LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Sir Walter Scott, Journal, 13 October 26 November 1826

Vol I Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter I
Chapter II 1771-78
Chapter III 1778-83
Chapter IV 1783-86
Chapter V 1786-90
Chapter VI 1790-92
Chapter VII 1792-96
Chapter VIII 1796-97
Chapter IX 1798-99
Chapter X 1800-02
Chapter XI 1802-03
Chapter XII 1803-04
Vol. II Contents.
Chapter I 1804-05
Chapter II 1805
Chapter III 1806
Chapter IV 1806-08
Chapter V 1808
Chapter VI 1808-09
Chapter VII 1809-10
Chapter VIII 1810
Chapter IX 1810
Chapter X 1810-11
Chapter XI 1811
Chapter XII 1811-12
Vol. III Contents.
Chapter I 1812-13
Chapter II 1813
Chapter III 1814
Chapter IV 1814
Chapter V 1814
Chapter VI 1814
Chapter VII 1814
Chapter VIII 1814
Chapter IX 1814
Chapter X 1814-15
Chapter XI 1815
Chapter XII 1815
Vol III Appendix
Vol. IV Contents.
Chapter I 1816
Chapter II 1817
Chapter III 1817
Chapter IV 1818
Chapter V 1818
Chapter VI 1818
Chapter VII 1818-19
Chapter VIII 1819
Chapter IX 1819
Chapter X 1819
Chapter XI 1820
Chapter XII 1820
Vol. V Contents.
Chapter I 1820
Chapter II 1820-21
Chapter III 1821
Chapter IV 1821
Chapter V 1821
Chapter VI 1821
Chapter VII 1822
Chapter VIII 1822
Chapter IX 1822-23
Chapter X 1823
Chapter XI 1823
Chapter XII 1824
Chapter XIII 1824-25
Vol. VI Contents.
Chapter I 1825
Chapter II 1825
Chapter III 1825
Chapter IV 1825
Chapter V 1826
Chapter VI 1826
Chapter VII 1826
Chapter VIII 1826
Chapter IX 1826
Chapter X 1826
Chapter XI 1826
Vol. VII Contents.
Vol VII Preface
Chapter I 1826-27
Chapter II 1827
Chapter III 1828
Chapter IV 1828
Chapter V 1829
Chapter VI 1830
Chapter VII 1830-31
Chapter VIII 1831
Chapter IX 1831
Chapter X 1831-32
Chapter XI 1832
Chapter XII
Vol VII Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH


Rokeby Park, October 13.—We left Carlisle before seven, and, visiting Appleby Castle by the way (a most interesting and curious place), we got to Morritt’s about half-past four, where we had as warm a welcome as one of the warmest hearts in the world could give an old friend. It was great pleasure to me to see Morritt happy in the middle of his family circle, undisturbed, as heretofore, by the sickness of any one dear to him. I may note that I found much pleasure in my companion’s conversation, as well as in her mode of managing all her little concerns on the road. I am apt to judge of character by good-humour and alacrity in these petty concerns. I think the inconveniences of a journey seem greater to me than formerly; while, on the other hand, the pleasures it affords are rather less. The ascent of Stainmore seemed duller and longer than usual, and, on the other hand, Bowes, which used to strike me as a distinguished feature, seemed an ill-formed mass of rub-
bish, a great deal lower in height than I had supposed; yet I have seen it twenty times at least. On the other hand, what I lose in my own personal feelings I gain in those of my companion, who shows an intelligent curiosity and interest in what she sees. I enjoy, therefore, reflectively, veluti in speculo, the sort of pleasure to which I am now less accessible.—Saw in Morritt’s possession the original miniature of
Milton, by Cooper—a valuable thing indeed. The countenance is handsome and dignified, with a strong expression of genius.*

Grantham, October 15.—Old England is no changeling. It is long since I travelled this road, having come up to town chiefly by sea of late years. One race of red-nosed innkeepers are gone, and their widows, eldest sons, or head-waiters exercise hospitality in their room with the same bustle and importance. But other things seem, externally at least, much the same. The land is better ploughed; straight ridges every where adopted in place of the old circumflex of twenty years ago. Three horses, however, or even four, are still often seen in a plough yoked one before the other. Ill habits do not go out at once.

