LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 21: 1842-50

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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Gloom of Lockhart’s diaries.—Deaths of friends.—Melancholy quotations.—Contrast of gay letters.—His son Walter.—Letters to Milman.—Clough on Walter.—Death of Sir Walter Scott.—Letters to Miss Edgeworth.—Abbotsford revisited.—All debts extinguished.—Marriage of Miss Lockhart.—Letters to Miss Lockhart.—To Miss Edgeworth.—Description of Mr. Hope.—Letters to Mrs. Hope.—Apthorpe.—Wimpole.—Christmas Letter.—Lord Lonsdale’s palace.—Letter on “Jane Eyre.”—High praise of the novel.—Letters on Society.—Troubles with Walter.—His debts.—Brain-fever.—Letters to Milman.—A mummy at a ball.—Paris.—Louis Bonaparte.—Guizot.—Whose joke?—The Dean of St. Paul’s.

On a first reading of Lockhart’s diaries, mere notes jotted down in his engagement-book during the latest years of his life, it seemed that the record of these years ought to be as brief as melancholy. “There is enough of present evil and sorrow always in the world,” he says in his essay on Wilkie, “without lingering needlessly over dreary records of past suffering.” Dreary his own records are. He acquired, as we have seen, a habit of chronicling the deaths of friends, within a border of black, and the later diaries thus become as funereal as a collection of tombstones. As early as 1842 we find (some examples have been cited already):—


October 29.—Died good Allan Cunningham. Ætat lvi.”

December 6.—My father died.”

December 12, 7 p.m.—I placed my father in his coffin with my own hands.”

December 13.—My father’s funeral. Cathedral of Glasgow. At 3. He lies by my mother in the Dripping Aisle.”

Then he “hears of the death of Tom Hamilton at Pisa. The original O’Doherty, which Maginn took up.”

In 1844 he notes: “In this year I sustained one great and another considerable distress.”

In 1845: “January 1.—First day out for three weeks. Bilious fever.”

October 20.—Died good Mrs. Murray of Albemarle Street.”

In the fly-leaf of the diary of 1846 he writes:—

“When thy muscles are flaccid, and thy hair grey, and thou hast seen the child of thy child, seek thou refuge in a forest” (Manu).

“The three greatest miseries of a man are to lose, in youth his father; in middle age his wife; in old age his son” (Confucius).

Only one of the three sorrows fell not to Lockhart’s lot.

In 1847: “February 8.—Dies Sir Walter Scott, at sea.”

August 19.—C. marries J. R. Hope.

“A year to me of very indifferent health and
great anxieties.
C.’s marriage the only good thing.”

In 1848, if not in 1847, begin the troubles caused by the behaviour of his son, now laird of Abbotsford, as Walter Lockhart Scott.

The later diaries are still marked by increasing sorrow and anxiety about Walter, who was obliged to live abroad. Then come Walter’s unexpected death, and constant notes of Lockhart’s own illnesses and the deaths of friends.

Over such pages no one would linger, but, on turning to Lockhart’s familiar correspondence during these unhappy years, we find him full of anecdote and spirit, always hiding or making light of his troubles, except those caused by Walter, on which he was obliged to consult, among others, Mr. Hope, later Hope-Scott. The mild counsels of Lockhart, his gentleness and placidity of temper being beyond example and beyond praise—were wasted. Could all be known and told, it is not too much to say that Lockhart’s fortitude during these last years, so black with affliction bodily and mental, was not less admirable than that of Sir Walter Scott himself. Thus the trials from which we are tempted to avert our eyes, really brought out the noblest manly qualities of cheerful endurance, of gentle consideration for all who, being sorry for his sorrow, must be prevented from knowing how deep and incurable were his wounds.


The correspondence with Milman is continued:—

Milton, Lanark, August 27, 1846.

My dear Milman,—I am to be in London by the first of September, and to stay there till I get the Quarterly Review into shape—the political part at this moment being too delicate for eternal correspondence. . . . We in the Quarterly Review are, I hope, to take as quiet a line as shall seem at all consistent with our creed. I expect your article will be of great service to us, and its scope, I fancy, will be quite in accordance with our support of Peel in his godless College scheme for Ireland, the increased grant for Maynooth, and so on. . . .

“I have been unwell ever since I left town, but think myself rather better this week, and look for benefit from the journey to town, for the root of all my suffering is, I am sure, in the stagnation of the bilious system. Charlotte and Walter are flourishing in health and glee, and enjoying what kills me—the tumultuous hospitality of a County Member’s house on the supposed eve of a General Election. For the last two days I have had the relief of being in a very pleasant Whig house, Lord Belhaven’s, a few miles off, and there yesterday we had a Yankee artist with locks à la Leonardo da Vinci, and neckchains à la Spanish Armada, not, I believe, to be surpassed in absurdity even at ‘that deaf gal’s tea-drinking.’1 The Edinburgh people mentioned by

1 Can “that deaf gal” be Miss Martineau?

you are of a crop that has grown up since my day. Cha begs her love.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On March 31, Walter had been gazetted, and the following letter to Miss Lockhart shows that he soon became discontented with his financial position. Apparently he had already been extravagant at Cambridge (where he rowed three in the winning University eight), but no infantry appointment was available when he entered the army. He therefore joined the Sixteenth Lancers. Lockhart, throughout, regarded vanity as the origin of his lavish expenditure. He was a very handsome and genial boy, “not literary, but not dull,” says Clough;—for such life is full of temptations. But his career was of a kind so wildly irresponsible as to make moral criticism almost out of the question. No greater torment, for a heart so affectionate as Lockhart’s, could have been devised than the approaching inevitable estrangement from his son.

This letter, to Miss Lockhart, speaks of Walter’s plans:—

Monday, December 28, 1846.

Dear Cha,—Croker slept here these two nights, and made himself very agreeable. I had Christie to dine yesterday, and they fraternised beyond my hope. To-day Croker has gone to the Duke of Rutland’s, who likewise is in dudgeon against Prince Albert about the brazen Duke’s removal
from the Arch—to say nothing of Anti-Peel politics, in which all that sit are still fervidly united with
Brougham, Lyndhurst, and old Lowther himself to encourage them. The Court is in bad, bad odour with all the Tories. I am distressed to hear that Walter is low—but I thought it right to let him see exactly what military judges said, and I enclose another scrap of Moryllion’s (?) to the same tune. But I am quite anxious that he should consider and form an opinion of his own. If I could be sure of life, and that my health would enable me to keep the income I have for a course of years, I should not grudge him £300 a year, though certainly anything beyond that would be utterly impossible, and it is the dread of fresh extravagance from vanity, his besetting sin, that hangs over me. But I don’t wish to write about such things—much better wait till he arrives. Mr. Croker thinks, in the present state of Ireland, India, and France, there is no chance of any reductions in the cavalry establishments.

