LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 18: 1837-43

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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
LONDON, 1837-1843
Illness of Mrs. Lockhart.—Letter to Miss Edgeworth.—Mrs. Lockhart’s death.—Letters to William and Violet Lockhart.—Burial-place.—Retreat to Milton Lockhart.—The children described.—Letter to Laidlaw.—Letter to Wilson.—Grief of Lockhart.—Wilson’s despair.—His rapid recovery.—Letter to Miss Edgeworth.—Return to society.—Haydon on Life of Scott.—Lockhart on his critics.—Myth of his marriage.—“The widow.”—The Bowden Bard.—Talleyrand on Macaulay.—Death of Charles Scott.—Letter to Milman.—“Demonstration.”—Scientific gaieties.—Chalmers and the Contessina.—Letter on Quarterly gossip.—On politics.—Central America.—Copyright Bill.—Walter and Charlotte.—A Rhyme of Rose.—Louis Napoleon.—“The Jew scamp.”—“Coningsby.”—Advice to Walter.—Duchy of Lancaster.—Walter’s follies.—Letters to Laidlaw.—Court gossip.—Lockhart at a ball.—Visit to Italy.—Avernus, “a third-rate loch.”—Letter to Christie.—Pompeii described.—Return to England.

We have seen that Lockhart’s work on the “Life of Scott” was interrupted by a great misfortune. His letters to his family, in the April of 1837, speak most anxiously about Mrs. Lockhart’s health.

The following note to Miss Edgeworth is concerned with his domestic sorrow and of his great work:—

London, April 12, 1837.

Dear Miss Edgeworth,—I am sure you will be very sorry, in the midst of your own distresses, to hear that my wife, so far from answering your
kind letter, has not been for many weeks able to read one. She has gone through a six weeks’ severe treatment for a liver complaint, and, though the doctors think she has now overcome the disease, the utter prostration of strength in which the cure has left her is most deplorable to witness. I had not heard till I read your letter of the grievous affliction you have sustained in the loss of
Mrs. Fox. Indeed, for a long while I have been hardly in the world or in the way of hearing anything. I shall inform you of Sophia’s progress by-and-by; and meantime beg you to believe that your approbation of my book, should it be so fortunate as to receive it when completed, will afford me far greater satisfaction than I could draw from all the applauses of all the world that did not, like you, know and love Sir Walter Scott.—Ever, my dear Miss Edgeworth, yours most truly,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Once Lockhart detected despair in the faces of the physicians; then came brief intervals of hope. But a constitution never strong, and severely tried by earlier maladies and by a succession of sorrows, was unable to rally. On May 17, Mrs. Lockhart died. Long before, in “Adam Blair,” her husband had depicted the passionate grief of a man smitten by the sorest of all afflictions. This he had now to endure, and he bore it like a man of courage, fortified by the sense of duty. In later years he
could speak, to an intimate friend, more freely of the blank in his life, the irremediable and undying regret. At the moment he wrote thus to his brother

May 17, 1837.

My dear William,—At three this morning my poor wife breathed her last. I pray you signify to Violet and Lawrence that her end was calm, and that throughout her long illness her sweetness of temper had never given way. Both Sophia’s brothers are with me—but this is a terrible blow, and will derange all my hopes and plans of life. I shall very probably ask you to come up by-and-by, for I may need counsel.—Yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Two days later he wrote to his sister:—

My dear Violet,—As when this reaches you, you are likely to be with my brothers, as well as my dear father, I may tell my story at once to all I have now left to care for besides my poor babes. Sophia’s mind had been during many weeks in a very unsettled condition, but it pleased God to restore her to full possession of herself for the last fortnight, and, though her bodily suffering was occasionally acute, she surveyed her approaching departure with calmness and humble serenity, and at different times signified her farewell feelings and desires to us all in the sweetest manner. I think no one ever lived a more innocent life, and it is my
consolation now to reflect that it was perhaps as happy a life as is often granted to human creature. The duty I owe to her children is quite sufficient to steady and compose me, and I shall endeavour to make the world continue, as it had begun, to wear a cheerful aspect for them. Their grief has been very deep, but they both have a vast deal of good sense and feeling for others, and are trying, poor souls, to look like themselves and be a comfort to me. . . .

“I have purchased a plot of ground in the New Cemetery on the Harrow Road—a wide, spacious garden with a beautiful prospect—and that morning, an hour before we reach the spot, the bodies of Anne and Johnnie will have been removed thither from the vaults of Marylebone, that the sisters may be henceforth side by side, and the child in the same dust with his mother. . . . The place will be one that we can visit from time to time with ease, and, I do not doubt, with a sense of pleasure.

“Perhaps I am indulging feelings at which many would exclaim as savouring too much of the dreams of the mere fancy. But I don’t believe you will take such a view of the matter. My dearest mother has a resting-place of which I can think with satisfaction, a solemn and awful one; but, except Westminster Abbey, there is no old burial ground here that I could have been able to look at with comfort, and remember that it contained the ashes of my wife. . . .”


The rest of the letter refers to his domestic arrangements, and the education of the children. By the invitation of his brother William, Lockhart, with his boy and girl, retired to Scotland, to Milton Lockhart, accompanied by Mr. Charles Scott, himself in deep grief. Walter Lockhart was now, as Mrs. Lockhart describes him in a letter of the year before, a strong, robust boy, reading even Latin books with interest when they dealt with war, “screaming over ‘Gil Blas’” in the original, and, during a holiday at Boulogne, “speaking French with extreme audacity,” fencing, riding, and dancing.1 He was at King’s College School, where the Rossettis, and Dr. Boyd of St. Andrews, were then being educated. Dr. Boyd remembers him as a boy of unusual beauty, with bright fair hair,

1 In the letter of Mrs. Lockhart from Boulogne, she says: “Lockhart and I went to the play, out of curiosity to see some of the very wicked dramas that have been making such a noise in Paris, such as the Tour de Nesle, and, strange to say, I have felt more shocked at some of our own farces. I suppose the extreme want of nature of the pieces makes me feel this. They are extremely well acted. One thing is odd enough: a French heroine is always a certain age, either in the novels or plays, generally with a grown-up family, before she is wicked.” Mrs. Lockhart was much interested in the Blessing of the Sea before the herring fishery begins, and in a touching scene of a woman and a child on the return of a boat.

“The woman had a little boy of about four years old; a great ornament of gold, her husband’s gift, I suppose, she pushed into the child’s hand, screaming, ‘Child, look for father—I can’t see!’ her own hands convulsively pressed on her eyes, evidently not being able to see whether she was widow or wife. I could not rest till I learned he was safe; and such a picture of happiness, both going home, their friends congratulating them.” (October 9, 1836.)

and resembling the portrait of
Hugh Littlejohn. Mr. William Rossetti, in his biography of his brother, speaks of Walter’s regular features, and boyish skill in making boats with the aid of a pocket-knife.

There exists a little pen-and-ink drawing, mounted on brown paper, and inscribed in Lockhart’s hand, “Very like W. S. L. before he went to Cambridge. Eheu!” For Lockhart’s heart was to be doubly tried, first by an exaggeration of youthful errors, and then, after a complete reconciliation, by the sudden and unexpected death of his dear son.