Biggleswade, October 16.—Visited Burleigh this morning; the first time I ever saw that grand place, where there are so many objects of interest and curiosity. The house is magnificent, in the style of James I.’s reign, and consequently in mixed Gothic. Of paintings I know nothing; so shall attempt to say nothing. But whether to connoisseurs, or to an ignorant admirer like

* This precious miniature, executed by Cooper for Milton’s favourite daughter, was long in the possession of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and bequeathed by him to the poet Mason, who was an intimate friend of Mr Morritt’s father.

myself, the Salvator Mundi, by
Carlo Dolci, must seem worth a king’s ransom. Lady Exeter, who was at home, had the goodness or curiosity to wish to see us. She is a beauty after my own heart; a great deal of liveliness in the face; an absence alike of form and of affected ease, and really courteous after a genuine and ladylike fashion.

“25, Pall-Mall, October 17.—Here am I in this capital once more, after an April-weather meeting with my daughter and Lockhart. Too much grief in our first meeting to be joyful; too much pleasure to be distressing; a giddy sensation between the painful and the pleasurable. I will call another subject.

“I read with interest, during my journey, Sir John Chiverton and Brambletye House—novels, in what I may surely claim as the style
‘Which I was born to introduce—
Refined it first, and show’d its use.’*
They are both clever books—one in imitation of the days of chivalry—the other (by
Horace Smith, one of the authors of Rejected Addresses) dated in the time of the Civil Wars, and introducing historical characters.

“I believe, were I to publish the Canongate Chronicles without my name (nomme de guerre, I mean), the event might be a corollary to the fable of the peasant who made the real pig squeak against the imitator, when the sapient audience killed the poor grunter as if inferior to the biped in his own language. The peasant could, indeed, confute the long-eared multitude by showing piggy; but were I to fail as a knight with a white and maiden shield, and then vindicate my claim to attention by putting ‘By the Author of Waverley’ in the title, my good friend Publicum would defend itself by stating
I had tilted so ill, that my course had not the least resemblance to former doings, when indisputably I bore away the garland. Therefore I am firmly and resolutely determined to tilt under my own cognizance. The hazard, indeed, remains of being beaten. But there is a prejudice (not an undue one neither) in favour of the original patentee; and
Joe Manton’s name has borne out many a sorry gun-barrel. More of this to-morrow.
Expense of journey, L.41 0 0
Anne, pocket-money,5 0 0
Servants on journey,20 0 
Cash in purse (silver not reckoned),2 0 0
 L.50 0 0
This is like to be an expensive trip; but if I can sell an early copy to a French translator, it should bring me home. Thank God, little Dohnnie Hoo, as he calls himself, is looking well, though the poor dear child is kept always in a prostrate posture.

October 18.—I take up again my remarks on imitators. I am sure I mean the gentlemen no wrong by calling them so, and heartily wish they had followed a better model. But it serves to show me veluti in speculo my own errors, or, if you will, those of the style. One advantage, I think, I still have over all of them. They may do their fooling with better grace; but I, like Sir Andrew Aguecheek, do it more natural. They have to read old books, and consult antiquarian collections, to get their knowledge; I write because I have long since read such works, and possess, thanks to a strong memory, the information which they have to seek for. This leads to a dragging-in historical details by head and shoulders, so that the interest of the main piece is lost in minute descriptions of events which do
not affect its progress. Perhaps I have sinned in this way myself; indeed, I am but too conscious of having considered the plot only as what Bayes calls the means of bringing in fine things; so that, in respect to the descriptions, it resembled the string of the showman’s box, which he pulls to exhibit, in succession, Kings, Queens, the Battle of Waterloo, Buonaparte at St Helena, Newmarket Races, and White-headed Bob floored by Jemmy from Town. All this I may have done, but I have repented of it; and in my better efforts, while I conducted my story through the agency of historical personages, and by connecting it with historical incidents, I have endeavoured to weave them pretty closely together, and in future I will study this more. Must not let the back-ground eclipse the principal figures—the frame overpower the picture.

