Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 17 (1986)
Priory, my first since the death of Mr. Lewes. I found everything but little changed; the hostess, looking paler and more worn, perhaps, and wearing a black and white cap, received me in her accustomed corner; the room was the same, a few visitors sat in the old places; I missed George Lewes and his cheery voice. Mr. Tennyson came in; I had never made his acquaintance before; I had a long talk with him, which pleased me much. He was full of the fact that Ruskin abused him for saying that a crushed daisy blushes red, i.e. that it then shews the lower side of the petals. Mr. Ruskin had called this "a sentimental fallacy"; Mr. Tennyson averred that Mr. Ruskin had no knowledge of daisies. Now ensues a long conversation about flowers, in which our gentle-voiced hostess joined, too learnedly somewhat, as it appeared to me, to please Tennyson, who (I thought) was rather desirous to be amused than instructed. But perhaps he found some difficulty in understanding her, for Mrs. Lewes scarcely raised her voice above a whisper, and several times during his visit he repeated abruptly: 'I am deaf, I am very deaf'.