Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tuesday, 30 September 1862

Rose at 7. & cleared rooms ― & packed[.]

The gas fitter is to do his gas-tly work, while I am away. Walked to Drummond’s & drew out 20£.

Saw pretty little Miss Fergusson of Corfu ― who spoke to me.

Called on Mrs. Leake: And at 2. to Rail, & at Lewes by 3.40. The good Husey Hunt’s. ―

Mr. Blencowe & John G.B. came in.

Dinner at 6.

Smoked with B.H.H. afterwards.

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

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Monday, 29 September 1862

Rose at 6.30. Fog!! ―――――

Both Mr. & Mrs. Prescott breakfasted ― at 9. (prayer first, very good & pleasant & short,) & Mr. P. paid me £105.0.0. I hope they may enjoy the pictures for many years. Little Frank came down ―.

― Chaise to Station ― from Waterloo cab by 10. To Stratford Pl. ― Letters from Miss Wentworth of Woolley, & Mr. G. Ridley ― with 10.10. Sent Thomas Cooper to Drummonds. Meanwhile, sate to the astute Gush ― a keen & hard man. ― To his side questions about gas, I said, all change at present was out of the question ― as I was leaving town. ― From 12 to 6 ― I was constantly arranging drawings. At 6. dressed. At 6.30 ― went in pouring rain to Digby Wyatts. What comfort of a house! & what happy couple! ―

Mrs. D. Wyatts brother ― a great invalid, came in afterwards ―.

I played & sang a good deal, & came away at 11.15.

I am always happy with Digby Wyatt’s.

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

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Sunday, 28 September 1862

Very gray, & a thick fog till 10. then fine till 2 or 3. Afterwards gray till 4 ― then a deluge of rain. Very close & warm.

Greek till 8.30. Unpacked the 2 Corfus. Breakfast at 9.30 ― & the pictures much liked. To Church at 11 with Mr. & Mrs. Prescott. Service rapid & noisy. Rev. Mr. Beber, clergyman, abound pronunciation & sermon. Walked home. ―

Calls ― Mr. & Miss Gösshen. Mrs. Decie at Lunch. ―

Afterwards ― (boles out of order.) walked with Mr. P. in the gardens. Call from Mrs. Cameron ― abounjant, sentient, absurd. ― At 4 we walked to Henry Taylor’s ― where again was Mrs. C. who bores & incenses me ― good woman as she is.

Mrs. H. Taylor is prepossing & pleasant: & I like H.T. Sang some songs. At 5 Mr. Prescott & I returned, but literally over our ancles [sic] in deep water ― such a sudden deluge of rain fell. ― We arrived at Clarence wet through & through.

Changed ― & first read 4th Iliad till 7. ― Dressed & downstairs.


The hospitable Host brought out various wines for me: but, without any, his table & house would be a pleasure. (Yet I think that Beer, Sherry, Madeira, Hock Pat & Claret all in one day ― are wrongs.)

Decie went at 9: a good lad.

We 3 sate talking till 11. ―

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

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Saturday, 27 September 1862

Dark & gloomy ― up to 10 ― later finer, but showery, more or less.

Worried about the Boswell affair. Also, about the new Lodger, who wants a gaslight chandelier, & my floor to be taken up! ― so ― as I had resolved to go to Ellen’s, ― I said a decided, no. ― And at 10 ― I packed ― & locked up all my rooms & came away. (This sudden freak of Gush’s room-letting, is very inconvenient to me, as well as to Thomas Cooper & Co. ―)

Came to Rail, & at 11.10 ― off to Leatherhead. Found Ellen pretty quiet, & convinced that R.B. had done as he had to terrify her. Went with her to the Streets, lodging near, & she returned & I staid to lunch with them. Sarah is very robust & cheery ― a queery woman! ― & Mr. S. ― at 76 is really a wonder. I thought him very kindly & nice. ―

At 3 came to Rail, & found I had mistaken the hour, the train being gone, & no other till 5.25. Walked about ― not very well, owing to horrid wines Sarah had given me.


At 5.25. Rail to Winbledon ― & fly to Clarence ― the way found with difficulty. Reached the house at 6.50. ― Dinner, quiet & pleasant.

Talking of names ― I said, “my name was nearly Jeremiah” ― whereat Mr. P. said ― “was your father one Jeremiah Lear of the Stock Exchange?” ― & lo! I found he had known him well. And once, he was in debt 1000£ to their bank, but he repaid it!!!! ― Talked much more than usual “of my relations” ― for the Pescotts seem so kind & friendly.

