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

October 1831



I have been very ill, and if not quite unable to write, I have been unfit to do so. I have wrought, however, at two Waverley things, but not well, and, what is worse, past mending. A total prostration of bodily strength is my chief complaint. I cannot walk half a mile. There is, besides, some mental confusion, with the extent of which I am not perhaps fully acquainted. I am perhaps setting. I am myself inclined to think so, and, like a day that has been admired as a fine one, the light of it sets down amid mists and storms. I neither regret nor fear the approach of death if it is coming. I would compound for a little pain instead of this heartless muddiness of mind which renders me incapable of anything rational. The expense of my journey will be something considerable, which I can provide against by borrowing £500 from Mr. Gibson. To Mr. Cadell I owe already, with the cancels on these apoplectic books, about £200, and must run it up to £500 more at least; yet this heavy burthen would be easily borne if I were to be the Walter Scott I once was; but the change is great. This would be nothing, providing that I could count on these two books having a sale equal to their predecessors; but as they do not deserve the same countenance, they will not and cannot have such a share of favour, and I have only to hope that they will not involve the _Waverley_, which are now selling 30,000 volumes a month, in their displeasure. Something of a Journal and the _Reliquiae Trotcosienses_ will probably be moving articles, and I have in short no fears in pecuniary matters. The ruin which I fear involves that of my King and country. Well says Colin Mackenzie:--

    "Shall this desolation strike thy towers alone?
    No, fair Ellandonan! such ruin 'twill bring,
    That the storm shall have power to unsettle the throne,
    And thy fate shall be mixed with the fate of thy King."[465]
I fear that the great part of the memorialists are bartering away the dignity of their rank by seeking to advance themselves by a job, which is a melancholy sight. The ties between democrat and aristocrat are sullen discontent with each other. The former are regarded as a house-dog which has manifested incipient signs of canine madness, and is not to be trusted. Walter came down to-day to join our party.


[September 20?]--Yesterday, Wordsworth, his son [nephew[466]] and daughter, came to see us, and we went up to Yarrow. The eldest son of Lord Ravensworth also came to see us, with his accomplished lady. We had a pleasant party, and to-day were left by the Liddells, _manent_ the three Wordsworths, _cum cæteris_, a German or Hungarian Count Erdödy, or some such name.

We arrived in London [September 28,] after a long and painful journey, the weakness of my limbs palpably increasing, and the physic prescribed making me weaker every day. Lockhart, poor fellow, is as attentive as possible, and I have, thank God, no pain whatever; could the end be as easy it would be too happy. I fancy the instances of Euthanasia are not very uncommon. Instances there certainly are among the learned and the unlearned--Dr.

Black, Tom Purdie. I should wish, if it please God, to sleep off in such a quiet way; but we must take what Fate sends. I have not warm hopes of being myself again.

Wordsworth and his daughter, a fine girl, were with us on the last day. I tried to write in her diary, and made an ill-favoured botch--no help for it. "Stitches will wear, and ill ones will out," as the tailor says.[467]

[October 8, London.]--The King has located me on board the _Barham_, with my suite, consisting of my eldest son, youngest daughter, and perhaps my daughter-in-law, which, with poor Charles, will make a goodly tail. I fancy the head of this tail cuts a poor figure, scarce able to stir about.

The town is in a foam with politics. The report is that the Lords will throw out the Bill, and now, morning of 8th October, I learn it is quoited downstairs like a shovel-board shilling, with a plague to it, as the most uncalled-for attack upon a free constitution, under which men lived happily, which ever was ventured in my day. Well, it would have been pleasing to have had some share in so great a victory, yet even now I am glad I have been quiet. I believe I should only have made a bad figure. Well, I will have time enough to think of all this.

October 9.--The report to-day is that the Chancellor[468] will unite with the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel to bring in a Bill of his own concocting, modified to the taste of the other two, with which some think they will be satisfied. This is not very unlikely, for Lord Brougham has been displeased with not having been admitted to Lord John Russell's task of bill-drawing. He is a man of unbounded ambition, as well as unbounded talent and [uncertain] temper. There have been hosts of people here, particularly the Duke of Buccleuch, to ask me to the christening of his son and heir, when the King stands godfather. I am asked as an ally and friend of the family, which makes the compliment greater. Singular that I should have stood godfather to this Duke himself, representing some great man.

