Index Museo Civico
Letter 18 Letter 19 Letter 20
Letter 21 Letter 22 Letter 23 Letter 24
Letter 25 Letter 26 Letter 27 Letter 28


Letter n°17       



My dear Maria

I feel very anxious about you as I have not had your usual pleasant letter telling all the news of the Severn's but my Walter told me he had been to you & had showd you my Tolfa scrawl & I trust he had also paid you the £ 5 from me & the rest my children pay you as I am rather pinched for I have the great difficulty of a new lease of my house & as there are 30 applicants I am obliged to look about me Also the King is trying the buy the Poli Palace where I have lived 10 years & where I hope to live the rest of my life -

I think I told you of the excellent plan of my good Doctor to keep house with me with his wife & Sister just now I hope the plan is coming off & I am in a great fidget lest it should fail, but in that case he is to find another house for us - You will understand my dread of living alone for I tire & want amusement - Now this Dr Valeriani is excellent company & can give me a "Roland for an Oliver" then he knows me well & has cured me

As usual I am here "out to grass" in great comfort, for 3 months I have not spoken a word of English, but I employ my mornings in a stroll of 4 & 5 miles, coming home bathed with perspiration -I always change & at last I can dress & undress myself - the dinner is at 12 & very good, afterwards I lie down & sleep 1 & 2 hours which after my fatigue is needful

I dare say you know that I had a visit from Arthur & his Bride which was a great happiness to me & to them, but perhaps you dont know that he is a lucky Dog for he has had an Annuity left him of £ 200 a year from the late Duke of Bedford - You always say I am so lucky in my children I assure you I feel it & now that I am poor & know that they are all well to do, 'tis a real consolation

I often think of you & envy you in having those dear girls so near you & that you pop in upon Tom so nicely - He wrote me a very pleasant letter - that he could walk in the street – dress himself & that he had composed 3 new songs but Arthur writes me from Lancashire that it has raind for 13 days! so that poor Tom must feel it , yet withall I hope next Summer to pay you all a fond visit, but only for the Summer for altho' I am well, yet the least damp or cold fills me with pains, yet you'll say this is age, 78 is the cause but I hold up wonderfully & the people of Tolfa having seen me when I could not walk are astonishd now at my recovery for as yet I have'nt a wrinkle

I am glad to be out of the worry & care of my official life for I am very nervous & even good news upsets me - On the 1st October I hope to be back in Rome & in my dear house for a change would upset me - but as I shall have this excellent Doctor & his Ladies with me, so I shall pick up & feel "bobbish"

Your loving brother



Tolfa Sept 25 I go to Rome on the 30th


Torna su Letter n°18


                                                                                  Pal. Poli. Rome Decr 6th. 1872

My dear Tom

I'm thinking of you continually now that you have got into the dismal winter but you have the consolation of your dear ones about you & in your last you pitied me in being alone, now I am glad to have remedied this, (excuse my writing for I am just up from fever and my hand and head don't quite agree) and the change I find very comfortable & perhaps more so as I was longing for this change but I did not know how to bring it about when to my good fortune my excellent Doctor of Tolfa with his wife & sister made the proposition to keep house with me & take all the management and responsibility leaving me rent free

He proposed that I should pay him s 4.2d a day for everything, which considering how dear everything in Rome I think moderate - He has taken all my superfluous furniture & tis now 3 months that I have not had to pay as I am eating up the said furniture

As during 6 years I had lived with them at Tolfa during the Summer months: so I presumed that I knew them well enough as to enter into such a plan with confidence, but whether or no, I had no choice for my case as regards my health & strength for I felt that sooner or later I must have some one with me and so it fell out, for I was taken suddenly with a terrible fever, but had the good fortune of this medical fd  at my elbow & so he soon patchd me up & perhaps even saved my life - For this fever had been very prevalent & and fatal in Rome but as I arrived in October when it is thought that all fevers had ceased, so I was quite taken by surprise - I had just been walking for 2 hours very pleasantly, seeming quite recovered & had been painting in the early mor.g when down I was dashd

But I am picking up very nicely & am equal to all my duties which I am  glad to say are few & pleasant

