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April 1828

April 1.--All Fools' day, the only Saint that keeps up some degree of credit in the world; for fools we are with a vengeance. On this memorable festival we played the fool with great decorum at Colonel Ferguson's, going to visit them in a cold morning. In the evening I had a distressing letter from Mrs. MacBarnet, or some such name, the daughter of Captain Macpherson, smothered in a great snow storm. They are very angry at the _Review_ for telling a raw-head and bloody bones story about him. I have given the right version of the tale willingly, but this does not satisfy. I almost wish they would turn out a clansman to be free of the cumber. The vexation of having to do with ladies, who on such a point must be unreasonable, is very great. With a man it would be soon ended or mended. It really hurts my sleep.

April 2.--I wrote the lady as civilly as I could, explaining why I made no further apology, which may do some good. Then a cursed morning of putting to rights, which drives me well-nigh mad. At two or three I must go to a funeral--a happy and interesting relief from my employment. It is a man I am sorry for, who married my old servant, Bell Ormiston. He was an excellent person in his way, and a capital mason--a great curler.

April 3.--Set off at eight o'clock, and fought forward to Carlisle--a sad place in my domestic remembrances, since here I married my poor Charlotte. She is gone, and I am following faster, perhaps, than I wot of. It is something to have lived and loved; and our poor children are so hopeful and affectionate, that it chastens the sadness attending the thoughts of our separation. We slept at Carlisle. I have not forgiven them for destroying their quiet old walls, and building two lumpy things like mad-houses. The old gates had such a respectable appearance once,

    "When Scotsmen's heads did guard the wall."
Come, I'll write down the whole stanza, which is all that was known to exist of David Hume's poetry, as it was written on a pane of glass in the inn:--
    "Here chicks in eggs for breakfast sprawl,
    Here godless boys God's glories squall,
    Here Scotsmen's heads do guard the wall,
    But Corby's walks atone for all."
The poetical works of David Hume, Esq., might, as bookmakers know now, be driven out to a handsome quarto. Line 1st admits of a descant upon eggs roasted, boiled or poached; 2d, a history of Carlisle Cathedral with some reasons why the choir there has been proverbially execrable; 3d, the whole history of 1745 with minute memoirs of such as mounted guard on the Scotch gate. I remember the spikes the heads stood upon; lastly, a description of Corby Castle with a plan, and the genealogy of the Howards. Gad, the booksellers would give me £500 for it. I have a mind to print it for the Bannatynians.

April 4.--In our stage to Penrith I introduced Anne to the ancient Petreia, called Old Penrith, and also to the grave of Sir Ewain Cęsarias,[158] that knight with the puzzling name, which has got more indistinct. We breakfasted at Buchanan's Inn, Penrith, one of the best on the road, and a fine stanch fellow owned it. He refused passage to some of the delegates who traversed the country during the Radical row, and when the worthies threatened him with popular vengeance, answered gallantly that he had not lived so long by the Crown to desert it at a pinch. The Crown is the sign of his inn. Slept at Garstang, an indifferent house. As a petty grievance, my ink-holder broke loose in the case, and spilt some of the ink on Anne's pelisse. Misfortunes seldom come single. "'Tis not alone the inky cloak, good daughter," but I forgot at Garstang my two breastpins; one with Walter and Jane's hair, another a harp of pure Irish gold, the gift of the ladies of Llangollen.[159]

April 5.--Breakfasted at Chorley, and slept at Leek. We were in the neighbourhood of some fine rock-scenery, but the day was unfavourable; besides, I did not come from Scotland to see rocks, I trow.

April 6.--Easter Sunday. We breakfasted at Ashbourne and went from thence to Derby; and set off from thence to Drycot Hall (five miles) to visit Hugh Scott. But honest Hugh was, like ourselves, on the ramble; so we had nothing to do but to drive back to Derby, and from thence to Tamworth, where we slept.

