Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

January 1827

January 1.--God make this a happy year to the King and country, and to all honest men!

I went with all our family to-day to dine as usual at the kind house of Huntly Burn; but the same cloud which hung over us on Saturday still had its influence. The effect of grief upon [those] who, like myself and Sir A.F., are highly susceptible of humour, has, I think, been finely touched by Wordsworth in the character of the merry village teacher Matthew, whom Jeffrey profanely calls the hysterical schoolmaster.[438] But, with my friend Jeffrey's pardon, I think he loves to see imagination best when it is bitted and managed and ridden upon, the _grand pas_. He does not make allowance for starts and sallies and bounds when Pegasus is beautiful to behold, though sometimes perilous to his rider. Not that I think the amiable bard of Rydal shows judgment in choosing such subjects as the popular mind cannot sympathise in. It is unwise and unjust to himself. I do not compare myself, in point of imagination, with Wordsworth--far from it; for [his] is naturally exquisite, and highly cultivated by constant exercise. But I can see as many castles in the clouds as any man, as many genii in the curling smoke of a steam engine, as perfect a Persepolis in the embers of a sea-coal fire. My life has been spent in such day-dreams. But I cry no roast-meat. There are times a man should remember what Rousseau used to say: _Tais-toi, Jean-Jacques, car on ne t'entend pas_![439]

January 2.--I had resolved to mark down no more griefs and groans, but I must needs briefly state that I am nailed to my chair like the unhappy Theseus. The rheumatism, exasperated by my sortie of yesterday, has seized on my only serviceable knee--and I am, by Proserpine, motionless as an anvil. Leeches and embrocations are all I have for it. _Diable_! there was a twinge. The Russells and Fergusons here; but I was fairly driven off the pit after dinner, and compelled to retreat to my own bed, there to howl till morning like a dog in his solitary cabin.

January 3.--Mending slowly. Two things are comfortable--1_st_, I lose no good weather out of doors, for the ground is covered with snow; 2_d_, That, by exerting a little stoicism, I can make my illness promote the advance of _Nap_. As I can scarcely stand, however, I am terribly awkward at consulting books, maps, etc. The work grows under my hand, however; vol. vi. [_Napoleon_] will be finished this week, I believe. Russells being still with us, I was able by dint of handing and chairing to get to the dining-room and the drawing-room in the evening.

Talking of Wordsworth, he told Anne and me a story, the object of which was to show that Crabbe had not imagination. He, Sir George Beaumont, and Wordsworth were sitting together in Murray the bookseller's back-room. Sir George, after sealing a letter, blew out the candle, which had enabled him to do so, and, exchanging a look with Wordsworth, began to admire in silence the undulating thread of smoke which slowly arose from the expiring wick, when Crabbe put on the extinguisher. Anne laughed at the instance, and inquired if the taper was wax, and being answered in the negative, seemed to think that there was no call on Mr. Crabbe to sacrifice his sense of smell to their admiration of beautiful and evanescent forms. In two other men I should have said "this is affectations,"[440] with Sir Hugh Evans; but Sir George is the man in the world most void of affectation; and then he is an exquisite painter, and no doubt saw where the _incident_ would have succeeded in painting. The error is not in you yourself receiving deep impressions from slight hints, but in supposing that precisely the same sort of impression must arise in the mind of men otherwise of kindred feeling, or that the commonplace folks of the world can derive such inductions at any time or under any circumstances.

January 4.--My enemy gained some strength during the watches of the night, but has again succumbed under scalding fomentations of camomile flowers. I still keep my state, for my knee, though it has ceased to pain me, is very feeble. We began to fill the ice-house to-day. Dine alone--_en famille_, that is, Jane, Anne, Walter, and I. Why, this makes up for _aiches_, as poor John Kemble used to call them. After tea I broke off work, and read my young folks the farce of the _Critic_, and "merry folks were we."

January 5.--I waked, or _aked_ if you please, for five or six hours I think, then fevered a little. I am better though, God be thanked, and can now shuffle about and help myself to what I want without ringing every quarter of an hour. It is a fine clear sunny day; I should like to go out, but flannel and poultices cry nay. So I drudge away with the assisting of Pelet, who has a real French head, believing all he desires should be true, and affirming all he wishes should be believed. Skenes (Mr. and Mrs., with Miss Jardine) arrived about six o'clock. Skene very rheumatic, as well as I am.

