NPG 1543 (2a/2b/2c)
Letter from George Meredith to Mary Seton Watts, undated, describing his impressions of her husband's portrait of Lord Lothian.
Dear Mrs Watts,
The news you give me of Signor's being stoutly at work always encourages & gives me good hopes of the world, but rather humiliates me personally for now that I have finished my ode to Napoleon I find I have
a nerveless hand. The other day Lady Battersea drove me to Blickling where there was much talk of you & Signor with Lady Lothian. She impresses me deeply & somewhat sadly & I fancy I produced the latter effect upon her, for as I walked along the galleries she placed a hand under my arm to support me. Signor's portrait of her husband
is probably a likeness, it struck me, as a stranger to him, chiefly of the living intelligence that there is in the eyes. A point rarely achieved, I remember it at this moment only in the Titians 'School-master' as it is called, generally of late attributed to Moroni. I wish I could see you & Signor now & then. I rarely leave home now & have been induced to come in inflict myself on these dear hosts because Marie & her husband & children are here. Yours very warmly