30 January 1840

Princess R[adzivill] dictated three notes for me to Princess Olga D- and Mrs Temirazoff and Mrs Araxine. Princess Tcherkasky told me to ask Countess P[anin] for a letter to the governor of Nieney and to go to her this evening – she was right.

Princess T- said old Countess P[anin] was une grande dame – did not go to court because [she] would not be well received because her husband was one of the seven or eight whom murdered Paul.

29 January 1840

A- low today and queer tempered now since tea and that I have told her the exchange upon Paris. Why do I ever mention anything of importance to her – why ever forget myself into fancying her companionable without reserve? Try to say nothing of this sort and fix everything without one syllable of inquiry or doubt to her.

28 January 1840

When I went into her last night she was in her shift being soaped and lathered and then went into the bath which there was not time to prepare for me, but her maid afterwards washed me all over, head and all, and threw hot and cool water on and at me – and washed even my queer and thighs! But I took it all right as Grotza was not there.

A- in tears, all low this morning about our buying and throwing away so many things – it was a carton to be thrown away that brought the thing. How terrible! So instead of packing or such like, came and wrote.

24 January 1840

Then talking to A-. Crying and make up after having had…

She is a thorough woman of the world but good hearted, capricious tempered? That is, with a beauty’s pouting pettishness at times but her beauty is in the wine – her eyes deadening and wrinkling round about and the Russian bend in her nose becoming more apparent, but her teeth are good and smile lovely. She will think no more of me – she hopes to survive her husband. Well, she may, for he can leave her nothing – she will be as she said some time ago.

23 January 1840

A- still in the tearful way – I suppose at my being so long away yesterday and going to Princess R- today.

A- having been in the dumps, we never spoke and after taking off my things I found her lain down saying she had a bad headache! I ought to take less notice of all these tempers – I will try and in the long run, she may leave me if she likes, but I am resolved not to bother about her more than I can help.

On my gently saying how anxious I always was to do her way but [it was] impossible for when she would not tell me, I was obliged to do someway – she took up a newspaper. I said we could not both leave things undecided – it was a choice of evils – something must be done. What would she recommend – not one word would she utter spite of all my entreaties, so I left her and came to my table – dinner announced almost immediately. Just said something must be done – there was one decision still open to return home. How terrible – this not speaking I cannot bear. She did so to the people of Halifax – the same game will not do with me. I never can stand it long – what a temper.

A- has just come to wish me goodnight but I kissed her without speaking – speak very civilly and, as usual, when necessary, but more since her silence of this evening about George’s wife. How terrible.

22 January 1840

She in the dumps on my return and crying and queer all the evening till tonight she forgot it a little as I read to her while she put cotton in my stays to lace against – the bones hurt me.

18 January 1840

We will have, when this business is settled, seventy-five thousand roubles a year. Princess R[adzivill] said they should have been uneasy if I had not written – somehow, I felt and feel annoyed and mortified – nothing particular to find fault with but it is not as if they really valued us or were really very anxious for our company. Princess R[adzivill] does not now ask when we shall go again and I think does not care to see us often again, nor does she now say anything about my writing to her – no mention of the letter to Doctor Belcombe. I will write it and manage as well as I can and back out as nicely as I can. The old woman has told me several times of being cousin to Count Woronzoff and to give her compliments if I see him, but she never offers me a letter!

Speak against the government and like a fish out of water here – lost like our Count – he left the service recently and Prince Serg Galitzin the other night advised Hirre entering it, but the count said he knew his own affairs.

Count P[anin] going to the country to see his brother to settle about their father’s fortune – he was disgraced but too proud to.

15 January 1840

The old lady is well enough to receive every night – the Russian dinner is still talked of – I have no wish for an opportunity to eat it. Somehow, spite of all their civility, there is an indignity about it – I like it not. If we had been bedecked with titles, it would have been different.