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 restless couch. There was a piazza, too, or, as they call it here, a loggia, which hung over the river, where I walked most of the night, for I could not sleep at all in those months. In the wild autumn storms, the stream became a roaring torrent, constantly lit up by lightning flashes, and the sound of its rush was very sublime. I see it yet, as it swept away on its dark green current the heaps of burning straw which the children let down from the bridge. Opposite my window was a vineyard, whose white and purple clusters were my food for three months. It was pretty to watch the vintage,—the asses and wagons loaded with this wealth of amber and rubies,— the naked boys, singing in the trees on which the vines are trained, as they cut the grapes,— the nut-brown maids and matrons, in their red corsets and white head-clothes, receiving them below, while the babies and little children were frolicking in the grass. In Rieti, the ancient Umbrians were married thus. In presence of friends, the man and maid received together the gifts of fire and water; the bridegroom then conducted to his house the bride. At the door, he gave her the keys, and, entering, threw behind him nuts, as a sign that he renounced all the frivolities of boyhood. I intend to write all that relates to the birth of Angelino, in a little book, which I shall, I hope, show you sometime. I have begun it, and then stopped;—it seemed to me he would die.. If he lives, I shall finish it, before the details are at all faded in my mind. Rieti is a place where I should have liked to have him born, and where I should like to have him now,—but that the people are so wicked. They are the most ferocious and mercenary population of Italy. I did not know this, when I went there, and merely expected to be solitary
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