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[2231]

I was happy the first two months, of my stay here, seeing all the great things at my leisure. But now, after a month of continuous rain, Rome is no more Rome. The atmosphere is far worse than that of Paris. It is impossible to walk in the thick mud. The ruins, and other great objects, always solemn, appear terribly gloomy, steeped in black rain and cloud; and my apartment, in a street of high houses, is dark all day. The bad weather may continue all this month and all next. If I could use the time for work, I should not care; but this climate makes me so ill, I can do but little.

to C. S.
Rome, Jan. 12, 1848.—My time in Lombardy and Switzerland was a series of beautiful pictures, dramatic episodes, not without some original life in myself. When I wrote to you from Como, I had a peaceful season. I floated on the lake with my graceful Polish countess, hearing her stories of heroic Sorrow; or I walked in the delicious gardens of the villas, with many another summer friend. Red banners floated, children sang and shouted, the lakes of Venus and Diana glittered in the sun. The pretty girls of Bellaggio, with their coral necklaces, brought flowers to the ‘American countess,’ and ‘hoped she would be as happy as she deserved.’ Whether this cautious wish is fulfilled, I know not, but certainly I left all the glitter of life behind at Como.

My days at Milan were not unmarked. I have known some happy hours, but they all lead to sorrow; and not only the cups of wine, but of milk, seem drugged with poison for me. It does not seem to be my fault, this


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