“Here are two lady letters only for you—return or don’t burn Maria E(dgeworth).—Yours affectionately, J. G. Lockhart.”

The death of Sir Walter Scott at sea, in the February of the following year, made Walter laird of Abbotsford, and the circumstance encouraged, perhaps, his new tendencies, without supplying funds for their indulgence. He joined his regiment at Canterbury.


On April 30, Lockhart and his son accompanied the hearse of his brother-in-law, Sir Walter, to Abbotsford. The funeral, at Dryburgh, was on May 4th.

Lockhart writes thus to Miss Edgeworth about Sir Walter’s death:—

Abbotsford, May 2, 1847.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—I found your most kind note on my arrival here last night, in attendance with my son on the remains of our lost friend, who had to me been through life a brother, and to whom I had always looked with confidence for care of my children in case of my own death. His poor widow came to my house on reaching London, and she accompanied me in the steamer to Edinburgh, where I left her with her mother. She exerts great control over very acute feelings. No woman ever worshipped a husband more than she, and his late letters all overflowed with tender gratefulness for her unwearied attention to him in his illness. It was only his very last letter to me, written the day before he sailed from Madras, that expressed serious apprehensions, and I learn that he continued under such feelings during the voyage, though he mentioned them only to some brother officers, not to Jane, and exerted himself so far as to dine till the last fortnight at table, and occasionally go on deck. I have not yet the post-mortem examination, but am assured in general by the ship doctor, that the right lung was
wholly gone or obliterated, and that he had also evident traces of his father’s fatal malady, The liver suffered in India, and the seat of the evil had only, it seems, been sympathetically and not very severely affected. He is lamented most deeply by his regiment—officers and men all alike. Two of the former called on me to request leave to come down to his funeral, and I expect them this evening.

“I shall have a good deal of business, and may be detained here for some little time, but my boy will rejoin his corps at Canterbury this week. Charlotte is still my Charlotte. She is with some kind relations in Surrey till I reclaim my housekeeper and constant companion and comfort.

“I find Sir Walter had named me his executor, but have not seen as yet the entail of his lands which his will mentions. I suppose my boy will hereafter add Scott to his name, but I greatly doubt whether he will gain anything in a worldly sense from his dear uncle’s death, at least during Lady Scott’s lifetime. I will, however, tell you how matters clear up by-and-by in that respect.

“You, my dear friend, can imagine with what a heart I have re-entered this house, which I had not seen since the morning after your old friend’s funeral in September 1832. Everything in perfect order—every chair and table where it was then left, and I alone to walk a ghost in a sepulchre amidst
the scenes of all that ever made life worth the name for me.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

This letter continues the story of the family arrangements:—

Sussex Place, May 15, 1847.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—I said I would tell you the upshot of my endeavours to arrange the worldly business I had to grapple with in Scotland. It comes to this. I found that the Colonel had entailed not the house, library, and immediate grounds alone (as I had supposed), but the whole lands at Abbotsford, on his brother, and then on my son, &c., but that there remained a debt of £8500, secured on these lands in his father’s time of trouble, and £24,000 more of old bookselling debt—besides an odd £1000 of claims against the founder—with all which I must deal as my father-in-law’s sole surviving executor. The only funds were the remaining copyrights of his works—now much diminished, and every three months diminishing in number. Cadell offered, as he had done some time ago to the Colonel, to obliterate the £8500 and the £24,000, on receiving the remaining share of the copyrights in Scott’s works, and in my Life of him, and to take an abridged edition of the Life in payment of the other £1000; and being wholly at a loss how to meet demands for interest (at this Whitsuntide even), and really believing that no one else could or would offer so much for what I had to dis-
pose of, I have signed the agreement above indicated. Abbotsford, therefore, is free as respects the debts of the founder, and so far, at all events, a great object of my ambition is accomplished. Whether my boy is to receive any income from his succession will depend on the state of his uncle’s own matters, which cannot be ascertained till we hear from agents in Madras. . . . .

“The entail requires my son to add the name and arms of Scott to his own, and this will be done at the convenience of the Heralds’ College, of course.

Lady Scott will have a tolerable income now, and a much larger one if she outlives her mother. Her plans are as yet quite unfixed, but I much doubt if she will live at Abbotsford (which would be the most desirable thing for my son), or even in Scotland. Her mother, in anticipation of their return, had taken Huntly Burn, to be near them—you remember the house above Chiefswood, where the Fergusons used to be. Both it and my little glen are just what they were, only the woods on the skirts of the Eildons so grown that I could hardly see the summits from my garden. Lady Scott continued wonderfully tranquil, and Sir Adam is quite paternal in his treatment of her—in short, she is as well, and as well placed, as one could wish her to be for the present. My youth has rejoined his corps at Canterbury, and Missy and I have resumed our usual quiet habits here.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”
MR. HOPE 299

The diary contains the usual notes of social engagements, among them a dinner with Mr. Ruskin at Denmark Hill. On July 21 is entered, Inter patrem et filiam collocutio, filia rem gestam enarrat. The was the proposal of Mr. James Hope, a most welcome piece of news. “Lockhart’s regard and affection for Mr. Hope were almost unbounded,” says Mr. James Traill, who, as a young man, knew him well. “He admired him in every way, both personally and for his social and intellectual qualities, and had a high opinion of his good sense.” No engagement could have pleased him so well (the young lady had not lacked other suitors), and when “Mr. Hope called at twelve,” on July 22, he had no reason for the usual anxiety in these circumstances. But after all, Lockhart, like Scott many years before, might say—
“Ah me! the flower and blossom of my house,
The wind has blown away to other towers.”
He was losing a child to whom he was tenderly devoted; henceforth Lockhart was to be a lonely man in London, as age crept on him with many maladies, in a great empty house.

Here follows his letter about the wedding to his sister Violet. The letter is anything but heartbroken, though it refers to Lockhart’s need of the attendance of Sir Benjamin Brodie. Several maladies were beginning to beset him, including a delicacy of the mucous membrane:—

August 20, 1847.