Of his children, shortly before his great loss, Lockhart had written thus to Will Laidlaw (Jan. 19, 1837): “Walter is now a tall and very handsome boy of near eleven years, Charlotte a very winsome gipsy of eight, both intelligent in the extreme, and both, notwithstanding all possible spoiling, as simple, natural, and unselfish as if they had been bred on a hill-side, and in a family of twelve.” Such companions must have been, and were, his best consolation, and the most certain stimulus to action. Indeed, his packets of books and proofs from Mr. Murray followed him to Milton Lockhart. As once long before, and in the stress of a mental anguish even more poignant and more complex, he “sought in business repose.”

Long afterwards, in 1844, Lockhart wrote to Wilson, himself bereaved in 1837, “Let us both be thankful that we have children worthy of their
mothers,” and he reproaches himself because, in spring, he can awaken no more than “a dim, ghostlike semi-sympathy with them, or in anything present or to come. No good, however, can come of these croakings.”
Mrs. Gordon charges Lockhart with “something of a listless bitterness,” in contrast with her widowed father’s “healthful heart.”1 Surely in the “regret for buried time, that keener in sweet April wakes,” a man may speak freely to an old friend and companion in sorrow, about the regret pensif et confus d’ avoir été et de n’être plus.

It will be shown that Lockhart neither forswore society, nor threw a gloom over the happiness of his children. The very letter to Wilson disproves this part of the theory. Mr. Gleig writes, in defence of his old college friend, that Lockhart visited Wilson “at the season of his deepest anguish.” Then, from notes of a conversation with Lockhart, he prints his words:—

“I found Wilson utterly prostrated, unable, or, as he said, determined never to take any interest in the affairs of life again.”

“Well, what passed?”

“Not much worth repeating. I reasoned with him, and tried to show him that neither he nor I had any right to succumb to evils that were not of our own seeking—that we both had work to do and must do it—that it was neither manly nor Christian to mourn as he was mourning.”

1Christopher North,” xi. 287, 289.


“Had your remonstrances any effect?”

“Yes, I think they had. He pressed my hand, looked up for a moment into my face, and said, ‘It is all true, I know it, but I have no strength.’ However, his strength came back faster than we had both expected, and now he is pretty much what he ever was.”1

Lockhart, within himself, did not become “much what he ever was.” But, except in his letter to Wilson, and in another to Milman, he kept his enduring grief; while, in that cor serratum,
“His night of loss was always there.”

It is ill work, the criticism of another’s grief: “the heart knoweth its own bitterness.” Let it be enough to say, and later to show, that Lockhart could still find pleasure in nature and in human company; and, above all, could take and give an aging man’s, and a sad man’s, but a brave and constant man’s pleasure in the society of his children.

Lockhart could not work at his Biography of Scott in these months of retirement at Milton Lockhart. His diary tells nothing of his doings from March 3 till May 16 and May 17. On the former date Sir Walter Scott, the son, arrived from Ireland; the latter page bears, between lines of black, the melancholy record of the day. On

1 Quarterly Review, vol. cxiii. p. 230.

May 11 something had been written, and obliterated with one large coating of ink. There follows a blank till the note of leaving Milton Lockhart for town, by way of Rokeby, on September 18. There Lockhart saw
Charles Scott, and met Christie again. On October 21 he with Lord Ashley and the children visited Hatfield House. On December 4 he wrote thus to Miss Edgeworth, on some slip in the first edition of his “Life of Scott”:—

London, December 4, 1837.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—I had some days ago your very kind letter, and I thank you for it most sincerely, though very briefly. I much regret the circumstances which have given pain to you or to others; but the truth is, the enormous heaps of letters committed to me were all copied by ladies, and the originals forthwith returned; and I fear besides innumerable blunders of names and dates which, in the most important of them, it cost me no small pains to correct, there may have been, on the part of my dear Sophy and her assistants, many omissions of hints about omission which had come to hand on separate papers. I hope no very serious evil has been occasioned, but consider that she who had been my secretary for years in preparing these Memoirs only lived to see, not to read my first volume, and in her I lost the only person who could have put and kept me right as to a thousand little things.


“I shall bear all you say in mind when I come, if ever, to a second edition. Meantime believe me always most gratefully and affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On December 12, Lockhart notes, “Dine at Mr. George Cruikshank’s, to meet Mr. Dickens, alias Boz.” He takes the children to see Madame Vestris; when he can be, it seems, from the entries, that he is always in their company.

As to his feelings about his book, a trace may be found in a letter to Haydon, part of which has already been cited in another connection1:—

“Your approbation of the ‘Life of Scott’ is valuable, and might well console me for all the abuse it has called forth both on him and on me. I trusted to the substantial greatness and goodness of the character, and thought I should only make it more effective in portraiture by keeping in the few specks. I despise with my heels the whole trickery of erecting an alabaster image, and calling that a Man. Probably I shall be very severely handled for daring, in the seventh volume, to indicate the decay of his intellectual vigour. But I did this very deliberately, on purpose to show that all the good points of his moral being, and all the predominant trains of fancy and feeling, survived the wreck. The work is now done, and I leave

1 February 11, 1838.

it to its fate. I had no personal object to gratify,1 except, indeed, that I wished and hoped to please my poor wife; and, since she is gone, I consider the whole affair with most consummate quiescence.”

For the rest, Lockhart’s diaries of 1838 and 1839 show that he kept his usual company; saw, among new faces, Hayward, Carlyle, Sterling, Mr. John Hope; went to Commemoration at Oxford with Christie; dined with Traill and Gleig; took the children to plays and to the country houses of intimate friends; occasionally dined alone with Walter, and became acquainted with Mrs. Norton and Miss Burdett Coutts. Autumn he spent in Scotland with his relations.

As happened in Sir Walter’s case, people were determined to marry Lockhart, and selected for him a young lady of great fortune. On April 22, 1839, he writes to his brother William:—

“I have sent you lately two or three Satirists, &c, for private refreshment. The story of my marriage to —— is revived in such force that I expect to find it in some of these worthy chronicles anon. The fact is, I have not seen the damsel above twice these twelve months, and I never was in her house in my life. Yet Lady —— formally congratulated me on the engagement. . . . This malice is at her, not me. . . . If ever the girl proposes to me, you shall hear immediately.”

1 The profits of the book went towards paying off Sir Walter’s debts.


The absurd news reached the Border, and Lockhart was congratulated by one of “huz Tividale poets,” not the tuneful weaver of Galashiels, who breakfasted with Scott and Hogg on a notable occasion, but the Bowden Bard. He wrote:—

Dear Sir,—It’s rumoured hereabouts ye’re gaun to wed the widow” (the lady was not a widow). “They say the widow has a land of big stane-houses in the Strand, chockfu’ o’ siller, kists on kists. A five pund note will ne’er be missed, which would refresh yours, with regard, for auld lang syne,

The Bowden Bard.”

Bowden Moor is in Roxburghshire; there Scott, on a day, was guided by a pillar of smoke to the shy haunt of a timid Tory voter.

To his sister Violet, Lockhart wrote often; she was in ill health, and his father was old and ailing. “The Queen,” he says, “was much delighted with Sydney Smith’s late definition of Tom Macaulay—“a Book in Breeches;” but it is only a terse anglification of old Talleyrand’s mot on the same subject, eight years ago, “Voilà un gros livre, on m’avait parlé d’un grand homme.”

