Travel Letters: Steamship Poonah, Lying At Brindisi (1882)

DEAR WILLIAM, — The Poonah is an old ship, rather noisy, not at all fast, and not very clean. But she is well arranged, and in good weather must be very pleasant. The sail from Venice to Brindisi has been cold, rough, and rainy. The Adriatic has behaved badly. We could not touch at Ancona, which is on the programme, because of the rough weather. This Sunday morning is bright, but cold and windy ; not a bit of suggestion of the tropics yet. In a day or two we shall get it, and I only hope we shall not get too much. The people on the Poonah, so far, are not very interesting, but they are only a few. The best are supposed to come on board here at Brindisi, having come by rail from London, so I hope when we sail tomorrow morning, we shall find ourselves in the midst of that delightful society which the voyage to India has always been said to furnish. Young Wendell is on board, having turned up at the last moment in Venice. He makes bright, pleasant company, and we shall probably be together through India.

Thanksgiving Day passed quietly in Venice. I did not preach, or even go to church, except to pay a farewell visit to St. Mark’s. I dined with the Walleys. They are staying in Venice, keeping house in an apartment, and asked me to dine with them. We had a turkey, and did the best we could to keep Thanksgiving, and it went off well.

Think of the Poonah, when you get this, as paddling across the Indian Ocean, and wave your hat in that direction. I shall see it and wave mine back. A happy Christmas to you all. Now I am going on shore to see Brindisi.