Hotel des Colonies, Marseilles, May 29th, Saturday. - Wednesday was the day fixed for our departure from Rome, and after breakfast I walked to the Pincian, and saw the garden and the city, and the Borghese grounds, and St. Peter's in an earlier sunlight than ever before. Methought they never looked so beautiful, nor the sky so bright and blue. I saw Soracte on the horizon, and I looked at everything as if for the last time; nor do I wish ever to see any of these objects again, though no place ever took so strong a hold of my being as Rome, nor ever seemed so close to me and so strangely familiar. I seem to know it better than my birthplace, and to have known it longer; and though I have been very miserable there, and languid with the effects of the atmosphere, and disgusted with a thousand things in its daily life, still I cannot say I hate it, perhaps might fairly own a love for it. But life being too short for such questionable and troublesome enjoyments, I desire never to set eyes on it again. . . . .
. . . . We traversed again that same weary and dreary tract of country which we passed over in a winter afternoon and night on our first arrival in Rome. It is as desolate a country as can well be imagined, but about midway of our journey we came to the sea-shore, and kept very near it during the rest of the way. The sight and fragrance of it were exceedingly refreshing after so long an interval, and U - - revived visibly as we rushed along, while J - - -chuckled and contorted himself with ineffable delight.
We reached Civita Vecchia in three or four hours, and were there subjected to various troubles. . . . . All the while Miss S - - - and I were bothering about the passport, the rest of the family sat in the sun on the quay, with all kinds of bustle and confusion around them; a very trying experience to U - - after the long seclusion and quiet of her sick-chamber. But she did not seem to suffer from it, and we finally reached the steamer in good condition and spirits. . . . .
I slept wretchedly in my short and narrow berth, more especially as there was an old gentleman who snored as if he were sounding a charge; it was terribly hot too, and I rose before four o'clock, and was on deck amply in time to watch the distant approach of sunrise. We arrived at Leghorn pretty early, and might have gone ashore and spent the day. Indeed, we had been recommended by Dr. Franco, and had fully purposed to spend a week or ten days there, in expectation of benefit to U - - 's health from the sea air and sea bathing, because he thought her still too feeble to make the whole voyage to Marseilles at a stretch. But she showed herself so strong that we thought she would get as much good from our three days' voyage as from the days by the sea-shore. Moreover, . . . . we all of us still felt the languor of the Roman atmosphere, and dreaded the hubbub and crazy confusion of landing at an Italian port. . . . . So we lay in the harbor all day without stirring from the steamer. . . . . It would have been pleasant, however, to have gone to Pisa, fifteen miles off, and seen the leaning tower; but, for my part, I have arrived at that point where it is somewhat pleasanter to sit quietly in any spot whatever than to see whatever grandest or most beautiful thing. At least this was my mood in the harbor of Leghorn. From the deck of the steamer there were many things visible that might have been interesting to describe: the boats of peculiar rig, and covered with awning; the crowded shipping; the disembarkation of horses from the French cavalry, which were lowered from steamers into gondolas or lighters, and hung motionless, like the sign of the Golden Fleece, during the transit, only kicking a little when their feet happened to graze the vessel's side. One horse plunged overboard, and narrowly escaped drowning. There was likewise a disembarkation of French soldiers in a train of boats, which rowed shoreward with sound of trumpet. The French are concentrating a considerable number of troops at this point.
Our steamer was detained by order of the French government to take on board despatches; so that, instead of sailing at dusk, as is customary, we lay in the harbor till seven of the next morning. A number of young Sardinian officers, in green uniform, came on board, and a pale and picturesque-looking Italian, and other worthies of less note, - English, American, and of all races, - among them a Turk with a little boy in Christian dress; also a Greek gentleman with his young bride.