Monthly Archives: June 2011

Sunday, 30 June 1861

Very coudy ― & swoops of hard rain, with gleemes of sunshine. No letters. Packed.

Sent letters to
T. Cooper.
Lady Goldsmid.
Miss E. Beaufort.
Ellen Newsom.
F. Lushington.
Mrs. G. Scrivens.

At 3.30 to the Levers. R. Lytton (Bulwer) who was to have dined there, could not come, on account of Mrs. Browning’s death! Mr. Walton, & Mr. Scotto there.

Dinner very pleasant: & after converse. Lever’s stories are endless & inimitable.

At 6 a break up: went with Walton to his house, where he talked of Gibson, Spence, Wyatt & others. Then with him & Scotto, walked to the Cascina ― a bore ― being a crowd: & S.’s scandal on all sides was unlimited & vulgar. Lever joined us, & it became better fun. ― Back to the L.’s, where R.B. Lytton had sent to say he could not come, being with poor Browning. Evening pleasant: tea: talk of Mrs. Stisted, ((“Wherever Byron went the English followed, and a whole population of Britons took up their abode by the riverside in the first half of the nineteenth century. Well known among them was Mrs Stisted, author of a charming, garrulous book,1 and a devoted friend to the poor. She belonged to a type that no longer exists, the old-fashioned English gentlewoman with a simple evangelical piety and much rambling culture, who lived abroad for the greater part of her life, and took England with her wherever she went. The Villa Stisted, with a pretty garden by the riverside, lies just outside the village of Villa. The Brownings and their friends the Storys were there at a later date, as well as Tennyson and many other English notabilities.” Ross, Janet and Nelly Erichsen. The Story of Lucca. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1912. 344-345, chapter “The Bagni di Lucca.” The book mentioned is Mrs. Henry Stisted’s Byways of Italy. London, 1845.)) & immense laughter. ― G. came for my book of drawings at 10.15. The Levers have made Florence very pleasant to me. ―

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Saturday, 29 June 1861

Cloudy till 12 ― fine after, but cooler.

I still take medicine, & don’t know when to leave it off.

Rose at 5. Penned out the V. Petraija drawings till 10. Letters from Fanny Coombe, & Edwd Clive.

At 11 went to Lever’s ― sate till 11.45. Home by 12, & dined.

At 2 carriage to Petraja, where ― (fortunately it was fine ―) I really did all that was required for Lady W.’s picture. And drove back again by 8.15.

What graceful & beautiful creatures all the village women are hereabouts! Even when not handsome, they have a gt. [charm] of [directness] of expression, & delicacy.

I have given up the 3 Monastery journey: the weather is not settled enough, & the jolting of the bad roads might upset me again. So I go to Lucca on Monday ― & alone to Leghorn to see Macbean ― returning to Lucca, to go to the Bagni, Pietra Santa, Saravezza, ((Seravezza.)) Massa, Carrara, Sarzana & Spezzia.

Sometimes ― something brings back the gentle voice & sweetness of Ann: oftener & oftener: & I seem to start on knowing at once that really I can never hear it more ――― at least here. ― Few ― none indeed ― know how hourly I have this enduring pain, yet hide it.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Friday, 28 June 1861

Cloudy ― & rain at times.

Worked ― (from 6 to 11) at a drawing of La Petraja.

Letters from T. Cooper, Miss Beaufort! ― (very charming,) & Mrs. Clive.

Paid bills. Dined at 12. Slept.

At 2.30 ― to V. San Firenze ― & drew Cypresses between showers of rain. From 6 the evening was fine, & G. & I walked to Tor del Gallo, & to Galileo’s villa (V. Goiello,) ― returning by Poggio Imperiale.

Le 4 solite gelate ((The four usual ice creams (but the Italian is not correct, it should be “I 4 soliti gelati”).)) & bed at 9.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Thursday, 27 June 1861

Cloudy. Dark at 11. 12. Storm, thunder & rain. Evening, fine.

No medicine, & consequently bowels ceasing to act again.

Penned out till 11. No letters.

No going out.

Went to bed ― XX

What folly & misery!

Walked out at 5 or 6 with G.: paid a bill & bought some boox. ―

Came home at 6.30 ― & went to Lever’s, pleasant evening. But, the Somervilles are going to Spezia, not to the Hotel d’Odessa. ―

Later, Mr. Walton of Carrara came in.

Lord Campbell is dead: so, Sir R. Bethell will be a peer at last.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Wednesday, 26 June 1861

Same weather. Worked hard at penning out the yesterday’s work from 5 till 10.30.

Letters from W. Nevill ― very nice. C. Fortescue, hurried & not satisfactory. Later one from J. Macbean: my boxes have arrived at Leghorn.

Dined at 12. At 2.15 to Petraija.

It is doubtless a lonely place ― & the terrace above all. Walked back with Giorgio ― home by 8.30.

Sultan Abdul Mejid is dead.

Which brings back the Bosphoros days to me.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Tuesday, 25 June 1861

Hotter, if possible.

Rose before 5. Half=strength medicine.

Penned out La Petraja.

Letters from J. Senior.
F. Lushington
Mrs. G. Scrivens
& Ellen, ―― about poor dear Mary’s last hours.

Went ˇ[at 11] out to see about the Medicine Receipt, & to buy Photographs: very hot.

Home by 12, dinner.

No sleep for there was just time to square out the Petraija sketch for large outlines.

At 2.30 to Petraija: high wind: & could not draw well, irritated ― & nervous.

Came away at 6.40 ― sad & silent walk home in the dust.

This Petraija affair is a trying one. ―

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Monday, 24 June 1861

Same weather.

Slept pretty well: one bad fit of cramp only.

Rose at 5, medicine. ― worked at Bridge view. Wrote to Bern? Hunts. Mrs. Empson. C.F. & Mrs. Francillon.

Sent letters to
Mrs. G. Clive
Mrs. Empson.
C. Fortescue
Mrs. Francillon
W. Holman Hunt
B. Husey Hunt
J. Macbean.

C. Lever ˇ[wrote &] asked me to dine at 4 ― to meet O. Meredith Lytton ― but I declined.

Dined at 12, health better ― thank God.

Slept till 2. 2.15 carriage to Petraija ― very lovely ― & drew till nearly 7: then walked back with George K. ― by the dusty road ―: pretty cheerful people. ― Gt. crowds at Florence ― anniversary of Solferino.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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