January 6.--Worked till dusk, but not with much effect; my head and mind not clear somehow. W. Laidlaw at dinner. In the evening read Foote's farce of the _Commissary,_ said to have been levelled at Sir Lawrence Dundas; but Sir Lawrence was a man of family. Walter and Jane dined at Mertoun.

January 7.--Wrought till twelve, then sallied and walked with Skene for two miles; home and corrected proofs, and to a large amount. Mr. Scrope and George Thomson dined.

January 8.--Slept well last night in consequence I think of my walk, which I will, God willing, repeat to-day. I wrote some letters too long delayed, and sent off my packets to J.B. Letter from C. Sharpe very pressing. I should employ my interest at Windsor to oppose the alterations on the town of Edinburgh. "One word from you, and all that." I don't think I shall speak that word though. I hate the alterations, that is certain; but then _ne accesseris in consilium nisi vocatus_,--what is the use of my volunteering an opinion? Again, the value of many people's property may depend on this plan going forward. Have I a right from mere views of amenity to interfere with those serious interests? I something doubt it. Then I have always said that I never meddle in such work, and ought I _sotto voce_ now to begin it? By my faith I won't; there are enough to state the case besides me.[441]

The young Duke of B. came in to bid us good-bye, as he is going off to England. God bless him! He is a hawk of a good nest. Afterwards I walked to the Welsh pool, Skene declining to go, for I

    "-----not over stout of limb,
    Seem stronger of the two."
January 9.--This morning received the long-expected news of the Duke of York's death.[442] I am sorry both on public and private accounts. His R.H. was, while he occupied the situation of next in the royal succession, a _Breakwater_ behind the throne. I fear his brother of Clarence's opinions may be different, and that he will hoist a standard under which will rendezvous men of desperate hopes and evil designs. I am sorry, too, on my own account. The Duke of York was uniformly kind to me, and though I never tasked his friendship deeply, yet I find a powerful friend is gone. His virtues were honour, good sense, integrity; and by exertion of these qualities he raised the British army from a very low ebb to be the pride and dread of Europe. His errors were those of a sanguine and social temper; he could not resist the temptation of deep play, which was fatally allied with a disposition to the bottle. This last is incident to his complaint, which vinous influence soothes for the time, while it insidiously increases it in the end.

Here blows a gale of wind. I was to go to Galashiels to settle some foolish lawsuit, and afterwards to have been with Mr. Kerr of Kippilaw to treat about a march-dike. I shall content myself with the first duty, for this day does not suit Bowden-moor.

Went over to Galashiels like the devil in a gale of wind, and found a writer contesting with half-a-dozen unwashed artificers the possession of a piece of ground the size and shape of a three-cornered pocket-handkerchief. Tried to "gar them gree," and if I succeed, I shall think I deserve something better than the _touch of rheumatism_, which is like to be my only reward.

Scotts of Harden and John Pringle of Clifton dined, and we got on very well.

January 10.--Enter rheumatism, and takes me by the knee. So much for playing the peacemaker in a shower of rain. Nothing for it but patience, cataplasm of camomile, and labour in my own room the whole day till dinner-time--then company and reading in the evening.

January 11.--Ditto repeated. I should have thought I would have made more of these solitary days than I find I can do. A morning, or two or three hours before dinner, have often done more efficient work than six or seven of these hours of languor, I cannot say of illness, can produce. A bow that is slackly strung will never send an arrow very far. Heavy snow. We are engaged at Mr. Scrope's, but I think I shall not be able to go. I remained at home accordingly, and, having nothing else to do, worked hard and effectively. I believe my sluggishness was partly owing to the gnawing rheumatic pain in my knee, for after all I am of opinion pain is an evil, let Stoics say what they will. Thank God, it is an evil which is mending with me.

January 12.--All this day occupied with camomile poultices and pen and ink. It is now four o'clock, and I have written yesterday and to-day ten of my pages--that is, one-tenth of one of these large volumes--moreover, I have corrected three proof-sheets. I wish it may not prove fool's haste, yet I take as much pains too as is in my nature.

