[Liverpool—Wednesday, 15 June 1859]
Wednesday. Could resist London no longer, therefore took the train thither at ½ past nine (first class the poetry of travelling) & came to London, dear grand, lovely, old London at 3 o’clk. Drove from point to point for Lodgings—very busy week. Whitsuntide. Ascot races. &c. Came at last for the night to York Hotel New Bridge St. Blackfriars where we had a charming dinner in our own apartment (such strawberries I never saw, as large as Hovey’s seedlings but as delicious as the tiny wood berry) & after dinner Jamie went to seek Mr Parker and lodgings. We found 8 notes of invitation awaiting us at Trübner’s not to speak of Mr T’s own kindness. There is an old clock upon the tower of Eaton Hall and of all the sweet sounds evolved by the art of Man that clock is the most sweet. You might almost wish the winged hours away that this sweet clock should toll such musical knells. We shall never forget that hour of two in the shadowed park.