The year 1840 finds Lockhart dining, or giving dinners, or taking the children to parties almost every day. His engagement book might make envious men of letters feel as young Mr. Moss did
when he surveyed the cards on Clive Newcome’s chimney-piece. All manner of men, men of letters and marquises, entertain and are entertained. We find Lockhart attending
Carlyle’s lectures, or, at least, one lecture of Carlyle’s. The Quarterly absorbed his working day; autumn, as usual, he spent in Scotland, seeing, among others, Wilson and Lord Peter. The diary of 1841 opens—“This year died Charles Scott, October 29; and Theodore Hook died in August.” To Mr. Charles Scott, who died at Teheran, he was deeply attached; and Hook was a familiar companion, met for the last time on July 14.

This letter to Miss Edgeworth speaks of the loss of his brother-in-law:—

London, December 27, 1841.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—The confirmation of the newspaper report of Charles Scott’s death never arrived till last night—the Persian Minister’s messenger having been stopped by our Ambassador at Vienna for a week. I had no doubt of the truth of the sad story—but still could not write to you, as I otherwise would have been sure to do, in the absence of direct intelligence.

“I am very grateful for all your kind thoughts and recollections. Charles has only joined a company who are, and ever will be, as present to me, while memory remains, as if they still were partakers in what we call Life. It is, however, a very serious
calamity to me, for we had very much in common, and it was to him I had always looked, in case of my own death, for protection to my children during their tender years, or rather, I should say, for giving them that cast of mind and sentiment which I would fain have them inherit from their mother. . . .—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.

“Please return the letters.”

Lockhart’s life at this period is best read, perhaps, in his letters to Milman.

This note, after some details about “The Emperor” (Mr. Murray) and the Quarterly, describes a “Demonstration” with some vivacity:—

Milton Lockhart, Lanark,
Sept. 22, 1840.

My dear Milman,— . . . Yesterday I spent in Glasgow. I found the town all occupied with a Chartist procession of at least 20,000 people arranged by trades and districts—the object being to welcome back, as the first huge banner explained, ‘Victims of Whig persecution,’ to wit, two cotton-spinning scamps convicted of a conspiracy for, inter alia, murder about two years ago, and now returned from Botany Bay by the favour of the Whig Government, who have reduced their seven years of exile to one. The flags and symbols were of the most
audacious kind—the inscriptions breathing everything horrid and atrocious against kings and priests, and especially Whigs, and the only flags not inscribed being either Tricolour or Yankee. Yet the captain of the Glasgow police stalked with his baton in advance of the whole, and his satellite sergeants regulated and accompanied every section of the march; halting to groan at every Whig factory or mansion, and to cheer, very often, at the residences of the Tories. I thought this was carrying liberality a little too far on the part of the authorities; but Jacobi of Balm, whom I sat by at dinner, was enchanted—he had never before seen police acting but like executioners; in this happy land they seemed good-natured schoolmasters humouring the boys in a frolic! And certainly all was good-humour and whisky—not a symptom of violence all day long, and the evening quite tranquil. A barber who cut my hair told me he fancied it might be a question whether the Chartist row or the scientific one1 were the grosser humbug. I met twenty-four of the philosophers at dinner chez
Sheriff Alison, Historian and Economist, and Lionfeeder in Chief of the City—Duke and Duchess of St. Albans; Sir A. Johnstone, Privy Councillor; Lords Breadalbane, Sandon, and Teignmouth; Sir J. Macneil and his wife; half a score Germans and Russians; and the Contessina—whom you pro-

1 Lockhart used to banter Sir Roderick Murchison about the British Association. See Mr. Geikie’sLife of Murchison.”

bably encountered among your Whigs when she illuminated Mayfair a while ago. She owns to twenty-three, but looks forty—very handsome, dressed after some picture of
Correggio, with magnificent black curls clustered under portentous draperies of gold and scarlet. Her section is, I fancy, that of l’amour physique, and the specimen she seemed to take most interest in was Sir John Macneil, who sported his red ribbon and star with due effect. I accompanied these exotics to a proménade scientifique et musicale, where perhaps forty or fifty ladies and gentlemen were jostled up and down the Royal Exchange of Glasgow, among two thousand dominies in corduroys and mackintoshes, with their spouses in straw bonnets, and their daughters in tartan snoods and plaids—the refreshments, tea, coffee, and punch, in about a hundred huge bowls, arranged under a gallery crammed with all the bagpipers of the region. I witnessed the introduction of the blazing Contessina to Chalmers, reeking forth rain and other fluids, splashed to the mid-leg with mud, and with a portentous hat, which distilled abundantly water, grease, and odours. The doctor has little French and no Italian—so they only looked their loves. But I did not see his Grace of Siluria,1 and, alas! I fear I shall not see him; for I left Glasgow at six this morning, quite satisfied with the Association, and he and her Grace are, I hear, to move whenever the grand Cattle Show is

1 A nickname of Sir Roderick Murchison.

over upon the deer parks of Breadalbane.—Yours ever truly,

J. G. Lockhart.

“I hope you will do the ‘Roms Beschreibung,’ &c, soon. (A modest Editor!)”

The trouble of the Oxford Movement was now beginning, as the following letter shows: Lockhart’s position in the Quarterly was that of the moderate High Church party:—

Milton, October 4, 1840.

My dear Milman,—Thanks for your seria mixta jocis. I believe I must cut ecclesiastical things entirely—it is so very hard to keep the peace among my reverend allies: but I think I altered nothing in your last article, though I omitted a few things, and italicised one or two of the quotations; and I am sure you will own that if the article were to be in the same number with that on Tom Carlyle, this was as little as the Editor could do in the way of manipulation, and most assuredly I took a hundred times more liberty with the Oxonian,1 wherefore his jobation is yet to come. He has spent these three months past in Ireland, and is still there. . . . I expect that his lucubrations will be highly curious and interesting, as regards the prime object of his study, viz., the actual state and system of the Romish clergy, and I hope that this study will be found

1 Sewell apparently.

to have much qualified his general theory as to the legitimate scope of ecclesiastical authority. It would be a lamentable thing for me to lose him. I seriously think him one of the greatest writers now going; and even
Croker expresses admiration pure and unmixed of his last paper, though he is as far as you are, perhaps, from the New Mania; but I am thoroughly alive to the danger of the case, and extremely obliged to you for all your hints.

“Of the nine poetesses1 only one has written in acknowledgment—and perhaps she is the best of them, ‘V——.’ She says that ‘all her good has come on her at once,’ for she never ‘hoped’ either to be praised in the Quarterly Review, or to get a husband, and that both this article and a proposal ‘reached her in the same week.’ I expect cake. H. B. must not make her the Terpsichore of the choir.

“I am sorry John Murray has not sent you the Memoirs you wanted—pray, en attendant, give us a short article on the French tract you mention—but can I not persuade you to buckle to Juvenal and Persius? You only have to assume the truth as to the profound ignorance of the public, and make free use of the best bits of Dryden, Gifford, Drummond, &c, &c, and throw off a fine rhapsody on Satire—Greek, Roman, Italian, French, and English—and you can’t fail to produce a most entertaining, instructive, and really valuable article.