We talked away till 10 ― & after Mrs. P. had gone ― till 11.

Theory of Sir E. Lyons ― (according to Mr. P. ―) of the [more] procreativeness of Otho K. of Greece: viz that his penis was too long: ― & they provided him with indianrubber buffers, but “all in vain.”

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

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Friday, 26 September 1862

Fine all day. Rose at 7. ―

In a fit of energy, finished the 2 small Athos ― which I determined to give to Mrs. Leake; ― & the Gethsemane ― for Miss Wentworth of Woolley. ― At 4. took home Mr. Ridley’s small Athos: & walked to Holman Hunt’s: he just going off to Ockham, so I drove back to Apsley House with him. He seems unhinged & unsettled, poor fellow. The I walked across the Park, to hear something of Crakes, but a stupid woman at the house could tell me nothing. Returning, I took Mrs. Leakes Athos, & Miss Wentworth’s Gethsemane to Foords. ―

A letter from Ellen ― very painful about Boswell. ― Returned  at 6.30. Gush has let the 2 rooms below me, & is going down to the first floor & the new study. I am sorry ― for new people are a bore often.

Did some Greek till 7. then to dine at Mr. Hankey’s.

Dinner good. Wines remarkably so. Society pleasant, the old Mr. Bathurst a queer old tory cove ― said “oblige,” & talked of the “Campiniglia” of Florence. Later a story of his of Lady Jersey, who would ask Mr. Irving to a party immediately after his sermon, ― forcing her wqay into his room when he was lying down in his shirt & trousers. ― I sang somewhat.

ἡμέραι ερατειναὶ.[1] ―

Home by 11. Greek till 11.30.

The Boswell affair distresses me.


[1] Lovely days (NB).

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

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Thursday, 25 September 1862

XX8 ― Ἂψs[1] ― back again. ―

No letters. Dark & foggy morning. Packed the 2 Prescott Corfus ― & paid Dickenson 29.11 ― being the whole of last year’s bill: ― (wishing there were no more to pay.)

Rain & darkness ― out & in.

Worked at the Corfu Photograph ― really all day.

Lawson came & gave me 2 10£ commissions ― And later, Mrs. Hankey called.

At 5 ― went to Maclean’s about the retouched φώτογραφ, which I left: & went on to Digby-Wyatts, where I saw Mrs. D.  & D. &, it being 6 ― took a cab home. Went to F.L.’s to dine, at 7.

Pleasant, quiet, & intellectual. Mrs. F. is a wee too authoritative at times ― wh. is Park-Housian: ― but on the whole they seem happy. Dinner nice: wine super=good. ― Afterwards ― I sang, &, as it happened, particularly well. ―

Καλὰ, ὂνειρος εἶναι ἡ ζωή μας.[2]

Home by 11[.]

[1] Nina Bouri notes that “Ἂψ in Homer’s Greek means backwards or back again, though being an adverb it doesn’t have a plural and it shouldn’t have an -s at the end.” I suspect Lear meant “Ass,” or even “[I was] an ass again.”

[2] Good, our life is a dream (NB)


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

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Wednesday, 24 September 1862

Fine ― i.e. cloudy ― no rain ― all day.

Rose at 6.30. ― Greek ― 7 to 8. ― Worked little but rather suppose, since I make them worse by ‘touching’ them, that I have finished the 2. Prescott Corfûs. ― Then, selected drawings for mounting &c. &c. &c. &c. ― No one came.

I hear the floor below is let. ―

At 3. walked to Dalziell’s ― who is urbane. ― to Mrs. Bergmann, who talks of Mr. Waddilov’s death. &c. But she is a kindly soul. ― Then to Wyatt’s ― & saw Mrs. W. & Harry.

Returned, & found ϕotographs of sketches by Maclean: ― I doubt their being ˇ[being] good ― ever. Worked a little to mend them. ― At 7.30. went to dine at Archibald Peels. Only one man there ― a lay inspector of school ― with an odd name ― like Varclock

Pleasant. ― Afterwards smoked till 11 ―

Ἒπια παραπολὺ παραπολλῶν πραγμάτων.[1]


[1] I drank very much very many drinks (NB).

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

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Tuesday, 23 September 1862

Gray ― or bright at times ―― fine all day. Rose before 7 ― Greek till 8. ―

Letters from, F.L. ― Mrs. Prescott & Ellen,

Wrote to F.L. ― Sir J. Simeon, Mrs. W. Ransom, Ellen,

Worked at the Prescott Corfus, & looked over drawings to send.

