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MONTE-CRISTO AND THE PRIMA DONNA. The Count of Monte-Cristo was in Rome. He had hired one of the numerous private palaces, the Palazzo Costi, situated on a broad thoroughfare near the point where the Ponte St. Angelo connects Rome proper with that transtiberine suburb known as the Leonine City or Trastavere. The impecunious Roman nobility were ever ready to let their palaces to titled foreigners of wealth, and Ali, acting for the Count, had experienced no difficulty in procuring for his master an abode that even a potentate might have envied him. It was a lofty, commodious edifice, built of white marble in antique architectural design, and commanded from its ample balconies a fine view of the Tiber and its western shore, upon which loomed up that vast prison and citadel, the Castle of St. Angelo, and the largest palace in the world, the Vatican. The Count of Monte-Cristo had always liked Rome because of its picturesque, mysterious antiquity, but his present mission there had nothing whatever to do with his individual tastes. He had fixed himself for a time in the Eternal City that his daughter Zuleika, Haydee's[1] child, might finish her education at a famous convent school conducted under the auspices of the Sisterhood of the Sacred Heart. Zuleika was fifteen years of age, but looked much older, having the early maturity of the Greeks, whose ardent blood, on her dead mOther's side, flowed in her youthful veins. She had attained her full height, and was tall and well-developed. She strongly resembled her mOther, possessing brilliant beauty of the dreamy, voluptuous oriental type. Her hair was abundant and black as night. She had dark, flashing eyes, pearly teeth, full ruby lips and feet and hands that were of fairylike diminutiveness, as well as miracles of grace and dainty shapeliness. In temperament she was more like Haydee than the Count, though she possessed her father's quick decision and firmness, with the addition of much of his enthusiasm. The Palazzo Costi was magnificently furnished, so the Count had made no alterations in that respect, bringing with him only the family wardrobe and a portion of his library, consisting mainly of oriental manuscripts written in weird, cabalistic characters and intelligible to no one but himself

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