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[72] round to the audience, and in a gentle, but firm and distinct voice, solicited their prayers while she should pronounce them.

The nuns now took off some parts of her dress, and put on that of the convent; she pronounced her vows of obedience, seclusion, etc.; her hair was cut off; . . . . the Miserere was sung, the service for the dead chanted, and she was sprinkled with holy water, as the priest sprinkles a corpse. All this happened in front of the altar, as she knelt by the Cardinal. She then walked slowly and gently down into the church; knelt in the middle of the pavement of marble on a cloth spread there; a black pall was thrown over her feet; she fell gracefully forward on her face, and the pall was spread over her whole person; and with a few more prayers and ceremonies, whatever belongs to an entire burial-service was fulfilled, and she rose a nun, separated from the world, and dedicated—as she believed—to Heaven. This part of the ceremony was very painful, and it was impossible for many of us to witness it without tears; for she was a young and gentle thing, who seemed to be fitted for much happiness in this world. But she now passed down the aisle as a nun, having first received the Cardinal's benediction and had the crown set upon her head. Near the door the nuns received her, and she embraced them all; a Te Deum was sung, and she left the church with her sister, another very young and pretty creature, who is also a member of the convent . . . . A tasteful breakfast and collation was prepared in the room of the Superior; those who chose went over the convent, and saw the room of the new nun, which was prettily and comfortably fitted up, and the whole affair was ended. . . . .

In the evening Mr. Elphinstone made us a visit, and stayed quite late. He is one of the most agreeable old gentlemen I have ever known, and full of knowledge and experience of life. He is the person under whose care Mrs. Lushington made that overland journey from India to England about which she has made so pleasant a little book. He was then returning from Bombay, where he had been governor. . . . . . He goes now to England in a day or two, and I am sorry for it . . . . . The Trevelyans, too, passed the evening with us.

February 15.—This evening Mr. Kestner, the Hanoverian Minister, came to see us, and brought with him a portfolio, containing about an hundred letters from Goethe to Mr. Kestner's father and mother, who are the Charlotte and Albert of Werther's Sorrows, together with some other papers and a preface of his own; the whole constituting a full explanation and history of that remarkable work.

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