January 13.--The Fergusons, with my neighbours Mr. Scrope and Mr. Bainbridge and young Hume, eat a haunch of venison from Drummond Castle, and seemed happy. We had music and a little dancing, and enjoyed in others the buoyancy of spirit that we no longer possess ourselves. Yet I do not think the young people of this age so gay as we were. There is a turn for persiflage, a fear of ridicule among them, which stifles the honest emotions of gaiety and lightness of spirit; and people, when they give in the least to the expansion of their natural feelings, are always kept under by the fear of becoming ludicrous. To restrain your feelings and check your enthusiasm in the cause even of pleasure is now a rule among people of fashion, as much as it used to be among philosophers.

January 14.--Well--my holidays are out--and I may count my gains and losses as honest Robinson Crusoe used to balance his accounts of good and evil.

I have not been able, during three weeks, to stir above once or twice from the house. But then I have executed a great deal of work, which would be otherwise unfinished.

Again I have sustained long and sleepless nights and much pain. True; but no one is the worse of the thoughts which arise in the watches of the night; and for pain, the complaint which brought on this rheumatism was not so painful perhaps, but was infinitely more disagreeable and depressing.

Something there has been of dulness in our little reunions of society which did not use to cloud them. But I have seen all my own old and kind friends, with my dear children (Charles alone excepted); and if we did not rejoice with perfect joy, it was overshadowed from the same sense of regret.

Again, this new disorder seems a presage of the advance of age with its infirmities. But age is but the cypress avenue which terminates in the tomb, where the weary are at rest.

I have been putting my things to rights to go off to-morrow. Though I always wonder why it should be so, I feel a dislike to order and to task-work of all kinds--a predominating foible in my disposition. I do not mean that it influences me in morals; for even in youth I had a disgust at gross irregularities of any kind, and such as I ran into were more from compliance with others and a sort of false shame, than any pleasure I sought or found in dissipation. But what I mean is a detestation of precise order in petty matters--in reading or answering letters, in keeping my papers arranged and in order, and so on. Weber, and then Gordon, used to keep my things in some order--now they are verging to utter confusion. And then I have let my cash run ahead since I came from the Continent--I must slump the matter as I can.

[Shandwick Place,] January 15.--- Off we came, and despite of rheumatism I got through the journey comfortably. Greeted on my arrival by a number of small accounts whistling like grape-shot; they are of no great avail, and incurred, I see, chiefly during the time of illness. But I believe it will take me some hard work till I pay them, and how to get the time to work? It will be hard purchased if, as I think not unlikely, this bitch of a rheumatism should once more pin me to my chair. Coming through Galashiels, we met the Laird of Torwoodlee, who, on hearing how long I had been confined, asked how I bore it, observing that he had once in his life (Torwoodlee must be between sixty and seventy) been confined for five days to the house, and was like to hang himself. I regret God's free air as much as any man, but I could amuse myself were it in the Bastile.

January 16.--Went to Court, and returned through a curious atmosphere, half mist, half rain, famous for rheumatic joints. Yet I felt no increase of my plaguey malady, but, on the contrary, am rather better. I had need, otherwise a pair of crutches for life were my prettiest help.

Walter dined with us to-day, Jane remaining with her mother. The good affectionate creatures leave us to-morrow. God send them a quick passage through the Irish Channel! They go to Gort, where Walter's troop is lying--a long journey for winter days.

January 17.--Another proper day of mist, sleet, and rain, through which I navigated homeward. I imagine the distance to be a mile and a half. It is a good thing to secure as much exercise.

I observed in the papers my old friend Gifford's funeral. He was a man of rare attainments and many excellent qualities. The translation of Juvenal is one of the best versions ever made of a classical author, and his satire of the Baviad and Maeviad squabashed at one blow a set of coxcombs who might have humbugged the world long enough.

As a commentator he was capital, could he but have suppressed his rancour against those who had preceded him in the task, but a misconstruction or misinterpretation, nay, the misplacing of a comma, was in Gifford's eyes a crime worthy of the most severe animadversion. The same fault of extreme severity went through his critical labours, and in general he flagellated with so little pity, that people lost their sense of the criminal's guilt in dislike of the savage pleasure which the executioner seemed to take in inflicting the punishment.

