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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dear Diary: I can shed tears as I please—no one's looking...

July 10, 1919

In Venice, when we were on the way to stay with my mother-in-law, we bought some pipes. I said to her on arrival: 'Madame--' (she calls me Liane and I call her Madame, because I can hardly in decency say 'mother' to a woman scarcely ten years older than I am) -- 'Madame, I must confess to a vice: I smoke a pipe.' I wanted to test her a little. She looked at me with raised eyebrows and pursed lips, then said: 'So much the better. I much prefer the smell of a pipe to that of cigarettes.' The pipe stayed in my suitcase.

~Liane de Pougy, My Blue Notebooks: The Intimate Journal of Paris's Most Beautiful and Notorious Courtesan

July 11, 1798

My birthday. 31. Call on Count Finkenstein, with the memorial. He told me of Bonaparte's taking of Malta. Casino.

~John Quincy Adams, Diaries

July 14, 1907

For the first time in my life I forgot it was my birthday.

~Gertrude Bell, Diaries

July 26, 1926

Viscountess indicates immense and distant rock, and announces her intention of swimming to it. I say that I will go too. Long before we are half-way there, I know that I shall never reach it, and hope that my husband’s second wife will be kind to the children. Viscountess, swimming calmly, says, Am I all right? I reply, Oh quite, and am immediately submerged. … Continue to swim. Rock moves further and further away. I reflect that there will be something distinguished about the headlines announcing my demise in such exalted company, and mentally frame one or two that I think would look well in local paper. Am just turning my attention to paragraph in our Parish Magazine when I hit a small rock, and am immediately submerged again. Mysteriously rise again from the foam--though not in the least, as I know too well, like Venus.

~E.M. Delafield, The Diary of a Provincial Lady, (Her autobiographical novel)

July 28, 1957

(Following the death of his mother, two days earlier.) This was a terrible day. Arose at 6:15, had breakfast, fixed up by Bess at seven. Didn't sleep much Saturday night or Sunday night. I took a short nap, had lunch at 12:00 and went to Grandview, arriving at 1:00 . . . All the cousins on both sides came. About fifty of them. The Baptist preacher Wellborn Bowman conducted the service. It was as mamma wanted it. We went to Forest Hill and the preacher did it excellently at the grave. Along the road all cars, trucks and pedestrians stood with hats off. It made me want to weep--but I couldn't in public. I've read thousands of messages from all over the world in the White House study and I can shed tears as I please--no one's looking.

~Harry S. Truman, 1947 Diary Book