[Paris—Sunday, 4 December 1859]
Sunday 4th Lovely day and cold. Enjoyed a short half hour together but were suddenly interrupted by poor Mr Crockett with complaint of his “appartements” &c. He had hardly gone when we found the hour had come for our engagement at Count [d’]Espagnac’s. The Count was courteous and the pictures ravishing. Such a host of beauty we never before saw collected in a similar space. Compact with genius and loveliness this gallery was yet a new wonder of the old world revealed to us. Here was Cuyp’s portrait of Cromwell, Cromwell yet young and forehead throbbing with undeveloped deeds. Here was the sketch of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” an original Raphael, Titian’s, Rubens, Rembrandt’s and a regal picture by Phillipe [sic] of Champaigne a portrait of Richelieu from life. It is all in vain to enumerate these wonders of art, these joys of the artist’s brain except that the ghosts of each rise in memory as I write, would they might rise for others by some strange new alchemy of ink and pen. We passed the evening at Mrs Greene’s again. A cosy fire, a nice tea-table, and good talk greeted us as usual. Mrs Tappan, Mrs Edwards and Miss Dorr were the guests, beside ourselves. Mr Greene talked well upon the politics of the day. He says the star of Napoleon has culminated and is sinking slowly but surely. Mrs E. worships him and does not see his failures. All our party were strangely inimical to England. All this makes me sad. She is so lovely and mankind with such noble aspirations rise from her heart that I hope and believe the pride which is Her bane will be stifled like a serpent creeping near the heart.