O bother. Dark & damp. What a horrible climate is this of England!

I was beginning breakfast ― when C. Fortescue came, it is very nice & good of him.

Just as he was going, at 1 ― who should come but Majr. Shakespear!!! ―― I agreed to dine at the Sayers ― so at 2 ― I went in a cab to Woodberry, where were W.N. Willie, & Ralph, Professor or Dr. Kranz of Bonn, & a Mr. Tennant. I lunched there, & at 3.30 walked to the [Angel] (by Highbury,) & omnibus home by 6.

At 7 to the Sayers. Only Major & Mrs. S. besides Mr. & Mrs. S. There is always something not quite comfortable in the house. J.S. is too fussy & braggy about his Φωτόγραφy.1 Mr. S. too bothery about the “conduct of the nation to Prince A.” ― Mrs. Sayer ― though really sharp & shrewd, is too tactical. Mrs. J.S. is not to be found fault with, & I wish J.S. were more attentive to her, tho’ he don’t mean to be otherwise.

Mrs. S.’s discourse διὰ τὴν βασιλεύσην2 is pretty true. Ὁ Πρίνγεψ3 is doubtless the main stay of the affair. Most probably he knew what she could & what she could not bear, & prevented her seeing the Dss. ― rightly enough; because to have done otherwise would have had a worse effect than the sorrows which really did take place produced. ―

――― had said that the scene on the Q.’s visit to the Dss. & finding her unable to recognize her was, frightful: ― imploring her to speak &c. ― “Bad” said Mrs. S. “she has no mind ― & to a child beyond her particular trade ― royalty: only P.A. has kept her right ―” ―― What a pother!

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

  1. Photography. []
  2. About the Queen (NB). []
  3. The Prince (NB). []