how beautiful it is—those great wide aisles quite bare—no chairs, nothing to break the line until quite at the high altar, and the light from the old glass windows coming from so high over our heads it seemed straight from heaven. We sat some little time in one of the side chapels. It looked vast and mysterious—one had such an impression of space and height. Various guides came up and supposed we would not care to go up on the roof on such an afternoon. We told them we would come back the next day if it was fine. They looked so disappointed at having nothing that we finally went down into the crypt to see the tomb and body of San Carlo Borromeo. We had both seen it before but I didn't mind reviving my souvenirs. We had tapers of course as it was quite dark, but we saw quite well the coloured marbles and precious stones of the little chapel—also the body of the Saint, marvellously preserved. It looked very small—hardly the size of a grown man. The guide of course wanted to show us all sorts of relics, and the trésor of the Cathedral, but we preferred going up again to the church, and wandered about looking at the marble[191] tombs and monuments—there are not many, and they are quite lost in the enormous building. Quite down at the bottom of the church, near the door under a baldaquin, is a font in porphyry, said to be the sarcophagus of some saint. The church looked immense as it grew darker and the light gradually faded, leaving deep shadows everywhere. When we turned back, just as we were going out, to have a last glimpse, the high altar seemed far away, and the tall candles looked like twinkling lights seen through a mist or veil.

We walked about a little under the arcades. W. wanted some cigars and I an Italian book Minghetti had recommended to me, "Sketches of Life in Milan and Venice under the Austrian Occupation." I have been reading it a little to-night—what an awful life for Italians—a despotic, iron rule, police and spies everywhere, women even making their way into the great Italian houses and reporting everything to the police—the children's games and little songs, the books and papers the family read, the visits they received. The most arbitrary measures prevailed—no young man allowed to leave the city—no papers nor books allowed that were not authorized by the government—and when arrests were made, the prisoners, men or women, treated most cruelly. The Austrians must have felt the hatred and thirst for vengeance that was smouldering in all these young hearts. It seems all the girls and young women, even of the poorest classes, made themselves flags (tricolour) out of bits of anything (paper when they couldn't get anything better) and gave them to all the men, preparing for the "Cinque giorni" when many of them went down under the Austrian bayonets, giving their lives cheerfully and proudly for their country. Radetzsky must have been a monster of cruelty. How[192] they must hate the white uniform and the black and yellow flag.

The city is quiet enough to-night. I suppose it is not an opera night. It is only half-past ten and we are on one of the principal thoroughfares, but nothing is passing in the street. The hotel, too, is quiet, one doesn't hear a sound. I fancy most travellers go to the new hotel—the Cavour. We are quite satisfied here, and are most comfortable—the landlord very attentive. He and W. are becoming great friends—they talk politics (Italian) every night while W. smokes.

Friday 7th.

I see I shall always write at night. After coffee and half an hour in the reading-room (I always go and have a look at the papers while W. smokes) we come upstairs. W. plunges at once into his notes, and I read and write. It has been lovely to-day and we have had a nice afternoon. W. came home to breakfast at 1, as he wanted to see the Brera and "Cenacolo" once again; and it is of course too late when we start for our afternoon drive at 4.30. We walked to the Brera—it isn't far—and were there a long time. We made a long stop in the vestibule looking at the Luini frescoes—all scenes in the Virgin's life—Madonnas, angels, saints—quantities of figures, and colours and accessories of all kinds—wonderful trees and buildings and clouds with angels and seraphim rising out of them. They must have had marvellous imaginations, those early Italian painters. They never saw anything to suggest such pictures to them, and of course never read anything—there were no books to read—merely written manuscripts difficult enough for scholars to decipher. All the wonderful scenes—Nativity, Coronation, etc.—evoked out of their own brains. I think I[193] like the Annunciation the best of all the scenes of the Virgin's life. There is a beautiful one in the Pitti—I forget now by whom—the Virgin just risen from her chair with a half-dazed, half-triumphant look, and the angel kneeling before her with his lily. I like some of the German ones, too, but they are much more elaborate—the Virgin often standing in a wide arch—a portico—more figures in the background—and the Virgin herself quite a German girl—not at all the lovely, spiritual head of the Italian masters.

We walked through all the rooms. The Venetian pictures (Paul Veronese school) looked beautiful. W., too, was struck with the splendid colouring. Some of the names quite unknown, and if one looked too closely there were perhaps faults of drawing and exaggeration of colour, but the effect was extraordinary. He admired the men's portraits excessively, by Titian, Tintoretto, Moroni, etc. They are very fine—sometimes a soldier with keen, hard eyes, clad in complete armour—often a noble, some grand seigneur of his time, in black velvet and fur with jewelled cap and chain, a fine patrician head and thoughtful face. We didn't see the young guide who went about with me—I was rather sorry—I wanted W. to hear his beautiful Italian.

We stayed so long looking at everything (Luini's pictures are most interesting, too—he must have had an extraordinary capacity for work) that we had just time to get a cab and drive over to Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the "Cenacolo" as it shuts at 4. The Saviour's head, St. John, and some of the other faces are beautiful—but it is so faded (and on the other hand has been touched up a little) that I was disappointed.

It was a beautiful bright afternoon and we saw as well as possible, but really "decay's effacing fingers" have[194] been allowed too much sway. They told us it was impossible to guard against the damp, and that eventually the whole thing would be blotted out. However, it has stood the test pretty well through all these years.

We went into the church, which was quite empty, except one figure in black, absorbed and motionless, kneeling on the stone pavement. Poor woman, I hope she got what she was praying for so earnestly. From there we went to the church of St. Ambrogio, which is a fine old building—the frescoes and inscriptions much faded. The iron crown used to be kept there (they told us the Kings and Emperors came there to be crowned) but it is now at Monza. I declined any more churches and regular sight-seeing after that—so we went back to the hotel where the carriage was to meet us, went for our cup of tea to Cova's, and then started for a drive.

The country quite around the city is not particularly interesting—much cultivated, but flat—vineyards, corn and rice fields all intersected with numberless little canals. Though it was late, 6 o'clock, people were still working in the fields and seemed to keep to their work much more steadily than the peasants about Rome and Florence who were always stopping to talk or look at whatever was passing. We met bands of them trooping along the road—they were generally tall, broad-shouldered, strong men—quite the northern type. We crossed some soldiers, too—cavalry and infantry—quite a big detachment—all had their kits, and baggage wagons following. They were evidently changing garrison. I didn't think the troops looked very smart. The horses were small and very thin, and the men (infantry particularly) dragged along and were rather dirty. Just as they passed us the music struck up a sort of quick march, and it was curious to see the instantaneous effect. The men straightened[195] themselves up, moved more quickly and lightly—it was quite different.

I hoped we should get a view of the mountains, but the sunset, though beautiful, was rather misty—however the coachman told us that meant fine weather for to-morrow which will be nice as we are going up on the top of the Cathedral. I was glad to have a little rest before dinner. I plunged again into my book, which is madly interesting—but such horrors—a long imprisonment like Silvio Pellico's was merciful compared to some of the tortures and cruelties—and it seems the Emperor himself was the hardest of all—never forgetting nor pardoning nor listening to any petition or prayer for mercy—no wonder the people were infuriated—mad with rage—women and children working at the barricades during the "five days"; and the old ones, too infirm to take an active part, at the windows pouring down boiling water and oil on the Austrian soldiers. However, I suppose it is the history of all street fighting. I remember the hideous tales they told us of the Paris Commune, when we went back there after the war—how maddened the Versaillais were at the shots, missiles and boiling water which came from all the windows upon them. The reprisals were terrible when the regular troops finally got the upper hand—and I suppose no one will ever know how many innocent people were shot in the first flush of success.

I read out bits of my book to W. He said he didn't think the account exaggerated—of course they had chosen all the worst cases. He was at Versailles during the Commune, and saw the first batches of prisoners brought in—such awful looking people—many young, very young men, with wild reckless faces. They probably didn't know, half of them, what they had been fighting for—a vague[196] idea of patrie and liberty, and the natural love of the Parisian gamin for a row and a barricade.

To H. L. K.

Milan, Hôtel de Ville,
May 9, 1880.

We have had an awful day, dear mother, pouring steady rain since early morning—clouds grey and low shutting out the city entirely; really so dark I could hardly see to dress—and the streets apparently deserted. W. didn't mind, and was off as usual to his coins at 9 o'clock. He did have a remords de conscience at leaving me all alone all day shut up in a little hotel salon, and said if I would come and get him about 3 we would try and see something.

I wrote two letters which will rather amuse the family as they say I only write when I am boring myself in the country or having a series of rainy days—Janet always calls them my rain letters. However, when I had written two my energy in that line was exhausted, and I felt I couldn't sit another moment in that dark salon, so I summoned Madame Hubert (I don't generally care to have a maid for a companion but I didn't like to walk about the streets of a foreign city alone) and we started off with short skirts and umbrellas. The gérant nearly fell off his high stool in the bureau when he saw me preparing to go out—wanted to send for a carriage, a fiacre, anything—but I told him I really wanted to walk, which filled him with amazement. Italians as a rule don't like walking at all, and he thought I was quite mad to go out deliberately, and for my pleasure, on such a day.

It wasn't very pleasant in the streets—everybody's umbrella ran into me, and the pavements were wet and slippery.[197] We finally took refuge under the arcades, but there we got quite as much jostled, for everybody who was out, was there; and the sudden gusts of wind and rain around the corners and through the arches were anything but pleasant. I wasn't at all happy, but I liked it better than sitting in the room at the hotel. I was so draggled and my boots so covered with mud that I was rather ashamed to cross the big hall of the hotel when I came in.

I found a letter from Gert saying she was so glad we had such delightful weather for Milan. I wish she could look out of my window at this moment. She wouldn't know if she were in Milan or Elizabethtown. The clouds are very low on the roofs of the houses—the city has disappeared in a mist, I can just see across the street. The pavements are swimming—quite rushing torrents in the gutters, and I look down upon a sea of umbrellas.

I started out again about 3—in a carriage this time—and went to get W.—extract him from his coins if I could. There was no one, apparently, in the Museum, but a smiling concierge took me to the antiquity and coin rooms where I found W. very busy and happy; quite insensible to rain or any outside considerations. He said the light wasn't very good. A musty old savant with a long ragged beard and very bright black eyes was keeping him company. He was delighted to see me, for he knew that meant stopping work for that afternoon. I talked to him a little while W. was putting his papers in order, and it was evident he had never seen any one with such a capacity for steady work. He encouraged us very much to go and see something (anything that would take us out of the coin room) but we really didn't know what to do with ourselves—a country drive wasn't inviting and it was too dark and late for pictures—all the galleries close at 4. The padrone had recommended[198] the flower show to us in the public gardens, so we thought we would try that. The flowers were all under glass and tents, so we were dry overhead, but the ground was wet and muddy—a general damp, chilly feeling everywhere. I am sure the place is lovely on a bright summer day. There are fine trees, splendid horse chestnuts, pretty paths and little bosquets. The poor flowers looked faded and drooping, even under cover. The roses were splendid—such enormous ones with quantities of leaves, very full. The finest were "Reine Marguerite," "Marguerite de Savoie," "Princess de Piémont." I asked one of the gardeners if the Queen was very fond of flowers—the "Marguerite de Savoie" was a beautiful white rose. "Oh, yes," he said, enthusiastically, "the Queen loves flowers and everything that is beautiful." I thought it such a pretty answer. He showed us, with great pride, a green rose. I can't say I admired it, but it is so difficult and so expensive to produce that I don't think we shall see many. We walked about and looked at all the flowers. Some of the variegated leaves were very handsome. There was a pink broad leaf with a dull green border and an impossible name I should have liked to take away, but the man said it was an extremely delicate plant raised under glass—wouldn't live long in a room (which was what I wanted it for). We thought we would go back and have tea in a new place under the arcades—in the Galleria. The tea was bad—had certainly never seen China—as grown, I daresay, in the rice fields near the city, so we declined that and ordered chocolate, which was very good, and panettoni. W. was rather glad to have something to eat after his early breakfast. It was pouring, but we were quite sheltered in the corner of the veranda; so he smoked and we looked at the people passing and sitting near us. They were certainly not a very[199] distinguished collection—a good many officers (in uniform), loungers who might be anything—small functionaries, I should think—few women of any description, and no pretty ones. The peasant woman coming out of the fields was much better-looking than any we saw to-day.

W. had had visitors in the coin room this morning. The Director, who came, he thinks, out of sheer curiosity to see how any one, for his pleasure, could work five or six hours at a time. He brought with him a Greek savant—a most intelligent young man who apparently knew W.'s collection almost as well as he did—and all the famous collections of Europe. They had a most interesting talk and discussion about certain doubtful coins of which 3 Museums—London, Petersburg and Milan—claim to have the only originals. We talked over our plans, but I think we have still two or three more days here. We want to go to Monza. They say the old town and church are most interesting, as well as the Royal Villa.

It was rather amusing in the reading-room after dinner. There were many more people—women principally, and English. Some of them had been buying things at the two famous bric-à-brac shops, and they were very much afraid they had paid too much, and been imposed upon. They finally appealed to me (we had exchanged papers and spoken a few words to each other) but I told them I was no good, nothing of a connoisseur for bric-à-brac, and particularly ignorant about lace. They showed it to me, and it looked very handsome—old Venetian, the man had told them. They had also some silver which they had bought at one of the little shops in the Piazza dei Mercanti. I think I will go and see what I can find there.

I found W. deep in his Paris courrier when I got upstairs. There was a heap of letters and papers, also[200] Daudet's book "Souvenirs de la Présidence du Maréchal de MacMahon" which l'Oncle Alphonse had sent us, said everybody was reading it at the clubs. W. figures in it considerably, not always in a very favourable light, as judged by Monsieur Daudet; but facts speak for themselves, even when the criticism is not quite fair. I suppose it is absolutely impossible for a Royalist to judge a moderate Republican impartially. I think they understand the out-and-out Radical better. The book is clever. I read out bits to W. (which, by the way, he hates—loathes being read to). It was interesting to read the life we had just been leading described by an outsider.

I think W. will give himself a holiday to-morrow if it is fine (at the present moment, with the wind and rain beating against the windows, that seems a remote possibility). He will come back to breakfast and we will have our afternoon at Monza. I have finished my book of the Austrian rule, and I am really glad—the horrors quite haunted me. It seems incredible that in our days one Christian nation should have been allowed to treat another one so barbarously. I should like to go back to my childish days and read "Le mie Prigioni," but I found a life of Cavour downstairs in the hotel library, so I think I shall take that.

May 10th.

It is lovely this morning (though when the weather changed I don't know, as it seemed to me I heard a steady downpour every time I woke in the night), however, at 9 o'clock it was an ideal summer day, warm, a bright blue sky, no grey clouds or mist, one could hardly believe it was the same city. The atmosphere is so clear that the snow mountains seem almost at the bottom of the street. I went for a walk with Madame Hubert through the old[201] parts of the city—such curious, narrow, twisting little streets. We went into the Duomo for a moment, it looked enormous—cool and dark except where a bright ray of sunshine came through the painted windows, but so subdued that it didn't seem real sunlight seen through all the marvellous coloured glass. There were a few people walking about in little groups, but they were lost in the great space. One didn't hear a sound—the silence was striking—there wasn't even the usual murmur of priest or chorister at the altar as there was no mass going on.

We asked the way to the Piazza dei Mercanti on the other side of the Duomo. It is a curious old square—a very bad pavement, grass growing in places between the stones, and all sorts of queer, irregular buildings all around it—churches, palaces, porticos, gateways—a remnant of old Milan. At each end there were little low shops where many people were congregated. I don't know if they were buying—I should think not as they seemed all rather seedy, impecunious individuals judging by their shabby, not to say worn-out garments—all Italians—I think we were the only foreigners in the Piazza (yet it is one of the sights of Milan, mentioned in the guide books). We went, too, and looked at some of the things spread out for sale—many old engravings, carved wooden frames, gold and silver ornaments, and some handsome cups and flagons very elaborately worked—also some bits of old stuff, brocade, and a curious faded red velvet worked in gold, but all in very bad condition. I couldn't find a good piece large enough to make an ordinary cushion. In one corner, squatting in the sun, were two big, dark men with scarlet caps on their heads (they looked like Tunisians). They had muslins, spangled with gold and silver, crêpe de Chine, and nondescript[202] embroidered squares of white, soft silk with wonderful bright embroidery and designs—moons, and ships and trees. We spoke to them in French, but they didn't understand, and answered us in some unintelligible jargon—half Italian, with a few English words thrown in.

Some of the old palaces are fine, one in particular which seems to be a sort of bourse now. The portico was crowded with men, all talking at the top of their voices. We had glimpses through the crowd of a fine collection of broken columns, statues, tablets and bas-reliefs inside, but we didn't attempt to get in; though a friendly workman in the street, seeing us stopping and looking, evident strangers, told us we ought to go in and see "le bellezze" (the beautiful things). There is an equestrian statue on one side of the palace—I couldn't quite make out the name, but the inscription says that among other great deeds he "burnt many heretics." I don't suppose they gave him his statue exclusively on that account, but the fact was carefully mentioned. We wandered about rather aimlessly, leaving the Piazza, and finally found ourselves in a wide, handsome street—large palaces on one side and the canal running through the middle. The canal is really very picturesque—the water fairly clear, reflecting the curious, high, carved balconies and loggias (some of them covered with creepers and bright coloured flowers) that hang over the canal. They seemed all large houses, with the back giving on the canal; some of the low doors opening straight out on the water were quite a reminder of Venice; and when there was a terrace with white marble balustrade and benches one could quite imagine some of Paul Veronese's beautiful, fair-haired women with their pearls and gorgeous red and gold garments disporting themselves there in the summer evenings. The palaces on the other side of the[203] street are fine, stately mansions—large doors open, showing great square courts, sometimes two or three stretching far back—sometimes a fountain and grass plot in the middle—sometimes arcades running all around the court, with balconies and small pointed windows—coats-of-arms up over the big doors, but no signs of life—no magnificent porters such as one sees in Rome in all the great houses. They all looked in perfectly good condition and well cared for. I wonder who lives in them.

We came out at the Place Cavour and had a look at the statue, which is good—in bronze—an energetic standing figure with a fine head, very like—one would have recognised it anywhere from all the pictures one has always seen of Cavour. There is no group—he standing alone on a granite pedestal—a woman (Fame) kneeling, and writing his name on a scroll. I liked it very much—it is so simple, and we have seen so many allegorical groups and gods and goddesses lately that it was rather a relief to see anything quite plain and intelligible.

I wasn't sorry to get back to the hotel and rest a little before starting again this afternoon. I liked walking through the little old crooked streets—they were not empty, there were people in all of them, but decidedly of the poorer classes. They are a naturally polite, sympathetic race—always smiling if you ask anything and always moving to one side to let you pass—unlike the stolid German who calmly and massively takes the middle of the pavement and never dreams of moving to one side, or considering anybody else. I have just been jostled by two stout specimens of the touring Vaterland—they are anything but good types. If they didn't understand the language in which Madame Hubert expressed her opinion I think the tone said something to them, for one man muttered a sort of excuse.

[204]If I can keep my eyes open long enough I will finish this letter to-night. We have had a lovely afternoon—didn't get back until 8.30 and have only just come upstairs from dinner. We started a little after three, in a light victoria and a capital pair of small strong post-horses who went at a good, steady, quick trot. The drive is a short hour and a half—not very interesting country—flat rice fields and the same numerous little canals one sees all over Lombardy. Monza is quite a large town—looks very old and Italian. The Cathedral was begun in the sixth century, but rebuilt in the fourteenth. There are all sorts of curious frescoes and relics. We saw, of course, the iron crown which all Austrian Emperors are supposed to wear at their coronation. The last two to wear it were Napoleon and Ferdinand I. It is really a large gold circle with a smaller iron one inside, and studded with precious stones—very heavy. It was shown to us with much pomp, lighted tapers, and a priest in his vestments. He told us the iron band inside was made out of a nail that had been taken from the Saviour's cross. He handled it very reverently, and would hardly let me lift it to see how heavy it was. He showed us many curious things, among others a fan of Queen Theodolinda's, made in the 6th century. It was small, made in leather, and really not too faded, though one had to look closely and with the eyes of faith to see the roses the old priest pointed out.

While we were looking at the relics a French pèlerinage came up—quite a long procession; many very nice-looking women. They were all dressed in black, and most of them wore bonnets—some few had black veils—priests of course, and a fair amount of men of all ages. They passed in procession up the aisle, chanting a psalm, which sounded very well, full and solemn. One or two[205] stragglers, two young men and a woman stopped to see what we were looking at, and we had a little talk. They had just arrived over the St. Gothard, hadn't much time, and were very keen to see everything. They said it was very cold crossing the mountain—the heavy rain we had had at Milan had been deep snow on the pass. We went to look at Queen Theodolinda's tomb in one of the side chapels, and then started for the "Casa Reale" as they call the Royal Villa. It has no pretensions to architecture; is a large square building with long, rambling wings. We could only see the great hall and some of the reception rooms downstairs, as they were painting and cleaning upstairs. The rooms had no particular style—large, high ceilings, great windows looking on the park; just what one sees in all Royal Palaces. All the furniture was covered with housses—the gardien took one off an arm-chair to show us the red velvet. The lustres also were covered—the mirrors were handsome. The park is delightful—quantities of trees of all kinds, lovely shady walks, and bosquets. There seemed to be a great deal of game—deer and pheasants walking about quite tame and undisturbed in all directions. The communs and dépendances are enormous, quite a little colony of houses scattered about—régisseur, head-keeper, head-gardener, all with good gardens.

We had a nice talk with a half-gardener half-guide who went about with us and showed us all the beauties. The place is low—I should think would be very warm in summer, for even to-day the shade was pleasant and the low afternoon sun in our faces rather trying. There were splendid views every now and then of the distant Alps. The gardener, like every one else who has ever been thrown with her, apparently adored the Queen—said she knew all about the place, and trees, and flowers, and was[206] so beloved in the town. I remember Peruzzi telling me how fond she was of Monza—happier there than anywhere. They certainly love their "Margherita di Savoia." There are pictures of her everywhere, and some one told us that all the girls in Monza are called Margherita.

When we were starting back we met the pilgrims again, still walking and chanting on their way to the station. They had a white banner with them, but I couldn't see what the inscription was. The drive home was lovely, even along the long straight road bordered with poplars (quite like a French country road). The evening was delicious, a little cool driving, as we went a very good pace. I was glad to put a light wrap over my shoulders. The sunset clouds were gorgeous, and every now and then glimpses of the snow mountains. I love to see them—those beautiful white peaks, half clouds, half snow—they seem so mysterious, so far away from our every-day life and world. The road was dull, very little passing until we got near Milan. There we met bands of peasants coming in from their work in the fields, and country carts loaded with people—all the young ones singing and talking, and the wrinkled old women looking on smiling. We noticed again what a fine, strong race they are—both men and women—such broad shoulders, and holding themselves so straight. They must have been nasty adversaries when their time came and they shook off the hated Austrian yoke; but they were not cruel victors (so says my book), the wives and daughters of men who had fallen under Austrian cannon nursing and tending their sick and wounded enemies.

We met three or four handsome private carriages, also a young man driving a phaeton with a pair of handsome steppers. Our coachman pointed him out proudly to us[207] as the Marchese ——, some name I didn't catch, but he was evidently a swell. I suppose there are villas in the neighborhood, but we didn't see any, nothing but trees, rice fields and little canals and ditches.

I think we shall get off the day after to-morrow. W. thinks one more morning with the coins will be enough for him, he wants now to get back. I think he is homesick for the Senate and politics generally, but he won't allow it. We had thought of going to Como for two days, it is so easy from here, but he wants to stop at Turin, so we must give it up. I suppose it won't be as cold at Turin now as we always used to find it crossing in winter. Do you remember one of the first years, coming over the Mount Cenis, how bitterly cold it was, and how we shivered in the big, high rooms of the hotel—a mosaic pavement, bits of thin carpet on the floor, and a fire of shavings in the chimney. We will write and telegraph, of course, from there. I don't think we shall stay more than one night.

May 11th.

We are really leaving to-morrow morning, get to Turin for dinner. As we telegraphed yesterday the address I hope we shall find letters. It has been lovely again all day, so our last impressions are good. I have quite forgotten the rain and dark of the other day. The padrone has just informed us, with much pride, that the Crown Princess of Germany arrives to-night in this hotel from Vienna. I wish she had come yesterday—I should have liked to see her again. I have been out shopping this morning, but it is difficult; there is not much to buy, at least not in the nice big shops of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and I am a little afraid of the antiquities—I know so little about bric-à-brac (au fond[208] like modern things just as well, but other people don't, and would much rather have a really ugly, queer-shaped old cup or glass than the most graceful modern creation).

