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it, and he came up that evening to express his thanks to Mademoiselle Wilhelmina-but whether the doll was ever received by any Paulina or not, it would be very difficult to ascertain.
IT had been arranged between the landlord of the hotel at Rome, and Pacifico, at the time when the contract was made for conveying Florence and John to Geneva, that the party were to stop one day in Florence. Pacifico said that a rest of one day in the middle of so long a journey was necessary for his horses, and also for attending to any repairs or adjustments that might be required for his carriage, and the city of Florence was the best place for making such a halt.
Mr. and Mrs. Willey had not intended to remain in Florence at all, but to proceed the next day toward Venice. But Edwin earnestly urged his mother to stop one day, too, in order that he might have the pleasure of going about with Florence and John.
"To show them the churches ?" asked his mother.
"No, mother, not the churches. But I should
like to go with them to the Pitti palace, and to the mosaic shops. They will like to see them, I know."
'Well, I will ask your father," said Mrs. Willey.
She did ask his father, and Mr. Willey said he had no objection. His wife,, he said, very politely, might arrange the stages and halts of the journey just as she pleased.
So it was decided that the Willey family, too, were to remain a day in Florence.
Now, the city of Florence is chiefly famous among travellers for three things-the paintings, the churches, and the mosaics that are to be seen and purchased at the shops.
The churches are very ancient, and in the architecture of them, many very curious and wonderful specimens of medieval art are presented to view, so that persons who are possessed of refinement and cultivation, and who have attained, moreover, to some degree of mental maturity, are often quite enthusiastic in their admiration of them. But young people of Florence's age, who have already seen in other cities a great many curious old churches, take very little interest in visiting them. And that little is often far more than counterbalanced by the crowds of miserable and most importunate beg
gars that waylay company at the doors, and sometimes almost prevent their passing either out or in.
As for the paintings, there are two grand collections in Florence. The one which interests. strangers most, is contained in a magnificent palace, which is situated on a commanding eminence, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds. The edifice in which this collection is contained is called the Pitti Palace, and is famed throughout the world for the paintings and the other treasures of art with which its vast saloons are filled.
Edwin asked his mother to go and visit the Pitti Palace, and to ask Florence and John to go, too. Mrs. Willey readily consented to this proposal, although she had already gone through the Pitti Palace twice. Indeed, all the party had been there before. This did not, however, at all diminish their desire to go again. These great European collections of paintings and works of art are so vast, and the wonders they contain are so numerous and so varied, that the observer at the first visit is quite bewildered, or rather the capacity of the mind to be excited and interested by seeing wonders-which, like all our other powers and susceptibilities, is limited within comparatively very narrow bounds-is
overwhelmed, and becomes exhausted. Thus, you will see in all these art galleries, groups of people sauntering listlessly along, with a tired and jaded air, and casting but a momentary and indifferent glance at the most priceless treasures of art, any one of which, seen quietly at home, in an interval of leisure, when the fancy and imagination were fresh, would have overwhelmed them with admiration and delight.
The result is, that the requisite which is most apt to fail the traveller in Europe, and for want of which the advantage and pleasure of his tour are most curtailed, is not time, nor money, nor bodily strength-but the mental susceptibility required for appreciating and admiring wonders. This, with most travellers, is utterly expended and gone, long before the time is exhausted, or the bodily strength wearied, or the money spent.
It follows, too, partly from this cause and partly from some others, that very often a second. or third visit to any remarkable place is far more satisfactory than the first; and Mrs. Willey having had ample experience, was always more desirous of repeating her visit to any scene of interest than she had been to make it in the first instance. Indeed, those persons who feel no desire to visit one of these places a second time, show by that fact alone that they did not really