April 7.--We visited the Castle in the morning. It is inhabited by a brother-in-law of the proprietor; and who is the proprietor? "Why, Mr. Robbins," said the fat housekeeper. This was not a name quite according with the fine chivalrous old hall, in which there was no small quantity of armour, and odds and ends, which I would have been glad to possess. "Well, but madam, before Mr. Robbins bought the place, who was the proprietor?" "Lord Charles Townshend, sir." This would not do neither; but a genealogy hanging above the chimney-piece informed me that the Ferrars were the ancient possessors of the mansion, which, indeed, the horseshoes in the shield over the Castle gate might have intimated. Tamworth is a fine old place, neglected, but, therefore, more like hoar antiquity. The keep is round. The apartments appear to have been modernised _tempore_ Jac. I'mi. There was a fine demipique saddle, said to have been that of James II. The pommel rose, and finished off in the form of a swan's crest, capital for a bad horseman to hold on by.

To show Anne what was well worth seeing, we visited Kenilworth. The relentless rain only allowed us a glimpse of this memorable ruin. Well, the last time I was here, in 1815,[160] these trophies of time were quite neglected. Now they approach so much nearer the splendour of Thunder-ten-tronckh, as to have a door at least, if not windows. They are, in short, preserved and protected. So much for the novels. I observed decent children begging here, a thing uncommon in England: and I recollect the same unseemly practice formerly.

We went to Warwick Castle. The neighbourhood of Leamington, a watering-place of some celebrity, has obliged the family to decline showing the Castle after ten o'clock. I tried the virtue of an old acquaintance with Lord Warwick and wrote to him, he being in the Courthouse where the assizes were sitting. After some delay we were admitted, and I found my old friend Mrs. Hume, in the most perfect preservation, though, as she tells me, now eighty-eight. She went through her duty wonderfully, though now and then she complained of her memory. She has laid aside a mass of black plumes which she wore on her head, and which resembled the casque in the Castle of Otranto. Warwick Castle is still the noblest sight in England. Lord and Lady Warwick came home from the Court, and received us most kindly. We lunched with them, but declined further hospitality. When I was last here, and for many years before, the unfortunate circumstances of the late Lord W. threw an air of neglect about everything. I believe the fine collection of pictures would have been sold by distress, if Mrs. Hume, my friend, had not redeemed them at her own cost.[161] I was pleased to see Lord Warwick show my old friend kindness and attention. We visited the monuments of the Nevilles and Beauchamps, names which make the heart thrill. The monuments are highly preserved. We concluded the day at Stratford-upon-Avon.

April 8.--We visited the tomb of the mighty wizard. It is in the bad taste of James the First's reign; but what a magic does the locality possess! There are stately monuments of forgotten families; but when you have seen Shakspeare's what care we for the rest. All around is Shakspeare's exclusive property. I noticed the monument of his friend John a Combe immortalised as drawing forth a brief satirical notice of four lines.

After breakfast I asked after Mrs. Ormsby, the old mad woman who was for some time tenant of Shakspeare's house, and conceived herself to be descended from the immortal poet. I learned she was dying. I thought to send her a sovereign; but this extension of our tour has left me no more than will carry me through my journey, and I do not like to run short upon the road. So I take credit for my good intention, and--keep my sovereign--a cheap and not unusual mode of giving charity.

Learning from Washington Irving's description of Stratford that the hall of Sir Thomas Lucy, the justice who rendered Warwickshire too hot for Shakspeare, and drove him to London, was still extant, we went in quest of it.

Charlcote is in high preservation, and inhabited by Mr. Lucy, descendant of the worshipful Sir Thomas. The Hall is about three hundred years old, an old brick structure with a gate-house in advance. It is surrounded by venerable oaks, realising the imagery which Shakspeare loved so well to dwell upon; rich verdant pastures extend on every side, and numerous herds of deer were reposing in the shade. All showed that the Lucy family had retained their "land and beeves." While we were surveying the antlered old hall, with its painted glass and family pictures, Mr. Lucy came to welcome us in person, and to show the house, with the collection of paintings, which seems valuable, and to which he had made many valuable additions.