October 10.--Yesterday we dined alone, so I had an opportunity of speaking seriously to John; but I fear procrastination. It is the cry of Friar Bacon's Brazen head, _time is--time was_; but the time may soon come--_time shall be no more_. The Whigs are not very bold, not much above a hundred met to support Lord Grey to the last. Their resolutions are moderate, probably because they could not have carried stronger. I went to breakfast at Sir Robert Henry Inglis', and coming home about twelve found the mob rising in the Regent's Park, and roaring for Reform as rationally as a party of Angusshire cattle would have done.

Sophia seemed to act as the jolly host in the play. "These are my windows," and, shutting the shutters, "let them batter--I care not serving the good Duke of Norfolk." After a time they passed out of our sight, hurrying doubtless to seek a more active scene of reformation. As the night closed, the citizens who had hitherto contented themselves with shouting, became more active, and when it grew dark set forth to make work for the glaziers.

October 11, Tuesday.--We set out in the morning to breakfast with Lady Gifford. We passed several glorious specimens of the last night's feats of the reformers. The Duke of Newcastle's and Lord Dudley's houses were sufficiently broken. The maidens, however, had resisted, and from the top of the house with coals, which had greatly embarrassed the assembled mob. Surely if the people are determined on using a right so questionable, and the Government resolved to consider it as too sacred to be resisted, some modes of resistance might be resorted to of a character more ludicrous than firearms,--coals, for example, scalding oil, boiling water, or some other mode of defence against a sudden attack. We breakfasted with a very pleasant party at Lady Gifford's. I was particularly happy to meet Lord Sidmouth; at seventy-five, he tells me, as much in health and spirits as at sixty. I also met Captain Basil Hall, to whom I owe so much for promoting my retreat in so easy a manner. I found my appointment to the _Barham_ had been pointed out by Captain Henry Duncan, R.N., as being a measure which would be particularly agreeable to the officers of the service. This is too high a compliment. In returning I called to see the repairs at Lambeth, which are proceeding under the able direction of Blore, who met me there. They are in the best Gothic taste, and executed at the expense of a large sum, to be secured by way of mortgage, payable in fifty years; each incumbent within the time paying a proportion of about £4000 a year. I was pleased to see this splendour of church architecture returning again.

Lord Mahon, a very amiable as well as a clever young man, comes to dinner with Mr. Croker; Lady Louisa Stuart in the afternoon, or, more properly, at night.

October 12.--Misty morning--looks like a yellow fog, which is the curse of London. I would hardly take my share of it for a share of its wealth and its curiosity--a vile double-distilled fog of the most intolerable kind. Children scarce stirring yet, but baby and the Macaw beginning their Macaw notes. Among other feats of the mob on Monday, a gentleman who saw the onslaught told me two men got on Lord Londonderry's carriage and struck him; the chief constable came to the rescue and belaboured the rascals, who ran and roared. I should have liked to have seen the onslaught--Dry beating, and plenty of it, is a great operator of a reform among these gentry. At the same time Lord Londonderry is a brain-sick man, very unlike his brother. He horsewhipped a sentinel under arms at Vienna for obeying his _consigne_, which was madness. On the other side all seems to be prepared. Heavy bodies of the police are stationed in all the squares and places supporting each other regularly. The men themselves say that their numbers amount to 3000, and that they are supported by troops in still greater numbers, so that the Conservative force is sufficiently strong. Four o'clock--a letter from the Duke saying the party is put off by command of the King, and probably the day will be put off until the Duke's return from Scotland, so our hopes of seeing the fine ceremony are all ended.

October 13.--_Nocte pluit tota_--an excellent recipe for a mob, so they have been quiet accordingly, as we are informed. Two or three other wet nights would do much to weary them out with inactivity. Milman, whom I remember a fine gentlemanlike young man, dined here yesterday. He says the fires have never ceased in his country, but that the oppressions and sufferings occasioned by the poor's rates are very great, and there is no persuading the English farmer that an amended system is comfortable both for rich and poor. The plan of ministers is to keep their places maugre Peers and Commons both, while they have the countenance of the crown; but if a Prince shelters, by authority of the prerogative, ministers against the will of the other authority of the state, does he not quit the defence which supposes he can do no wrong? This doctrine would make a curious change of parties. Will they attempt to legitimize the Fitz Clarences? God forbid! Yet it may end in that,--it would be Paris all over. The family is said to have popular qualities. Then what would be the remedy? Marry! seize on the person of the Princess Victoria, carrying her north and setting up the banner of England with the Duke of W. as dictator! Well, I am too old to fight, and therefore should keep the windy side of the law; besides, I shall be buried before times come to a decision. In the meantime the King dare not go to stand godfather to the son of one of his most powerful peers, a party of his own making, lest his loving subjects pull the house about the ears of his noble host and the company invited to meet him. Their loyalty has a pleasant way of displaying itself. I will go to Westminster after breakfast and see what people are saying, and whether the _Barham_ is likely to sail, or whether its course is not altered to the coast of the Low Countries instead of the Mediterranean.

