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THE SUN, SUNDAY, APRIL" 27, 1913.
DM t..i 4 A. 1 ! I. , :1 ! ' I. tS22 .;;. 14 Romance of Beautiful American Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici, Daughter of Sculptor Story Revisiting This Country After a Half Century's Absence She Talks of Many Famous Persons Among Her Friends AFTER an absence of moro than half n century the Miirchcsa Peruzzi ile Medici nf Florcnco anil Homo Is revisiting Amcr Ica. When she sailed away from New York sunie ilfty years ago who was known to her friends as Edith Marlon, the little. daughter of William Wetmore Btory anil the granddaughter of Justice Story of the frilled States Supremo Court. A few years later both father anil daughter became personages of Interest for both continents W. W. Story as a great American sculptor living In Home, Edith Marlon as otie of tho most K-autl-fill and popular American girls aliroail. Then came her marriage to tho Mnrchese Slmono I'eruzzl lie Medici, head of a ureal family of Florence and chamberlain to the King of Italy. The beautiful American girl stepped Into tho Inner circle of the Italian court. Queen Margherita became so fond of her that she was godmother to the Marchesa's second daughter. "Though my early recollections aro associated so closely with Italy, I couldn't foil like a stranger In America," the Marchesa told n reporter of Tim Sf.v. "Going- abroad when I was scarcely 6 years old, my first friendships were with the many distinguished persons who came so often to visit my parents. At that time of course I never thought of them as unusual m any way. Even Mrs. Elizabeth Uarrett Ilrownlng. whom of course I now admire and revere as a genius, seemed In my childish eyes like other ladies who were on Intimate, terms with my mother. "Mr. and Mrs. P.rownlng were among my parent's closest friends, and their only son, Pen Hnbert Barrett Ilrownlng was my playmate and lifelong friend. I was with him during the last days of his life. You remember ho died last summer and without leaving n will, so that all tho wonderful treasures of art and literature collected by his father will be scattered, I am afraid. Though Mrs. Crowning was a great poetess nnd co universally admired she never ap peared to bo conscious of any personal superiority. Altogether she was one of the most lovable women I have ever known. "It was not very long after we went to live In Home that my eldest brother was taken 111 and died. The shock was to grtat that my parents wore over whelmed. Uf-causo I was so young I didn't understand Just why Mrs. Brown ing, took mo home with her, though even now I recall the pleasure I felt at having tea with Pen. In a short time It may have been the next day I was taken HI and was carried back home. It was during my convalescence following thl?" fever that I grew to know and love Mr. Thackeray. "When my mother first brought him in to see me he seemed like some great benevolent giant. Within a few minutes he had won my childish heart and I forgot all difference between us. It took a long time for me to get back my strength, and It was a dark day when tho dear giant didn't make me a visit. He used to sit on the edge of my little white bed or draw his chair up close beside It. Then, Joy of Joys, one day he brought the first chapter of 'The Hose and the Ring' and read it to me. "After that each day he made his ap pearance with a new chapter. Ho would read It to me, after which we would dis cuss it, I remember, with much gravity. We would talk nbout the people In tho book, and to u at least they were real people. It was my part to hold tho pages as he passed them on after read ing. His writing was wonderful, so small, so exact. It used to seem to mo that a giant couldn't write so small, that he must have called In some fairy to do It for him. When I told him of my suspicions he only smiled, so for a long time I really believed he had done so. "During some of his visits ho would ask mo to tell him n story. I used to do my best to remember or Invent mimo little tale to umuse him. At these times he would sit beside the table and draw illustrations in pen and ink for what I 1 c 1 Room in Peruzzi Palace, Florence, Italy, showing part of famous . i said to be most valuable collection of its kind. w.is telling him. Of theso lltlo draw ings I now have only one. This was made fur a tale which I called 'Zaeharay Hubs and Ills lloxtreo Teapot.' The. story has faded entirely from my mem ory, though the little drawing shows strongly the characteristics of tho fa mous hand that sketched It so rapidly. "When ho came to tell me good-by ho offered to give mo the manuscript of "I'lio Hoo and the King.' Ignorant child that I was, I told him that I pre ferred to have the first copy of tho book. Think of losing such a treasure! I havo never cared to bo n millionaire unless my money would buy me back that manuscript. Oh, yes, I know whero It Is. I've kept track of It, nnd I sup pose I might have had It for the asking a second time, only I hesitated to ask his daughters for anything so valuable. "They were charming girls. I loth of them were with their father during that visit to Home. Later I saw them all together In Paris, where my parents took an apartment