My dear Violet,—As by some mistake of Mr. Hope’s clerk the papers of this morning don’t say anything on our subject, be it known unto you that Charlotte’s wedding and the breakfast after (in her absence and her youth’s) went off very prettily. She conducted herself well, and with very tolerable firmness, and they were at the altar a very handsome pair indeed. They retired cunningly to Richmond, and left me to do the honours of chickens, cutlets, all cold, tea, coffee, and plenty of champagne to some forty-five people, including several fine ones, and many, as I believe, sincere friends. The bridesmaids were six: Lady Susan Holroyd, Miss (Stratford) Canning, Caroline Gifford, Isabella Grant (Frank the painter’s daughter), Sophia Christie, and Scott Wilson; of whom Scottie and Miss Grant were most to be admired for looks, though I am very partial to Sir S. Canning’s very clever, nice girl, who is returning in a few days to Constantinople—very sorry, no doubt, at not having caught a Jim.1 I am to dine with the Hopes on Sunday, and on Monday go to visit Sir G. Warrender at Cliefden, and thence to the Ashburtons, on the coast of Hampshire. I am therefore much better, but still it may be some time ere I dare put myself beyond a few hours of Sir B. Brodie.—Yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

1 Mr. Hope was always “Jim” with Lockhart.


To Miss Edgeworth, Lockhart is more full in his comments on Mr. Hope:—

London, August 28, 1847.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—Peccavi—but not from anything so bad as undervaluing your great and constant kindness to me and mine. It had been settled that Lady Davy, my girl, and I were to go about this day to Spain for a three or four months’ tour; but after we had begun to rub up our Castilian vocables, and even to think of trunks, and cases, and mule-saddles—behold a little romance that had been going on unsuspected by me, and perhaps hardly suspected by the hero, or at least by the heroine, was suddenly ripened by this Spanish announcement, and in a few days’ time I found it all settled that our château en Espagne must make way for a house in Charles Street, Berkeley Square, and another in Fife! But perhaps you will understand me. I had been so awfully vexed and mortified about certain premature and luckily falsified announcements of autumn 1846, that I was determined not to make any announcements at all on this occasion, and in fact I never quite convinced myself that the thing was certain until I signed the contract. It was all done in railway time—but no matter; the acquaintance had been gradual, and the feeling was sincere and deep, and on both sides, I am satisfied, well bestowed. So let us hear no more about my foolish silence!
Moreover, I was far from well, and the row of eating and drinking through a new tribe, and trousseaux, &c., really bothered me out of half my wits. Charlotte has been there eight days, the wife of a highly distinguished man, exceedingly loved in his family, and immensely admired in society, and considered as having every chance of the very highest honours in his profession. Though only thirty-five, he has already laid by a sufficient independence; his practice is very great, his connections, natural and acquired, of the most respectable kind. To conclude, he is a handsome fellow, and Lady Davy hardly yet forgives us for having seized on her favourite cavalier.

“They are now at the Duke of Buccleuch’s pretty villa at Richmond, and move thence in a few days towards Scotland. Mr. Hope’s elder brother having two places, he rents one of them (Rankeillour, near Cupar Fife), and is much attached to it. His business being chiefly that of a Parliamentary Counsel, he can be there near six months in the year—and there I hope to inspect them presently. I have already dined twice with them in their retreat, and if they be not most happy they are the cleverest of actors. In a word, I have every reason to be satisfied and gratified; and I believe there really is not a father in London, of almost any rank, who would not have been glad indeed to bestow his daughter on James Hope. My boy is now Walter Lockhart Scott, Lieutenant in the 16th Lancers
at Brighton, and I think doing well since he was indulged with the cloth of his choice. Thus you see my domestic cares are much lightened—for the present, at all events. I suppose children’s children will by-and-by come to provide new objects of concern and interest.

“As soon as I am well enough to work as usual, I must now begin the abridgment of the Life of Sir Walter Scott; your suggestions on that head are laid by as valuable guidance when I do come to the job, and if you can add to the number with the kind frankness that belongs to you, most thankfully shall I endeavour to profit by such advice as yours is ever sure to be.

“Now let me hear that you have forgiven me, and write to Mrs. James Hope your congratulations on her most fortunate wedding—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

In autumn Lockhart went to Scotland as usual, and his diary records: “On October 23, a visit to St. Andrews;” and “November 4, Melrose Abbey, with Hope and Cha.” He could see, doubtless not without a natural pensiveness, the scenes where he had been happy as now his daughter was happy, and those must have been among the best of his later hours. The following letter to his daughter was written before this visit; the “prey” referred to is wedding presents. His letters often contain much gossip about social facts, which are
diverting, but cannot always well be published. A kind of romance was going on, an exciting novel in real life; but it now must remain unchronicled, though a very celebrated person was interested:—

Sussex Place, September 25, 1847.

Dear Cha,—I was pleased with your letter from Milton, and the accounts from others of the party there. This I hope finds you at home, and all well, with Lady Hope and Lady Ferguson, to whom offer my best respects. H. Ellis dined here yesterday with Vyvyan and Penn; he has come over for a month’s visiting —the dame retreated from Spa to Paris. He has brought a box for you, which I will bring down; but you will write to himself, of course, or to Mrs. Ellis. I don’t know what the prey contained is, but ’tis from Storr & Mortimer’s, as was, I fancy, much of the other plunder of the trap. I am very busy, working that I may feel easy when away; but when busy I am always better in spirits, and accordingly I dine daily with some friends—to-day with Ford, tomorrow Vyvyan. On Monday or Tuesday Croker comes to stay with me for some days. Love to Hope, Q.C., &c.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

“I have bought a fine book for the autographs—folio, dark red velvet—but am not at leisure for contents at this moment. Tell Hope that Sir R.
Vyvyan swears all the row at Rome, and thence over Italy, is a cross. Metternich wanted to get rid of the Cardinals and Monsignori in the Legations, and set Pius IX. to work, who accordingly banishes the real liberal Prince Monsegnano, while he of Lucca goes to Vienna to call for white battalions, as the Tuscan Grand Duke, &c., &c., will all do in a week or two. Meanwhile our Queen goes to Adverechie without a chaplain, and with a Popish Duke; and Wellington sends Minto to the Quirinal to co-operate with Metternich’s tool infallible. What fun is my atheist High Anglican!

“J. G. L.”

