of the true elixir, and that the want of daily bread, of the pangs of imprisonment, would never make me a complaining beggar. A widow, I expected still to have the cruse full for others. Those were glorious hours, and angels certainly visited me; but there must have been too much earth,— too much taint of weakness and folly, so that baptism did not suffice. I know now those same things, but at present they are words, not living spells. I hear, at this moment, the clock of the Church del Purgatorio telling noon in this mountain solitude. Snow yet lingers on these mountain-tops, after forty days of hottest sunshine, last night broken by a few clouds, prefatory to a thunder storm this morning. It has been so hot here, that even the peasant in the field says, ‘Non porro piu resistere,’ and slumbers in the shade, rather than the sun. I love to see their patriarchal ways of guarding the sheep and tilling the fields. They are a simple race. Remote from the corruptions of foreign travel, they do not ask for money, but smile upon and bless me as I pass,— for the Italians love me; they say I am so ‘simpatica.’ I never see any English or Americans, and now think wholly in Italian; only the surgeon who bled me, the other day, was proud to speak a little French, which he had learned at Tunis! The ignorance of this people is amusing. I am to them a divine visitant,— an instructive Ceres,— telling them wonderful tales of foreign customs, and even legends of the lives of their own saints. They are people whom I could love and live with. Bread and grapes among them would suffice me.
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Table of Contents:
V. Conversations in Boston .
VI . Jamaica Plain .
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