The padrone gave me the address of a good antiquity shop, and said I could be perfectly sure in taking anything they said was old, and I need only say he had recommended me to go there. I found beautiful things, but all large, cassoni, high-backed, carved arm-chairs and Venetian mirrors, but the prices were awful and the things much too big. I wanted something smaller that I could put into my trunk. We went back to the Piazza dei Mercanti and, after looking about at many of the little shops, I did find some rather curious silver spoons and boxes. The spoons have quaint, long handles ending in a head, not apostles, but soldiers and women with veils and crowns. The boxes are most elaborately carved—on the cover of one there are 21 figures—a sort of vintage with bunches of grapes. As usual there were many people lounging about and stopping at all the shops—some of them wildly interested in my purchases. One funny little old man with a yellow face and bright eyes was apparently much pleased with the box I chose—nodded and smiled at me, saying: "Una bellezza questa" (this is a beauty). On our way back we went into the great court-yard of the Ospedale Maggiore, an enormous brick building with fine façade and high pointed windows; the walls covered with medallions and ornaments in terra-cotta. I believe it is one of the largest hospitals that exist and certainly once inside those great courts one would feel absolutely cut off from the outside world. There seemed to be gardens and good trees at the back—we saw the green through the cloisters, and there was a fine loggia overlooking the court. It was as sleepy and quiet as possible to-day—no sign of life, no[209] concierge nor porter, nor patient of any kind visible. If we had had time and wanted to go over the hospital I don't know whom we could have applied to.

It was very warm walking home. Happily our way lay through narrow streets, with high houses on each side, so we had shade. I found cards and a note from the Murrays (English friends we had met in Rome). They are staying at the Cavour, but will come and dine at our hotel to-night. They are off to the Lakes to-morrow, and as we leave too early it will be our only chance of meeting. It will seem quite strange to see any one we know—we have lived so entirely alone these few days in Milan. I told W. last night I found him a most agreeable companion. We haven't talked so much to each other for years. He is always so busy all day in Paris that except for the ride in the morning, I don't see much of him—and of course in Rome and Florence we were never alone.

It is rather late but I will write a few lines and send them off to-morrow morning. W. came home about 4, fussed a little over trunks and interviewed the porter about our tickets, places, etc., and then we started off for the Duomo. There was a party going up just as we got to the door, so we joined forces—about 8 people. The ascent was very fatiguing, quite 500 steps, I should think, mostly inside the tower, with openings giving fine views over the city and Lombard plains. We all halted every now and then—I was the only lady. There were two Englishmen with whom we fraternized. They were making a walking tour through the North of Italy—Piedmont and Lombardy. They addressed W. by name, which surprised him extremely, so much so that he said: "I don't remember, but I suppose we must have met before." "Not at all," they said, "we recognised you from[210] all the pictures we had seen of you in the illustrated papers." What it is to be a celebrity!

We did finally, with many stops, get up on the roof, and were well repaid, for the view was enchanting—Milan so far below us we could hardly believe it was a big city, but the mountains quite beautiful. There was a man with a telescope on top, and he pointed out the principal peaks. Monte Rosa was magnificent—stood out splendidly, a round snow peak; Mt. Cervin, Mt. Cenis, the Bernese far away, disappearing in the clouds; and various others whose names I forget, nearer. I couldn't see the Chartreuse of Pavia, though they said it was quite visible, and just the Superga of Turin. Nearer these were various churches and monasteries standing high on hills nearer the town, but I couldn't look at anything but the snow mountains. You can't imagine how divine they were, with the beautiful, soft afternoon sun on them. One couldn't really tell which was cloud and which was mountain—they seemed to be part of the sky.

I found the going down more disagreeable than coming up. It was darker, the steps were a little broken at the edge and decidedly slippery; however, we arrived without any adventures. Just as we got to the hotel we saw three or four carriages drive up, and as we went in the porter told us the German Crown Princess with her daughters and a large suite was arriving. We stood in the court to see them pass—but the Princess was not there, only her daughters (3). They were tall, fair, very German-looking, each one with a large bouquet. There seemed any number of ladies and gentlemen in attendance, and a great deal of bowing and deferential manners.

We went downstairs about a quarter to eight. We had given the Murrays rendezvous in the reading-room, but they came in just as we crossed the court, and we[211] went straight to the dining-room. They told us the Crown Princess only comes to-morrow. They had gone to the station to meet her (they had seen her in Venice), but there were only the young Princesses. We had a pleasant dinner. They are a nice couple (Scotch). He is very clever, a literary man, rather delicate, can't stand the English winter, and always comes abroad. He knows Italy well and is mad about Venice. She is clever, too, but is rather silent—however, we didn't either of us have a chance to-night, for the two gentlemen talked hard, politics, which Mr. Murray was very keen about. He had a decided thirst for information, and asked W. so many questions about France, the state of politics, the influence of the clergy, etc., that I was rather anxious, as in general there is nothing W. hates like being questioned. However, he was very gracious to-night, and disposed to talk. When he doesn't feel like it wild horses couldn't drag anything out of him.

They stayed till ten o'clock, and now I have been putting the last things in my small trunk. The big trunks go straight through from here, and we will pick them up at the Gare de Lyon. The padrone has just been up to ask if we were satisfied with the hotel, and would we recommend him.

To G. W. S.

Turin, Hôtel de l'Europe,
May 13, 1880.

This will be my last letter from Italy, dear. I am sorry to think I am turning my back on this enchanting country. To-day has been perfect; everything, sky, sun, mountains, ugly yellow palaces, grim, frowning buildings, look beautiful—a perfect glow of light and colour.[212] I can scarcely believe it is the same city we used to freeze in, when we passed through it often in old times going down to Rome. Heavens—how cold it was everywhere—a wind that seemed to come straight from the glaciers cutting one in two when there was a great square to be crossed, or whistling through the arcades when we wished to loiter a little and see the shops and curiosities. I can't remember if we stayed at this hotel—I don't think so, as it is very comfortable and that was by no means my recollection of the one we always went to on our way down so many years ago. The rooms are high—we have a nice apartment on the first floor, well furnished—quite modern.

We got here yesterday quite early in the afternoon. It is only about 4 or 5 hours by train. We had a most festive "send-off" from Milan. I was well "bunched" as some of our compatriots would say. The padrone gave me a beautiful bouquet of roses when we came downstairs to the carriage, also a nice little basket of fruit which he thought might be acceptable on our journey. He had seen about our carriage—so that was all right—and we found the Director of the Museum, and the Greek friend at the station—also with a bouquet. All our bags and wraps were stowed away in the carriage, and the Director of the Museum (I have never known his name) had also put papers—some illustrated ones—on the seats. I felt rather like a bride starting on her wedding journey.

The road wasn't very interesting. We had glimpses of the Alps occasionally, and the day was beautiful, making everything look picturesque and charming. It was rather a relief to get out of the rice fields and little canals. We stopped some little time at Novara—where we had a good cup of coffee. As we got near Turin everything looked very green. There seemed to be more trees and[213] little woods than in the neighbourhood of Milan. The hotel porter was waiting for us at the station with a carriage—so we drove straight off, leaving Madame Hubert in charge of the porter, who spoke French perfectly, to follow with the trunks.

The hotel is on the great Place du Château, faces the Palazzo Madama. They have given us a nice apartment, with windows and a good balcony looking out on the Place. We went upstairs immediately to inspect the rooms—the padrone himself conducting us. There were flowers on the table, nice lounging chairs on the balcony. It looked charming. He wanted to send us tea or coffee—but we really couldn't take anything as it wasn't more than two hours since we had had a very fair little goûter at Novara. We said we would dine in the restaurant about 8. He was rather anxious we should have our dinner in the anteroom which was large and light—often used for a dining-room—but we told him we much preferred dining downstairs and seeing the people.

We brushed off a little dust—it wasn't a very dirty journey—and started off for a stroll across the Piazza Castello. It is a fine large square, high buildings all around it, and the great mediæval pile Palazzo Madama facing us as we went in. It looked more like a fortress than a palace, but there is a fine double staircase and façade with marble columns and statues—white, I suppose, originally, but now rather mellowed with years and exposure and taking a soft pink tint in the waning sunlight. It was inhabited by the mother of one of the kings, "Madama Reale," hence its name. There is a monument to the Sardinian army in front of the palace with very elaborate bas-reliefs. They told us there was nothing to see inside, so we merely walked all around it, and[214] then went over to the Palazzo Reale, which is a large brick building, with no pretensions to architecture. They say it is very handsome inside—large, high rooms, very luxuriously furnished. Somehow or other luxuriously furnished apartments don't seem to go with Princes of the House of Savoy. One can't imagine them reclining in ladies' boudoirs on satin cushions, with silk and damask hangings. They seem always to have been simple, hardy soldiers, more at home on a battle-field than in a drawing-room. We asked at the entrance if the Duc d'Aoste was here. He told us when he was in Paris that if ever we came to Turin we must let him know—that he always received twice a week in the evening when he was at home and that he would be delighted to see us (I had put an evening dress in my trunk in case we should be invited anywhere)—however he isn't here, away in the country for three or four days on some inspection—so we wrote ourselves down in the book that he might see that we intended to pay our respects.

We walked through some of the squares—Piazza Carignano, with the great palace Carignano which also looks grim and frowning, more like a prison than a stately princely residence. I wonder if there are any what we should call comfortable rooms in those gaunt old palaces. I have visions of barred windows, very small panes of glass, brick floors, frescoed ceilings black with age and smoke, and straight-backed, narrow carved wooden chairs. However a fine race of sturdy, fighting men were brought up within those old walls—perhaps Italy would not have been "unita" so soon if the pioneers of freedom had been accustomed to all the luxury and gaiety of the present generation.

We wandered back through more squares and saw numberless statues of Princes and Dukes of Savoy—almost[215] all equestrian—the Princes in armour, and generally a drawn sword in their hand—one feels that they were a fighting race.

The hills all around the city are charming, beautifully green, with hundreds of villas (generally white) in all directions; some so high up one wonders how the inhabitants ever get up there. In the distance always the beautiful snow mountains. The town doesn't look either very Italian or very Southern. I suppose the Piedmontese are a type apart.

We had a table to ourselves in the dining-room, which was almost empty—evidently people dine earlier than we do—and yet it is tempting to stay out on a lovely summer evening. There were several officers in uniform at one table—evidently a sort of mess—about 10. They were rather noisy, making all sorts of jokes with the waiters, but they had nearly finished when we came in and soon departed with a great clatter of spurs and swords. We went for a few moments into the reading-room, which was also quite deserted—only two couples, an English clergyman and his wife both buried in their papers—and a German ménage discussing routes and guides and prices for some excursion they wanted to make.

I had kept on my hat as we thought we would go out, take a turn in the arcades and have a "granita." The padrone told us of a famous café where the "granita" was very good, also very good music. W. is becoming such a flâneur, and so imbued with the dolce far niente of this enchanting country that I am rather anxious about him. I think he will want to go every evening to the "Ambassadeurs" when we get back to Paris.

We strolled about for some time. It was cool and there were not too many people. Everybody sitting out,[216] smoking and drinking. We got a nice little table—each took an ice (they were very good—not too sweet), and the music was really charming—quite a large orchestra, all guitars and mandolins. Whenever they played a well-known air—song or waltz—the whole company joined in. It sounded very pretty—they didn't sing too loud, and enjoyed themselves extremely. We stayed some time.

I am writing as usual, late, while W. is putting his notes in order. He found a note, when he came in, from the Director of the Museum, saying he would be delighted to see W. at the Museum to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock, and would do the honours of the cabinet de médailles—also the card of a Mr. Hoffman who wants very much to see W. and renew his acquaintance with him after many years. He is in this hotel and will come and see us to-morrow. W. has no idea who he is, but of course there are many Hoffmans in the world. I suppose the gentleman will explain himself. If it is fine we shall drive to the Superga to-morrow afternoon, and start for Paris the next evening. W. says three séances (and his are long) will be all he wants in the Museum.

May 14th.

It has been again a lovely summer day—not too hot, and a delicious breeze as we drove home from La Superga. I have been out all day. W. was off at 9 to meet his Director, and I started at 10 with Madame Hubert to flâner a little. We went first to the arcades where are all the best shops, but I can't say I was tempted. There was really nothing to buy—some nice blankets, half silk, half wool—not striped like the Como blankets, a plain centre, red or blue, with a bright border—but it was not a day to buy blankets, with the[217] sun bright and strong over our heads. There was a good deal of iron work, rather nice. I didn't care for the jewellery. I didn't see myself with a wrought-iron chain and cross, but I did get a large ring—strong and prettily worked, which the man said many people bought to put in a hall and hang keys on. There were plenty of people about. I didn't think the peasants were any particular type—the men looked smaller than those about Milan—slight, wiry figures. A good many were evidently guides, with axes and coils of rope strapped on their backs. They told us in one of the shops (where as a true American I was asking questions, eager for information) that there were several interesting excursions to be made in the neighbourhood.

We went again to the Piazzo Castello which is so large that it is a very fair walk to go all around the square—and went into the hall to see the statue (equestrian of course) of Victor Amadeus the First. The horse is curious, in marble. Then we went to the Cathedral, which is not very interesting. The sacristan showed us a collection of small, dark pictures over the altar which he said were by Albert Dürer; but they were so black and confused I couldn't see anything—a little glimpse of gilding every now and then that might be a halo around a saint's head. What was interesting was the "Cappella del S. S. Sudario," where the linen cloth is kept which is said to have enveloped the body of our Saviour. It is kept in an urn, and only shown by special permission. This, however, the sacristan obtained for us. He disappeared into the sacristy and soon returned bringing with him a nice fat old priest in full canonicals and very conversationally disposed. He lifted off the top of the urn and drew out the linen cloth most carefully. It is very fine linen, quite yellow and worn—almost in holes in[218] some parts. He spread it out most reverently on a marble slab, and showed us the outlines of a man's figure. Marks there were certainly. I thought I saw the head distinctly, but of course the imagination is a powerful factor on these occasions. The chapel was dimly lighted, a few tapers burning, and the old priest was so convinced and reverent that it was catching. I suppose it might be possible—certainly all these traditions and relics were an enormous strength to the Catholic Church in the early days when there were no books and little learning, and people believed more easily and simply than they do now. The chapel is a rather ugly, round building, almost black, and with a quantity of statues (white) which stand out well. It is the burial chapel of the House of Savoy, and there are statues apparently to every Emmanuel or Amadeus that ever existed—also a large marble monument to the late Queen of Sardinia. Do you remember when Prince Massimo, in Rome, always spoke of Victor Emmanuel, when he was King of Italy, and holding his court in Florence, as the King of Sardinia?

We had walked about longer than we thought, but everything is close together, and it was time to get back to the hotel for breakfast. I had the dining-room almost to myself—my table was drawn up close to the open window, a vase of roses upon it, and one or two papers—English, Italian, and the "Figaro." Paris seems to be amusing itself. Henrietta writes that the Champs Elysées are enchanting—all the horse chestnuts in full bloom. Here there is abundance of flowers—one gets glimpses of pretty gardens through open gates and openings in railings and walls. There are plenty of street stalls, too, with fruits and flowers, but one doesn't see the wealth of roses and wistaria climbing over every bit of wall and up the sides of houses as in Florence. The[219] city is perfectly busy and prosperous, but has none of the delightful look of laziness and enjoyment of life and the blue sky and the sunshine that one feels in Rome and Florence.

W. came in about 3, having had a delightful morning in the cabinet des médailles. The Director, a most learned, courteous old gentleman, was waiting for him, and though he knew W. and his collection by reputation, he was quite surprised to find that W. knew quite as much about his coins and treasures as he did himself. He hadn't supposed it possible that a statesman with so many interests and calls upon his time could have kept up his scientific work.

We shall leave to-morrow night, and before we started for our drive we sent off letters and telegrams to Paris. I can hardly believe it possible that Friday morning I shall be breakfasting in Paris, going to mother to tea in the afternoon, and taking up my ordinary life. Henrietta writes that she has told Francis we are coming home, but frankness compels her to say that he has received that piece of information with absolute indifference. He has been as happy as a king all the months we have been away—spoiled to his heart's content and everybody in the two establishments his abject slaves.

We started about 4 for La Superga in a nice light basket carriage and pair of strong little horses. It was rather interesting driving all through the town, which is comparatively small—one is soon out of it. The streets are narrow, once one is out of the great thoroughfares, with high houses on each side. Every now and then an interesting cornice with a curious round tower and some funny old-fashioned houses with high pointed roofs and iron balconies running quite around the house, but on the whole it is much less picturesque and[220] colder looking than the other Italian cities. The road was not very animated—few vehicles of any description, a few fiacres evidently bound for the Superga like us. There were not many carts nor many people about. What was lovely was the crown of green hills with little chestnut groves—some of the little woods we drove through were quite charming, with the long slanting rays of the afternoon sun shining through the branches—just as I remember the Galleria di Sotto at Albano—the chestnuts grow high on all the hillsides. We had quite a stiff mount before we got to the church (but the little horses trotted up very fairly) and a good climb after we left the carriage. One sees the church from a long distance. It has a fine colonnade and a high dome which lifts itself well up into the clouds. We followed a pretty steep, winding path up to the top, quantities of wild roses, a delicate pink, like our eglantine at home, twisting themselves around the bushes. There is nothing particularly interesting in the church. It is the burial place of the Kings of Savoy, and their vault is in the crypt. The last one buried there was Charles Albert. Victor Emmanuel is buried in the Pantheon in Rome. We found a nice old sacristan who took us about and explained various statues to us—also all the glories of the Casa di Savoia, winding up with an enthusiastic eulogy of Queen Margherita—but never as Queen of Italy, "nostra Principessa." She has certainly made herself a splendid place in the hearts of the people—they all adore her. We climbed up to the roof, and what a view we had, all Turin at our feet with its domes and high, pointed roofs, standing in the midst of the green plain dotted all over with villas, farms, gardens, little groves of chestnuts, the river meandering along through the meadows carpeted with flowers, and looking in the[221] sunlight like a gold zig-zag with its numerous turns—always the beautiful crown of hills, and in the background the snow peaks of the Alps. It was very clear—they looked so near, as if one could throw a stone across. Our old man pointed out all the well-known peaks—Monte Rosa, Mont Cenis, and many others whose names I didn't catch. He said he had rarely seen the whole chain so distinct. It reminded me of the view we had of the Bernese Oberland so many years ago—the first time we had seen snow mountains. On arriving at Berne we were hurried out on the terrace by the padrone of the hotel as he said we might never again see all the chain of the Alps so distinctly. Beautiful it was—all the snow mountains rolling away in the distance; some of them straight up into the sunset clouds, others with little wreaths of white soft clouds half way up their summits, and clouds and snow so mingled that one could hardly distinguish which was snow. I thought they were all clouds—beautiful, airy intangible shapes.

We loitered about some time on the terrace after we came down, watching the lights fade and finally disappear—the mountains looking like great grey giants frowning down on the city. The air was decidedly cooler as we drove home, but it was a perfect summer evening. There were more people out as we got near Turin—all the workers getting a little breath of air after the toil of the day.

May 15th.

I will send this very long letter off this evening. Our trunks are packed and downstairs, and I will finish this while we are waiting for dinner. We have had a nice day. Madame Hubert and I strolled about this morning and went to see the house where Cavour was born, and also to the Giardino Pubblico. The grounds are handsome,[222] but not particularly interesting at that hour in the morning, and there wasn't a creature there but ourselves. There are various monuments—one of Manin with a fine figure of the Republic of Venice.

I breakfasted as usual alone, and at 3 W. came in, having quite finished his work at the Museum. He had given rendezvous to Mr. Hoffman for 3.30, and while we were sitting talking waiting for him the padrone came up and said an officer "de la part du Duc d'Aoste" wanted to see us. We begged him of course to send him up, and in a few minutes a very good-looking young officer in uniform made his appearance. He named himself—Count Colobiano I think—but we didn't catch the name very distinctly; said he had had the honour of dining with us at the Quai d'Orsay with his Prince, and that the Prince was "désolé" not to be in Turin these days and had sent him to put himself at our disposition. He proposed all sorts of things—the opera, a drive (or a ride if we preferred) to a sort of parade ground just outside the gates where we would see some cavalry manœuvres. He knew I rode, and could give me a capital lady's hack. I was rather sorry he hadn't come before—it would have amused us to see the manœuvres, and also to ride—but that would have been difficult as I had no habit with me. However, as we are leaving this evening there was nothing to be done. He was very civil and I think rather sorry not to do us the honours of his city. He said there were beautiful excursions to be made from Turin, and asked us if we had seen anything. We said only the Superga which he evidently didn't consider very interesting. He said the Duke was very sorry to have missed us, and that he thought I would have enjoyed an evening at the Palace, as the receptions were very gay and informal. I cannot imagine (I didn't tell him that)[223] anything gay with the Duc d'Aoste. He is very sympathetic to me, but a type apart. A stern, almost ascetic appearance, very silent and shy, but a beautiful smile. He looks exactly as one would imagine a Prince of the House of Savoy would. We saw him often in Paris, and his face always interested me—so grave, and as if he were miles away from the ordinary modern world. It was just after he had given up his Spanish throne, and although I didn't think that crown weighed very heavily on his brow he must have had some curious experiences and seen human nature in perhaps not its best form. The young aide-de-camp paid us quite a visit, and we made him promise to come and see us if ever he came to Paris. We sent all sorts of messages and regrets to the Duke. Just as he was going out Mr. Hoffman appeared and he sat an hour with us. He was delightful, has lived almost all his life in and near Turin, and had all the history of Piedmont at his fingers' ends. He seems to have met W. years ago at a dinner in London and has always followed his career with much interest. It was most interesting to hear him talk. He admires Cavour immensely—said his death was a great calamity for Italy—that he hadn't given half of what he could, and that every year he lived he grew in intellect and knowledge of people. He also said (as they all do) that he mistrusted Louis Napoleon so intensely, and through all their negotiations and discussions as to Italy's future he was pursued by the idea that the Emperor would go back upon his word. He said the Piedmontese were a race apart—hardly considered themselves Italian, and that even now in the little hamlets in the mountains the peasants had vague ideas of nationality, and never spoke of themselves as Italians, or identified themselves with Italian interests and history—that in the upper classes traces of French occupation and[224] education, superstition and priestly rule were just getting effaced. For years in the beginning of the century the priests (Jesuits) had it all their own way in Turin. The teaching in the schools was entirely in their hands, and most elementary; and numerous convents and monasteries were built. Cavour as a very young man soon emancipated himself from all those ideas, and if he had lived, Hoffman thinks, much trouble would have been averted, and that he would certainly have found some means of coming to a better understanding with the Vatican, "the most brilliant and far-seeing intellect I have ever met."

He wanted to take us to some palace where there are some very curious and inédites letters of Cavour's to the owner, who was one of his friends, and always on very confidential terms with him; but of course we couldn't do that as we are off in a few hours.

Hoffman would never have gone, I think, if the padrone hadn't appeared to say dinner was ready. I left him and W. talking while I went to give some last instructions to the maid, and when I got back to the salon they had drifted away from Cavour and Piedmont and were discussing French politics, the attitude of Germany and the anti-religious feeling in France.

I shall miss all the talk about Italy and her first struggles for independence when I get home. French people, as a rule, care so little for outside things. They travel very little, don't read much foreign literature, and are quite absorbed in their own interests and surroundings. Of course they are passing through a curious phase—so many old things passing away—habits and traditions of years upset, and the new régime not yet sufficiently established nor supported by all that is best in the country. I think W. has been impressed and rather surprised at the very easy way in which all religious questions are disposed[225] of in Italy, and yet the people are certainly superstitious and have a sort of religious feeling. The churches are all full on great feast days, and one sees great big young peasants kneeling and kissing relics when they are exposed; and several times even here about Turin we have seen men and women kneeling at some of the crosses along the road. I have rarely seen that in France—but then the Italians are a more emotional race. They are difficult problems—a country can't live without a religion.

Rue Dumont d'Urville.

