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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 3: 1813-15
John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie, 9 September 1815

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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Gourock Bay, Greenock, Sept. 9th, 1815.

My dear Christie,—I have been blaming myself all this while for not writing you. I have put it off day after day that I might have it in my power to tell you my agreement with the booksellers about our little production, and yet even now I cannot do so—bless their dilatory souls. My dues being, according to Wardrop, thoroughly removed, and ten guineas conveyed from my breeches pocket into his, I left London about a fortnight ago, in company with Aristotle the second,1 who had been spending three weeks in rummaging a collection of letters (MS.) in the Bodleian, and egging the tutelary angel of that mystic abode to a new flight—casa non detta mai in prosa ne in rima—a translation of Schneider’s Lexicon. The little dumpling of philology” (Nicoll) “agreed, but behold Mr. Elmsley

1 Sir William Hamilton.

of Cambridge has forestalled him—vide the spare sheet at the end of the last
Quarterly Review—so hæc tentamina tanta must sleep in præsenti. Hamilton is full of strange whims and fancies—anything but the law of Scotland—inter nos, I think it is likely he may publish an ‘Essay on the State of Universities, Ideal and Actual,’ before long—at least his adversaria teem with scraps concerning it, and his talk lies much that way, though this is nothing new. He approves highly of the thing which I meditate—disapproves, however, the title of Olio; he suggests ‘the Oxford Picnic,’ and by all means recommends saying part the first. Indeed I already smell much matter, and expect that the first hint of the matter to Wilson will engage his assistance. I understood Maudlin did not nourish him for nothing. By-the-bye, Reginald Heber, you may know, printed some years ago a Brazennose satire, the Whippiad, which he has since done his best to suppress. This of course no one would think of meddling with vivo auctore, but I understand he is the author of a number of very good things besides. H. heard Tuckwell repeat a good many of them. Could you not contrive to get at these? I am sure you may. Moreover, Jack Ireland is the repository of many old lampoons written at the time of the war between the Balliol exhibitioners and the college. These might surely be worth something—at all events, they may be inquired after. I mention these things because
you will soon be there, and can use your judgment if you think proper. Jack had so far recovered his shock as to get drunk three or four times in Hamilton’s presence while he was in Oxford.

“‘Pasquillus Oxoniensis’ might not be a bad title. But I am not despairing but something more happy than any of these may yet occur. I made a good pun the other day (ut dirty-Durlice loquar). Hamilton has a law paper to write concerning a Mr. Hume—a poor devil—who is trying to get the title of Marchmont. I suggested for a motto—
‘——tentanda via est qua me quoque possim
Tollere Humo.——’

“We are here in a beautiful situation in the Firth of Clyde, surrounded with all the mountains of Argyle, and have Benlomond right before us. I enjoy myself very much, when the weather is favourable, in fishing, boating, &c. On Sunday the Antiburghers had their occasion about two miles off. I went into the tent-field towards evening; the man had just finished preaching at a great rate, but something being whispered into his ear, he said just as I entered, ‘Brethren, as they’re aye haddin on yet in the kirk, I think we had as weel do away the time a leetle in prayer.’ The Edinburgh Bible Society Report contains—(it is now lying before me) these resolutions on the second page:—

“11. Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due to Sir John Marjoribanks, Bart., for his
kindness to the institution. 12. Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due to Bailie John Waugh for his able conduct in the chair, &c. 13. Resolved, That the fervent acknowledgments of this meeting are most justly due to Almighty Providence, for its watchfulness over the interests of Christ’s Kingdom in general, and the British and Foreign Bible Society in particular. 14. Thanks to Mrs. Maxwell for a present of Gaelic Bibles.—Yours ever,

J. G. Lockhart.”