1 Nine Muses reviewed in the Quarterly.

Gifford’s notes are capital material, many of them, both for extract and in the way of suggestion.
Hallam has shown, as well as yourself heretofore, how new such old things may be made to appear under the treatment of a vigorous hand thoroughly mistress of the craft. Another favourite scheme of mine for you has been ‘Ovid.’”

Here is a trifle of political gossip, and literary talk of new books. Lockhart’s interest in Hayward may be observed; they were not deeply attached to each other:—

The Rev. H. H. Milman,
Kent House, Tenby, Pembrokeshire.
London, Feb. 17, 1841.

My dear Milman,— . . . I am not able to tell you whether Croker had any offer from Peel. His phrases are obscure on that head; but he seems to dine daily with the new Ministers, and to be in good humour with them all. Mahon had an offer of his old berth; but I fancy that, the new Foreign Secretary being a peer, Peel wished to take the Foreign department in the House of Commons on himself, and therefore made a merit of declining. Peel says he behaved very handsomely—and he has gone with his wife to the Loire apparently in placidity—so I look for his name by-and-by in a Gazette. Ashley has, to Peel’s extreme regret, stood aloof altogether on account of the Factory question—and the Carlton says his dissent has already cost them
Bradford. He, too, however, expresses no sort of displeasure, and I hope the crack may yet be mended—perhaps when a Lordship of the Chamber falls vacant.

“I have had as usual a request to give hints as to literary persons worthy of favour, and I hope some of my hints, falling in with those of more potent voices, may be attended to anon—e.g. as to Hayward, who ought to have a Police Magistracy or the like, if he pleases, as soon as possible. I suppose nothing could tear him from Mayfair, or a Colonial Bench might be adorned easily with his person. The Quarterly has but few on its staff, and of these I don’t know any other that is very likely to be served soon. In fact, we are a small band. Only Croker, yourself, and the Editor can be called regular supporters—if I may put myself with you two. Sewell, I fear, may hardly do for us, unless occasionally when I can tempt him out of his own beat, which he has pretty well exhausted. I wish they would give him a good living, however—and have said so—or a prebend, better still. Ford, Broderick, and one or two more, though now and then useful, are hardly more than outlying volunteers—old Barrow quite effete. I wish I could find one or two really good and sturdy hands; for we are all getting old, and I for one am often weary enough of the business of article-making. I assure you I have had neither offer nor promise of anything for myself—indeed, I never had anything like that,
except from Ministers whom I could not undertake to stand by, viz.,
Canning and Goderiche. But I daresay there is no indisposition to serve me in case of opportunity. Should a baronetcy be proposed, I shall beg to hand it to the Emperor.1

“Poor Theodore is off the list of claimants. He has of course died deep in debt—they say £30,000—and he has left six children, and there is a subscription going on, I think favourably, in their behalf. Four girls—all young women! and the mother, who is said to have been married by T. H. a year ago. His exit was characteristic—but I’ll keep it till we meet.

“There is a deal of very curious reading in a new American book by Stephens on Central America—rediscovered cities, temples, statues, inscriptions, &c, &c; but, to take up that, one should have Lord Kingborough’s huge work digested. The images have a most Hindoo look some of them—others almost Egyptian. Mr. Catlin is going to head a party of a hundred, under the Yankee Government, for exploring a region said to contain similar monuments in the direction of the Rocky Mountains. Perhaps we shall see the cloud dispersed. Already Stephens gives us minute plans and sections of palaces which nobody seems to have disturbed since the days of Pizarro, and he appears to have strong belief in the existence at this moment of an unvisited and entire Indian kingdom, enclosed between two

1 Mr. Murray.

ranges of the great Cordillera.1 Eight thousand copies of the book went off forthwith in America—so that the interest excited must be great. I expect some very magnificent things from
Peel in the way of building, painting, &c, &c. He is aware that this is Albert’s hobby, and it is also his own. Trench has published a new edition of his plan about our great river, and I really think if we live ten years we may see quays and railways on both sides, from Westminster Bridge to London Bridge.—Ever yours and Mrs. Milman’s,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Lockhart had acquired a habit of noting the deaths of the year on the first page of his diary. In 1842 he marks, “This year die Dr. Maginn, Allan Cunningham, Tom Hamilton” (the brother of Sir William), “Mrs. Fergusson” (his doctor’s wife), “and my father.”

His diary records, “I placed my father in his coffin with my own hands.” Dr. Lockhart was buried beside his wife in the “Dripping Aisle” of Glasgow Cathedral.

Lockhart promoted a subscription for Mrs. Maginn, and in a letter to Wilson (p. 209), denounced the Carlton for refusing a contribution.

1 Archaeology has much neglected Central America. To this day the Indian city haunts the fancy of explorers, and has believers in its existence, despite Mr. Haggard’s story of its downfall, “The Heart of the World.”


Meanwhile the usual social functions go on: “Walter and I dine at Christie’s;” “Duchess of Sutherland’s fête for the King of Prussia;” “Lady Salisbury’s, Lord and Lady Mahon, Lord de Ros, Miss de Ros, Lord and Lady Douro, Duke of Wellington, Captain Percy.” March 15: “The Flatterer” (Mr. Flatters) began his bust of J. G. Lockhart.” “To ‘Acis and Galatea,’ with the Murchisons, Walter, and Cha.” April 5: “This is the evening of debate on the Copyright Bill. Lord Mahon, Macaulay, Lord John Russell, Peel: the Bill carried through in its important clauses in the Committee, and good hopes of its passing this it year.”

The Bill was of great importance to the family of Scott, and Lockhart discussed it in the Quarterly, No. cxxxvii. His letter to Mr. Murray on the subject is in Mr. Murray’s “Memoirs,” ii. 499. “You can, if you please, reject the article in toto,” he says. “I don’t at present feel at all disposed to take thought about Peel’s or any other politician’s opinion. I have studied the subject, and so has Wordsworth, who is at least as likely to study any question to advantage as Sir Robert Peel. I propose no plan for an Act of Parliament. But I think I have shown that unless more protection be given to authors and publishers—whose interests I have treated as identical, which they are—our literature must expire in a muddled heap of fraudulent and worthless compilations, and base appeals to the lower passions.
After all, just ask yourself whether the Editor of the Quarterly Review has not a right to express his own deliberate opinion on a subject of that sort whenever he pleases? It seems to me, if he has not that right, he has none.” (December 13, 1841.)

