The singular absence of humour of the Germans often amuses me. I think it was Palmerston who described Germany as “that land of damned Professors.” They are all so desperately in earnest, and their “Kultur” is so serious, that jokes and fun seem like blasphemy. My penury has again been relieved by Mr. S——’s kind loan of £1. Lady M—— came in to tell me that the American Vice-Consul had telegraphed to Mr. W—— the good news that we are all to go on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next. I have heard this story so often that I am utterly sceptical. We conclude that things are going badly for the enemy, since there is no bell-ringing, and the flags have been taken in.