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[2216]

to C. S.
Lake of Como, Aug. 22, 1847.
Rome was much poisoned to me. But, after a time, its genius triumphed, and I became absorbed in its proper life. Again I suffered from parting, and have since resolved to return, and pass at least a part of the winter there. People may write and prate as they please of Rome, they cannot convey thus a portion of its spirit. The whole heart must be yielded up to it. It is something really transcendent, both spirit and body. Those last glorious nights, in which I wandered about amid the old walls and columns, or sat by the fountains in the Piazza del Popolo, or by the river, were worth an age of pain,— only one hates pain in Italy.

Tuscany I did not like as well. It is a great place to study the history of character and art. Indeed, there I did really begin to study, as well as gaze and feel. But I did not like it. Florence is more in its spirit like Boston, than like an Italian city. I knew a good many Italians, but they were busy and intellectual, not like those I had known before. But Florence is full of really good, great pictures. There first I saw some of the great masters. Andrea del Sarto, in particular, one sees only there, and he is worth much. His wife, whom he always paints, and for whom he was so infatuated, has some bad qualities, and in what is good a certain wild nature or diablerie.

Bologna is truly an Italian city, one in which I should like to live; full of hidden things, and its wonders of art are very grand. The Caracci and their friends had vast force; not much depth, but enough force to occupy one a


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