is, and where my lodging will cost 8 s., I believe. Barbara Smith and Anna Mary came down to see Lizzie yesterday from Robertsbridge, some miles from here, where they are staying; and we all took a walk together, which did not seem to fatigue Lizzie much. There are several other ladies who have been most attentive to Lizzie, and every one adores the dear. No one thinks it at all odd my going into the Gug’s room to sit there; and Barbara Smith said to the landlady how unadvisable it would be for her to sit with me in a room without fire.
I wrote yesterday, from her own lips, a most minute account of her state to Wilkinson, and expect his reply. I cannot think that there is any need of her going into the Sussex Infirmary as proposed.
She and I are going to Robertsbridge to-morrow to spend the day. The weather has turned, and become most delicious. The sea to-day looks like enamel in the sun, and there is a cool breeze. I write this waiting for breakfast at 8 a.m. (!) Yesterday I saw the sun rise !!! over the sea—the most wonderful of earthly sights. This morning I was awake
in time too; but there was less beauty in the dawn, though the day promises to be even more lovely than yesterday.
But I fear you cannot even yet be much in a mood for hearing of these things. I myself feel more at ease since seeing Lizzie, but nevertheless was not the merriest of our party yesterday.
Bye-bye, Bunk. Love to all.
Your most affectionate Son,
D. G. Rossetti.
P.S.—Perhaps I may be bothering William before long to send some painting-things from my rooms, but am not sure how long I stay. Will he go round and see if Ruskin’s books have reached there for me, and will you let me know if you write?
Rossetti writes to his brother William, seemingly just a few days later. The “Barbara” and “Anna Mary mentioned are Barabara Smith Bodichon and Anna Mary Howitt.
5 High Street, Hastings.
Thursday [11 May 1854].
MY Dear William,I wish you would tell people I am not dead, but by no means encouraging the idea of such an amount of life as at all facilitates human intercourse. It is rather slow here, and generally very windy, though often glorious sunlight. Tell Allingham if you see him that, should he have an idea of coming to Hastings, I wish he would carry it out; andthat, if he can only spare a day or so, his best plan would be to take a return ticket on Saturday, which costs £1 (second class), and will bring him back by the last train on Monday. Or if you could do this yourself, do. I want to know something of all things—how do people talk of Hunt’s pictures? I saw Ruskin’s letter. Had the Times been cheeky? How is Collins hung? And is there anything worth description in the R. A.? I suppose you have begun in the Spec . If you could send me that public organ I should be thankful.
Lizzy seems upon the whole a little better, and Wilkinson judges so from the long account of her symptoms which we sent. She and I spent a pleasant day on Monday at Scalands, where Barbara and Anna Mary have been staying. They made themselves very jolly, and it is a most stunning country there. I heard from MacCrac, who offers £50 for the water-colour, with all manner of soap and sawder into the bargain—a princely style of thing.
There seem to be several places tolerably within range hereabouts which we ought to see, and shall set about seeing; but Lizzy is not capable of too much exertion. I dare say I shall very soon be boring you to send my painting-things from London, but almost think I shall have to come myself when I want them. . . .
D. G. R.
There is a very rich skit on A. Smith, Balder, etc., in Blackwood, professing to be a review of Firmilian, a Tragedy by Percy Jones. You should see it, and tell Allingham.
Another written to William from Hastings, mainly discussing Lizzie’s health. The Sanatorium mentioned was the run by Florence Nightingale:
5 High Street, Hastings.
14 May 1854.
My dear William,
As you ask about the weather here on behalf of some invalid, I write to say that it is just beginning to be decidedly warm—to-day rather oppressively so, seeming to forebode a storm. After which I hope the air may be purer and no less genial. Till the last day or two it had been almost uniformly windy, though often fine weather.
Lizzy went this morning to see a Dr. Hale, to whom Dr. Wilkinson has recommended her, and who advises her to leave this part of Hastings as being liable to get too hot at this time of year, and to go nearer the sea. He thinks her state requires the very greatest care, and gave her some directions. She seems much the same, in fact, I think, though sometimes rather weaker or stronger.
I see the Athenæum here, so need not trouble you for it, but should
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