Health better ― thank God.

Dry ― but darker.

Nice letter from John B. Harford.

Worked a very little at the camels in Beirût ― & then shut up ― unable to apply to any other work ― sleeping or reading all the rest of the day till now ― 4 ― except when J.E. Millais came in for 20 minutes.

I wish I could close the Damascus & Beirût, & get them away: this wholesale idleness ― absolute do-nothing-ness is really frightful.

Nevertheless ― I slept till 5 ― καὶ ἦλθε κανεῖς.1 Went out at 5.30 ― & called at H.J. Bruce’s ― out. But they said W.F.B. was very ill. ―― Called on S.W.C. ―out. Then to Millais ― 24 Down St. Mrs. M. was there, but in the dark, & a shade over her eyes ― being ill of neuralgia.

The dinner was very good: ― but the 2 hours I passed there, a bore. Mrs. R.’s2 ― I mean Mrs. M.’s ― cold Scotch accent, her vulgar queries & half suppressed jealousy about Hunt ― (who is as the Sun to a Candle compared to J.E. Millais) ― her catching at any Aristocratic name, ― her pity of Bachelors ― “its just so melancholy!” ― (as if one half of her ˇ[2] matrimonial ventures in life had turned out so happily!) ― & her drawling stoniness disgusted me ― wrongly or rightly I don’t yet quite know ―― so that I don’t care to see her again. J.E.M. has far better qualities than she ― such is my impression. He walked, at 9 with me to Bo[] St.: but I must say I do not care even to see him much more. As I consider Daddy H. far his superior, this cannot be envy ― nor is the feeling, I believe, anything but one arising from the utter difference of M.’s nature & my own: he, at 30 is like a crafty aged ˇ[French] dancing=master, ― & has neither depth nor softness in his character,

Ἂς ἀφείσωμεν τὴν Ἀγγλίαν. Καὶ ἡ ἀδελφή δὲν ζῆ τώρα.3

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

  1. And nobody came (NB). []
  2. Lear’s slip, Effie Gray had been Mrs. Ruskin before becoming Mrs., and later Lady, Millais, might be an indication of the reason for his evident dislike of her. []
  3. Let us leave England. And my sister no longer lives (NB). []