“Another thing in my favour is, that my contemporaries steal too openly. Mr Smith has inserted in Brambletye House whole pages from De Foe’s ‘Fire and Plague of London.’
‘Steal! fob! a fico for the phrase—
Convey, the wise it call!’
When I convey an incident or so, I am at as much pains to avoid detection as if the offence could be indicted at the Old Bailey. But leaving this, hard pressed as I am by these imitators, who must put the thing out of fashion at last, I consider, like a fox at his shifts, whether there be a way to dodge them—some new device to throw them off, and have a mile or two of free ground while I have legs and wind left to use it. There is one way to give novelty; to depend for success on the interest of a well-contrived story. But, wo’s me! that requires thought, consideration—the writing out a regular plan or plot—above all, the adhering to one—which I never can do, for the ideas rise as I write, and bear such a
disproportioned extent to that which each occupied at the first concoction, that (cocksnowns!) I shall never be able to take the trouble; and yet to make the world stare, and gain a new march ahead of them all! Well, something we still will do.
‘Liberty’s in every blow;
Let us do or die!’
Rob Burns! to tack thy fine strains of sublime patriotism! Better Tristram Shandy’s vein. Hand me my cap and bells there. So now, I am equipped. I open my raree-show with
‘Ma’am, will you walk in, and fal de ral diddle?
And, sir, will you stalk in, and fal de ral diddle?
And, miss, will you pop in, and fal de ral diddle?
And, master, pray hop in, and fal de ral diddle.’
Query—How long is it since I heard that strain of dulcet mood, and where or how came I to pick it up? It is not mine, ‘though by your smiling you seem to say so.’ Here is a proper morning’s work! But I am childish with seeing them all well and happy here; and as I can neither whistle nor sing, I must let the giddy humour run to waste on paper.

“Sallied forth in the morning; bought a hat. Met Sir William Knighton,* from whose discourse I guess that Malachi has done me no prejudice in a certain quarter; with more indications of the times, which I need not set down. Sallied again after breakfast, and visited the Piccadilly ladies. Saw also the Duchess of Buckingham, and Lady Charlotte Bury, with a most beautiful little girl. Owen Rees breakfasted, and agreed I should have what the Frenchman has offered for the advantage of

* Sir William was Private Secretary to King George IV. Sir Walter made his acquaintance in August, 1822, and ever afterwards they corresponded with each other—sometimes very confidentially.

Napoleon, which will help my expenses to town and down again.

October 19.—I rose at my usual time, but could not write; so read Southey’s History of the Peninsular War. It is very good, indeed—honest English principle in every line; but there are many prejudices, and there is a tendency to augment a work already too long by saying all that can be said of the history of ancient times appertaining to every place mentioned. What care we whether Saragossa be derived from Cæsaria Augusta? Could he have proved it to be Numantium, there would have been a concatenation accordingly.*

“Breakfasted at Sam Rogers’s with Sir Thomas Lawrence; Luttrel, the great London wit; Richard Sharp, &c. One of them made merry with some part of Rose’s Ariosto; proposed that the Italian should be printed on the other side, for the sake of assisting the indolent reader to understand the English; and complained of his using more than once the phrase of a lady having ‘voided her saddle,’ which would certainly sound extraordinary at Apothecaries’ Hall. Well, well, Rose carries a dirk too. The morning was too dark for Westminster Abbey, which we had projected.

