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November 1826

November 1.--I suppose the ravishing is going to begin, for we have had the Dames des Halles, with a bouquet like a maypole, and a speech full of honey and oil, which cost me ten francs; also a small worshipper, who would not leave his name, but came _seulement pour avoir le plaisir, la félicité_ etc. etc. All this jargon I answer with corresponding _blarney_ of my own, for "have I not licked the black stone of that ancient castle?" As to French, I speak it as it comes, and like Doeg in _Absalom and Achitophel_--

    "----dash on through thick and thin,
    Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in."
We went this morning with M. Gallois to the Church of St. Genevieve, and thence to the College Henri IV., where I saw once more my old friend Chevalier.[385] He was unwell, swathed in a turban of nightcaps and a multiplicity of _robes de chambre_; but he had all the heart and the vivacity of former times. I was truly glad to see the kind old man. We were unlucky in our day for sights, this being a high festival--All Souls' Day. We were not allowed to scale the steeple of St. Genevieve, neither could we see the animals at the Jardin des Plantes, who, though they have no souls, it is supposed, and no interest of course in the devotions of the day, observe it in strict retreat, like the nuns of Kilkenny. I met, however, one lioness walking at large in the Jardin, and was introduced. This was Madame de Souza,[386] the authoress of some well-known French romances of a very classical character, I am told, for I have never read them. She must have been beautiful, and is still well-looked. She is the mother of the handsome Count de Flahault, and had a very well-looking daughter with her, besides a son or two. She was very agreeable. We are to meet again. The day becoming decidedly rainy, we returned along the Boulevards by the Bridge of Austerlitz, but the weather was so indifferent as to spoil the fine show.

We dined at the Ambassador's--Lord Granville, formerly Lord Leveson Gower. He inhabits the same splendid house which Lord Castlereagh had in 1815, namely, Numero 30, Rue du Fauxbourg St. Honoré. It once belonged to Pauline Borghese, and if its walls could speak, they might tell us mighty curious stories. Without their having any tongue, they spoke to my feelings "with most miraculous organ."[387] In these halls I had often seen and conversed familiarly with many of the great and powerful, who won the world by their swords, and divided it by their counsel.

Here I saw very much of poor Lord Castlereagh--a man of sense, presence of mind, courage, and fortitude, which carried him through many an affair of critical moment, when finer talents might have stuck in the mire. He had been, I think, indifferently educated, and his mode of speaking being far from logical or correct, he was sometimes in danger of becoming almost ridiculous, in spite of his lofty presence, which had all the grace of the Seymours, and his determined courage.[388] But then he was always up to the occasion, and upon important matters was an orator to convince, if not to delight, his hearers. He is gone, and my friend Stanhope also, whose kindness this town so strongly recalls. It is remarkable they were the only persons of sense and credibility who both attested supernatural appearances on their own evidence, and both died in the same melancholy manner. I shall always tremble when any friend of mine becomes visionary.[389]

I have seen in these rooms the Emperor Alexander, Platoff, Schwarzenberg, old Blucher, Fouché, and many a maréchal whose truncheon had guided armies--all now at peace, without subjects, without dominion, and where their past life, perhaps, seems but the recollection of a feverish dream. What a group would this band have made in the gloomy regions described in the Odyssey! But to lesser things. We were most kindly received by Lord and Lady Granville, and met many friends, some of them having been guests at Abbotsford; among these were Lords Ashley and Morpeth--there were also Charles Ellis (Lord Seaford now), _cum plurimis aliis_. Anne saw for the first time an entertainment _à la mode de France_, where the gentlemen left the parlour with the ladies. In diplomatic houses it is a good way of preventing political discussion, which John Bull is always apt to introduce with the second bottle. We left early, and came home at ten, much pleased with Lord and Lady Granville's kindness, though it was to be expected, as our recommendations came from Windsor.

November 2.--Another gloomy day--a pize upon it!--and we have settled to go to Saint Cloud, and dine, if possible, with the Drummonds at Auteuil. Besides, I expect poor W.R. S[pencer] to breakfast. There is another thought which depresses me.

Well--but let us jot down a little politics, as my book has a pretty firm lock. The Whigs may say what they please, but I think the Bourbons will stand. Gallois, no great Royalist, says that the Duke of Orleans lives on the best terms with the reigning family, which is wise on his part, for the golden fruit may ripen and fall of itself, but it would be dangerous to

    "Lend the crowd his arm to shake the tree."[390]
The army, which was Bonaparte's strength, is now very much changed by the gradual influence of time, which has removed many, and made invalids of many more. The citizens are neutral, and if the King will govern according to the Charte, and, what is still more, according to the habits of the people, he will sit firm enough, and the constitution will gradually attain more and more reverence as age gives it authority, and distinguishes it from those temporary and ephemeral governments, which seemed only set up to be pulled down. The most dangerous point in the present state of France is that of religion. It is, no doubt, excellent in the Bourbons to desire to make France a religious country; but they begin, I think, at the wrong end. To press the observances and ritual of religion on those who are not influenced by its doctrines is planting the growing tree with its head downwards. Rites are sanctified by belief; but belief can never arise out of an enforced observance of ceremonies; it only makes men detest what is imposed on them by compulsion. Then these Jesuits, who constitute emphatically an _imperium in imperio_, labouring first for the benefit of their own order, and next for that of the Roman See--what is it but the introduction into France of a foreign influence, whose interest may often run counter to the general welfare of the kingdom?

We have enough of ravishment. M. Meurice writes me that he is ready to hang himself that we did not find accommodation at his hotel; and Madame Mirbel came almost on her knees to have permission to take my portrait. I was cruel; but, seeing her weeping-ripe, consented she should come to-morrow and work while I wrote. A Russian Princess Galitzin, too, demands to see me in the heroic vein; "_Elle vouloit traverser les mers pour aller voir S.W.S_.," and offers me a rendezvous at my hotel. This is precious tomfoolery; however, it is better than being neglected like a fallen sky-rocket, which seemed like to be my fate last year.