My house is being made into two for it was a sad length and I am getting a new staircase with a long balcony for flowers, a great improvement,  but the rent will be raised form £80 to £110 I am trying how to pay a moderate rent to my f.d  did not reckon in this rise, but 'tis my proposition & not his

He is now practising and this will succeed but his task is a heavy one & I feel a little fidgety less he should not be able to come up to mark

My position now is very pleasant if it lasts but ups and downs befall everyone & yet I always think that I am fortunate & perhaps presume on it, as in this case

Our weather has been fearfully wet & the inundations are going on tho' not yet in Rome, this is against me & I am still weak tho' I can do 2 almost 3 miles respectably

They speak of me as being very clever & even cunning in all affairs for on the finish of my consulate I offered my large house to set up an Archeological Institute & the society caught at it at once, but I proposed to have 3 rooms rent free, this thing failed but the rent was paid & so I am thought to have been more cunning than the society - the Doctor has proposed just the same plan

We are all on tip toe expecting the Parliament to upset all the Convents & Monasteries at once, the Pope threatens to receive all the 3000 Nuns in the Vatican Palace but he'll have to put them in  Breeches, the monks have been long in petticoats, noboddy (sic) can tell how 'twill finish, I myself don’t believe the Pope will ever leave the splendid Vatican he may talk but its all brag - how wonderful that at last it should all come to an end

There's a great panic just now that the English will not come, the weather, the politick, (sic) & the fever cause this fear - for the English not coming one Winter would quite ruin Rome Hotels, lodging houses, cook shops &c &c are all got up for the English & if you could not know they are humbugged out of their money you'd scarce believe it

You'll be amused that people will still take me for my Son & talk to me about his father's friendship for Keats, I explain by I see they don't quite make it out & just now in England you've a fashion sprung up about friendship for Keats - there are 2 novels writing about it and I get letters often, what a joke, how you'll laugh, meanwhile I'm very much puzzled - your friends Mr & Mrs Neate I like very much & regretted their short stay, up to this they are the most superior people who have come - then Charley sent me his f.d Mr Rutt again, he was here in the spring

7th December my 79th birthday which I am so fortunate as to remember & to reflect on the many blessings I enjoy, my eyesight excellent, my had steady for my painting my walking pleasant, my memory surprising and my health good, the Doctors all agree that I have a fine constitution so altogether you may hope that we shall meet next Summer, what a hope!!  But I depend on great moderation in eating and drinking

My dear Tom here I'm giving you another sheet of gossip, it being my birthday, this is my pleasantest way of passing it to chat with you, what a pity that we cannot celebrate the occasion with a Goblet of Wine - As yet I have not sold my picture of the miracle of the wine on which I have  been dwelling on and off these 9 Years, but indulging myself in studying it in every way  - there are 25 figures, they dine under a "pergola" vine arbour - As the water falls out into the jar I show it changing halfway into wine, a ray of the Sun passes thro it, & a group observe it with amazement - the Vine forms a good background, with its autumnal tints and grapes - Gentle sun rays fall upon the table cloth, the idea is quite original and I confess I am quite proud of it & hope to be able to write my name that it was finishd in my 80th year!! I think it is very attractive except that people try to think it a copy as a Consul can only do copies!!

The Legation of Sir A. Paget I have nothing to do with except when I draw my pittance when they do everything permitted to show how they try to cut me - for as yet they are not permitted to go to the Vatican, & smart under the fact I have all the priviledges (sic) of an Ambassador and they cannot get one

We had a Bishop to dine yes.ty the dinner was better than the Bishop for he could not carry on a conversation

Yes.y I walked for an hour gallantly & am picking up in good style with the hope of seeing you all next Summer and that not the lack of strength but of cash may be the drawback

With love to all

Your loving brother Joe

Decr 10th 1872


Torna su Letter n°19


                                                                                  Rome, 23rd April 1873

My dear Tom,


You'll be looking for a scribble from me so as I have nothing ugly to tell you I think I can be pleasant in a chit chat with you tho' I've nothing new & my news I am afraid is as old as myself, but we in our brotherly love are young

I have just had a nice letter (of the 13th) from Maria in which she gives me a good account of you at which I rejoice for as I have got about & as we are so much alike, so now you ought to get about - She tells me your weather is fine so I'll e'en hope that this may find you gadding with only one stick

