Friday, 22 January 1858

Rose at 8. No Greek. Slept pretty well. Holy Land speculations. ― Worked very little, touching bits of the Gastοῦρι & Athos. At 12½ Sir J. & Lady Y. & the rest came ― & staid an hour. After which I worked again ― & at 4½ walked out the usual round ― alone ― yet not so lonely ― [einsam bin ich, nicht allein]. ((This, as Helen suggests in the comments, must be what Lear meant, though I doubt it is what he wrote, here is an image of the page. “Lonely am I, not alone,” German, which means exactly the opposite of what Lear has just written. “Einsam bin ich, nicht alleine” is a famous song from Carl Maria von Weber’s music for Pius Alexander Wolff’s Gipsy drama Preciosa, op. 78 (1820); Franz Liszt was one of the many to publish, in 1848, piano variations on it. In Vanity Fair (1848), Thackeray uses it as a model old-fashioned sentimental song: “Emmy was not very happy after her heroic sacrifice. She was very distraite, nervous, silent, and ill to please. The family had never known her so peevish. She grew pale and ill. She used to try to sing certain songs (‘Einsam bin ich nicht alleine,’ was one of them; that tender love-song of Weber’s, which, in old-fashioned days, young ladies, and when you were scarcely born, showed that those who lived before you knew too how to love and to sing); — certain songs, I say, to which the Major was partial; and as she warbled them in the twilight in the drawing-room, she would break off in the midst of the song, and walk into her neighbouring apartment, and there, no doubt, take refuge in the miniature of her husband” (Chapter LXVII).)) (Margaret Sandbach ― Rome: the Larches & squirrels at Hafodunos ((“In 1782, a very extensive plantation of larch was formed at Hafod.” J.C. Loudon, Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum; or, The Trees and Shrubs of Britain, in eight volumes. London: printed for the author, 1838, vol. 4, 2358. Map.)) ― Gibson &c. &c. &c. ―That was a woman, ― spite of the foolish Dean=sisters.)

― Well, at 6 I was at home, & dining alone, & reading continually about this blessed Jordan & Dead Sea. ― Today has been calm ― out, & in: ― but yet this sloth is not good. ― Tonight, now, at 9 ― Everybody is preparing for the great ball to Lady Y., & I must be one of the very few not going there.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Previously published in part in Lear 1988, 123.]

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1 Comment

Filed under 1858, Diary Entry

One response to “Friday, 22 January 1858

  1. Helen

    I *think* the bit you couldn’t read may be German: “einsam bin ich, nicht allein.”

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