We went to Saint Cloud with my old friend Mr. Drummond, now at a pretty _maison de campagne_ at Auteuil. Saint Cloud, besides its unequalled views, is rich in remembrances. I did not fail to revisit the _Orangerie_, out of which Bon. expelled the Council of [Five Hundred]. I thought I saw the scoundrels jumping the windows, with the bayonets at their rumps. What a pity the house was not two stories high! I asked the Swiss some questions on the _locale_, which he answered with becoming caution, saying, however, that "he was not present at the time." There are also new remembrances. A separate garden, laid out as a playground for the royal children, is called Il Trocadero,[391] from the siege of Cadiz [1823]. But the Bourbons should not take military ground--it is firing a pop-gun in answer to a battery of cannon.

All within the house is changed. Every trace of Nap. or his reign totally done away, as if traced in sand over which the tide has passed. Moreau and Pichegru's portraits hang in the royal ante-chamber. The former has a mean look; the latter has been a strong and stern-looking man. I looked at him, and thought of his death-struggles. In the guard-room were the heroes of La Vendée--Charette with his white bonnet, the two La Rochejacqueleins, Lescure, in an attitude of prayer, Stofflet, the gamekeeper, with others.

We dined at Auteuil. Mrs. Drummond, formerly the beautiful Cecilia Telfer, has lost her looks, but kept her kind heart. On our return, went to the Italian opera, and saw _Figaro_. Anne liked the music; to me it was all caviare. A Mr. ------ dined with us; sensible, liberal in his politics, but well informed and candid.

November 3.--Sat to Mad. Mirbel--Spencer at breakfast. Went out and had a long interview with Marshal Macdonald, the purport of which I have put down elsewhere. Visited Princess Galitzin, and also Cooper, the American novelist. This man, who has shown so much genius, has a good deal of the manner, or want of manner, peculiar to his countrymen.[392] He proposed to me a mode of publishing in America by entering the book as [the] property of a citizen. I will think of this. Every little helps, as the tod says, when, etc. At night at the Theatre de Madame, where we saw two _petit_ pieces, _Le Mariage de Raison_, and _Le plus beau jour de ma vie_--both excellently played. Afterwards at Lady Granville's rout, which was as splendid as any I ever saw--and I have seen _beaucoup dans ce genre_. A great number of ladies of the first rank were present, and if honeyed words from pretty lips could surfeit, I had enough of them. One can swallow a great deal of whipped cream, to be sure, and it does not hurt an old stomach.

November 4.--- Anne goes to sit to Mad. Mirbel. I called after ten, Mr. Cooper and Gallois having breakfasted with me. The former seems quite serious in desiring the American attempt. I must, however, take care not to give such a monopoly as to prevent the American public from receiving the works at the prices they are accustomed to. I think I may as well try if the thing can be done.

After ten I went with Anne to the Tuileries, where we saw the royal family pass through the Glass Gallery as they went to Chapel. We were very much looked at in our turn, and the King, on passing out, did me the honour to say a few civil words, which produced a great sensation. Mad. la Dauphine and Mad. de Berri curtsied, smiled, and looked extremely gracious; and smiles, bows, and curtsies rained on us like odours, from all the courtiers and court ladies of the train. We were conducted by an officer of the Royal Gardes du Corps to a convenient place in chapel, where we had the pleasure of hearing the grand mass performed with excellent music.

I had a perfect view of the King and royal family. The King is the same in age as I knew him in youth at Holyrood House--debonair and courteous in the highest degree. Mad. Dauphine resembles very much the prints of Marie Antoinette, in the profile especially. She is not, however, beautiful, her features being too strong, but they announce a great deal of character, and the princess whom Bonaparte used to call the _man_ of the family. She seemed very attentive to her devotions. The Duchess of Berri seemed less immersed in the ceremony, and yawned once or twice. She is a lively-looking blonde--looks as if she were good-humoured and happy, by no means pretty, and has a cast with her eyes; splendidly adorned with diamonds, however. After this gave Mad. Mirbel a sitting, where I encountered _le général_, her uncle,[393] who was _chef de l'état major_ to Bonaparte. He was very communicative, and seemed an interesting person, by no means over much prepossessed in favour of his late master, whom he judged impartially, though with affection.

We came home and dined in quiet, having refused all temptations to go out in the evening; this on Anne's account as well as my own. It is not quite gospel, though Solomon says it--the eye _can_ be tired with seeing, whatever he may allege in the contrary. And then there are so many compliments. I wish for a little of the old Scotch causticity. I am something like the bee that sips treacle.

November 5.--I believe I must give up my Journal till I leave Paris. The French are literally outrageous in their civilities--bounce in at all hours, and drive one half mad with compliments. I am ungracious not to be so entirely thankful as I ought to this kind and merry people. We breakfasted with Mad. Mirbel, where were the Dukes of Fitz-James, and, I think, Duras,[394] goodly company--but all's one for that. I made rather an impatient sitter, wishing to talk much more than was agreeable to Madame. Afterwards we went to the Champs Elysées, where a balloon was let off, and all sorts of frolics performed for the benefit of the _bons gens de Paris_--besides stuffing them with victuals. I wonder how such a civic festival would go off in London or Edinburgh, or especially in Dublin. To be sure, they would not introduce their shillelahs! But in the classic taste of the French, there were no such gladiatorial doings. To be sure, they have a natural good-humour and gaiety which inclines them to be pleased with themselves, and everything about them.

We dined at the Ambassador's, where was a large party, Lord Morpeth, the Duke of Devonshire, and others--all were very kind. Pozzo di Borgo there, and disposed to be communicative. A large soirée. Home at eleven. These hours are early, however.

