[Venice—Sunday, 22 November 1885]

Mr Browning came to take leave of us, and to give final directions as to the matter of the purchase of his Palazzo. Though he is not without long experience of Italy and Italians, and happens to have often lodged in the next Palace (Rota or L’Universo) and in cold weather also, he has not only no doubt or hesitation as to a step so important, at his age & with his not large private means, as buying & restoring a Palace with the intention of making it more or less his home—but is full of elation & conviction, wh. we & other friends of his here perhaps can not fully share– He has consulted us as to the means of effecting the purchase, with wh. we have had much to do. But he has never asked our opinion or advice as to the desirability of it—and consequently we have never offered it. Had he done so, we might have expressed the same reasons & doubts wh. prevented us from ourselves buying the Palace, 5 years ago, or since– In fact, his mind & his son’s were made up, & he wd. have paid more, rather than renounce it; & said so to us. And he is the last man to be détouricé from any resolve—while his son is equally convinced. I write these matters now, at the moment, hoping the enterprise may prove all that the Brownings expect.

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