Promising finer ― half a gleam of sun. ― But at 2 pouring rain, & black November weather again.
Macbeans. ― Did not work.
Bought things for Ann & others.
Wrote to Ann, & letter from her. ―
Went to Dessoulavy ― & certainly did puchiss photograffs, Lizards, mosaics &c. &c.
Called on Macbeans also ― & sate with clever Mrs. M. & Mrs. Gordon. ―― Rain always ― clearer before sunset & a small walk on the Pincian. Saw a [Bopie] ― whom I suppose was Maria B.: ― they were all very kind to me in those days. ― And, as I turned into the Corso, there was Cavaliere Ricci ― of those kind Aquila Abruzzi days! ―
There’s something in this world amiss
Will be unriddled bye & bye.
And I did not speak to him: nor do I think it possible he could have known me. ― And I also thought I saw Monsignore Coletti ―――――.
At 4 P.M. a card was brought me ― “Mr. Empson” & “Mrs. Charles Empson” written thereon. I thought it was the remaining brother of the Professor ― but it turned out an old gent, of snowy & meek-like look ― “a distant relative Sir.” ― He had come so far to see W.S. Landor, & had letters to Browning, ― & knew “Pentland.” By degrees it came to me that there was a C. Empson senior: Newcastle ― who also went to Bath after a certain time: ― & I can’t but think this the man. He was about 40 when I was a lad of 17: & may be 70 now. ―― Hum. ―― He called afterwards again, ― asking G. where he could dine? ― G. said ― “In qualunque sito ―” but finding he did not understand Italian ― added, ― “Everywhere Sir, ― all over the place! ― [Vide overleaf 29 April]
[30 Apl. (from overleaf.)]
Dined at the Falcone: rain ― al solito.
G. in the evening told me this story ― told him by a Greek of ˇ[Ianina] who was on board the boat from Corfu to Brindisi. Being at Tricala ― a place aboundly in storx, this man ˇ[& others] saw ― sitting in a garden ― a large snake go up a tree to a storks nest: the 2 old storx made no end of clatter & by that means drew by degrees a cloud of storx ― all the storx of the Peneus ― who flew, & clattered, but didn’t touch the snake. At length some flew away, & returned with more ― 2 large or older particularly: & these fell on the snake & struck him down ― whereon all the storx rushed at the abolished serpent, & tore him into pezzi, & were happy ever after.
[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]