[Venice—Saturday, 9 November 1889]

A fog all day, but Mr Browning was standing ready on the steps of Rezzonico, and we rowed to S. Elisabetta, and walked in the sands, where the figures of people and children dipping for razor-shells, reminded us of Millet’s peasants in the brume– Of Longfellow’s good nature. He came to see me, in a four-wheeler. I went to the door when he left. It rained hard, and he offered the cab man his sun umbrella– A cabman with an umbrella would be like a soldier with an umbrella. He would be hooted. ‘[‘]Do they not sir, (as Boswell) sometimes have large fixed umbrellas? Yes. Yes. But rather against the sun than the rain”—

Lord Carnavon—said, is not a small man. He is better than he looks. They are all odd. When I stayed at Gaskell’s who married his niece, on Sunday the young ladies went about handing dishes of potatoes, cabbages. I said, Pray let me; No. No. Let servants all go—keep the Commandment. Met once later, grown up, asked her if remembered giving me potato. When I was last at Highclere, Ld C. took me to my room, and said this is my brother, the Doctors’ room. His father wrote poetry. It was to him Lady Holland said, ‘Cant it be stopped, Lord Porchester? He said a new man in America, whose name he forgot, had written some very pretty little poems—of a Hummingbird. ‘The Old Bean’—slight but very neatly expressed. He seldom speaks with any interest of contemporary poetry. Edwin Arnold, he sd writes poetry, which some people think very good indeed. F.M. Sir Wm Gomm gave me his poems– I reminded him of Lady Hammond.– Of derivations and pronunciations. In poetry, would write and pronounce Ber-wick, and Green-wich. I said, but you would have to say ‘Chumley’ to wh. he agreed. Of Shelley eating bread bought in the street, with raisins, such as puddings are made of. Not ‘Currants’ from Corintho—a ‘coranto’ is a running dance. ‘Luke-warm’ should be lue-warm. Perhaps from the Greek to wash-down– You may go from my home (Kensington) to Piccadilly now for 1d And to St Pauls’ for 2d by omnibus and many nice people, ladies, go by them.

What work I do, is all done in the morning– I get up very early, and take a very long time to dress, during which I am all the time walking about—and when that is done I am able to sit and rest.— Lately, they wanted me again as Candidate for St Andrews—the 3d time. I answered I should be in Italy—as I am– When we got to Venice from Lido, he came in, as Mrs Curtis requested, to tea with Mr & Mrs Blumenthal (the Composer).

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