Another cold and cheerless day with rain at intervals throughout the day. Father had the Professor in to breakfast this morning which seems to have amused him somewhat. Aunt Mary asked him why he was called ‘Professor’ and he replied ‘I suppose it is from my large and rusty glasses!’ She then asked him if he answered ‘Halls’ and he remarked Smurthwaite usually did it ‘he likes doing it, he feels important!!!’ I have been chuckling over this. To see Gow and the Professor talking to each other is a delightful sight, each beaming over the tops of their glasses at each other!
Etheridge told us a charming thing he had overheard. Two small Westminster boys, whose names he didn’t know, were reading the notice of our Shakespeare Society and one said to the other ‘What’s this?’
‘That, Oh! That’s the Literary Society, they read Shakespeare and have been reading George IV most of the term!!!’ Shakespeare and George IV! It is to be presumed there was a slight mixture in his brain, for we have just finished Henry V.
This afternoon I piloted Sargeaunt round the Abbey and pointed him out a large number of things, like the lady in ‘Lady Epping’s Lawsuit’ (I think) after that the conversation became general. I talked and he listened!
I came back and found F. J. J. Bandinel who was Head of House and Princeps Oppidanorum in 1863 had come down and been over the House. He insisted on going right to the top of the house because he had slept there and was highly pleased to find his name in Inner, he had quite forgotten it was there. I came just as he was going up school so I took him up, he seemed interested, I took him into the Old Library [presumably the Busby Library] where he had been when in the VIth [Sixth Form]. He seemed to remember that the old tables (not the present) in the Old Library were made from the wood of the Spanish Armada. A new variation to me, I had only heard before about the tables in Hall but that those in the Library were made the same time i.e. 1730-50!!…Bandinel didn’t tell me anything much else of interest, he is a funny old thing, look older than he is having been out in China for many years, he had a sort of courtliness in his manner which was rather taking and Mrs Bandinel who accompanied him seemed rather nice.
I had a bad shock in Shak. Soc. tonight and found I had to make love to Bonner. in the last scene of Henry V. As I remarked to Low ‘I do not like having to make love to Bonner with a bad and snuffling cold’. Afterwards I read the Society a somewhat stupid paper by Nichols on ‘Beaumont and Fletcher‘. Oh! I was so ‘perlite’ to Nichols and I was so bored he persisted in coming back and talking to me in Inner. It is a very tiring little job talking pleasantly to people who bore one to distractions, he tells me he is writing a drama for Oscar Asche and Lily Brayton, also a poem of his was quoted by the Governor General of Canada (?) before the Prince of Wales. Consequently he is very much the Great Poet, but he means very well and I suppose it is not his fault that he bores me so!…