Sunday, 19 October 1862

Slept well. Very bright & fine till 10. From 8.30 to 9. I walked in the breezy beach groves ― cawing rooks above.

Breakfast ― very pleasant, the Lord C. going widely into Gk. & Latin: quoting vastly from Pope & others. He wished to walk ― but it began to rain, (& rained harder & harder all day.) Gussie, Messrs. Ayston & Trower to church: & then the L.C. sat down quietly to talk: of wh. there was much: of Ionian matters ― he thinks that the D. could only have authorized Storx’s move (anent the Judges ―) by having known that said Judges were politically a nuisance, ― interfering &c. ― Of Metaxà ― whose character he knows well. ― of the R.A. ― wh. he would wholly abolish: of Lord P.’s & of his own qualities as public leaders ― or men: ― of his retiring ―: of his going to Zante ― &c. &c. &c. &c. ― of his income & what he leaves &c. &c. ― & much else. ― all in a strain of real good feeling. After this at 1 or 2 came Gussie & the 2 Gentm. & then Luncheon ― & various pleasant talk. Then came poor Lady Westbury ― dreadfully unwell. It seems that Eliza Cardens illness & fits increase, & her stay here has greatly agitated poor Lady W. ― Talked to her & Gussie all the afternoon till 4 or 5 ― when the 2 gentlemen came in ― & so talk till 6.30.

Dinner very pleasant.

Both Ayston & Trower are  nice people. (Trowns sister married Goring of Whiston’s brother: & he knows all Sussex. ― Ayston knows the Goldsmids &c.)

Afterwards the Lord Ch. was most interesting. 3 questions of Shakespeare ― ”learned Theban.”[1] “now unyoke”[2] ― & “the Courser’s hair is like a serpent’s motion ― yet without its venom:”[3] ― the last he says is explained by a game or practice of farmer boys, who pluck hairs from stallions’ tails, wh. when put in water, move just like serpents ― as long as they have warmth. ― Afterwards I had to talk perpetually on Greek & Asiatic subjects. Meanwhile the wind blew a fearful gale ― tremendous.

Tea, & Gussie. (Craven’s brother did wish to marry her.) ― & at 10.30 bed. I go tomorrow at 8.

Story of Mr. Ayston’s little girl at 5. Their cook died, & she prayed to see Cooky: ― “why?” ― ”O because I want to see her with wings! Cooky must look so funny with wings!” ―

The wind is awful in this big house even: what is it elsewhere!! ―[4]

During the talk on Homer & Virgil ― phrases expressions of qualities of the sea were noticed: of them, Mr. Trower said, undique sequamus: ― & the Lord C. noting ― sequax ― said “let me remember the passage & look for it.” When I, to get a rise, said ― “we can see all it by wild fowl.” “How wild fowl Lear?” “Sea-quacks ― wild ducks, my Lord,[5] the sudden intro ducts ― I dis tructs the attention from the contemplation of serious subjects[”] ― said I. “Lear ― I [][6] ˆ[abominate] ludicrous images which dis turb the mind from the subject has in view.” [sic]


[1] King Lear III.iv.

[2] King John III.i.

[3] Antony and Cleopatra I.ii.

[4] The entry continues in the previous page, for 18 October.

[5] The rest of the entry is written vertically along the internal edge of the facing pages.

[6] One word, perhaps “detest,” has been struck out.


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

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