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[2234] physician thinks it will of itself revive, when once the rains have passed, which have now lasted from 16th December to this day. At present, I am not able to leave the fire, or exert myself at all.

In all the descriptions of the Roman Carnival, the fact has been omitted of daily rain. I felt, indeed, ashamed to perceive it, when no one else seemed to, whilst the open windows caused me convulsive cough and headache. The carriages, with their cargoes of happy women dressed in their ball dresses and costumes, drove up and down, even in the pouring rain. The two handsome contadine, who serve me, took off their woollen gowns, and sat five hours at a time, in the street, in white cambric dresses, and straw hats turned up with roses. I never saw anything like the merry good-humor of these people. I should always be ashamed to complain of anything here. But I had always looked forward to the Roman Carnival as a time when I could play too; and it even surpassed my expectations, with its exuberant gayety and innocent frolic, but I was unable to take much part. The others threw flowers all day, and went to masked balls all night; but I went out only once, in a carriage, and was more exhausted with the storm of flowers and sweet looks than I could be by a storm of hail. I went to the German Artists' ball where were some pretty costumes, and beautiful music; and to the Italian masked ball, where interest lies in intrigue.

I have scarcely gone to the galleries, damp and cold as tombs; or to the mouldy old splendor of churches, where, by the way, they are just wailing over the theft of St.

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December 16th (1)
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