[London—Wednesday, 22 June 1859]

Wednesday. Charles Reade and Fairbanks came to breakfast at ½ past nine. Reade talked remarkably for two or three hours describing a case at law in which for Charity’s sake he was interested and where he had expended 70£ every 3 months it had been deferred by Lord Campbell. He also described the ingratitude of the person for whom he had undertaken all this. Finally however it grew so interesting that I began to question the exact truth of the story or rather his sanity—by which I mean a power of seeing things as they are. The very subjectiveness which is genius is sometimes almost insanity.

After breakfast we took a cab and drove about the city upon business. I stayed in the Hansom meditating and recalling the delicious hours which floated away at Mrs Hall’s the night before where we met two sons and a granddaughter of Burns, heard exquisite singing by Madame de Lamennais & Mme Corelli, saw Mrs Henry Stevens (a lovely woman), Mr & Mrs Bensusan, Durham the sculptor, Page and his wife, Helen Faucit—a room in which were 150 water color drawings and in short “all lovely things which we have heard or read” until were it not for flowers again that perennially blooming chain between heaven and earth, it might easily have been a perishable sunbeam of the fancy weaving floating glories into life—so thank Heaven Mrs Hall pressed the roses from the table into my glowing hands the vision vanished yet remains forever. We went at 10 returned ¼ before 1 o’clk.

Went at 5 o’clk to the Literary Fund dinner with dear Mrs Crosland. We met there many distinguished guests. The chair was taken by Mr Gladstone, and Messrs Bohn, Bentley, Chapman &c. among the Trade—also Robert Bell, Owen the naturalist, Thackeray, the Earl of Ripon, several lords, and the Prince of Holstein. Mr Crosland was near Mr Fields. There were many I have omitted no doubt but it is not easy to pick the plums out of a large bun. Home at 11 for a long rest.

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