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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Wednesday, 27 November 2013
On Don Juan
Deranged slightly all week with a chill on the colon.
B. came for the day to discuss wills and leases. He told me with perfect seriousness a story of a commercial enterprise in which he was interested - a search for the Ark of the Covenant, Urim, and Thummim, plate of the Temple etc. - based on a cypher discovered by Finnish scholar in an early copy of the book of Ezekiel at St. Petersburg. Over £3,000 already spent on the excavations, stopped by Turkish authorities who have now given permission again; but the affair is in suspense at present as the principal contributor of funds (who has already given £20,000 alone) is in a lunatic asylum. The singular irony of this did not seem to strike B.
My "Don Juan" will be an extremely aristocratic man. In fact he is so aristocratic and so instinctively convinced of the social superiority of the rank to which he belongs, that in a sense he scarcely shows it. He is extremely polite to his inferiors until he loses control of himself. He is a rather melancholy man, having been long occupied, without success, in the search for an ideal love. He is not a sensualist as the word is usually applied to Don Juan.On the contrary he is extremely refined and rather spiritual. His attitude towards women is tender, with a touch of the cynic. His age is between 30 and 35. He is a profound conservative, and is convinced that Spain is in decline.
Additionally for November 27th., see 'A funeral in Burslem' -
Funeral. Too soon. Orange light through blinds in front of room. Coffin in centre on two chairs. Covered with flowers. Bad reading, and stumbling of parson. Cliches and halting prayer. Small thin book out of which parson read. In dim light, cheap new carving on oak of coffin seemed like fine oak carving. Sham brass handles on coffin. Horrible lettering. Had to wait after service for hearse to arrive. Men hung their hats on spikes of hearse before coming in. No trouble in carrying coffin. I kept Uncle J.L.'s arm most of the time as he is nearly blind. He told me he still managed 700 accounts. Long walk from cemetery gates to region of chapel.