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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014
This morning news of the death of the King. The moved silence in which it was received in the coffee-room was most remarkable. One middle-aged man had apparently some difficulty in not crying. This afternoon I wrote a pretty fair article on the 'human nature' of the reception of the news here. I used mostly real incidents, but they had to be arranged.
Last evening I received the proof of my English Review article, "Night and Morning in Florence". I found it even more brutal than I had expected. But it is good.
Yesterday I wrote 2,700 words of "Clayhanger". Then I walked all over the town to find a subject to sketch, and found none until in despair I sat down in the Loggia Lanzi.
This morning I had written about 1,500 or 1,600 words of "Clayhanger" at 8.30, though I only went to bed last night at 11.30. Then Mr. Mock and Marguerite and I went up to San Miniato & he and I sketched. An ideal morning. This afternoon, after my article, I sketched again; and on the way home bought for 14 sous the first edition of R. H. Dana's "To Cuba and Back".
No museums for a long time now.
Additionally for May 7th., see 'Leaving Greece'
The Teodora would be quite a small steamer - on the Atlantic. here she is large; indeed 8,000 tons. The traditional phrase "dirty little Italian steamer" has ceased to be apposite. Italian shipping is about as good as any. That which has happened to Italian railways has also happened to Italian shipping. After the hurly-burly of departing is over, and the sellers of collections of foreign stamps, and the cheating money-changers, and the cigarette sellers who ask for a tip, have left the ship, you soon perceive that the Teodora is well run, and exceedingly orderly; and decorated in a touching, demode, simple style which appeals successfully to your sympathetic imagination. You perceive further, at the first meal, that she has the incomparable advantage of carrying no orchestra: she does, nevertheless, carry a barber and a cinema. No food could be more charmingly presented, and no service could be better or more urbane or delightful, no bathrooms hotter, and no pillows harder, than the Teodora's.