October 14.--Tried to walk to Lady Louisa Stuart's, but took a little vertigo and came back. Much disturbed by a letter from Walter. He is like to be sent on an obnoxious service with very inadequate force, little prospect of thanks if he does his duty, and much of blame if he is unable to accomplish it. I have little doubt he will ware his mother's calf-skin on them.

The manufacturing districts are in great danger. London seems pretty secure. Sent off the revise of introduction to Mr. Cadell.[469]

October 16.--A letter from Walter with better news. He has been at hard-heads with the rogues and come off with advantage; in short, practised with success the art of drawing two souls out of one weaver.[470] All seems quiet now, and I suppose the Major will get his leave as proposed. Two ladies--[one] Byron's Mary Chaworth--have been frightened to death while the mob tore the dying creatures from their beds and proposed to throw them into the flames, drank the wine, destroyed the furniture, and committed other excesses of a jacquerie.[471] They have been put down, however, by a strong force of yeomanry and regulars. Walter says the soldiers fired over the people's heads, whereas if they had levelled low, the bullets must have told more among the multitude. I cannot approve of this, for in such cases severity is ultimate mercy.[472] However, if they have made a sufficient impression to be striking--why, enough is as good as a feast.

There is a strange story about town of ghost-seeing vouched by Lord Prudhoe, a near relation of the Duke of Northumberland, and whom I know as an honourable man. A colonel described as a cool-headed sensible man of worth and honour, Palgrave, who dined with us yesterday, told us twice over the story as vouched by Lord Prudhoe, and Lockhart gave us Colonel Felix's edition, which coincided exactly. I will endeavour to extract the essence of both. While at Grand Cairo they were attracted by the report of a physician who could do the most singular magical feats, and was in the habit not only of relieving the living, but calling up the dead. This sage was the member of a tribe in the interior part of Africa. They were some time (two years) in finding him out, for he by no means pressed himself on the curious, nor did he on the other hand avoid them; but when he came to Grand Cairo readily agreed to gratify them by a sight of his wonders. The scenes exhibited were not visible to the operator himself, nor to the person for whose satisfaction they were called up, but, as in the case of Dr. Dee and other adepts, by means of a viewer, an ignorant Nubian boy, whom, to prevent imposition, the English gentlemen selected for the purpose, and, as they thought, without any risk of imposture by confederacy betwixt him and the physician. The process was as follows:--A black square was drawn in the palm of the boy's hand, or rather a kind of pentacle with an Arabic character inscribed at each angle. The figures evoked were seen through this space as if the substance of the hand had been removed. Magic rites, and particularly perfumes, were liberally resorted to. After some fumigation the magician declared that they could not proceed until the seven flags should become visible. The boy declared he saw nothing, then said he saw a flag, then two; often hesitated at the number for a certain time, and on several occasions the spell did not work and the operation went no further, but in general the boy saw the seven flags through the aperture in his hand. The magician then said they must call the Sultan, and the boy said he saw a splendid tent fixed, surrounded by immense hosts, Eblis no doubt, and his angels. The person evoked was then named, and appeared accordingly. The only indispensable requisite was that he was named speedily, for the Sultan did not like to be kept waiting. Accordingly, William Shakespeare being named, the boy declared that he saw a Frank in a dress which he described as that of the reign of Elizabeth or her successor, having a singular countenance, a high forehead, and a very little beard. Another time a brother of the Colonel was named. The boy said he saw a Frank in his uniform dress and a black groom behind him leading a superb horse. The dress was a red jacket and white pantaloons; and the principal figure turning round, the boy announced that he wanted his arm, as was the case with Felix's brother. The ceremony was repeated fourteen times; successfully in twelve instances, and in two it failed from non-appearance of the seven banners in the first instance. The apparent frankness of the operator was not the least surprising part of the affair. He made no mystery, said he possessed this power by inheritance, as a family gift; yet that he could teach it, and was willing to do so, for no enormous sum--nay, one which seemed very moderate. I think two gentlemen embraced the offer. One of them is dead and the other still abroad. The sage also took a price for the exhibition of his skill, but it was a moderate one, being regulated by the extent of the perfumes consumed in the ceremony.

