Sunday. Jany. 8th.

Finished & sent my note to Mr. Boyd.[1] It thanked him for his invitation,—& spoke of his letter being “a black swan”[2]—& spoke of Mr. Bulteel[3] & Mr. Irving, & the epigram on Lady M[argaret] C[ocks].

<…>[4]

After dinner, Arabel told me about something which Bummy had heard from Mrs. Best & seemed pleased at repeating, respecting the Boyds going away next May. Altho’ we shall probably be gone before then, the very idea of their going possibly before we do, made me feel quite unhappy.

Papa & I talked about predestination this evening. The first time I have ventured on the subject these two years—I mean with him.

Dreamt about Adolphe & Endymion, & a lady who was by turns Emily & Amalthœa, & of her murdering Endymion whose soul was infused into Adolphe. Papa reproached her. But she held up her beautiful face, & said, “I am yet very fair”. “Clay Walls” said Papa!--[5]

A funny dream!--

1. For the letter, see BC, 3, 1–2.

2. i.e., rara avis.

3. Henry Bullenden Bulteel (1800–66), who left the Anglican church in 1831 and embraced some of Irving’s ideas in 1832.

4. Half a page excised.

5. In this context, identification must necessarily be tentative. It seems reasonable to suppose, in view of E.B.B.’s reading habits, that Adolphe was the hero of Benjamin Constant de Rebecque’s celebrated novel of that name (Paris, 1816), and that Emily was Emily St. Aubert, the heroine of The Mysteries of Udolpho, read by E.B.B. the previous July. Endymion was the beautiful youth of Greek mythology; Amalthæa, daughter of Melisseus, king of Crete, fed the infant Zeus with goat’s milk.


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