We have had most lovely skies & I have been strolling almost every day, as usual I cab out to some nice place, enjoy the trees & flowers & than walk home, passing some 3 or 4 hours, but I confess I arrive "without a leg to stand up on",  but as my good Doctor tells me that I should taste the fresh air every day so I make a daily effort & am really doing well & looking "bobbish"

You try to make me out younger than 80 but it won't do, for Walter had to go to Shoreditch church to get my register & found it 7th Dec-r 1793, he so much admired the Church

My Philodramatic society are building a fine Theatre in my fountain rooms, as this will be permanent & as I am so fond of the Drama & my rent is more than covered; I think you will consider me a lucky dog, for as my rent is doubled owing to the great improvement what should I have done? it is £170 & this Society pay me £180 they have a long lease renewable so I have no more concern - there are 120 Italian members & they subscribe 6 shilling (sic) a month each

As my "Cana" is very near done I am projecting a new picture & hope I may  be like Hadyn who did his finest things after he was 80!!!

Tis so odd my having only to think of myself & I dont  seem to know myself, my good Doctor & his Ladies do everything so I have no thought but to pay 4s. 2d a day for every thing & my good Betta £10 a year - I think of my ever arriving at such comfort

Now I shall look for a scribble - Your loving Joe


I am putting by every penny & am much within my income


Torna su Letter n°20


                                                                                  Tolfa Civita Vecchia

                                                                                  Sun Aug 10th 1873


My dear Maria,

At last you have a little summer weather & I have too much for the heats have weakend (sic) me & made me give up my favorite (sic) walks & I should be down but my excellent woman servant makes me capital dinners & finds me splendid wine so I am still on my legs & hope to gain strength, for today is cooler & I have picked up already - I was in doubt about a bath but Dr Valeriani came here & advised that I should take one bath to try the effect & the effect is good, very good - you see that the heat  gives a restlessness, in Italian "smania" then follows loss of appetite & sleep - these last I have not suffered but I cannot walk as I did last year

Perhaps I feel the heat more as I am alone but I have so many interesting studies that I rather like my solitude

I have promised in mid to pay a long promised visit to my f.d Cappelli in the mountains, but unless I get back my strength I wont go for the fatigue is too great in travelling & also the change in my living too as I am regular as a clock & my health depends on it also I want to get back in brilliant health as I have my painting to interest me & hope to make it my daily occupation for otherwise I shall mope & languish. - You will think of me on 7th Dec.r & I will drink all your healths - Dr Valeriani is determined to make a grand dinner on that day

I went out to dinner lately with good effect in Rome & returned without fatigue to my surprise for I decline all the ev.g invitations as they disturb my sleep

My two paintings are much admired & are considered among my best work, but there is no encouragement the political world has suspended the Arts for the present - so I must work to please myself - As I shall have the Theatre & the Doctor you'll consider that I shall not be so badly off - As I am alone I want some amusement

I hope to hear a good account of you as you have cheerful Summer & are able to go out & enjoy yourself

How you'd be surprised could you see me here passing the most prinmitive life, up at 5 & 6 dining at 12 & then sleeping 2 hours - salad supper at 9 with fruit & to bed at 11& all this exact very day - I go to walk at 6 ev.g

Good bless you my dear Sister

Your loving brother Joe


Torna su Letter n°21


                                                                      Tolfa - Civita Vecchia

                                                                      Sun. August 10th 1873


My dear Tom,

Yours of the 23rd. ult. is a joy to me as it is by your own dear hand, tho' I'm sensible that it must have cost you some trouble & even pain

But you tell me much interesting news, that Charles found you walking in your Street, that you went in a Cab with dear Ellen to visit some Friends that you found this a very pleasant change, but that you cannot walk out without "a keeper". Altogether I cannot but think you much improved

Then you tell me that Maria is a "Capital Walker" & that she often goes to see you