November 6.--Cooper came to breakfast, but we were _obsédés partout_. Such a number of Frenchmen bounced in successively, and exploded, I mean discharged, their compliments, that I could hardly find an opportunity to speak a word, or entertain Mr. Cooper at all. After this we sat again for our portraits. Mad. Mirbel took care not to have any one to divert my attention, but I contrived to amuse myself with some masons finishing a façade opposite to me, who placed their stones, not like Inigo Jones, but in the most lubberly way in the world, with the help of a large wheel, and the application of strength of hand. John Smith of Darnick, and two of his men, would have done more with a block and pulley than the whole score of them. The French seem far behind in machinery.--We are almost eaten up with kindness, but that will have its end. I have had to parry several presents of busts, and so forth. The funny thing was the airs of my little friend. We had a most affectionate parting--wet, wet cheeks on the lady's side.[395] The pebble-hearted cur shed as few tears as Crab of dogged memory.[396]

Went to Galignani's, where the brothers, after some palaver, offered me £105 for the sheets of Napoleon, to be reprinted at Paris in English. I told them I would think of it. I suppose Treuttel and Wurtz had apprehended something of this kind, for they write me that they had made a bargain with my publisher (Cadell, I suppose) for the publishing of my book in all sorts of ways. I must look into this.

Dined with Marshal Macdonald and a splendid party;[397] amongst others, Marshal Marmont--middle size, stout-made, dark complexion, and looks sensible. The French hate him much for his conduct in 1814, but it is only making him the scape-goat. Also, I saw Mons. de Molé, but especially the Marquis de Lauriston, who received me most kindly. He is personally like my cousin Colonel Russell. I learned that his brother, Louis Law,[398] my old friend, was alive, and the father of a large family. I was most kindly treated, and had my vanity much flattered by the men who had acted such important parts talking to me in the most frank manner.

In the evening to Princess Galitzin, where were a whole covey of Princesses of Russia arrayed in tartan! with music and singing to boot. The person in whom I was most interested was Mad. de Boufflers,[399] upwards of eighty, very polite, very pleasant, and with all the _agrémens_ of a French Court lady of the time of Mad. Sévigné, or of the correspondent rather of Horace Walpole. Cooper was there, so the Scotch and American lions took the field together.--Home, and settled our affairs to depart.

November 7.--Off at seven; breakfasted at Beaumont, and pushed on to Airaines. This being a forced march, we had bad lodgings, wet wood, uncomfortable supper, damp beds, and an extravagant charge. I was never colder in my life than when I waked with the sheets clinging round me like a shroud.

November 8.--- We started at six in the morning, having no need to be called twice, so heartily was I weary of my comfortless couch. Breakfasted at Abbeville; then pushed on to Boulogne, expecting to find the packet ready to start next morning, and so to have had the advantage of the easterly tide. But, lo ye! the packet was not to sail till next day. So after shrugging our shoulders--being the solace _à la mode de France_--and recruiting ourselves with a pullet and a bottle of Chablis _à la mode d'Angleterre_, we set off for Calais after supper, and it was betwixt three and four in the morning before we got to Dessein's, when the house was full, or reported to be so. We could only get two wretched brick-paved garrets, as cold and moist as those of Airaines, instead of the comforts which we were received with at our arrival. But I was better prepared. Stripped off the sheets, and lay down in my dressing-gown, and so roughed it out--_tant bien que mal_.

November 9.--At four in the morning we were called; at six we got on board the packet, where I found a sensible and conversible man--a very pleasant circumstance. The day was raw and cold, the wind and tide surly and contrary, the passage slow, and Anne, contrary to her wont, excessively sick. We had little trouble at the Custom House, thanks to the secretary of the Embassy, Mr. Jones, who gave me a letter to Mr. Ward. [At Dover] Mr. Ward came with the Lieutenant-Governor of the castle, and wished us to visit that ancient fortress. I regretted much that our time was short, and the weather did not admit of our seeing views, so we could only thank the gentlemen in declining their civility.

The castle, partly ruinous, seems to have been very fine. The Cliff, to which Shakespeare gave his immortal name, is, as all the world knows, a great deal lower than his description implies. Our Dover friends, justly jealous of the reputation of their cliff, impute this diminution of its consequence to its having fallen in repeatedly since the poet's time. I think it more likely that the imagination of Shakespeare, writing perhaps at a period long after he may have seen the rock, had described it such as he conceived it to have been. Besides, Shakespeare was born in a flat country, and Dover Cliff is at least lofty enough to have suggested the exaggerated features to his fancy. At all events, it has maintained its reputation better than the Tarpeian Rock;--no man could leap from it and live.

Left Dover after a hot luncheon about four o'clock, and reached London at half-past three in the morning. So adieu to _la belle France_, and welcome merry England.[400]

[Pall Mall,] November 10.--Ere I leave _la belle France_, however, it is fit I should express my gratitude for the unwontedly kind reception which I met with at all hands. It would be an unworthy piece of affectation did I not allow that I have been pleased--highly pleased--to find a species of literature intended only for my own country has met such an extensive and favourable reception in a foreign land where there was so much _a priori_ to oppose its progress.

For my work I think I have done a good deal; but, above all, I have been confirmed strongly in the impressions I had previously formed of the character of Nap., and may attempt to draw him with a firmer hand.

The succession of new people and unusual incidents has had a favourable effect [on my mind], which was becoming rutted like an ill-kept highway. My thoughts have for some time flowed in another and pleasanter channel than through the melancholy course into which my solitary and deprived state had long driven them, and which gave often pain to be endured without complaint, and without sympathy. "For this relief," as Francisco says in Hamlet, "much thanks."

To-day I visited the public offices, and prosecuted my researches. Left inquiries for the Duke of York, who has recovered from a most desperate state. His legs had been threatened with mortification; but he was saved by a critical discharge; also visited the Duke of Wellington, Lord Melville, and others, besides the ladies in Piccadilly. Dined and spent the evening quietly in Pall Mall.