“I then went to Downing Street, and am put by Mr Wilmot Horton into the hands of a confidential clerk, Mr Smith, who promises access to every thing. Then saw Croker, who gave me a bundle of documents. Sir George Cockburn promises his despatches and journal. In short, I have ample prospect of materials. Dined with Mrs Coutts. Tragi-comic distress of my good

* It is amusing to compare this criticism with Sir Walter’s own anxiety to identify his daughter-in-law’s place, Lochore, with the Urbs Orrea of the Roman writers. See the first chapter of this volume, p. 7.

friend on the marriage of her
presumptive heir with a daughter of Lucien Buonaparte.

October 20.—Commanded down to pass a day at Windsor. This is very kind of his Majesty.—At breakfast, Crofton Croker, author of the Irish Fairy Tales—little as a dwarf, keen-eyed as a hawk, and of easy, prepossessing manners. Something like Tom Moore. Here were also Terry, Allan Cunningham, Newton, others. Now I must go to work.—Went down to Windsor, or rather to the Lodge in the Forest, which, though ridiculed by connoisseurs, seems to be no bad specimen of a royal retirement, and is delightfully situated. A kind of cottage, too large perhaps for the style, but yet so managed, that in the walks you only see parts of it at once, and these well composed and grouping with the immense trees. His Majesty received me with the same mixture of kindness and courtesy which has always distinguished his conduct towards me. There was no company besides the royal retinue—Lady Conyngham—her daughter and two or three other ladies. After we left table, there was excellent music by the yal band, who lay ambushed in a green-house adjoining the apartment. The King made me sit beside him, and talk a great deal—too much perhaps—for he has the art of raising one’s spirits, and making you forget the retenue which is prudent every where, especially at court. But he converses himself with so much ease and elegance, that you lose thoughts of the prince in admiring the well-bred and accomplished gentleman. He is in many respects the model of a British monarch—has little inclination to try experiments on government otherwise than through his Ministers—sincerely, I believe, desires the good of his subjects—is kind towards the distressed, and moves and speaks ‘every inch a king.’
I am sure such a man is fitter for us than one who would long to head armies, or be perpetually intermeddling with la grande politique. A sort of reserve, which creeps on him daily, and prevents his going to places of public resort, is a disadvantage, and prevents his being so generally popular as is earnestly to be desired. This, I think, was much increased by the behaviour of the rabble in the brutal insanity of the
Queen’s trial, when John Bull, meaning the best in the world, made such a beastly figure.

October ’21.—Walked in the morning with Sir William Knighton, and had much confidential chat, not fit to be here set down, in case of accidents. He undertook most kindly to recommend Charles, when he has taken his degree, to be attached to some of the diplomatic missions, which I think is best for the lad, after all. After breakfast went to Windsor Castle, and examined the improvements going on there under Mr Wyattville, who appears to possess a great deal of taste and feeling for Gothic architecture. The old apartments, splendid enough in extent and proportion, are paltry in finishing. Instead of being lined with heart of oak, the palace of the British King is hung with paper, painted wainscot colour. There are some fine paintings, and some droll ones: Among the last are those of divers princes of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, of which Queen Charlotte was descended. They are ill-coloured, orang-outang-looking figures, with black eyes and hook-noses, in old-fashioned uniforms. Returned to a hasty dinner in Pall-Mall, and then hurried away to see honest Dan Terry’s theatre, called the Adelphi, where we saw the Pilot, from an American novel of that name. It is extremely popular, the dramatist having seized on the whole story, and turned the odious and ridiculous
parts, assigned by the original author to the British, against the Yankees themselves. There is a quiet effrontery in this, that is of a rare and peculiar character. The Americans were so much displeased, that they attempted a row—which rendered the piece doubly attractive to the seamen at Wapping, who came up and crowded the house night after night, to support the honour of the British flag. After all, one must deprecate whatever keeps up ill-will betwixt America and the mother country; and we in particular should avoid awakening painful recollections. Our high situation enables us to contemn petty insults, and to make advances towards cordiality. I was, however, glad to see Dan’s theatre as full seemingly as it could hold. The heat was dreadful, and
Anne so unwell that she was obliged to be carried into Terry’s house, a curious dwelling no larger than a squirrel’s cage, which he has contrived to squeeze out of the vacant space of the theatre, and which is accessible by a most complicated combination of staircases and small passages. There we had rare good porter and oysters after the play, and found Anne much better.

