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[381] Lesseps, who is here now about the great project of the Suez Canal, and making war on all occasions—including this one—upon Lord Palmerston in the most furious manner, though making a merry affair of it all the time, with true French gayety. Il a beaucoup d'esprit, and amused me very much. . . . .

I walked home, the distance being very small, . . . . dressed and went to Lady Granville's, where, having been informally invited, I was much surprised to find a small, but very distinguished party: the Queen of Holland, the old Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, the present Duke, the Princess Mary, his sister,—ni maigre, ni mince, —the young Duke of Manchester and his very pretty wife, . . . . and I suppose a dozen more. . . . . Lady Granville introduced me to the Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke of Manchester. . . . . The Queen, with whom I had only a few words of ceremony, talks English very well, and is quite free and natural in her manners. The Duchess of Cambridge, who is very stout and plain, seemed to be full of German bonhomie, and I talked with her a long while about Hesse Cassel, where she was born, Hanover, which she knows well, etc. For half an hour I talked with the Duke and Duchess of Manchester, who invited me to visit them at Kimbolton. But the most agreeable person there, I suppose, was Lady Clanricarde, who amused me very much. . . . .

I told Lord Palmerston that I had been dining where I met Lesseps, and that he was full of his canal. ‘He may be full of his canal,’ said the Premier, ‘but his canal will never be full of water, as the world will see.’ And then, having laughed heartily at his own poor joke, he went on, and abused Lesseps quite as much as, two hours before, Lesseps had abused him, though in a somewhat graver tone, explaining all the while his objections to the grand project, which it still seems to me can do England no harm, though it may much harm the stockholders, which is quite another thing.

July 27.—Thank Heaven, I know you are at home, ‘safely arrived, all well,’ though that is all I know. I have only Lizzie's dear, good letter of July 14, containing the telegraphic words. It is a great relief; I cannot tell you how great, but still I am unreasonable enough to want more. And I know there is more somewhere. . . . .

When I had breakfasted . . . . I went out for work, and came home for work, and in the course of three hours did a great deal of it. I have not told you how I have been bothered about the Library affairs, for I did not want to have you troubled as well as myself, especially as you could not give me counsel. The difficulty has been

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