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[359] . . . . They were all as kind as possible, and made all sorts of inquiries about you; Lady Charlotte really takes it to heart that she misses you again, and sent most affectionate messages to you . . . . I found nobody else at home, but Lord and Lady Stanhope . . . . They were very agreeable, and I stayed and gossiped a good while. . . . . Panizzi, at the British Museum, said that Lord Holland1 had told him I was come, and therefore he felt sure he should see me soon. He carried me at once to the new reading-room, which you know has a magnificent dome, a few feet larger in diameter than that of St. Peter's. The effect of the whole is very fine; the arrangements and details are admirable. . . . . Ellen says it is the finest room she has ever been in. I am not sure but I must say the same; even with the Pantheon fresh in my mind. Certainly I have never seen any room so completely adapted to its grand purpose of intellectual labor for a large number of persons. Indeed, I am much disposed—as I hear others are—to think that Panizzi has succeeded in making it what he boasted to me last year he would make it, namely, a more desirable place for literary work than any man in London can find in his own library, however ample and luxurious that library may be. For only think of having a dozen walking bibliographical indexes,—like Watts, Nichols, and the rest of them,—ready, each in his department, to tell you just what books you should ask for out of the million at your command, and then to turn and find an intelligent attendantor even two or three—always ready to bring you whatever you may need . . . . Parnell's tale of Edwin and the Fairy Feast is nothing to it. I intend to have great comfort there, and do a good deal of work.

When I came home, between four and five, I went in to see Lady Theresa, and found her in the midst of a fashionable matinee musicale . . . . She is as winning in her manners as ever, and as attractive. She told me to give her love to you and tell you how much she felt for your anxiety . . . . . She would have had me stay and talk with her when the music should be over, but I excused myself, and told her I would come another time soon.

I dined with the Lyells; nobody at table but solid, good Dr. Pertz and Mrs. Pertz, for they were all to go off—and I too—at a little after nine, the Lyells to the Queen's concert, and the rest of us to Mrs. Horner's. The dinner was pleasant, a little learned, a little gay, and altogether sensible. . . . .

The party at Mrs. Homer's was just like the one you and I went

1 The fourth and last Lord Holland, son of his former host.

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