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 most intimate society, and never to be quite free from the company of busy thoughts, and the cares to which her life had introduced her, she was always cheerful, and her remarkable powers of conversation subserved on all occasions the kindliest purposes of good — will in social intercourse. The friends with whom she seemed to be on the terms of most sympathy, were an Italian lady, the Marchesa Arconati Visconti,1—the exquisite sweetness of whose voice interpreted, even to those who knew her only as a transient acquaintance, the harmony of her nature,—and some English residents in Florence, among whom I need only name Mr. and Mrs. Browning, to satisfy the most anxious friends of Madame Ossoli that the last months of her Italian life were cheered by all the light that communion with gifted and noble natures could afford. The Marchesa Arconati used to persuade Madame Ossoli to occasional excursions with her into the environs of Florence; and she passed some days of the beautiful spring weather at the villa of that lady. Her delight in nature seemed to be a source of great comfort and strength to her. I shall not easily forget the account she gave me, on the evening of one delicious Sunday in April, of a walk which she had taken with her husband in the afternoon of that day, to the hill of San Miniato. The amethystine beauty of the Apennines,—the
1 Just before I left Florence, Madame Ossoli showed me a small marble figure of a child, playing among flowers or vine leaves, which, she said, was a portrait of the child of Madame Arconati, presented to her by that lady. I mention this circumstance, because I have understood that a figure answering this description was recovered from the wreck of the Elizabeth.
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