Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, April 30 - May 13, 1868

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Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, April 30 - May 13, 1868


Whitney, Anne, 1821-1915
Stebbins, Emma, 1815-1882
Cushman, Charlotte Saunders, 1816-1876
Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue, 1830-1908
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915
Intimacy--As Source
Social Events--Misc.


Anne Whitney shares intimate knowledge about acquaintances and discusses aspect of Rome's infrastructure and nature. She reports that Charlotte Cushman and Emma Stebbins leave Rome and announces Cushman's readings in the coming fall. Apparently, Cushman detests receiving guests, whom she does not care about. Among others, Harriet Hosmer (hunting issues/discrimination) and Annie Adams Fields are mentioned.


Wellesley College Archives, Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 155.


Whitney, Anne, 1821-1915




This Correspondence is brought to you for free and open access by the Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4) at Wellesley College Digital Scholarship and Archive.



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[p. 1] 5 /
Rome Apr. 30 -
it was a month yesterday since any letter
arrived from you my beloved & best sister
+++ possesses this mail to serve us equally
for the frst time such a mischancy[?] trick!
The papers come as they shd & the reports
of the trial become more & more interesting. It will
be a great relief when it is fairly certain
that the +++ is +++. it did not seem
possible when +++ stepped out that
a man more infamous wd. ever step in. But
there's the first of the Roman emperors
to keep us modest. in our estimate of +++
May 2th - Yr letter of the 14 Apr arrived
last Thurs. with no report of the missing
one. now that lost letter must have been
a very interesting one. There are hints in this
of some of the events mentioned there. +++
other things learned in that way. I gather
that it +++ his been married, the last
thing on earth I shd. have expected. for
if ever I heard the most thorough contempt
borders,   +++ for the +++ estate
of +++, expressed by human lips, those
lips were A. C's- Well - "we know what we
are" as the +++ says. 2C. I hope her hus-
band's +++ justified the latest word.
wh. +++ are of encouragement. Poor Henry
Lock, & poor mother of him! I am so sorry
that +++ disappointed them! & what else
will Henry do but work on the farm?
Now, my dear Paset[?] I grieve to check fr
personal gratitude or seek of those pickles
& things wh. were not intended for Yr delectation

but - were sent - as gift - to for [crossed out]  Mother & Father & I suppose
were intended to be directed to Mother Paret
+++ - +++  is xtremely [sic] disappointed
that half of them were peaches - as she sent
word that blackberries & more especially
cherries wh. she says are more delicious
shd. be put up wilh the rest. But they
will keep you +++ & I dare say can be eaten
in time. Yr. description of april in +++
made us laugh– didn't it say, that such
weather was impartial [?] & went the rounds?
How I dare say you are having a touch of 
summer. We have it in full & the garden
of the princess is a mess of bloom & odor
such heaps of roses - of  migorette. +++
+++ +++ & all flowers that we hold
most refined & delicious - Such great stretches
on the long high walls of +++ & lemon
trees in full blossom & fruit - it - is a
paradise – Last week her H. sent for
us to come & see her as she was sick
& about to depart for some +++
baths. She has left her garden to us
to go there as after & stay as long as
we desire - but - alas that I shd say so
there was no mention of any picking
privilege & of all that enomrous wealth
or roses – dying by +++ -  +++ on the bushes
she plucked two & gave us each one - But
confusion I say or those who +++ at
what they don't get. & are not grateful
for what they do. we +++ there the
Princess somebody & perhaps I forgot
to tell you that +++ our guests  on +++
miration night was another princess

[p.3] somebody – Do feel awed by this liberal
mention of Princesses? Don't  – dont [sic] waste
any +++ that way. You wd +++ if you saw
them. But we did meet with a very attractive
young girl – friendly & beautiful in manner at
Tell's platte. a +++ +++ - she was there some
days with her father & mother & took quite
a liking to us, She spoke english xcellently [sic] well
But I shall begin to wonder if we see any
more nobility about these parts who they
are who compose the rank & file. Our rus-
sian friend - whose little we do not know to
whom we have given the sorbriquet - of Ps
invited us there to meet the duchess of some
string from Florence (russian) - Who is a
sculptress - but we did not see her & at
that time I forgot to ask why she was not
present.as regards nobility here & as espec-
ially princesses - I dont know the law of
their multiplication, perhaps +++ Buckle did
but the time may come when plain John
& Jane may be distinctions-  Let us hope
Perhaps +++ have seen in the papers
at home a smell fire - work of H.
Hosmer's with refce to the monopoly of
the honors of the hunt (Fox) (wh is pur-
sued here +++ the writer with great +++
ness) by the Italians. In wh. said H.
complains that the "Brush" has never
been presented to her nor to any other
than Ital. ladies, tho, they are always
last- & in after "the death" - There has
been a little tempest - in a lie pot &
the American pest has +++

