[Rome—Friday, 30 March 1860]

Friday 30th Left Rome today at 7½. Castanze was most kind; his wife also and the little children ran to the carriage door to kiss us good bye. The Piazza del Popolo never looked more lovely than it did today. The warmth and haze of summer overspread the sky, the gloomy cypresses bowed statelily [sic] to the morning breeze and everything was so beautiful so Rome-like that it was a sad moment to us as we drove out Michael Angelo’s gate at the sound of the post-man’s whistle. But then came the wonderful Campagna as if to persuade us it was inexhaustible and always led back to Rome. Never certainly was it finer than today, overspread with early flowers and with the outlines of the distant mountains half obscured by the dim sun-lighted mist. We could do nothing but enjoy the glories all about us until we were cheated into a half-forgetfulness of the dire fact that we had indeed left Rome. We should so much have liked to watch still nearer the approaching struggle. The excommunication of Victor Emmanuel will hardly been [sic] quietly received nor do the people forget the unwarrantable attack made upon them in the Corso the evening of the fête of San Giuseppe. Something must be done and Mr Newton thinks soon. He already remembers with pleasure that he lives on the first floor and that bombs will have to travel down some distance before reaching him. Everybody waits but I think only Napoleon knows for what.

We thought and talked much of these matters and all our good friends left behind as we drove on quickly from post to post every hour receiving fresh horses and a new post-boy with 4 yellow horses always embroidered upon the very short tails of his coat while for the first half hour we always noticed they looked round a great deal as if to make sure of what manner of men we were after which generally as if reassured they galloped on like an infant rail-road. We had Dominique’s nice lunch with us so we dined in the carriage and did not stop till we reached Narni. It was almost sun-set and the spring-like haze still overspread the hills with Spring proving herself in this too the morning of the year. We clambered down the steep ravine toward the river never ceasing to exclaim at the beauty of the scene. The calm of mid-summer was all about us; there was no sound except the music of the frogs or a busy cricket now and then. Terni, our destination for the night lay before us embosomed in the distant hills. Narni lay above our heads crowning the lovely hills with its thick but crumbling walls but with us below was only quiet and this noble ruin telling of the minds and hands that were. It was a scene of perfect beauty for imperishable memories. It was night before we arrived at our comfortable inn at Terni.


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