We got back yesterday morning early. Hubert and the big mare were waiting for us, and we were whirled up to the house in a very un-Italian manner (for the horses in Italy are just as easy-going as the people and never hurry themselves nor display any undue energy). Francis and "nounou" were waiting at the door—he really quite excited and pleased to see us—and the sisters appeared about 11. We talked a little and they helped me unpack; and I went to see mother directly after breakfast and stayed there all the afternoon. This morning I am writing as usual at the window and hearing all the familiar Paris sounds. The goat-boy has just passed with his 6 goats and curious reed pipe, the marchande de cressons with her peculiar cry advertising her merchandise, and ending "pour la santé du corps" on a long shrill note—the man who sits on the pavement and mends china. He is just at our door, and has a collection of broken plates and cups around him. I suppose some are ours. The "light lady" next door is standing at her door in her riding habit, the skirt already very short and held well up over her arm displaying a fair amount of trousers and high boots. She is haranguing in very[226] forcible language the groom who is cantering the horse up and down the street, and of course even in our quiet street there are always badauds who stop and ask questions, and hang around the porte-cochères to see all that is going on. W. has just started on horseback and that is a most interesting moment for the street, for his big black "Paddy" has a most uncomfortable trick. From the moment he takes the bridle in his hand and prepares to mount, the horse snorts, and stamps and backs, making such a noise in the little court-yard you would think he was kicking everything to pieces. As soon as the big doors are opened and he can get out he is as quiet as a lamb.

It is a beautiful morning and Paris looks its best—all the horse-chestnuts in full bloom, the sky a bright blue, and quantities of equipages and riders streaming out to the Bois. I suppose I shall ride too in a day or so, and by the end of the week Italy will be a thing of the past, and I shall be leading my ordinary Paris life.

There was a procession of people here all the afternoon yesterday to see W., and now he is quite au courant of all that has taken place in his absence, and I think in his heart he is delighted to be back and in the thick of the fight again. He is going to the Senate this afternoon.

We had a most comfortable journey from Turin—a lit-salon to ourselves, the maid just behind us. All the first hours were charming as long as we could see as all the country about Turin is so lovely. We passed Moncalieri which stands high on the hills—a long low building, and one or two other fine old castles, all perched high on the slope of the mountains. I always sleep so well in a train that I was hardly awake when we passed at Modane, though I was dimly conscious of the stop, the lanterns flashing along the train and a great deal of conversation.[227] Nobody disturbed us as we had given our "laissez-passer" to the garde, but I fancy we made a long halt there as the train was very crowded. We had our coffee at Dijon very early in the morning. It was quite pleasant to see the regular little French brioche again.

I went to tea with Mother and afterward we went for a turn in the Bois, which looked beautiful—so green—all the horse-chestnuts out (the road from Auteuil to Boulogne with the rows of red horse-chestnuts on each side quite enchanting); the hills, St. Cloud and Mont Valérien blue and standing out sharply against the sky, but I missed the delicious soft atmosphere of Italy and the haze that always hung around the hills and softened all the outlines. The Seine looked quite animated. There really were one or two small boats out, and near Puteaux (the club) some women rowing, and of course the little river steamers flying up and down, crowded.

We are dining with l'Oncle Alphonse who will give us all the news of the day, and the opinion of the "Union."




To H. L. K.

Rome, Friday, February 12, 1904.

It seems so strange to be back here, dear, after twenty-four years, and to find Rome so changed, so unchanged. The new quarter, an absolutely new modern city, might be Wiesbaden, or Neuilly, or any cheerful resort of retired business men who build hideous villas with all sorts of excrescences—busts, vases, and plaques of bright-coloured majolica—and the old city with the dirty little winding streets going toward St. Peter's exactly the same; almost the same little ragged, black-eyed children playing in the gutters.

We had a most comfortable journey down. Hardly any one in the sleeping-car but ourselves, so we all had plenty of room. It was a bright, beautiful morning when we got to Modane—the mountains covered with snow, and the fresh keen wind blowing straight from the glaciers was enchanting after a night in the sleeping-car. They are frightfully overheated. I had some difficulty in persuading the attendant to open my window for the night; however, as I was alone in my compartment, he finally agreed, merely saying he would come and shut it when we passed through the great tunnel. We dined at the buffet at Genoa, and it didn't seem natural not to ask for the Alassio train. The station was crowded, the[230] Roman train too—they put on extra carriages. We got to Rome about 9.30. I had been ready since 6.30, eagerly watching to get a glimpse of St. Peter's. I had visions of Cività Vecchia and running along by the sea in the early morning.

I was quite awake, but I didn't see St. Peter's until we were quite near Rome. We ran through long, level stretches of Campagna, with every now and then a great square building that had been probably a mediæval castle, but was now a farm—sheep and cattle wandering out of the old gateway, and those splendid big white oxen that one sees all over the Campagna—some shepherds' huts with their pointed thatched roofs dotted about, but nothing very picturesque or striking. We passed close to San Paolo Fuori le Mura, with the Testaccio quite near. We paid ourselves compliments when we arrived at the station for having made our long journey so easily and pleasantly. No one was tired and no one was bored. Between us all (we were four women) we had plenty of provisions and Bessie[30] and Mme. de Bailleul were most successful with their afternoon tea, with delicious American cake, that Bessie had brought over in the steamer.

After all, Josephine[31] finds she has room for me and my maid, which of course is infinitely pleasanter for me than being at the hotel. Her house is charming—not one of the old palaces, but plenty of room and thoroughly Italian. The large red salon I delight in; it couldn't exist anywhere else but in Rome, with its red silk walls, heavy gilt furniture, pictures, and curious bits of old carving and majolica. It opens into a delightful music-room with fine frescoes on the walls (a beautiful bit of colour), and beyond that there is a small salon where we usually sit. [231]She has a picture there of her husband, Don Emanuele Ruspoli (late syndic of Rome), which has rather taken possession of me. It is such a handsome, spirited face, energetic and rather imperious—he looks a born ruler of men, and I believe he was. They say Rome was never so well governed as in his time. He was one of the first of the young Roman nobles who emancipated themselves from the papal rule. As quite a youth he ran away from college and entered the Italian army as a simple soldier, winning his grade as captain on the battle-field. He was a loyal and devoted servant of the House of Savoy, and took a prominent part in all the events which ended in proclaiming Victor Emanuel King of Italy, with Rome his capital.

This quarter, Piazza Barberini, is quite new to me. It used to seem rather far off in the old days when we came to see the Storys in the Barberini Palace, but now it is quite central. The great new street—Via Veneto—runs straight away from the Piazza, past the Church of the Cappucini—you will remember the vaults with all the dead monks standing about—the Palace of the Queen Mother, and various large hotels, to Porta Pinciana. Just the other side of the road is the new gate opening into the Villa Borghese. I rather lost myself there the first day I prowled about alone. It was raining, but I wanted some air, and turned into the Via Veneto, which is broad and clean. I walked quite to the end, and then came to the Porta Pinciana, crossed the road, and found myself in a beautiful villa. I didn't come upon any special landmark until I got near the Museum, which, of course, looked quite familiar. However, I was bewildered and hailed a passing groom to inquire where I was, and even when he told me could scarcely believe it. I had never gone into the Villa Borghese except by the[232] Piazza del Popolo. They have made extraordinary changes since the Government has bought it—opened out new roads and paths, planted quantities of trees and flowers, and cleaned up and trimmed in every direction. It will be a splendid promenade in the heart of the city, but no longer the old Villa Borghese we used to know, with ragged, unkempt corners, and little paths in out-of-the-way places, so choked up with weeds and long grass that one could hardly get through.

I haven't quite got my bearings yet, and for the first three or four mornings I took myself down to the Piazza di Spagna, and started from there. There, too, there are changes—new houses and shops (I was glad to see old Spithoever in the same place) and a decided look of business and modern life. There were not nearly so many people doing nothing, lounging about, leaning on the "barca," or playing mora on the Spanish Steps. All the botte were still standing in the middle of the street, the coachmen smiling, cracking their whips, and making frantic little dashes across the piazza whenever they saw an unwary stranger who might want a cab.

The Spanish Steps looked beautiful, glowing with colour—pink, yellow, and that soft grey tint that the Roman stones take in the sunlight. All the lower steps are covered with flower stalls (they are not allowed any longer scattered all over the piazza), and most picturesque they looked—daffodils, mimosa, and great bunches of peach-blossoms which were very effective. There were very few models in costume sitting about; a few children playing some sort of game with stones, which they interrupted to run after the forestieri and ask for a "piccolo soldo" (a penny), and one or two old men with long white beards—might have done for models of the apostles or Joseph in the flight into Egypt—wrapped in their[233] wonderful long green cloaks, sitting in the sun. There is one novelty—an "ascenseur." I haven't been in it yet, but I shall try it some day. One must get accustomed to many changes in the Rome of to-day.

I recognised some of the houses at the top of the steps—the corner one between Vias Sistina and Gregoriana, where the Rodmans used to live one year, and where we have dined so often, sitting on the round balcony and seeing the moon rise over the Pincio.

I walked home the other day by the Via Sistina to the Piazza Barberini, and that part seemed to me absolutely unchanged. The same little open mosaic shops, with the workmen dressed in white working at the door—almost in the street. In one shop they were just finishing a table, putting in countless bits of coloured marble (some of them very small). It was exactly like the one we brought from Rome many years ago, which stands now in Francis's smoking-room. There was of course the inevitable jeweller's shop, with crosses and brooches of dull yellow Roman gold and mosaic, and silk shops with Roman silk scarfs, and a sort of coarse lace which I have seen everywhere. In the middle of the street a miserable wrinkled old woman, her face mahogany colour, attired in a red skirt with a green handkerchief on her head, was skirmishing with a band of dirty little children, who had apparently upset her basket of roast chestnuts, and were making off with as many as they could find, pursued by her shrill cries and "maledizioni."

We went out in the open carriage yesterday, and drove all around Rome leaving cards—finished with a turn in the Villa Borghese and Pincio. It was too late for the Villa—almost every one had gone, and one felt the chill strike one on going into the thick shade after coming out of the bright sun in the Piazza del Popolo. We crossed[234] Queen Margherita at the gate. She looked so handsome—the black is very becoming and threw out well her fair hair and skin. She was driving in a handsome carriage—the servants in mourning. One lady was with her—another carriage and two cyclists following. All the people bowed and looked so pleased to see her, and her bow and smile of acknowledgment were charming.

We made a short turn in the Villa and then went on to the Pincio, which was crowded. There were some very handsome, stately Roman equipages, plenty of light victorias, a few men driving themselves in very high phaetons, and the inevitable botta with often three youths on the one seat. The carriages didn't draw up—the ladies holding a sort of reception as in our days, when all the "gilded youth" used to sit on the steps of the victorias and surround the carriages of the pretty women. They tell me the present generation comes much less to the Villa Borghese and Pincio. They are much more sporting—ride, drive automobiles and play golf. There are two golf clubs now—one at Villa Pamphili Doria, the other at Aqua Santa. Every time we go out on the Campagna we meet men with golf clubs and rackets.

Monday I prowled about in the morning, always making the same round—Via Sistina and the Spanish Steps. The lame man at the top of the steps knows me well now, and we always exchange a cheerful good morning. Sometimes I give him some pennies and sometimes I don't, but he is always just as smiling when I don't give him anything.

In the afternoon Madame de B. and I went for a drive and a little sight-seeing. She wanted a bottle of eucalyptus from the monks at Tre Fontane, so we took in San Paolo Fuori le Mura on our way. The drive out is charming—a few dirty little streets at first—past the[235] Theatre of Marcellus, which looks blacker and grimmer, if possible, than when I last saw it—and then some distance along the river. There are great changes—-high buildings, quays, boats, carts with heavy stones and quantities of workmen—really quite an air of a busy port—busy of course in a modified sense, as no Roman ever looks as if he were working hard, and there are always two or three looking on, and talking, for every one who works—however, there is certainly much more life in the streets and the city looks prosperous.

The great new Benedictine Monastery of Sant' Anselmo stands splendidly on the heights (Aventine) to the left, also the walls and garden of the Knights of Malta. The garden, with its long shady walks, between rows of tall cypress trees, looked most inviting. We left the Testaccio and Protestant Cemetery on our right and followed a long file of carriages evidently going, too, to San Paolo. That of course looked exactly the same—an enormous modern building with a wealth of splendid marble columns inside. The proportions and great spaces are very fine, and there was a brilliant effect of light and colour (as every column is different). Some of the red-pink was quite beautiful, but it is not in the least like a church—not at all devotional. One can't imagine any poor weary souls kneeling on that slippery, shining marble pavement and pouring out their hearts in prayer. It is more like a great hall or academy. We went out into the quiet of the cloisters, which are interesting, some curious old tombs and statues, but small for such a huge basilica—always the square green plot in the centre with a well.

We had some difficulty in making our way to the carriage through a perfect army of boys and men selling photographs, postal cards, mosaic pins with views of the[236] church, etc., also bits of marble, giallo antico, porphyry and a piece of dark marble, almost black, which had come from the Marmorata close by.

We went on to the Tre Fontane, about half an hour's drive—real country, quite charming. We didn't see the churches until we were quite close to them—they are almost hidden by the trees. I never should have recognised the place. The eucalyptus trees which the monks were just beginning to plant when we were here before have grown up into a fine avenue. They were cutting and trimming them, and the ground was covered with great branches making a beautiful green carpet with a strong perfume. Various people were looking on and almost every one carried off a branch of eucalyptus. We did too, and one is now hanging over the bed in my room. It is supposed to be very healthy. It has a very strong odour—to me very agreeable.

A service was going on in one of the churches, the monks singing a low monotonous chant, and everything was so still; one was so shut in by the trees that the outside world, Rome and the Corso might have been miles away. We went into the church to see the three fountains built into the wall. Tradition says that when St. Paul was executed his head bounded three times and at each place a fountain sprang up. A tall young monk was going about with some seminarists explaining the legend to them. They were listening with rapt attention and drinking reverently at each fountain.

We went into the little farmacia and found there a German monk who was much pleased when he found we could speak German. He told us there were 90 monks there, and that the place was perfectly healthy—not as when they began their work, when many died of fever. We each bought a bottle of eucalyptus, and were sorry to[237] come away. The light was fading—the eucalyptus avenue looked dark and mysterious, and the low chant of the monks was still going on.

We went to a beautiful ball in the evening at the Brancaccios'. They built their palace—which is enormous—has a fine marble staircase (which showed off the women's long trailing skirts splendidly) and quantities of rooms filled with beautiful things. I didn't take them all in as I was so much interested in the people, but Bessie has promised to take me all over the palace some morning.

To-day we have been to the Brancaccio garden. It was a beautiful bright morning, so Bessie Talleyrand proposed we should drive up and stroll about there. We telephoned to Brancaccio, who said he would meet us in the garden. You can't imagine anything more enchanting than that beautiful southern garden in the heart of Rome. We drove through the court-yard and straight up the hill to a little bridge that connects the garden with Mrs. Field's old apartment. Mrs. Field really made the garden (and loved it always). When they bought the ground it was simply an "orto" or field, and now it is a paradise filled with every possible variety of trees and flowers. It seems that wherever she saw a beautiful tree she immediately asked what it was and where it came from, and then had some sent to her from no matter where. Of course hundreds were lost—the journey, change of soil, transplanting them, etc., but hundreds remain and the effect is marvellous. Splendid tall palms from Bordighera, little delicate shrubs from America and Canada all growing and thriving side by side in the beautiful Roman garden. There is a fine broad allée which goes straight down from the winter garden to the end of the grounds with the Colosseum as background. It is planted on each side with green oaks, and between them[238] rows of orange and mandarin trees—the branches heavy with the fruit. We picked delicious, ripe, warm mandarins from the trees, and eat them as we were strolling along. It was too early for the roses, of which there are thousands in the season—one saw the plants twining around all the trees. There are all sorts of ruins and old walls in the garden, baths of Titus, Sette Celle, and one comes unexpectedly, in odd corners, upon fine old bits of carving and wall which have no name now, but which certainly have had a history.

The sky was a deep blue over our heads, and the trees so thick, that the ugly new buildings which skirt one side of the garden are almost completely hidden. It was a pleasure just to sit on a bench and live—the air was so soft, and the garden smell so delicious.

The Barberini Palace.  The residence of the Storys. The Barberini Palace. The residence of the Storys.

After breakfast I went out early with Josephine—leaving of course some cards first—after that we took a turn on the Pincio, which was basking in the sunshine (but quite deserted at that hour except by nurses and children), and then drove out toward the Villa Pamphili. The road was so familiar, and yet so different. The same steep ascent to the Janiculum with the beggars and cripples of all ages running alongside the carriage and holding out withered arms and maimed limbs—awful to see. The road is much wider—more of a promenade, trees and flowers planted all along. The fountains of San Pietro in Montorio looked beautiful—such a rush of bright, dancing water. We drove through the Villa Corsini—quite new since my time—a beautiful drive, and drew up on the terrace just under the equestrian statue of Garibaldi from where there is a splendid view—the whole city of Rome at our feet, seen through a warm, grey mist that made even the ugly staring white and yellow houses of the new quarter look picturesque. They lost themselves[239] in a charming ensemble. St. Peter's looked very near but always a little veiled by the haze which made the great mass more imposing. We looked straight across the city to the Campagna—all the well-known monuments—Cecilia Metella, aqueducts and the various tombs scattered along the Via Appia were quite distinct. The statue of the great revolutionary leader seemed curiously out of place. I should have preferred almost the traditional wolf with the two little boys sucking in her milk. We couldn't stay very long as we had a tea at home. We met many people and carriages going up as we came down, as it was the day for the Villa Pamphili, which is open to the public twice a week.

We went to a ball at the Storys' in the evening, and as we went up the great staircase of the Barberini Palace (the steps so broad and shallow that one could drive up in a light carriage) finishing with the steep little flight quite at the top which leads directly to the Story apartment, I could hardly realize how many years had passed since I had first danced in these same rooms, and that I shouldn't find the charming, genial maître de maison of my youth who made his house such an interesting centre. I think one of Mr. Story's greatest charms was his absolute simplicity, his keen interest in everything and his sympathy with younger men who were still fighting the great battle of life which he had brought to such a triumphant close. His son, Waldo Story,[32] who has inherited his father's talent, keeps up the hospitable traditions of the house.

The ball was very animated—all the young dancing Rome was there.


Monday, February 15th.

I am alone this morning—the others have gone to the meet at Cecchignola fuori Porta San Sebastiano. I should have liked to go for the sake of old times, but I was rather tired, and have the court ball to-night.

Last night I had a pleasant dinner at Count Vitali's. He has bought the Bandini palace, and made it, of course, most comfortable and modern. The rooms are beautiful—the splendid proportions and great space one only sees now in Rome in the old palaces. The dinner was for M. Nisard (French Ambassador to the Vatican), but it wasn't altogether Black. There were one of the Queen's ladies and one or two secretaries from the Quirinal embassies. The line between the two parties is not nearly so sharply drawn as when I was here so many years ago. A few people came in the evening. Among the first to appear was Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli, whom I was delighted to see again. It is long since I have seen a cardinal in all the bravery of his red robes and large jewelled cross, and for the first time I felt as if I were back in old Rome. We had a nice talk and plunged into Moscow and all the coronation festivities. I told him I was very anxious to see the Pope, which he said could easily be arranged. Nisard, too, was charming—said I should have an audience spéciale as ancienne ambassadrice. I waited to see the cardinal go with all the usual ceremonies for a prince of the Church. Two big footmen with flambeaux and tall candles escorted him to his carriage. The cardinal came alone, which surprised me. I thought they always had an attendant—a sort of ecclesiastical aide-de-camp.

Saturday Marquise de Bailleul and I were received by the Queen. Our audience was at four. I went for her[241] a little before. We drove straight to the Quirinal, the great entrance on the piazza. Two swell porters were at the door, but no guards nor soldiers visible anywhere. We went up the grand staircase, where there was a red carpet and plenty of flowers, but no servants on the steps. The doors of a large anteroom at the top of the stairs were open, and there were four footmen in powder, culottes, and royal red liveries, and three or four men in black. We left our wraps. I wore my grey velvet and Marquise de Bailleul was in black with a handsome sable cape (which she was much disgusted at leaving). We went at once into a large room, where the dame de palais de service was waiting for us. She had a list in her hand, came forward at once and named herself, Duchesse d'Arscoli, said she supposed I was Madame Waddington. I introduced Marquise de Bailleul. The gentleman also came up and said a few words. There were one or two other ladies in the room, evidently waiting their turn. In a few minutes the door into the next room opened and two ladies came out. The duchess went in, remained a second, then coming back, waved us in. She didn't come in herself, didn't announce us, and shut the door behind us. We found ourselves in a large, rather bare room, with no trace of habitation—I fancy it is only used for official receptions. The Queen was standing at a table about the middle of the room. She is tall, dark, with fine eyes and a pretty smile. We made our two curtseys—hadn't time for the third, as she advanced a step, shook hands, and made us sit down. The visit didn't last very long. I fancy she was rather tired, as evidently she had been receiving a good many people, and was probably bored at having to make phrases to utter strangers she might never see again. We had the usual royal questions[242] as to our children. As I only had one child my conversation on that subject soon came to an end, but Marquise de Bailleul has three small ones, so she got on swimmingly. The Queen talked very prettily and simply about her own children, and the difficulty of keeping them natural and unspoiled; said people gave them such beautiful presents—all sorts of wonderful mechanical toys which they couldn't appreciate. One thing she said was rather funny—that the present they liked best was a rag doll the American Ambassadress had brought them from America.

As soon as we came out other people went in. I fancy all the strangers asked to the ball had to be presented first to the Queen. I think the London rule was rather simpler. There the strangers were always presented at supper, when the Princess of Wales made her "cercle."

We went to a ball in the evening at Baron Pasetti's (Austrian Ambassador to the Quirinal). They have a fine apartment in the Palazzo Chigi. I remembered the rooms quite well, just as they were in the old days when Wimpffen was Ambassador. The hall was most brilliant—all Rome there. The Pasettis are going away, and will be much regretted. I think he is rather delicate and has had enough of public life. I hadn't seen him since Florence, when we were all young, and life was then a succession of summer days—long afternoons in the villas, with roses hanging over the walls, and evenings on the balcony, with nightingales singing in the garden and the scent of flowers in the air, "der goldener Zeit der jungen Liebe" (the golden days of young love).

Sunday Bessie and I went to the American church. Dr. Nevin is still away. The church is large, but was quite full—there are evidently many Americans in Rome. The great mosaics over the altar were given by Mrs. Field.

[243] Wednesday, February 17th.

Monday night we went to the court ball. It was very amusing, but extraordinarily simple, not to say democratic. Bessie and I went together early, so as to get good seats. If I hadn't known we were going to the palace I should have thought we had made a mistake in the house. The square of the Quirinal was so quiet, almost deserted—no troops nor music, nor crowd of people looking on and peering into the carriages to see the dresses and jewels—no soldiers nor officials of any kind on the grand staircase. Some tall cuirassiers and footmen in the anteroom—no chamberlains nor pages—nothing like the glittering crowd of gold lace and uniforms one usually sees in the anteroom of a palace. We walked through two or three handsome rooms to the ball-room, where there were already a great many people. The room is large, high, but rather too narrow, with seats all round. There was no raised platform for the court—merely a carpet and two large gilt arm-chairs for the King and Queen and a smaller one for the Comte de Turin. It was amusing to see all the people coming in, the different uniforms and jewels of the women giving at once an air of court. The entrance of the royal cortège was quite simple. They played the "Marcia Reale," which I don't at all care for. It is a frivolous, jumpy little tune, not at all the grave, dignified measure one would expect on such an occasion. There were no chamberlains walking backward with their great wands of office in their hands. The master of ceremonies, Count Gianotti, looking very well in his uniform and broad green ribbon, came first, and almost immediately behind him the King and Queen, arm in arm, the Count of Turin, and a small procession of court functionaries.[244] The Queen looked very well in yellow, with a splendid tiara. She took her seat at once; the King and Comte de Turin remained standing. What was charming was the group of young court ladies who followed the Queen—tall, handsome women, very well dressed. There was no "quadrille d'honneur," none of the royalties danced. The dancing began as soon as the court was seated—any little couple, a young lieutenant, an American, any one, dancing under the nose of the sovereigns. The Queen remained sitting quite alone, hardly speaking to any one, through three or four dances; then there was a move, and she made her "cercle," going straight around the room, and speaking to almost every one. The King made no "cercle," remained standing near the "corps diplomatique," who were all massed on one side of the thrones (or arm-chairs). He talked to the ambassadors and étrangers de distinction (men—they say he rarely speaks to a woman). We all moved about a little after the Queen had passed, and I found plenty of old friends and colleagues to talk to. Neither the Russian Ambassador, Prince Ourousoff, nor any of his staff were present, on account of the war.

Tuesday it poured all the morning, so I didn't get my usual walk, and I tried to put some sort of order in our cards, which are in a hopeless confusion. The unfortunate porter is almost crazy. There are four of us here (as Madame de Bailleul's cards and invitations also come here), all with different names, and it must be impossible not to mix them.

