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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 20: 1826-52
John Gibson Lockhart to John Wilson, 9 May 1851

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Produced by CATH
Sussex Place, May 9, 1851.

Dear Professor,—Yours of yesterday beats all cockfighting! But you have sickened me about William Wordsworth in toto. How or what can I now write on his Life—Prose or Prelude?

“You can’t have recollected the language of your former sheets, when you said in the penult that I must put in every word or none. Could one make the Quarterly Review talk of William Wordsworth as the fat ugly cur, for instance? It would cause old Gifford to snort in his grave. You were laughing! But in truth I am very unwell, and now despair of doing the job—at least now. Lord Lonsdale has surprised me by writing that on examination he finds the statement about his father’s payment in 1806 to be ‘near the mark’—that he believes the old peer had rebelled at the extravagance of his solicitor’s charges—but that he (Lord Lonsdale) would now like nothing to be said of the concern. Sir James, I fancy, was next door to mad. There is a picture of William Wordsworth in this Exhibition, by the younger Pickersgill, which would give you a good chuckle. The Stamp-master is at full length, reclining or leaning on a rock near a stream, and is smiling so sweetly. Evidently the foreground should have displayed the daffodils. ‘The Professor,’1 by Watson Gordon, was much noticed by the Queen, who, on hearing who it was, turned back again and

1 Wilson himself.

said, ‘Oh, a very distinguished man—I must look at it again.’ This I had from Gordon, who had it from
Roberts, who conducted the lady round that room as Keeper. But, I think, the best portrait in the place is Dr. Wardlaw, by M’Nee of Glasgow, of whom I had not heard before—never.

Lord Peter is here, guest of a rich City man, Peter Dixon, in this pack celebrated for his cookery. Peter R—— dined with me yesterday and seemed in high fig, though not at all riotous. It was the first time any one had dined with me for many months—for I am as much a recluse now as you can be.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”