My Dear Henry
Much obliged for your letter as I was quite at a loss where to write to you, I was very much delighted with Sicily & had a remarkable pleasant tour. The Girgenti <1> temples are from their situation on the precipitous brow of hill, much finer objects than the Pæstum <2> at least I liked them much better, we were all knocked up the evening we ought to have ascended Etna so we went next day, we missed nothing as it was a bad morning and Ashley <3> saw no more view than we did in the middle of the day, as I hope to see you all at Munich soon I shall keep my answers to your questions till I see you. Baillie <4> & I start from here next Wednesday on a tour something as you recommend the weather here is dreadfully hot, so we shall have disagreable travelling at first. We went in an open boat to Pæstum stayed a day then coasted down below Palinurus <5> till we stood off the Stromboli <6> which blazes without ceasing but no Lava it is a most curious island. I am afraid I shall not be able to do your commission concerning Pompeii <7> as the heat renders it utterly impossible. Do you remember an inscription you discovered in the street in Vienne <8> as we passed through, The Blesintons <9> lived there 2 months & were furious when I mentioned it, as they never saw it. I went with them to Capri & had a most perfect expedition I should think the very reverse of yours, they have the Villa Belvedere which is as you know quite perfect as to situation. I passed thro the Sepulcretum <10> you mentioned going to “Miniscola” to embark for Ischia & was much struck with it a[s]<11> there were people actually living in some of the old tombs. I hope to Bring Lily <12> her Roman pearls. The Robberies are all true M de I. had all his things taken & a Austrian Count was wounded a few weeks after.
perhaps I may find a letter from you at Milan. Love to all –
J. Fox Strangways –
Monsieur H. Talbot
1. Ancient Agrigentum, on the south coast of Sicily. The principal temples are in a row along cliffs in the southern part of the city.
2. The ruins of an ancient Greek city on the Gulf of Salerno in Italy.
5. Cape Palinurus.
6. The volcano-island.
8. A city about 20 miles south of Lyons, rich in Roman remains.
9. Charles John Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington (1782–1829), and his wife Marguerite (1789–1849), novelist, who were on the Continent 1822–1829.
11. Written off the end of page.
12. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773–1846), WHFT’s mother.