Victor Emanuel III., King of Italy. Victor Emanuel III., King of Italy.

It stopped raining in the afternoon and Josephine and I walked up to Palazzo Brancaccio after tea, to ask about Bessie, who has been ill ever since her ball. The streets were full of people, a few masks (as it was Mardi Gras), but quite in the lower classes. I should think the Carnival[245] was dead, as far as Society is concerned. We got very little information about Bessie—the porter would not let us go upstairs, said the Princess was in the country, or perhaps in Paris. It seems he is quite a character, well known in Rome. When Mr. Field was ill, dying, of course everybody went to inquire, which seemed to exasperate him, as he finally replied, "ma sì, è malato, va morire, ma lasciarlo in pace—perchè venir seccar la gente?" (yes, yes, he is ill, dying, but leave him in peace—why do you come and bore people?).

We stepped in at a little church on our way back, where a benediction was going on. It was brilliantly lighted, and filled with people almost all kneeling—princesses and peasants—on the stone floor. It was a curious contrast to the motley, masquerading crowd just outside.

Thursday, 18th.

It is still showery and the streets very muddy to-day. This morning I made a solitary expedition to St. Peter's—armed with an Italian guide-book M. Virgo lent me (it was red, like Baedeker, so I looked quite the tourist). I went by tram—M. Virgo and the children escorted me to the bottom of the Via Tritone, and started me. The tramway is most convenient. We went through the Piazza di Spagna, across the Piazza del Popolo, and turned off short to the left. It was all quite different from what I remembered—a fine broad road (Lungo Tevere) (along the Tiber) with quantities of high, ugly modern buildings, "maisons de location," villas, and an enormous Ministère, I forget which one, Public Works, I think, which could accommodate a village. Some of the villas are too awful—fancy white stucco buildings ornamented with cheap statues and plaques of majolica and[246] coloured marble. The tram stopped at the end of the piazza facing the church, but one loses the sense of immensity being so near. I saw merely the façade and the great stone perron. I wandered about for an hour finding my way everywhere, and recognising all the old monuments—Christina of Sweden, the Stuart monuments, the Cappella Julia, etc. There were quite a number of people walking about and sitting on the benches, or in the stalls of the little side chapels, reading their Baedekers. I came home in a botta for the sum of one franc. I wanted to cross the St. Angelo Bridge and see the crooked dirty little streets and low dark shops I remembered so well—and which will all disappear one day—with new quarters and all the old buildings pulled down. They were all there quite unchanged, only a little dirtier—the same heaps of decayed vegetables lying about in the corners, girls and women in bright red skirts and yellow fichus on their heads, long gold earrings, and gold pins in their hair, standing talking in the doorways, children playing in the gutter, a general smell of frittura everywhere. The little dark shops have no windows, only a low, narrow door, and the people sit in the doorway to get all the light they can for their work.

We paid some visits in the afternoon, winding up with Princess Pallavicini. Her beautiful apartment looked just the same (only there, too, is an ascenseur) with the enormous anteroom and suites of salons before reaching the boudoir, where she gave us tea. I remembered everything, even the flowered Pompadour satin on the walls, just as I had always seen it.

Saturday, February 20th.

These last two days have been beautiful—real Roman days, bright blue sky, warm sun, and just air enough to[247] be pleasant. Yesterday I trammed over again to the Vatican (a trolley car is an abomination in Rome, but so convenient). I wanted to see the statues and my favourite Apollo Belvedere, who hasn't grown any older in 24 years—the same beautiful, spirited young god. As I was coming downstairs I saw some people going into the garden from a side door, so I stepped up to the gardien, and said I wanted to go too. He said it was quite impossible without a permesso signed by one of the officers of the Pope's household. I assured him in my best Italian that I could have all the permessi I wanted, that I knew a great many people, was only here de passage and might not be able to come back another day, and that as I was alone he really might let me pass—so after a little conversation he chose a time when no one was passing, opened the door as little as he could and let me through. There were two or three parties being conducted about by guides, but no one took any notice of me, and I wandered about for some time quite happy. It is a splendid garden—really a park. I seemed to have got out on a sort of terrace (the carriage road below me). There were some lovely walks, with cypress and ilex making thick shade, and hundreds of camellias—great trees. The view toward Monte Mario was divine—everything so clear, hardly any of the blue mist that one almost always sees on the Campagna near Rome. The sun was too hot when I had to cross an open space, and I was glad to get back to the dark cypress walks. It was enchanting, but I think the most beautiful nature would pall upon me if I knew I must always do the same thing. I am sure Léon XIII. must have pined often for the green plains and lovely valleys around Perugia, and I don't believe the most beautiful views of the Alban hills tipped with snow, and pink in the sunset hues, will make up to[248] the present Pope for the Lagoons of Venice and the long sweep of the Grand Canal to the sea.

Tuesday, 23d.

Yesterday Josephine and I drove out to the meet at Acqua Santa, out of Porta San Giovanni. There were quantities of carriages and led horses going out, as it is one of the favourite meets—you get out so soon into the open country. There was such a crowd as we got near that we got out and walked, scrambling over and through fences. It was a much larger field than I had ever seen in Rome—many officers (all in uniform) riding, and many women. The hounds broke away from a pretty little olive wood on a height, and stretched away across a field to two stone walls, which almost every one jumped. There were one or two falls, but nothing serious. They were soon out of sight, but we loitered on the Campagna, sitting on the stone walls, and talking to belated hunters who came galloping up, eager to know which way the hunt had gone.

Sunday we had a party and music at the French Embassy (Vatican). Diemor played beautifully, so did Teresina Tua. When they played together Griegg's sonata for piano and violin it was enchanting. All the Black world was there, and a good many strangers.

Thursday, February 25th.

We dined last night at the Wurts', who have a charming apartment in one of the finest old palaces (Anticci Mattei) in Rome. The staircase beautiful, most elaborately carved, really reminded me of Mont St. Michel. Their rooms are filled with all sorts of interesting things, the collection of years. The dinner was very pleasant—half Italian, half diplomatic.

[249]I have just come in from my audience with the Pope. I found the convocation when I got home last night. Bessie was rather disgusted at not having received hers, as we had planned to go together; but she said she would come with me. She would dress herself in regulation attire—long black dress and black veil—and take the chance. We had a mild humiliation as we got to the inner Court. The sentries would not let us pass. We had the small coupé, with one horse, and it seems one-horse vehicles are not allowed to enter these sacred precincts. We protested, saying we had a special audience, and that we couldn't get out on the muddy pavement, but it was no use; they wouldn't hear of our modest equipage going in, so we had to cross the court—quite a large one, and decidedly muddy—on foot, holding up our long dresses as well as we could.

It seemed so natural to go up the great stone staircase, with a few Swiss guards in their striped red and yellow uniform standing about. We spoke to one man in Italian, asking him the way, and he replied in German. I fancy very few of them speak Italian. We passed through a good many rooms filled with all sorts of people: priests, officers, gardes nobles, women in black, evidently waiting for an audience, valets de chambre dressed in red damask, camerieri segreti in black velvet doublets, ruffs and gold chains and cross—a most picturesque and polyglot assemblage; one heard every language under the sun.

We were passed on from one room to another, and finally came to a halt in a large square room, where there were more priests, one or two monsignori, in their violet robes, and two officers. I showed my paper, one of the monsignori, Bicletis (maestro di Casa di Sua Santità), came forward and said the Pope was expecting[250] me; so then I presented Bessie, explained that her name had been sent in at the same time with mine, and that if she could be admitted (without the convocation) it would be a great pleasure to both of us to be received together. He said there would be no difficulty in that.

While we were talking to him the door into the audience chamber was opened, and a large party came out—the Comte and Comtesse d'Eu and their sons, with a numerous suite. We had barely time to exchange a few remarks, as Monsignor Bicletis was waiting for us to advance. We found the Pope standing in the centre of rather a small room. The walls were hung with red damask, the carpet also was red, and at one end were three gold chairs. We made low curtseys—didn't kneel nor kiss his hands, being Protestants. He advanced a few steps, shook hands, and made us sit down, one on each side of him. He was dressed, of course, entirely in white. He spoke only Italian—said he understood French, but didn't speak it easily. He has a beautiful face—so earnest, with a fine upward look in his eyes; not at all the intellectual, ascetic appearance of Léo XIII., nor the half-malicious, kindly smile of Pius IX., but a face one would remember. I asked him if he was less tired than when he was first named Pope. He said, oh, yes, but that the first days were very trying—the great heat, the change of habits and climate, and the change of food (so funny, one would think there needn't be any great change between Rome and Venice—less fish, perhaps). He talked a little—only a little—about France, and the difficult times we were passing through; knew that I was a Protestant and an "old Roman"; asked how many years since I had been back; said: "You won't find the old Rome you used to know; there are many, many changes."

Pope Pius X. Pope Pius X.


He was much interested in all Bessie told him about America and the Catholic religion in the States—was rather amused when she suggested that another American cardinal might perhaps be a good thing. He asked us if we knew Venice, and his face quite lighted up when we spoke of all the familiar scenes where he had spent so many happy years. He was much beloved in Venice. He gave me the impression of a man who was still feeling his way, but who, when he had found it, would go straight on to what he considered his duty. But I must say that is not the general impression; most people think he will be absolutely guided by his "entourage," who will never leave him any initiative.

As we were leaving I said I had something to ask. "Dica, dica, La prego" (Please speak), so I explained that I was a Protestant, my son also, but that he had married a Catholic, and I would like his blessing for my daughter. He made me a sign to kneel and touched my head with his hand, saying the words in Latin, and adding, "E per Lei et tutta la sua famiglia" (for you and all your family). He turned his back slightly when we went out, so we were not obliged to back out altogether.

We talked a few moments in the anteroom with Monsignor Bicletis, but he was very busy, other people going in to the Pope, so we didn't stay and went down to Cardinal Mery del Val's apartment. He receives in the beautiful Borgia rooms, with Pinturicchio's marvellous frescoes (there was such a lovely Madonna over one of the doors, a young pure face against that curious light-green background one sees so often in the early Italian masters). The apartment was comparatively modern—calorifère, electric light, bells, etc. While we were waiting the Comte and Comtesse d'Eu and their party passed through.

[252]The Cardinal received us standing, but made us sit down at once. He is a tall, handsome homme du monde, rather English looking, very young. He told us he was not yet forty years old. He speaks English as well as I do (his mother was English), and, they tell me, every other language equally well. He seemed to have read everything and to be au courant of all that was said and thought all over the world. He talked a little more politics than the Pope—deplored what was going on in France, was interested in all Bessie told him about America and Catholicism over there. They must be struck with the American priests and bishops whom they see in Europe, not only their conception, but their practice of their religion is so different. I had such an example of that one day when we asked a friend of ours, a most intelligent, highly educated modern priest, to meet Monsignor Ireland. He was charmed with him—listened most intently to all he said, particularly when he was speaking of the wild life out West, near California, and the difficulty of getting any hold over the miners. (He started a music hall, among other things, to have some place where the men could go in the evenings, and get out of the saloons and low drinking-shops.) Our friend perfectly appreciated the practical energy of the monsignor, but said such a line would be impossible in France. No priest, no matter how high his rank, would be allowed such initiative, and the people would not understand.

He didn't keep us very long, had evidently other audiences, and not time to talk to everybody. I am very glad to have seen him. He is quite unlike any cardinal I have ever met—perhaps because he is so much younger than most of them, perhaps because he seemed more homme du monde than ecclesiastic; but I daresay that[253] type is changing, too, with everything else in Rome. We had a most interesting afternoon. After all, Rome and the Vatican are unique of their kind.

Friday, February 26th.

I had my audience from Queen Margherita alone this afternoon. Bessie and Josephine have already been. Her palace is in the Veneto (our quarter) and very near. It is a large, fine building, but I should have liked it better standing back in a garden, not directly on the street. However, the Romans don't think so. There are always people standing about waiting to see her carriage or auto pass out—they wait hours for a smile from their beloved Regina Margherita. I went up in an ascenseur—three or four footmen (in black) and a groom of the chambers at the top. I was ushered down a fine long gallery with handsome furniture and pictures to a large room almost at the end, where I found the Marquise Villa Marina (who is always with the Queen), the Duchesse Sforza Cesarini (lady in waiting), and one gentleman. There were three or four people in the room, waiting also to be received. Almost immediately the door into the next room opened, and the Duchesse Sforza waved me in (didn't come in herself). I had at once the impression of a charming drawing-room, with flowers, pictures, books, bibelots—not in the least like the ordinary bare official reception room where Queen Elena received us. The Queen, dressed in black, was sitting on a sofa about the middle of the room, and really not much changed since I had seen her twenty-four years ago at the Quirinal, when the present King was a little boy, dressed in a blue sailor suit. She is a little stouter, but her blonde hair and colouring just the same, and si grand air. She was most charming, talked in French and English,[254] about anything, everything—asked about my sister-in-law, Madame de Bunsen, and her daughter Beatrice, whom she had known as a little girl in Florence. She is very fond of automobiling, so we had at once one great point of sympathy. She had read "The Lightning Conductor" and was much amused with it. We talked a little about the great changes in Rome. I told her about our visit to the Pope, and the impression of simplicity and extreme goodness he had made upon us. I can't remember all we talked about. I had the same impression that I had twenty-four years ago—a visit to a charming, sympathetic woman, very large-minded, to whom one could talk of anything.

Sunday, 28th.

It has poured all day, but held up a little in the afternoon, so we went (all four) to see Cardinal Mathieu, who lives in the Villa Wolkonsky. He had asked us to come and walk in his beautiful garden (with such a view of the Aqueducts) but that was of course out of the question. He is very clever and genial, and was rather amused at the account we gave him of our discussions. We are two Catholics and two Protestants, and argue from morning till night—naturally neither party convincing the other. He told us we should go to the Vatican to-morrow—there was a large French pèlerinage which he presented. We would certainly see the Pope and perhaps hear him speak.


We had a pleasant breakfast this morning with Bebella d'Arsoli,[33] in their beautiful apartment in his[255] father's (Prince Massimo's) palace. The palace looks so black and melancholy outside, with its heavy portico of columns (and always beggars sitting on the stone benches under the portico) that it was a surprise to get into their beautiful rooms—with splendid pictures and tapestries. The corner drawing-room, where she received us, flooded with light, showing off the old red damask of the walls and the splendid ceiling. We went to see the Chapel after breakfast, where there are wonderful relics, and a famous pavement in majolica.

About 3 we started off for St. Peter's. We had all brought our veils with us, and retired to Bebella's dressing-room where her maid arranged our heads. We left a pile of hats which Bebella promised to send home for us, and took ourselves off to the Vatican, taking little Victoria Ruspoli with us, who looked quite sweet in her white dress and veil—her great dark eyes bright with excitement. We found many carriages in the court, as we got to the Vatican, and many more soldiers on the stairs, and about in the passages. The rooms and long gallery were crowded—all sorts of people, priests, women, young men, children (some very nice-looking people) all speaking French. We went at first into the gallery, but there was such a crowd and such a smell of people closely packed that we couldn't stay, and just as we were wondering what to do, Monsignor Bicletis came through and at once told us to come with him. He took us through several rooms, one large one filled with people waiting for their audience, into the one next the Pope's, who he said was with Cardinal Mathieu, and would soon pass. We were quite alone in that room, except for three or four priests. In a few moments the Pope appeared with Cardinal Mathieu and quite a large suite. The Cardinal, who had promised to present Madame de B. (there had been some[256] delay about her convocation), came up to us at once. We all knelt as the Pope came near, and he named Madame de B. and little Victoria, who asked for his blessing for her brothers. He recognised me and Bessie, and said we were welcome always at the Vatican. He only said a few words to Madame de B. as he had a long afternoon before him. Cardinal Mathieu told us to follow them, so we closed up behind the suite, and followed the Pope's procession.

There must have been over a hundred people waiting in the next room, and it was an impressive sight to see them all—men, women, and children—kneel as the Pope appeared. Some of the children were quite sweet, holding out their little hands full of medals and rosaries to be blessed—almost all the girls in white, with white veils, like the little first communiantes in France. The Pope made his "cercle," speaking to almost every one—sometimes only a word, sometimes quite a little talk. We followed him through one or two rooms to the open loggia, which was crowded. We were very hot, but he sent for his cloak and hat. We waited some little time but the crowd was so dense—he would have spoken from the other end of the loggia—and we couldn't possibly have got through—so we came away, having had again a very interesting afternoon.

It is most picturesque driving around the back of St. Peter's and the Vatican. There are such countless turns and courts and long stretches of high walls with little narrow windows quite up at the top. Always people coming and going—cardinals' carriages with their black horses, fiacres with tourists looking eagerly about them and speaking every possible language, priests, women in black with black veils, little squads of Papal troops marching across the squares—and Italian soldiers keeping order[257] in the great piazza. A curious little old world in the midst of the cosmopolitan town Rome has become.

Rome, March 2d.

Yesterday Madame de B. and I made an expedition to the Catacombs of San Calisto fuori Porta San Sebastiano. It was decidedly cold and we were very glad we hadn't taken the open carriage. The drive out was charming—first inside the gates, passing the Colosseum, the two great arches of Constantine and Titus, and directly under the Palatine Hill and Baths of Caracalla, and then going out through the narrow little gateway, and for some little distance through high stone walls, we came upon the countless towers, tombs and columns standing alone in the middle of the fields, having no particular connection with anything, that mark the Appian Way, and make it so extraordinarily interesting and unlike any other drive in the world. I was delighted when we came upon that funny little stone house, built on the top of a high circular tomb—I remembered it perfectly.

The Catacombs stand in a sort of garden or vineyard. There were people already there, and a party just preparing to go down as we appeared. They had asked for a guide who spoke French, as they knew no Italian, and a nice-looking, intelligent young monk was marshalling his party and lighting the tapers. I thought they were rather short (I am rather nervous about subterraneous expeditions and one has heard gruesome tales of people lost in the Catacombs, not so very long ago) but they lasted quite well.

It was curious to see all the old symbols again—the fish, the pax (cross) and to think what they represented to the early bands of Christians, when the mere fact of[258] being a Christian meant persecution, suffering, and often a terrible death in the arena of the Colosseum.

Some of the frescoes are wonderfully preserved—we saw quite well the heads of saints, martyrs, and decorations of wreaths of flowers or a delicate arabesque tracery; the most favourite subjects were Jonah and the whale, a shepherd with a lamb on his shoulders, and kneeling women's figures. The ladies in our party were wildly interested in the mummies (terrible looking things), particularly one with the hair quite visible. We saw of course the niche where the body of Ste. Cecilia was found—but the body is now removed to the church of Ste. Cecilia in the Trastevere. They have put, however, a model of the body, representing it exactly, in the niche, so the illusion is quite possible.

We walked about for an hour, following quantities of narrow passages, coming suddenly into small round rooms, which had been chapels, and still seeing in some of the stone coffins bits of bones, and inscriptions on the walls. It was rather weird to see the procession moving along, Indian file, holding their tapers, which gave a faint, flickering light. The guide had rather a bigger one—on the end of a long stick. We stopped at San Clemente on our way back, hoping to see the underground church, but it was too late. The sacristan said we should have come yesterday—there was a fête, and the two churches were illuminated.

Friday, 4th.

It has been another beautiful day. I trammed over to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel this time and the Stanze and Loggie of Raphael. It is a good pull up to the Sistine Chapel, by a rather dark staircase, but the day was so bright I saw everything very well when I once[259] got there. The Vatican was very full—people in every direction—almost all English and German—I didn't hear a word of French or Italian. Two young men were stretched out flat on their backs on one of the benches, trying to get a good look at the ceiling through their glasses. I was delighted to see the Stanze again with many old friends. Do you remember the "Poesia" on the ceiling of one of the rooms—a lovely figure clad in light blue draperies, with a young, pure face? I wandered up and down the Loggie, but I think I was more interested looking down into the Court of San Damaso, filled with carriages, priests, women in black with black veils coming and going (I should think the Pope would be exhausted with all the people he sees) and the general little clerical bustle. The striped Swiss guard were lounging about in the gateway, and a fine stately porter in cocked hat and long red cloak at each door.

Josephine had a dinner in the evening—Cardinal Mathieu, the Austrian Ambassador to the Vatican and his wife, and other notabilities. There was quite a large reception after dinner, among others the Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, who is very easy, charming—likes to see everybody. When I came downstairs to dinner I found all the ladies with lace fichus or boas on their shoulders, and I was told that I was quite incorrect—that one couldn't appear décolletée in a cardinal's presence. I could find nothing in my hurry when I went back to my room, but a little (very little) ermine cravat, but still even that modified my low body somewhat, and at least showed that my intentions were good. The big red salon looks charming in the evening and is a most becoming room—the dark red silk walls show off the dresses so well. The cardinal had his whist, or rather his bridge, after dinner, for even the Church has succumbed to the universal craze[260]—one sees all the ecclesiastics in Black circles just as intent upon their game and criticising their partner's play quite as keenly as the most ardent clubmen. I suppose bridge is a pleasure to those who play, but they don't look as though they were enjoying themselves—their faces so set and drawn, any interruption a catastrophe, and nobody ever satisfied with his partner's play.

We had very good music. An American protégé of Josephine's with a good high barytone voice sang very well, and the young French trio (all élèves du Conservatoire de Paris) really played extremely well. The piano in one of Mendelssohn's trios was quite charming—so sure and delicate. It was a pleasure to see the young, refined, intelligent faces so absorbed in their music, quite indifferent to the gallery. The young violinist played a romance (I forget what—Rubinstein, I think) with so much sentiment that I said to him "Vous êtes trop jeune pour jouer avec tant d'âme," to which he replied proudly, "Madame, j'ai vingt ans." C'est beau d'avoir vingt ans. I wonder how many of us at fifty remember how we thought and felt at twenty. Perhaps there would be fewer heart-burnings in the world if we older ones did remember sometimes our own youth.

Sunday, March 6th.

Yesterday I walked up to Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni in Laterano. I took the Scala Santa on my way to San Giovanni. Several people were going up—some priests, Italian soldiers, two or three peasants and two ladies—mother and daughter, I should think, their long black cloth dresses very much in their way evidently. I watched them for some time. I wonder what it means to them, and if they really believe that they are the steps from Jerusalem which our Saviour came[261] down. I stayed some little time in San Giovanni. It is magnificent certainly, but there is too much gilding and mosaic and modern decoration. The view from the steps was enchanting when I came out; the air was delicious, the sun bright in a bright blue sky, and the mountains soft and purple in the distance.

We had an interesting breakfast—two Benedictine monks from the great abbaye of Solesmes. They talked very moderately about their expulsion, and the wrench it was to leave the old monastery and begin life again in new surroundings. The older man especially seemed to feel it very much. I suppose he had spent all his life inside those old grey walls—reading and meditating and bound up in the interests and routine of his order. They had come to Rome to see the Pope, and consult with him about suppressing secular music in the churches, and substituting the Gregorian chants everywhere. It is a very difficult question; of course some of the music they have now in the churches is impossible. When you hear the "Méditation de Thaïs" played at some ceremony, and you think what Thaïs was, it is out of the question to admit such music in a church—on the other hand the strict Gregorian chant is very severe, particularly sung without any organ. I daresay educated musicians would prefer it, but to the ordinary assemblage, accustomed to the great peal of the organ with occasionally, in the country for instance at some festa, the national anthem or some well-known military march being played, the monotonous, old-world chant would say nothing. We shall hear them at the great festival at St. Peter's for San Gregorio.

Thursday, 10th.

It was warm and lovely Tuesday. Bessie, Josephine and I walked down to J.'s work-room in the Convent of[262] St. Euphemia, somewhere beyond Trajan's Forum, before breakfast. It was too warm walking along the broad street by the Quirinal. We were thankful to take little dark narrow side streets. The "ouvroir" (work-room) was interesting—quantities of women and girls working—some of the work, fine lingerie, lace-mending, embroidery beautifully done. It is managed by sisters, under Josephine's direction, who gives a great deal of time and thought to her work. They take in any child or girl from the street, feed them and have them taught whatever they can do. It was pretty to see the little smiling faces and bright eyes as Josephine passed through the rooms.

We went to a pleasant tea in the afternoon at Countess Gianotti's (wife of Count Gianotti, Master of Ceremonies to the King). There were quite a number of people—a very cosmopolitan society (she herself is an American) and she gave us excellent waffles.

