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Their bed rooms were however very near together-both opening out from the parlor. Lavinia was there moreover, and she could speak English tolerably well. She assisted them in getting ready to go to bed, and said she would remain in the parlor for some time, so that in case either of them should wish for any thing they would only have to call.
The children however were very soon fast asleep, and the first thing that they were conscious of afterward was hearing Lavinia moving about in the parlor the next morning, and setting the breakfast table.
STILL MORE ALONE.
JOHN slept soundly all night, but Florence woke up several times, and when she awoke she found herself oppressed with a painful sense of loneliness and fear. In the morning, however, she felt more cheerful. John, too, seemed in good spirits, and that cheered and sustained her in some degree.
"Now," said she, as she sat down to the breakfast table, "we can say "To-morrow.'
"Yes," said John; "Mr. and Mrs. Otis will come to-morrow."
While at breakfast John was much interested in planning the "ride,” as he called it, that they were to take that day.
"Drive, Johnny," said Florence. "You must say drive because we are going in a carriage. We only say ride when we go on horseback." "Then must I say a drive in the cars ?" said John.
،، We don't say a
"Why no," said Florence.
drive in the cars."
"And must I say a drive in an omnibus," said John, "or a ride in an omnibus ?"
Florence was somewhat puzzled with these questions, and she hesitated.
"Because you see," said John, "a car and an omnibus are both kinds of carriages.
"I don't think," added John, “that you ought to say take a drive unless you are going to drive the horses yourself. I wish I could drive the horses myself when we go to-day."
"Oh, it would not be safe," said Florence. "These black, long-tailed, Roman horses you could not drive at all."
The Roman horses are indeed all black, and they have long tails, which give them a young and frisky air; but many of them are very gentle, notwithstanding.
The children determined that the first thing they would do in setting out upon their ride or drive, or whatever it ought properly to be called, should be to go to the banker's for letters, thinking it possible that there might be one from their mother. She might have written them a letter, they thought, just before sailing; and it might have come from Civita Vecchia to Rome in the night.
They were right in this anticipation, for when they reached the banker's, they found a letter
there from their mother, and also another letter addressed to their mother, which seemed to be in Mrs. Otis's handwriting. John, who alone left the carriage to go up into the office for the letters, came running down when he had received them, and then, after directing the coachman, who understood French pretty well, to drive them off out of town on any pleasant road, he gave the letters to Florence, and taking his seat by her side, listened to hear her read them.
Florence first opened the letter from her mother, and read it aloud. It was as follows:
"CIVITA VECCHIA, Thursday Morning.
"MY DEAR CHILDREN:
"To say that I have thought a great deal about you since I left you, would not express half the truth. It seems to me that I have thought of nothing else. And yet I do not feel anxious about you at all. You will be perfectly safe, I know, under Mrs. Otis's charge, and I assure you it is a great source of satisfaction to me to feel the confidence in you that I do, and to know that it is wholly unnecessary for me to give you any counsel or advice, as I am sure that you will be docile, gentle, obedient and polite, of your own accord, while you are under Mrs.
Otis's charge, without any cautions or admonitions from me.
"As soon as I arrive at Alexandria, I shall write you at Paris, and if you travel by land, as I suppose you will, my letter will reach there before you do, and you will find it at the banker's when you arrive.
"If you pass through Florence on your way home, I wish you would buy me the prettiest Florentine mosaic you can get for five dollars, and at Genoa a specimen or two of the filagree work that Genoa is so famous for. You may spend five dollars there too. And I wish that John, at Geneva, would buy me one of the little models of Mt. Blanc. They come in a small box, and represent Mt. Blanc and the group of mountains around it—with the valleys, and glaciers, and the track which people take in ascending from Chamounix. Also one of the little agate mortars which they keep in the shops, made from Alpine agate. I do not know exactly what the price of these things will be, but you can pay what they ask.
"And now I must stop, as it is very late, and we have to get up quite early to-morrow morning to take the steamer. So good night.
"From your very loving mother,