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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1883 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XII. The Palazzo Nasoni is a shapeless, rambling, gloomy, unpicturesque pile of buildings at the very core of a tangle of dark squalid streets in the other portion of mediaeval Rome. It has been built at various epochs, and with various aims. In its first origin it was simply a fortress, wherein a brood of ferocious nobles defended themselves behind stout battlements against kindred nobles equally ferocious; and sometimes against the hungry desperation of their non-noble fellow-creatures. Then came times when their privileges no longer needed to be defended by the sword--at all events not by their own swords; and when the family tree produced a Pope for Christendom, and put forth gorgeous crimson and purple blossoms from its rough baronial rind. Those were the days when the great suite of reception-rooms had been built; lofty, spacious, marblepaved, but neither warm, light, nor habitable. They were, in fact, not intended to be habitable; being due to the pompous ostentation of a certain Cardinal of the family, in whose mind the ancestral palace was not so much a house to dwell in, as an advantageous stage to be seen on. Home life there was none in the Cardinal's time. Such privacy as there was, retreated to a row of little back rooms like cells, which in summer were endurable owing to the thick old walls that kept the heat out, but which in winter struck melancholy to the soul and rheumatism to the bones. Late in the eighteenth century the head of the family had made a rich marriage, espousing the blue-eyed Austrian to whom Don Ciccio owed his colouring. And the fortunes of the family, already sorely injured by wastefulness and obstinate nonconformity with the exigencies of a new and rapidly changing era, were in a great measure...
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