Yesterday we had a delightful excursion with Countess de Bertheny in her automobile. She came to get me and Bessie about 11. We picked up two young men and started for Nemi and the Castelli Romani. We drove straight out from Porta San Giovanni to Albano. It was quite lovely all the way, particularly when we began the steep ascent of Albano, and looked back—the Campagna a beautiful stretch of purple, the aqueducts standing well out all around us, and the statues of San Giovanni just visible and looking enormous, in the mist that always hangs over Rome, St. Peter's a great white spot with the sun full upon it. We rattled through Albano. The streets looked animated, full of people, all getting out of our way as fast as they could.

The door into the Doria Villa was open; we just had a glimpse of the garden which looked cool and green, with a perspective of long walks, ending in a sort of[263] bosquet, but we passed so quickly that it was merely a fleeting impression. We drove through Ariccia to Gensano—a beautiful road, splendid trees, making a perfect shade, the great Chigi Palace looking just the same, a huge grim pile—quite the old château fort, built at the entrance of the little village to protect it from invading enemies. If stones could speak I wonder what they would say to modern inventions, automobiles, huge monsters certainly, but peaceful ones, rushing past, trains puffing and smoking along the Campagna, great carts drawn by fine white oxen going lazily along, the driver generally asleep under his funny little tent of red or blue linen, and nobody thinking of harm.

We drove through Gensano, then turned off sharp to the left to Nemi—a fairly good road. We soon came in sight of the lake, which looked exactly as I remembered it—a lifeless blue, like a deep cup surrounded by green hills. They used to tell us, I remember, that there were no fish, no living thing in the lake, but Ruspoli says there are plenty now—very good ones.

We followed a beautiful winding road up to Nemi, which is a compact little village on the top of a hill—the great castle standing out well. It has just been bought by Don Enrico Ruspoli, and he and his charming American wife are making it most picturesque and livable. We breakfasted at the little Hôtel de Nemi—not at all bad—the dining-room opening on a terrace with such a view—at our feet the Campagna rolling away its great waves of blue purple to a bright dazzling white streak, the sea—on one side a stretch of green valley leading to all the different little villages; on the other the lake with its crown of olive-covered hills.

Just as we were finishing breakfast Ruspoli appeared to ask us if we would come and see the castle. We entered[264] directly from the little square of the town—the big doors face the church. There is a fine stone staircase, and halls and rooms innumerable. They have only just begun to work on it—have made new floors (a sort of mosaic, small stones, just as I remember them at Frascati in Villa Marconi) and put water everywhere, but there is still a great deal to do. The proportions of the rooms are beautiful, and the view divine. As in all old Italian castles some of the village houses were built directly into the wall of the castle. They have already bought and knocked down many of these (giving the inhabitants instead comfortable, clean, modern houses which they probably won't like nearly as well) and are arranging a beautiful garden in their place. They have also a terrace planted with trees about half-way down the slope to the lake, which would be a divine place to read or dream away a long summer's day. I don't think there are ten yards of level ground on the place.

Great New Bridge from Albano to Ariccia.  Built by Pope Pius IX. Great New Bridge from Albano to Ariccia. Built by Pope Pius IX.

We couldn't stay very long as we were going on to Frascati and Castle Gondolfo. They gave us tea, and when we came out on the piazza we found the whole village congregated around the automobiles (another had arrived from Rome—I am so cross I didn't bring mine with Strutz, it would have been so convenient for all the excursions). It is a wild beautiful spot, but I should think lonely. We went back to Albano, saw the great bridge built by Pio Nono, with its three tiers of arches, the famous tombs—Horatii, Curiatii and Pompey, and then drove along the beautiful "galeria di sotto" to Castle Gondolfo, the old crooked ilex trees nearly meeting over our heads, and the Campagna with lovely lights and shades flitting over it, far down at our feet. There everything looked exactly as I remembered it. It seemed to me the same priests were walking about under the[265] trees, the same men riding minute donkeys, with their legs nearly touching the ground; the same great carts, lumbering peacefully along, the driver usually asleep until the horn of the automobile close behind him roused him into frantic energy; however they were all most smiling, evidently don't hate the auto as they do in some parts of France.

We stopped at the Villa Barberini at Castle Gondolfo—such a beautiful garden, but so neglected—great long dark walks, trees like high black walls on each side, and big bushes of white and red camellias almost as tall as the trees, roses just beginning. In every direction broken columns, vases, statues (minus arms and legs) carved benches, all falling to pieces. We went into the Villa which is usually let to strangers, but it was most primitive—brick floors everywhere (except in the salons, where there was always the mosaic pavement), and the simplest description of furniture—ordinary iron bed-steads, and iron trépieds in the master's bed-rooms, but a magnificent view of sea and Campagna from the balcony, and a beautiful cool, bracing air.

We drove on through Marino and Frascati. We passed the little chapel on the road where we used to see all the people praying the great cholera year. It was open, and one or two women were kneeling just inside. The atmosphere was so transparent that Rocca di Papa and Monte Cavo seemed quite near. The Piazza of Frascati was just the same, the Palazzo Marconi at one side with the great Aldobrandini Villa overtopping it and the Villa Torlonia opposite. We didn't go into the town, but took the steep road down by the railway station. There everything is changed—it didn't seem at all the Frascati we had once lived in—quantities of new, ugly villas, and an enormous modern Grand Hotel.

[266]We got home about 6.30—the Campagna quite beautiful and quiet in the soft evening light. There were very few people on the road, every now and then a shepherd in his long sheepskin cloak, staff and broad-brimmed hat appearing on the top of one of the many little mounds which are dotted all over the Campagna, and occasionally in the distance a dog barking.

March 17th.

Bessie and I have just come in from the last meet of the season at Cecilia Metella. It is such a favourite rendezvous that there is always a great crowd, almost as many people walking about on the Campagna as riding. It was a very pretty sight. There were quantities of handsome horses, but I don't know that it was quite comfortable walking when the hunt moved off. Some of the young men—principally officers—were taking preliminary gallops in every direction, and jumping backward and forward over a large ditch. One of them knocked down an Englishwoman—at least I don't think he really knocked her, but he alighted so near her that she was frightened, and slipped getting out of his way. We stopped to speak to her, but she said she wasn't at all hurt, and had friends with her. The master of the hounds—Marchese Roccagiovine—didn't look very pleased, and I should think a large, motley field, with a good many women and careless riders, would be most trying to a real sportsman, such as he is. Giovanni Borghese told me there were two hundred people riding, and I can quite believe it.

Roman Huntsmen on the Campagna.  Ancient Roman aqueduct in the background. Roman Huntsmen on the Campagna. Ancient Roman aqueduct in the background.

We had a delightful day yesterday, but rather a fatiguing one—I am still tired. We made an excursion (a family party—Bessie, Josephine, her two children, Mr. Virgo and two of his friends—a Catholic priest and a student preparing for orders—all Englishmen). We[267] went by train to Frascati, and from there to Tusculum, carrying our breakfast with us. We passed the little Campagna station (Ciampino) where we have stopped so often. Do you remember the old crazy-looking station, and the station-master, yellow and shivering, and burned up with fever. Now it is quite a busy little place, people getting on and off the trains and one or two brisk porters. The arrival at Frascati was a sight. We were instantly surrounded by a crowd of donkey-boys and carriages—nice little victorias with red flowers in the horses' heads and feathers in the coachmen's hats—all talking at the top of their voices; but between Mr. Virgo and Pietro, Josephine's Italian footman, who had charge of the valise with the luncheon, we soon came to terms, and declined all carriages, taking three or four donkeys.

It isn't a long walk to Tusculum, and Josephine and I both preferred walking—besides I don't think I should have had the courage to mount in the piazza with all the crowd looking on and making comments; however, Bessie did, and she sat her donkey very lightly and gracefully, making a great effect with her red hat and red parasol. Perhaps the most interesting show was Pietro. He was so well dressed in a light grey country suit that I hardly recognised him. He stoutly refused to be separated from his valise, put it in front of him on the donkey, sat well back himself and beamed at the whole party. He is a typical Italian servant—perfectly intelligent, perfectly devoted (can neither read nor write), madly interested in everybody, but never familiar nor wanting in respect. I ask him for everything I want. He does it, or has it done at once, better and cheaper than I could, and I am quite satisfied when I hear his delightful phrase "Ci penso io"—I am sure it will be done.

We went up through the Aldobrandini garden. It[268] looked rather deserted; no one ever lives there now, but it is let occasionally to strangers. Men were working in the garden; there were plenty of violets and a few roses—it is still early in the season for them. In a basin of one of the fountains a pink water-lily—only one—quite beautiful. The fountains were lovely—sparkling, splashing, living—everything else seemed so dead.

As we wound up the steep paths we had enchanting views of the Campagna, looking like a great blue sea, at our feet, and Rome seemed a long, low line of sunlight, with the dome of St. Peter's hanging above it in the clouds. The road was very steep, and decidedly sunny, so I mounted my donkey, Father Evans walking alongside. Monte Cavo, Rocca di Papa, the Madonna del Tufo, all seemed very near, it was so clear and the air was delicious as we got higher. I recognised all the well-known places, the beginning of the Roman pavement, the Columbarium, Cicero's house, etc.

We were quite ready for breakfast when we got to Tusculum, and looked about for a shady spot under the trees. There are two great stones, almost tables, in the middle of the "amfiteatro," where people usually spread out their food, but the sun was shining straight down on them; we didn't think we could stand that. We found a nice bit of grass under the trees and established ourselves there. It was quite a summer's day, and the rest and quiet after toiling up the steep paths was delightful.

Waiting for the Hounds. Waiting for the Hounds.

After breakfast Josephine and I walked quite up to the top of the hill, the trees making a perfect dome of verdure over our heads. There was no sound except our own voices, and the distant thud of horses' feet cantering in a meadow alongside, an absolute stillness everywhere. Such a view! Snow on the Sabine Mountains, sun on the Alban Hills, the Campagna on either side blue and[269] broken like waves, and quite distinct, a long white line, the sea.

While we were walking about we noticed two carabinieri, very well mounted, who seemed to be always hovering near us, so we asked them what they were doing up there. They promptly replied, taking care of the "società." We could hardly believe we heard rightly; but it was quite true, they were there for us. They told us that when it was known that a number of people were coming up to Tusculum (there were two other parties besides us) they had orders to come up, keep us always in sight, and stay as long as we did. We gave them some wine and sandwiches, and they became quite communicative—told us there were brigands and "cattiva gente" (wicked people) about; that at Rocca di Papa, one of the little mountain villages quite near, there were 500 inhabitants, 450 of whom had been in prison for various crimes, and that people were constantly robbed in these parts. I wouldn't have believed it if any one had told us, but they always kept us in sight.

We decided to go home through the Villa Ruffinella. Donkeys are not allowed inside, and we thought probably not horses either, but the carabinieri came in and showed us the way down. The grounds are splendid—we walked first down through a beautiful green allée, then up, a good climb. The villa is enormous—uninhabited and uncared for—a charming garden and great terrace with stone benches before the house looking toward Rome. The garden, of course, wild and ragged, but with splendid possibilities. Just outside the gate we came upon a little church. Three or four girls and women with bright-coloured skirts and fichus and quantities of coarse jet-black hair were sitting on the steps working at what looked like coarse crochet work and[270] talking hard. The carabinieri were always near, opened two or three gates for us, and only left us when we were quite close to the town, well past the gates of the Aldobrandini Villa.

As we had some little time before the train started, I went off with Bessie to have a look at Palazzo Marconi. It is now occupied by the municipio and quite changed. We found a youth downstairs who couldn't imagine what we wanted and why we wanted to go up; however, I explained that I had lived there many years ago, so finally he agreed to go up with us. The steps looked more worn and dirty—quite broken in some places—and the frescoes on the walls, which were bright blue and green in our time, are almost effaced. It was all so familiar and yet so changed. I went into father's room and opened the window on the terrace, where we had stood so often those hot August nights, watching the mist rise over the Campagna and the moon over the sea. There was very little furniture anywhere—a few chairs and couches in the small salon that we had made comfortable enough with our own furniture from Rome. The great round room with the marble statues has been turned into a salle de conseil, with a big writing-table in the middle, and chairs ranged in a semicircle around the room. There was nothing at all in our old bed-rooms—piles of cartons in one corner. The marble bath-tub was black and grimy. We couldn't see the dining-room, people were in it, but we went out to the hanging-garden—all weeds, and clothes hanging out to dry. The fountain was going at the back of the court, but covered with moss, and bits of stone were dropping off. It all looked very miserable—I don't think I shall ever care to go back. There seemed just the same groups of idle men standing about as in our time—dozens of them doing nothing,[271] hanging over the wall looking at the people come up from the railway station. They tell me they never work; even when they own little lots of land or vignas they don't work themselves—the peasants from the Abruzzi come down at stated seasons, dig and plant and do all the work. One can't understand it, for they look a tall, fine race, all these peasants of the Castelli Romani, strong, well-fed, broad-shouldered. I suppose there must be a strong touch of indolence in all the Latin races.

It was after six when we got back to Rome. We had just time to rush home, get clean gloves and long skirts, and start for the Massimo Palace to see the great fête. Once a year the palace is opened to the general public, and the whole of Rome goes upstairs and into the chapel. It is on St. Philippe's day, when a miracle was performed in the Massimo family, a dead boy resuscitated in 1651. There was a crowd assembled as we drove up, tramways stopped, and the getting across the pavement was rather difficult. The walls of the palace and portico were hung with red and gold draperies, the porter and footman in gala liveries, the old beggars squatted about inside the portico, the gardes municipaux keeping order, and a motley crowd struggling up the grand staircase—priests, women, children, femmes du monde, peasants, policemen, forestieri, two cooks in their white vestons, nuns, Cappucini—all striving and jostling to get along. We stopped at Bebella's apartment, who gave us tea. She had been receiving all day, but almost every one had gone. We talked to her a few moments, and then d'Arsoli took us upstairs to the chapel (by no means an easy performance, as there were two currents going up and coming down). The chapel was brilliantly lighted, and crowded; a benedizione was going on, with very good music from the Pope's chapel—those curious, high, unnatural voices. All[272] the relics were exposed, and Prince Massimo, in dress clothes and white cravat, was standing at the door. It was a most curious sight. D'Arsoli told us that people had begun to come at seven in the morning. When we went home there was still a crowd on the staircase, stretching out into the street, and a long line of tram-cars stopped.

Friday, March 18th.

It rained rather hard this morning, but we three got ourselves into the small carriage and went down to the Accademia di Santa Cecilia to hear the Benedictine monk Don Guery try the Gregorian chants with the big organ. The organ is a fine one, made at Nuremberg. An organist arrived from St. Anselmo to accompany the chants. They sounded very fine, but I thought rather too melodious and even modern, but Don Guery assured me that the one I particularly noticed was of the eleventh century.

Tuesday, 22d.

We seem always to be doing something, but have had two quiet evenings this week. Friday night we went to the Valle to see Marchesa Rudini's Fête de Bienfaisance. The heat was something awful, as the house was packed, and as at all amateur performances they were unpunctual, and there were terribly long intervals. The comédie was well acted, a little long, but the clou of the evening was the ballet-pantomime, danced by all the prettiest women in Rome. The young Marchesa Rudini (née Labouchère) looked charming as a white and silver butterfly, and danced beautifully, such pretty style, not a gesture nor a pas that any one could object to. The rest of the troop too were quite charming, coming in by couples—the Princess Teano and Thérèse[273] Pécoul a picture—both tall, one dark, one fair, and making a lovely contrast. I should think they must have made a lot of money.

Saturday I had a pleasant afternoon at the Palazzo dei Cesari with Mr. and Mrs. Seth Low. He is an excellent guide, had already been all over the palace with Boni and knew exactly what to show us. It was a beautiful afternoon and the view over Rome, the seven hills, and the Forum was divine. These first Roman Emperors certainly knew where to pitch their tents—what a magnificent scale they built upon in those days. The old Augustus must have seen wonderful sights in the Forum from the heights of the Palatine.

Josephine had a large dinner in the evening for the Grand Duchess and Cardinal Vannutelli. It was very easy and pleasant, and we all wore our little fichus most correctly as long as the Cardinal was there (they never stay very long), but were glad to let them slip off as soon as he went away, for we had a great many people in the evening and the rooms were warm. I had rather an interesting talk with an old Italian friend (not a Roman) over the tremendous influx of strangers and Italians from all parts of Italy to Rome. He says au fond the Romans hate it—they liked the old life very much better—they were of much more importance; it meant something then to be a Roman prince. Now, with all the Northern Italians, Court people and double Diplomatic Corps Rome has become too cosmopolitan. People amuse themselves, and dance and hunt, and give dinners at the Grand Hotel and trouble themselves very little about the old Roman families (particularly those who have lost money and don't receive any more). The Romans have a feeling of being put aside in their own place.

It was beautiful this morning, so I took my convenient[274] tram again and went over to see the pictures of the Vatican. Such a typical peasant couple were in the tram, evidently just down from the mountains, as they were looking about at everything, and were rather nervous when the tram made a sudden stop. The woman (young and rather pretty) had on a bright blue skirt, a white shirt with a red corset over it, a pink flowered apron, green fichu on her head, and long gold ear-rings with a coral centre. The man, a big broad-shouldered fellow, had the long cloak with the cape lined with green that the men all wear here, and a slouched hat drawn low down over his brows. They got out at St. Peter's and went into the church. I went around by the Colonnade as I was going to the pictures. There were lots of people on the stairs. It certainly is a good stiff pull up.

I stayed about an hour looking at the pictures—all hanging exactly where I had always seen them, except the Sposalizio of St. Catherine, which was on an easel near the window; some one evidently copying it. I was quite horrified coming back through the Stanze by some English people—three women—who were calmly lunching in one corner of the room. They were all seated, eating sandwiches out of a paper bag, and drinking out of a large green bottle. Everybody stopped and looked at them, and they didn't mind at all. The gardien was looking on like all the rest. I was so astounded at his making no remarks that I said to him, surely such a thing is forbidden; to which he replied smilingly: "No—no, non fanno male a nessnno—non fanno niente d'indecente" (No, they are doing no harm to any one, they are doing nothing indecent). That evidently was quite true; but I must say I think it required a certain courage to continue their repast with all the public looking on, giggling and criticising freely.

[275]I dined this evening with Malcolm Kahn—Persian Minister—and an old colleague of ours in London. It was very pleasant—General Brusatti, one of the King's Aides-de-Camp, took me in, and I had Comte Greppi, ancien Ambassadeur, on the other side. Greppi is marvellous—really a very old man, but as straight as an arrow, and remembering everybody. Tittone, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was there, but I wasn't near him at table, which I regretted, as I should have liked to talk to him.

Palm Sunday, March 27th.

Bessie and I went to the American church this morning, and afterward to the Grand Hotel to breakfast with some friends. The restaurant was crowded, so many people have arrived for Easter, and it was decidedly amusing—a great many pretty women and pretty dresses. It poured when we came away. We had all promised to go to an amateur performance of the Stabat Mater at the old Doria Palace in Piazza Navona. It was rather damp, with draughts in every direction, so Mrs. Law and I decided we would not stay to the end, but would go for a drive until it was time to go back to tea at the Grand Hotel (it is rather funny, the first month I was here I never put my foot in the Grand Hotel, and I was rather disappointed, as tea there in the Palm Garden with Tziganes playing, is one of the great features of modern Rome, and now I am there nearly every day). It was coming down in torrents when we came out of the concert, and a drive seemed insane, so I suggested a turn in St. Peter's (which is always a resource on a rainy day in Rome). That seemed difficult to accomplish, though, when we arrived at the steps—we couldn't have gone up those steps and across the wide space at the top without[276] getting completely soaked. However I remembered old times, and told the man to drive around to the Sagrestia. He protested, so did all the beggars around the steps, who wanted to open the door of the carriage. We couldn't get in—the door was shut, etc., but I thought we would try, so accordingly we drove straight to the Sagrestia. The door was open—a man standing there who opened the carriage door and told the coachman where to stand. I don't think I ever saw rain come down so hard, and so straight. It was very interesting walking through all the passages at the back of St. Peter's, and into the church through the sacristy, where priests and children were robing and just starting for some service with tapers and palms in their hands. We followed the procession, and found ourselves just about in the middle of the church. There were still draperies hanging on the columns and seats marked off. There had been a ceremony of some kind in the morning, and a great many people were walking about. We stopped some little time at the great bronze statue of St. Peter. I was astounded at the quantity and quality of people who came up and kissed the toe of the Saint. Priests and nuns of course, and old people, both men and women, but it seemed extraordinary to me to see young men, tall, good-looking fellows, bend down quite as reverently as the others and kiss the toe. They were singing in one of the side chapels—we listened for a little while—and all over the church everywhere people kneeling on the pavement.

We went back to the Grand Hotel for tea, and dined with the young Ruspolis, who have a handsome apartment in the Colonna Palace. The dinner was for the Grand Duchess, and was pleasant enough. There was a small reception in the evening, and almost every one went afterward[277] to Princesse Pallavicini's who receives on Sunday evening. I like the informal evening receptions here very much. It is a pleasant way of finishing the evening after a dinner, and so much more agreeable than the day receptions—at least you do see a few men in the evening—whereas they all fly from afternoons and teas. As every one receives there is always some house to go to.

Monday, March 28th.

I have had a nice solitary morning in the Forum, with my beloved Italian guide book, a little English brochure with a map of the principal sights, and occasional conversations with the workmen, of whom there are many, as they are excavating in every direction, and German tourists. The Germans, I must say, are always extremely well up in antiquities, and quite ready to impart their information to others. They are a little long sometimes, but one usually finds that they know what they are talking about.

There are of course great changes since I have seen the Forum. They are excavating and working here all the time. The King takes a great interest in all that sort of work, and often appears, it seems, early in the morning and unexpectedly, when anything important is going on. The Basilica Julia (enormous) has been quite opened out since my day; and another large temple opposite is most interesting, with splendid bits left of marble pavement—some quite large squares of pink marble that were beautiful; and in various places quantities of coins melted and incrusted in the marble which looks as if the temple had been destroyed by a fire.

There was little shade anywhere. I hadn't the courage to walk in the sun as far as the Vestals' house, which is really most interesting. The recent excavations have[278] brought to light so many rooms, passages, frescoes, etc., that the ordinary, every-day life of the Vestal Virgins has been quite reconstructed. One could follow them in their daily avocations. From where I was sitting I could see some of the great statues—some of the figures in quite good preservation, two of them holding their lamps. I found a nice square stone, and sat there lazily taking in the enchanting views on all sides—the Palatine Hill behind me, the Capitol on one side, on the other the three enormous arches of the Temple of Constantine; at my feet the Via Sacra running straight away to the Colosseum, the sky a deep, soft blue throwing out every line and bit of sculpture on the countless pillars, temples and arches that spring up on all sides. From a height, the Palatine Hill, for instance, the Forum always looks to me like an enormous cemetery—one loses the impression of each separate building or ruin. It might be a street of tombs rather than the busy centre of a great city.

There were plenty of people going about—bands of Cook's tourists being personally conducted and instructed. If the gentleman who explains Roman history gives the same loose rein to his imagination as the one we used to hear in Versailles conducting the British public through the Historical Portrait Gallery, the present generation will have curious ideas as to the deeds of daring and wonderful rule of all the Augustuses and Vespasians who have made the Palace of the Cæsars the keystone of magnificent and Imperial Rome; and again "unwritten history" will be responsible for many wonderful statements. However, I wasn't near enough to hear the explanations. People were still coming in when I left, and all the way home I met carriages filled with strangers.

We went out again rather late. I went for tea to Marchesa Vitelleschi, and before I came away Vitelleschi[279] came in. I wanted to see him to thank him for sending me his book, a Roman novel, "Roma che se ne va."[34] It is very cleverly written, and an excellent picture of the Rome of 35 years ago, as we first knew it. I should think it would interest English and Americans very much, I wonder he hasn't translated it.

I found quite a party assembled in the little green salon when I got back—Don Guery, the Benedictine monk, who wishes to arrange a concert with Josephine for her charities, and M. Alphonse Mustel, who has just come from Paris with his beautiful organ. He arrived this morning early and hadn't yet found a room anywhere—all the hotels crowded. They say that for years they haven't had so many strangers for Holy Week. He is coming to play here Thursday afternoon.

We had a quiet evening, and after dinner Mr. Virgo read to us the book I am so mad about, "The Call of the Wild." He read extremely well, and I liked the book even better hearing it read. It is a marvellous description of that wild life in the Klondyke, and a beautiful poetical strain all through. The children listened attentively, were wildly interested, particularly when poor Buck was made to drag the sledge so heavily loaded, for his master to win his bet. We also want to read Cardinal Mathieu's article in the "Revue des Deux Mondes," "Les derniers jours de Léon XIII."; but we have so rarely a quiet evening, and in the daytime every one is out in the beautiful Roman sunshine.

