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[169] and could not control, which I felt in passing so many hours over this dreary waste,—these lugentes campi, so different from all the deserts nature has elsewhere left or created. The heavens are of such an undisturbed and transparent blue, the sun shines with so pure and white a light, the wind blows with such soft and exhilarating freshness, and the vegetation is so rich, so wantonly luxuriant, that it seems as if nature were wooing man to cultivation . . . . But when you recollect that this serene sky and brilliant sun . . . . serve only to develop the noxious qualities of the soil, and that this air which breathes so gently is as fatal as it is balmy, and when you look more narrowly at the luxuriant vegetation and find it composed only of gross and lazy weeds, such as may be fitly nourished by vapors like these,—when your eye wanders over this strange solitude, and meets only an occasional ruin,. . . . or at most, a few miserable shepherds, hardly more civilized than Tartars, decrepit in youth, pale, haggard, livid,. . . . it is then you feel all the horror of the situation.

November 1.—In the midst of this mysterious desolation, only ten miles from Rome, we were stopped for the night for want of horses, and enjoyed the tantalizing pleasure of seeing the evening sun reflected in long lines of fading light from the dome of St. Peter's and the tomb of Hadrian, which we could just distinguish in the distant horizon. . . . .

November 2.—This morning we were already on the road when the same sun appeared again, in the cloudless splendor of an Italian sky, from behind the hills of Tivoli . . . . Turning suddenly round a projecting height, . . . . Rome, with its seven hills, and all its towers and turrets and pinnacles, with the Castle of St. Angelo and the cupola of St. Peter's,—Rome, in all the splendor of the Eternal City, bursts at once upon us.

To Charles S. Daveis.

Rome, November 19, 1817.
. . . . What can I say to you that will not disappoint the expectations that my date excites? for it is not enough to tell you I have enjoyed myself more in Italy than in all the rest of Europe, and that Rome is worth all the other cities in the world, unless I add some distinct account of my pleasures, . . . . so that you can in some sort share them with me. One of the great pleasures in Rome is certainly that of going out to see its churches, palaces, and ruins in the evening and by moonlight. Last evening there was a splendid moon, and not a cloud in the whole heavens. I could not resist the temptation, though I had already yielded to it so often before, and I set out on a

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