23d July 1833
My Dear Mr F.
I certainly did not mean that you should pay Dominico <1> 12s but only reimburse him the expenses of the Customhouse which appear to have been 5/6. I have not time to write much at length as we are going to see the Rigi <2> & the char is waiting at the door. Mlle <3> begs me to say she wrote a long letter to Horatia <4> last Sunday & put it in the post at Meyringhen – We have been without news from England since we left Berne, but on our arrival here we found in Galignani <5> a profusion of interesting intelligence – The news from London comes up to the day before the Lords <6> had to decide on the Irish Church Bill, <7> but leaves us there, without mentioning the result, which is tantalizing. Francesco <8> left us when we arrived at Berne, without assigning any particular reason, we thought him a good servant. I then took Antonio Baletti <9> who does very well. It is surprising how many new houses have been built at Berne Thun & Interlacken <sic>, the latter especially now professes 5 or 6 immense Pensions, <10> which are not however much frequented, the speculation seems to have failed.
Lucerne has recently been the theatre of 2 great events, for small events are great to little towns.
The first was an incendie <11> on the 12 June owing to a woman setting fire to a row of straw hats, see the disadvantage <of the Lucer>noise <12> costume! and refusing to open the door, <thinking she?> could put it out herself. Several houses were burnt down & the whole town in great danger – The authorities brought out cannon and fired 100 shot against the house & the neighbouring ones till they fell down. The shot that missed went into the lake and only 1 man was killed by them. The whole country was aroused by the cannonade in the dead of night, & came flocking with arms in their hands to suppress the supposed Revolution. Signal fires were lighted all over the country –
The other event was the other day when the people of this canton <13> rejected the new constitution when put to the vote (<univers>al suffrage) by a majority of 12,000–7000 which has confounded the government who are liberals, & all the parti du mouvement, <14> who attribute it to the priests, & are going to have the vote taken over again, which I think not fair.
M. le Capitaine Feilding
31 Sackville St
1. A servant.
2. Northern end of Lake Lucerne, principal lake of central Switzerland.
4. Henrietta Horatia Maria Gaisford, née Feilding (1810–1851), WHFT’s half-sister.
5. Galignani’s Messenger, a newspaper that had a wide circulation among English residents on the Continent.
6. The House of Lords.
8. A servant.
9. Antonio Baletti, servant.
10. Lodgings where person lives as a boarder.
11. A fire.
12. Text obscured by seal.
13. Name given to each of the 23 states comprising the Swiss Confederation.
14. The party of progress, the progressive party.