July 30, 1885.
MY DEAR GERTIE, — It is a beautiful warm morning on the lake of Como, so warm that one does not feel like doing anything but sitting still and writing a lazy letter to a dear little girl in America. The water, as I look out of the window, is a delicious blue, and the sweet green hills on the other side of the lake are sound asleep in the sunlight, which they like. There is a garden of palm-trees and oleanders right under my window, and the oleanders are all in gorgeous bloom. A boatman is waiting at the marble steps, in case any one wants his boat ; but I think he hopes that nobody will want it, for it must be awfully hot rowing upon the lake. This afternoon, when it gets cooler, I shall change all this and start up to the mountains, and by tomorrow night I shall be at St. Moritz, among the glaciers and snow-banks. But wherever I am, I am thinking how very pleasant it must be in the old house, and what a good time we will have when I get back there six weeks from next Monday afternoon. We will not make any plans for excursions, but just stay quiet on the big piazza, and now and then, when we feel very energetic, make a long trip to the corn-barn. Everybody must come and see us ; we will not go to see anybody.
Your affectionate uncle, P.