The next letter, at the opening of the Scotch visit, does not suggest any hint of the gloom which Lockhart really felt at times, and briefly records in his diary at the end of the year. In fact, the contrast between what he endured and what he revealed to those most dear to him is always most characteristic.

Milton Lockhart, Lanark, October 9, 1847.

Dearest Charlotte,—I had this morning your note of the 5th, and therefore lose no time in saying here I am, safe and pretty well, though I can’t tell what my ulterior (Fifeish) movements are to be until I have seen William, who is to be here to dinner to-day, but perhaps not in post-time.

“I spent a couple of very pleasant days at Ap-
thorpe, though, the
Duke of Cambridge being of the party, it was rather noisy, but all exceeding good-humour and some fun. Also at Brigham I had very good entertainment, and was not a little surprised with the scale and splendour of the curious place, which has, among other things, a most gorgeous chapel, all over Popery and heraldry; and H. B. carried me after our wine to vespers, where he has very fair chaunting from the villagers, and his brother William plays the organ. I had but a rough day’s work yesterday; mail-coach overturned near Lesmahago, but I was outside luckily, and Paul1 cleared the hedge and suffered little from a plunge knee-deep into a ploughed field. None of my letters having arrived from the South, William was from home, and the servants expected nobody, but all very speedily comfortable.—Ever yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Stoical as he was, Christmas brought from the lonely man a hint of his melancholy, as to the old Christmas must ever be a time of sad memories and of forebodings.

Christmas, 1847.

My dear Cha,—I am very weary, and the daylight waxes dim apace, so I must merely wish all that is good for you and Hope and Walter, and say how it gratifies me that he is with you at this season—how sincerely I hope you three may spend many

1 His valet.

happy Christmases together. I will write a lengthy letter the first spare hour of day.

“I have Croker’s new edition of Bozzy for you, but this box must await your coming as well as Ellis’s. It is a very great improvement on his former editions, and makes a handsome large tome. It shall be bound ere you see it in suitable style. . . .

“All here rave about a novel, ‘Jane Eyre,’ of which I have read about half. I think it more cleverly written by far than any very recent one, and it has a strong interest, but hitherto a disagreeable one. It must be, if not by a man, by a very coarse woman.—Affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.

“Kind regards to Mr. Badeley.”

On “Jane Eyre” he expressed an opinion so enthusiastic that it might startle Miss Brontë’s most fervent admirers. The idea that the book must be by a man, or, if a woman, “by a very coarse one,” is too strongly put in Miss Rigby’s review in the Quarterly.1 We can only say that in 1848 no critic could have guessed that Currer Bell was neither a man nor a coarse woman, but the blameless daughter of a rural divine.

Kingsley, in a letter to Mrs. Gaskell, rejoices that he had never expressed in print his opinion.

1 Miss Rigby said that the author, if a woman, must, for good reasons, have forfeited the society of her sex. This was indefensible: she believed the book to be by a man.


“‘Shirley’ disgusted me at the opening, and I gave up the writer and her books, with a notion that she was a person who liked coarseness.”1

The next letter—Lockhart wrote many at that time—is full of gossip:—

December 27, 1847.

Dear Cha,—I heard nothing of Walter’s recall from York until now from you, but all’s well that ends well.

“I suppose I shall see him this week. On Saturday first if possible, if not on Monday, 3rd January, I shall go for two days to Grange, but I don’t look to any other rustications.

“Yesterday I saw Jinny—still in her attic—no man-servant—all in calico mufflings—pretty cheerful with a cadeau from Lord Holland—a little portrait of that pet himself.

“One day I had a fine though small dinner at Lord Lonsdale’s, whose house (a double one by William Gladstone’s) is, after the Duke of Sutherland’s, the most splendid I have seen in London—six drawing-rooms blazing with gold, glass, and real pictures. Below four very large, and three of these gorgeous rooms. In the one where we dined all is either gilding or mirror, save that three or four huge mirrors, filling vast panels, serve as frames to oval pictures of French ladies—very fine heads by WatteauDu Barry, Pompadour, and the like.

1 Kingsley repented on reading Miss Brontë’s Life. The whole subject is discussed in Mr. Clement K. Shorter’sCharlotte Brontë and her Circle.”


William would think this Elysium, not least one arrangement in the only plain room, viz., push back the Earl’s big chair by his fire, and lift the rug. There is a ring. Lift it, and behold a little narrow trap stair, by which he descends at once into the kitchen to watch the casseroles. The company was suitable—Mrs. Fox Lane, Lord Somerton, and others after their kinds. Yesterday I made up by a quiet meal at the spinster’s—only Widow Sharpe. This week I shall be at home, I think, every day till Saturday.

“I have not seen Badeley on marrying a Deceased Wife’s Sister, but if he prints the argument, of which Christie says there is high laudation, in some acceptable shape, Jim or he should give me an article on the subject one day.

“‘All the world’ seem to be vexed or angry, not with Gladstone’s pro-Jew vote, but with the grounds on which he put it. I half begin to suspect he will lose his Oxford seat, and to be the first man ejected would be a severe mortification.—Yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Here is the laudation of “Jane Eyre”:—

Sussex Place, December 29, 1847.

“A good New Year to Mr. and Mrs. Hope, and many of them to be enjoyed, together with continuing faith in the wisdom of August 19th, 1847. As
I shall be on my road to the Grange on Friday, I send my salutations now.

“I have finished the adventures of Miss Jane Eyre, and think her far the cleverest that has written since Austen and Edgeworth were in their prime. Worth fifty Trollopes and Martineaus rolled into one counterpane, with fifty Dickenses and Bulwers to keep them company; but rather a brazen Miss. The two heroines exemplify the duty of taking the initiative, and illustrate it under the opposite cases as to worldly goods of all sorts, except wit. One is a vast heiress, and beautiful as angels are everywhere but in modern paintings. She asks a handsome curate, who will none of her, being resolved on a missionary life in the far East. The other is a thin, little, unpretty slip of the governess, who falls in love with a plain, stoutish Mr. Burnand, aged twenty years above herself, sits on his knee, lights his cigar for him, asks him flat one fine evening, and after a concealed mad wife is dead, at last fills that awful lady’s place. Lady Fanny will easily extract the moral of this touching fable.—Yours ever (both of yours) affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

With this mirth he ends the year. It is pretty plain that Miss Rigby took her own course in the critique, which was, and still is, so vigorously blamed. Miss Rigby was a writer of stern propriety.