He told me the park from which Shakspeare stole the buck was not that which surrounds Charlcote, but belonged to a mansion at some distance where Sir Thomas Lucy resided at the time of the trespass. The tradition went that they hid the buck in a barn, part of which was standing a few years ago, but now totally decayed. This park no longer belongs to the Lucys. The house bears no marks of decay, but seems the abode of ease and opulence. There were some fine old books, and I was told of many more which were not in order. How odd if a folio Shakspeare should be found amongst them! Our early breakfast did not prevent my taking advantage of an excellent repast offered by the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Lucy, the last a lively Welshwoman. This visit gave me great pleasure; it really brought Justice Shallow freshly before my eyes; the luces in his arms "which do become an old coat well"[162] were not more plainly portrayed in his own armorials in the hall-window than was his person in my mind's eye. There is a picture shown as that of the old Sir Thomas, but Mr. Lucy conjectures it represents his son. There were three descents of the same name of Thomas. The party hath "the eye severe, and beard of formal cut," which fills up with judicial austerity the otherwise social physiognomy of the worshipful presence, with his "fair round belly with fat capon lined."[163]

We resumed our journey. I may mention among the pictures at Charlcote one called a Roman Knight, which seemed to me very fine; Teniers' marriage, in which, contrary to the painter's wont, only persons of distinction are represented, but much in the attitude in which he delights to present his boors; two hawking pieces by Wouvermans, very fine specimens, _cum aliis_.

We took our way by Edgehill, and looked over the splendid richness of the fine prospect from a sort of gazeeboo or modern antique tower, the place of a Mr. Miller. It is not easy to conceive a richer and more peaceful scene than that which stretched before us, and [one with which] strife, or the memory of strife, seems to have nothing to do.

    "But man records his own disgrace,
    And Edgehill lives in history."
We got on to Buckingham, an ugly though I suppose an ancient town. Thence to Aylesbury through the wealth of England, in the scene of the old ballad--
    "Neither drunk nor sober, but neighbour to both,
    I met with a man in Aylesbury vale;
    I saw by his face that he was in good case,
    To speak no great harm of a pot of good ale."
We slept at Aylesbury. The landlord, who seemed sensible, told me that the land round the town, being the richest in England, lets at £3, or £3, 10s. and some so high as £4 per acre. _But_ the poor-rates are 13s. to the pound. Now, my Whitehaugh at Huntly Burn yielded at last set £4 per acre.

April 9, [London],--We got to town about mid-day, and found Sophia, Lockhart, and the babies quite well--delighted with their companion Charles, and he enchanted with his occupation in the Foreign Office. I looked into my cash and found £53 had diminished on the journey down to about £3. In former days a journey to London cost about £30 or thirty guineas. It may now cost one-fourth more. But I own I like to pay postilions and waiters rather more liberally than perhaps is right. I hate grumbling and sour faces; and the whole saving will not exceed a guinea or two for being cursed and damned from Dan to Beersheba. We had a joyful meeting, I promise you.[164]

April 10.--I spent the morning in bringing up my journal; interrupted by two of these most sedulous visitants who had objects of their own to serve, and smelled out my arrival as the raven scents carrion--a vile comparison, though what better is an old fellow, mauled with rheumatism and other deplorables? Went out at two and saw Miss Dumergue and other old friends; Sotheby in particular, less changed than any one I have seen. Looked in at Murray's and renewed old habits. This great city seems almost a waste to me, so many of my friends are gone; Walter and Jane coming up, the whole family dined together, and were very happy. The children joined in our festivity. My name-son, a bright and blue-eyed rogue, with flaxen hair, screams and laughs like an April morning; and the baby is that species of dough which is called a fine baby. I care not for children till they care a little for me.

April 11.--Made calls, walked myself tired; saw Rogers, Sharp, Sotheby, and other old friends.

April 12.--Dinner at home; a little party of Sophia's in the evening. Sharp told me that one evening being at Sheridan's house with a large party, Tom S. came to him as the night drew late, and said in a whisper, "I advise you to secure a wax-light to go to bed with," shewing him at the same time a morsel which he had stolen from a sconce. Sharp followed his advice, and had reason to be thankful for the hint. Tired and sleepy, I make a bad night watcher.

April 13.--Amused myself by converting the _Tale of the Mysterious Mirror_ into _Aunt Margaret's Mirror_, designed for Heath's what-dye-call-it. Cadell will not like this, but I cannot afford to have my goods thrown back upon my hands. The tale is a good one, and is said actually to have happened to Lady Primrose, my great-grandmother having attended her sister on the occasion. Dined with Miss Dumergue. My proofs from Edinburgh reached to-day and occupied me all the morning.