Lockhart’s relations with his children at this period were as amiable as they were unusual. Miss Lockhart was being educated at Calais. Her brother went from King’s College School to read with Mr. Holden. He had been entered at rabbits, and looked forward to grouse. To both of the children Lockhart wrote frequently, treating them almost as equals in age and understanding. The gossip of Parliament, anecdotes of the Queen and Prince Albert, news of the Duke of Wellington, are mingled with bulletins as to Pepper and Ginger, doubtless of the old Liddesdale breed, the Dandie Dinmont strain. To Charlotte he writes that he misses their “cosy little Sunday dinners,” “your little interruptions.” “I miss your voices, and feet, and plague, sadly,” he writes to Walter, “but must bear my solitude for a while longer yet.” He sends Sydney Smith’s latest jokes, old jokes now, and well known. “Now mind ‘Medea,’” he writes to Walter; “it was the first Greek play I ever read, and I can still say every chorus by heart.” “The King of Oude”—then a neighbour of his—“can flirt like a Christian,” he writes to Charlotte. To Walter, at Mr. Holden’s, he gives some advice, Walter having
jested at “The Puseyite Calendar”: “Consider these gentlemen think the fate of the world hinges on this nonsense; laugh at it in your sleeve as nonsense, but respect their sincerity, and be polite.” In a matter of some difficulty with a governess, Lockhart shows the most perfect considerateness and liberality. He would cross to Calais, entertain Miss Lockhart, her duenna, and her girl friends at dinner (including champagne), and drive as many of them as a roomy chaise would hold into the country. When they were at Brighton he went down, gave them dinners, and consulted them on the innocent menu. He corrected Walter’s Latin prose (and very bad that Latin prose was) with extraordinary gentleness and patience. Few parents indeed would have been so lenient in the presence of such perversions of the language of Cicero. Here is a rhymed petition, written for Charlotte to Mr. Rose, asking him to contribute to her Album. In 1825,
Scott, Lockhart, and Miss Anne Scott formed an Anti-Album Society. This was forgotten when Lockhart had a girl of his own.

Dear Mr. Rose,
I can’t suppose
You’ll frown on my petition,
The tiniest dose
Of verse or prose
Will satiate my ambition.
But if you be
In topping glee
(As I could wish you ever),
Throw off for me
Some jeu d’esprit,
The cleverest of the clever.
The book I’ve got—
As yet no blot
Upon its virgin pages—
May show perhaps,
Ere long, the scraps
Of many bards and sages.
But, grant who may
The boons I pray,
A blight’s on all my posies,
If luckless scorn
Shall plant with thorn
The spot I’ve marked for Rose’s.

He was no gloomy recluse, who, fatigued, like Caxton long ago, with weary writing, yet found time and energy for long letters of family and political gossip to a boy and a girl. The politics are dead, dead are the uncles and aunts and friends of whom Lockhart writes, but the ardent affection in these old letters never dies. Here follow a few somewhat longer extracts—Miss Lockhart was then in Calais:—

August 8, 1840.

My dear Charlotte,—Your French epistle has given me much satisfaction, and I regret that, how
ever French my figure may be, I have not French at my finger-ends to answer it to-day. I am surprised you say not a word about
Louis Napoleon’s new insanity, and beg you will let me know all the Calais part of the story. I have met him occasionally in society, and he always appeared to me a stupid vulgar corporal, with nothing imperial about him, but a breast-pin of diamonds in the shape of an eagle. He must now be mad in earnest, I suppose. Our alarms of war have already blown over, but I hope you will also let me know what they say at Calais on that score. . . . It afforded me more pleasure than I can well express to see in what kind hands you are, and I hope you will profit largely by the opportunities of improvement afforded you in being surrounded by such accomplished and amiable society.”

To Walter he writes on “Coningsby,” which Croker asserted that he had never read:—

May 13, 1844.
“(To Walter Scott Lockhart.)

“ . . . Ben Disraeli, the Jew scamp, has published a very blackguard novel, in which the Pusey and Young England doctrines are relieved by a full and malignant, but clever enough detail of all the abominations of Lord Hertford, and Croker figures in full fig.1 I should not wonder if there were some

1 As Mr. Rigby. Lord Hertford left a large sum of money to Mr. Croker.

row—the abuse of Crokey is so very horrid, ditto of
Lord Lowther. Peel is flattered, but the Government lashed. Awful vanity of the Hebrew!”

In March 1844 (to advance a little beyond our date), Walter failed to get into Christ Church and Balliol. Lockhart makes no harsher criticism than this: “I am in great difficulty, and I don’t doubt you will quite share my concern.” Again: “Your letter gives me great pleasure. I trust there will ever be entire confidence between us. Our interests are and always must be the same, and I don’t doubt that when the proper time comes we will agree as to your choice of a vocation.

“I have always considered that it would be absurd to choose the Bar, unless you had satisfied me and yourself, while at Oxford, of your capacity for very arduous study, and, I may add, of your having a natural faculty for public speaking. The last I never had—and it was the great error in my early days that I nevertheless selected the Bar. In these days there were no Debating Societies at Oxford; and it is very different now.

“But I had to make my election at a very early age—19—and had no relations capable of understanding the case or of advising me judiciously.”

He then says that they must consider about a profession after Walter has taken his degree at Oxford. He next refers to the little office (the Auditorship of the Duchy of Lancaster) which
Government had given him in 1843, as below his expectations, if anything was to be done. “But, in truth, I had never counted on them at all. I accepted what was offered, and thankfully, on your account, as enabling me to defray the charges of Oxford more easily than I could otherwise have done.”

As has been said, Walter did not matriculate at Oxford. At Cambridge, where he stayed but a short time, he acquired those singular habits of vain expense which a certain proportion of undergraduates develop. By the end of 1846 he was thinking of the army, and was already in debt, and in his father’s displeasure. Lockhart set down his extravagances, and rightly, to vanity; and the old familiar course of things ensued—a sudden outburst of a young man’s folly, estrangement, and, at last, full reconciliation and early death. Of this sorrow more is to be said.

Letters to Will Laidlaw, of this period (1842), are interesting.

“24 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park,
April 30, 1842.

My dear Laidlaw,—I feel very much your kindness in taking care that my first intelligence of your attack should come in your own handwriting, and show that neither mind nor the nobler functions of the body have suffered. Be of good cheer—temperance you always practised, but you can still reduce,
and that will do wonders. Perhaps you may not know, for great pains were taken to conceal it, that
Professor Wilson had a similar seizure a year ago. Ever since, he has resolutely abstained from all strong drink whatever, and his friends assure me he now not only shows no symptom of the malady, but looks as if he had renewed his youth under the salutary influence of the pledge.

“Let me hear again soon. I am writing to-day to Sir W. Scott, whose last letter gave good news of himself and wife, but very bad ones of the state of the Native Army in Madras. I am afraid he must have a share in the great doings now arranged for the Cabool frontier. God send him well out of that and safe home. If this Copyright Bill pass the Lords (as I hardly doubt it will), it will be a very great thing for his interests. Indeed, I expect he will have some proposition for Cadell, which will enable him soon after the law is made to call his land his own. Said Cadell also talks grandly of the prospects of his pictorial edition of the Novels, of which No. 1 is published this day; but commerce is at present in a very ticklish state, and I fear he will find less success—at the start, at all events—than he has been looking for.1

“Give my love to Mrs. Laidlaw and the young ladies. My boy and girl are both well—but, alas! you and they wouldn’t know each other if you met. And yet I should not say so, for Walter is very like

1 The “Abbotsford Edition” was clumsy and unsuccessful.

Sir Walter Scott, and Charlotte very like her mother and Anne.—Ever yours affectionately,


To Laidlaw he again gives a budget of family news:—

London, May 25, 1843.

