Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, dated October 26, 1870.
Dear Mr Norton
My servant was told at the British Legation this morning that L'd Acton had gone to the barvièra Q Bavière? or Bavaria? In any case, non est nivatur, & I return you your letter.
I cannot say much for our poor little niece. She raised blood
from the lungs day before yesterday, for the first time. Our Irish doctor does not
consider this, under the circumstances, a bad symptom. I think Dr Cipriani regard[s]
it as a graver matter. She has, however, been without fever, & with
little cough for two days, and we hope for the best.
As for the French,
Not much comfort for those who like them, but I am not sure that even their present condition is not, as Coleridge said of his bread and butter, "better than they deserve."
At least they ought to be cured of their prepopensa and spavalderia, which would be a blessing to their neighbors if a humiliation to them
With best regards to the ladiesI am truly yoursGeo P MarshC E Norton
References in this letter:
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Lord Acton (1834-1902), English historian and writer.
Caroline Crane Marsh had several nieces as companions at various times in Italy. The one here mentioned is called "Ellen" in a letter by George Perkins Marsh on May 24, 1871.
"They perished because of their own acts of recklessness," Homer, Odyssey, Book I, lines 7-8.After the battle of Sedan in late August and early September 1870, it was clear that the French were losing their war with the Germans.
"prepotnza" and "spavalderia" both mean arrogance, insolence, effrontery.