April 14. Laboured at proofs and got them sent off, per Mr. Freeling's cover. So there's an end of the _Chronicles_.[165] James rejoices in the conclusion, where there is battle and homicide of all kinds. Always politic to keep a trot for the avenue, like the Irish postilions. J.B. always calls to the boys to flog before the carriage gets out of the inn-yard. How we have driven the stage I know not and care not--except with a view to extricating my difficulties. I have lost no time in beginning the second series of _Grandfather's Tales_, being determined to write as much as I can even here, and deserve by industry the soft pillow I sleep on for the moment.

There is a good scene supposed to have happened between Sam Rogers and a lady of fashion--the reporter, Lord Dudley. Sam enters, takes a stool, creeps close to the lady's side, who asks his opinion of the last new poem or novel. In a pathetic voice the spectre replies--"My opinion? I like it very much--but the world don't like it; but, indeed, I begin to think the world wrong in everything, except with regard to _you_." Now, Rogers either must have said this somewhere, or he has it yet to say. We dined at Lord Melville's.

April 15.--Got the lamentable news that Terry is totally bankrupt. This is a most unexpected blow, though his carelessness about money matters was very great. God help the poor fellow! he has been ill-advised to go abroad, but now returns to stand the storm--old debts, it seems, with principal and interest accumulated, and all the items which load a falling man. And wife such a good and kind creature, and children. Alack! alack! I sought out his solicitor. There are £7000 or more to pay, and the only fund his share in the Adelphi Theatre, worth £5000 and upwards, and then so fine a chance of independence lost. That comes of not being explicit with his affairs. The theatre was a most flourishing concern. I looked at the books, and since have seen Yates. The ruin is inevitable, but I think they will not keep him in prison, but let him earn his bread by his very considerable talents. I shall lose the whole or part of £500 which I lent him, but that is the least of my concern. I hope the theatre is quite good for guaranteeing certain payments in 1829 and 1830. I judge they are in no danger.

I should have gone to the Club to-day, but Sir James Mackintosh had mistaken the day. I was glad of it, so stayed at home.

It is written that nothing shall flourish under my shadow--the Ballantynes, Terry, Nelson, Weber, all came to distress. Nature has written on my brow, "Your shade shall be broad, but there shall be no protection derived from it to aught you favour."

Sat and smoked and grumbled with Lockhart.

April 16.--We dined at Dr. Young's; saw Captain Parry, a handsome and pleasant man. In the evening at Mr. Cunliffe's, where I met sundry old friends--grown older.

April 17.--Made up my "Gurnal," which had fallen something behind. In this phantasmagorial place the objects of the day come and depart like shadows.[166] Made calls. Gave [C.K.] Sharpe's memorial to Lord Leveson Gower. Went to Murray's, where I met a Mr. Jacob, a great economist. He is proposing a mode of supporting the poor, by compelling them to labour by military force, and under a species of military discipline. I see no objection to it, only it will make a rebellion to a certainty; and the tribes of Jacob will certainly cut Jacob's throat.[167]

Canning's conversion from popular opinions was strangely brought round. While he was studying at the Temple, and rather entertaining revolutionary opinions, Godwin sent to say that he was coming to breakfast with him, to speak on a subject of the highest importance. Canning knew little of him, but received his visit, and learned to his astonishment, that in expectation of a new order of things, the English Jacobins desired to place him, Canning, at the head of their expected revolution. He was much struck, and asked time to think what course he should take--and, having thought the matter over, he went to Mr. Pitt and made the Anti-Jacobin confession of faith, in which he persevered until----. Canning himself mentioned this to Sir W. Knighton, upon occasion of giving a place in the Charter-house, of some ten pounds a year, to Godwin's brother. He could scarce do less for one who had offered him the dictator's curule chair.

Dined with Rogers with all my own family, and met Sharp, Lord John Russell, Jekyll, and others. The conversation flagged as usual, and jokes were fired like minute guns, producing an effect not much less melancholy,--a wit should always have an atmosphere congenial to him, otherwise he will not shine. Went to Lady Davy's, where I saw the kind face, and heard the no less friendly greeting, of Lady Selkirk,[168] who introduced all her children to me.