In the Avenue des Champs Elysces. Mr. Thackeray lived not far off with his mother, Mrs. Cnr mlchael Smith, and his two little daugh ters. "I met many celebrities during that stay In Paris. My mother used to give breakfast parties and I used to sit be side my window and watch tho guests as they arrived and took their departure. It was only when Mr. Thackeray was among the guests that I was called, lie was known to be my especial friend and hence had many privileges. It made no difference how many great folk might bo present he always re membered to ask for me and to Had time to have some conversation suited to my taste. It was my custom on these oc casions to tell him o! my doings and my dolls, always feeling sure of his Interest. Margherita Umberta Peruzzi deJMedici, namesake and god-daughter of King and Queen of Italy, granddaughter of William Wetmore Story, the American sculptor. "It was during that stay In Paris that my recollections of Robert Lytton, Owen Meredith, begin. He was the guest of my father and mother for tho greater part of the winter. At that time he was an attache at the llrltlsh Embassy, but was Induced by my father, because of the warm friendship existing between them and their many con genial pcrsults, to make his home with us. "M. do Tocquevllle was nnother fa mous man of that date whom I re member. Ho used to pinch my check so hanl. Mme. Mohl was nmong those whoso arrival and departure I used to watch with Interest. I recall Just how she looked, dressed all In gray with a huge bonnet and dancing papll loto curls. Onco sho was In such a hurry that she Jumped Into a puddle and had to tako refugo in my room to dry her tiny feet. "My first acquaintance with Walter Savage Lnndor began ono autumn In Siena. He came on a visit to my par ents, and later took a cottage near us, which I remember was rented for him by Mr. Drowning. Oh, our acquaint ance with tho urownings continued on without Interruption. I saw moro of them than of any of our other friends. It was Pen who kept watch outside my door during that terrible fever In Home. He had n toy gun and used to tramp back and forth outside my door to make suro that no 'other horrid maladies came in.' "James Hussell Lowell was another close friend of my father's whom I seem to havo known always. Ho and my father were classmates In Harvard, both read prize poems, and years later walked together as representatives of America at the memorable festival of the University of Hologna, the oldest In tho world. "Mrs. Harriet lleecher Rtowe, Mar garet Fuller and Charlotte Cushman were nil friends from home who used to conn; often to visit my parents when I was a small child. Of course I heard them talk about America or 'home.' That was a subject of uncxhaustlble In terest to my father, nnd of course to me, for even ns a child my father nnd I were Very close friends. I don't be lieve such perfect sympathy exists very often between n girl and her father ns we felt for each other. That is one teason I am so thoroughly an American In spite of the fact that I have lived abroad for more than half a century. It Is also a reason why I came in such close touch with tho many famous men in his circle of intlmnto friends. "Hans Christian Andersen was nmong them. My recollections of him are very distinct nnd very charming. Though rtrlklngly homely In appearance his manner nnd conversation were most pleasing. Ho used to tnke tho trouble to entertain me, something after the manner of Mr. Thackeray, and would cut out Innumerable quaint little figures from blue paper. Though 1 liked his little llgures I never thought to pre serve them. You see a child doesn't realize always with whom she Is as soclatlng. These friends of my parents were nil so ultnplo nnd charming that their greatness never Impressed me, Mr. Gladstone and Thomas Carlyle were two of the same group. liotli charm .1! r v. lng men, but I never thought of them as among the great men of the world." Tho Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici's recollections extend through ono of the most Interesting periods of Italy's his tory. In those days the Popes were not tfhut up In the Vatican. Plus IX. was among the first to recognize the genius of her father. So great wns his admira tion for the work of tho American sculptor that he Kent several pieces of It to an exhibition In London. It was at that exhibition that the sculptor first received general public recognition. "I remember distinctly seeing Popo Plus IX. driving out 1n his glided coach," the Marchesa continued. "That was of course before tho unlllcatlon of Italy. My husband was an ofllcer In tho Italian navy before ho became court chamberlain. King Victor Emmanuel II. tnado him court chamberlain and ho continued to hold that office under King Humbert. Ho sprung from a long lino of vigorous ancestors. Away back In tho twelfth century tho Pcruzzls were tho great bankers of Europe, owning twenty large estates in Tuscany alone. hand wrought iron, Barberini Marchese Rudolfo Peruzzi de Medici, grandson of Mr. Story. "There Is an I O U given by King Edward III. of England still In the possession of tho Peruzzi family. It wns given for money which tho King borrowed to enrry on the war between England nnd