I see that you have got the great heat of 80 F which is just what I have got here & I will confess that it has taken all the shine out of me, & made me weak & unable to take my long walks, that is in a morning stroll I went up to the old Castle some 2 miles & had a headache when I came down, so that the Suns (sic) heat was not for me - then another morning I went to my favorite (sic) group of Chestnut trees when to my horror I found them all cut down so that I have no encouragement in walking & only go just outside the town where I meet a "cheek-smoothing breeze" as Leigh Hunt used to say & and this is not more than 2 miles in all. - But as yet we have not had any rain, the harvest is getting in & we are almost burnt up.- In England you get a smack of rain now & then which must be very reviving

You remember I contemplated going to pay you a visit this Summer, but I could not collect strength enough for so long a journey & I might have been left on the road (to Paradise) for here altho only 70 miles I arrived quite done up & and could not have gone a step further. - But the heat in Rome was very oppressive & as I was finishing my two pictures, & did finish them yet the heat & the pictures almost finishd (sic) me &  so I scamperd (sic) off to Tolfa but even here the heat was & is so great that I was afraid to take the baths; - At last I have taken one & it has done me good in relieving me of the restlessness ("smania") caused by the excessive heat

This Summer I am occupied in writing & painting at present I am calling up all my recollections of Keats in notes to the beautiful poem "Adonais" by Shelley in which he mentions me - I have a good & vivid memory but I am difficult in satisfying myself, yet as I have new & interesting matter I must persevere & more so as Lord Houghton is preparing a splendid new edition of his life of Keats & the Poems. All this I had done when some one stole all  my papers & left me do it all over again - 'Tis true I receive many admirers of Keats, both American & English & some one with an overflowing love carried off all my papers - As I know of a Novel being in progress on the subject of my friendship for the illustrious Poet; so I may see my scribbling again. - I think I told Maria that the great preacher Rev.d Stopforth Brooke preached a sermon on my friendship!! my Son Walter is to have a copy of it & you should have it in due course

The picture I am preparing is of Keats, Shelley, myself when I drew Keats picture & Shelley read his essay on Poetry - I trust I may live to accomplish all these interesting works - my eyesight is good & my hand is steady & one of the pictures I have finishd (sic) there are 6 figures not more than 5 inches high & yet I was able to finish it - one thing is pleasant I am able now to work for myself & not care about the snubbing I've  met - I am consoled that all my works are in the collection of Noblemen & sovereigns & I have never had to supplicate picture dealers! like the present race of Artists - I may hope that my sight & hand may  be preserved to me during my life which cannot be long as next December (7th) I shall be 80

I am still persecuted by English enemies but I take no notice of them nor do I even know the nature of their attack & I am fortunate in my tranquility & patience

You'll be pleased that my f.d  Dr Valeriani, his wife and sister are still keeping house with me & am very comfortable - the fine private theatre in my house is finishd (sic) & so I have a doctor & a Theatre actually about me - the English will also act in it - I'm rent free

I have written an essay on Light & Colour which has long been bothering my brain - also I have another essay on the ancient Etruscans as regards their religion but the notes on Keats are the chief matters which now occupy my pen - When I get to Rome next month I am to do a picture of a plum pudding which Mrs Linder (a handsome English Lady) is carrying with the spirit in blue flames! This is quite new

I am here in complete solitude & have not spoken a word of English for a month - I get the English papers as well as the Italian - My good old servant Betta is with me & as she is a good cook I get on well

Good bye my dear Tom my love to all your dear ones

Your loving bother Joe


Torna su Letter n°22

Torna su Letter n°23

Rome April 12th 1874

My dear Tom

Theres some very interesting matter about Egypt which I hasten to send you - My son Walter with his wife wrote me in Jan.y last that on account of his illness they were going at once

to Egypt & that there was no time for me to write an answer, but they would pay me a visit at Rome on their -return

They came on the 28th ult & I was most agreeably surprised that at Gran Cairo they met Emma & Mr Anderson by accident for as I said there was not time for me to write and tell my Son that his cousins were at Cairo; so perhaps the meeting has been more more charming for my children express themselves as quite enchanted

It seems there was a want of organists at Cairo at the moment & my daughter in law Mary volunteered her services - Emma hearing that a Mrs Severn had been performing, soon had the happiness to find that it was her own cousin & they immediately made a happy quartette & Anderson took the party up the Nile to his Villa where he is cultivating the sugar cane & where he has numerous Camels