The year 1848 opened for Lockhart with an
illness; all these illnesses, which often confined him to bed, are shortly chronicled in the diaries, and leave a most comfortless impression of lonely malaise and pain. The following letter shows how little of his sufferings Lockhart permitted to be apparent:—

Saturday, January 15, 1848.

Dear Cha,—Lady Davy and Thurlow called here this morning in a cab, the first outing after a tedious ‘trouble’; but I think miladi looked better—cleaner—than she did before she was seized, and hope it is all over. I am better myself and busy again, which is always the best for me, but I don’t think I shall attend the ball at Brighton on the 28th, especially as I have to go to Wimpole to dine on the 29th.

“In case I forget, there is a box at Mr. Miles’s, holding the cast of Thorwaldsen’s medallion of your grandpapa. Please bring it up with you carefully, and the like as to anything else you find for me there. I have bid Miss —— send me calotypes of John Murray (a capital one) and of her lovely self; whichever of a score she least approves. The Miss Murrays gave a very elegant dinner to a very gay company on Thursday, and all seemed happy—the animal-lover Hardwicke included.

“I hope Walter can meet you at Abbotsford, but I hardly believe it. He has said nothing to me, however, on the subject.

“Martha has had the influenza, and Paul also;
and now Martha is leaving me to go to her parents, but I have got a neat, tidy lass from a doctor’s in Baker Street, who seems to do very well, and is cleanly and decent-looking—not young, and marked with small-pox. The other stayed a week to teach her the way of the house, but goes this night or Monday morning—a very excellent servant, but her family wanted her, and I can’t help it. ‘Spicey’ would be welcome to me, but do as you judge best; perhaps you will come and see me, even if she be not here.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The next letter dissembles his real anxiety for Walter, who, after the manner of foolish young men, affected a tedious mystery about his movements. Lockhart’s plan was probably the wisest, not to irritate by cross-questioning and constant lectures, but no plan could have been successful. He carried a heavy heart among the gay people, wholly have been no happier than himself:—

London, February 2, 1848.

Dear Cha,—I have just come home after some very pleasant days at Lord Hardwicke’s, which is a place on the largest scale, and was illustrated by a very grand collection of Tory sages, viz.: Duke of Richmond, Marquess of Exeter and wife, Earl of Eglinton, ditto and Countess of Desart, Lords and Ladies Stanley and Ashburton,
Lord George Bentinck, Croker the right honourable, and myself the only esquire; lots of honourables, but no baronet. I am entreated to, I suppose, a similar gathering next week at Burghley, but I won’t accept until I hear your day for arriving here. All were frank and jolly, but their political horizon is, I think, quite in obscuro. Lord George is not to lead in the Commons, nor could any of them guess who (if anybody) is to replace him. There were splendid games at billiards between Stanley and Eglinton, and Lady H. sang divinely; and we had (as Paul soon told me) the identical German cook that so nearly poisoned the Member for Carluke; but, luckily for me, there was turtle every day, and that even he could not contaminate; also capital pies, and cold beef and beer, worth all the champagne.

“I find a line from Walter, who is to dine and sleep here to-day, and start to-morrow, he says, for Bowhill. I had some hints lately that vexed me on his account. I fear last time he was in Scotland his chief fixture was at a place he never mentioned to any of us. Sir J. M’Neil is alarmed for his folly. I don’t know that I shall say very much, or perhaps anything, on the subject, but I think a little help might be lent by you and Hope. If he proceeds, it seems to be as like an insurance of worldly distress as anything one could fancy.

“You may, I believe, expect to hear in another post or so of the death of the Primate. At Wim-
pole, opinion seemed to incline in favour of
Bishop of Norwich, whom, by the way, I foregathered with at Cambridge; as also my love Catharine, who will have her nose further up at both Sedgwick and me if she becomes a Princess of Lambeth. At Wimpole my flame was Lady ——, who is rather under a cloud just at present, but I hope not so serious as Mayfair talk represents it.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

It is extremely disagreeable to dwell on the chief misery of Lockhart at this time, and for four years longer. But his biography would be incomplete did it not record his conduct towards the cause of his anxiety. A father vexed and straitened by the follies of a son, too often loses temper and dignity. These Lockhart never lost, his affection was never weakened, his appeal was ever to reason and right feeling. The following letter was written to Walter after some escapade of which the details are no longer memorable. The young man had, apparently, been imposed on, and dragged deeper into pecuniary difficulties.

In these circumstances Lockhart wrote the following remonstrance, most gently worded:—

London, September 1, 1848.

Dear Walter,—As it would be quite unnecessary to explain my feelings, more especially in connection with the last letters that passed between
you and me as to money matters, I presume you will think it wise, as respects your own interests, no longer to defer putting me in possession of a full statement, on conscience and honour, of the actual condition of your pecuniary affairs.

“I well know that persons in difficulty as to money feel extreme reluctance to make full disclosures, and I am quite disposed to make considerable allowance for whatever omissions occurred when we last corresponded on the subject: but this affair must have attracted, or soon attract, the notice of all who take a concern in you, and I think you will perceive that no good can, and much, perhaps irreparable, evil may come from any hesitation about complying with my present suggestion.—Your affectionate father,

J. G. Lockhart.”

A boy of Walter Lockhart’s kind always wants to be treated “like a man of the world,” and like a man of the world Lockhart treated him. But no measures were of any avail. Lockhart’s diary, after the note Sept. 23, “Guizot dined, Croker and J. G. L.—three only,” contains the record—

“Sept. 25.—Walter very unwell at Norwich.”

Walter was suffering from a brain fever, which, to any one who has been obliged to read through the documents about his brief and stormy life, suggests an explanation of what had been, and of what was to follow; of the change from the kind and
friendly boy to the sullen, wayward, reckless young man. They who, with unavailing grief, have beheld and endured such a change in one beloved, best know what
Lockhart had to suffer, and, understanding his son’s case, can most readily pity and pardon. There was a meaning in the ancient belief in “possession.”

The following letter to Milman tells all that need be told of this part of the story:—

Sussex Place, October 6, 1848.

