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[170] the ‘yellow house’ becomes a golden palace.

For my part, Life seems to be to me ‘a battle and a march.’ I am sometimes well,—sometimes ill, and always restless. My late expedition to Germany did me a vast deal of good; and my health is better than it has been for years. So long as I keep out of doors and take exercise enough, I feel perfectly well. So soon as I shut myself up and begin to study, I feel perfectly ill. Thus the Sphinx's riddle—the secret of health—is discovered. In Germany I led an out-of-door life; bathing and walking from morning till night. I was at Boppard on the Rhine, in the old convent of Marienberg, now a Bathing establishment. I travelled a little in Germany; then passed through Belgium to England. In London I staid with Dickens; and had a very pleasant visit. His wife is a gentle, lovely character; and he has four children, all beautiful and good. I saw likewise the raven, who is stuffed in the entry—and his successor, who stalks gravely in the garden.

I am very sorry, my dear Margaret, that I cannot grant your request in regard to Mary's Journal. Just before I sailed for Europe, being in low spirits, and reflecting on the uncertainties of such an expedition as I was then beginning, I burned a great many letters and private papers,

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