Very coudy ― & swoops of hard rain, with gleemes of sunshine. No letters. Packed.

Sent letters to
T. Cooper.
Lady Goldsmid.
Miss E. Beaufort.
Ellen Newsom.
F. Lushington.
Mrs. G. Scrivens.

At 3.30 to the Levers. R. Lytton (Bulwer) who was to have dined there, could not come, on account of Mrs. Browning’s death! Mr. Walton, & Mr. Scotto there.

Dinner very pleasant: & after converse. Lever’s stories are endless & inimitable.

At 6 a break up: went with Walton to his house, where he talked of Gibson, Spence, Wyatt & others. Then with him & Scotto, walked to the Cascina ― a bore ― being a crowd: & S.’s scandal on all sides was unlimited & vulgar. Lever joined us, & it became better fun. ― Back to the L.’s, where R.B. Lytton had sent to say he could not come, being with poor Browning. Evening pleasant: tea: talk of Mrs. Stisted,1 & immense laughter. ― G. came for my book of drawings at 10.15. The Levers have made Florence very pleasant to me. ―

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

  1. “Wherever Byron went the English followed, and a whole population of Britons took up their abode by the riverside in the first half of the nineteenth century. Well known among them was Mrs Stisted, author of a charming, garrulous book,1 and a devoted friend to the poor. She belonged to a type that no longer exists, the old-fashioned English gentlewoman with a simple evangelical piety and much rambling culture, who lived abroad for the greater part of her life, and took England with her wherever she went. The Villa Stisted, with a pretty garden by the riverside, lies just outside the village of Villa. The Brownings and their friends the Storys were there at a later date, as well as Tennyson and many other English notabilities.” Ross, Janet and Nelly Erichsen. The Story of Lucca. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1912. 344-345, chapter “The Bagni di Lucca.” The book mentioned is Mrs. Henry Stisted’s Byways of Italy. London, 1845. []