November 11.--Croker came to breakfast, and we were soon after joined by Theodore Hook, _alias_ "John Bull"[401]; he has got as fat as the actual monarch of the herd. Lockhart sat still with us, and we had, as Gil Blas says, a delicious morning, spent in abusing our neighbours, at which my three neighbours are no novices any more than I am myself, though (like Puss in Boots, who only caught mice for his amusement) I am only a chamber counsel in matters of scandal. The fact is, I have refrained, as much as human frailty will permit, from all satirical composition. Here is an ample subject for a little black-balling in the case of Joseph Hume, the great Æconomist, who has [managed] the Greek loan so egregiously. I do not lack personal provocation (see 13th March last), yet I won't attack him--at present at least--but _qu'il se garde de moi_:

    "I'm not a king, nor nae sic thing,
      My word it may not stand;
    And Joseph may a buffet bide,
      Come he beneath my brand."
At dinner we had a little blow-out on Sophia's part: Lord Dudley, Mr. Hay, Under Secretary of State, [Sir Thomas Lawrence, etc.] _Mistress_ (as she now calls herself) Joanna Baillie, and her sister, came in the evening. The whole went off pleasantly.

November 12.--Went to sit to Sir T.L. to finish the picture for his Majesty, which every one says is a very fine one. I think so myself; and wonder how Sir Thomas has made so much out of an old weather-beaten block. But I believe the hard features of old Dons like myself are more within the compass of the artist's skill than the lovely face and delicate complexion of females. Came home after a heavy shower. I had a long conversation about ------ with Lockhart. All that was whispered is true--a sign how much better our domestics are acquainted with the private affairs of our neighbours than we are. A dreadful tale of incest and seduction, and nearly of blood also--horrible beyond expression in its complications and events--"And yet the end is not;"--and this man was amiable, and seemed the soul of honour--laughed, too, and was the soul of society. It is a mercy our own thoughts are concealed from each other. Oh! if, at our social table, we could see what passes in each bosom around, we would seek dens and caverns to shun human society! To see the projector trembling for his falling speculations; the voluptuary rueing the event of his debauchery; the miser wearing out his soul for the loss of a guinea--all--all bent upon vain hopes and vainer regrets--we should not need to go to the hall of the Caliph Vathek to see men's hearts broiling under their black veils.[402] Lord keep us from all temptation, for we cannot be our own shepherd!

We dined to-day at Lady Stafford's [at West-hill].[403] Lord S. looks very poorly, but better than I expected. No company, excepting Sam Rogers and Mr. Grenville,[404]--the latter is better known by the name of Tom Grenville--a very amiable and accomplished man, whom I knew better about twenty years since. Age has touched him, as it has doubtless affected me. The great lady received us with the most cordial kindness, and expressed herself, I am sure, sincerely, desirous to be of service to Sophia.

November 13.--I consider Charles's business as settled by a private intimation which I had to that effect from Sir W.K.; so I need negotiate no further, but wait the event. Breakfasted at home, and somebody with us, but the whirl of visits so great that I have already forgot the party. Lockhart and I dined at an official person's, where there was a little too much of that sort of flippant wit, or rather smartness, which becomes the parochial Joe Miller of boards and offices. You must not be grave, because it might lead to improper discussions; and to laugh without a joke is a hard task. Your professed wags are treasures to this species of company. Gil Blas was right in censuring the literary society of his friend Fabricio; but nevertheless one or two of the mess would greatly have improved the conversation of his _Commis_.

Went to poor Lydia White's, and found her extended on a couch, frightfully swelled, unable to stir, rouged, jesting, and dying. She has a good heart, and is really a clever creature, but unhappily, or rather happily, she has set up the whole staff of her rest in keeping literary society about her. The world has not neglected her. It is not always so bad as it is called. She can always make up her soirée, and generally has some people of real talent and distinction. She is wealthy, to be sure, and gives _petit_ dinners, but not in a style to carry the point _à force d'argent_. In her case the world is good-natured, and perhaps it is more frequently so than is generally supposed.

November 14.--We breakfasted at honest Allan Cunningham's--honest Allan--a leal and true Scotsman of the old cast. A man of genius, besides, who only requires the tact of knowing when and where to stop, to attain the universal praise which ought to follow it. I look upon the alteration of "It's hame and it's hame," and "A wet sheet and a flowing sea," as among the best songs going. His prose has often admirable passages; but he is obscure, and overlays his meaning, which will not do now-a-days, when he who runs must read.

Dined at Croker's, at Kensington, with his family, the Speaker,[405] and the facetious Theodore Hook.

We came away rather early, that Anne and I might visit Mrs. Arbuthnot to meet the Duke of Wellington. In all my life I never saw him better. He has a dozen of campaigns in his body--and tough ones. Anne was delighted with the frank manners of this unequalled pride of British war, and me he received with all his usual kindness. He talked away about Bonaparte, Russia, and France.

November 15.--At breakfast a conclave of medical men about poor little Johnnie Lockhart. They give good words, but I cannot help fearing the thing is very precarious, and I feel a miserable anticipation of what the parents are to undergo. It is wrong, however, to despair. I was myself a very weak child, and certainly am one of the strongest men of my age in point of constitution. Sophia and Anne went to the Tower, I to the Colonial Office, where I laboured hard.

Dined with the Duke of Wellington. Anne with me, who could not look enough at the _vainqueur du vainqueur de la terre_. The party were Mr. and Mrs. Peel, and Mr. and Mrs. Arbuthnot,[406] Vesey Fitzgerald, Bankes, and Croker, with Lady Bathurst and Lady Georgina. One gentleman took much of the conversation, and gave us, with unnecessary emphasis, and at superfluous length, his opinion of a late gambling transaction. This spoiled the evening. I am sorry for the occurrence though, for Lord ------ is fetlock deep in it, and it looks like a vile bog. This misfortune, with the foolish incident at ------, will not be suffered to fall to the ground, but will be used as a counterpoise to the Greek loan. Peel asked me, in private, my opinion of three candidates for the Scotch gown, and I gave it him candidly. We will see if it has weight.[407]

I begin to tire of my gaieties; and the late hours and constant feasting disagree with me. I wish for a sheep's head and whisky toddy against all the French cookery and champagne in the world.

Well, I suppose I might have been a Judge of Session this term--attained, in short, the grand goal proposed to the ambition of a Scottish lawyer. It is better, however, as it is, while, at least, I can maintain my literary reputation.

