the Marchioness Crispoldi had taken for herself and family a coach extraordinary, which would start two hours later, and that I could have a place in that, if I liked; so I accepted. The weather had been beautiful, but, on the eve of the day fixed for my departure, the wind rose, and the rain fell in torrents. I observed that the river which passed my window was much swollen, and rushed with great violence. In the night, I heard its voice still stronger, and felt glad I had not to set out in the dark. I rose with twilight, and was expecting my carriage, and wondering at its delay, when I heard, that the great diligence, several miles below, had been seized by a torrent; the horses were up to their necks in water, before any one dreamed of the danger. The postilion called on all the saints, and threw himself into the water. The door of the diligence could not be opened, and the passengers forced themselves, one after another, into the cold water,—dark too. Had I been there I had fared ill; a pair of strong men were ill after it, though all escaped with life. For several days, there was no going to Rome; but, at last, we set forth in two great diligences, with all the horses of the route. For many miles, the mountains and ravines were covered with snow; I seemed to have returned to my own country and climate. Few miles passed, before the conductor injured his leg under the wheel, and I had the pain of seeing him suffer all the way, while ‘Blood of Jesus,’ ‘Souls of Purgatory,’ was the mildest beginning of an answer to the jeers of the postilions upon his paleness. We stopped at a miserable osteria, in whose cellar we found a magnificent remain of Cyclopean architecture,—as indeed in Italy one is paid at every step, for discomfort or danger, by
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V. Conversations in Boston .
VI . Jamaica Plain .
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