[Nice—Sunday, 8 January 1860]

Sunday 8th The sun was basking into our rooms making them like mid-summer when we came to breakfast in our little parlor. Fresh fruit and flowers were awaiting us on the table. We sat reading an hour or two afterwards before driving to “the castle on the hill.” Here was Italy indeed, such warmth, such power of beauty as overspread us—we could only drink deep in utter quietness and enjoy. We left our carriage soon and rambled up towards the castle, close upon the sea. The boats were swinging in the liquid blue far far below and now and then the soul of its rough occupant would leap out in a joyous song which would come to us with softened loveliness far above. We sat bye and bye tired with climbing and while we looked, many parties from the village would pass us murmuring pleasant things in this pleasantest of languages till they seemed almost like some gay plumaged birds; or now and then a lady in her rustling silks with lover by her side passed up the mountain chattering like guilty mag-pies in their favorite French tongue. We longed to stay “forever” but the hours rang out silverly at parting from us and we must leave. We reached Nice just in season to hear the band playing in the garden and see the beginning of the Carnival. So gay it was until the music ceased, then fading out from the picture like the light of day itself the busy whirl of people disappeared leaving no sound behind but the eternal dashing of those grand blue waves.

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