invitation to a special treat at his own house, which consisted in showing her a black beetle painted by Albert Dürer, and having a real one fetched up from the kitchen to compare the two with a microscope. This she never went to enjoy. Acland examined her most minutely, and was constantly paying professional visits—all gratuitously, being an intimate friend of Ruskin. I went down on purpose to have a conversation with him about her health, and was glad to find that he thinks her lungs, if at all affected, are only slightly so, and that the leading cause of illness lies in mental power long pent up and lately overtaxed. Of course, though, he thinks very seriously of her present state, and of the care necessary to her gradual recovery. By his advice, she is likely to leave England, probably for south of France, before the cold weather comes on again, and must abstain from all work for some months yet.
They were all most friendly to me at Oxford, and Dr. Acland sent me afterwards an invitation to go there on the great occasion of laying the first stone of the New Museum the week before last; but I did not go because of time and expense. I afterwards heard Tennyson and his wife had been there, and staying chiefly at Acland’s; I was sorry to have missed them. I am asked by the architect to do some designing for the Museum, and probably shall. Good-night, dear Mamma.
Your affectionate Son,
This is the last letter I’ve found mentioning Lizzie, until 1860 when Gabriel writes that he and Lizzie are to be wed.
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