This lack of temper probably arose from indifferent health, for he was very valetudinary, and realised two verses, wherein he says fortune assigned him--

      "----- One eye not over good,
    Two sides that to their cost have stood
            A ten years' hectic cough,
    Aches, stitches, all the various ills
    That swell the dev'lish doctor's bills,
    And sweep poor mortals off."
But he might also justly claim, as his gift, the moral qualities expressed in the next fine stanza--
                  "------A soul
    That spurns the crowd's malign control,
             A firm contempt of wrong:
    Spirits above afflictions' power,
    And skill to soothe the lingering hour
             With no inglorious song."[443]
January 18.--To go on with my subject--Gifford was a little man, dumpled up together, and so ill-made as to seem almost deformed, but with a singular expression of talent in his countenance. Though so little of an athlete, he nevertheless beat off Dr. Wolcot, when that celebrated person, the most unsparing calumniator of his time, chose to be offended with Gifford for satirising him in his turn. Peter Pindar made a most vehement attack, but Gifford had the best of the affray, and remained, I think, in triumphant possession of the field of action, and of the assailant's cane. Gifford had one singular custom. He used always to have a duenna of a housekeeper to sit in his study with him while he wrote. This female companion died when I was in London, and his distress was extreme. I afterwards heard he got her place supplied. I believe there was no scandal in all this.[444]

This is another vile day of darkness and rain, with a heavy yellow mist that might become Charing Cross--one of the benefits of our extended city; for that in our atmosphere was unknown till the extent of the buildings below Queen Street. M'Culloch of Ardwell called.

Wrought chiefly on a critique of Mrs. Charlotte Smith's novels,[445] and proofs.

January 19.--Uncle Adam,[446] _vide Inheritance_, who retired last year from an official situation at the age of eighty-four, although subject to fits of giddiness, and although carefully watched by his accomplished daughter, is still in the habit of walking by himself if he can by possibility make an escape. The other day, in one of these excursions, he fell against a lamp-post, cut himself much, bled a good deal, and was carried home by two gentlemen. What said old Rugged-and-Tough? Why, that his fall against the post was the luckiest thing could have befallen him, for the bleeding was exactly the remedy for his disorder.

"Lo! stout hearts of men!" Called on said "uncle," also on David Hume, Lord Chief-Commissioner, Will Clerk, Mrs. Jobson, and others. My knee made no allowance for my politeness, but has begun to swell again, and to burn like a scorpion's bite.

January 20.--Scarce slept all night; scarce able to stand or move this morning; almost an absolute fixture.

    "A sleepless knight,
    A weary knight,
          God be the guide."[447]
This is at the Court a blank day, being that of the poor Duke of York's funeral. I can sit at home, luckily, and fag hard.

And so I have, pretty well; six leaves written, and four or five proof-sheets corrected. Cadell came to breakfast, and proposes an eighth volume for _Napoleon_. I told him he might write to Longman for their opinion. Seven is an awkward number, and will extremely cramp the work. Eight, too, would go into six octavos, should it ever be called for in that shape. But it shall be as they list to have it.

January 21.--A long day of some pain relieved by labour. Dr. Ross came in and recommended some stuff, which did little good. I would like ill to lose the use of my precious limbs. Meanwhile, Patience, cousin, and shuffle the cards.

Missie dined with us to-day--an honest Scotch lass, lady-like and frank. I finished about six leaves, doing indeed little else.

January 22.--Work, varied with camomile; we get on, though. A visit from Basil Hall, with Mr. Audubon the ornithologist, who has followed that pursuit by many a long wandering in the American forests. He is an American by naturalisation, a Frenchman by birth;[448] but less of a Frenchman than I have ever seen--no dash, or glimmer, or shine about him, but great simplicity of manners and behaviour; slight in person, and plainly dressed; wears long hair, which time has not yet tinged; his countenance acute, handsome, and interesting, but still simplicity is the predominant characteristic. I wish I had gone to see his drawings; but I had heard so much about them that I resolved not to see them--"a crazy way of mine, your honour."--Five more leaves finished.

January 23.--I have got a piece of armour, a knee-cap of chamois leather, which I think does my unlucky rheumatism some good. I begin, too, to sleep at night, which is a great comfort. Spent this day completely in labour; only betwixt dinner and tea, while husbanding a tumbler of whisky and water, I read the new novel, _Elizabeth de Bruce_[449]--part of it, that is.

