[Venice—Sunday, 3 November 1889]

Called, as arranged, at 3 PM for Brownings at Rezzonico. Said they had put off an interview with an American Browning Society Sachem, to go to Lido. Delighted with the beauty of Venice, almost a return of summer—exquisite clouds. R.B. first told of landing in Italy and at once going on foot to Treviso and Asolo, of wh. the beauty so impressed him that in Engd he often dreamed he was there. It had then silk-culture and lovely girls. Whence Pippa. Told of the great age of the place—older than Rome—built by the Euganeans—on two hills. The view of towns. Venice even seen. Of Cathe Cornaro, who left it twice in 20 years– Of Bembo!—of the word asolare—to take the air—bask in the sun. Then much of Carlo Gozzi’s autobiog. and plays. Thinks him a stupid bore, and liar.– Much of his new book ‘Asolando’ full of fantastic pieces, ed. of 2500. His ‘Works, 16 vol.’ sold well. “All this comes at last—too late!’[’] wh. have heard him say before—thinking perhaps of the years of necessary thrift. Of Casa Guidi, that a sawing machine, next door, disturbed them and never ceased. Mrs Browning said ‘Strange, that the only industrious worker in Florence, never idle, should be our neighbour![’] It proved to be the only such machine in town, to which people brought their wood, and as soon as one went, another took his place—wh. explained the incessant work. Delighted at the sea and sands at Quattro Fontane, whether we walked from S. Elizabetta, and repeated what he often says ‘I drink this air like wine!’ The sunset superb—sky and sea crimson and purple. We agreed to go again the next day at 3. Repeated that he should come and correct the errors in our set of his works, as far as 10th vol. This he has not [tried] to do.


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