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 feet, and shy, soft eyes, under the round straw hat! They were beginning to cut the vine, but had not done enough to spoil any of the beauty. Here, too, I feel better pleased than ever before. Florence seems so cheerful and busy, after ruined Rome, I feel as if I could forget the disasters of the day, for a while, in looking on the treasures she inherits. To-day we have been out in the country, and found a little chapel, full of contadine, their lovers waiting outside the door. They looked charming in their black veils,—the straw hat hanging on the arm,—with shy, glancing eyes, and cheeks pinched rosy by the cold; for it is cold here as in New England. On foot, we have explored a great part of the environs; and till now I had no conception of their beauty. When here before, I took only the regular drives, as prescribed for all lady and gentlemen travellers. This evening we returned by a path that led to the banks of the Arno. The Duomo, with the snowy mountains, were glorious in the rosy tint and haze, just before sunset. What a difference it makes to come home to a child!—how it fills up all the gaps of life, just in the way that is most consoling, most refreshing! Formerly, I used to feel sad at that hour; the day had not been nobly spent, I had not done my duty to myself and others, and I felt so lonely! Now I never feel lonely; for, even if my little boy dies, our souls will remain eternally united. And I feel infinite hope for him,—hope that he will serve God and man more loyally than I have done; and, seeing how full he is of life, —how much he can afford to throw away,—I feel the inexhaustibleness of nature, and console myself for my own incapacities.
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