Days Like These

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The Independent Culture
11 July 1938

JULIA STRACHEY,

author, writes in her diary;

"My young man has given me the chuck - Philip [Toynbee]. We met again after three months' absence. While he was drinking his glass of sherry he said he was engaged to be married. `O really,' say I. `But I do congratulate you! How lovely!' and so on and on. It all seemed a bit sudden to me at the time. Only a week or two before he had been writing to me in a state of despair because I hadn't written to him. Anyway the actual shock of trying to adapt myself so suddenly proved too much for me, and I found myself compelled after dinner to ask him to go away again."

14 July 1903

JULIA CARTWRIGHT,

art historian, records in her diary:

"One very sad piece of news. The Campanile of Venice has suddenly collapsed and is in ruins on the Piazza. It cracked yesterday and fell this morning, alas! The world seems to be coming to an end! it is too sad to think of Venice without that wonderful tower rising against the sky, rose-red in the pearly light. The Times correspondent actually saw it sway and fall. First the top gallery fell and the golden angel came crashing down on the poor loggia and now has shattered the porch of St Mark's, and then the whole tower collapsed with a moan. The Venetian women are in tears and everyone is mourning over its fall. Will they ever be able to build it up again?"

15th July, 1815

JOHN WILSON CROKER,

friend of the Duke of Wellington, observes in his journal:

"Went off to see the English army encamped in the Bois de Boulogne. An army encamped does not answer the expectations one entertains of it. It looks more like a fair than anything martial. The solders had made themselves nice little huts with the boughs and branches of trees..."

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