My dear Milman,—Murray has sent me a note of yours which gives very comforting accounts of Mrs. Milman and yourself. Perhaps he has told you why I have been and am here. My son had given me continual distress and anxiety for some time, but lately he fell into a brain fever, and was for some days despaired of. I left Charlotte and Hope in care of him at Norwich (Cha in the Palace—him in the Barracks), and do not know when he may be able to travel with them to Scotland; but when he does, there is left an awful load of care and trouble, and, I fear, embarrassment upon me. He seems to have crammed the folly of a lifetime into less than two years. I do not think I shall get away at all now.

Murchison has returned ten years younger than he departed, belly gone, wig gone, and lo! a glossy dark chevelure of his own—how he triumphed at my greyness!


Fergusson, too, has returned from Germany, where he and his wife saw all the tokens of a fearful revolutionary civil war, not long to be stayed from explosion all over Vaterland—the rage of class against class fiendish; in the meantime a total stoppage of all trade and the deepest poverty.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hope showed unwearying kindness and affection to Walter, and Lockhart’s best hopes were in the influence of his daughter over her brother. Many letters on this topic are omitted.

On October 21, Lockhart paid his usual autumn visit to his brother at Milton Lockhart. On November 1 he returned to London. This letter refers to the critique of Layard’sNineveh.” The reference to the printing of Messrs. Clowes is in contrast with other praises which he elsewhere bestows on their work.

November 19, 1848.

My dear Milman,—Clowes has outdone himself in blending your paper, but I see through all his mists the worth of the work, which I beg you to correct twice ere I see it again, for I don’t wish to come dulled to the true edition, and am sure that will need to be edition third.

“I hope you will give a note on the doctoring of the ivories, which interests whoever hears thereof.

“I also hope you will select a few of the best woodcuts. Perhaps it might do to cram two pages
full of them, and give numbers and references, but better, if possible, to dovetail the cuts into the text cleverly.

“I desiderate your allusion to the Papal confirmation of Queen Semiramis’s system of tonsure.

“Please get me made one of the three paid Ecclesiastical Commissioners, whose office, however, must not, as they are to be laymen, infer any tonsure at all. Upon my word, this is saddling Mother Church with three costly incubi. Senior, I suppose, can’t be one of them, as well as Master of Chancery and Tutor-General of the Whigs. Yet another £2000 a year would repay him for some extra exertion.

“The Archbishop will appoint some little saint and Lord John two big sinners. This is another very decided step towards the commencement of the end. Oh, my Philpotts! my bowels are disturbed for thee; this is worse than the Surplice question, or even the Catholic one.

“I suggest for Commissioners at £2000—Ex parte Lambeth, Mr. Fitzsam Wilberforce, R.N., or Mr. Fitzbore Raikes. Ex parte Crown, Escott, Esq., Hon. Grantley Berkeley.—Yours ever,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Nothing could ever depress in Lockhart a kind of intellectual high spirits when his pen was in his hand.

On December 9 he dined with Mr. Gleig. “Between him and me is a great affection,” he once
wrote to
Milman. “Sam Rogers more amusing and far more instructive than I ever had found him. In good-humour and great force every way at eighty-six,” he writes in his diary. On December 26 he left England with Christie for the Continent.

The following letter describes revolutionary Paris:—

Consule Ludovico, Paris,
December 31, 1848.

My dear Charlotte,—This is the last night of 1848, and I pray that 1849 may be a happy year for you. This morning I had your note, for which I thank you, though its contents were not over satisfactory.

“I shall not write at length until I get home. The only result of all I have seen and heard is that this L. N. B.1 concern must come to an end very soon: the bets are within three months. I was at one sitting of the Assembly—a horrid row, indeed—in a place as big as our opera-house, but made chiefly of pasteboard, and which a Mirabeau would roar down, I believe, in ten minutes. Nothing like argument can be even attempted where there are from 1000 to 1500 French people, male and female, all crammed together, almost all jabbering. Poor little Marrast is not heard, hardly seen; his hammer and bell no more heeded than his white gloves and other barber-like ornaments.

“We have seen two plays, both very cleverly

1 Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

acted and very amusing, on the state of public affairs, and I hear there is a third at some third theatre to the same tune, that is, the most scornful derision of this and all revolutions—and with what gusto all the audiences gulp it! Then, to-day, we heard the great Protestant preacher, Cocquerel, who is, I think, the best preacher I ever heard, and whose sermon was full of most sad reflections on the ending of a year of ‘wanton mischief.’ He said, so far from predicting what would occur before the end of 1849, he was sure all would agree that anything might fall out before the end of another twenty-four hours.

L. N. B. is an ass. At his first dinner last Friday there were two ladies, and one of them was the Guiccioli,1 now Madame de Boissy! Secundo, when all the world is willing to forget Strasbourg, he makes a dust about the bills. We walked past the Elysée to-day, and it looked as military as it ever could have done in the time of Mon oncle.

“Well, good night, and all good wishes to Hope and you. This is a shabby note, but I am very badly colded to-night, and must go to bed.—Affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The diary now contains not only pessimistic quotations from the Greek Anthology, such as “All is laughter, dust, and nothingness,” but this epigram on Alison’sHistory of Europe”—

1 Lord Byron’s mistress.

“A book to bend an omnibus,
A style like Hullah’s Chorus;
Rome may put up with Tacitus,
But Glasgow boasts Sonorus!

This letter is dated the day after his return to England:—

Sussex Place, Saturday, January 6, 1849.

My dear Charlotte,—Christie’s business forced him back, and I had not courage to stay alone in Paris, though I am little else here, God knows. We arrived yesterday afternoon in time for me to send off two Punches; but not for writing, and to-day I am so cold and colded that I can’t write more than a line. All well, however, and my health much improved by ten days of open air and exercise, very much; the cold I suffer from is a nothing. I feel greatly better.

“I have little to say as to Paris. It is quite a camp; 90,000 men in arms there; infantry in every part of the town; no five minutes without a drum beating and a detachment passing, and all the villages round swarming with cavalry. The forts all equipped with artillery. The Tuilleries, Place du Carrousel, &c., covered with cannon; two regiments at the Elysée—partly tented in the gardens, and dragoons posted in all the streets near that scene of empire; constant patrolling there.

