[London—Thursday, 23 June 1859]
Breakfasted quietly refusing to see Mr Kuntze who called. Messrs Parker and Fairbanks came in directly then afterward Thackeray and his daughters two charming girls. We go there tonight. Before starting however we went to see the Royal Academy where we passed two happy hours. We saw some lovely things by Durham, a bust of Mrs Dobell beautiful enough to fill the heart with joy, the Browning’s child, some pictures by Millais, Stanfield, Landseer and a most pathetic thing by Faed called Sunday in the Backwoods.
Arrived at Thackeray’s at ¼ before 7, found his nice daughters ready to see me while the Punch party assembled below to a very pretty dinner. In the meantime we had the cosiest of teas and the cosiest of talks up stairs. Miss Thackeray is so bright and talks so much as her papa writes that I found her most amusing. She was eager to hear of our great men too of whom I knew personally so there was ample matter for nice talk. After tea we walked in the lovely square in front of the house and finally passed the evening at the house of Mr and Mrs Martin (formerly Helen Faucit). It is one of the prettiest houses I ever saw but its chief charm is in its gentle lady. She is full of womanly attractions.