Oh, if he should come home and have changed, it would break my heart! I would rather die than see that day!
We plan out our days here, rising at eight, breakfast nine, Mass, spending the morning with friends, music, reading, working, writing, reading French and Italian, and some sketching. At one o'clock we start to explore all the beautiful things to be seen here, then we go to a very cheerful table d'hôte, and afterwards spend a most agreeable evening in each other's apartments, or we gondola about to listen to the serenades by moonlight. I think we have walked and gondolaed the place all through by day and moon. How heavenly Venice would have been with Richard, we two floating about in these gondolas! Our friends are a charming Belgian couple named Hagemans, two little children, and a nice sister, and last, though not least, the Chevalier de St. Cheron. The Chevalier is a perfect French gentleman of noble family, good-looking, fascinating, brilliant in conversation; has much heart, esprit, and délicatesse; he is more solid than most Frenchmen, and better informed, and has noble sentiments, head and heart; and yet, were he an Englishman, I should think him vain and ignorant. He has a few small prejudices and French tricks, which are, however, little faults of nationality, education, and circumstance, but not of nature. Henri V., the Bourbon King, called the Comte de Chambord, lives at the Palazzo Cavalli, and holds a small court, kept up in a little state by devoted partisans, who are under the surveillance of the police, and have three or four different lodgings everywhere.