[Florence—Saturday, 28 January 1860]

Saturday 28th Passed the afternoon with the Alexander’s on Bello Sguardo. We took a walk over the farms and saw the Contadine who have been the models so often for Fanny Alexander’s pictures. Most interesting it was. On our return one of the pretty girls called to us to know if we would like to see them make the Olive Oil. Of course we did we said so, they seized our hands and led us down a very slippery inclined plane into a sort of cellar where the whole family were taking its turn at the work. One little fellow was rather taking his turn at play however seated upon one arm of a great crank which a white Tuscan Ox was patiently turning. It was a new glimpse at life as seen from this cottage and though they all seemed happy we turned away more grateful than ever for our blessings. The sun set tonight was a flood of holy light poured along the hills till the whole earth blazed like an altar of thanksgiving. It touched us to watch the life of this artist-family so pure and so serene. One can but love them.


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