I had some conversation to-day with Messrs. Longman and Co. They agreed to my deriving what advantage I could in America, and that very willingly.

November 16.--Breakfasted with Rogers, with my daughters and Lockhart. R. was exceedingly entertaining, in his dry, quiet, sarcastic manner. At eleven to the Duke of Wellington, who gave me a bundle of remarks on Bonaparte's Russian campaign, written in his carriage during his late mission to St. Petersburg.[408] It is furiously scrawled, and the Russian names hard to distinguish, but it _shall_ do me yeoman's service. Then went to Pentonville, to old Mr. Handley, a solicitor of the old school, and manager of the Devonshire property. Had an account of the claim arising on the estate of one Mrs. Owen, due to the representatives of my poor wife's mother. He was desperately excursive, and spoke almost for an hour, but the prospect of £4000 to my children made me a patient auditor. Thence I passed to the Colonial Office, where I concluded my extracts. [Lockhart and I] dined with Croker at the Admiralty _au grand couvert_. No less than five Cabinet Ministers were present--Canning, Huskisson, Melville, [Peel,] and Wellington, with sub-secretaries by the bushel. The cheer was excellent, but the presence of too many men of distinguished rank and power always freezes the conversation. Each lamp shines brightest when placed by itself; when too close, they neutralise each other.[409]

November 17.--My morning here began with the arrival of Bahauder Jah; soon after Mr. Wright;[410] then I was called out to James Scott the young painter. I greatly fear this modest and amiable creature is throwing away his time. Next came an animal who is hunting out a fortune in Chancery, which has lain _perdu_ for thirty years. The fellow, who is in figure and manner the very essence of the creature called a sloth, has attached himself to this pursuit with the steadiness of a well-scented beagle. I believe he will actually get the prize.

Sir John Malcolm acknowledges and recommends my Persian visitor Bruce.

Saw the Duke of York. The change on H.R.H. is most wonderful. From a big, burly, stout man, with a thick and sometimes an inarticulate mode of speaking, he has sunk into a thin-faced, slender-looking old man, who seems diminished in his very size. I could hardly believe I saw the same person, though I was received with his usual kindness. He speaks much more distinctly than formerly; his complexion is clearer; in short, H.R.H. seems, on the whole, more healthy after this crisis than when in the stall-fed state, for such it seemed to be, in which I remember him. God grant it! his life is of infinite value to the King and country--it is a breakwater behind the throne.

November 18.--Was introduced by Rogers to Mad. D'Arblay, the celebrated authoress of _Evelina_ and _Cecilia_,--an elderly lady, with no remains of personal beauty, but with a gentle manner and a pleasing expression of countenance. She told me she had wished to see two persons--myself, of course, being one; the other George Canning. This was really a compliment to be pleased with--a nice little handsome pat of butter made up by a neat-handed Phillis[411] of a dairymaid, instead of the grease, fit only for cart-wheels, which one is dosed with by the pound. Mad. D'Arblay told us the common story of Dr. Burney, her father, having brought home her own first work, and recommended it to her perusal, was erroneous. Her father was in the secret of _Evelina_ being printed. But the following circumstances may have given rise to the story:--Dr. Burney was at Streatham soon after the publication, where he found Mrs. Thrale recovering from her confinement, low at the moment, and out of spirits. While they were talking together, Johnson, who sat beside in a kind of reverie, suddenly broke out, "You should read this new work, madam--you should read _Evelina_; every one says it is excellent, and they are right." The delighted father obtained a commission from Mrs. Thrale to purchase his daughter's work, and retired the happiest of men. Mad. D'Arblay said she was wild with joy at this decisive evidence of her literary success, and that she could only give vent to her rapture by dancing and skipping round a mulberry-tree in the garden. She was very young at this time. I trust I shall see this lady again. She has simple and apparently amiable manners, with quick feelings.

Dined at Mr. Peel's with Lord Liverpool, Duke of Wellington, Croker, Bankes, etc. The conversation very good--Peel taking the lead in his own house, which he will not do elsewhere. We canvassed the memorable criminal case of _Ashford_,[412] Peel almost convinced of the man's innocence. Should have been at the play, but sat too late at Mr. Peel's.

So ends my campaign among these magnificoes and potent signiors,[413] with whom I have found, as usual, the warmest acceptation. I wish I could turn a little of my popularity amongst them to Lockhart's advantage, who cannot bustle for himself. He is out of spirits just now, and views things _au noir_. I fear Johnnie's precarious state is the cause.

I finished my sittings to Lawrence, and am heartily sorry there should be another picture of me except that which he has finished. The person is remarkably like, and conveys the idea of the stout blunt carle that cares for few things, and fears nothing. He has represented the author as in the act of composition, yet has effectually discharged all affectation from the manner and attitude. He seems pleased with it himself. He dined with us at Peel's yesterday, where, by the way, we saw the celebrated Chapeau de Paille, which is not a Chapeau de Paille at all.

November 19.--Saw this morning Duke of Wellington and Duke of York; the former so communicative that I regretted extremely the length of time,[414] but have agreed on a correspondence with him. _Trop d'honneur pour moi_. The Duke of York saw me by appointment. He seems still mending, and spoke of state affairs as a high Tory. Were his health good, his spirit is as strong as ever. H.R.H. has a devout horror of the liberals. Having the Duke of Wellington, the Chancellor, and (perhaps) a still greater person on his side, he might make a great fight when they split, as split they will. But Canning, Huskisson, and a mitigated party of Liberaux will probably beat them. Canning's will and eloquence are almost irresistible. But then the Church, justly alarmed for their property, which is plainly struck at, and the bulk of the landed interest, will scarce brook a mild infusion of Whiggery into the Administration. Well, time will show.

We visited our friends Peel, Lord Gwydyr, Arbuthnot, etc., and left our tickets of adieu. In no instance, during my former visits to London, did I ever meet with such general attention and respect on all sides.