My dear Sir,— . . . My boy is now as tall as I am—17 years old—and exceedingly active and robust; a good horseman and an excellent oarsman; a very good boy and a great comfort to me, though not as yet very ardent in his pursuit of learning. His sister is at 15 more of a woman in appearance, manners, and acquirements, than many considerably more advanced in years. She is, I think, though not beautiful, a very graceful girl, and I have in her a constant and agreeable companion at my fireside and in my walks. So much for home.—Sir Walter and his wife continue to have perfect health in India. Some time ago he fancied he might be able to effect an exchange and come home, but the bad times of trade have not spared the booksellers, and the debt remaining heavy, after I had hoped to hear of its total liquidation, he, for the present, has laid aside all thoughts of quitting the post he holds. He had for a year the command of the regiment, and will, I trust, have it again soon, and when he has that the allowances are very handsome. Meantime he writes regularly and in excellent spirits. Lately he tells me, hearing that a Highland battalion
was to pass about fifty miles off from his station (Bangalore), he rode that distance one day, and back the next, merely to hear the skirl of the pipes. No doubt there would be a jolly mess for his reception besides—but I could not but be pleased with the touch of the auld man. I fear he had not got your letter about seeds. He writes that a box of seeds is on its way, which I am to hand over to the
Duke of Buccleuch on its arrival, his Grace to give him some of the produce in the shape of young trees of Himalayan and Cabul origin in due season for Abbotsford. If he had had your application I am sure he would have directed a parcel to be included for you, and possibly so I may find the case to be when it comes to hand after all.—Ever yours truly,

J. G. Lockhart.”

A few other notes from Lockhart’s domestic correspondence at this period may be given. Here is a little note on illustrious persons, written to Miss Violet Lockhart:—

“I was twice at Court last week, once as an Oxford Doctor, when the Duke of Wellington went up with the Oxford address to the Queen and Prince Albert; but I hardly saw her, there was such a crowd of Academics. The Duke, however, looked quite himself, and read his address in a good firm voice, not a whit shaken; and she [read] her answer in a very sweet silver tone, with much grace. I was also to be presented, and, kissing her hand,
had coolness to study her face. It struck me as careworn, and grown ten years older within the twelvemonth. I had seen Prince Albert before, at the play. He is considered very handsome, and is, certainly,—though his figure has defects, the shoulders being too high, and the legs somewhat heavy—a very fine youth, with regular features, a clear olive complexion, and a mild, and, for his age, uncommonly manly expression.”

Lockhart then alludes to the domestic happiness of Her Majesty in very pleasing terms—but here quotation must cease.

“My children,” he writes to Miss Lockhart, “have been very happy in some country visits, and much admired everywhere, and their respectable papa was seduced by a Court belle of nineteen, Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope, into dancing till five o’clock at a Kent County Ball, which fact will probably receive due notice in to-morrow’s Age.”

These fragments out of a life, busy with literature, politics, society, and, till Walter went to Mr. Holden’s, with the daily tutoring of Walter, may remove the not uncommon impression that Lockhart, after his wife’s death, was a moody and lonely man. He did not, and could not, forget, and once or twice, as to Wilson, he expresses what is most intimate, and lays bare his heart. But he was emphatically no kill-joy.

His dancing days were over, despite his exertions at the Kent County Ball. In 1842 and 1843 he
had to endure what he calls “severe surgical treatment” at the hands of
Sir Benjamin Brodie. His hair, he complains, is whitening, and he notes that Lord Palmerston has ceased to dye, “has dropped his bottle and brush.” In August 1843 he went to Italy, leaving the Quarterly “nearly ready,” and an article on Politics by Croker “unseen by me.” Travelling by Strasburg and Basel, he crossed the St. Gothard, and so to Genoa (which he thought over-described), Pisa, Florence, and Rome to Naples. Avernus he describes to Christie as “very like a third-rate Highland loch.” So Sir Walter must have thought when on that classic shore he bethought him not of Virgil, but murmured—
“Up the rocky mountain,
And down the mossy glen,
We daurna gang a-milking
For Charlie and his men.”
Herculaneum he visited, and spent ten days at Rome. Perhaps what pleased him most was the view of Naples and smoky Vesuvius from the sea. He returned by Venice, Verona, Munich, Augsburg, reaching England on October 20. Here is his itinerary in a letter to Christie:—

Naples, September 13, 1843.

My dear Christie,— . . . At Milan we had a couple of days most interesting—the Duomo being by many miles beyond any Gothic Cathedral I
have ever seen—even Cologne and Strasburg—and the Ambrosian Library containing several first-rate pictures, &c., and the Last Supper of
L. da Vinci being still visible enough (on the walls of a deserted refectory, turned by the French into a stable) to prove that no engraver or copyist has caught even a glimpse of the Saviour’s expression—but the wonderful picture is otherwise a mere ghost, and will soon be laid entirely. Thence we proceeded to Genoa, and enjoyed some palaces; but I thought the describes had all been much in the exaggerating line. Then we took steam for Leghorn, and nothing can be more delicious than such travelling in this season over the Mediterranean, which never showed more than a ripple; and, by-the-bye, I thought our captain gave a very sensible account of the blue of the sea, which Davy tried to explain and failed to satisfy himself. . . . He says the reason is plain—where there are no tides the yellow sand is rarely stirred from the bottom to mix with the blue and make it green. The cuisine on board very good, abundance of ice, and the company excellent, especially some very well-bred and well-read Franciscan Friars, with whom I conversed in very elegant Latin, de Papa et Puseyo et quibusdam aliis. We had also a couple of worthy and learned priests from Minister (in Westphalia), on their pilgrimage to Rome, and quite made friends with them. One, after dinner, sang in fine style—our own old mihi est propositum in taberna mori. Funny to hear that from a German
divine in a Tuscan boat off Civita Vecchia. These all landed and went to Rome, and we were afraid if we once got there we should never go farther, and so stuck on the boat, and had another glorious night—seeing, when the sun rose, Vesuvius right ahead, with his smoke all blazing in the purple, and Capreæ and Baiæ, and, by-and-by, all the bays and promontories between Baiæ and Castellamare. You can’t conceive anything richer, grander, or more beautiful, certainly nothing more curious, for every rock is pierced with Roman brick, and you can see arches and pedestals creeping everywhere into the sea. We have since perambulated the shore, and found the remains of temples and baths and water reservoirs very satisfactory—these last on a truly stupendous scale—their object to supply the Tyrrhine fleet, which usually lay at Misenum. Avernus (close by) is very like a third-rate Highland loch, and the King has a most cockneyfied little fishing lodge just where it ought least to have been. The Acherusia palus is no great shakes:—
Smith of Dranston would soon convert it into better ground than the Elysian fields just beyond, which produce only food for goats, i.e. bitter herbs smothered in dust. We spent our first day at Pompeii; but I shall only say that none of the books or prints had given us the least notion of the place, nor even of the minutest discoveries. I was, I confess, surprised to find that the Legionaries found dead at their sentry-posts had their heads cased as heavily and
completely in enormous hats of iron, with visors down, and merely two open circlets to look through, or (when the finish indicated an officer) a barred visor, precisely as in the helmets on our heraldics. . . . —Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Once arrived, we find him rushing, as it were, instantly to dine with Christie and Gleig. On December 15 he took Walter to Balliol, where he met Mr. Shairp, later Principal of St. Andrews. Dr. Jenkyns examined Walter: Mr. Jowett would have stretched a point, Dr. Jenkyns did not, Walter was plucked.

