[Venice—Sunday, 18 October 1885]

On Sunday P.M. Oct. 18, 1885 we went to Casa Alvisi, Canal Grande, to hear Robert Browning read some of his own poems. About 25 persons were present, Mr & Mrs Wm W. Story, Mrs & Miss Bronson, Sir Henry & Lady Layard, Sir W. Gregory & Lady G., Mr Hardinge, Misses Ker &c. Browning stood while he read Hervé Riel, Andrea del Sarto, a Dialogue of Singer & Sculptor, Good News to Ghent, Toccata of Galuppi, An Incident of the French Camp, Statue & Bust– He read quite simply & naturally but with variety of expression—& often with a good deal of feeling, emotion even. He repeatedly expressed fear of tiring his hearers.

Afterwards, he offered to read again for Mrs Curtis, and her friends, whenever she desired. After H. Riel, Sir H. L. told of a Middy, who asked for a box at the Adelphi, as his reward—wh. was rather tactless.


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