My friend and I moved on to join the rest of our party at Florence, where we arrived many hours after our time. The railway officials may have feared some danger from flooded torrents, as the train went very slowly. The weather was extremely bad and very cold, and the idea of going to live up on any of the hills outside Florence did not smile upon my party at all, but I confess that, to me, much of the charm of Florence disappears when I am boxed up in the centre of the town. It ended in our establishing ourselves in one of the hotels on the Lung Arno, and during the three weeks I remained here, we hardly had a fine day and only one that was really warm.

Among the first things I noticed were pots full of beautifulturbanranunculus.Theynever seemto be grown in pots at home, which is a pity, as their colours are so good. We had a happy time and did lots of sight-seeing, but I said enough about Florence in my last book. Towards the end of our stay, my son joined our party. He had never been in Florence before, and one of his first questions was : 'Where is the statue of David, begun by Mino da Fiesole and finished by Michael Angelo ?I was immensely surprised, as I had no idea that he knew anything at all about Mino da Fiesole. He then quoted from memory the following poem by Owen Meredith :