Friday 30th May 1823.
My dear Henry
I received your letter before we left Naples, & thank you very much for writing me such a long one. We arrived here yesterday from Castellamare, where we went last Friday in a boat, from thence Sunday to Salerno, Monday to Pæstum, & Wednesday back to Castellamare, &
We Thursday morning to Sorrento. We have been to Pompeii three times. - We all admired Pæstum excessively, we staid there for 3 hours and dined alfresco, I saw no myrtles near the temples. I saw some beautiful pink convolvolus on the road-side. - I thought Salerno a charming place, but regretted extremely not going to Amalfi - the sea was much too rough for two days while we were at Salerno. Did cousin Jane <1> sketch Vietri? I thought I remembered a sketch of hers very like it. I believe you did not go to Sorrento, it is an odd town, which you cannot see till you get into it. the streets are very narrow, clean & quiet - It was a great fête when we were there, & all the women were going to church, very gai nicely dressed, & much cleaner than at Naples. It looked some thing like an English Sunday in the country. They shewed us Tasso's <2> house that which looked very white & modern. We were very near going to Capri.
It rained yesterday & again to day. Vesuvius smoked yesterday, & people talk about an eruption which they say is announced by the almanack of Naples. I admire the Aristides <3>very much. I have not yet seen the Ballerina of Herculaneum. - I have found an Orchis, perhaps the undulatifolia, that Uncle William <4> told me I might find at Castellamare & a little blue or lilac flower near Salerno, rather in the shape of a bell, I have dried them both.
Saturday 31st -
Yesterday was the King's fête, & I went for the first time to S. Carlo which
that was most brilliantly illuminated, & altogether looked quite splendid. The King himself is now I believe at Spa. I suppose Caroline <5> told you all about our adventures at Vesuvius - now we find the horid horrid man that frightened Mama so much, is out of prison, & going to prosecute the poor coachman. Papa <6> & Mr Montgomerie <7> have had a citation to to [sic] appear, & are gone to Portici What a set of people they are! They all seem to be afraid of this man, even the police, his real name is Agnello <8>, which is not a very proper one for such a ferocious man. They say his brother is much worse, & that in general the people of Resina are the worst near Naples. I should not like to live in such a country. - Goodbye, I hope we shall see you soon. Leben sie wohl <9>.
Your affcte sister
Mr W. H. F. Talbot
1. Jane Harriot Nicholl, née Talbot (1796-1874).
2. Found in the Villa Suburbana at Herculaneum, the so-called statue of Aristides had belonged to the father-in-law of Julius Caeser.
4. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795-1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
5. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808-1881); WHFT's half-sister.
6. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780-1837), Royal Navy; WHFT's step-father.
7. Rev. George Stephen Molyneux Montgomerie (1790-1850), close friend of Talbot family, artist, Rector of Garboldisham, near Thetford, Norfolk.
9. Fare thee well.