Monday April 23.

Walked down to the gate with B H & A to meet the Peytons’ carriage. The sky looked lowering & B portended a rainy day. Never mind!—we got off. The rain came on as portended; & they left me in a cataract at R C. Mrs. Boyd sate with me for a moment in the drawing room & then I was dismissed to Mr. Boyd, with a pen & ink. He wanted me to make a memorandum of the additional number of Greek lines he has learnt, & also to write my name in Scholefield—to put “To” before Hugh Stuart Boyd, & “from his friend E B Barrett” afterwards. I wrote “from his attached friend”. He has learnt 8000 Greek lines, except 80,—& this 80 he wishes for my aid to acquire. I shall like it!— I heard him repeat a good part of Gregory’s ode to his soul.[1] Indeed, he learnt some more of it, while I was with him.

Afterwards we doubted how to select the 80 lines. The rest of Gregory’s ode?— The fine passage in the 1st orat: against Julian, beginning ω ευηθεστατε?—[2] I read a great part of it: but that wd. not do. He has nearly decided on some of the geographical descriptions in the Prometheus,— & we are to begin upon them next time. With regard to my Prometheus, he told me how much he shd. like to hear it read—that Mrs. Boyd said she had no time—but that even if she had time, he knew perfectly well, she wd. not like to do it. She wd. not read a page of his own translation. She has no taste for anything of that kind—

If she has no taste, she might have kindness. But I answered truly that I never expected him to read the whole, & was much obliged by the degree of trouble he had already given himself. Mrs. Boyd is certainly an extraordinary woman, to be Mrs. Boyd.

He asked me about Arabel; & I told him only that she doubted his being in earnest. A great deal said about my not having invited Annie this winter—& Mrs. [Cliffe][3] opposed. So Mrs. [Cliffe] has had the ostentation & want of delicacy & want of truth to have maintained not only at R C but to Miss Steers that in consequence of certain reports, she had invited Annie to Mathon & taken her to Worcester. It is not true!!!— Witness all that is past—witness all that has been said by Mrs. [Cliffe] to me—by me to Mrs. [Cliffe] Witness all that is written in this diary on the subject. Mrs. [Cliffe] wd. not put her little finger in danger to save--but there is no use in writing. The world is the world. I cannot make it Heaven. Only it is hard that I who wd. have done everything, shd. be directed by those for whom I wd. have done it, to the example of those who wd. have done nothing.

Mr. Boyd pressed me earnestly to go to see him for two or three days—“There is no harm in asking!— Do ask your Papa.” I was obliged to say “I will think of it”: tho’ thinking is vain!

Went away in the pouring rain. Left

<…>[4]

1. “Ad suam Animam Anacreonticum Carmen” (GNO, II, 182–185). A translation by E.B.B. appeared in the second part of her article “Some Account of the Greek Christian Poets” (The Athenæum, 5 March 1842, p. 211).

2. “O most stupid.” A marginal note against this passage in WG, p. 76, recorded: “read for the second time, with Mr. Boyd. October 23d. 1830. Read for the third time with Mr. Boyd. Novr. 1831. Read a part of this column for the fourth time with Mr. Boyd, April 1832.” In her notes on the flyleaf, E.B.B. called this the “most splendid passage in the two orations!—”

3. Here and below E.B.B. effaced Mrs. Cliffe’s name.

4. Nine leaves, i.e., eighteen pages, excised. See BC, 3, 14–15, for a letter from E.B.B. to H.S.B. written on 25 April.


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