There remains much more to ask I understood the witnesses do not like to bother about, which is very natural. One would like to know a little more of the Sultan, of the care taken to secure the fidelity of the boy who was the viewer and on whom so much depended; whether another sage practising the same feat, as it was said to be hereditary, was ever known to practise in the city. The truth of a story irreconcilable with the common course of nature must depend on cross-examination. If we should find, while at Malta, that we had an opportunity of expiscating this matter, though at the expense of a voyage to Alexandria, it would hardly deter me.[473] The girls go to the Chapel Royal this morning at St. James's. A visit from the Honourable John Forbes, son of my old and early friend Lord Forbes, who is our fellow-passenger. The ship expects presently to go to sea. I was very glad to see this young officer and to hear his news. Drummond and I have been Mends from our infancy.

October 17.--The morning beautiful. To-day I go to look after the transcripts in the Museum and have a card to see a set of chessmen[474] thrown up by the sea on the coast of Scotland, which were offered to sale for £100. The King, Queen, Knights, etc., were in the costume of the 14th century, the substance ivory or rather the tusk of the morse, somewhat injured by the salt water in which they had been immersed for some time.

Sir John Malcolm told us a story about Garrick and his wife. The lady admired her husband greatly, but blamed him for a taste for low life, and insisted that he loved better to play Scrub to a low-lifed audience than one of his superior characters before an audience of taste. On one particular occasion she was in her box in the theatre. _Richard III_. was the performance, and Garrick's acting, especially in the night scene, drew down universal applause. After the play was over Mrs. G. proposed going home, which Garrick declined, alleging he had some business in the green-room, which must detain him. In short, the lady was obliged to acquiesce, and wait the beginning of a new entertainment, in which was introduced a farmer giving his neighbours an account of the wonders seen on a visit to London. This character was received with such peals of applause that Mrs. Garrick began to think it rivalled those which had been so lately lavished on Richard the Third. At last she observed her little spaniel dog was making efforts to get towards the balcony which separated him from the facetious farmer. Then she became aware of the truth. "How strange," she said, "that a dog should know his master, and a woman, in the same circumstances, should not recognise her husband!"

October 18.--Sophia had a small but lively party last night, as indeed she has had every night since we were here--Ladies--[Lady Stafford,] Lady Louisa Stuart, Lady Montagu, Miss Montagu, Lady [Davy], [Mrs.] Macleod, and two or three others; Gentlemen--Lord Montagu, Macleod, Lord Dudley, Rogers [Mackintosh]. A good deal of singing. If Sophia keeps to early hours she may beat London for small parties as poor Miss White did, and without much expense. A little address is all that is necessary. Sir John[475] insists on my meeting this Rammohun Roy;[476] I am no believer in his wandering knight, so far. The time is gone of sages who travelled to collect wisdom as well as heroes to reap honour. Men think and fight for money. I won't see the man if I can help it. Flatterers are difficult enough to keep at a distance though they be no renegades. I hate a fellow who begins with throwing away his own religion, and then affects a prodigious respect for another.

October 19.--Captain H. Duncan called with Captain Pigot, a smart-looking gentlemanlike man, and announces his purpose of sailing on Monday. I have made my preparations for being on board on Sunday, which is the day appointed. Captain Duncan told me jocularly never to take a naval captain's word on shore, and quoted Sir William Scott, who used to say, waggishly, that there was nothing so accommodating as a naval captain on shore; but when on board he became a peremptory lion. Henry Duncan has behaved very kindly, and says he only discharges the wishes of his service in making me as easy as possible, which is very handsome. No danger of feud, except about politics, which would be impolite on my part, and though it bars out one great subject of discourse, it leaves enough besides. That I might have nothing doubtful, Walter arrives with his wife, ready to sail, so what little remains must be done without loss of time. This is our last morning, so I have money to draw for and pay away. To see our dear Lord Montagu too. The Duchess came yesterday. I suppose £50 will clear me, with some balance for Gibraltar.