“I did not meet with one person, French or English, German or Russian—and we talked with many
of various sorts and sizes—who did not abuse the Republic, laugh at
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and predict a speedy change of some kind. If the Assembly persist in sitting many more weeks, Changarnier will probably disperse them à la 18 Brumaire, but somehow they will be sent to the right-about. Whether Louis Napoleon Bonaparte will not be quite done out of all popularity by that time is doubtful, at least; but I think no one conceives it possible that he will be in France, unless as a prisoner, in January 1850. Still, if Changarnier be willing to keep him as a show, and content himself with the real sway, he may have a chance, and retain his palace and pomp, and get drunk (as all say he does) there, just as he did here. Thiers, it is believed, works hard for Madame d’Orleans and Comte de Paris, and I should not be surprised if that party had already coalesced with Henry V.; but, indeed, I should not be surprised at anything, save a continuance of even such order as there now is.

“I was at one sitting of the Assembly—the famous one of the Salt Duty, too, which was luck—but I think I mentioned this before.

“I have had nothing from Walter! This is very sad indeed. Be sure I shall never break your injunctions. My best regards to Hope and William.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Fortune never left Lockhart long unassailed. On January 26th he heard of the death of his
Violet, with whom he had been in constant and affectionate correspondence, mainly on matters of purely domestic interest. On January 30th he attended her funeral; on February 2nd he was with the Hopes at Abbotsford.

On April 16th he wrote the following letter to Milman on a sorrow of his friend’s. Lockhart displays no enmity to the Americans in his later remarks; he used to try to tone down the pugnacity of Basil Hall where the United States were concerned:—

Sussex Place, Regent Park,
April 16, 1849.

My dear Milman,—J. J. Rousseau says, ‘Dans les grandes afflictions le silence et la tristesse sont le vrai language de l’amitié.C’est tout dire.

“I hope it would now do you good to do me good, I mean by reviewing our friend Lyell’s two books on America. I have seen some sheets of the new one, and Murray would gladly supply you with them as they come to him if you could undertake the job. The old one never was reviewed in the Quarterly Review, and was badly and scantily treated by stupid young Merivale in the Edinburgh, so you may consider it as fresh material.

“Of course there would be some delicate subjects to touch on, and perhaps it would be necessary for you and me to talk over some of them beforehand; but I have no doubt our feelings would be much the same on anything of real moment. The tone
Lyell is very likely, I think, to promote the great cause of international amity, and I know you would be ready to follow it in the main, though he is too Whiggy for the Quarterly Review in some details.

“The doom poem now sent is his. I add two volumes of Whitefield’s Methodist Hymns, in which you’ll find a new evangelisation of Tom Moore’s Melodies. These please quote after Book of Doom, and let me have them again, for they are dear to me as the ruddy drops, &c—Yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

His son’s affairs were his chief concern. To his daughter he writes on a domestic misfortune:—

My Dearest,—You are so right to keep a cheerful heart. That is the true and wise submission. Such disappointments well endured prepare the soil for fuller happiness hereafter, and you will have your reward in due time.”

On June 6, he reports a dinner at Lord Mahon’s, where were Lord Lincoln (a character in the social romance already alluded to) and “Vanity Fair Thackeray.” “Tell Hope that the fun of this town turns on the new attachment to Lola Montes; every evening her tea-table is graced by Lord Brougham. . . . He quite brags of his devotion among the Lansdownes.”


He describes a ball: “I saw lots of friends, and flirted, as usual, vastly; chiefly, I think, with the Duchesses of Buccleuch and Northumberland and Miss ——; on revient toujours à ses riches amours. I was presented to Lady Salisbury, who is a very nice-looking girl, younger than Mildred, and agreeable, with fine lamping1 loveable eyes, and a tall, good figure—taller than her man.” . . . “The Queen danced every dance, and very elegantly aswell as cordially. There was” (an elderly nymph) “in all her diamonds, of course, and in white, spotless from top to toe, and the roses all white about her jet-black wig, so that the rouge blazed gloriously. She ran up to the Duke of Wellington, but was forced to tell her name, and that rather loudly, for he is deaf. I thought ghosts only spoke when they were spoken to”—they seldom do so even then—“and that mummies followed the same rule.”

His servant Paul now trod the primrose path.

“When I came back, behold Paul with a horrid black eye, which continues most fearful to contemplate. He said he had struck against his bed; I fear, I fear, there has been a return to unapostolical proceedings.”

These notes hide his real and pressing anxieties.

On May 22 he notes, “With Walter at Christie’s; not met since spring 1848.” His domestic letters at this time are so full of Walter’s irremediable affairs,

1 A word from “The Faery Queen.”

that it is unnecessary to cite a mere series of repetitions on one unhappy theme. He was unwell all through the summer, and had recourse, in
Burns’s phrase,
“To drumlie German water,
To make himself look fair and fatter.”

On August 3, he left for the Continent, visited Carlsbad, took long walks, accompanied by “watering outside and in,” as he notes. With his brother William he went to Prague, Vienna, Cracow, and Berlin, returned to London at the end of the month, when he notes “Ill.” I quote a letter, and a fragment of a letter, to his old and humorous friend Lord Robertson. Most people have heard how he reviewed Lord Robertson’s Poems, and added (only in the copy meant for his victim):
“Here lies that prince of Paper Lords, Lord Peter,
Who broke the laws of God, and Man, and Metre.”

I cite the version of the couplet which has reached me by tradition; there are various readings at the service of the future editor of Lockhart’s Poems.

Sussex Place, September 23, 1849.

