14. Not books, but life, exercised over him the preeminent charm. And this life was not the life of the past, but of the present, - the busy, delirious whirl of life in the capital of the world. Into it he plunged with all the ardor of a lively and passionate nature. Rome was from that first moment his home, the centre of all his beloved activities. Verona, his Sabine villa, and even Sirmio, became to him but hospitals or vacation haunts. Once only did he leave Italy, and even his joy at reaching Sirmio again on his return (c. 31） could not long detain him from Rome. And at Rome death met him.
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Friends and foes.
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