[p.4] from the club in consequence - I shd not
wonder if some I our smart new papers
like the +++, shd treat the affair
to a little sarcasm - Miss Cushman
& Miss Stebbins leave Rome on the 17th for
America. & will not return till just bef.
Christman - Miss S., thinks she may be obliged
to remain there this winter. Miss C. has
had a pretty severe winter. never she
says has there been such a rush! & her
time as all given to taking strangers in -
it is an unconscionable task wh. she
imposes on herself—to see & entertain
crowds of people whom she doesnt [sic] care
for, + wd. never know again. She is going
to give readings to the music hall people
in the fall. In order to put into marble
some rebellions presented to them by
herself & bought of a danish sculptor
We met Dr. Lymer the American
episcopel clergymen at a neighbor's the
other +++. who gave us some acct of
the doings of the archeological society
of wh. any one I believe becomes a member
by the +++ of +++ Mr. Parker
the head of a +++ publishing house
in Oxford Eng. spends all his spare time
& means grabbing in & about Rome
+++ is too poor to carry on +++
of itself - & makes them only so fast
as it is furnished with funds by +++
outsiders. If one had the time it wd. be

[p. 5] interesting to join in the search. tho I
doubt if I have the +++ mania to follow
it up. They found the other day some
enormous cut out of the solid rock
with the pillars of rough stone +++
just as they were +++. This is more puz-
zling than anything yet come across. but
they know it to be the site of an old city
also they came across a great +++ of 
delicious water wh, formerly was one of those
wh. supplied Rome - never was a city so well
provided for in this respect. So see what
+++ fountains shed then +++ a-
bundance now when but one or two of the
acqueducts remain gives some +++ of what
must have been then. Mr Parker +++
previous researchers knew of the xistence[sic] of
this rest; in the - but had sought for
it in rain & pounced upon it at last of
course with the deligh- of a +++ upon
a new planet. They found a long piece of
acqueduct cut out of solid. The reason
that so much of the acqueducts was built
above ground as that it was necessary or
+++ of the force of water to make the
movement +++ - since +++ romans did
not understand or did not use iron pipes
the only thing that is able to resist the
pressure. Last Sunday we wen to see
the old wherf lately brought to light & (a part
of it on the muddy bark of the tiber. It
is built with great neatness & beauty of +++
bricks - with soled stone projections to +++
+++ to & large blocks of hardsom [sic] Egyptian
marbles lie about embedded in the mud -

[p. 6] it is a wonder to me how such things even
get covered up. The tiber is not altogether
the kind of stream & +++ +++. It is a
deep strong +++ thing much more of a
river than I had supposed but the color
doesn't disappoint you - it is dirtier
that the Missi - If that is possible. The
banks are more beautiful in then spring ten-
derness of green - & we ere thinking it wd.
be a pleasant thing to do, to go down to the
see in a boat. Yesterday as I was
passing a workman who +++ with others
was digging a new st., he showed me the
little bronze leg & foot of a bird with a cor-
nelian globe in claw, very nicely xecuted [sic]
wh he he had just found - this with a few
old coins & xchanged for a few coppers - There
was never such a place for any one who has
time to +++ about as this not simply
under ground I mean but every where shops
+++. old palaces & endless
celira[?] These seems to be scarcely any +++
that may not find +++ & satisfaction
here. I am aghast sometimes when I get
little side-glimpses of the pursuits that
may be & are carried on here, to think how
many things & miss confined to my +++
line of +++. But - one life-time after
all suffices for but one thing & to grasp
night & lift leaves one a little poorer
than the persistent clutching of one thing
However this must be said-. that wuth
the material means one might constantly
be thrown in the way of acquiring formation
highly useful in one's own walk- even if outside

[p. 7] the line of direct study. so very occasionally
I am smitten with a touch of envy when I
see people with much means & more leisure
philandering round & picking up things
Sunday May 13. I am very grateful for the
cold of last winter or whatever agency it might
have been wh. devastated fleedom[?] to such a
degree. I am sure I speak within +++
in saying that to this is ad a hundred to one.
but everything is backward. – Strawberries are
too dear[?] for our eating still & if Belmont
"chills in the rear" in its degree yet will
not be picking till of 4th July . I trust
poor Mother is not suffering with neuralgia
still. The xcessive [sic] cold of the writer must
here aggrevated that & other ills. I long to hear
again & of Mr. Lambert too - who was just
getting better of +++ - Love to them & sym-
pathy in their several troubles – It is certain
that a hard winter always brings forth
a crop of distresses of one sort & another
& how our puritan forbears had the grit
to settle on that rock with all the whole [crossed out] at-
lentic coast - stretching south of it is one
of the mysteries of human character.
Before I left home James wrote me for an
order on Appleton &  ev. for some of my rols.
I sent him one for 10 copies. If any way
by which 2 or 3 can be sent out to me shd.
turn up I shd like it but do not esteem
it worth taking too much trouble for
Yesterday I had a photogr at my studio
to take a picture of the statuette wh. Dr.
Gould wants to send to a friend in Buffalo
who has commissioned him to buy a statuette