France. It was tho war In which Crecy and Poitiers wero tho decisive battles, both gained by' tho English. Unfortunately Edward III. was not nblo to redeem his pledge to 'pay his good friend Peruzzi.' That Is why the family still holds the royal I O U. "It Is not n bit llko tho I O U of to-day. Indeed it Is quite a formidable affair, written on a largo parchment with a number of seals. Onco Englnnd won tho war tlwy didn't caro what be camo of tho King's promise. Parliament repudiated It. Disraeli and Gladstono both mentioned It In speeches beforo Palace, the Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici's home In it.lv " " V The Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici, New York with her parents, Parliament as a debt the nation should pay. King Edward also expressed a wish that it might be paid. I don't believe, however, the Peruzzi family has the slightest Idea of getting any part of It. "My husband's position as chamber lain kept us at court and prevented me from leaving Italy. That Is one reason why so many years passed without my carrying out my Intention of returning to America. Then after his death thero were our children to keep mo In Italy. Now that my children aro grown I tako my first opportunity to return to tho homo of my childhood to see and know for myself tho people and places my father and our friends have made mo familiar with. "Because of my husband's position I have known tho kings and queens very well. It was at tho request of Queen Margherita that I named my second daughter after her, Tho Queen was my daughter's godmother. Thoso wero memorablo days, and I love to look back on them. Queen Margherita has always been very fond of music. Her musical Mondays used to bo very brilliant affairs in tho court life at Home. Sho Is a V,V' at six years, of. age, when she left Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Story. great admirer of Beethoven, and hla compositions wero played moro than thoso of any other ono composer at her musicals. "It would bo impossible to Imagine a moro perfect union than that of King Victor Emmanuel III. and Queen Elena. Aa the years pass they grow, If possible, more attached to each other. Their children aro lovely. Really, It Is am Ideal family. Such things aro said of other royal households. They may bo true. I know that It Is truo of our King and Queen, and every one ac quainted with the Italian court will tell you the same thing." Tho Marchesa's only son, Rudolph, Is the head of tho Peruzzi de Medici fam ily. Ho Is now about 30, of a vigorous personality and actively Interested in tho management of his estates and in the affairs of Florence. In appearance ho Is a combination of tho portraits of his father, tho Marcheso Slmono Peruzzi de Medici, and his American grand father. So far h!u Inherited taste for art had shown itself chiefly In collect ing hand wrought Iron. His collection nt the Peruzzi palace, near Florence, Is said to bo tho finest in the world. He Theatre room in Barberini ?.t '! a ' SB A hitherto unpublished photo graph of William Wetmore Story and his family. From left to right, Julian Story, Mrs. W. W. Story, W. W. Story, Marchesa Peruzzi de Medici (Edith Marion Story) and Waldo Story. has also written a tragedy in blank verse which received favorable criticism. "Tho IVruzzIs are not Idlers," the Marchesa tells you. "Many of tho name havo excelled in other fields besides politics and banking. Baldassare Pe ruzzi was one of Italy's greatest archi tects and painters. He lived early In tho fifteenth century. The Iron Baron Rlcardo was a cousin of my hu-haml's, and Ubaldlno, a member of the Italian Cabinet, was another cousin. The Pe ruzzi and Medici families Intermarried years and years ago. When the last of tho reigning line of the Medici toy dying In Plttl Palaco sho made her will naming tho Peruzzi nearest of kin a.i heir to her property, with the proWno that he should assume tho name and titles of tho Medici. For some time the Peruzzi refused to do this, claiming that tho I'eruzzl title, and record was as great as if not greater than the Medici. Finally tho King expressed a wish to havo It done. He felt that both families had dono so much, their names were so clolsely Interwoven In tho history of Italy, that neither should be allowed to lo unrepresented. It was at Kin? Humbert's especial request that my husband added tho do Medici. "On my return to Italy I shall recall the happiest days of my life while writ ing my biography. It will have to be a long book If I tell of all the famous people I havo known and tho Interesting Incidents I havo witnessed as my fath ers daughter and my husband's wife. I have known them in every field. In music thero was Liszt, a friend of my fflthpr'fl nnif n rhnptnlm, mnn nu tt'll 08 a great composer. When I think of tho stage thero was Tommaso Salvlnl, tho great tragedian, another of my fath er's warm friends. Then there Is liar Ion Crawford, a very dear friend. "How do I feel toward America? Why, how docs any ono feel toward her homo? I havo tho greatest admiration for It. It Is tho land of my birth, of my father's and my mother's. Natu rally I think it wonderful, though It didn't need this visit to make me real ize it." Palace. IMHiVLIIIIIB 1: