Pisa, December 11, 1834.
It is gratifying to be able to communicate a piece of political intelligence from so quiet a nook of the world as this. Don Miguel arrived here the other day from Genoa, where you know there was a story that he and the old Duchess of Berri, a hopeful couple, were laying their heads together. He went to pay his respects to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who is now at Pisa, and it was said by the gossips of the place that he was coldly received, and was given to understand that he could not be allowed to remain in the Tuscan territory. There was probably nothing in all this. Don Miguel has now departed for Rome, and the talk of to-day is that he will return before the end of the winter. He is doubtless wandering about to observe in what manner he is received at the petty courts which are influenced by the Austrian policy, and in the mean time lying in wait for some favorable opportunity of renewing his pretensions to the crown of Spain. 1
Pisa offers a greater contrast to Florence than I had imagined could exist between two Italian cities. This is the very seat of idleness and slumber; while Florence, from being the residence of the Court, and from the vast number of foreigners who throng to it, presents during several months of the year an appearance of great bustle and animation. Four thousand English, an American friend tells me, visit Florence every winter, to say nothing of the occasional residents from France, Germany, and Russia. The number of visitors from the latter country is every year increasing, and the echoes of the Florence gallery have been taught to repeat the strange accents of the Sclavonic. Let me give you the history of a fine day in October, passed at the window of my lodgings on the Lung' Arno, close to the bridge Alla Carraia. Waked by the jangling of all the bells in Florence and by the noise of carriages departing loaded with travellers for Rome and other places in the south of Italy, I rise, dress myself, and take my place at the window. I see crowds of men and women from the country, the former in brown velvet jackets, and the latter in broad- brimmed straw hats, driving donkeys loaded with panniers or trundling hand-carts before them, heaped with grapes, figs, and all the fruits of the orchard, the garden, and the field. They have hardly passed, when large flocks of sheep and goats make their appearance, attended by shepherds and their families, driven by the approach of winter from the Apennines, and seeking the pastures of the Maremma, a rich, but, in the summer, an unhealthy tract on the coast. The men and boys are dressed in knee- breeches, the women in bodices, and both sexes wear capotes with pointed hoods and felt hats with conical crowns; they carry long staves in their