We have all come upstairs early (ten o'clock) so I am profiting of a quiet hour to write, as I can't go to bed so early. This street is rather noisy. It is on the way to the station and some of the big hotels. Cabs and big omnibuses go through it all day and all night. I don't[280] mind the noise. I rather like the roar of a big city—it means life.

Thursday, March 31st.

It is pouring to-day, and we have been out all day. I went to church this morning, but didn't get too wet with a thick serge dress and umbrella; then to breakfast at the Grand Hotel with some friends, and an excursion to the Palace of the Cæsars in prospect, under the guidance of Mr. Baddeley, who is an authority on all Roman antiquities and a great friend of Boni's. It rained so hard when we were sitting in the Palm Garden for coffee, that it seemed impossible the drops shouldn't come through, and we looked to see if little puddles were not forming themselves on the floor under our chairs, but no, it was quite dry.

We started in shut carriages, thinking we would try for the Palace of the Cæsars, where we could get refuge, but it was shut, so we went on to San Giovanni in Laterano, and had an interesting hour wandering about the church. Our guide had old artistic Rome at his fingers' ends, and it certainly makes all the difference in seeing the curious old tombs and monuments when one has some idea as to who the people were, and what sort of lives they led. Mr. Baddeley said, like all the people who really live in Italy, that the summer was the time to see Rome; that no one could imagine what a Roman "festa" was unless he had seen one in the height of summer, when the whole population was out and in the streets all day and all night, in a frenzy of amusement. No priests were in the streets; a sort of tacit concession, or tolerance for just one or two occasions.

We came back here for tea, as M. Mustel had promised to play for us this afternoon, and Josephine had asked some of her friends. The organ sounded splendidly[281] in her big music-room, where there is little furniture and no draperies to deaden the sound. He played of course extremely well, and brought out every sound of his instrument. Two preludes of Bach were quite beautiful; also the prelude of "Parsifal"—so much sound at times that it seemed an orchestra, and then again beautifully soft. We were all delighted with it.

People stayed rather late, but Bessie and I and Sir Donald Wallace, who had come to tea, started off to St. Peter's. It is the tradition in Rome to go to St. Peter's on Holy Thursday. In our time the whole city went—it was quite a promenade de société. I believe they do still, but we were rather late. The church looked quite beautiful as we drove up—brilliantly lighted, the big doors open, quantities of people going up the steps and through a double line of Italian soldiers into the church. The "Miserere" was over, but the chapel was still lighted, a good many people kneeling at the altar. The church was crowded, and every one pushing toward the grand altar, which was being washed. They were also exposing the relics from the two high balconies on each side of the altar. Many people were kneeling, and every now and then a procession came through the crowd of priests and choir-boys with banners, all chanting, and kneeling when they came near the altar—of course there was the usual collection of gaping, irreverent tourists, commenting audibly, and wondering if anybody really believed those were the actual nails that came out of the cross, or the thorn out of the Crown of Thorns, etc., etc., also "why are they making such a fuss washing their altar—why couldn't they do it this morning when no one was in the church."

We had some little difficulty in getting away, as the crowd was awful—getting worse every moment. It was[282] beautiful when we did get out—the great Piazza quite black, a steady stream still pouring into the church. The lights from inside threw little bright spots on the gun-barrels and belts of the soldiers—the great mass of the Vatican quite black, with little lights twinkling high up in some of the windows.

I am decidedly tired and stiff—I think being rained upon all day and standing on damp pavements and in windy corners is rather a trial to any one with rheumatic tendencies—but I have enjoyed my day thoroughly, particularly the end at St. Peter's. It so reminded me of old times when we used to go to all the ceremonies, beginning with the "Pastorale" at Christmas time and finishing with the Easter Benediction and "Girandola."

We finished "The Call of the Wild" this evening, and now we must take something else. I should like the "Figlia di Jorio" of d'Annunzio. They say the Italian is quite beautiful, but the morals, I am afraid, are not of the same high order. I shall try and see it.

Rome, Saturday, April 2, 1904.

It was bright yesterday, but cold. The snow was quite thick on the Sabine Hills—they looked beautiful as we drove out into the country through Porta San Giovanni before going to the church of Santa Croce in Jerusalemme, where Prince Colonna had asked us to come and see a curious ceremony—he himself carrying a cross at the head of a procession. Bessie and I with the two children and the dog (we would have left him in the carriage) tried to see some of the churches and hear some music, but there were such crowds everywhere that we couldn't get in, so we took a drive instead. There was such a crowd at Santa Croce that we couldn't have got anywhere near the altar if we hadn't had a card[283] from Colonna; that took us into the Sagrestia where they gave us chairs, and we sat there some little time watching all the "neri" (Blacks) assemble. They proposed to show us the relics to while away the time, so we were taken up a very steep staircase, along a narrow short passage to a small room where they are kept. The priest lighted tapers, made his little prayer, and then unveiled his treasures. There were pieces of the Cross, a nail, St. Thomas's unbelieving finger, and the inscription on a piece of wood that was over the Cross, "Jesus King of the Jews." It was an old, blackened, almost rotten square, with the inscription in Latin, hardly legible, but the priest showed us some letters and numbers that were quite distinct.

When we got back again to the sacristy the procession was forming—a number of gentlemen dressed in black, with gold chains and crosses around their necks, and a long procession of monks, priests, and choristers. Colonna himself at the head, carrying quite simply a rather large wooden cross; all with tapers and all chanting. As soon as they had filed out of the sacristy we went upstairs again to a high balcony, from which we had a fine view of the church. It was packed with people, the crowd just opening enough to allow the procession to pass, which looked like a line of fire winding in and out. There was a short, simple service, and then all turned toward the balcony from where the relics were shown, every one in the church kneeling, as far as I could see. We came away before the end, and had great difficulty in getting through the crowd to our carriages.

This morning it was beautiful so we all started off early to the Wurts' Villa (old Sciarra Villa) on the Janiculum. Just as we crossed the bridge the bells rang out the Hallelujah (the first time they had rung since[284] Wednesday). They sounded beautiful, so joyous, a real Easter peal. We had a delightful hour in the garden of the Villa. There were armies of workmen in every direction, and the place will be a perfect Paradise. There are fine trees in the garden, masses of rhododendrons, every description of palm, and of course flowers everywhere. The views were divine to-day—the Sabine Mountains with a great deal of snow, Soracte blue and solitary rising straight out of the Campagna, and the Abruzzi snow-topped in the distance. Mr. and Mrs. Wurts were there and showed us all the improvements they intend making.

After breakfast I walked about in the Via Sistina looking for some photographs. I wanted to find some of old Rome (at least Rome of 24 years ago) but that seemed hopeless. My artist friend had promised to look in some of his father's old portfolios and see what he could find, but he was not in a business frame of mind this afternoon. He was eating his dinner at his counter, his slouched hat on his head, which he didn't remove while I was talking to him. A young woman with her face tied up in a red fichu was stretched out on the floor behind the counter, sound asleep, her head on a pile of books; another over at the other end of the shop, her chair tilted back, talking sometimes to him and sometimes to people in the street. I suppose my eyes wandered to the one who was asleep, for he instantly said, "She is ill, tired, don't disturb her." He said he hadn't found any old photographs, only one rather bad and half-effaced of Pio IX. I said I wanted one of Antonelli. "E morto lui." I said I knew that, but he had lived however once, and not so very long ago, and had been a person of some importance. He evidently didn't think it worth while to continue that conversation, and had certainly no intention of looking for any photographs for me that day. It was "festa"—Easter[285] Eve—and work was over for him until Monday morning, so I was really obliged to go, he wishing me "buon giorno" and "buona Pasqua" quite cheerfully, without getting up or taking off his hat.

I came in to tea, as Mustel was to play. We had about 40 people, and he was much pleased at the way in which every one listened, and appreciated his instrument. Of course he plays it divinely and brings out every sound. Josephine had asked the Marquise Villa Marina to come and hear him. He naturally wants very much to play for Queen Margherita (who is a very good musician and plays the organ herself), and if the Marquise makes a good report the Queen will perhaps send for him to play for her.

Easter Sunday, April 3d.

It has been a beautiful day. Bessie and I went to the English church, which was crowded. We could only find seats quite at the bottom of the church, and those were chairs which had been brought in at the last moment. We went afterward to breakfast with the Wurts in their beautiful apartment. They had flowers everywhere (from their villa) and the rooms looked like a garden. We were quite a party—16—and stayed there talking and looking at everything until after three. Then we started for a drive. I wanted to go to the Protestant Cemetery and see the little mortuary chapel we built after father's death. Some one told me it was utterly uncared for, going to ruin. The gates were open as we drove up, a good many carriages waiting, and plenty of people walking about inside. It is a lovely, peaceful spot, so green and still, many fine trees, quantities of camellias, and violets on almost every grave. The chapel stood just as I remembered it—in the middle of the cemetery. It is in perfectly good order, and had evidently been[286] used quite lately as there were wooden trestles to support a coffin, and bits of wreaths and stalks of flowers lying about. The two inscriptions, Latin on one side and English on the other, are both quite well preserved and legible. I wanted very much to see a guardian or director of the cemetery, but there was only a woman at the gate, who knew nothing, hadn't been there very long, in fact she knew nothing about the chapel, and showed me a room opening into the old cemetery (where Keats is buried) which looked more like a lumber room than anything else. There are some interesting monuments, one to Mrs. Story, quite simple and beautiful, an angel kneeling with folded wings. It was done by her husband, the last thing he did, his son told me. The old cemetery looks quite deserted, close under the great pyramid of Caius Cestius, the few graves quite uncared for, a general air of neglect, a fitting resting-place for the poor young poet whose profound discouragement will go down to posterity. Every one goes to the grave and reads the melancholy inscription, "Here lies one whose name was writ in water."

It was such a lovely afternoon that we drove on to Tre Fontane. There, too, there were people. The churches were open, but there was no service going on; however the place has always a great charm. The tops of the eucalyptus trees were swaying in a little breeze, and the smell was stronger and more aromatic than when we were there the other day.

We have had a quiet evening, all of us, children and grown-ups, Protestants and Catholics, singing the English Easter Hymns. Josephine, who is a very strict Catholic, loves the English hymns, and certainly we can all sing "Christ the Lord is Risen To-day," for Easter is a fête for all the world. I am sorry I didn't go to St.[287] Peter's this morning. I don't know that there was any special ceremony, but for the sake of old times I should have liked to have had my Easter and Hallelujah there.

I am writing rather under difficulties as the telephone is ringing furiously (it goes all day, as every one in the house uses it for everything). At the present moment Josephine seems conversing with "all manner of men"—the Marquise Villa Marina from the Queen's Palace, the padrone of the hotel where Mustel is staying, and one or two others. It seems Queen Margherita would like to have Mustel and his organ to-morrow night at the Palace; and has asked us three, Bessie, Josephine and me, to come. I am very glad for Mustel who wants so much to be heard by the Queen. He hopes to sell some of his organs here. They are not expensive, but so few people care about an organ of their own.

Wednesday, April 6th.

We had an interesting evening at the palace on Monday. I couldn't get there for the beginning, as I had a big dinner, and a very pleasant one, at the Iddings'. When I arrived I heard the music going on, but the Marquise de Villa Marina came to meet me in the corridor, and we walked up and down talking until the piece was over. I found a small party—the Queen, her mother, the Duchess of Genoa, and about fifteen or twenty people. The Queen was in black, with beautiful pearl necklace. She received me charmingly and was most kind and gracious to Mustel, saying she was so pleased to see a French artist, and taking great interest in his instrument. He played several times: Handel's grand aria, Bach, and the Marche des Pèlerins from "Tannhäuser," which sounded magnificent—quite an effect of orchestra.

About 11.30 there was a pause. The Duchess of Genoa[288] came over and talked to me a little, saying she had known my husband and followed his career with great interest, his English origin and education making him quite different from the usual run of French statesmen. She also spoke of my sister-in-law, Madame de Bunsen, whom she had known formerly in Florence. She exchanged a few words with the other ladies, and then withdrew, the Queen and her ladies accompanying her to her apartments. We remained talking with the other guests until Queen Margherita came back. She asked Mustel to play once more—and then we had orangeade, ices, and cakes. There was a small buffet at one end of the drawing-room. It was quite half-past twelve when the Queen dismissed us. We had a real musical evening, pleasant and easy.

Cardinal Antonelli. From a picture painted for the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar.  From a photograph given to Madame Waddington by the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar at Rome. Cardinal Antonelli. From a picture painted for the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. From a photograph given to Madame Waddington by the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar at Rome.

It was beautiful this morning, so I went for a turn in the Villa Borghese, which is a paradise these lovely spring days; only the getting to it is disagreeable. It is a hot, glaring walk up the Via Veneto, not an atom of shade anywhere until one gets well inside the grounds. I was walking about on the grass quite leisurely, and very distraite, not noticing any one, when I heard my name. I turned and saw two ladies making signs to me from the other side of the road, so I squeezed through a very narrow opening in the fence, and found myself with the grand duchess and her lady-in-waiting, who were taking their morning walk. We strolled on together. She asked me if I always came to the villa in the morning. I said "No," I often went shopping in the morning, and told her about my photographer of the Via Sistina and the difficulty of getting a photograph of Antonelli. She instantly said: "Oh, but I can help you there, if you really would like a photograph of Antonelli. I have a fine portrait of him that was painted for my beau-père. It is in the palace at Weimar, and I will give orders at once for[289] the court photographer to go and copy it." I was much pleased, as I do want the photograph and was rather in despair at not having found one. It seemed incredible to me, until I had asked a little, that there should be nothing of Antonelli. After all, it isn't very long since he played a great part here, so it was a most fortunate rencontre for me this morning. We parted at the gate—I walked home and she got into her carriage.

Friday, April 7th.

We made a pleasant excursion yesterday to San Gregorio, the Brancaccios' fine place beyond Tivoli. The day unluckily was grey, looked as if it would pour every minute, we had none of the lovely lights and shades that make the Campagna and the hills so beautiful. We went out in Camillo Ruspoli's automobile, a Fiat, Italian make, strong and fast. The road is not particularly interesting until one begins the steep ascent to Tivoli; then looking back the view of course was beautiful. We didn't have much time to admire it, for the auto galloped up the steep hill as if it were nothing. After Tivoli the road goes straight up into the Sabine hills, winding and narrow, with very sharp corners, which we swung round quite easily certainly, as Ruspoli managed his carriage perfectly—but still the road was narrow and steep—hills rolling away on one side, a precipice and deep valley on the other, no wall nor parapet of any description, and it was absolutely lonely. If anything had broken, or an animal crossed our road suddenly, and made us swerve, I don't think anything could have saved us.

The castle looked very imposing as we came up to it, an enormous mass, the village built into the castle walls, standing high on the top of a hill. The flag was flying, all the population, wildly excited (another automobile had[290] arrived before us), were massed at the gates, the drawbridge down, and Bessie and her husband waiting for us, also the Bishops who had come in their auto. We took off some of our coats, but not all, as the rooms are so enormous that it was cold, notwithstanding a great fire in the big hall. We had an hour before breakfast, so they showed us the house which is magnificent, with the most divine views on all sides from all the balconies, corner windows, etc. It is beautifully furnished, perfectly comfortable. I couldn't begin to describe it—one couldn't take it all in in a flying visit. There are several complete apartments with dressing-rooms, bath-rooms, etc., so curious to see so much modern comfort and luxury inside this grim old castle on the top of a rock far back in the Sabine hills.

It was very cold—I kept on my thick coat. There are balconies and little bridges connecting towers, high terraces, staircases in every direction—quite bewildering. We breakfasted in the large dining hall, and it was pleasant to see the enormous logs, and to hear the crackling and spluttering of a big fire. There are some fine Brancaccio portraits, in the curious old-world court dress of the Neapolitan ladies of the last century. They gave us an excellent breakfast, with a turkey bred and fattened at the olive farm (it seems these olive-fed turkeys are their specialty). We did some more sight-seeing after breakfast, bachelor apartments principally, such curious old niches and steep, narrow little staircases (we could only pass single file) cut in the thick walls, and then started off to drive and walk in the park. They had two nice little two-wheeled carts, with stout ponies, just the thing for rough wood driving. The park is charming—long green alleys with beautiful views—the country all around rather stony and barren, no shade as there are few trees.[291] We hadn't time to go to the olive farm, which I was sorry for, as the people were all working there picking the olives. I should have liked to see the women with their bright skirts and corsets making a warm bit of colour in the midst of the grey-green olive groves.

We started home rather sooner than we had intended, as the sky was getting blacker, and a few drops already falling. We were in an open automobile, and should have been half drowned going home if it had begun to rain hard. We went back at a frightful pace. If I found the coming up terrifying you can imagine what the descent was, flying around the corners, and seeing the steep road zigzagging far down below us. I heard smothered exclamations ("Oh, mon petit Camillo, pas si vite") occasionally from Bessie, and I think Josephine was saying her prayers—however we did get home without any accident or "panne" of any kind, and Ruspoli assured us he had crawled out of consideration for us.

This morning Josephine and I have been out to the new Benedictine Monastery of St. Anselmo, which stands high on a hill overlooking the Tiber. She had business with the Director, so I went into the chapel which is fine (quite modern with splendid marbles) and walked about a little in the garden (they wouldn't let me go far). We went afterward into the Villa Malta. There is an extraordinary view through the key-hole of the door—one looks straight down a long, narrow avenue with high trees on each side, to St. Peter's—a great blue dome at the end. We couldn't make out at first what the old woman meant who opened the door for us, she wouldn't let us come in, but pointed to the key-hole, mumbling something we couldn't understand. At last we heard "veduta" (view), and divined what she wanted us to do. It was most curious. The gardens are lovely still,[292] green, cool. We went over the house, but there is nothing particularly interesting—portraits of all the "Grands Maîtres de l'Ordre de Malte." It was so lovely that we didn't want to come home, so we drove out as far at St. Paul's Fuori le Mura, and walked around the church to the front where they are making a splendid portico—all marble and mosaic. I should have liked it better without the mosaic—merely the fine granite and marble columns.

Tuesday, April 12th.

Yesterday we had a splendid ceremony at St. Peter's, the 13th anniversary of Pope Gregorio Magno. We started early, Josephine and I leaving the house together at 8, dressed in the regulation black dress and veil. I had on a short cloth skirt, which I regretted afterward, but as we had asked for no particular places, and were going to take our chance in the church with all the ordinary sight-seers, I hadn't made a very élégante toilette. We got along pretty well, though there were streams of carriages and people all going in the same direction, until we got near the St. Angelo bridge—there we took the file, hardly advanced at all, and met quantities of empty carriages coming back. I fancy most people started much earlier than we did. The piazza was fairly crowded (but not the compact mass we used to see in the old days when the Pope gave the Easter blessing from the balcony), all the Colonnade guarded by Italian troops, carabinieri and bersaglieri. We went round to the Sagrestia, and found our way easily into the church, and into our Tribune A, but we might just as well have remained at home, if we had wanted to see anything. We were far back, low, and could have just seen perhaps the top of the Pope's tiara when he was carried in his high chair in procession—however it was our own fault, as we had asked too late for our[293] tickets. I was interested all the same seeing the different people come in (the church was very full). We sat there some little time, rather disgusted au fond at having such bad places, particularly when we saw some people we knew being escorted with much pomp past our obscure little tribune, toward the centre of the church. Finally one of the camerieri segreti in his uniform—black velvet, ruff and chain—recognised Josephine, and insisted that she should come with him and he would give her a proper place. She rather demurred at leaving me, but I urged her going, as I was sure she would find a seat for me somewhere. In a few minutes the gentleman returned, and put me first in the same tribune with her, a little farther back, but eventually conducted me to the Diplomatic Tribune, d'Antas, the Doyen, Portuguese Ambassador to the Quirinal, and an old colleague of ours in London, having said he would gladly give a place in their box to an ancienne collègue. That was the moment in which I regretted my short skirt. I had to cross the red carpet between rows of gardes-nobles and gala uniforms of all kinds and colours, and I was quite conscious that my dress was not up to the mark, a sentiment which gathered strength as I got to the Diplomatic Tribune, and saw all the ladies beautifully dressed, with long lace and satin dresses, pearl necklaces, and their veils fastened with diamond stars. However, it was a momentary ennui, and I could only hope nobody looked at me. Wasn't it silly of me to wear a plain little skirt—I can't think why I did it. Almost all the bishops and sommités of the clerical world were already assembled and walking about in the great space at the back of the altar. Just opposite us was the Tribune of the patriciat Romain. All the tribunes and columns were covered with red and gold draperies. A detachment of gardes-nobles,[294] splendid in their red coats, white culottes and white plumes, surrounded the altar. There were two silver thrones for the Pope, one at one side of the church where he sat first, directly opposite to us, another quite at the end of the long nave behind the high altar. The entrance of the cardinals was very effective. They all wore white cloaks trimmed with silver, and silver mitres, each one accompanied by an attendant priest, who helped them take off and put on their mitres, which they did several times during the ceremony. The costumes were splendid, some high prelates, I suppose, in red skirts with splendid old lace; some in white and gold brocaded cloaks, also grey fur cloaks; and an Eastern bishop with a long beard, in purple flowered robes, a pink sash worn like a grand cordon over his shoulder, and purple mitre. It was a gorgeous effect of colour, showing all the more between the rows of tribunes where every one was in black.

We divined (as we were too far back to see) when the Pope's cortège entered the church. There was no sound—a curious silence—except the trumpets which preceded the cortège (they played a "Marcia pontificale," they told me). At last we saw the "sedia gestatoria" with the peacock fans appearing, and the Pope himself held high over the heads of the crowd (it seems he hates the sedia and hoped until the last moment not to be obliged to use it, but it is the tradition of St. Peter's, and really the only way for the people to see him). We saw him quite distinctly. He looked pale certainly, and a little tired, even before the ceremony began, but that may have been the effect of the swaying motion of the chair. There was the same silence when he was taken out of his chair and walked to the throne, not even the subdued hum of a great crowd. There was a little group of officiating[295] priests and cardinals on the dais surrounding the throne. The Pope wore a long soutane of fine white cloth, white shoes, a splendid mantle of white and gold brocade, and a gold mitre with precious stones, principally pearls. He began his mass at once, a bishop holding the big book open before him, a priest on each side with a lighted taper. His voice sounded strong and clear, but I don't think it would carry very far. I was disappointed in the Gregorian chants. There were 1,500 voices, but they sounded meagre in that enormous space. The ceremony was very long. I couldn't follow it all, and at intervals couldn't see anything, as the priests stood often directly in front of the Pope. It was interesting to make out the various cardinals—Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli sat almost directly opposite to us, his tall figure standing out well. His brother Cardinal Serafino was always close to the Pope. I asked d'Antas to show me Cardinal Rampolla, who has a fine head and dignified carriage, rather a sad face. It was very impressive when the Pope left his throne by the altar and walked across the great space to the other one at the end of the nave. Every one knelt as he passed, the cardinals, bishops, gardes-nobles, everybody in the tribunes (at least everybody in the front row, I won't answer for the young ones behind, but they stood if they didn't kneel). There again the ceremonies were very long. When the Pope had taken his seat, many of the cardinals sat too on the steps of the dais. It was very picturesque, and the Eastern prelate stood out well from the group of white-robed Cardinals in his bright flowered garments. The Evangile was read in Latin and in Greek—a great many things and people were blessed, every one kneeling at the foot of the dais, and again when they got close up to the Pope; some quite prostrated themselves and kissed his slipper (a very nice white[296] one) which they say he hates. Prince Orsini, premier assistant of the Saint Siège, officiated, and looked his part to perfection. He is tall, with a long white beard, and his short black velvet cloak, with a long white and silver mantle over it, was most effective. I don't know exactly what he did, but he appeared various times at the foot of the dais, knelt, and sometimes presented something on a platter. He was always accompanied (as were all who took any prominent part in the ceremony) by two priests, one on each side of him; sort of masters of ceremony who told him when to kneel, when to stand, etc. On the whole all the music disappointed me. The Gregorian chants were too thin; the Sistine choir didn't seem as full and fine as it used to be, and the silver trumpets absolutely trivial.

It was most impressive at the moment of the elevation, almost the whole assembly in that enormous church kneeling, and not a sound except the silver trumpets, which had seemed so divinely inspired to me in the old days. I remember quite well seeing Gounod on his knees, with tears streaming down his face, and we were quite enchanted, lifted out of ourselves and our every-day surroundings. This time I was perfectly conscious of a great spectacle of the Catholic Church with its magnificent "mise-en-scène," but nothing devotional or appealing to one's religious feelings.