April 18.--Breakfasted with Joanna Baillie, and found that gifted person extremely well, and in the display of all her native knowledge of character and benevolence. She looks more aged, however. I would give as much to have a capital picture of her as for any portrait in the world. She gave me a manuscript play to read upon Witchcraft.[169] Dined with the Dean of Chester, Dr. Phillpotts.[170]

    "Where all above us was a solemn row
    Of priest and deacons, so were all below."[171]
There were the amiable Bishop of London (Howley[172]), Coplestone, whom I remember a first man at Oxford, now Bishop of Llandaff, the Dean of St. Paul's, and other dignitaries of whom I knew less. It was a very pleasant day--the wigs against the wits for a guinea in point of conversation. Anne looked queer, and much disposed to laugh at finding herself placed betwixt two prelates [in black petticoats].

April 19.--Breakfasted with Sir George Philips. Had his receipt against the blossoms being injured by frost. It consists in watering them plentifully before sunrise. This is like the mode of thawing beef. We had a pleasant morning, much the better that Morritt was with us. He has agreed to go to Hampton Court with us to-morrow.

Mr. Reynolds called on me about the drawing of the Laird's Jock; he is assiduous and attentive, but a little forward. Poor Gillies also called. Both asked me to dinner, but I refused. I do not incline to make what is called literary acquaintances; and as for poor G., it is wild to talk about his giving dinner to others, when he can hardly get credit for his own.

Dined with Sir Robert Henry Inglis, and met Sir Thomas

Acland, my old and kind friend. I was happy to see him. He may be considered now as the head of the religious party in the House of Commons, a powerful body which Wilberforce long commanded. It is a difficult situation; for the adaptation of religious motives to earthly policy is apt--among the infinite delusions of the human heart--to be a snare. But I could confide much in Sir T. Acland's honour and integrity. Bishop Blomfield [of Chester],[173] one of the most learned prelates of the church, also dined.

Coming home, an Irish coachman drove us into a _cul de sac_, near Battersea Bridge. We were obliged to get out in the rain. The people admitted us into their houses, where they were having their bit of supper, assisted with lights, etc., and, to the honour of London, neither asked nor expected gratification.

April 20.--We went to Walter's quarters in a body, and saw Hampton Court, with which I was more struck than when I saw it for the first time, about 1806. The pictures are not very excellent, but they are curious, which is as interesting, except to connoisseurs. Two I particularly remarked, of James I. and Charles I. eating in public. The old part of the palace, built by Wolsey, is extremely fine. Two handsome halls are still preserved: one, the ceiling of which is garnished, at the crossing and combining of the arches, with the recurring heads of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn--great stinginess in Henry, for these ornaments must have been put up after Wolsey's fall. He could surely afford a diversity of this species of ornament if any man could. Formerly, when the palace was completely a fishing-house, it extended into, or rather over, the river. We had a good dinner from Walter, and wended merrily home.

April 21.--Dining is the principal act of the day in London. We took ours at Kensington with Croker. There were Theodore Hook and other witty men. He looks unhealthy and bloated. There was something, I know not what, awanting to the cheerfulness of the party. And

    "Silence like a heavy cloud,
    O'er all the warriors hung."
If the general report of Croker's retiring be accurate, it may account for this.

April 22.--Sophia left this to take down poor Johnnie to Brighton. I fear--I fear--but we must hope the best. Anne went with her sister.

Lockhart and I dined with Sotheby, where we met a large dining party, the orator of which was that extraordinary man Coleridge. After eating a hearty dinner, during which he spoke not a word, he began a most learned harangue on the Samothracian Mysteries, which he considered as affording the germ of all tales about fairies past, present, and to come. He then diverged to Homer, whose Iliad he considered as a collection of poems by different authors, at different times during a century. There was, he said, the individuality of an age, but not of a country. Morritt, a zealous worshipper of the old bard, was incensed at a system which would turn him into a polytheist, gave battle with keenness, and was joined by Sotheby, our host. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. "Zounds! I was never so bethumped with words." Morritt's impatience; must have cost him an extra sixpence worth of snuff.[174]

We went to Lady Davy's in the evening, where there was a fashionable party.

April 23.--- Dined at Lady Davy's with Lord and Lady Lansdowne, and several other fashionable folks. My keys were sent to Bramah's with my desk, so I have not had the means of putting matters down regularly for several days; but who cares for the whipp'd cream of London society? Our poor little Johnnie is extremely ill. My fears have been uniform for this engaging child. We are in God's hands. But the comfortable and happy object of my journey is ended,--Seged, Emperor of Ethiopia,[175] was right after all.

