Donna Diana

Cover of book Donna Diana
Categories: Fiction » Literature

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ountess Verini had long overcome the initial difficulties attendant upon the formation of a reputation for cleverness, and her salon in Rome was a recognised institution. On Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday evenings she received in her apartment near the Corso. The female element was not largely represented in Casa Verini. Not unnaturally, perhaps, its mistress did not greatly encourage native female talent, though she was ever ready and eager to weleome it when foreign and merely dc passage. The consequence was that, more especially on Sunday nights, a dozen to twenty men were usually to be found in the Countess,s drawing-rooms at any hour from ten o,clock until one in the morning; and perhaps two, or at the most three, other women hcsides herself. Edmund Vane had met Countess Verini on several occasions at the house of one of the select female spirits of her intellectual coterie, and also at various dinners. Learning that he was of a family well known in England, that he had travelled a good deal, and also that he had a good income, she had come to the conclusion that he might be interesting, and had told him she would be pleased to see him on her evenings. Vane had availed himself at rare intervals of her invitation, partly because it was only civil to do so, and also because, from all he had heard of her, he thought her house might prove amusing. He had, as usual, applied to Lino Savelli for information concerning the Countess Verini,s surroundings. The longer he lived in Rome the more profoundly thankful he felt at having a guide and counsellor who could enable him to avoid the pitfalls that lurk in the path of those walkingunwarily through the narrow ways of Roman society. He had realized that these tracks crossed each other perpetually, in the mos...

Donna Diana
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