[Manchester—Monday, 8 August 1870]

August 8. The weather can be called nothing less than gorgeous, from the dewiness of the morning to this yellow afternoon, neither cold nor warm in the house, when it is a luxury to breathe. But J. went to town feeling anything but strong and I fear the heat of the city will not revive him.

Mr. Darrah brought the news at dinner of a fearful battle between French and Prussians in which the former were defeated. The address of the poor Empress was given. There was much exultation in which I could not join. Either side is sufficiently at fault but Napoleon is a vast power and if he falls we shall have cause to cry. What a fall was there. He is a wicked man I dare say; whether too bad for France, whether she deserves a better, or could be mastered by a better, we may live to see.

The good Bartols have gone off to drive with an old horse, carrying home a little woman who walked over from Newport to see Lissie. Mrs Darrah has made a sketch this morning and is resting, Miss O. ditto so I have the afternoon to scribble and lounge in.

Re-read Alcibiades (both) of Plato this morning. They are inexhaustibly good.

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