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[2289] another friend, “the prevalent impression at Rome, among all who knew her, was, that she was a mild saint and a ministering angel.”

I have, in order to bring in these instances of her influence on those about her, deviated from my track. We return to the life she led in Rome during the attack of the French, and her charge of the hospitals, where she spent daily some seven or eight hours, and, often, the entire night. Her feeble frame was a good deal shaken by so uncommon a demand upon her strength, while, at the same time, the anxiety of her mind was intense. I well remember how exhausted and weary she was; how pale and agitated she returned to us after her day's and night's watching; how eagerly she asked for news of Ossoli, and how seldom we had any to give her, for he was unable to send her a word for two or three days at a time. Letters from the country there were few or none, as the communication between Rieti and Rome was cut off.

After one such day, she called me to her bedside, and said that I must consent, for her sake, to keep the secret she was about to confide. Then she told me of her marriage; where her child was, and where he was born; and gave me certain papers and parchment documents which I was to keep; and, in the event of her and her husband's death, I was to take the boy to her mother in America, and confide him to her care, and that of her friend, Mrs. —— ——.

The papers thus given me, I had perfect liberty to read; but after she had told me her story, I desired no confirmation of this fact, beyond what her words had given. One or two of the papers she opened, and we together read them. One was written on parchment, in

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Angelo Eugene Ossoli (1)
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