October 22.—This morning Mr Wilmot Horton, Under Secretary of State, breakfasted. He is full of some new plan of relieving the poor’s-rates, by encouraging emigration. But John Bull will think this savours of Botany-Bay. The attempt to look the poor’s-rates in the face is certainly meritorious. Laboured in writing and marking extracts to be copied, from breakfast to dinner with the exception of an hour spent in telling Johnnie the history of his name-sake, Gilpin. Tom Moore and Sir Thomas Lawrence came in the evening, which made a pleasant soirée. Smoked my French—Egad it is time to air some of my vocabulary. It is, I find, cursedly musty.


October 23.—Sam Rogers and Moore breakfasted here, and we were very merry fellows. Moore seemed disposed to go to France with us. I foresee I shall be embarrassed with more communications than can use or trust to, coloured as they must be by the passions of those who make them. Thus I have a statement from the Duchess d’Escars, to which the Buonapartists would, I dare say, give no credit. If Talleyrand, for example, could be communicative, he must have ten thousand reasons for perverting the truth, and yet a person receiving: a direct communication from him would be almost barred from disputing it.
‘Sing, tantarara, rogues all.’

“We dined at the Residentiary-house with good Dr HughesAllan Cunningham, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and young Mr Hughes. Thomas Pringle* is returned from the Cape. He might have done well there, could he have scoured his brains of politics, but he must needs publish a Whig journal at the Cape of Good Hope!! He is a worthy creature, but conceited withal—hinc illæ lachrymæ. He brought me some antlers and a skin, in addition to others he had sent to Abbotsford four years since.

* Mr Pringle was a Roxburghshire farmer’s son (lame in both legs) who, in youth, attracted Sir Walter’s notice by his poem called, “Scenes of Teviotdale.” He was for a time Editor of Blackwood’s Magazine, but the publisher and he had different politics, quarrelled, and parted. Sir Walter then gave Pringle strong recommendations to the late Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, in which colony he settled, and for some years throve under the Governor’s protection; but the newspaper alluded to in the text ruined his prospects at the Cape—he returned to England—became Secretary to an anti-slavery association—published a charming little volume entitled “African Sketches,”—and died, I fear in very distressed circumstances, in December 1834. He was a man of amiable feelings and elegant genius. The reader may see a fuller account of him in the Quarterly Review for December 1835.


October 24.—Laboured in the morning. At breakfast, Dr Holland, and Cohen, whom they now call Palgrave, a mutation of names which confused my recollections. Item, Moore. I worked at the Colonial Office pretty hard. Dined with Mr Wilmot Horton, and his beautiful wife, the original of the ‘She walks in beauty,’ &c. of poor Byron. N.B. The conversation is seldom excellent among official people. So many topics are what Otaheitians call taboo. We hunted down a pun or too, which were turned out, like the stag at the Epping Hunt, for the pursuit of all and sundry. Came home early, and was in bed by eleven.

“October 25.—Kind Mr Wilson* and his wife at breakfast; also Sir Thomas Lawrence. Locker† came in afterwards, and made a proposal to me to give up his intended life of George III. in my favour on cause shown. I declined the proposal, not being of opinion that my genius lies that way, and not relishing hunting in couples. Afterwards went to the Colonial Office, and had Robert Hay’s assistance in my enquiries—then to the French Ambassador’s for my passports. Picked up Sotheby, who endeavoured to saddle me for a review of his polyglott Virgil. I fear I shall scarce convince him that I know nothing of the Latin lingo. Sir R. H. Inglis, Richard Sharp, and other friends called. We dine at Miss Dumergue’s, and spend a part of our soirée at Lydia White’s. To-morrow,
‘For France, for France, for it is more than need.’

Calais, October 26.—Up at five, and in the packet

* William Wilson, Esq. of Wandsworth Common, formerly of Wilsontown, in Lanarkshire.