April 24.--Spent the day in rectifying a road bill which drew a turnpike road through all the Darnickers' cottages, and a good field of my own. I got it put to rights. I was in some apprehension of being obliged to address the Committee. I did not fear them, for I suppose they are no wiser or better in their capacity of legislators than I find them every day at dinner. But I feared for my reputation. They would have expected something better than the occasion demanded, or the individual could produce, and there would have been a failure.

April 25.--Threatened to be carried down to vote at the election of a Collector of the Cess.[176] Resolved if I did go to carry my son with me, which would give me a double vote.

Had some disagreeable correspondence about this with Lord Minto and the Sheriff.

We had one or two persons at home in great wretchedness to dinner. Lockhart's looks showed the misery he felt. I was not able to make any fight, and the evening went off as heavily as any I ever spent in the course of my life.

Finished my Turnpike business by getting the exceptionable clauses omitted, which would be good news to Darnick. Put all the _Mirror_ in proof and corrected it. This is the contribution (part of it) to Mr. Reynolds' and Heath's _Keepsake_. We dined at Richardson's with the two chief Barons of England[177] and Scotland.[178] Odd enough, the one being a Scotsman and the other an Englishman. Far the pleasantest day we have had; I suppose I am partial, but I think the lawyers beat the bishops, and the bishops beat the wits.

April 26.--This morning I went to meet a remarkable man, Mr. Boyd of the house of Boyd, Benfield & Co., which broke for a very large sum at the beginning of the war. Benfield went to the devil, I believe. Boyd, a man of a very different stamp, went over to Paris to look after some large claims which his house had over the French Government. They were such as it seems they could not disavow, however they might be disposed to do so. But they used every effort, by foul means and fair, to induce Mr. Boyd to depart. He was reduced to poverty; he was thrown into prison; and the most flattering prospects were, on the other hand, held out to him if he would compromise his claims. His answer was uniform. It was the property, he said, of his creditors, and he would die ere he resigned it. His distresses were so great that a subscription was made among his Scottish friends, to which I was a contributor, through the request of poor Will Erskine. After the peace of Paris the money was restored, and, faithful to the last, Boyd laid the whole at his creditors' disposal; stating, at the same time, that he was penniless unless they consented to allow him a moderate sum in name of percentage, in consideration of twenty years of danger, poverty, and [exile], all of which evils he might have escaped by surrendering their right to the money. Will it be believed that a muck-worm was base enough to refuse his consent to this deduction, alleging he had promised to his father, on his death-bed, never to compromise this debt. The wretch, however, was overpowered by the execrations of all around him, and concurred, with others, in setting apart for Mr. Boyd a sum of £40,000 or £50,000 out of half a million of money.[179] This is a man to whom statues should be erected, and pilgrims should go to see him. He is good-looking, but old and infirm. Bright dark eyes and eyebrows contrast with his snowy hair, and all his features mark vigour of principle and resolution. Mr. Morritt dined with us, and we did as well as in the circumstances could be expected.

Released from the alarm of being summoned down to the election by a civil letter from Lord Minto. I am glad both of the relief and of the manner. I hate civil war amongst neighbours.

April 27.--Breakfasted this day with Charles Dumergue on a _poulet ą la tartare_, and saw all his family, specially my godson. Called on Lady Stafford and others, and dined at Croker's in the Admiralty, with the Duke of Wellington, Huskisson, Wilmot Horton, and others, outs and ins. No politics of course, and every man disguising serious thoughts with a light brow. The Duke alone seemed open, though not letting out a word. He is one of the few whose lips are worth watching. I heard him say to-day that the best troops would run now and then. He thought nothing of men running, he said, provided they came back again. In war he had always his reserves. Poor Terry was here when I returned. He seems to see his matters in a delusive light.

April 28.--An attack this day or yesterday from poor Gillies, boring me hard to apply to Menzies of Pitfoddels to entreat him to lend him money. I could not get him to understand that I was decidedly averse to write to another gentleman, with whom I was hardly acquainted, to do that which I would not do myself. Tom Campbell[180] is in miserable distress--his son insane--his wife on the point of becoming so. _I nunc, et versus tecum meditare canoros._[181]

We, _i.e._ Charles and I, dined at Sir Francis Freeling's with Colonel Harrison of the Board of Green Cloth, Dr. [Maltby] of Lincoln's Inn, and other pleasant people. Doctor Dibdin too, and Utterson, all old Roxburghe men. Pleasant party, were it not for a bad cold, which makes me bark like a dog.