January 24.--Visit from Mr. Audubon, who brings some of his birds. The drawings are of the first order--the attitudes of the birds of the most animated character, and the situations appropriate; one of a snake attacking a bird's nest, while the birds (the parents) peck at the reptile's eyes--they usually, in the long-run, destroy him, says the naturalist. The feathers of these gay little sylphs, most of them from the Southern States, are most brilliant, and are represented with what, were it [not] connected with so much spirit in the attitude, I would call a laborious degree of execution. This extreme correctness is of the utmost consequence to the naturalist, [but] as I think (having no knowledge of _virtu_), rather gives a stiffness to the drawings. This sojourner in the desert had been in the woods for months together. He preferred associating with the Indians to the company of the Back Settlers; very justly, I daresay, for a civilised man of the lower order--that is, the dregs of civilisation--when thrust back on the savage state becomes worse than a savage. They are Wordsworth's adventurer,

    "Deliberate and undeceived
    The wild men's vices who received,
    And gave them back his own."[450]
The Indians, he says, are dying fast; they seem to pine and die whenever the white population approaches them. The Shawanese, who amounted, Mr. Audubon says, to some thousands within his memory, are almost extinct, and so are various other tribes. Mr. Audubon could never hear any tradition about the mammoth, though he made anxious inquiries. He gives no countenance to the idea that the Red Indians were ever a more civilised people than at this day, or that a more civilised people had preceded them in North America. He refers the bricks, etc., occasionally found, and appealed to in support of this opinion, to the earlier settlers,--or, where kettles and other utensils may have been found, to the early trade between the Indians and the Spaniards.

John Russell[451] and Leonard Horner[452] came to consult me about the propriety and possibility of retaining the northern pronunciation of the Latin in the new Edinburgh Academy.[453] I will think of it until to-morrow, being no great judge. We had our solitary dinner; indeed, it is only remarkable nowadays when we have a guest.

January 25.--Thought during the watches of the night and a part of the morning about the question of Latin pronunciation, and came to the following conclusions. That the mode of pronunciation approved by Buchanan and by Milton, and practised by all nations, excepting the English, assimilated in sound, too, to the Spanish, Italian, and other languages derived from the Latin, is certainly the best, and is likewise useful as facilitating the acquisition of sounds which the Englishman attempts in vain. Accordingly I wish the cockneyfied pedant who first disturbed it by reading _Emo_ for _Amo_, and _quy_ for _qui_, had choked in the attempt. But the question is, whether a youth who has been taught in a manner different from that used all over England will be heard, if he presumes to use his Latin at the bar or the senate; and if he is to be unintelligible or ludicrous, the question [arises] whether his education is not imperfect under one important view. I am very unwilling to sacrifice our _sumpsimus_ to their old _mumpsimus_--still more to humble ourselves before the Saxons while we can keep an inch of the Scottish flag flying. But this is a question which must be decided not on partialities or prejudices.

I got early from the Court to-day, and settled myself to work hard.

January 26.--My rheumatism is almost gone. I can walk without Major Weir, which is the name Anne gives my cane, because it is so often out of the way that it is suspected, like the staff of that famous wizard,[454] to be capable of locomotion. Went to Court, and tarried till three o'clock, after which transacted business with Mr. Gibson and Dr. Inglis as one of Miss Hume's trustees. Then was introduced to young Mr. Rennie,[455] or he to me, by [Sir] James Hall, a genteel-looking young man, and speaks well. He was called into public notice by having, many years before, made a draught of a plan of his father's for London Bridge. It was sought for when the building was really about to take place, and the assistance which young Mr. Rennie gave to render it useful raised his character so high, that his brother and he are now in first-rate practice as civil engineers.

January 27.--Read _Elizabeth de Bruce_; it is very clever, but does not show much originality. The characters, though very entertaining, are in the manner of other authors, and the finished and filled up portraits of which the sketches are to be found elsewhere. One is too apt to feel on such occasions the pettish resentment that you might entertain against one who had poached on your manor. But the case is quite different, and a claim set up on having been the first who betook himself to the illustration of some particular class of characters, or department of life, is no more a right of monopoly than that asserted by the old buccaneers by setting up a wooden cross, and killing an Indian or two on some new discovered island. If they can make anything of their first discovery, the better luck theirs; if not, let others come, penetrate further into the country, write descriptions, make drawings or settlements at their pleasure.

