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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 23: 1853-54
John Gibson Lockhart to Charlotte Lockhart Hope, 15 March 1854

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Piazza di Spagna, March 15, 1854.

My dear Charlotte,—I was much gratified with your last and in all its parts, but in return for so many bits of good news I have really nothing to say, except that I have settled to take a steamboat at Civita Vecchia on the 29th of this month, and it promises to reach Marseilles in twenty-seven hours. I need not hurry myself as to the French part of my journey, and will probably bestow a day or two on objects of interest as yet unvisited by me; but I shall soon (D.V.) get to Paris (Hôtel Windsor, Rue de Rivoli), and I hope to find H. Ellis and wife there or thereabouts; having spent a few days with whom, I may expect to cross to Old England and occupy once more, though for the last time and not for long, my customary quarters in Sussex Place.

“I have found that several acquaintances go by the boat I mention; particularly William Osborne and his wife, who will to the best of their power help me. She was Caroline Montagu of Rokeby, an old
friend and stalwart beauty—a most agreeable woman, and married to a very agreeable man—a brother of
Lord Godolphin’s.

“When tolerably well I have made various little expeditions to see celebrated places within a day’s drive, and mostly with the two Kemble ladies, and an artist or two of their suite. Next Saturday the like is to happen if the sun shines, and before I quit Civita Vecchia I shall, I believe, contrive to spend three or four days in that vicinity, where Etruscan antiquities (Cornato, Tarquinii, &c.) abound. But I am at best very uncertain in any arrangements of this nature, for I am subject to seizures that lay me quite on my back for two or three days. I am to-day better than I have usually been for some weeks: but the constant recurrence of most wearisome symptoms is enough to break one’s spirit, even if one had any left to be broken. I am entirely satisfied that travel is insanity for a sick creature; and once established again in a home, however humble, I shall not be likely to quit it on any such speculation.

“Hope and you will be sorry to hear that R. Monteith and all his family have been laid up with ‘Roman fever,’ so called, ending in what we call typhus. One little girl died on Saturday, and I greatly fear my next intelligence may be the death of another of them, with that of poor R. Monteith himself. William Lockhart (the monk), known to you, sees them hourly, and lets me know daily.
Yesterday the last Sacraments were to be administered to R. Monteith. This William Lockhart came over with
Manning, and will return with him. He is very near to the Lees, and I knew his father well in early life. He seems a most amiable young man, and is very kind to me, as, indeed, sundry of his cloth here are. I understand I am in bad odour with the good Anglicans for going to hear Papist sermons pretty often; but, first, I get Protestant ones (or can) readily at home; and, second, the specimens here are better bad.

“You both, I think, were acquainted with the Bishop of Salisbury. I am sorry for his death. My old master, Jenkyns, too, has dropt. I wonder who will be the new Bishop; but I do not look for Milman. More likely Whewell; Hallam is, I hear, mending decidedly.

“The day I touch a bit of well-dressed cod or salmon, with a slice of roast beef or mutton, and glass of sound ale or port, I fancy I shall feel greatly comforted. There is nothing wholesome or refreshing to be had in this infernal place for love or money. Wherefore, may perdition attend the population, from Pope Pio to the beggar on the stairs.

“My chief companion and next-door neighbour (in the house) is old Lord Stanhope—occupied mostly with the spirit-rapping—I fancy a prime victim of the mediums. He says there is much preaching here on the subject, the tone being that the facts are all correct, but the whole the work
of Satan. Indeed, that is what I have picked up from my orthodox friends here.—Affectionately yours ever,

J. G. Lockhart.”