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 By the middle of July, Margaret could bear her loneliness no longer, and, passing the mountains, advanced to Rieti, within the frontier of the Papal States. Here Ossoli could sometimes visit her on a Sunday, by travelling in the night from Rome. ‘Do not fail to come,’ writes Margaret. ‘I shall have your coffee warm. You will arrive early, and I can see the dili— gence pass the bridge from my window.’ But now threatened a new trial, terrible under the circumstances, yet met with the loving heroism that characterized all her conduct. The civic guard was ordered to prepare for marching to Bologna. Under date of August 17th, Ossoli writes:— ‘Mia Cara! How deplorable is my state! I have suffered a most severe struggle. If your condition were other than it is, I could resolve more easily; but, in the present moment, I cannot leave you! Ah, how cruel is Destiny! I understand well how much you would sacrifice yourself for me, and am deeply grateful; but I cannot yet decide.’ Margaret is alone, without a single friend, and not only among strangers, but surrounded by people so avaricious, cunning, and unscrupulous, that she has to be constantly on the watch to avoid being fleeced; she is very poor, and has no confidant, even in Rome, to consult with; she is ill, and fears death in the near crisis; yet thus, with true Roman greatness, she counsels her husband:— ‘It seems, indeed, a marvel how all things go contrary to us! That, just at this moment, you should be called upon to go away. But do what is for your honor. If honor requires it, go. I will try to sustain myself. I leave it to your judgment when to come,—if, indeed, you can ever come again! At least, we have had some hours of peace together, if now it is all over. Adieu ’
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