[London—Wednesday, 29 June 1859]

Wednesday. Rested at home chatting with visitors until nearly 3 o’clk when we started for Twickenham to see Mr Bohn’s flower show. The garden and all its surroundings were lovely and the pretty dresses of the ladies appeared to great effect. Dear Mr and Mrs Jesse were there. We made the acquaintance also of Lord and Lady Congreve & daughter who took our addresses and promised to call when we parted. Mr Bohn’s house is crammed with objects of interest. Carvings in silver and gold by Benvenuto Cellini, exquisite miniatures by the old french artists and all things to charm the loving eye for beauty and antiquities. We left the pretty scene about 7 o’clock and drove to Kew took the boat there and steamed to Hungerford sometimes speculating a little upon the doubtful reality of what we had enjoyed, sometimes upon the same fancy touching what we were enjoying and more than all I believe according to the inexplicable forgaze of the mind upon the possibility of the evening to come and the meeting with Charles Auchester.

It was nearly 11 o’ck before we reached Mrs Bensusan’s house but the moments were hardly as swift as we when we were borne on towards our goal. She was sitting in the very room I could have believed I should find her in dressed in light dead black relieved with gold, hardly breathing from a fullness of life and excitement for the music was delicious and she was enfolded in love and beauty. There is a witchery thrown about that night which I cannot and would not dissolve. The hour was so strange to hear the heavy clock say one while we stood at a table loaded with all delights for all the senses, to feel dear Mrs Crosland’s soft light kiss (the first one) as I left her, and to see the pure girlish beauty of Felicia Hemans when Mr Hall gently beckoned her from the bad air of the room in which we were and she looked timidly at us drawing back rather than saying “let me stay”—all lingers in my memory with the sweet ineradicable root of Love.


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