[Venice—Wednesday, 24 October 1888]
Mr Browning with us to Lido at 1030. AM. From Favorita along beach to the Sordi Muti, & back by green lanes to S. Elisabetta & left him at Po Dario. He talked the whole 2½ hours. He went to a dinner at Oxford to Jowett. Was asked to speak for ‘strangers present,’ & declined. So did Lord Houghton—who looked untidy & snuffy. Ld Westbury spoke—& sd “did’nt know why he was asked to respond—when there sat a noble Lord who had sipped and quaffed, and all but bathed in hippocreme!” Ld Cockburn went to shoot with Westbury who shot a keeper, and told his son he ought to be more careful & laid it to him. Next year invited Cockburn again—& sd— ‘I don’t know that I can offer you the large game you shot last year, that unlucky keeper!’
Of V. Hugo’s Spy, in ‘Choses Vues,’ thought V.H. wrong to save his life. Thought ‘the reason that Longfellow is read in England is that it is so cheap.’ Asked how he liked Longfellow’s translation of Dante. Said he liked no translations.