I leave this country uncertain if it has got a total pardon or only a reprieve. I won't think of it, as I can do no good. It seems to be in one of those crises by which Providence reduces nations to their original elements.[477] If I had my health, I should take no worldly fee, not to be in the bustle; but I am as weak as water, and I shall be glad when I have put the Mediterranean between the island and me.

October 21 and 22.--Spent in taking of farewell and adieus, which had been put off till now. A melancholy ceremonial, with some a useless one; yet there are friends whom it sincerely touches one to part with. It is the cement of life giving way in a moment. Another unpleasant circumstance is--one is called upon to recollect those whom death or estrangement has severed, after starting merrily together in the voyage of life.

October 23.--Portsmouth; arrived here in the evening. Found the _Barham_ will not sail till 26th October, that is Wednesday next. The girls break loose, mad with the craze of seeing sights, and run the risk of our losing some of our things and deranging the naval officers, who offer their services with their natural gallantry. Captain Pigot came to breakfast, with several other officials. The girls contrived to secure a sight of the Block manufactory, together with that of the Biscuit, also invented by Brunel. I think that I have seen the first of these wonderful [sights] in 1816, or about that time.[478] Sir Thomas Foley gives an entertainment to the Admiralty, and sends to invite [me]; but I pleaded health, and remained at home. Neither will I go out sight-seeing, which madness seems to have seized my womankind. This ancient town is one of the few in England which is fortified, and which gives it a peculiar appearance. It is much surrounded with heaths or thin poor muirs covered with heather, very barren, yet capable of being converted into rich arable and pasturage. I would [not] desire a better estate than to have 2000 acres which would be worth 40 shillings an acre.

October 24.--My womankind are gone out with Walter and Captain Hall. I wish they would be moderate in their demands on people's complaisance. They little know how inconvenient are such seizures. A sailor is in particular a bad refuser, and before he can turn three times round, he is bound with a triple knot to all kinds of [engagements]. The wind is west, that is to say contrary, so our sailing on the day after to-morrow is highly doubtful.

October 25.--A gloomy October day, the wind inflexibly constant in the west, which is fatal. Sir James Graham proposes to wait upon us after breakfast. A trouble occurs about my taking an oath before a master-extraordinary in Chancery; but such cannot easily be found, as they reside in chambers in town, and rusticate after business, so they are difficult to catch as an eel. At ten my children set off to the dockyard, which is a most prodigious effort of machinery, and they are promised the sight of an anchor in the act of being forged, a most cyclopean sight. Walter is to call upon the solicitor and appoint him to be with [me] by twelve.

About the reign of Henry VIII. the French took the pile, as it was called, of----,[479] but were beat off. About the end of the American war, an individual named John Aitken, or John the Painter, undertook to set the dockyard on fire, and in some degree accomplished his purpose. He had no accomplice, and to support himself committed solitary robberies. Being discovered, he long hung in chains near the outward fortifications. Last night a deputation of the Literary and Philosophical Society of [Portsmouth] came to present me with the honorary freedom of their body, which I accepted with becoming gratitude. There is little credit in gathering the name of a disabled invalid. Here I am, going a long and curious tour without ability to walk a quarter of a mile; quere, what hope of recovery? I think and think in vain, when attempting to trace the progress of this disease and so gradually has my health declined, that I believe it has been acting upon me for ten years, gradually diminishing my strength. My mental faculties may perhaps recover; my bodily strength cannot return unless climate has an effect on the human frame which I cannot possibly believe or comprehend. The safe resolution is, to try no foolish experiments, but make myself as easy as I can, without suffering myself to be vexed about what I cannot help. If I sit on the deck and look at Vesuvius, it will be all I ought to think of.

Having mentioned John the Painter, I may add that it was in this town of Portsmouth that the Duke of Buckingham was stabbed to death by Felton, a fanatic of the same kind with the Incendiary, though perpetrator of a more manly crime. This monster-breeding age can afford both Feltons and John Aitkens in abundance. Every village supplies them, while in fact a deep feeling of the coarsest selfishness furnishes the ruling motive, instead of an affectation of public spirit--that hackneyed affectation of patriotism, as like the reality as a Birmingham halfpenny to a guinea.

The girls, I regret to see, have got a senseless custom of talking politics in all weathers and in all sorts of company. This can do no good, and may give much offence. Silence can offend no one, and there are pleasanter or less irritating subjects to talk of. I gave them both a hint of this, and bid them both remember they were among ordinary strangers. How little young people reflect what they may win or lose by a smart reflection imprudently fired off at a venture!

