TO JOSEPH SEVERN1
Florence. 30 Septr 1828.
My dear Severn,
Owing to <my> changing my habitation at the time, your letter2 did not arrive as it ought. I received it on Saturday, not in time to answer it by that post. It made both Kirkup and me very sorry to hear of your attack of fever. You do not mention what sort of a fever it was. We earnestly hope you are quite recovered; and we also hope you will put your intention of coming to Florence into effect.3 Nothing will so completely reinstate your health as a journey, especially rather a long one, and more especially to see your friends here, — me included. You will find me at No 1905 Via Maggio, on the second floor, — and there you will find a bed, a plate, a knife, fork, and spoon, and a coffee-cup, — nay, I don’t know whether I cannot, upon due application, afford you a chamber-pot. Pray come, if not for me, for the sake of yourself. You will even gain time, because you will be the better and the sooner in health.
The Gordini4 affair, as you may not be in Rome, or well enough to perform such a commission, is given up, — as far as you are concerned. I have written to Gordini the cause of the disappointment, and he will manage the matter some other way.
Every body is in strong, lively, roaring health in Florence. I give you no other news, as I expect you here; for the same reason I scrawl off a hasty letter; — indeed I have a notion, a pleasant one, that this will not reach you, owing to your being on the road.
A few days ago I heard of the death of my brother Septimus.5 I don’t think you ever saw him. For a long while I have expected this news. He has been gradually dying for years. The wonder is he lasted so long. His easy disposition, his fearlessness of dying, — or rather his indifference, — together with his innate good constitution, kept his disease, the palsy, at as long a distance as possible.
Kirkup sends his remembrance and so forth. Landor, at my suggestion, sends his love.
Remember me to Eastlake and Gibson. Lady W. is here, — I trust that’s no hindrance to your coming.
Your’s most sincerely,
3 Although Brown did not then know it, Severn’s intention in coming to Florence was to marry Elizabeth Montgomerie, the ward of Lady Westmorland, who was staying in Florence with her step-son Lord Burghersh, the British Minister. The courtship was conducted in secret. [Return to the letter]