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THESE were the last days at Mentone for which we came back, and they would have been very melancholy, if we could ever have realized that we were going away, before the time came. But, for so many months the rest of the world had been shut out, and our interests and pleasures had been so concentrated in the place we were in, that we had almost forgotten the outside world, and the necessity for returning to it.

In our last expedition to Ventimiglia, we did not drive as far as the town, but left the carriage at the entrance of a rocky path to the left, a little beyond the village of St. Agostino, and scrambled up the hills from thence, through the wild thyme and rosemary, for a distance of about a mile-and-a-half, to where the Claudian castle with its mouldering towers, stands on the highest spur of the yellow tufa rock. All around is a chaos of broken mountains: it is an utter solitude, and the scenery is wild in the highest degree. A rugged path leads down from the castle to the gate of the town near the Romanesque church.

Our last ride at Mentone was with Theresine Ravellina, through the pine woods to the little chapel of Santa Lucia. That mountain path had never looked so lovely, the sea seen through the trees was of the deepest blue, and nightingales sang in all the thick parts of the wood, which were carpeted with genista and heath, mingled with lilies and amaranthes, and all the orchideous flowers of May.

Then came the last day, and the farewells, with showers of bouquets from every one, rich and poor. Theresine, with little Pauline her daughter, brought immense ones, which they bestowed upon us, with declarations that they should pray on every fete day that they might see us again, though they did not suppose they ever should. "Mais," added Theresine as usual, "si le bon Dieu le veut, il ne faut pas se facher."




24, Paternoster Row, and 23, Holles Street, Cavendish Square.