Mr. Barrow of the Admiralty came and told us the whole fleet, _Barham_ excepted, were ordered to the North Sea to help to bully the King of Holland, and that Captain Pigot, whose motions are of more importance to us than those of the whole British Navy, sails, as certainly as these things can be prophesied, on Thursday, 27th October.

October 26.--Here we still are, fixed by the inexorable wind. Yesterday we asked a few old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Osborne, and two or three others, to tea and talk. I engaged in a new novel, by Mr. Smith,[480] called _New Forest_. It is written in an old style, calculated to meet the popular ideas--somewhat like "Man as he is not"[481] and that class. The author's opinions seem rather to sit loose upon him and to be adopted for the nonce and not very well brought out. His idea of a hero is an American philosopher with all the affected virtues of a Republican which no man believes in.

This is very tiresome--not to be able to walk abroad for an instant, but to be kept in this old house which they call "The Fountain," a mansion made of wood in imitation of a ship. The timbers were well tried last night during the squall. The barometer has sunk an inch very suddenly, which seems to argue a change, and probably a deliverance from port. Sir Michael Seymour, Mr. Harris, Captain Lawrence came to greet us after breakfast; also Sir James Graham. They were all learned on this change of weather which seems to be generally expected. I had a good mess of Tory chat with Mr. Harris. We hope to see his daughters in the evening. He keeps his courage amid the despair of too many of his party. About one o'clock our Kofle, as Mungo Park words it, set out, self excluded, to witness the fleet sailing from the ramparts.

October 27.--The weather is more moderate and there is a chance of our sailing. We whiled away our time as we could, relieved by several kind visits. We realised the sense of hopeless expectation described by Fielding in his Voyage to Lisbon, which identical tract Captain Hall, who in his eagerness to be kind seems in possession of the wishing-cap of Fortunatus, was able to provide for us. To-morrow is spoken of as certainly a day to move.

October 28.--But the wind is as unfavourable as ever and I take a hobbling morning walk upon the rampart, where I am edified by a good-natured officer who shows me the place, marked by a buoy, where the _Royal George_ went down "with twice four hundred men."[482] Its hull forms a shoal which is still in existence, a neglect scarcely reconcilable with the splendour of our proceedings where our navy is concerned. Saw a battle on the rampart between two sailor boys, who fought like game-cocks. Returned to "The Fountain," to a voluminous breakfast. Captain Pigot calls, with little hope of sailing to-day. I made my civil affidavit yesterday to a master extraordinary in Chancery, which I gave to Sophia last night.

October 29 (The _Barham_).--The weather is changed and I think we shall sail. Captain Forbes comes with offer of the Admiral Sir Michael Seymour's barge, but we must pause on our answer. I have had a very disturbed night. Captain Pigot's summons is at length brought by his own announcement, and the same time the Admiral's barge attends for our accommodation and puts us and our baggage on board the _Barham_, a beautiful ship, a 74 cut down to a 50, and well deserving all the commendations bestowed on her. The weather a calm which is almost equal to a favourable wind, so we glide beautifully along by the Isle of Wight and the outside of the island. We landsfolk feel these queerish sensations, when, without being in the least sick, we are not quite well. We dine enormously and take our cot at nine o'clock, when we sleep undisturbed till seven.

October 30.--Find the Bill of Portland in sight, having run about forty miles during the night. About the middle of the day turn sea-sick and retire to my berth for the rest of the evening.

October 31.--A sleepless night and a bilious morning, yet not so very uncomfortable as the phrase may imply. The bolts clashed, and made me dream of poor Bran. The wind being nearly completely contrary, we have by ten o'clock gained Plymouth and of course will stand westward for Cape Finisterre; terrible tossing and much sea-sickness, beating our passage against the turn. I may as well say we had a parting visit from Lady Graham, who came off in a steamer, saluted us in the distance and gave us by signal her "bon voyage." On Sunday we had prayers and Service from Mr. Marshall, our Chaplain, a Trinity College youth, who made a very respectable figure.



[465] See "Ellandonan Castle," in the _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, Scott's _Poetical Works_, vol. iv. p. 361.

