Very fine ― but cold E. wind. How old! ―

Health better somewhat: ― great inconvenience & weight in the Abdomen still ― but hardly any pain: ― & no stoppage.

Breakfast with Arthur.

Letters from
Mrs. Husey Hunt ― ― (answered)
S.F. Widdrington ― very nice (answered)
James Edwards ― (answered)
& wrote also to Mrs. Gladstone Lady [ft.] Grey &
E. Woodthorpe.
Mrs. Bright

After Lunch, walked with A. to Beechen Cliff, ―――― ? & Bathwick ― & back by 5.30.

Dinner ― woe is me! a Dr. Lloyd, & a Mr. & Mrs. Leach ― he half brother to Mrs. S. Rawson of Wastdale. Conversation extremely perplexing, & foolish, & I, (always falling back on the sad past if I cannot join in what goes on ― & how should I on balls & Bath follies?) ― was, I fear, gloom: which, vû kind good Mrs. Empson’s heartiness, I did not wish to be, but could not help.

Mr. Lloyd spoke of “that interesting Volcano Vesuvius, down which Socrates threw himself (!)”――1

I was bored, but that good Arthur set me a lesson of patience. ― Yet Mrs. Leach was really a very deadly vulgar bore!

But the visit is happy & good: tho’ Bath would not do for me.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

  1. The philosopher said to have committed suicide by throwing himself into Mount Etna is Empedocles. Matthew Arnold’s poem Empedocles on Etna, a narrative of the philosopher’s last hours before he jumps to his death in the crater was first published in 1852. A suicide by leaping into the mouth of Mount Vesuvius closes the French opera La Muette de Portici (1828), by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber; several dubious cases had also been reported. []