“Thank you; I think it would. When will you go, little wife?”
“Papa proposes taking me at once.”
“My carriage is at the door, and this is the pleasantest part of the day,” remarked Mr. Dinsmore.
“Ah, yes; then take Elsie with you, and I will follow shortly with children and servants. There is no reason in the world why she should not go, if she wishes, and stay as long as she likes.”
The change proved beneficial to Elsie; it was so pleasant to find herself again a member of her father’s family; and that even without a short separation from her husband and little ones.
Here, too, absent from the scenes so closely associated with the memory of her beloved mother-in-law, she dwelt less upon her loss, while at the same time she was entertained and cheered by constant intercourse with father, Rose, and young brother and sister. It was indeed a cheering thing to all parties to be thus brought together for a time as one family in delightful social intercourse.
Yet, though the invalids improved in spirits, and to some extent in other respects, they did not regain their usual strength, and the physicians recommending travel, particularly a sea voyage, it was finally decided to again visit Europe for an indefinite period, the length of their stay to depend upon circumstances.
It was in June, 1860, they left their homes; and traveling northward, paid a short visit to relatives and friends in Philadelphia; then took the steamer for Europe.
A few weeks later found them cozily established in a handsome villa overlooking the beautiful bay of Naples.
They formed but one family here as at the Oaks; each couple having their own private suite of apartments, while all other rooms were used in common and their meals taken together; an arrangement preferred by all; Mr. Dinsmore and his daughter especially rejoicing in it, as giving them almost as much of each other’s society as before her marriage.
In this lovely spot they planned to remain for some months, perchance a year; little dreaming that five years would roll their weary round ere they should see home and dear native land again.
“He who loves not his country
can love nothing.”
“There were sad hearts in
a darken’d home,
When the brave had left their bower;
But the strength of prayer and sacrifice
Was with them in that hour.”
The sea voyage had done much for the health of both ladies, and the soft Italian air carried on the cure. Mr. Dinsmore, too, had recovered his usual strength, for the first time since his attack of fever.
There was no lack of good society at their command; good both socially and intellectually. American, English, Italian, French, etc.; many former friends and acquaintances and others desiring to be introduced by these; but none of our party felt disposed at that time to mix much with the outside world.