Dear Robertson,—Since you bid me, I write a line, but have only to say that I go on as favourably as could well be wished, and have good hope of being quite myself in another week. I have now got Croker for my guest, and he will abide the week
—after which the
Quarterly Review will be dropt and only health thought of. Brougham writes that he will leave his castle on the 10th, sleep at Walmer the 12th, and the 13th cross sea en route for his château. I have asked him to dine here the 11th. Guizot writes that he has finished a discourse, ‘Why was the English Revolution (1688) successful?’ and is to publish it, both separately and as preface to a new edition of his ‘History of Charles I.’ He is to winter in Paris. He says France is well aware that she is in an auberge, and must by-and-by start again; but there is such disagreement as to the road she should take, and her ultimate point of rest, that she hesitates, and will for some time hesitate, to terminate her halt. This is well said. Meanwhile, he goes on—Two great movements halt not—one good, one evil—1. The slow but decided amalgamation of all Monarchist parties; 2. The corruption of the peasantry by the Socialist teachers. Who can prophesy, he asks, which will have made the greater progress when the moment for action arrives? He says of Louis Napoleon, ‘This small person must be greater ere he returns to nothing,’ so I suppose he anticipates either Presidency for life or Empire as the next considerable step. I rather wonder at his going to winter at the focus of disturbance—but a Frenchman out of Paris thinks himself in the grave. Old Louis Philippe is in a rage about a history of his house by one Dr. Cook Taylor,
a Whig protégé, who died the other day just after appointment to a Professorship in one of these new Irish Colleges. He was cleverish—but a wild, unconscientious, ignorant, scrambling Paddy, and his line forsooth is to defend
Égalité throughout or nearly so, but give Louis Philippe bones and body to the Devil, as the most consistent of scoundrels, unredeemed by a single honest quality from his cradle to Claremont. “Mr. Smith”1 is angry enough, and talks of prosecuting Bentley! What a descent—but Guizot will be sure to stop him. Croker was in Ireland when Queen Victoria was there, and has little doubt everything is arranged for something like a formal establishment of Popery in that country. If so, there is an end of J. R. and Co. for a season, or I am no prophet. This will be to him and his at least as costly as Corn Law was to Peel of sonnet fame. Your sonnets on Kilbryde quite revived my childish memory. Very good they are.—Yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The following fragment, of later date, to Lord Robertson, illustrates the saying habenti dabitur, and also that accretion of myths round a celebrated name which explains so many things. Lockhart himself believed that his own joke was by Sydney Smith. His personal beauty survived the years

1 Louis Philippe.

“when youthful faith is fled.”
Mr. James Traill, who knew him at this period, writes:—

“I used to think him the most wonderfully handsome man I ever saw, and that recollection still remains. His finely cut classical features, his marvellously clear complexion, white even to pallor” (an ivory tone, Mrs. Richmond Ritchie calls it), “and the jet black hair grouped in the clustering curls so dear to the chisel of the old Roman sculptors, made a lasting impression on me,” as on Miss Thackeray, whose reminiscences date from her childhood. The fine portrait by Sir Francis Grant enables us to see Lockhart as he was when “half-grey,” like Idomeneus.

Landseer may well have desired to paint such a subject. Lockhart writes:—

Landseer says that I was a good-looking chap twenty or thirty years ago, and he therefore asked me to sit to him, whereto I replied, ‘Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?’ The mot is universally given to Sydney Smith, but Edwin Landseer swears he never did, nor could have asked so ugly a fellow to sit, and thinks it unfair that I should have been robbed of my joke in favour of so wealthy a joke-smith. If it was mine, I had quite forgot the fact and adopted the general creed on the weighty point. If Landseer be correct, I fancy he must have thought of introducing me into his picture of Scott with his dogs in the Rhymer’s
Glen; but if so, I can’t imagine why I did not accede to the flattering proposal. Here is a good illustration of the value of evidence, however. Pity the doubt was not raised before Sydney joined the majority, that we might have had his say also. What I object to is the allegation of his ugliness. I always admired his countenance as the most splendid combination of sense and sensuality.
Christie and all his flock are in the Lake country for two months. The Doge will go home next week—so will the Hope-Scotts—and I shall be left alone with Holt,1 powers of attorney, Duchy substitutes, thinning of bookshelves, and so forth.—Vive et vale,

J. G. Lockhart,
Lord Robertson.”

This letter to Dean Milman, on his promotion, touches lightly on Lockhart’s illness:—

Sussex Place, October 25, 1849.

My dear Dean of St. Paul’s,—For I may address you so here, though not yet, I suppose, on the outside. I heard days ago that you were to have the preferment, which I had quite anticipated from the hour of Coplestone’s death; but was not aware, until last night, that you had returned to England. The Government have done their duty,

1 Mr. Holt was perpetually busy with the constant troubles of Walter’s financial embroilment.

and I am persuaded no appointment could have given a more general satisfaction. It gives me particular pleasure, among other reasons, because I think both
Mrs. Milman and you wanted a fillip and a change. The Deanery house is not in the best of situations, but it is a capital house; and the Cloisters also were rather out of the way, so that your horses are accustomed to step out. How different the dinners will be from our old friend’s:
‘Doctors and deans above in solemn row,
And deans and doctors of like bulk below,’
Crabbe, I think, described the scene. I have not seen or heard of any newspaper criticism on your elevation, except that of the Daily News, which somebody sent me yesterday, and there I find the Whigs rebuked for having thus honoured a Tory, a High Churchman, and, if not a Puseyite, a patron of Puseyism. The Toryism and High Churchism, far be it from me to deny or palliate—but, I suspect, the third count of the indictment rests on a confusion of Harness with Bennett. The former’s theatrical tastes may have induced him to adopt flowers, and possibly incense, but he is about the last I should have expected to find charged with graver participation in the mysteries. Howbeit, I heartily wish the Whigs would crown their iniquity by giving him your Prebend.

Aubrey de Vere is a very fine fellow, and I like
his society exceedingly. His cousin I have never seen that I know of.

“I had a bad inflammatory attack on my arrival some weeks ago from the Continent, and am still not quite rid of its consequences. But I go on to Scotland to-morrow, and hope two or three weeks there may bring me back to the vigour becoming my youthhood.

“Well, the next time we meet you will be Doctor and Dean, and most happy I to see you in the garb proper to your new dignities.1 Pray tell your lady how cordially I participate in her feelings on this occasion.—Ever most affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

In September Lockhart had a severe illness, which he could not disguise. He later visited Scotland, saw Wilson, and stayed at Abbotsford, which Mr. Hope now rented from Walter. Writing from London on November 15, 1849, he announces an accident:—“At Dunbar I was all but killed; a tough sandwich stuck in my throat as I was hurrying into the carriage, and the train moved—I unable to speak! But a young passenger thrust himself half out of the window, and roared to stop in such a voice that he was obeyed, and a glass of water by-and-by relieved me. I really suppose that I suffered as much as Mrs. Manning” (the murderess), “of whose exit I had just been reading

1 “The Dean in a kilt.” So Lockhart in his diary.

full details in the
Scotsman. My helpful neighbour turned out to be Sir William Don, and he and I were good friends long before London. . . . I shall always feel an interest in his fate, for he truly saved my life. . . . God bless you, my dearest. It did me good to see you and Hope so comfortable and happy.”

Lockhart’s health now prevented him from going much into the world; hence the rumour that he was blighted by the marriage of Miss Rigby to Mr. Eastlake!

“All misery about W. S. L.,” is his entry for November 26-28. On the fly-leaf of his diary for the year is a long and learned recipe—“How to make Glasgow punch.”