[Venice—Tuesday, 6 November 1888]

Dined Casa Alvisi—ourselves only invited. A mention of Meredith’s novels made Browning say ‘There are many books I wish to like, and try to like, but cannot.’ Lendg me the 19 Centy & Contemporary Review, he said ‘I hope you will find more in them than I can.’

He sd ‘Sir Henry Thompson told me that under certain circumstances, as incurable malady, insanity &c, he shd. take his own life & shd. feign toothache for a day or two & use chloral. Then at night saturate his pillow with it & go to sleep, and never wake up.’

Two epigrams these formerly. B asked ‘Did you hear the one going about London last year’—and recited

 

‘Said Satan, my place is already choke full,

But I like to oblige when I can,

‘Friends! Judas Iscariot,’ out in the cool,

More Coal for the Grand Old Man!’

 

This he sd he had revised & improved. That it was attributed to him. Gladstone might say ‘Et tu?’

Of Lady Seabright, who has ruined her husband by gambling. “She was caught cheating, and was literally whipped by the other ladies present—as children are whipped—and all the town knew it.” She acted in Coming Women at Sir R. Collier’s.


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