Gloomy, gray, & bitter cold ― every day grows colder now.

C. Fortescue came just as I had done breakfast ― riding: he does not seem well ― as how con he well be?

I set to work to arrange the back room, & look over books &c. ― but grew very tired. Yet the whole of the back of the room must be arranged, before the Cedars are moved back. At 4 I went to Robersons, & gave orders about 9 boxes ― each with 2 Canvass, besides 2 for Mrs. Scrivens & Jameson, & one for Lord Clermont ― pretty well, 21 pictures!!! (But if to be done at Florence, Lucca, Spezzia, Bologna, Turin, Ravenna, or Switzerland, ποίος ἐξεύρει.?1 Called at Foord’s, & Wesley’s the oculists opticians: ―― he says I am at No. 12 in glasses, & at 14 it stops ― the sight. Pleasant.

Most disagreeable cold day. Home by 5.30, & papered up books in bookcases ― placing my Ciottere2 & other vagaries there also ―: but then dismantling my rooms brings fresh sorrow. Now there is no one to look for my return!

At 6.30 to George Middletons: only a sister of Mrs. M. ― & her husband there. Somehow those sisters have alquanto3 of vulgarity. But the evening passed. George M. is a truly kind fellow always. I am vexed when he sees I do not like his wife ― yet cannot help shewing I do not. Cab home. ― Bitter cold.

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

  1. Who knows? (NB). []
  2. This must be an Italian word, but I cannot find it in any dictionary: it might mean “things, properties” for which Lear sometimes uses “roba.” []
  3. A large amount. []