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‘ [2300] possible means, by which, through resolution and effort on my part, that one sacrifice could be avoided. But it was impossible. I could not take the nurse from her family; I could not remove Angelo, without immense difficulty and risk. It is singular, how everything has worked to give me more and more sorrow. Could I but have remained in peace, cherishing the messenger dove, I should have asked no more, but should have felt overpaid for all the pains and bafflings of my sad and broken life.’ In March, she flies back to Rieti, and finds ‘our treasure in the best of health, and plump, though small. When first I took him in my arms, he made no sound, but leaned his head against my bosom, and kept it there, as if he would say, How could you leave me? They told me, that all the day of my departure he would not be comforted, always looking toward the door. He has been a strangely precocious infant, I think, through sympathy with me, for I worked very hard before his birth, with the hope that all my spirit might be incarnated in him. In that regard, it may have been good for him to be with these more instinctively joyous natures. I see that he is more serene, is less sensitive, than when with me, and sleeps better. The most solid happiness I have known has been when he has gone to sleep in my arms. What cruel sacrifices have I made to guard my secret for the present, and to have the mode of disclosure at my own option! It will, indeed, be just like all the rest, if these sacrifices are made in vain.’

At Rieti, Margaret rested till the middle of April, when, returning once more to Rome, she was, as we have seen, shut up within the beleagured city.

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