Wednesday, 1 December 1858

All the early morning ― high wind & rain: a great bore. However, at 9 we really got to dingy stupid old Civita Vecchia ― & then to the nasty Douane. It is hardly possible to express how slow, beastly, stupid, ― & odious was all the arrangement of botheration & doganism. I could not stand the drawings & large box being overhauled, so made a deposito ((Italian, “deposit.”)) & had them plumbed. Then came, passport, loading vehicle &c. ― & at 1.30 we got off. Long Judœa like hills & dulness of C. Vecchia roads! ― We talked, & counted milestones, & at Palo (23½ miles) had some supper, & changed horses in 2nd Inn. Shortly afterwards, a monstrous storm came on ― lights went out, & total Eclipse made the progress a serious matter. By the time we got to the 3rd post ― 12 miles from Rome ― I thought it too bad to go on, & tried what the post-house was like: there was the old card-playing gloomy dirt ― ugh! ― we were to go on. ― So we did so, till the 2 carriages before us pulled up, 6 miles from Rome ― at a ‘ruin’ broke house. Assuredly, the darkness & lightning & thunder were awful. So we took the Sheikh in to the corral, (the rain was wonderful!!) & waited: ― I resigned altogether to sleep ― & so passed an hour & a half. ― After that we moved on ― & there was no water!!! Yet the danger of upset at every step was great, & I was very glad, at 12 or later, to get to Rome: & to the Douane: ― (where I left 2 boxes plumbed ―) & to the Hotel d’Europa, where some brandy & rosato sent me to bed quietly.

21 years ago ― 1 December 1837 ― I came first to Rome!

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Filed under 1858, Diary Entry

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