Saturday 12th September, 1868

Every night my retriever takes me into dinner, and under his care it is far from being the least pleasant part of the day. Tonight, after a great expenditure of words and entreaties, I allowed for an unwilling permission to be coaxed out of me to his waiting in the Galerie des Dames half an hour after the ladies had retired.

I went out to my own room, and letting down my hair I gave it as slow and deliberate a brushing as if I had no other occupation in view. Having wasted sufficient time to let the house get quiet, I made up my mind to relieve his suspense, and candle in hand, advanced bravely enough to the Gallery, though feeling shyer than I should have thought myself capable under any possible circumstances.

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His advance from the other end of the Gallery, as handsome as a picture in his smoking costume of dark coloured velvet, put retreat entirely out of the question. ‘Thanks so much for coming’-a dead pause, and then a sigh of admiration, ‘I never saw anything so glorious!’ I can only compare his glances to the expression I should invest a Royal Bengal Tiger with, waiting for the moment to dart on his prey.

As I bade him goodnight, he tried to put his arm round my waist, when I think, notwithstanding his virtue and my good Resolutions, it would have been wished in a different manner; but though not violently averse in my heart, I was much too politic to allow of any such demonstration.

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