Lady Louisa Stuart dined--also Wright and Mr. and Mrs. Christie. Dr. and Mrs. Hughes came in the evening; so ended pleasantly our last night in London.

[Oxford,] November 20.--Left London after a comfortable breakfast, and an adieu to the Lockhart family. If I had had but comfortable hopes of their poor, pale, prostrate child, so clever and so interesting, I should have parted easily on this occasion, but these misgivings overcloud the prospect. We reached Oxford by six o'clock, and found Charles and his friend young Surtees waiting for us, with a good fire in the chimney, and a good dinner ready to be placed on the table. We had struggled through a cold, sulky, drizzly day, which deprived of all charms even the beautiful country near Henley. So we came from cold and darkness into light and warmth and society. _N.B._--We had neither daylight nor moonlight to see the view of Oxford from the Maudlin Bridge, which I used to think one of the most beautiful in the world.

Upon finance I must note that the expense of travelling has mounted high. I am too old to rough it, and scrub it, nor could I have saved fifty pounds by doing so. I have gained, however, in health, spirits, in a new stock of ideas, new combinations, and new views. My self-consequence is raised, I hope not unduly, by the many flattering circumstances attending my reception in the two capitals, and I feel confident in proportion. In Scotland I shall find time for labour and for economy.

[Cheltenham,] November 21.--Breakfasted with Charles in his chambers [at Brasenose], where he had everything very neat. How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board! It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of the oak which he has planted. My poor plant has some storms to undergo, but were this expedition conducive to no more than his entrance into life under suitable auspices, I should consider the toil and the expense well bestowed. We then sallied out to see the lions--guides being Charles, and friend Surtees, Mr. John Hughes, young Mackenzie (Fitz-Colin), and a young companion or two of Charles's. Remembering the ecstatic feelings with which I visited Oxford more than twenty-five years since, I was surprised at the comparative indifference with which I revisited the same scenes. Reginald Heber, then composing his Prize Poem, and imping his wings for a long flight of honourable distinction, is now dead in a foreign land--Hodgson and other able men all entombed. The towers and halls remain, but the voices which fill them are of modern days. Besides, the eye becomes satiated with sights, as the full soul loathes the honeycomb. I admired indeed, but my admiration was void of the enthusiasm which I formerly felt. I remember particularly having felt, while in the Bodleian, like the Persian magician who visited the enchanted library in the bowels of the mountain, and willingly suffered himself to be enclosed in its recesses,[415] while less eager sages retired in alarm. Now I had some base thoughts concerning luncheon, which was most munificently supplied by Surtees [at his rooms in University College], with the aid of the best ale I ever drank in my life, the real wine of Ceres, and worth that of Bacchus. Dr. Jenkyns,[416] the vice-chancellor, did me the honour to call, but I saw him not. I called on Charles Douglas at All-Souls, and had a chat of an hour with him.[417]

Before three set out for Cheltenham, a long and uninteresting drive, which we achieved by nine o'clock. My sister-in-law [Mrs. Thomas Scott] and her daughter instantly came to the hotel, and seem in excellent health and spirits.

November 22.--Breakfasted and dined with Mrs. Scott, and leaving Cheltenham at seven, pushed on to Worcester to sleep.

November 23.--Breakfasted at Birmingham, and slept at Macclesfield. As we came in between ten and eleven, the people of the inn expressed surprise at our travelling so late, as the general distress of the manufacturers has rendered many of the lower class desperately outrageous. The inn was guarded by a special watchman, who alarmed us by giving his signal of turn out, but it proved to be a poor deserter who had taken refuge among the carriages, and who was reclaimed by his sergeant. The people talk gloomily of winter, when the distress of the poor will be increased.

November 24.--Breakfasted at Manchester. Ere we left, the senior churchwarden came to offer us his services, to show us the town, principal manufactures, etc. We declined his polite offer, pleading haste. I found his opinion about the state of trade more agreeable than I had ventured to expect. He said times were mending gradually but steadily, and that the poor-rates were decreasing, of which none can be so good a judge as the churchwarden. Some months back the people had been in great discontent on account of the power engines, which they conceived diminished the demand for operative labour. There was no politics in their discontent, however, and at present it was diminishing. We again pressed on--and by dint of exertion reached Kendal to sleep; thus getting out of the region of the stern, sullen, unwashed artificers, whom you see lounging sulkily along the streets of the towns in Lancashire, cursing, it would seem by their looks, the stop of trade which gives them leisure, and the laws which prevent them employing their spare time. God's justice is requiting, and will yet further requite those who have blown up this country into a state of unsubstantial opulence, at the expense of the health and morals of the lower classes.

November 25.--Took two pair of horses over the Shap Fells, which are covered with snow, and by dint of exertion reached Penrith to breakfast. Then rolled on till we found our own horses at Hawick, and returned to our own home at Abbotsford about three in the morning. It is well we made a forced march of about one hundred miles, for I think the snow would have stopped us had we lingered.

[Abbotsford,] November 26.--Consulting my purse, found my good £60 diminished to Quarter less Ten. In purse £8. Naturally reflected how much expense has increased since I first travelled. My uncle's servant, during the jaunts we made together while I was a boy, used to have his option of a shilling per diem for board wages, and usually preferred it to having his charges borne. A servant nowadays, to be comfortable on the road, should have 4s. or 4s. 6d. board wages, which before 1790 would have maintained his master. But if this be pitiful, it is still more so to find the alteration in my own temper. When young, on returning from such a trip as I have just had, my mind would have loved to dwell on all I had seen that was rich and rare, or have been placing, perhaps in order, the various additions with which I had supplied my stock of information--and now, like a stupid boy blundering over an arithmetical question half obliterated on his slate, I go stumbling on upon the audit of pounds, shillings, and pence. Why, the increase of charge I complain of must continue so long as the value of the thing represented by cash continues to rise, or as the value of the thing representing continues to decrease--let the economists settle which is the right way of expressing the process when groats turn plenty and eggs grow dear--

    "And so 'twill be when I am gone,
    The increasing charge will still go on,
    And other bards shall climb these hills,
    And curse your charge, dear evening bills."
Well, the skirmish has cost me £200. I wished for information--and I have had to pay for it. The information is got, the money is spent, and so this is the only mode of accounting amongst friends.

