Tennyson in Cornwall (1860)
Alfred Tennyson and his friend, Francis Palgrave, [are] at Falmouth, and made inquiries about the Grove Hill Leonardo, so of coure we asked them to come and see it; and thus we had a visit of two glorious hours both here and in the other garden. As Tennyson has a perfect horror of being lionised, we left him very much to himself for a while, till he took the initiative and came forth. Apropos of the Leonardo, he said the head of Christ in the Raising of Lazarus was to his mind the worthiest representation of the subject which he had ever seen. His bright, thoughtful friend, Francis Palgrave, was the more fond of pictures of the two: they both delighted in the little Cuyp and the great Correggio; thought the Guido a pleasant thing to have, though feeble enough; believed in the Leonardo, and Palgrave gloated over the big vase. On the leads we were all very happy and talked apace. ‘The great T.’ groaned a little over the lionising to which he is subject, and wondered how it came out at Falmouth that he was here—this was apropos of my speaking of Henry Hallam’s story of a miner hiding behind a wall to look at him, which he did not remember; but when he heard the name of Hallam, how his great grey eyes opened , and gave one a moment’s glimpse into the depths in which In Memoriam learnt its infinite wail.
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