Friday, 10 December 1864

Perfectly lovely ― spring=day. Rose at 7. Breakfast 8 ― very good: at 9 ― went to east side of Mentone ― & drew till 12.30. Wonderfully beautiful groves of Lemon. What hosts of invalids & invalides! ― Unwisely ― I think ― but wishing to avoid incivility ― I called on Roberto’s friends, Gardiner: Mrs. G.: 4 small children. Kindly vulgar ― & over hospitable, & pressed me to dine till from weariness I said yes. ― G., whom I left, as he dawdled, overtook me, & staid when I drew on the east side, & walked back. I ― growling ― packed at 5.30 ― & fled. Dinner ― as I had foreseen ― a bore: but I was as amiable as I could be ― out of principle ― & at 9 ― Gardiner “εσυντρόφευσε.”[1] Overtaking another, the gossip was odious, & I said good-night.

Ye Gods! what a society! That pension ― where they own they got not food enough ― nor any comfort!!!

It is, as I have known many times ― better to be surly & lonely ― than social ― & bored.

  1. met me half way.

The bill here is 81fr. ― pretty well a pound a day: high.

Τὶ νὰ κάμω;[2]

Mentone is assuredly very beautiful, but intolerable & unwholesome from its overcrowded Anglicism.


[1] Kept me company (NB).

[2] What should I do? (NB)


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

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