We may now resume the correspondence with Milman, first offering a letter to Wilson on Maginn’s affairs:1 (see p. 194)—

April 20, 1843.

“I forgot yesterday to say anything about Maginn. The subscriptions have come to about £350 to £360, and a good deal of that has of course gone already, keeping four people alive. I believe no more will subscribe here. I have tried the Carlton Club in a very serious way, by a long letter to the Committee, and they sent an unanimous refusal. Government gave a cadetship for the boy; but if he is equipped and sent out, that will swallow all the money in hand at the least.

James Wilson’s wife has, I believe, got a gover-

1 I owe this letter to the kindness of Mr. C. M. Falconer, of Dundee.

ness’s place in Ayrshire for one of the girls. If you could do so for the other it were very comforting. . . . I cannot comprehend Irish folk—never could. . . .

“Please observe the doctor’s creditors were arranged for through myself and a few others some ten years ago, when we raised nearly £1000 for him, and paid off with that about £3000 or £4000 of debt. Just before he died he passed through the Insolvency Court on schedule, Dr. G. says, of just under £10,000.

“The girls are comely, lively, clever girls. . . . One writes poetry!

“I went yesterday audaciously and witnessed a queer scene in a tavern opposite Bow Street Police Court, and dined abominably with three or four dandies of forty or fifty. . . .

“One of the attorney’s clerks who acted counsel was Brougham himself—every touch and tone—the other Thesiger, two most clever fellows, and their speeches, examination and cross-examination of the witnesses, and the Judge’s charge (Abinger alive!) were all quite equal to the best of Matthews’ mimicries. Peter must not be here again without seeing this comedy—the only one I have seen for many years, and almost the best I ever saw—such a complete show-up of all the trickery and pompous humbug of forensic practice. . . .”

In a brief note to Wilson he says, “I hear you are
in love with
E. Rigby, and she with you, of course. All right—she is a good one, and bright too.” Miss Rigby, afterwards Lady Eastlake, wrote occasionally in the Quarterly Review at this time. In her Memoirs is a touching expression of affection for Lockhart, who was popularly, though inaccurately, said to be “crushed” when Miss Rigby married “another.” He gave her Scott’s works as a wedding present.

Out of place, and out of date, here occurs another note to Wilson; it is not in harmony with Mrs. Gordon’s picture of him as a moody, world-weary mortal:—

Glasgow, August 26, 1839.

My dear Wilson,—I have just heard from R. Finlay that you are idle enough to be going to the Eglintoun Tournament. Be so good as to go on a Glasgow hack armed with a rung, and I lay 500 to 5 you will beat all the Knights, Squires, and Heralds to a jelly in a jiffy. Astley’s, to be serious, is a better thing by far than, from witnessing the rehearsals, I expect the performance to prove. I shall regret not having been there if it turns out, after all, that you are in armour, and the veritable chevalier inconnu.

“Now contrive to come with Allan.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

From this excursion into the past, we return to Milman and the Review.—

Sussex Place, May 1, 1842.

My dear Milman,—I have been, and shall be while the East wind lasts, plagued ever and anon with a complaint which unnerves me, so that I don’t know when we may meet. I fear you have worse distresses at home—but it is long since I heard anything of your household.

“I must now think, in spite of all maladies and misfortunes, of the shop. Can you do anything for me this time? I don’t think anything you gave me has been better liked than the Arundines Cami, and I say so in hopes that you may snatch a morning or two for something of an unfatiguing sort. Yet I have nothing to suggest. What say you to Wordsworth’s new volume? I fear the tragedy is very dull, and can see but little to admire in the rest—except some very fine feeling verses about Burns. Campbell’s new concern I have not seen, nor have I heard either it or the other mentioned by any one. That it should be come to this!—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Lockhart had now to condole with Milman on a domestic loss, and remembered his own:—

Sussex Place, July 5, 1842.

My dear Milman,—I am very sure I need not say how often, and how much, I have been thinking of Mrs. Milman and you of late—how well I re-
member your kindness to me in my great affliction of 1837—how willingly I would have tried to see you now had I been able, or sure that a visit would be otherwise than disturbing. I now hear you are out of town, but I hope you can give me a line (when acknowledging the enclosed) to say how you both are.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The same memory recurs here: Lockhart’s friend and physician, Dr. Fergusson, had lost his wife:—

Sussex Place, October 18, 1842.

My dear Milman,—I was very sorry to miss your wife and you; but hope you are soon to be settled, and that we shall then meet often. I am well in health again, and fancy I shall be able to find some pleasure in society this winter, which was not the case last season almost at all. But neither for you nor for me will there ever be any approach to comfortable feelings, unless the mind have regular work found for it beyond the sphere of personal reflection. I wish you would make an effort for your own good, and also for mine exceedingly, by setting about an article; but I am greatly at a loss to suggest a subject. If Macaulay’sRoman Lays’ be out soon, I shall look to you for a review thereof in the Christmas Number, that is, if they be worthy of his talents—which I hope and trust is to be the case.


“Our friend Fergusson is in a calm state—I rather think recovered as well as he is likely to be for many a long day. I was present at the funeral—and lived over again the hour in which you stood by me—but indeed such an hour is eternally present. After that, in every picture of life the central figure is replaced by a black blot; every train of thought terminates in the same blank gulf. I see you have been allowing yourself to dwell too near this dreary region. Escape it while the wife of your youth is still by you; in her presence no grief should be other than gentle.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Lockhart was now, as will be seen, placed in a difficult position. He admired Macaulay. Milman was devoted to Macaulay; but Macaulay had assailed Croker. The letter shows Lockhart’s readiness to aid deserving writers:—

January 17, 1843.

My dear Milman,—I am exceedingly vexed to find that the sheets containing your article on Macaulay are not printed off—for the gross insult to Croker in his new article on Madame d’Arblay makes it very difficult for me to sanction the publication of your eulogies on the perpetrator. The detection of the imposture about F. Burney’s age was made in the Quarterly Review, as you know. Can the editor allow his contributor to be thus handled, and then caress the enemy? Would not
Croker have reason to complain of me as deserting the soldier of my own flag?

“Do not suppose that I blame Macaulay for criticising Croker in regard to that affair; but it might have been done in the style of a gentleman. It is done in a style of low, vulgar rancour and injustice.

“Nor, on the other hand, do I wish to take credit for any special tenderness of feeling towards Croker. I think he has, of late especially, not treated Murray and myself at all well in the concerns of the Quarterly Review. But he is at least one of our most prominent hands; and can we continue to accept his assistance without giving him some right to reclaim against the appearance, at this moment, of such a paper as yours? Make the case your own. Suppose such an attack on you, from so distinguished a quarter, for what you had written in the Quarterly Review some years ago. Suppose you had been assailed by Blomfield, or Whately, or Sydney Smith; and suppose it to be felt that the odium ecclesiasticum had been mainly excited by your use of the Quarterly Review against doctrines or tenets or Church parties espoused by such an assailant as one of these.

