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Document number: 9566
Date: Tue 24 Aug 1869
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Rosamond Constance
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 2nd September 2012

Bagni di Lucca
Tuesday 24th August

My dear Papa,

We were much pleased to hear of Mamaís and Elaís safe arrival, and surprised that they did really reach home on Thursday; as Henrietta, who had given the two last reports of their movements had not mentioned that they had given up sleeping in London. I am very glad Mama was so well; and fancy she must be supremely happy at the thought of having no more journeys before her; and no doubt she has been already rejoicing in the good cream, legs of mutton n, and perhaps even a warm coal fire, the three luzuries [sic] she so often longed for when far away! I hope your weather has become well-behaved again. Here it is perfectly charming since the heat was driven away by a succession of storms, one of which, on Sunday week, was accompanied by such torrents of rain that damage was done to some railway lines, especially that of Ancona. Mamie is feeling well again since this change and we are thinking of going away on Thursday or Friday; sleeping two nights at Lucca, from which we shall make the excursions to Pistoja which we omitted in coming, and then go to Pisa for a week and probably to Spezzia for a few days. We intend to be back in Florence in about a fortnight, and are thinking of our journey to Rome quite at the end of September or first week in October, as everybody says that then it is perfectly safe. After much consideration we have decided that it is best to have a man servant for the journey and to establish us in Rome; and have been speaking to the husband of our maid Vittoria, a most respectable and highly recommended man. He is used to short jobs, and is now disengaged. His usual terms are £10 a month, if for a short time, or £8 for a longer engagement, and relative proportion for a week or fortnight. We should probably not want him for more than a fortnight at the outside. He looks a thoroughly good man, and his wife is so perfectly honest that one feels quite safe with the husband. We had hoped to get into a lodging in Rome, as most desirable but for economy and for the comfort of living in private, but this Courier, Luigi Pettini, says that we should not be able to make reasonable terms with any good lodging for less than the whole season, which is not at all what we contemplate; or if we succeeded in engaging one for a month, we should be turned out at the end of the month to let the new comers in, without the option of remaining a few days longer should we wish it. So we must, I suppose, be content with a Pension, of which we have heard of several, both good and tolerably reasonable. In our walk yesterday we came upon a bank by the road-side entirely covered with cyclamen. I did not know they flowered at this season. They are very pretty and bright pink, but quite devoid of scent. The gardens are now full of hybiscus in full bloom, of all shades of colour from pure white to deep purple, many of them double, very handsome. The trees are many of them full ten feet high. All the other beautiful shrubs are over, and the Catalpas, which were so splendid when we came, are now laden with a profusion of long green pods Ė none ripe enough to gather yet.

Just as we were meditating a long drive yesterday came a heavy storm with torrents of rain. It is unlucky that ever since it has grown cool enough, the weather has been so broken that it is quite hazardous to go to any distance; for the rain, when it descends, is quite tropical in itís force and would wet through those slight carriages in a moment.

Nobody has mentioned Charles lately. Is he with you at Lacock? and how is he?

We donít expect any letters today, so I may as well say goodbye, dear Papa, with love to Mama & Ela, & Charles if present.

What a convenient thing that one letter should now do for all the party!

Your affectionate daughter
Rosamond

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