I have packed my books, etc., to go by cart to Edinburgh to-morrow. I idled away the rest of the day, happy to find myself at home, which is home, though never so homely. And mine is not so homely neither; on the contrary, I have seen in my travels none I liked so well--fantastic in architecture and decoration if you please--but no real comfort sacrificed to fantasy. "Ever gramercy my own purse," saith the song;[418] "Ever gramercy my own house," quoth I.

November 27.--We set off after breakfast, but on reaching Fushie Bridge at three, found ourselves obliged to wait for horses, all being gone to the smithy to be roughshod in this snowy weather. So we stayed dinner, and Peter, coming up with his horses, bowled us into town about eight. Walter came and supped with us, which diverted some heavy thoughts. It is impossible not to compare this return to Edinburgh with others in more happy times. But we should rather recollect under what distress of mind I took up my lodgings in Mrs. Brown's last summer, and then the balance weighs deeply on the favourable side. This house is comfortable and convenient.[419]

[Edinburgh,] November 28.--Went to Court and resumed old habits. Dined with Walter and Jane at Mrs. Jobson's. When we returned were astonished at the news of ----'s death, and the manner of it; a quieter, more inoffensive, mild, and staid mind I never knew. He was free from all these sinkings of the imagination which render those who are liable to them the victims of occasional low spirits. All belonging to this gifted, as it is called, but often unhappy, class, must have felt at times that, but for the dictates of religion, or the natural recoil of the mind from the idea of dissolution, there have been times when they would have been willing to throw away life as a child does a broken toy. But poor ------ was none of these: he was happy in his domestic relations; and on the very day on which the rash deed was committed was to have embarked for rejoining his wife and child, whom I so lately saw anxious to impart to him their improved prospects.

O Lord, what are we--lords of nature? Why, a tile drops from a housetop, which an elephant would not feel more than the fall of a sheet of pasteboard, and there lies his lordship. Or something of inconceivably minute origin, the pressure of a bone, or the inflammation of a particle of the brain takes place, and the emblem of the Deity destroys himself or some one else. We hold our health and our reason on terms slighter than one would desire were it in their choice to hold an Irish cabin.

November 29.--Awaked from horrid dreams to reconsideration of the sad reality; he was such a kind, obliging, assiduous creature. I thought he came to my bedside to expostulate with me how I could believe such a scandal, and I thought I detected that it was but a spirit who spoke, by the paleness of his look and the blood flowing from his cravat. I had the nightmare in short, and no wonder.

I felt stupefied all this day, but wrote the necessary letters notwithstanding. Walter, Jane, and Mrs. Jobson dined with us--but I could not gather my spirits. But it is nonsense, and contrary to my system, which is of the stoic school, and I think pretty well maintained. It is the only philosophy I know or can practise, but it cannot always keep the helm.

November 30.--I went to the Court, and on my return set in order a sheet or two of copy. We came back about two--the new form of hearing counsel makes our sederunt a long one. Dined alone, and worked in the evening.



[385] For an account of M. Chevalier, and an interview in 1815 with David "of the blood-stained brush," see _Life_, vol. v. p. 87.

[386] Madame de Souza-Botelho, author of _Adèle de Senanges_, and other works, which formed the subject of an article in the _Edinburgh_, No. 68, written by Moore. At the time Scott met her she had just lost her second husband, who is remembered by his magnificent editions of Camoens' _Lusiad_, on which it is said he spent about £4000. Mme. de Souza died in 1836.

[387] _Hamlet_, Act II. Sc. 2.

[388] The following mixed metaphor is said to have been taken from one of his speeches:--"Ministers were not to look on like Crocodiles, with their hands in their breeches' pockets, doing nothing."

[389] The story regarding Castlereagh's Radiant Boy, is that one night, when he was in barracks and alone, he saw a figure glide from the fireplace, the face becoming brighter as it approached him. On Lord Castlereagh stepping forward to meet it, the figure retired again, and as he advanced it gradually faded from his view. Sir Walter does not tell us of his friend Stanhope's ghostly experience.

[390] Dryden's _Absalom and Achitophel_--Character of Shaftesbury.--J.G.L.

[391] The name has since been bestowed on the high ground on the bank of the Seine, on which was built the Palace in connection with the International Exhibition of 1878.

[392] It should be noted that Scott wrote "manner" not "manners," as in all previous editions the word is printed. Of Cooper, his latest American biographer, Mr. Lounsbury, says there was in his manner at times "a self-assertion that often bordered, or seemed to border, on arrogance" (p. 79).

Of this interview, Cooper is said to have recorded in after years that Scott was so obliging as to make him a number of flattering speeches, which, however, he did not repay in kind, giving, as a reason for has silence, the words of Dr. Johnson regarding his meeting with George III.: "It was not for me to bandy compliments with my sovereign." These two "lions" met on four occasions, viz., on the 3d, 4th, and 6th November, Scott leaving Paris next day.

It cannot be too widely known that if Scott never derived any profits from the enormous sale of his works in America, it was not the fault of his brother author, who urged him repeatedly to try the plan here proposed. Whether the attempt was made is unknown, but it is amusing to see one cause of Scott's hesitation was the fear that the American public would not get his works at the low prices to which they had been accustomed.

[393] General Monthion.

[394] Fitz-James was great-grandson of James II., and Duras was related to Feversham, James's general at Sedgemoor. Both died in the same year, 1835.

[395] Madame Mirbel, who painted Scott at this time, continued to be a favourite artist with the French (Bonapartist, Bourbon, and Orleanist) for the next twenty years. Among her latest sitters (1841) was Scott's angry correspondent of four months later--General Gourgaud. Madame Mirbel died in 1849. The portrait alluded to was probably a miniature which has been engraved at least once--by J.T.Wedgwood.