“There is another difficulty which I must state. I never received any civility from Peel in the line of patronage but once—when he took office in 1834.1 Croker then called here and said Peel was anxious

1 In 1838 Lockhart, writing to Mr. Cadell, described Peel as “the greatest Reformer in heart, and the ablest in head, of his period.”

to know if
Murray and I had anything to suggest to the new Minister for the department of Literature and Science. Murray said he wished there could be a pension for Mrs. Somerville. I expressed my anxiety (Murray heartily concurring) that you might have some London preferment, if possible a prebend, in order to break the force of a prejudice which at that time seemed so strong as to make your advancement in the Church improbable, unless something were done effectually to discountenance it; and secundo, that Crabbe’s son might get a Crown living in place of his curacy. Now all these three things were done, and that almost immediately; and next time I saw Lord Lyndhurst, which was at a drawing-room or levee, he said to me, ‘You are a pretty fellow—I find your man Crabbe is a keen Whig, if not a Radical, and he has got his living.’ He laughed heartily; and when I told him I had not doubted that he would like the opportunity of serving so good a man, the son of such a father, all the better for his being of the opposite colour, he laughed the more. I have no similar evidence to connect your prebend with Croker’s intermediation. Perhaps you know that other and not less efficient machinery was worked in your behalf. But I thought I must state what I knew of the affair at this moment, and I am sure you will consider the statement as worthy of your candid reflection under all the circumstances.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Notwithstanding Croker’s grievances, an admirable and laudatory review of the “Lays,” with a welcome to Macaulay as a prospective historian, appeared in the Quarterly (March 1843). Lockhart’s hand, perhaps, may be detected in a note, quoting Hudibras’s description of the Roman aldermen—
“Followed by a world of tall lads,
Who merry ditties trolled, and ballads.”

The next letters are on articles about Newman’s conversion, and other ecclesiastical questions then flagrant:—

East Cowes, July 30, 1845.

My dear Milman,—On all the great heads I think you are right and sound, and have taken also what will be thought the proper combination of religious tone and mundane sense. I go with you nowhere more than in your argument on Celibacy; but pray look sharply to every syllable where St. Paul is alluded to, bearing in mind the ordinary notions of his inspiration—for in one or two places you seem at least to discuss his dicta as if that notion were thrown over. The whole of what you say about the Puseyites is excellent—I only desiderate more distinct references and more bold use of their Lives of the Saints. The lecture on coarseness of idea and intolerance in the new juveniles is likely to tell with exceeding effect—it is so just, and to me it is new too. This part will
repay all possible elaboration. It is needless to think of exhausting such a subject in one
article, or in six—I think there is already as much theme as will suffice, and look merely for pruning and paring here and there, and the skilful interweaving of any illustrations or facts that may have occurred since you wrote the draft.

“If I were you I would not at all hesitate about expressing your fear that the two French parties are equally in the wrong. Have we not, in fact, the same with us—our Ultra-Church and our Ultra-Liberal factions? You have already, I think, taken up the proper to and fro between the extremes here, and every word on the foreigners will carry its application with it, if you exert all your dexterity.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”
Milton, October 9, 1845.

My dear Milman,—I thank you for your letter, and will meditate on the subject thereof; but I do not believe I shall be able to make up my mind to ask any one to do a paper on Newman, unless you should yourself encourage me to ask you. I think the tone of your last article perfect, and so I fancy all its readers (sane readers) have done; excepting, of course, the Morning Post, who considers it a bit of Hoadleyism—Croker, who suspects it of being Ward’s post-nuptial statement—and Palgrave, who says he is utterly puzzled to make out the
drift. Either
Gladstone or Croker would jump at the proposal, but I fear either would miss the mark. You could do what would satisfy equally sober Christians and calm gentlemen of the world, and yet even you would avoid the grand fact, but the ‘fact’ was avoided.

“I leave this place to-morrow—hope to be in London this day fortnight, and to see you there then, or speedily afterwards. Meantime pray consider what a great service you might do, not to the Quarterly Review merely, but to the Church and the country, by devoting some leisure to the working out of your own sage suggestions. Two or three such articles as the last would really rally round your name a very great body of via media people! I wonder you are not already a bishop, but hope and trust I shall see you one in three or four years.—I salute my godchild, and remain, ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”
December 14, 1845.

My dear Milman,—Your note gives me an anxious and earnest hope that you mean to do Newman, and I am certain you, and only you, could do him in a way that would be satisfactory to the sane and superior mind of the country. I may not be able to have a talk with you to-morrow on such matters, therefore I say now, that if you undertake the thing, I shall feel at ease; and if you don’t, I know I shall have much trouble with Gladstone,
who will be sure to desire a job for which his deep predilections must render him entirely unfit. He has not yet offered, but in some recent letters he says he is studying the book.

“If you do this now, and rightly, you will carry on and complete the very salutary impression made by the paper on Michelet—which I think you ought now to acknowledge generally. I hear it is commonly given to Dr. Turton. I think I wrote you so. They had traced it to the Abbey. I think it very likely—there not being time now for much politics, and it being on the cards that we may find either another Conservative Government contracted, or a Radicalised Whig one in power by the time Parliament meets—that we may be forced to publish a number in February, for the purpose of taking ground decidedly and deliberately. I have promised, however, to set about the miscellaneous two hundred pages of the spring number forthwith, so as to be quite ready in case there should be a call of this nature on the Quarterly Review.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Milman finished his article on Newman. Lockhart writes:—

December 27, 1845.

My dear Milman,—You could not have told me more agreeable news. Be early ready, and be sure you shall have the last touch at the last proof.
I quite understand that a profane hand might do harm by the least alteration of a colon—to say nothing of a diphthong.

“I suppose you rather approve of sending a few Littlemore black sheep for the wide tables of the New Zealanders. G. will for the present be occupied with anti-agricultural schedules and devils-dustrial calculations; but, depend on it, his creed will by-and-by show itself in Elections of Antipodal Mitres—if—if—if—if the Government endureth—a right pregnant if.

Ellenburgh is writing a Proclamation, say his colleagues to be—but on what subject, or what place he is to have, I have not as yet been informed. I think, in case of war with Jonathan, he would do well at the Admiralty. Indeed, I don’t know why he might not replace Arthur presently as well as Albert. The Queen could make him a Field-Marshal if she liked, and I back him to invent a hat that would please even Jeames.1

“All good things be on you and your household, now and ever. Amen.

J. G. Lockhart.

P.S.—Have you read Arnold’s second volume? I suppose his work ought to be reviewed, and I am sure you are the proper person, if you should feel disposed.

“I shall get to London about the end of this month, and so I suppose will you—so my rural flir-

1 One reference, at last, to Thackeray.

tations with the house of Maryburgh must lie over until another season. Tell me, if you write again, what you think of the Duke’s health. I take it for granted you have seen a good deal of him as well as of your other neighbours; also whether you have heard anything particular lately touching
Lord Brougham.

“Kindest respects to Mrs. Milman, in spite of all her sarcasms upon

J. G. Lockhart.”

Milman’s article on Newman’s book was courteous, if controversial. The lay mind is rather baffled by the learning.1 The Rev. James Smith, of Ecclesmachan, who seems to have been very erudite, was able to correct Newman and de Maistre, and to inform Milman on certain points. A via media was what the Quarterly tried to follow. Lockhart was free from bigotry in these matters, and this child of the Covenant, when abroad, was very fond of the society of learned priests of the old faith. This appears in his letters of travel, which usually describe the ordinary sights dear to tourists, and do not need to be cited.

1 Quarterly, vol. lxxvii. p. 404.