[London—Monday, 30 April 1860]

Monday 30th Plenty of work for Jamie. He was gone till towards the afternoon when we took a lovely walk together, called at Barry Cornwalls. They were not at home. In the evening went to hear Robson. He played Uncle Zachary and Mr Benjamin Bobbin. Nothing could be more touching than the former indeed that eternal something which will stick in the throat when you most wish to appear as if nothing was the matter, had its own way with us and stuck there to its heart’s content. He lays bare before him that myriad stringed thing the human heart and plays with the profoundest love and keenness upon its finest chords till you feel old truths dawning upon you with a new strong grasp. Shall we ever forget Uncle Zachary in his best clothes coming to London with that most excellent Tabitha (Mrs Leigh Murray) to visit “the little ’un”? Or the mingled pathos and comicality of the drunken scene, Zachary, the best of men and of husbands, having made himself drunk from the dire distress into which he is plunged? And how unfortunately easy it is for him in this condition to see people and things as they really are and how quickly he recognises Wiggins the barber under the stately uncle’s disguise! It is inimitable, indescribable, unrivalled, this acting of the great Robson. Well! It would come to an end at last and all we could do was to fly home like the birds and store up memories full.

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