[466] Now the Bishop of St. Andrews. As has been already said, Wordsworth arrived on the 19th and left on the 22d September, _i.e._ the visit lasted from Monday till Thursday. There are no dates in the Journal between May 25 and October 8, but Wordsworth says, "At noon on Thursday we left Abbotsford, and on the morning of that day Sir Walter and I had a serious conversation _tête-à-tête_, when he spoke with gratitude of the happy life which upon the whole he had led."--Knight's _Wordsworth_, vol. iii. p. 201.

[467] Wordsworth notes that on placing the volume in his daughter's hand, Sir Walter said, "I should not have done anything of this kind but for your father's sake; they are probably the last verses I shall ever write."--Knight's _Wordsworth_, vol. iii. p. 201.

[468] Lord Brougham.

[469] The introductory address to _Count Robert of Paris_ bears the date October 15th, 1831.

[470] _Twelfth Night_, Act II. Sc. 3.

[471] See Moore's edition of _Byron's Works_, vol. vii. pp. 43-44, note.

[472] Scott's views received strong confirmation a few days later at Bristol, where the authorities, through mistaken humanity, hesitated to order the military to act.

[473] At Malta, accordingly, we find Sir Walter making inquiry regarding this Arabian conjurer, and writing to Mr. Lockhart, on Nov. 1831, in the following terms:--

"I have got a key to the conjuring story of Alexandria and Grand Cairo. I have seen very distinct letters of Sir John Stoddart's son, who attended three of the formal exhibitions which broke down, though they were repeated afterwards with success. Young Stoddart is an excellent Arabian scholar--an advantage which I understand is more imperfectly enjoyed by Lord Prudhoe and Colonel Felix. Much remains to be explained, but the boldness of the attempt exceeds anything since the days of the Automaton chess-player, or the Bottle conjurer. The first time Shakespeare was evoked he appeared in the complexion of an Arab. This seems to have been owing to the first syllable of his name, which resembled the Arabian word _Sheik_, and suggested the idea of an Arabian chief to the conjurer. A gentleman named Galloway has bought the secret, and talks of being frightened. There can be little doubt that, having so far interested himself, it would become his interest to put the conjurer more up to the questions likely to be asked. So he was more perfect when consulted by Lord Prudhoe than at first, when he made various blunders, and when we must needs say _falsum in uno falsum in omnibus_. As all this will come out one day, I have no wish to mingle in the controversy.... There are still many things to explain, but I think the mystery is unearthed completely."

See also Lane's _Egyptians_ for an account of what appears to be the same man in 1837. Also _Quarterly Review_, No. 117, pp. 196-208, for an examination of this "Magic Mirror" exhibition.

[474] A hoard of seventy-eight chessmen found in the island of Lewis in 1831. The greater number of the figures were purchased for the British Museum, and formed the subject of a learned dissertation by Sir Frederick Madden; see _Archæologia,_ xxiv. Eleven of these very interesting pieces fell into the hands of Scott's friend, C.K. Sharpe, and afterwards of Lord Londesborough. More recently these identical pieces were purchased for the Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh, where they now are. See _Proc. Soc. Antiq.,_ vol. xxiii.

[475] Sir John Malcolm, who was at this time M.P. for Launceston. His last public appearance was in London, at a meeting convened for the purpose of raising a monument of his friend Sir Walter, and his concluding words were, that when he himself "was gone, his son might be proud to say that his father had been among the contributors to that shrine of genius." Sir John was struck down by paralysis on the following day, and died in May 1833.

[476] The celebrated Brahmin philosopher and theist; born in Bengal about 1774, died at Stapleton Grove, near Bristol, September 27, 1833.

[477] Sir Walter's fears for the country were also shared by some of the wisest men in it. The Duke of Wellington, it is well known, was most desponding, and he anticipated greater horror from a convulsion here than in any other European nation.

Talleyrand said to the Duke during the Reform Bill troubles, "Duke of Wellington, you have seen a great deal of the world. Can you point out to me any one place in Europe where an old man could go to and be quite sure of being safe and dying in peace?"--Stanhope _Notes_, p. 224.

[478] See Mr. Charles Cowan's privately printed _Reminiscences_ for Scott's recollections of his visit to Portsmouth in 1816, and his stories, of the wonders he had seen, to the little boy at his side.

[479] Compare Froude's _History_, vol. iv. p. 424.

[480] Mr. Horace Smith, one of the authors of _Rejected Addresses_.

[481] An anonymous novel, published some years earlier in 4 vols. 12mo.

[482] Cowper's Monody.

Sir Walter Scott