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Document number: 9624
Date: Tue 22 Mar 1870
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: TALBOT Rosamond Constance
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

Hotel Vittoria Pisa

Tuesday 22nd March

My dear Papa,

I have to thank you for a very good, kind letter, and Tilly also; and Mamie has had letters from Mama and from Tilly since I wrote last to Ela, to both of whom she sends thanks. We were extremely glad to hear so greatly improved an account of Mackenzie, and hope that Tilly has had no fresh cause for anxiety about her, although of course her complete recovery must be slow after so very severe an attack.

I am afraid your weather, judging from ours, must still continue very variable. Here it is never two days alike, and changes even from morning to evening. On Wednesday, after two bright days, it was extremely cold and dismal, and snowed they say at Florence. Here all the hills were covered quite low down; and the following day was quite sultry with a thundery feel! Mamie was out for a short time on Sunday, after having been shut up entirely for more than 3 weeks, but the wind was very keen through the sunshine, and yesterday and today have been much too cold for her and quite gloomy. If the spring would only fairly set in now, I think she would soon be quite well, for since I wrote last her cure has made great progress and nothing now, I think, but the backward and changeable season prevents its being complete. A party arrived the other day from San Remo in a state of great exasperation. They had spent two months there, and had hardly had a week’s sunshine in all – and always accompanied by a keen east wind. They were at the Hotel Vittoria, where since our time they have built a huge dining-room, where often forty & fifty people sat down to a dinner which was uneatable – Madame Grossi scandalised the house by beating her young daughters an dragging them downstairs by the hair, as a punishment for making mistakes in the bills; and Earl Russell, who has spent the winter with his family in one of the new Villas, astonished the weak minds of the English and native society by appearing at certain balls, at a new Casino, decked out in the Order of the Garter! – As it is already getting rather late in the season, and Rome is already very full and will of course grow fuller as Easter approaches, we have an idea of going first to Naples, as soon as circumstances permit our getting once more under weigh <sic>. That is to say we should sleep at Civita Vecchia (as we always intended) and thence go through to Albano unless the trains are unmanageable – and perhaps stay there a day or two, as you know there is a very good hotel, and then to Naples. On our return we should find Rome much more empty and pleasanter in all respects, and I daresay enough Bishops will remain for a specimen. There was a report of Typhus at Rome the other day, and I have written to our friends, the Lancasters, to know whether there is any truth it <sic>. But the Hotel Keepers of Florence have the reputation of spreading the report of illness at Rome every year to deter people from going there. We have still a hundred pounds remaining on our old letter of credit, but we think that it would be best if you would be so kind as to send the new one here to Pisa, in a registered letter, I suppose, directed to the Post office. Maquay & Pakenham also have a branch office in this house. You would have plenty of time to send it here, for there is no fear of our wishing to be off in a violent hurry, and at any rate we should await your answer. A new complication also has arisen in our affairs this morning, as Vittoria has received a letter from the Convent where her daughter is, saying that she is ill; and now she is waiting for another report tomorrow to know whether she will be obliged to go to her.

Goodbye, dear Papa, for I perceive it is dinner time, and I must put off all the rest for another day. Love to all from us both

Your affectionate daughter


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