April 29.--Anne and Lockhart are off with the children this morning at seven, and Charles and I left behind; and this is the promised meeting of my household! I went to Dr. Gilly's to-day to breakfast. Met Sir Thomas Acland, who is the youngest man of his age I ever saw. I was so much annoyed with cough, that, on returning, I took to my bed and had a siesta, to my considerable refreshment. Dr. Fergusson called, and advised caution in eating and drinking, which I will attend to.

Dined accordingly. Duke of Sussex had cold and did not come. A Mr. or Dr. Pettigrew made me speeches on his account, and invited me to see his Royal Highness's library, which I am told is a fine one. Sir Peter Laurie, late Sheriff, and in nomination to be Lord Mayor, bored me close, and asked more questions than would have been thought warrantable at the west end of the town.

April 30.--We had Mr. Adolphus and his father, the celebrated lawyer, to breakfast, and I was greatly delighted with the information of the latter. A barrister of extended practice, if he has any talents at all, is the best companion in the world.[182]

Dined with Lord Alvanley and a fashionable party, Lord Fitzroy Somerset, Marquis and Marchioness of Worcester, etc. Lord Alvanley's wit made the party very pleasant, as well as the kind reception of my friends the Misses Arden.



[158] For an account of this monument see Nicolson and Burns's _History of Westmoreland and Cumberland_, vol. ii. p. 410, and "Notabilia of Penrith," by George Watson, _C. and W. Transactions_, No. xiv.

[159] Lady Eleanor Butler and the Hon. Miss Ponsonby. An amusing account of Sir Walter's visit to them in 1825 is given by Mr. Lockhart in the _Life_, vol. viii. pp. 47-50.

[160] The visit to Kenilworth in 1815 is not noticed in the _Life_, but as Scott was in London for some weeks in the spring of that year he may have gone there on his return journey. Mr. Charles Knight, writing in 1842, says that Mr. Bonnington, the venerable occupant of the Gate House, told him that he remembered the visit and the visitor! It was "about twenty-five years ago"--and after examining some carving in the interior of the Gate House and putting many suggestive questions, the middle-aged active stranger slightly lame, and with keen grey eye, passed through the court and remained among the ruins silent and alone for about two hours. (_Shakspeare_, vol. i. p. 89.) The famous romance did not appear until six years later, viz. in January 1821, and in the autumn of that year it is somewhat singular to find that Scott and his friend Mr. Stewart Rose are at Stratford-on-Avon writing their names on the wall of Shakespeare's birthplace--and yet leaving Kenilworth unvisited.--Perhaps the reason was that Mr. Stewart Rose was not in the secret of the authorship of the Novels.

[161] In the _Annual Register_ for July 1834 is the following notice: "Lately at Warwick Castle, aged ninety-three, Mrs. Home, for upwards of seventy years a servant of the Warwick family. She had the privilege of showing the Castle, by which she realised upwards of £30,000."

[162] _Merry Wives_, Act I. Sc. 1.

[163] _As You Like It_, Act II. Sc. 7.

[164] Sir Walter remained at this time six weeks in London. His eldest son's regiment was stationed at Hampton Court; his second son had recently taken his desk at the Foreign Office, and was living at his sister's in Regent's Park. He had thus looked forward to a happy meeting with all his family--but he encountered scenes of sickness and distress.--_Life_, vol. ix. pp. 226-7.

[165] The book was published early in April under the following title: _Chronicles of the Canongate_, Second Series, by the Author of _Waverley_, etc., "SIC ITUR AD ASTRA" _Motto of Canongate Arms_, in three volumes. (_St. Valentine's Day; or The Fair Maid of Perth_.) Edinburgh: Printed for Cadell and Co., Edinburgh, and Simpkin and Marshall, London, 1828; (at the end) Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Co.

[166] Among the "objects that came and departed like shadows" in this phantasmagoria of London life was a deeply interesting letter from Thomas Carlyle, and but for the fact that it bears Sir Walter's London address, and the post-mark of this day, one could not imagine he had ever seen it, as it remained unacknowledged and unnoticed in either Journal or Correspondence.

