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The day promised well.The
mountain clear sky was cloudless,no breath of wind stirred the
pointed tree tops.
Maria appeared at the Northward window,and saw the Gran Sasso slopes shining of a bluish sheen which darkened on the lowest woody slants.
The cable car was going up,a white small ship suspended in the air on strong ropes,which,at that distance, looked like cobweb threads.
"Here I am",she thought," in my kingdom. I am surrounded by relatives and friends,and good servants.I am happy of myself, I have done the best possible.
But, if the impossible were the true goal of men? To save everything, to transmit everything to the future, to leave a durable sign was impossible. What sign would she leave? She got no children,therefore the physical transmission of her cells had been denied to her.She had neither written a book,nor founded an orphanage.Yet she felt herself fitted in a track,defender of an order;too wise not to consider that she was of an age when she could not change much,and it was worthwhile keeping on already safe positions.
That holiday confirmed her optimism.
The noise of dishes and the smell of cooking food downstairs reached her up.In the garden a boy and two young maids were preparing the tables for the open-air banquet;she heard their merry voices,while they were giving each other orders and advice;and had fun from time to time. To be at her age surrounded by so many young people was very lucky.
She hated the old ,and refused the idea that she herself was,by that time,at the beginning of the unavoidable physical decline;but she felt that, in her spirit ,she would have resisted till the end: usque ad finem.
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