[p. 8] he rebukes me for not photographing
my things, - but xcept when there is a special
cell for it - as in this case - there seems
to me not much use in it. The finished
window wh. will be sent for this week is
so much better in all respects that Camie's[?]
& Edwds that I am afraid they will feel
ill treated shd. they see the picture, wh -
I have not seen yet -/ it was taken yesterday
with the other)- It is beautifully done the
marble)-, +++ Pell., is memorable as
the time of our first - visit - to the Baths
ot Caracalla. to wh, we were taken by Dr
& Mrs. Gould. Except the collisseum of all
the roman ++ it strikes us as the most
+++. It occupies an immense area.
104,000 sq yards & tho' within the
walls seems as if they were out in the
country - +++ as it is by verdure
& stillness & approached by a delicious
flowering lane. But here as usual +++
baffled to describe. The quiet hells &
chambers are open to the sky & the arches
seem like +++ to the most gorgeous lapis-
lazuli. everywhere Hosid roses are growing +++. the
quiet, swimming - bath that was has one
continuous border of them. a thing that
Caracalla never dreamed of. nor of the endless
+++ that gilds the topmost chambers of
his delight (the poor devil!) When the
granite colums wh supported the roof of one
of the hells were removed it fell in with
a jar that made Rome think it at earthquake
& cd. you see the huge messes of +++
+++ brothers in bigness to the boulders of New
Hampshire with petches of mosaic on the smooth

[p.9] side wh. in places fill up the area you wd.
think the romans had had good argument. There
are long petches of beautiful floors. in mosaic of red
& green porphyry. & here & there a priece of the
living marble left with the beauty of wh. they
used to hide the ruggedness of then everlasting
+++. These +++ are still comperatively
+++ - but there beve been found there
some of the most beautiful works of sculpture
now in the museum of Naples & the Vatican
a torso lately found was out there under
the light - for us to see! A splendid thing!-
But the thing of most interest to me is the
feet that Shelly wrote here his Promis[?]
+++ (read his preface to the poem).
I cd. live a day there without food on
that fact. OShelly – man of men most
beautiful. most beloved. how one loves him
here not in the [last three words crossed out] in Rome I[?] mean, in the
old foxe's hole of +++ & +++ - +++
dead in Rome - buried here - but nowhere any
one so alive as he here. I imagine him
sitting smiling beside his wedge at the best
of Papa's throne. We stayed till sunset
& then drove to the Collism not far off &
walked in to it & heard the owls cry. Shelly
again - & then came home - Alas +++
has left us lone - no. not alone but with    
a girl who doesn't fill her place. The Pa-
drone (landlord) of the house whose her hus-
band is porter +++ +++ a good part of it
& wanted her to return & take charge threat-
ning [sic] the if she did not he wd turn them
both out[?]
If we cd. afford it I think we

[p. 10] Shd. take to the brettone[?] now for the sake
of having less care having a woman to come in
only twice a day - but perhaps things will
settle soon. It is something to have the
earthquake fairly over & revolutions are
not so great when they are made on one
floor. Tell me if you have to pay any-
thing additionally on my letters in Boston?. & have you
ever given my love & best remembrance to the Hudsons?
I do read from yr letters to Addy - but I
thought as there were seldom secrets therein
& we were so far from home you wd. have no
objection. When that picture was taken
it was probably midsummer. but yr eyes
have failed probably to discover the sleeping
& of Yrs.[?] +++ then that porch we enter & depart
everyday - He had a note fr. Bridges
few days +++ +++ . She says that May
+++ is nd[?] of her fever - but has not as
yet much appetite - rides out every day
+++. She will recover her strength more
+++ when they go north/ they were to go
the last of last week) she is probably
+++ feeling the effects of the +++ taken
to break up the fever. A great many +++
have had some torch of fever this winter
fortunately M. Jr. is well. Miss Adams has
not been in Rome - is in Paris to believe. At the
end of a week probably. all +++ we know but
the +++ will have gone - I shd like
to have a bill of xchange for 1000 +++
(one thousand) sent me – this shd reach you
about the 26th the response wd reach me in
time. tho it did not come immediately - (with the
bill) I hope to stay till July!– I trust dear mother
is all bright again– Love to the dear all.


Whitney, Anne, 1821-1915


Whitney, Sarah



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Whitney, Anne, 1821-1915, “Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, April 30 - May 13, 1868,” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed June 16, 2024, https://archivalgossip.com/collection/items/show/230.

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