[396] _Two Gentlemen of Verona_, Act II. Sc. 3.--J.G.L.

[397] The Marshal had visited Scotland in 1825--and Scott saw a good deal of him under the roof of his kinsman, Mr. Macdonald Buchanan.--J.G.L.

[398] Lauriston, the ancient seat of the Laws, so famous in French history, is very near Edinburgh, and the estate was in their possession at the time of the Revolution. Two or three cadets of the family were of the first emigration, and one of them (M. Louis Law) was a frequent guest of the Poet's father, and afterwards corresponded during many years with himself. I am not sure whether it was M. Louis Law whose French designation so much amused the people of Edinburgh. One brother of the Marquis de Lauriston, however, was styled _Le Chevalier de Mutton-hole_, this being the name of a village on the Scotch property.--J.G.L.

[399] The Madame de Boufflers best known to the world [Hippolyte de Saujon Comtesse de Boufflers], the correspondent not only of Walpole, but of David Hume, must have been nearer a hundred than eighty years of age at this date, if we are to believe the _Biographie Universelle_, which gives 1724 as the date of her birth. It does not record her death. It is known that she took refuge in England during the Revolution; but Count Paul de Rémusat, who has been consulted on the subject, has kindly pointed out that the lady of whom Scott speaks must have been the widow of the Chevalier de Boufflers-Remencourt, known by his poems and stories. Her maiden name was de Jean de Manville, and her first husband was a Comte de Sabran. She died in 1827.--See _Correspondance inédite de la Comtesse de Sabran_, Paris, 8vo, 1875.

[400] Readers who may wish to compare with the visit of 1826 Scott's impressions of Paris in 1815 will find a brilliant record of the latter in _Paul's Letters_, xii.-xvi.

[401] A Sunday newspaper started in 1820, to advocate the cause of George IV., and to vilify the Queen and her friends, male and female. The first number was published on December 17th, and "told at once from the convulsed centre to the extremity of the Kingdom. There was talent of every sort in the paper that could have been desired or devised for such a purpose. It seemed as if a legion of sarcastic devils had brooded in Synod over the elements of withering derision." Hook, however, was the master spirit, the majority of the lampoons in prose, and all the original poetry in the early volumes from the "Hunting the Hare," were from his own pen, except, perhaps, "Michael's Dinner," which has been laid at Canning's door.

Oddly enough Scott appears to have been the indirect means of placing Hook in the editorial chair. When he was in London, in April 1820, a nobleman called upon him, and asked if he could find him in Edinburgh some clever fellow to undertake the editorship of a paper about to be established. Sir Walter suggested that his Lordship need not go so far a-field, described Hook's situation, and the impression he had received of him from his table talk, and his Magazine, the _Arcadian_. This was all that occurred, but when, towards the end of the year, _John Bull_ electrified London, Sir Walter confessed that he could not help fancying that his mentioning this man's name had had its consequences.

Hook, in spite of his £2000 per annum for several years from _John Bull_, and large prices received for his novels, died in poverty in 1841, a prematurely aged man. His sad story may be read in a most powerful sketch in the _Quarterly Review_, attributed to Mr. Lockhart.

[402] See Beckford's _Vathek_, Hall of Eblis.

[403] Lady Stafford says: "We were so lucky as to have Sir W. Scott here for a day, and were glad to see him look well, and though perfectly unaltered by his successes, yet enjoying the satisfaction they must have given him."--Sharpe's _Letters_, vol. ii. p. 379.

[404] The Right Hon. Thomas Grenville died in 1846 at the age of ninety-one. He left his noble collection of books to the nation.

[405] The Right Hon. Charles Manners Sutton, afterwards Viscount Canterbury. He died in 1845.

[406] Mrs. Arbuthnot was Harriet, third daughter of the Hon. H. Fane, and wife of Charles Arbuthnot, a great friend of the Duke of Wellington. She died in 1838, Mr. Arbuthnot in 1850.

[407] Sir Walter had recommended George Cranstoun, his early friend, one of the brethren of _the mountain_, who succeeded Lord Hermand, and took his seat on the Scotch bench before the end of the month. The appointment satisfied both political parties, though Cockburn said that "his removal was a great loss to the bar which he had long adorned, and where he had the entire confidence of the public." An admirable sketch of Cranstoun is given in No. 32 of _Peter's Letters_. He retired in 1839, and died at Corehouse, his picturesque seat on the Clyde, in 1850.

[408] This striking paper was afterwards printed in full under the title, "Memorandum on the War in Russia in 1812," in the _Despatches_ edited by his Son (Dec. 1823 to May 1827), Murray, 1868, vol. i. 8vo, pp. 1-53. Sir Walter Scott's letter to the Duke on the subject is given at p. 590 of the same volume, and see this Journal under Feb. 15, 1827.

[409] In returning from this dinner Sir Walter said, "I have seen some of these great men at the same table _for the last time_."--J.G.L.

[410] Mr. William Wright, Barrister, Lincoln's Inn.--See _Life_, vol. viii. p. 84.

[411] Milton's _L'Allegro._--J.G.L.

[412] A murder committed in 1817. The accused claimed the privilege of _Wager of Battle_, which was allowed by the Court for the last time, as the law was abolished in 1819.--See _Notes and Queries_, 2d series, vol. xi. pp. 88, 259, 317, and p. 431 for a curious account of the bibliography of this very singular case.

[413] _Othello_,--J.G.L.

[414] Sir Walter no doubt means that he regretted not having seen the Duke at an earlier period of his historical labours.--J.G.L.

[415] See Weber's _Tales of the East_, 3 vols. 8vo, Edin. 1812. _History of Avicene_, vol. ii. pp. 452-457.

[416] Dr. Richard Jenkyns, Master of Balliol College.--J.G.L.

[417] Charles Douglas succeeded his brother, Baron Douglas of Douglas, in 1844.


  "But of all friends in field or town, Ever gramercy," etc.

Dame Juliana Berners.

[419] A furnished house in Walker Street which he had taken for the winter (No. 3).

Sir Walter Scott