[Venice—Tuesday, 17 December 1889]

Miss Browning sent for us to come to Pal. Rezzonico to say good-bye– She said many kind things of her brother’s feelings for us. RBB gave me to read a letter from Mr G. Smith (the publisher) detailing an interview with the Dean of Westminster who said that in his sole instance he took it on him to offer interment in the Abbey—proprie motos[1]—without waiting for other suggestions– But that it should not be held as a precedent. And he had sent to the Times a letter to this effect. This is a relief to the family—as previously there was room to doubt if the Dean offered more than a Funeral Service—and Sir H. Layard who saw what had passed, was of opinion that interment was not offered. On Monday morning, which was fair but with a keen breeze, Mrs & Miss Browning and Mrs. Orr went over to the Cemetery in an open gondola and nearly perished with cold. In all our expeditions in gondola with Browning, we invariably used the felze, or cover—with the door shut and the leeward window open only—to avoid any draught. I saw the photographs of Mr. Browning’s head, in profile, after death, which I thought failed of the beauty of him and of expression which I noted in the two opportunities I had of carefully studying his appearance. The nose—as RBB observed—is decidedly more aquiline (like some of the Assyrian profiles) and the form of top of the head is distorted. Lines and wrinkles were much effaced—(perhaps affect of the casting in plaster). The view of the Hall, with the coffin covd by the damask pall and flowers, with the single wreath of bay-leaves at the head, & the marble Caryatides by Vittoria, is very good, and an interestg reminiscence–

1. “Properly moved.”


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