Thus my Son was enabled to pitch most lustily into his drawing & also well into health for he bestows no end of praise on the kind efforts of Anderson & Emma - mind, my Son had not an idea of meeting such friends & relations at this distance & the surprise must have done him much good, indeed I envy him

My children having staid (sic) with me 12 days left on Wed.y last the 8th - my good friends the Doctor & his ladies enabled me to receive them warmly & so there was great rejoicing – they had for the time all the best part of the Doctor's house & the grub - was also at the best - Both Walter & his wife were still but so so & I was anxious that my excellent doctor should render

render his admirable services

My son has brought home  a wonderful turn out of large Drawings of people & animals all which he owes to the aid of Anderson & tis not a little striking to hear him relate the wonders of Egypt - Its climate, its people, its food & all the novelty of everything of this marvellous place without rain - of the great fertility of the abundance, really I am quite carried off my feet by the accounts & am longing to enjoy these things, but alas! I am a bad traveller & fear I am now at my journey's end as to distances

I wrote you about a month since so I little or nothing new to tell you of Rome, save that I am having an ugly April, cold & raw & no end of rain, so I am almost shut up & should die of it, but my painting keeps me alive & I am doing a Madonna for the Tolfa Church as the good people consider my cure a miracle at my great age, for I am for I am really free of my old enemy rheumatism after 70 baths of Tolfa hot water of Borax & Iron  But this time I think of going down to the sea at Porto d'Anzio where the sea air is divine I dont mean to try to be better than well, but hope to paint in a small way & eat fish, also I have friends there to cherish me - I will write & tell all about it, but I do not go till the end of the month that is the warmth for I cannot bear the least cold or damp

You were not so well when I wrote you & I will hope that you've a touch of Spring as Maria said, but since then your snow has been terrific & even the Queen lost her fine day & was snow’d up - I am amazed at the [fall] of Mr Gladstone & cannot understand it the least for he had a majority of 60!!!

Now I hope you'll be able to give me a line to Pal Poli - my picture at San Paolo is I fear being ruined by the damp church, but it is

now removed to a dry corridore - With my love to all

Your loving brother Joe


Torna su Letter n°24


                                                                                          Rome 21st March 1874

My dear Tom

You tell me that my letters always do you good, so this is as a dose of Physic! I did not hear so good an account of you latterly, but trust that the approach of Spring will set you up, tho' your Winter seems to have come upon you most ungratefully

Dear Maria wrote me recently in her charming way, giving me news of you all, also my dear Claudia does the same, but I fear that she is a mere shaddow, fortunately her daughters are grown up, from her arm chair to her bed is all she is able to do

I am daily expecting my Son Walter & his wife from Egypt, where he has gone on a tour for his health & takes me on his way back & I am happy in being able to receive him, for my housekeeping with Dr Valeriani & his wife & sister, is a capital turn out & I am really comfortable

we have just had here the german female band of 32 performers & I was very much pleased with the great precision & nice ear with which they performed - they are visiting all the Italian cities & no doubt show a new opening for the employment of women - They beat the Roman playing by far, but this is not saying much for the Italian bands are but so so, & the grand opera is a sad turn out

The private Theatre in my house is a very pleasant thing for me, yes there was a comedy got up by children, most succesfully & 'tis quite astonishing how well they act & learn their parts, but I am glad to say that education is changing the whole face of the Roman people & 'twas the great mistake of the Pope & the cause of his going down, the leaving the people in such ignorance

But yet I am alarmed at the robberies & I do not venture but in the well protected places

Two Englishmen were robbed in the ancient baths of  Carraculla yes.tdy

How you'll be amazed to hear that I am resuming to my Consulate for a while, as a deed as been made out in my name on the supposition that I was still Consul, 'twas a case of London omnibus, a Lady broke her leg in getting out & an English maid who is now here   in service was witness so I had to the Judge & my former Sec.ty was my clerk wrote down the evidence - he receives 5  qui.s & I 10, but it made me very nervous & I see that I am not equal to such matters any longer, but I can go on with my painting & writing well enough