We were kept in Parliament House till three. Called to return thanks to Mr. Menzies of Pitfoddels, who lent some pamphlets about the unhappy Duke d'Enghien. Read in the evening _Boutourlin_ and _Ségur_, to prepare for my Russian campaign.

January 28.--Continued my reading with the commentary of the D. of W.[456] If his broad shoulders cannot carry me through, the devil must be in the dice. Longman and Company agree to the eight volumes. It will make the value of the book more than £12,000. Wrought indifferent hard.

January 29.--Mr. Gibson breakfasted with Dr. Marshman,[457] the head of the missionaries at Serampore, a great Oriental scholar. He is a thin, dark-featured, middle-sized man, about fifty or upwards, his eye acute, his hair just beginning to have a touch of the grey. He spoke well and sensibly, and seemed liberal in his ideas. He was clearly of opinion that general information must go hand in hand, or even ought to precede religious instruction. Thinks the influence of European manners is gradually making changes in India. The natives, so far as their religion will allow them, are become fond of Europeans, and invite them to their great festivals. He has a conceit that the Afghans are the remains of the Ten Tribes. I cannot find he has a better reason than their own tradition, which calls them Ben-Israel, and says they are not Ben-Judah. They have Jewish rites and ceremonies, but so have all Mahometans; neither could I understand that their language has anything peculiar. The worship of Bhoodah he conceives to have [been] an original, or rather the original, of Hindu religion, until the Brahmins introduced the doctrines respecting caste and other peculiarities. But it would require strong proof to show that the superstition of caste could be introduced into a country which had been long peopled, and where society had long existed without such restriction. It is more like to be adopted in the early history of a tribe, when there are but few individuals, the descent of whom is accurately preserved. How could the castes be distinguished or _told off_ in a populous nation? Dr. Marshman was an old friend of poor John Leyden.

January 30.--Blank day at Court, being the Martyrdom. Wrought hard at _Bon._ all day, though I had settled otherwise. I ought to have been at an article for John Lockhart, and one for poor Gillies; but there is something irresistible in contradiction, even when it consists in doing a thing equally laborious, but not the thing you are especially called upon to do. It is a kind of cheating the devil, which a self-willed monster like me is particularly addicted to. Not to make myself worse than I am though, I was full of information about the Russian campaign, which might evaporate unless used, like lime, as soon after it was wrought up as possible. About three, Pitfoddels called. A bauld crack that auld papist body, and well informed. We got on religion. He is very angry with the Irish demagogues, and a sound well-thinking man.[458] Heard of Walter and Jane; all well, God be praised!

By a letter from Gibson I see the gross proceeds of

Bonaparte, at eight volumes, are     £12,600 0 0
Discount, five months,                                       210 0 0
                                                                  £12,390 0 0

I question if more was ever made by a single work, or by a single author's labours, in the same time. But whether it is deserved or not is the question.

January 31.--Young Murray, son of Mr. M., in Albemarle Street, breakfasted with me. English boys have this advantage, that they are well-bred, and can converse when ours are regular-built cubs. I am not sure if it is an advantage in the long-run. It is a temptation to premature display.

Wet to the skin coming from the Court. Called on Skene, to give him, for the Antiquarian Society, a heart, human apparently, stuck full of pins. It was found lying opposite to the threshold of an old tenement, in [Dalkeith], a little below the surface; it is in perfect preservation. Dined at the Bannatyne Club, where I am chairman. We admitted a batch of new members, chiefly noblemen and men connected with the public offices and records in London, such as Palgrave, Petrie, etc. We drank to our old Scottish heroes, poets, historians, and printers, and were funny enough, though, like Shylock, I had no will to go abroad. I was supported by Lord Minto and Lord Eldin.



[438] "A half-crazy sentimental person."--_Edin. Rev_. No. xxiii. p. 135.--J.G.L.

[439] Mme. de Boufflers's saying to the author of _Julie_.

[440] _Merry Wives of Windsor_, Act I. Sc. 1.--J.G.L.

[441] Mr. Sharpe was doing what he could by voice and pen to prevent the destruction of many historic buildings in Edinburgh, which the craze for "improvements" caused at this time. St. Giles' Church was unfortunately left to its fate. Witness its external condition at the present day!

