If you were born sometime around 1990, give or take a few years, you probably remember back when everyone was on MySpace and filled in those endless stupid surveys that asked you your favorite everything and the last time you did various things and whether you had ever kissed in the rain. Courtesy of Phyllis Grosskurth and the Symonds papers at Bristol, this was the Victorian equivalent, as Symonds completed it. He was 27:
Your favourite virtue
Your favourite qualities in a man
Strength & Tenderness
Your favourite qualities in a woman
Tenderness & strength
Your favourite occupation
Your chief characteristic
Your idea of misery
Waking in the morning after some sorrow
Your favourite colour & flower
Green[,] Brown[,] Gentian
If not yourself, who would you be?
Where would you like to live?
Your favourite prose authors
Your favourite poets
Your favourite painters and composers
Michael Angelo[,] Beethoven
Your favourite heroes in real life
Your favourite heroines in real life
Your favourite heroes in fiction
Your favourite heroines in fiction
Your favourite food and drink
Your favourite names
N or M [Grosskurth: “The ‘N or M’ of the catechism provided him with a sombre jest for these were Norman Moor’s initials as well…” Norman Moor was the young man with whom Symonds was in love at the time.]
Your pet aversion
What characters in history do you most dislike?
What is your present state of mind?
Thinking of my own mind
For what fault have you most toleration?
Your favourite motto
In mundo immundo sim mundus [In an impure world may I be pure]
I assume this was before Symonds famously adopted as his motto the line from Goethe, “Im Ganzen, Guten, Schönen/Resolut zu leben.”