E. H. Locker, Esq. then Secretary, now one of the Commissioners, of Greenwich Hospital an old and dear friend of Scott’s.

by six. A fine passage—save at the conclusion, while we lay on and off the harbour of Calais. But the tossing made no impression on my companion or me; we ate and drank like dragoons the whole way, and were able to manage a good supper and best part of a bottle of Chablis, at the classic Dessein’s, who received us with much courtesy.

October 27.—Custom-house, &c. detained us till near ten o’clock, so we had time to walk on the Boulevards, and to see the fortifications, which must be very strong, all the country round being flat and marshy. Lost, as all know, by the bloody papist bitch (one must be vernacular when on French ground) Queen Mary, of red-hot memory. I would rather she had burned a score more of bishops. If she had kept it, her sister Bess would sooner have parted with her virginity. Charles I. had no temptation to part with it—it might, indeed, have been shuffled out of our hands during the Civil Wars, but Noll would have as soon let Monsieur draw one of his grinders—then Charles II. would hardly have dared to sell such an old possession, as he did Dunkirk; and after that the French had little chance till the Revolution. Even then, I think, we could have held a place that could be supplied from our own element the sea. Cui bono? None, I think, but to plague the rogues. We dined at Cormont, and being stopped by Mr Canning having taken up all the post-horses, could only reach Montreuil that night. I should have liked to have seen some more of this place, which is fortified; and as it stands on an elevated and rocky site, must present some fine points. But as we came in late, and left early, I can only bear witness to good treatment, good supper, good vin de Barsac, and excellent beds.


October 28.—Breakfasted at Abbeville, and saw a very handsome Gothic church, and reached Grandvilliers at night. The house is but second-rate, though lauded by several English travellers for the moderation of its charges, as was recorded in a book presented to us by the landlady. There is no great patriotism in publishing that a traveller thinks the bills moderate—it serves usually as an intimation to mine host or hostess that John Bull will bear a little more squeezing. I gave my attestation, too, however, for the charges of the good lady resembled those elsewhere; and her anxiety to please was extreme. Folks must be harder hearted than I am to resist the empressement, which may, indeed, be venal, yet has in its expression a touch of cordiality.

Paris, October 29.—Breakfasted at Beauvais, and saw its magnificent cathedral—unfinished it has been left, and unfinished it will remain, of course,—the fashion of cathedral’s being passed away. But even what exists is inimitable, the choir particularly, and the grand front. Beauvais is called the Pucelle, yet, so far as I can see, she wears no stays—I mean, has no fortifications. On we run, however. Vogue la galère; et voila nous à Paris, Hotel de Windsor (Rue Rivoli), where we are well lodged. France, so far as I can see, which is very little, has not undergone many changes. The image of war has, indeed, passed away, and we no longer see troops crossing the country in every direction—villages either ruined or hastily fortified—inhabitants sheltered in the woods and caves to escape the rapacity of the soldiers,—all this has passed away. The inns, too, much amended. There is no occasion for that rascally practice of making a bargain—or combien-ing your landlady, before you unharness your horses, which formerly was matter of neces-
DIARY—PARIS, 1826.367
sity. The general taste of the English seems to regulate the travelling—naturally enough, as the hotels, of which there are two or three in each town, chiefly subsist by them. We did not see one French equipage on the road; the natives seem to travel entirely in the diligence, and doubtless à bon marché; the road was thronged with English. But in her great features France is the same as ever. An oppressive air of solitude seems to hover over these rich and extended plains, while we are sensible, that whatever is the nature of the desolation, it cannot be sterility. The towns are small, and have a poor appearance, and more frequently exhibit signs of decayed splendour than of increasing prosperity. The chateau, the abode of the gentleman, and the villa, the retreat of the thriving negotiant,—are rarely seen till you come to Beaumont. At this place, which well deserves its name of the fair mount, the prospect improves greatly, and country-seats are seen in abundance; also woods, sometimes deep and extensive, at other times scattered in groves and single trees. Amidst these the oak seldom or never is found; England, lady of the ocean, seems to claim it exclusively as her own. Neither are there any quantity of firs. Poplars in abundance give a formal air to the landscape. The forests chiefly consist of beeches, with some birches, and the roads are bordered by elms cruelly cropped and pollarded and switched. The demand for fire-wood occasions these mutilations. If I could waft by a wish the thinnings of Abbotsford here, it would make a little fortune of itself. But then to switch and mutilate my trees!—not for a thousand francs. Ay, but sour grapes, quoth the fox.