It is dated 13th April 1828; and one of the latest letters he indited from "21 Comely Bank, Edinburgh." After advising Scott that "Goethe has sent two medals which he is to deliver into his own hand," he gives an extract from Goethe's letter containing a criticism on _Napoleon_, with the apology that "it is seldom such a writer obtains such a critic," and in conclusion he adds, "Being in this curious fashion appointed, as it were, ambassador between two kings of poetry, I would willingly discharge my mission with the solemnity that beseems such a business; and naturally it must flatter my vanity and love of the marvellous to think that by means of a foreigner whom I have never seen, I might soon have access to my native sovereign, whom I have so often seen in public, and so often wished that I had claim to see and know in private and near at hand. ... Meanwhile, I abide your further orders in this matter, and so with all the regard which belongs to one to whom I in common with other millions owe so much, I have the honour to be, sir, most respectfully, your servant.--T.C."

[167] William Jacob, author of _Travels in Spain_ in 1810-11, and several works on Political Economy. Among others "some tracts concerning the Poor Colonies instituted by the King of the Netherlands, which had marked influence in promoting the scheme of granting small _allotments_ of land on easy terms to our cottagers; a scheme which, under the superintendence of Lord Braybrooke and other noblemen and gentlemen in various districts of England, appears to have been attended with most beneficent results."--_Life_, vol. ix. p. 229. Mr. Jacob died in 1852 aged eighty-eight.

[168] The widow of his old school-fellow, the Hon. Thomas Douglas, afterwards Earl of Selkirk.--See _Life_, vol. i. p. 77, and 208 _n_.

[169] _Ante_, p. 10. Afterwards included in her _Poetical and Dramatic Works,_ Lond. 1851.

[170] Dr. Henry Phillpotts, consecrated Bishop of Exeter in 1830.

[171] Crabbe's _Tale of the Dumb Orators._--J.G.L.

[172] Dr. Howley, raised in 1828 to the Archbishopric of Canterbury.--J.G.L.

[173] Translated to the see of London in 1828, where he remained until his death in 1859.

[174] Mr. Lockhart gives an account of another dinner party at which Coleridge distinguished himself:--"The first time I ever witnessed it [Hook's improvisation] was at a gay young bachelor's villa near Highgate, when the other lion was one of a very different breed, Mr. Coleridge. Much claret had been shed before the _Ancient Mariner_ proclaimed that he could swallow no more of anything, unless it were punch. The materials were forthwith produced; the bowl was planted before the poet, and as he proceeded in his concoction, Hook, unbidden, took his place at the piano. He burst into a bacchanal of egregious luxury, every line of which had reference to the author of the _Lay Sermons_ and the _Aids to Reflection_. The room was becoming excessively hot: the first specimen of the new compound was handed to Hook, who paused to quaff it, and then, exclaiming that he was stifled, flung his glass through the window. Coleridge rose with the aspect of a benignant patriarch and demolished another pane--the example was followed generally--the window was a sieve in an instant--the kind host was furthest from the mark, and his goblet made havoc of the chandelier. The roar of laughter was drowned in Theodore's resumption of the song--and window and chandelier and the peculiar shot of each individual destroyer had apt, in many cases exquisitely witty, commemoration. In walking home with Mr. Coleridge, he entertained ------ and me with a most excellent lecture on the distinction between talent and genius, and declared that Hook was as true a genius as Dante--_that_ was his example."--_Theodore Hook_, Lond. 1853, p. 23-4.

[175] Johnson's _Rambler_.

[176] The County Land Tax.

[177] The Right Hon. Sir W. Alexander of Airdrie, called to the English Bar 1782, Chief Baron 1824; died in London in his eighty-eighth year, 1842.

[178] Sir Samuel Shepherd

[179] Walter Boyd at this time was M.P. for Lymington; he had been a banker in Paris and in London; was the author of several well-known tracts on finance, and died in 1837.

[180] Campbell died at Boulogne in 1844, aged sixty-seven; he was buried in Westminster, next Southey.

[181] Hor. _Epp_. ii. 2, 76.

[182] The elder Mr. Adolphus distinguished himself early in life by his _History of the Reign of George III_.--J.G.L.

Sir Walter Scott