A- queer this morning, as always nowadays since [Astrakhan] or before. She mumps [sulks] one half and cries the other half her time – I cannot stand it. Think of getting off to visit Vere, going to Dorpat, writing on Russia – taking Joseph Booth and Oddy, or perhaps someone from Dorpat – Briggs to be left at Shibden. How thankful I shall be to be well rid of A-. Tis from [Kizlyar] on the Steppes of Russia that I think so seriously of it.
Thinking of A-‘s leaving me – she has it in her mind? and will remind me that I said at [Astrakhan] – ‘well, keep up appearance till we get home and then do as you think best’.
A- in tears – a regular complaint against my conduct to her. I express my sorrow as usual but tell her to cheer up – remembering that she can leave me as soon as she gets home. She wears me out – what a temper. Surely, I shall be rid of her sometime.
The least pleasant and good dinner we have had in Russia?
[A-] out of sorts because she [is] tired and I should a have walked a little farther – what a temper, but the worst is my not being about to stir without her at my elbow. It cannot last forever – I shall let her take herself off in some lucky huff by and by.
From Merino sto – silk morning gown and velvet pelerine that I wore daily at Moscow.
Found my cousin gently come at breakfast.
A- stirring by seven this morning – no great harm done – more frightened than hurt, but queerish as to temper – irritable.
Tolerable motion – little balls yesterday – one very thick piece this morning and one bit rather less and feel as if I should have bowel complaint. No motion since a very little at Simbirsk and tolerable lastly at Sarato[v].
Unwashed, here I have sat writing.
She said at dinner yesterday that there had been one little skirmish and some officers killed, but that the expedition did not go forwards to Khiva in consequence of the extreme cold – probably the truth is it has failed.
Nobody handed out today – the lady of the house told us to seat ourselves and all the ladies were together by her and all the gentlemen by him. The ladies were provincial and all together there was a considerable falling off in style from Kazan, to say nothing of Moscow. She from Moscow, nobody knew old Princess Ouroussoff till Princess R[adzivill]‘s going to court, which brought them all into notice. The old Prince bit very bright nor he nor his wife had any fortune.