I have had to pay by imposition £ 20 for rent of the Archaeological society once in my house & now down in its funds, & I should have kicked but there came as a Godsend the omnibus money & extraordinary to relate  a Roman letter with 120 francs enclosed without any name or even writing inside!! my name & address outside in evidently in English, showing signs of age but clear & firm, in the receipt of this money I am also clear & firm & so my loss is well made up - We have now lovely Spring, the leaves and flowers are out & the fleas hopping about

I am thinking of going to Porto d'Anzio a sea port 39 miles from Rome as the sea air did me such good in my 1st year - for I am tired of Tolfa as my good doctor is here living in my house - They gave me such a dinner on my Festival of St Joseph - a custom here

Painting & Music are here coming to an end & there is very little doing, the German Ladies was quite a flare up - I am well in health indeed so set up that I am astonished being in my 80th year - I'm doing a Madonna for the Tolfa church as the good people consider my cure as a miracle - Now I want you to imitate me as you used to do & I cannot but think that your portrait is a great progress on the former one & that you look well however you may feel - I always wear a cap ( of  brown silk) as the scantiness of my hair caused a cold in my eyes - love to all

Your loving brother Jo

Torna su Letter n° 25

Torna su Letter n° 26


Torna su Letter n°27


Tolfa (per Civita Vecchia)

3rd August 1874

My dear Tom

I am fill'd with envy of your going to dance at your Son's Wedding & you did not invite me " For I have piped and ye have not danced" but I beg to congratulate you, tho' I dont know what Monte's calling is - Then you've got dear Emma & Anderson from Cairo, so there's no bounds to my envy - For all my old friends are dead & gone & I sometimes think that I am living too long & try to kick at my loneness for my painting is my only companion, tho' as yet I excel in it, but people dont much care about it, tho' the other day I sold a picture which has given me a nice prop up

The ungratefull world has forgot my former doings in Art & only recollect my consulate, so now I'll only paint for myself & keep up my spirits with paints & brushes - But here's other to do The Brigands are here about the town & have robbed a Signor & his wife on the 3d but as great doings are going on I'll even wait & keep quiet till I go to Rome - I've still to take 4 baths & then to be sure I can get an escort of dragoons for the govt is very active

But the harvest is so abundant that the people dont know where to put the corn & can hardly find time to prepare my 8 baths - the rain is damaging the corn - The great doings are a Railway from this to Civita Vecchia, for the conveyance of minerals from these mountains & there are 6 fine resolute Englishmen working, but they make a fortress at some 4 miles from the town

But I am very comfortable, with my  excellent donna who caters & cooks, the good things abound particularly wine & fruit & I am very well save a little weakness caused by the baths

As the good people here consider my cure as a miracle, they have begged of me an offering picture of a Madonna for the Church which I have done & presented & so make my peace

You will have heard of my sad loss of my dear daughter Claudia but as she had been so long ill the blow was less & I am right again

Maria says that she is entering her 78th year, now this I think a mistake & she must be 76 unless she is jealous of my 80 & so makes a show up

The vines are loaded with grapes such as not been for many years & the corn is so ample that it cannot be housed for the want of hands & house - the fruit is also in prodigal quantity tho' the peaches have not yet shown up 5th August            I am not afraid of the Brigand for the govt has sent such a troop of good soldiers, that every protection is possible -  the 1st  thief was taken this morn.g with a false key trying to open a shop but the many woods will afford concealment yet the people are very honest & industrious so that I have little to fear

Left to myself my vivid memory ( for I seem not to have forgotten a thing) presents all the incidents of my life from boyhood, certainly our good father was really an honest man - It is a pleasure to me to            review my past life for there are so many points to give me present delight - no doubt I was gifted with a fine genius but the drawbacks were serious yet in reviewing the standing & carreer (sic) of other artists all with a better beginning than mine I cannot find one who has done so much - And yet I am not satisfied & think at times I ought to have done so much more - Now I dare say the  like thoughts occur to you about yourself for there is much resemblance  'twixt us & I am proud of you?  Where I showd (sic) skill was on the failure of my painting (for I went out of fashion) that I made a dash at the Consulate & was saved by it & even got the 2 pensions - For my Art would not have kept me owing to the changes in Rome & I must have dropped off in misery – Certainly my few friends have been very faithfull to me - Gladstone particularly - the influence of fashion in Art took me by surprise & dropped me, yet luckily I was equal to other things & have settled down in quiet repose & may leave some of my best works yet, for my eyesight is excellent my hand steady & my impudence great