I should have liked to hear a great solemn choral of Bach, not an ordinary melodious little tune; and yet for years after those first days in Rome I never could play or hear the music of the silver trumpets without being strangely moved.

I thought the Pope looked very pale and tired as he passed down the long nave the last time and was finally carried off in his chair with his peacock fans waving,[297] and a stately procession of cardinals and prelates following. I think he regrets Venice and the simple life there as pastor of his people.

We saw plenty of people we knew as we were making our way through the crowd to the carriage. Some of the ladies told us they had left their hotel at 5.30 in the morning, they were so anxious to get a good place. I told d'Antas I was very grateful to him, for I saw everything of course perfectly, and took in many little details which I never could have seen if we hadn't been so near. I also apologized to Madame d'Antas for my modest, not to say mesquin attire; but she said as long as I was all black, and had the black veil, it was of no consequence. There were two or three ladies in the Royal Tribune—Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and Duchess Paul of Mecklenburg. We were a long time getting home, but it was an interesting progress; all Rome out, a good many handsome carriages, and I should think people from every part of the world, Rome is so full of strangers.

Thursday, April 14th.

I never had a moment yesterday as it was the children's ball, and we were all taken up with the preparations. It went off very well, and was one of the prettiest sights I ever saw. The children danced extremely well, though even at the last repetition things didn't go perfectly; but evidently at all ages there is a sort of amour propre that carries one through, when there is a gallery. The dresses were Louis XVI., paniers and powder for the girls (and sweet they looked—Victoria quite a picture with her large dark eyes and bright colour), embroidered coats, long gilets, tricorne hats and swords for the boys. There were eight couples, and very good music—4 violins playing Boccherini's minuet. Bessie had arranged[298] a very pretty "rampe" with white azaleas and pink and yellow ribbons, separating the upper part of the ball-room, and the space for the dancers was kept by 4 tall footmen in yellow gala liveries and powder, who stood at each corner of the square, in their hands tall gilt canes held together by bands of pink ribbon. It made a charming "cadre"—you can't imagine how pretty the little procession looked as they all filed in, the small ones first. I think perhaps the quite small ones were the best; they were so important, took much trouble and weren't as distracted by the spectators as the bigger ones. They were much applauded, and were obliged to repeat the minuet after a little rest. In an incredibly short time all the seats and various accessories were taken away, and the ball began, ending with a very spirited cotillon led by the son of the house, Don Camillo Ruspoli, and one of his friends, the Marquis Guglielmi. They kept it up until dinner time, when the various mammas, quite exhausted with the heat and the emotion of seeing their children perform in public, carried them off; but the children (ours certainly) were not at all tired.

Saturday, April 16th.

It is real summer weather—too hot to walk in the morning, particularly from here, where we have to cross the open piazza before we can get anywhere. Thursday we went to the races with the Brancaccios, on their coach. It was most amusing, the road very animated all the way out from Porta San Giovanni to Campanelle; every one making way for the coach as they do in England. There was every description of vehicle, and quantities of police and soldiers—the road very strictly guarded, as the King and Queen were coming. It looked very pretty to see a patrol of cuirassiers suddenly appearing from under[299] an old archway, or behind a bit of ruined wall, or from time to time one solitary soldier standing on the top of a high mound. It was very hot, the sun too strong on our heads, but we didn't go very fast; couldn't, in such a crowd, so we were able to hold our parasols.

The course and all the tribunes were crowded; the women almost all in white or light dresses. The King and Queen came in an open carriage with four horses—no escort. We had a pleasant day, meeting quantities of people we knew. We had rather a struggle for tea; there were not nearly enough tables and chairs for so many people; but we finally got some under difficulties, two of us sitting on the same chair and thankful to get it.

The drive home was lovely, cool, and very little dust. Rome looked soft and warm in the sunset light as we got near, and the statues on San Giovanni Laterano almost golden as the light struck them. It was interminable when we got into the file, and Brancaccio had some difficulty in turning into his court-yard.

Monday, April 18th.

It is enchanting summer weather, but too hot for walking. I have had two charming auto expeditions with Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. Saturday we started after breakfast to Cività Vecchia. The country is not very interesting near Rome, but it was delightful running along by the sea—the road low and so close to the water that the little waves came nearly up to the wheels. Cività Vecchia looked quite picturesque, rising up out of the sea. We didn't stop there, merely drove through the town, and came home another way inland, through the hills, quite beautiful, but such sharp turns and steep bits. We climbed straight up a high hill (2,000 feet) soon after leaving Cività Vecchia, and had for some time a divine[300] view of sea and coast; then plunged at once into the mountains, great barren, stony peaks with little old grey villages on top; hills rolling away on each side, a wild, desolate country. The road was very lonely, we met only a few carts; the peasants frantic with terror as the big auto dashed by.

We passed Bracciano, the great feudal castle of the Odescalchi, with the beautiful little blue lake at the bottom of the hill. It is a fine old pile, square and grey, with battlements running all around it—more imposing than attractive. After leaving Bracciano we flew—the road was straight and level—and got back to Rome by Ponte Molle and Porta del Popolo.

Sunday we made a longer expedition to the Falls of Terni. There were three autos—quite a party. The road was very different, but quite beautiful, green fields and olive woods, and lovely effects of light and shade on the Campagna. The day was grey, the sun appearing every now and then from behind a cloud, at first; later, when we stopped on the high road, with not a vestige of tree or bit of wall to give us shade, we longed for the clouds.

We soon began to climb, then down a long, winding hill to Cività Castellana, an old fortified town, walls all around. We drove in through the gate, and along a narrow steep street filled with people, as it was Sunday, and asked if they had seen another auto. They told us yes, in the piazza, so we went on, making our way with difficulty through the crowded streets; every one taking a lively interest in the auto. The square, too, was crowded, all the women in bright skirts and fichus, and a fair sprinkling of uniforms; little carts with fruit and vegetables, and two or three men with mandolins or violins (a mild little music) but no signs of an auto. A splendid[301] gentleman in uniform with waving plumes and a sword (mayor, I suppose) came up and interviewed us, and told us an auto had been there, coming from Rome, but had left about ten minutes before; so we started off again, and had a beautiful drive to Terni. We passed Narni, which stands very well on the top of a rock, high above the little river which runs there through a narrow gorge to the Tiber. We crossed a fine large bridge, then down a hill to Terni, where we breakfasted. After breakfast we started for the Falls, about four miles further on, and quite beautiful they are, a great rush of sparkling water falling from a height and breaking into countless little falls over the green moss-covered rocks below. It was delicious to hear the sound of running water, and to feel the spray on our faces after our hot ride.

We didn't get out. We shouldn't have seen the Falls any better, and would have had to scramble over wet, slippery stones. There was the usual collection of guides, beggars, etc., offering us pieces of petrified stone, and of course post-cards of the Falls. Just around Terni the hills are very green, the slopes covered with olive trees, and quantities of white villas scattered about on the hillside, little groups of people loitering about, women and girls making pretty bits of colour as they strolled along. They love bright colours, and generally have on two or three, red or blue skirts, yellow fichus on their heads, or over their shoulders, coloured beads or gold pins. Some of them carried such heavy loads on their heads or backs, great bundles of fagots, or sacks of olives, old women generally. They are given that work as a rest when they are too old to do anything in the fields.

We came home by another road, always the same wild mountain scenery, always also the same sharp curves and steep descents. It is certainly lovely country, green hills[302] breaking away in every direction. As we got higher, great stony, barren peaks, torrents rushing along at our feet, and always on the top of a rock, rising straight up out of the hills, a little old grey village (with usually a steeple and sometimes an old square castle). Some of the villages were stretched along the mountain-side about half-way up. They all looked perfectly lonely and inaccessible, but I suppose life goes on there with just as much interest to them, as in ours in the busy world beneath.

We raced up and down the hills, through beautiful country, scarcely slackening when we passed through some little walled towns (hardly more than one long crooked street), in at one gate and out at the other, people all crowding into the piazza, smiling and taking off their hats. Once or twice one heard them say "la Regina" evidently thinking it was Queen Margherita, who loves her auto, and makes long country excursions in it. It was a curious, fantastic progress, but enchanting.

The other autos had started some time ahead of us. We saw an object (stationary) as we were speeding down a steep hill, which proved, as we got near, to be one of them, stuck in a little stream, quite firmly embedded in the sand, and looking as if nothing would ever get it out. About 15 or 20 men were pulling and hauling, but it seemed quite hopeless. It wasn't a very pleasant prospect for us either, as our auto, too, was big and heavy, and we had to get across. It would have been too far to go back all the way round. However, Mr. Bishop's chauffeur was not in the least concerned, said he would certainly take his carriage over, and he did, Mrs. Bishop and me in it. We waited to see the other one emerge from its bed of sand. The men pulled well, and talked as hard as they pulled, and finally the great heavy machine was landed on the other side.

[303]We had a long level stretch, about 20 kilometres, before we got into Rome, and we raced the train, all the passengers wildly excited. It is curious to see how one gets accustomed to the speed when the carriage rolls smoothly. It seemed quite natural to me to fly past everything, and yet when Strutz has occasionally whirled us in to La Ferté to catch the express I haven't been comfortable at all.

April 22, 1904.

Yesterday afternoon Bessie and I went to the reception at the Villa Médicis, which was pleasant. We liked the music of the Ier Prix de Rome, and it was interesting to see the pictures and sculpture. I think the faces of the young men interested me, perhaps, more than their work—they looked so young and intelligent and hopeful, so eager for the battle of life; and yet so many find it such a struggle. There is so much concurrence in everything, and an artist's life is precarious. The very qualities which make their genius unfit them so for all the cares and worries of a career which must always have ups and downs.

We went late for a drive in the Corso and Via Nazionale to see all the preparations for Loubet's arrival. They are certainly taking no end of trouble—flags, draperies, and festoons of flowers, in all the principal streets. The garden they are making in Piazza Colonna is quite wonderful—quite tall trees, little green lawns, and the statue of a Roman emperor. Quantities of people looking on at the workmen and walking about in the piazza. The Via Nazionale, too, is gorgeous with draperies, shields, and large medallions with French and Italian colours entwined.

This afternoon I went off alone and did some sight-seeing.[304] We shall go in a few days, and I haven't seen half I wanted to. I went straight over to the Trastevere; first to Santa Maria, with its queer old mosaic façade, looking more Byzantine than Italian; then on to Santa Cecilia, where a nice old sacristan took me all over, showed me the chapel supposed to be directly over Santa Cecilia's bath-room (the church is said to be built on the very spot where her house stood), and of course the tomb of the saint. Then, as I had nothing particular to do, I drove out toward Monte Mario, which is a lovely drive in the afternoon, the view of Rome looking back is so beautiful. It is a long steep hill, with many turns, so one gets the view on all sides. The Cork Valley was green and lovely, and the road was unusually quiet. I think everybody is on the Corso looking at the festal preparations. I went back to the house to get Bessie, and we went to tea with the Waldo Storys, in his studio. He has some beautiful things—two fountains in particular are quite charming.

We all dined out, Bessie and Josephine with Cardinal Mathieu, I at the American Embassy with the Meyers. We had a pleasant dinner—four or five small tables. They have Mrs. Field's apartment in the Brancaccio Palace—entertain a great deal, and are much liked in Rome.

The Dining-room in the Brancaccio Palace. The Dining-room in the Brancaccio Palace.

We came home early, and I am finishing this letter to-night. It is very warm, the windows open, and the street sounds very gay. To say that we have heard the Marseillaise these last days but faintly expresses how we have been pursued by the well-known air. Everybody sings or whistles it, all the street musicians, hand-organs, guitars, accordions, and brass bands play it all day and all night; and we hear the music of a neighbouring barrack working at it every morning. At this present moment a band of youths are howling it under the window. I[305] think they are getting ready to amuse themselves when the President arrives.

It was most amusing in the streets this morning, flags flying, draperies being put up everywhere, troops marching across the Piazza di Spagna, musique en tête, to exercise a little on the review ground before the great day—quantities of people everywhere. They say all the hotels will be crowded to-morrow, and with French people, which rather surprises me, but they tell me there are deputations from Avignon, Marseilles, and various other southern towns. They are beginning to arrange the Spanish Steps quite charmingly—a perfect carpet of flowers (if only it doesn't rain).

Saturday, April 23d.

It poured this morning, and all night I heard the rain beating against the window every time I woke. The clouds are breaking a little now, at three o'clock, so perhaps it has rained itself out, and the President may have the "Queen's weather" to-morrow. Our Loubet invitations are beginning to come—a soirée at the Capitol; great ricevimento, all the statues illuminated with pink lights; a gala at the opera; another great reception at the French Embassy (Quirinal); and the review.

Josephine and I have been dining with the grand duchess at her hotel. We were a small party, and it was pleasant enough. She talks easily about everything, and loves Rome. The evening was not long. We all sat in a semicircle around her sofa after dinner. Every one smoked (but me), and she retired about ten.

We have been talking over plans since we got back. Bessie will start to-morrow night. She is not keen naturally about the Loubet fêtes, and Palma[35] wants her [306]to stay over two or three days with her in the country somewhere near Ancona. She will meet me in Turin, and we will come on together from there. It is still raining—I hope it will stop.

Tuesday, April 26th.

I had no time to write Sunday, as we were going all day. Bessie and I went to church in the morning, and then I left some P. P. C. cards on Cardinals Vannutelli, Mathieu, etc., also a note to the grand duchess to thank her for the photographs of Antonelli which she sent me last night—two very good ones, with a nice little note, saying she thought I would perhaps keep the big one for myself "as a souvenir of old times and new friends."

The Corso looked quite brilliant as we drove through—the bright sun seemed to have completely dried the flags and festoons and the streets were full of people, all gaping and smiling, and in high good-humour. The Spanish Steps were charming, the great middle flight entirely covered with flowers, looking like an enormous bright carpet.

We had some visits after breakfast, and started about three to the Countess Bruschi's, who has an apartment with windows looking directly over to the "Esedra di Termine," where the syndic, Prince Prosper Colonna, was to receive the President. There was such a crowd, and there were so many people going to the same place, that we thought that would be hopeless, so we returned and made our way with difficulty, as the streets were crowded, to the Via Nazionale, where a friend of Josephine's had asked us to come. She established us on a balcony, and there we saw splendidly. The street is rather narrow, and the balcony not high. The crowd was most amusing, perfectly good-natured, even at times when a band of[307] roughs would try to break the lines, pushing through the rows of screaming, struggling women and children, and apparently coming to a hand-to-hand fight with the policemen; but as soon as the soldiers charged into them—which they did repeatedly during the afternoon—they dispersed; nobody was hurt (I never can imagine why not, when the horses all backed down on them), nobody protested violently, and the crowd cheered impartially both sides. These little skirmishes went on the whole afternoon until we heard the Marcia Reale, and saw the escort appearing. A troop of cuirassiers opened the march. The royal carriages with the red Savoie liveries were very handsome—all the uniforms making a great effect—the King and President together, both looking very happy, the King in uniform, the President in plain black with a high hat, returning all the salutations most smilingly. He was enthusiastically received, certainly—there were roars of applause, which became frantic when some of the military bands played the Marseillaise. As soon as the cortège had passed the crowd broke up, quantities of people following the carriage to the Quirinal, where the great square was crowded. There, too, they were so enthusiastic that the President had to appear on the balcony between the King and Queen.

We started out again after dinner, and wanted to see the torch-light procession, but didn't, as our movements were a little complicated. We took Bessie to the station, and waited to see her start. When we came out the procession had passed, but the streets were still brilliantly lighted and very gay, quantities of people about.

Yesterday we had a delightful expedition to Porta d'Anzio and Nettuno—two autos—and some of the party by train. We were really glad to get out of the streets and the crowd of sight-seers. Quantities of people have[308] come from all parts of Italy to see the show, and are standing about all day in compact little groups, gaping at the festoons and decorations. It is frightful to think of the microbes that are flying about.

We started early, at 9.30, went straight out toward Albano, to the foot of the hill, then turned off sharp to the right, taking a most lovely road, chestnut trees on each side, and hedges white and fragrant with hawthorn. As we got near Porta d'Anzio we had a beautiful view of a bright blue summer sea. The first arrivals had ordered breakfast in quite a clean hotel, evidently other people had thought too that it would be pleasant to get out of Rome to-day, as there were several parties in the dining-room, which was large and bright, but no view of the sea.

After breakfast we all wandered out to the shore, and walked about a little, but the sun was hot and the glare very trying—the sea like a painted ocean, all the sails of the little pleasure boats, and even fishing boats further out, hanging in folds, the boats just drifting with the tide. The place is enchanting, and the little point of Nettuno quite white in the sun, stretching out into the blue sea, was fairy-like—the colours almost too vivid. The various boatmen lounging about in bright coloured shirts and sashes were very anxious we should sail or row to Nettuno, but the sea, though beautiful, looked hot, and we were rather sceptical about the breeze which they assured us always got up after 12.

We went off in the auto to the Villa Borghese, about half-way between Porta d'Anzio and Nettuno, which is a Paradise. It stands high, in a lovely green park and looks straight out to sea. The drive through the park by the galleria, trees meeting over our heads, and the road winding up and down through the little wood was[309] delightful, so shady and resting to the eyes after the glare and sun of the beach. All the way to Nettuno there are quantities of villas, fronting the sea, some very high with terraces sloping down to the water, all with gardens. Nettuno itself is an interesting little place with a fine old feudal castle. Some of the party had chosen to sail from Porta d'Anzio to Nettuno, and we saw their boat, full of children, just moving along close to the shore.

We had tea on the shore, made in Countess Frankenstein's tea-basket, and it was delicious sitting there, seeing the little blue waves break at our feet, and the beautiful clear atmosphere making everything look so soft and near.

The coming home was enchanting, very few people on the road, so we could come quickly, and the flying through the air was delightful after the heat and fatigue of the day. The Campagna is beautiful at the end of the day; so quiet, long stretches of green just broken here and there by the shepherds' huts, and the long lines of aqueducts, curiously lonely so close to a great city.

We had just time to dress and dine, and start for the gala at the opera. The theatre (Argentina) is small, and stands in a narrow street. There was a long file of carriages, and so little space in front, that there could be no display of troops, music, etc., as one has always in Paris for a gala night at the Opera. Inside, too, all is small, the entrance, corridor, staircase, etc. Once we had got to our box the coup d'œil was charming. The whole house is boxes, tier upon tier, all dark red inside, which threw out the women's dresses and jewels splendidly. They were almost all in white with handsome tiaras, the men in uniform, at least the diplomatists and officers. The peuple souverain, senators, deputies, etc., in the parterre were in black. The heat was[310] something awful. The Court came very punctually—the Queen looked handsome with her beautiful tiara, the King of course in uniform, the President between them in black with no decoration. The house went mad (every one standing of course) when they played the Marseillaise, all the parterre cheering and waving hats and handkerchiefs; equally mad when they stopped that and played the Marcia Reale. The King, who is generally quite impassive, looked pleased. The performance, like all gala performances, was long, but the Royal party didn't look bored, and seemed to talk to each other, and to Loubet quite a good deal. The King has a serious, almost stern face, with a keen, steady look in the eye. I should think he saw everything. The end of the ballet was a fine potpourri of French and Italian flags, Marseillaise and Marcia Reale, and the Court left in a roar of cheers. The Queen bowed very graciously and prettily right and left as she turned to go.

The getting away was difficult and disagreeable, the narrow street was crowded with royal carriages, all the horses prancing and backing, and no one paying attention to anything else. However, it was a fine, dry night, and once we had got across the street we found our carriage (guided by the faithful Pietro) without any trouble.

This morning the Piazza is most interesting. Evidently the King and President pass at the foot of the square, as there are troops everywhere, and a double line of soldiers stretching across the top of the Tritone. Every description of vehicle, omnibuses, fiacres, peasants' carts, people on horseback, all ranged close up behind the soldiers; groups of carabinieri with their red plumets are scattered about the Piazza; a long line of red-coated German seminarists crossing at one end, two or three Cappucini with their sandals, bare feet, and[311] ropes at their waists, coming out of their church, but not stopping to see the show.

I am writing as usual at the window, and a fine smell of frittura comes up from the shop underneath. A most animated discussion is going on just under the window between a peasant, sitting well back on his donkey's tail, two baskets slung over his saddle, strawberries in one, nespoli (medlars) in the other, and a group of ragged, black-eyed little imps to whom some young Englishmen have just given some pennies. They all talk, and every now and then some enterprising boy makes a dive at the baskets, whereupon the man makes his donkey kick, and the children scatter. All the people in the street, and the coachmen of the little botte (there is a station in the Piazza Barberini) take a lively interest in the discussion; so do I from the window, but the police are arriving and the man will be obliged to come to terms. The coachmen of the botte are a feature of Rome, they spot the foreigner at once, and always try to get the better of him. I took a carriage the other day to go and breakfast with Mrs. Cameron in the Piazza di Spagna, about two minutes' drive, and asked our porter what I must give the coachman. He said one lira (franc). When we arrived I gave my franc, which he promptly refused to receive; however I told him I knew that was the tariff and I wouldn't give any more. He protested energetically, giving every possible reason why I should give more—his carriage was the best in the piazza, the road (Via Tritone) was very bad, down hill and slippery, he had waited some time in the piazza for me, etc.; however I was firm and said I would only give him one franc. Two other coachmen who were standing near joined in the discussion and told him he was quite wrong, that a franc was all he was entitled to. He instantly[312] plunged into an angry dispute with them, and in the meantime Mrs. Cameron's door opened, so I put the franc on the cushion of the carriage, he in a frenzy, telling me he wouldn't go away, but would stay there with his carriage until I came out. That I told him he was at perfect liberty to do, and went into the house. He and the others then proceeded to abuse each other and make such a row that when I got up to Mrs. Cameron's rooms she said she couldn't think what was going on in the street, there was such a noise and violent quarrelling—so I told her it was all me and my botta.

Thursday, April 28th.

Well, dear, the fêtes are over, the President has departed, and the Piazza Barberini has at once resumed its ordinary aspect; no more carabinieri, nor police, nor carriages full of people, waiting all day in the square in the hope of seeing King or President pass. I wonder what the old Triton sitting on his shell with his dolphins around him thinks of this last show. He has sat there for centuries, throwing his jet of water high in the air, and seeing many wonderful sights.

The reception at the Farnese Palace was most brilliant last night. We got there too late to see the King and Queen and President receiving; there was such a crowd in the streets, which were all illuminated, that we couldn't get across the Corso, and were obliged to make a long détour. The Farnese Palace looked beautiful as we came up, the rows of lights throwing out the splendid façade, the big doors open, quantities of handsome carriages, people in uniform and ladies in full dress and jewels who had got out of their carriages, crowding into the grand old court. The royal carriages were all drawn up inside the court, and the group of footmen in their[313] bright red liveries made a fine effect of colour at the foot of the stairs. It was an interesting assemblage, all Rome (White) there, and all most curious to see the President. I didn't see either King or Queen. They were already making their progress through the rooms, which were so crowded that it was impossible to pass. The famous Carracci Gallery looked magnificent lighted. The Ambassador and Madame Barrère received their numerous guests most courteously, and didn't look tired, but I fancy it was a relief to them when the fêtes and their responsibility were over.

We have had to put off our journey until Saturday. They wouldn't undertake to keep us reserved compartments, not even sleeping, until Saturday, there would be such a crowd. I don't exactly know why, for the President left this morning, going south, and we, of course, are coming north, but every one told me not to go, so we have telegraphed to the Ruspolis to say we would go out and breakfast with them at Nemi.

There were quantities of affiches posted everywhere this morning which I shouldn't think would please either the King of Italy or the French President: "Viva Loubet—Viva Combes—Viva la France anticléricale."

Josephine and I went for a drive. It had rained all the morning, and was grey and damp, but we didn't mind. We both of us love the Campagna in all its varying aspects. We walked about for some time, but had difficulty in choosing our ground, on account of the shepherds' dogs, which are very fierce sometimes, and the troops of buffaloes. Josephine had a disagreeable experience one day with the buffaloes. She was walking on the Campagna with her small children and her Italian footman, when suddenly a troop of these wild creatures charged down upon her at a headlong pace. There was[314] no refuge of any kind near; the footman, frightened to death, promptly ran away. She was terrified, but didn't lose her head. She stood quite still, the children clinging to her skirts, and the herd divided, passing by on either side; but she might have been trampled to death. Naturally she has given them a wide berth since.

Friday, April 29th.

