Rough Scan
May 190-
DEAR CHRISTINA, - AS I mentioned afore, the principal Estaiblished Church here is called St Mark's. It's no' a bad size, but ill-lighted. We were there this forenoon, no' at a diet of worship, although they say there's no fewer than three or four every day, but just to see it, like.
When we were daunderin' about in the half-dark, I spied a basket standing on a big tomb-stone. A neat wee basket it was, with a high handle over the top, white net curtains drawn all round, and a wreath of flowers for a decorement. And what do you think was inside? A bonny wee bairn, no' any more than a week old! It minded me of Moses in the Bullrushes, poor lambie. I was lookin' about me to see where the mother was, when up there came a laddie in knicker-bockers carryin' a candle crooked, and slaisterin' the grease upon the floor as usual. It turned out to be a Christening, and no' long after we could hear the infant roarin' like a buckie. At the distance you wouldna have kent it from an Edinburgh wean, but there's no' a woman in broad Scotland that would carry her bairn in a basket like a half-dizzen of eggs, or a quarter pound of the best fresh butter, curtains or no curtains. Traivellin' opens your eyes to the defeeciencies of foreign nations.
When we come out of St Mark's we were attacked by the pigeons, and had a work to win through them. Luckily for us they spied an American lady with a bag of peas coming forrit, and we escaped when they werena lookin'. It seems that they're protected by the laws, and fine they ken that. I'm doubtin' it will no' be long afore they'll need to keep a pollisman at the church-door to convoy folk safe through them-they will that. I like fine to hear a cushiedoo croonin' in a wood in the summer-time, but yon greedy, grumbly, pushin' things are a fair obstruction.
We visited a place called the Leedo yesteday, going by a steamer, and returning by the same means. It is an island. We walked across it (me in my new boots), in about an hour or thereaway, sittin' down on a seat by the roadside to get a bit rest. Miss Jean was awfu keen for me to go; she said I would be standin' on the shores of the Adriatic. Me! I would raither have been sittin' on Portobella sands, and I didna see much odds betwixt them. If I had kent that the Adriatic was just a water like any other sea, I wouldna have went. Miss Jean maintained that it was a kind of a blue she never saw before; and Miss Celandine thought it had a sort of a dyed look; young folk are aye for novelties. We went into a Restorong on the pier to get a piece, for it was near one o'clock. They gave us wee sandwitches with green stuff in them, like what the gentlefolks has at efternoon teas. Maist rideeclous! when you take a bite there's a long white string, with a wee green leaf on the end of it, hangin' out of your mouth, like a canary at the chickweed, and no' much nourishment in it, I'll warrant.
The weather is maist unseasonable-perfeckly warm, and it only the end of April!
Venice is real bonny in the dark, when you canna see right. I stood a whilie at the front door last night, when the young ladies was in the drawing-room, with my Shetland shawl about me, and nothing on my head but my cap. The sky was bleezin' with stars in dizens, and the gongdolies were sailin' back and forrit on the water, made visible to the naked eye by means of lights stuck abaft the stem. Miss Celandine came to take the air, too, before she went to her bed; and, after her, came two oldish ladies that we've seen many a time afore both in Rome and Florence; but they didna speak-just glowered. It's queer how often we see the same folk; they all go the same road appearingly: but, except they're Americans, they're real suspeecious-like.
I'm away to my bed, so no more at present from yours truly,