Your loving brother Joe


Torna su Letter n°28


                                                                                              Rome Sept 24 1874

My dear Maria

To return safe & without fear from Tolfa I had an Escort of 2  armed Carabineers which cost me 9 shillings - There was no actual fear but yet a surprise might have done for me I took my 6 baths as some slight swelling had shown on my ankles, which now is gone & I am well & strong for me & am able to paint at a lusty rate.

Tom wrote me a nice chatty letter full of news & good things, He is a " nice broth of a boy" still as he always was - but he wonders why I dont give up my painting? as I am alone 'tis my only real comfort & consolation & is a splendid amusement. I am now on my 3rd picture of this year one of which I sold & hope still to do a lot of  business which is also a comfort

You'll remember me drawing my daddy when I was 6 or 7 years old, no, you cant remember, but it was pronounced a good likeness, give up my painting? I wish he may catch it, tis no fatigue to me whereas doing nothing is - I write also but painting I excell in & my pictures are among the best I have ever done - Haydon did his finest works after he was 80!! & why may not I - I write on my present works my name & done " in his 80th year"

I found Tolfa very tiresome, for all the nice woods & places where I used to walk are now shut up, as the people cut the trees for fire wood & the begging children threw stones at me so I supplied myself with a lot of farthings & they were content - I did the votive picture for the church as the people consider my cure a miracle

On the 22d ult when I returned I found my house all so clean & in such order for Madam Valeriani my landlady had herself done it all I assure you that I am very comfortable except in my loneliness, tho in my cab & stroll I always pick up some friend for I get strength in this way.

My new picture is from Keats poem of " Isabella or the pot of Basil" she is mourning over the Basil which conceals her lovers head - I do not write so well as I have continually been painting - Even now my Music gets a little brush up, but my fingers are sadly out of drawing & cannot make the trill, but I can do enough to amuse me & hope to take to it in the long winters evenings - Tom has the advantage in his charming daughters about him & dear Emma - You see, all my dear old friends are dead & the new ones are snobs & not at all my compagnions & now that my consulate is done people seem to think that I am nothing & try to forget my painting , this is cruel

Tom kicks at my saying " ungrateful world" but I meant only my english enemies who have shown such envy & malice in return for my daily good deeds - L.d Byron says " For benefits turn poison in base minds" - altho' I have beaten them yet 'tis a pain to be in such a conflict, tho' now I am near out of it, but I do not yet know the slanders they have uttered against; me & I am too proud to enquire

I do not smoke nor shall I ever, for I should soon set the house on fire.

We have great abundance of fruit, peaches 8 for a halfpenny & figs 10, the grapes also are ready everything must now be cheap for the plenty is great

Yes ty I had a pleasant visit      from Edwin Brett (friend of E. Berry) on his way to Australia. The Acqua Marca at last pays interest in October & altho I gave the thousand pound 50 shares

to Eleanor

I am to receive the interest of £ 50 a year of which I shall be glad as my cabbing costs me dearly & unless I sell another picture I may go to the wall a little

My Son Walter & his family have been in Scotland some time at his wifes home - Twas very sad very sad the death of dear Claudia angel as she was - Curious fact that the Italian school of singing has come to an end in these political times & a german prima donna is to sing in Rome. Well the Italians have had their day & deserve a change - People are not coming to Rome as usual but are going to Egypt, so these cheating Romans will have also a fall - for there is no end to the impostures they put upon the English

Tom hopes that his letter may find me as well as he & all his are at present & so it does

I am up at 6 , breakfast at 7, read my news  paperes (sic) till 9 , paint till I dine & have 40 winks till 3 at 4 cab it to S Pietro in montario where I remain walking till 6 then cab it again 3 miles home, this I try to do every day but I cant come up to the scratch quite, but yet I come it well & I wont complain - My Friends the Dr & his ladies are good company but do not care about painting or music this is a drawback                                                           Your loving brother Joe


Torna su