[Venice—Wednesday, 18 November 1885]

Mr & Miss Browning & Barrett B. dined with us. The day previous they dined with Don Carlos, who showed his monkeys, great dogs, Indian curiosities, & gave Browning a History of Carlist Wars. Said Ld Dufferin showed him B’s Works in India. After dinner, talk of names & pronunciations. Menzies, Cholmondeley, Pontefract, Cirencester &c. On steamer from Boulogne, at midnight, official took names of passengers already in berths—‘What’s your name?’ Go to bed &c.

Lomónosof of Russian Legation, testy, critical, little man, spoke English like a native. Saw in Oxford St card engraver. Called for specimens, examined hundreds with objections to each. Engraver impatient. At last chose a model. ‘Your name, sir I’ll take, if you please,’ with pencil & paper. L-O-lo—Lo-lo. MO-mo. Mo-mo-NO-no— (man began to look suspicious.[)] ‘Well?’ SO-so– Leave this shop sir! We’ll have none of your humbug here! & Lomonosof was turned out neck & heels into Oxford St.

Young B. said his father at one time had habit of practicing piano at 4 a.m. for 2 hours, in the dark.

R. Browning (very loud.) “Well! After his death, they sent me all his pictures! He left them to me. I sent them all back. Because I had been useful to Landor, I didn’t want to be paid for it! So I sent them all back, and wouldn’t keep one of them!” (Impression)

(After a pause) Ralph. Were the pictures good ones, Sir? R.B. (Louder) No! They were not good pictures. They were bad pictures!“ (Impression qualified.)


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