I will finish to-night dear, as we have come upstairs early after a long day in the country. The trunks are all ready, some of them downstairs, and we start early to-morrow morning. They say the confusion yesterday at the station, when the President departed, was awful, people—ladies—rushing about distractedly trying to find places, no footmen allowed inside, not enough porters to carry the heavy dressing-bags and rouleaux. Some people couldn't get any places, could only start last night.

We had a pleasant day at Nemi. We went out by train. There were a good many people, evidently starting for the regular round of Castelli Romani, principally English and Americans, and principally women, very few men, but large parties, six and seven, of women and girls. It is a pretty road across the Campagna and up the steep hill to Albano, and as our speed was not terrifying we had ample time to see everything. The Ruspoli carriage was waiting for us, and we had a beautiful drive to Nemi. It is really a lovely little place—the deep blue lake at the foot of the hills, and all the country about us green. Our hosts were waiting for us in one of the numerous salons, and we had time to go over the castle a little before breakfast, which we had in a charming old-fashioned room, with wonderful frescoes on the walls. They have already done wonders in the old feudal castle, and I should think it would be a charming[315] summer residence, as no heat could penetrate these thick walls. The view from the balcony was divine, over green slopes and little woods to the lake.

We missed our train at Albano, so drove on to Castel Gandolfo and waited there for the next one. We had goûter in a lovely little pergola overlooking the lake of Albano, with the great papal villa opposite. It is not very interesting as to architecture, a large square pile. No Pope has lived there since Pio Nono. I believe some French nuns are settled there now.

It was very warm walking about the little old town, which looked as if it had been asleep for years—no one in the streets, no beggars even, no movement of any kind. Just as we were starting for the station three or four carriages filled with tourists rattled through. It is curious to see how life seems to go on in just the same grooves in all these little towns. Rome has so changed—changes so all the time—is getting cosmopolitan, a great capital; but all these little mountain villages seem quite the same as in the old days of Savellis, Colonnas, and Orsinis, when most of the great feudal chiefs were at daggers drawn and all the country fought over, and changing hands after each fierce encounter. The few people one meets look peaceful enough, but on the smallest provocation eyes flash, tones and gestures get loud and threatening, but apparently they calm down at once and are on the whole, I fancy, a lazy, peaceable population.

It is warm to-night, the windows are open and the Marseillaise still has the honours of the night—one hears it everywhere.



Albano, 30

Alberti, 20-21

Alfieri, 105

Allessandri, Carlo, 27, 35

Altieri, Cardinal, death of, 30

Angelico, Fra, 39

Antonelli, Cardinal, 61, 284, 288, 306

d'Aosta, Duke, 223

Apponyi, Count, 73

Arbuthnot, Miss, 26

d'Asoli, 271

d'Asoli, Princess, 254

d'Aubigny, M. and Madame, 45

d'Aulnay, 62, 116

d'Aulnay, Comtesse, 57

Austria, Emperor of, 177

d'Autas, 295

Baddeley, Mr., 280

Bailey, Mrs., 76

Bailleul, Madame de, 230;
received by the Queen, 240, 244, 257

Bandini, Prince, 144

Bandini, Princess, 51, 54, 63, 69, 145;
gives musicale, 146

Beauharnais, Comtesse de, 116

Bertheny, Countess de, 262

Bibra, 62, 69, 143, 145

Bicletis, Monsignor, 249, 250, 251, 255

Bishop, Mr. and Mrs., 299

Bonghi, 105

Borghese, Giovanni, 266

Brancaccio, Princess, 93

Brandt, Otto, 102

Brinquant, 21

Bruce, Mrs., 41, 50, 51;
gives dinner, 68-69, 89, 106, 169, 174

Brusatti, General, 275

Bruschi, Countess, 306

Bunsen, Charles de, 14, 34;
arrives at Rome, 108, 110, 114, 118;
returns to Florence, 119, 180

Bunsen, Madame de, 14, 15, 34, 179, 180, 254, 288

Cabat, M., 117

Cabriac, Marquis de, 71

Cairoli, 45, 52, 64, 80;
speaks in Chamber, 83;
gives dinner, 96-98

Cairoli, Madame, 45, 51, 64, 68;
gives dinner, 96-98

Calabrini, 51, 56, 62, 63, 67, 81

Calice, Countess, 67

Cameron, Mrs., 311

Caprannica, Bianca, 142

Caprannica, Marchesa, 142

Cardenas, the, give dinner, 144

Cavaletti, Maurizio, 69

Cavour, 84, 223, 224

Celleri, Countess, 80, 99

Cenci, 54

Cesarini, Marquise Villa, 253

[318]Chambord, Comte de, 117

Charles Albert, King of Savoy, 220

Charette, 120

Chigi, Marquise, 89

Cialdini, 67

Coello, Count, 148

Colobiano, Count, 222

Colonna, Prince, 282, 283, 306

Colonna, Princess, death of, 30

Comandi, 29

Cook, 91, 95

Crosby, Schuyler, 37

Curtis, Bessie, 61, 230

Daudet, M., 200

Del Monte, 108, 148;
walk with, 172

Despretis, Madame, 51

Desprez, 45, 55, 57, 71, 92, 144

Diemor, 248

Director of Museum at Milan, 186, 199, 212, 216

Doria, 100

Doria, Gwendoline, 81

Edwards, Mrs., 65

Edwards, Hon. Sylvia, 65

Elena, Queen of Italy, gives audience, 240-242;
at the court ball, 243, 253, 299;
at the opera, 310;
gives reception in honour of President Loubet, 312

English, Monsignor, 63, 66, 79;
brings Pope's photograph, 155

d'Eu, Comte and Comtesse, 250

Evans, Father, 268

Field, Mr., 245

Field, Mrs., 237, 305

Forbes, Misses, 26, 184

Frankenstein, Countess, 309

Freycinet, 5, 60

Freycinet, Madame de, 6

Fua, Teresina, 248

Gabriac, Marquis de, 144

Garibaldi, 120, 122

Genoa, Duchess of, 287, 288

Geoffroy, 62, 63, 64, 89, 117, 168

Geoffroy, Madame, 117

Germany, Crown Princess of, 101, 104, 108, 109, 207;
daughters of, 210

Gianotti, Count, 243, 262

Gianotti, Countess, gives afternoon tea, 262

Gittone, 275

Gosselins, 108, 109

Gounod, 296

Grants, 51

Gravina, 96

Greppi, Comte, 275

Grévy, Madame, 9, 11

Guadagni, Madame, 34

Guery, Don, 272, 279

Guglielmi, Marquis, 298

Helena, Queen of Italy, see Elena

Hoffman, Mr., 216, 222, 223

Hohenlohe, Cardinal, 165

Hooker Mr., 51, 66, 120;
gives dinner, 142, 174;
recollections, 176

Howard, Cardinal, 50, 61, 70, 75, 109, 147

Hubert, 225

Hubert, Madame, 13, 47, 58, 63, 71, 168, 185, 188, 196, 200, 203, 216, 221

Humbert, King of Italy, 65, 66;
birthday, 76, 79, 91

Ireland, Monsignor, 23

Ismail, Pasha, ex-Khedive of Egypt, 76

Kahn, Malcolm, 275

Keats, John, 286

Keudell, 101-103, 106, 108

Keudell, Madame, 102, 103, 108

[319]King, Charles, 30;
death of, 119-120

King, Fanny, 176

King, Henrietta, 124, 134, 218

King, Mrs., 123, 132, 134, 137, 139

King, William, 124, 132

Kruft, 5

Lanciani, 44, 63, 88, 89, 159

Landi, Madame, 40

Law, Mrs., 275

Leuchtenberg, Duke of, 116

Loubet, President, 305;
reception of, 306-307;
at the opera, 309-310;
at the reception at the Farnese Palace, 312, 314

Lovatellis, 51, 94

Low, Mr. and Mrs. Seth, 273

Lucchesi-Palli, 117

Lyons, Lord, 7

MacMahon, Madame de, 10, 11

MacMahon, Marshal, 10, 73

Maffei, 64, 97, 108, 159

Malatesta, Felice, 59, 61, 86, 94, 108

Malatesta, Countess, 75

Maquay, George, 32, 35, 184

Maquay, Louisa, 36, 184

Maquay, Nina, 36, 184

Marcello, Comtesse, 93, 95, 98

Margherita, Queen of Italy, 220, 234;
gives audience, 253, 285, 287

Marina, Marquise Villa, 253, 285, 287

Massari, 87, 105

Massimo, Prince, 74, 218, 255, 272

Mathieu, Cardinal, 254, 255, 304, 306

Medici, Catherine de', 33

Menabrea, 67

Meyers, the, give dinner, 304

Michelangelo, 59

Minghetti, 52, 56, 69, 81, 105, 181-183

Minghetti, Madame, 51, 52, 56, 57, 69, 81;
receives, 105, 108

Mirafiori, Comtesse, 183

Mohl, Madame, 50

Murrays, 209, 210-211

Mustel, M. Alphonse, 279, 280, 285;
plays before Queen Margherita, 287

Naples, Prince of, 86, 94

Napoleon, Louis, 84, 223

Nassau, Duke of, 28

Nevin, Dr., 48, 88, 242

Nina, Cardinal, 61, 80

Nisard, M., 240

Noailles, Marquis de, 45, 48, 87, 98

Noailles, Marquise de, 48, 51, 56, 57;
gives dinner, 64, 87, 96, 100;
receives, 107, 108;
gives farewell dinner to the Waddingtons, 159

Norton, Mrs., 139-142

Orloff, Prince, 10

Orsini, Prince, 295

"Ouida," 27;
description of, 28

Ouronsoff, Prince, 244

Paget, Sir Augustus, 51, 64, 82, 102, 109

Paget, Lady, 51, 57, 64;
receives, 89, 102, 109

Palfy, Count, 52, 70, 92;
conversation with, 174

Pallavicini, Princess, 51, 54, 67;
gives reception, 86-87, 246;
receives, 277

Pannissera, Madame, 107

Pasetti, Baron, 242

Paul, Duchess of Mecklenburg, 297

Pécoul, Thérèse, 273

Perret, 68

[320]Peruzzi, Edith, 18, 36, 108, 184

Peruzzi, Ubaldino, 181, 206

Pierson, 4

Pietro, 267, 310

Pietro, Cardinal di, 79

Poggio-Suasa, Princess di (née Curtis), 230, 238, 244, 248;
gives dinner, 259, 262, 266;
gives dinner, 273, 285, 286, 291, 292, 294, 304, 305, 313

Poggio-Suasa, Princess di (née Talleyrand-Périgord), 305

Polk, Antoinette, 160

Pontécoulant, Comte de, 8, 12

Pope Leo XIII, 58;
audience with, 59;
described, 59, 60, 71, 146;
in his garden, 155, 156, 250

Pope Pius IX, 56, 58, 59, 69;
how he was received in the streets when he rode out, 146;
description of the blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's, 157-158, 250, 264, 315

Pope Pius X, audience with, 249-251;
description of, 250

Primoli, 144

Queen of Naples, Dowager, death of, 30

Ramée, Mlle. de la, 27

Rampolla, Cardinal, 295

Récamier, Madame, 168

Rignano, Madame, 99

Ripaldi, Duke di, 57, 100, 159

Ristori, Madame, 142

Roccagiovine, Marchese, 266

Rodmans, 233

Rossi, de, 89

Rothschild, Madame Alphonse, 99

Rudini, Marchesa, gives fête, 272

Ruspoli, Camillo, 289, 291, 298

Ruspoli, Don Emanuele, 231, 263

Ruspoli, Victoria, 255;
gives dinner, 276, 315

St. Asilea, 87, 98

Sand, George, 38

Sant' Onofrio, Madame de, 96

Savonarola, 39

Savoy, Princes of, 94

Saxe-Weimar, Grand Duchess, 259, 297

Say, Léon, 60

Schuyler, Eugene, 35, 41, 42, 44, 56, 69, 77, 110, 112, 142

Schuyler, Mrs. Eugene ("Gert"), 35, 41, 42, 44, 61, 62, 63, 64, 67, 69;
trouble with maid, 76-78, 79, 80, 82, 89, 92, 108, 110, 113, 118, 124, 132, 142;
at Tivoli, 161;
gives farewell dinner, 174, 197

Sciarra, Princess, 49, 89

Seckendorff, Count, 103, 105, 108

Sella, 81, 84, 105

Sermoneta, Duke of, 54

Serristori, 35

Sibbern, Madame, 5

Smith, Father, 55, 79, 87, 91;
presents a medal, 160, 174;
conversations with, 177

Somaglia, Countess, 81, 87, 98, 117;
her daughters, 117

Spencer, Mrs. Lorillard, 83

Staël, Madame de, 168

Stanley, Dean, 50

Stanley, Lady Augusta, 50

Sternberg, Mlle. de, 15, 18

Story, Mrs., 286

Story, Waldo, 239, 304

Story, W. W., 18, 109, 239

Sulmona, 72-73

Sulmona, Princess, 73, 87, 144

Sutteroth, M. Alphonse, 5, 8, 200, 227

Talleyrand-Périgord, Charles de, 26

Talleyrand-Périgord, Madame de, 27, 61

[321]Talleyrand-Périgord, Marquise de (née Curtis), 230, 237, 242, 244;
audience with the Pope, 249-251, 262, 266, 267, 275, 285, 290, 302, 304;
leaves Rome, 307

Tchaitcheff, Madame de, 16, 25

Teano, Prince, 51, 54, 56, 105

Teano, Princess, gives ball, 99, 272

Theoduli, Marchesa, 83

Thomar, 71

Thurn, Princess de, 54

Tosti, 145;
described and criticised, 147

Townshend, Mrs. Charles L., 95

Trocchi, 48;
sends flowers, 169

Troubetzkoi, Princess Lise, 98

Turin, Comte de, 243

Turkam, Pasha, 76, 101

Uffizi, 36

Uxkull, 64, 81

Val, Cardinal Mery del, audience with, 251-252

Valery, Dr., 30, 77, 120

Van Loo, 62

Vannutelli, Cardinal Serafino, 295

Vannutelli, Cardinal Vincenzo, 240;
dinner given for, 273, 295, 306

Van Rensselaer, Mrs., 67, 118

Van Schaick, Lottie, 16, 17, 35, 40, 184

Venosta, Visconti, 52;
speaks in Chamber, 80, 83, 105, 159

Venosta, Madame Visconti, 64, 81, 89, 107

Vera, 108

Vicovaro, Princess, 83, 85

Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy, 218, 220, 231

Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, at the court ball, 243, 277, 299;
receives President Loubet, 306-307;
at the Opera, 310;
gives reception in honour of President Loubet, 312

Villamarina, Marquis de, 81, 87

Virgo, M., 245, 266, 279

Visconti, 89

Vitali, Count, gives dinner for French Ambassador, 240

Vitelleschi, 67, 69, 87, 279

Vitelleschi, Marchesa, gives tea, 278

Waddington, Evelyn, 61

Waddington, Francis, has Christmas tree, 5;
left in Paris, 12, 108, 225, 251

WADDINGTON, Madame, leaves Quai d'Orsay, 3-4;
calls on Madame de Freycinet, 6;
formal receptions, 8;
receives Mesdames Grévy and MacMahon, 11;
arrives at Florence, 12;
arrives at M. de Bunsen's, 14;
atypical Florentine party, 18;
a visit from Alberti, 20;
recalls picnic at Segna, 20-22;
visits the Ponte Vecchio, 24;
drives to Santa Maria Novella, 25;
tea at Camerata, 26;
dines with Talleyrand-Périgord, 26;
takes tea with "Ouida," 27;
impressions of "Ouida," 28;
drives to Villa Careggi, 31;
drives to the Certosa and Casa Guadagni, 34;
decides to go to Rome, 35;
Maquay dinner, 35;
drives out Fiesole way, 37;
visits Fra Angelico's and Savonarola's cells at San Marco, 39;
musical evening with the Landis, 40;
arrives at Rome, 41;
her father's illness, 42;
calls on Eugene Schuyler, 44;
[322]invitations from Embassies, 44;
drives along the Via Appia, 45;
visit to the Vatican, 47;
visit from the Marquis de Noailles, 48;
Princess Sciarra's ball, 49;
recollections of Dean Stanley and Cardinal Howard, 50;
reception at the Schuylers', 51;
reception at Princess Pallavicini's, 54;
pointed out as distinguished strangers, 55;
dinner at the Teanos', 56;
breakfast at the Noailles', 57;
audience with the Pope, 58-60;
dinner at the Wimpffens', 62;
the pope's impression of, 63;
dinner at the Noailles', 64;
attends the opera, 69;
dines at the Portuguese Embassy, 71-74;
dines with the Pagets, 81;
dinner at the Calabrinis', 84;
attends American Church, 88;
walk on Good Friday, 90;
service at St. Peter's, 90;
service at St. John Lateran, 91;
note from the Quirinal, 92;
audience with the Queen of Italy, 92-95;
meets the Prince of Naples, 94;
breakfast with the Noailles, 95;
sees Farnese Palace, 95;
visits the Bakers' tomb, 96;
dines with the Cairoli, 96-98;
day at the races, 98-99;
protests against "valise" regulations, 98;
attends Teano ball, 99;
visits the Trevi Fountain, 100;
tea with the Duke di Ripaldo, 100;
dines at German Embassy and meets German Crown Princess, 102-105;
attends reception at the Noailles', 107;
musical evening at the Schuylers', 108;
dinner with the Wimpffens, 108;
meets Crown Princess again, 109;
excursion to Frascati, 110;
fails to visit Tusculum, 112, 113;
trip to the Vatican, 114-115;
ball at the British Embassy, 116;
dinner at Villa Medici, 117;
recollections of 1867, 119;
goes to Naples, 119;
sees Vesuvius in eruption, 123;
ascends Mt. Vesuvius, 124-125;
a long wait at an inn, 126-130;
fête at the Stella del Mare, 135;
the nun, 135;
sail to Capri, 136;
Capri, 137;
a Capri fisher-girl, 139-141;
dinner at Mr. Hooker's, 142;
visit to the Doria Gallery, 143;
dines at the Spanish Embassy, 144;
musicale at Princess Bandini's, 146;
hears Lohengrin in Italian, 148;
drives to Albano, 149-153;
last turn in the Vatican, 154;
receives the Pope's photograph, 155;
drives to the Villa Madama, 157;
farewell dinner at the Noailles', 159;
a day at Tivoli, 161-165;
a lonely road, 167;
last drive in the country, 169;
walk with Del Monte, 173;
arrives at Milan, 180;
attends the races, 183;
holds small reception, 184;
a drive about Milan, 187;
a visit to the Brera, 188-189;
visit to the Duomo, 190;
a second visit to the Brera, 192-193;
describes the Piazza dei Mercanti, 201, 202;
an afternoon at Monza, 204-206;
leaves Milan and arrives at Turin, 211;
trip to La Superga, 219-221;
returns to Paris, 225;
Rome revisited, 229;
attends a ball at the Storys', 239;
dinner at Count Vitali's, 240;
received by the Queen, 240-242;
attends the court ball, 243-244;
[323]in the garden of the Vatican, 247;
music at the French Embassy, 248;
audience with the Pope, 249-251;
audience with Cardinal Mery del Val, 251-252;
audience with Queen Margherita, 253;
breakfast with Princess d'Arsoli, 254;
at the Pope's audience, 255-256;
an expedition to the Catacombs, 257;
dines with Princess Poggio-Suasa, 259;
automobile excursion with Countess de Bertheny, 262-265;
trip to Tusculum, 267;
special guards, 269;
fête at the Massimo Palace, 271;
fête given by Marchesa Rudini, 272;
dines with Malcolm Kahn, 275;
dines with the Ruspolis, 276;
Holy Thursday at St. Peter's, 281;
visits her father's grave, 285;
a musical evening at the Palace, 287-288;
excursion to San Gregorio, 289-291;
attends ceremony at St. Peter's, the 13th anniversary of Pope Gregorio Magno, 292-296;
children's ball, 297-298;
auto trips with the Bishops, 299-301;
reception at the Villa Médicis, 303;
dines with the Meyers, 304;
dines with the Grand Duchess, 305;
reception of President Loubet, 306-307;
attends gala night at the opera, 309-310;
reception at the Farnese Palace, 312-313

Waddington, M. William H., resigns as Premier, 3;
refuses London Embassy, 6;
leaves Paris and arrives at Florence, 12;
arrives at M. de Bunsen's, 14;
attends the Peruzzis' party and meets Bentivoglio, 18;
dines with Talleyrand-Périgord, 26;
calls on Madame Guadagni, 34;
arrival at Rome, 41;
talks with Eugene Schuyler, 44;
various invitations from Embassies, 44;
visit to the Vatican, 47;
visit from Marquis de Noailles, 48;
reception in his honour at the Schuylers', 51;
pointed out as a celebrated man, 55;
has audience with the Pope and converses about politics, 50-60;
the Pope's opinion of him, 63;
dinner at the Noailles', "Cotelettes à la Waddington," 64;
has audience with King Humbert, 65-66;
meets Cardinal Howard, 70;
curiosity to meet him, 75;
attends the Chambre des Députés, 80;
second visit to the Chambre des Députés, 83;
goes to San Clemente, 87;
walk on the Campagna, 88;
audience with the Queen of Italy, 92-95;
insists on "valise" reform, 98;
delighted with di Ripalda's frescoes, etc., 101;
conversation with Turkam Bey, 101;
received by the German Crown Princess, 103;
dines with de Rossi, 118;
change of mental atmosphere, 147;
trip to Albano, 149-153;
last visit to the Vatican, 154;
conversation with Father Smith, 177;
speech-making, 181;
visits the cabinet de médailles at Milan, 186;
a visit to the Brera, 192-193;
receives Mr. Hoffman, 223-224;
arrives in Paris, 225

Wales, Princess of, 242

Wallace, Sir Donald, 281

Weling, Mlle. de, 28

Westenberg, Madame, 68

[324]Wilbrahams, the, 69

Wimpffen, Count, 64, 81, 89, 107, 242

Wimpffen, Comtesse, 56;
gives dinner, 62, 64, 68, 83;
gives reception, 84-87, 89, 98, 105;
dinner to German Crown Princess, 108-109

Wurts, Mr. and Mrs., 69;
give dinner, 248, 284, 285

Zuylen, Cornélie, 83


[1] Mrs. Eugene Schuyler, née King.

[2] W. here and throughout these letters refers to M. William Henry Waddington, Madame Waddington's husband.

[3] Francis, son of M. and Madame Waddington.

[4] M. Alphonse Sutteroth, ancien diplomatist under Louis Philippe.

[5] Director of Excavations in Rome under Rossi.

[6] Comte de Pontécoulant, chef de Cabinet.

[7] French idiom difficult to translate, meaning "I ought to be very grateful to him."

[8] Mrs. Charles King, mother of Madame Waddington.

[9] Madame Waddington's maid.

[10] Madame de Bunsen, née Waddington.

[11] Long crisp breads one has in Italy.

[12] Foreigners.

[13] Née Story, daughter of W. W. Story, the sculptor.

[14] Man to play on the piano.

[15] Young bourgeois.

[16] Mlle. de la Ramée.

[17] Charles King, President of Columbia College, father of Madame Waddington.

[18] Now the Hon. Sylvia Edwards, Maid of Honour to Queen Alexandra.

[19] Née Lily Conrad.

[20] Now Madame Scheidecker.

[21] Princess Brancaccio, born Field.

[22] The present King.

[23] Now Mrs. Charles Loftus Townshend, of Castle Townshend, Ireland.

[24] His father, Baron de Bunsen, was for years Prussian Minister at Rome, a most intellectual, distinguished man; after Rome he was for many years Minister in England, and their house in Carlton Terrace was the rendezvous of all that was most brilliant and cosmopolitan in London. He married Miss Waddington, and his son Charles also married Miss Waddington, sister of William Waddington.

[25] The well-known poetess and beauty, née Sheridan.

[26] Comte de Suzannet, Secretary of the French Embassy.

[27] General Rufus King, last United States Minister to the Vatican.

[28] To the Quirinal.

[29] Miss Fanny King, daughter of General Rufus King, United States Minister to the Vatican, now Mrs. Edward Ward.

[30] Marquise de Talleyrand-Périgord, née Curtis.

[31] Princess di Poggio-Suasa, née Curtis.

[32] The well-known sculptor.

[33] Princess d'Arsoli, née Bella Brancaccio, granddaughter of Hickson Field.

[34] Rome which is disappearing.

[35] Princesse di Poggio Suasa, née Talleyrand-Périgord.

Transcriber's note:

Spelling has been made consistent throughout but reflects the author's preference. Hyphenation has been made consistent.