[Marseilles—Wednesday, 4 January 1860]

Wednesday 4th Completed with much tribulation our arrangements for taking the Coupé in tonight’s diligence from Toulon, I say carefully & with tribulation which was not thrown away because another unfortunate party having done the same on arriving a little late, found us all completely ensconced within. Miserable company! Our commiseration was great, nevertheless we recovered sufficiently to start in admirable spirits when the hour arrived. It was a weird night. Dark mostly with fitful gleams of moonlight. We have heard since that a dreadful storm raged in Paris, with us it was only solemn and strange. Something of somnambulistic experience we knew that night. Gently rocked to sleep by the swift motion of the horses to be half awakened when they stopped at some mysterious village or when the way being hilly and dark overhung by mountainous cliffs crowned with olive trees, the mounted guard would clatter behind and before, striking terror into the hearts of marauders. The truth is, though not a slough of despond it was a very dark dismal path, that we passed through, and when in the morning, as the orange glow deepened in the heavens and finally coming to the summit of a hill the Meditteranean [sic] burst upon us, we saw our Italy almost as a promised land spread there beyond.

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