The immediate cause of Mr. Sharpe's letter was a hint to him from the Court, "that one person is all-powerful in everything regarding Scotland, I mean Sir W.S." This was not the only appeal made to Scott to interpose, and that he had done so at least in one case effectually may be seen by referring to Sharpe's _Letters_, vol. ii. pp. 380, 388, 389.

[442] Scott sent a biographical notice of the Duke of York to the _Weekly Journal_ on this day. It is now included in the _Misc. Prose Works_, vol. iv. pp. 400-416.

[443] Gifford's _Mæviad_, 12mo, Lond. 1797; Ode to Rev. John Ireland, slightly altered.

[444] William Gifford, editor of the _Anti-Jacobin_ in 1797, and the _Quarterly_ from 1809 to 1824. His political opponent, Leigh Hunt, wrote of him in 1812:--

  'William Gifford's a name, I think, pretty well known.
  Oh! now I remember,' said Phoebus;--'ah true--
  My thanks to that name are undoubtedly due.
  The rod that got rid of the Cruscas and Lauras,
  That plague of the butterflies saved me the horrors,
  The Juvenal too stops a gap in my shelf,
  At least in what Dryden has not done himself,
  And there's something which even, distaste must respect
  In the self-taught example that conquered neglect.'--Feast of the Poets.

[445] See _Miscell. Prose Works_, vol. iv. pp. 120-70.

[446] James Ferrier, Esq.--See p. 103, February 3. 1826.

[447] _See Midsummer Night's Dream_; a parody on Helena's

"O weary night O long and tedious night."

[448] John James Audubon was born in Louisiana in the United States in 1780, but educated in France.--Buchanan's _Life of Audubon_, p. 4.

[449] Written by Mrs. J. Johnstone, in after years editor of _Tait's Magazine_, well known also as the author of _Meg Dods' Cookery Book_, which Sir Walter refers to in _St. Ronan's Well_. Her sense of humour and power of delineating character are shown in her stories and sketches in _Tait_, and a good example of her ready wit has been told by Mr. Alexander Russel, editor of the _Scotsman_. On a visit to Altrive Mrs. Johnstone and her party were kindly received by the Ettrick Shepherd, who did the honours of the district, and among other places took them to a Fairy Well, from which he drew a glass of sparkling water. Handing it to the lady the bard of Kilmeny said, "Hae, Mrs. Johnstone, ony merrit wumman wha drinks a tumbler of this will hae twuns in a twalmont'!" "In that case, Mr. Hogg," replied the lady, "I shall only take half a tumbler."

Mrs. Johnstone died in Edinburgh in 1857.

[450] Slightly varied from the lines in _Ruth_,--Poems, vol. ii. p. 112, Edinburgh, 1836.

[451] John Russell (a grandson of Principal Robertson), long Chief Clerk in the Jury Court, and Treasurer to the Royal Society and the Edinburgh Academy. He took a keen interest in education, and published in October 1855 some curious _Statistics of a Class_ [Christison's] _in the High School_ [of Edinburgh] from 1787 to 1791, of which he had been a member. Mr. Russell died on January 30, 1862.

[452] Leonard Horner, editor in after years of the Memoirs of his brother Francis (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1843). He died in 1864.

[453] See _Report by the Directors to the Proprietors of the Edinburgh Academy on the Pronunciation of Latin_, Edin. 1827. Sir Walter always took a warm interest in the school. His speech as Chairman at the opening ceremony, on the 1st October 1824, is quoted in the _Life_, vol. vii. p. 268.

[454] Burnt at Edinburgh in 1670.--See Arnot's _Crim. Trials_. 4to, Edin. 1785.

[455] Afterwards Sir John Rennie, knighted on the completion of the Bridge.

[456] See _ante_, p. 307, and _post_, p. 359.

[457] Dr. Marshman died in 1837. See Marshman's _Lives of Carey, Marshman, and Ward_. London, 2 vols. 8vo, 1859.

[458] John Menzies of Pitfoddels, the last of an old Aberdeenshire family, of whom it was said that for thirty-seven years he never became aware of distress or difficulty without exerting himself to relieve it. In 1828 he gave the estate of Blairs, near Aberdeen, for the foundation of the Roman Catholic College established there, and was also a munificent benefactor to the Convent of St. Margaret, Edinburgh, opened in 1835. Mr. Menzies died in 1843.

Sir Walter Scott