CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/214
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date10 November 1917
Extent3 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, thanking for letter and for news that Ainslie and Russell Thin are safe, the latter in Egypt; mails and newspapers have been held up; good wishes for Mr. and Mrs. Todd; references to problems with Aunt Amy's former lodger; visit of Mr. Irving and his opinions of Blake; his work on the Revision Committee is very difficult because Bosio and Luzzi know no Hebrew; Mr. Piggott does not even know how to pronounce the words; Luzzi thinks Irving too strict; Mr. Smith supports Irving - he was one of Rabbi Davidson's students so knows the subject, though he can be combative; Uncle has left for Leghorn; Aunt and Amelia have been busy with Mme. Poitet, who wanted to be taken in at the Via Milazzo nuns' pension; the nuns would have been glad to have her, but the whole place is now a nursing home; they recommended the Via Toscana but it was full and too expensive; the Corso d'Italia was the same; Miss Frew and the Chiellinis recommended the Pension Comina in the Via degli Abruzzi which turned out to be very suitable; Mme. Poitet had to be talked into it and would rather sleep in a shop in the mean time, for she wants to live with a family; she is blind and this causes her to be paranoid, and she hates being dependent; she does not settle down, though she says she wants to; Amelia as usual sees her as an old person who will not let her responsibilities go; such people need to be put into hospital, as the staff there can afford time to be patient with them, unlike their friends and relations; she was to be taken out by a young woman, but the woman stayed in bed for several days because her brother is missing at the front and her fiancé has been proved to be 'corrupt', so she has now gone to her father at Turin; Aunt has had to step into the breach; Mrs. Benton says that old ladies know that Rome is the place to settle because Aunt will look after them, but it annoys Amelia to see her tire herself out; Mme. Poitet will eventually finish in an asylum, as her brother was also a nervous case; she has moved to the Comina now; Amelia wishes she could take Aunt back to Chambéry; even without a maid there she was more relaxed and healthy; the Palace Hotel has been closed by order of the police 'because two waiters reported in time that at a dinner a toast was drunk to the success of German arms'; several of the British and American colony have had to look for rooms elsewhere; this is difficult as the city is full of refugees from the north; worry over Mrs. Fleming's belongings as the Beau Site may also be closed, as it belongs to the same woman; the Palace had 'harboured agents of von Bülow'; Miss Morgan has been annoying Uncle - the Sala at the Via Balbo was granted as a place for soldiers' children during the day while their mothers were busy, but Miss Morgan also admitted 30 refugees to sleep there, without much thought as to how it would be organised; the Y.W.C.A. has now been asked by the police to shelter young girl refugees, because 'there is a line of liers-in-wait at the station to divert them into other channels'; the building will be full; Mary Irving is to come to Naples to fill a post in Mr. Holme's office, as her secretarial skills had impressed the firm in Glasgow; she is also engaged to a naval lieutenant whose brother she met in Naples; his father is harbour master in Glasgow; Margaret's engagement is broken off - 'that matters little with some natures'; Mr. Irving does not train them well in this respect; the recent surrender of 40,000 Italians to the Austrians was prepared in advance; the soldiers cried 'Long live the Pope-King' as they were taken; 'Some were taken prisoners, others were shot and others were told to go back to their own country as cowards'; the Turkish cavalry and Bulgarian troops are round Udine; clericals and socialists have been the originators of a plot; the 'Vatican held a reception to rejoice over the enemy's success'; the French have already protected Brescia and Milan; General Cadoma has been summoning deserters to report back for duty, taking advantage of the fact that the enemy is now on Italian soil and the nation is close to being united; the Rapallo conference has put Cadoma on the allied administrative body with Foch and Wilson; he has been replaced by Diaz; Giolitti is to be present when Parliament opens this week; Uncle has handed power at Leghorn over completely to Crozier, a great relief, though he received little thanks for all he had done; he now has work to do on his Bible Society accounts; message for Uncle from the Blue Nuns to say that Mr. Bragg is suddenly taken ill; more dental work for Amelia and the beginning of organ lessons again; Mathieu, writing from St. Etienne, says that Hospital 103 was evacuated to make room for French wounded expected from the Italian front; Mlle. Vernaz will be greatly distressed; Mathieu is concerned about his future treatment.
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