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although I had a mosquito curtain, I could not sleep for the other vermin. At last, my head fell on the pillow from sheer weariness, and I slept soundly until morning, when I found Mr. Le Mesurier stung all over by mosquitoes, so that I was afraid he had got the measles. For my part I did not feel these disagreeable tormentors till I came to Florence; but at this moment I am covered with red spots, like the chickenpox. At the Galleries to which I
generally observe the English visitors with their foreheads pimpled by this insect. However, I can bear this tolerably well; but I must tell
you it is quite disgusting to see the people, even the finest ladies, as coolly spit upon the carpet, should there be one, as if they were using a perfume bottle. By the by, carpets are uncommon here. Those that are used are made of list of different colours, which form the weft into stripes so irregular that, when the seams are made, the colours are all different, white joined to black, and red to blue, and so on. There is no such thing as paper for rooms. They are all either painted with landscapes, figures, and ornaments, or in the best houses
hung with rich figured silk damask, which looks beautiful. Their beds have no poles, and the tester hangs from the ceiling. There are few fire-places, although I am told that in winter it is colder than in England.
Amongst other wants to the comforts of the houses here, are the bells. You have to call to the servants by name if
you want one. I will write you from Rome, as I expect letters from you there. As there are no lettercarriers here, you may as well direct your letters, William Bewick, Esq., Poste Restante, Rome. My travelling companion to Rome is an old but respectable priest, and an acquaintance of Dr. Gradwell's, to whom I have a letter of introduction from Mr. Hogarth. The ladies here dress well, exactly like the English, even to the rainbow ribbons. They generally have fine figures, and walk gracefully, and with dignity. "They are, I think, rather tall and full grown, and tie themselves very tight at the waist.
They are not pretty, but have expressive countenances. Their eyes are large, black, and languid, with long black eyelashes ; and they stare very much at a new-comer. I
have been told, by an English lady here, that they are very fond of Englishmen, but not of Englishwomen. Compliments to Mr. Smith and family, Dr. Burn, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Botcherby.
Mind you tell me how you are ! and all news; write upon thin paper, as the postage ;
, is according to its weight. I will write to Mr. Smith from Rome. It will be about five weeks before I get an answer to this letter at Rome.
In reference to the artist's remarks on the manners of the Florentine ladies, it may be observed that, although they were no doubt perfectly true at the time they were written, they are no longer applicable to Italian ladies, either of Florence, or of any other city of the Peninsula.
THE END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
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