C. Fortescue came ― & we had no end of talk about the new state of things ― wh. however is confided to so many that I doubt it’s remaining unknown till Xmas ― particularly as old Bonasus G.W. knows it. The dismissal of Judges at Corfu also occupied us & much else.

It seems, Boswell has been here, as well as to Ellens. At 5 ― called on A. Peel ― & Mrs. [Hankey], & Macleans, ordering dinner at the Blue Posts, where, at 7.30, I & C.F. dined. ― a merry & pleasant 3 hours,

& perhaps the last Blue Postious’ dinner we may ever have together. I told him this ― & by degrees he thought so too.

Home by 11, & did some Greek.

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Monday, 22 September 1862

Gray ― cold ― fine. Rose at 6. “Packed.” ― walk in Park till 8.

Breakfast, addio[1] to the kindly Fairbairns. Pony Chaise to Petworth ― rail to Horsham. Mr. Dickens & his son Compton. It is very vexatious that I never could feel decently interested in any Compton or Dickens. He is a kindly & good man, but his conversation is so fizzy bubbly. ―― At the station, I took a wrong trunk ― wh. I discovered at Stratford Pl.: ― but I sent Thomas after it & regained it. ― So here  ends another batch of visits.

After packing, unpacking, arranging, looking at drawings, &c. ― I fell asleep.

Later ― selected drawings. W.N. came: ― very sadly loud & strange. I really fear at times about his head. ―

Col. Dawkins afterwards.

I walked at 6. to 45. St. James’ Pl. ― & saw Russ who seemed inflated & more than usually absurd.

To Martin’s & Bickers & back.

The  blue posts too full. So I dined at home on cold beef, & read Palmyra letters.[2]

Those 2 children, Conny & Arty, ― twinge my memories. They are so wonderfully loveable & interesting that one could not stay long with them & not grieve at parting from them.



[1] Good-bye.

[2] William Ware’s Letters from Palmyra (1836), reprinted in several editions as Zenobia, or, the Fall of Palmyra.

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

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Sunday, 21 September 1862

Gray ― & cool; Rose at 6. Greek till 8. Letters from Mrs. Campion, & 2 from C. Fortescue: the first concerning Marcoran, & the 2nd to say that Frances Lady W. has accepted him. But no word is to be said of the matter till 1863 ― & there she is right enough. Whereby, ἆς σιωπῶμεν.[1] ――― Breakfast. ― & at 10.15 ― walk to Barlavington Church. vastly rustic & small ― but the preacher, (a lame Rev. Brown ―) read well & was not disagreable. The remembrance of early church ― & in Sussex ― do me a deal of vexation. Leaving Mrs. T.F. & Miss H. ― we walked back by a pretty trout stream.

Poor Chichester F. must be happy enough now. ― Wrote to him. & to F.L. ― & T. Cooper & Mrs. Campion.

Lunch. (What I suffer here from currents of air! ― There is a kind of helter skelter way of open door & window life ― frightful to my [feelins].) After lunch, showed drawings: ― how difficult it is to ensure or enforce, or conserve attention! ― Scatteriness is a deadly foe to collected attention on every subject. Yet I do not like to exclude children ― whom of all creatures are the most interesting: nor do I like to be tyrannic & exactful: ― yet, not being ˇ[to be] so at all is to beget certain failure in showing drawings. ― At 3. we all walked out ― going to kennels & cottages &c. ― & then by the park, & wonderful old trees & avenues: & home by 5. ― When I set out again ― at 5.30 ― pacing up the avenues, & going along the road to the mill ― a wondrously beautiful place. ― Dinner at 7. The 3 older children dined with us. ― I never saw ― & can never see ― anything like the 2 deaf & dumb ones. ―――― Afterwards ― conversation was amazingly dull. George F. speaks of “pikes” always ― & is wholly foolish. & heaviness generally prevails. In the drawing room, Mrs. F. & Miss H. were tired ― & no wonder. Little consideration is given to them, who sit alone: ― nor, do they arrange work &c. &c. to be quit of man’s bothers.

At 10. they left. Alisson Mrs. T. Fairbairn is very undoubtedly one of the real beautiful souled women ―― I rank her only 2nd to Emily Tennyson. ―

I wonder if I ought to talk more? but I can’t.

This must be “ironing.”[2]


[1] Let us keep silent (NB).

[2] Apparently written with a different pen. The picture of the dinner seats appears in the page for 20 September.

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

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