October 30.—Finding ourselves snugly settled in our Hotel, we determined to remain here at fifteen francs
per day. We are in the midst of what can be seen. This morning wet and surly. Sallied, however, by the assistance of a hired coach, and left cards for
Count Pozzodi Borgo, Lord Granville, our ambassador, and M. Gallois, author of the History of Venice. Found no one at home, not even the old pirate Galignani, at whose den I ventured to call. Showed my companion the Louvre (which was closed unluckily), the fronts of the palace, with its courts, and all that splendid quarter which the fame of Paris rests upon in security. We can never do the like in Britain. Royal magnificence can only be displayed by despotic power. In England, were the most splendid street or public building to be erected, the matter must be discussed in Parliament, or perhaps some sturdy cobbler holds out, and refuses to part with his stall, and the whole plan is disconcerted. Long may such impediments exist! But then we should conform to circumstances, and assume in our public works a certain sober simplicity of character, which should point out that they were dictated by utility rather than show. The affectation of an expensive style only places us at a disadvantageous contrast with other nations, and our substitution of plaster for freestone resembles the mean ambition which displays Bristol stones in default of diamonds.

“We went in the evening to the Comedie Francaise; Rosamonde the piece. It is the composition of a young man with a promising name—Emile de Bonnechose; the story that of Fair Rosamond. There were some good situations, and the actors in the French taste seemed to me admirable, particularly Mademoiselle Bourgoin. It would be absurd to criticise what I only half understood; but the piece was well received, and produced a very strong effect. Two or three ladies were carried out in hysterics; one next to our box was fright-
DIARY—PARIS, 1826.369
fully ill. A Monsieur à belles moustaches—the husband, I trust, though it is likely they were en partie fine—was extremely and affectionately assiduous. She was well worthy of the trouble, being very pretty indeed; the face beautiful, even amidst the involuntary convulsions. The afterpiece was
Femme Juge et Partie, with which I was less amused than I had expected, because I found I understood the language less than I did ten or eleven years since. Well, well, I am past the age of mending.

“Some of our friends in London had pretended that at Paris I might stand some chance of being encountered by the same sort of tumultuary reception which I met in Ireland; but for this I see no ground. It is a point on which I am totally indifferent. As a literary man I cannot affect to despise public applause; as a private gentleman, I have always been embarrassed and displeased with popular clamours, even when in my favour. I know very well the breath of which such shouts are composed, and am sensible those who applaud me to-day would be as ready to toss me to-morrow; and I would not have them think that I put such a value on their favour as would make me for an instant fear their displeasure. Now all this disclamation is sincere, and yet it sounds affected. It puts me in mind of an old woman, who, when Carlisle was taken by the Highlanders in 1745, chose to be particularly apprehensive of personal violence, and shut herself up in a closet, in order that she might escape ravishment. But no one came to disturb her solitude, and she began to be sensible that poor Donald was looking out for victuals, or seeking some small plunder, without bestowing a thought on the fair sex; by and by she popped her head out of her place of refuge with the pretty question, ‘Good folks, can you tell when the ravishing is going to begin?’ I am sure I shall neither hide myself to avoid applause, which probably no one
will think of conferring, nor have the meanness to do any thing which can indicate any desire of ravishment. I have seen, when the late
Lord Erskine entered the Edinburgh theatre, papers distributed in the boxes to mendicate a round of applause—the natural reward of a poor player.

October 31.—At breakfast visited by M. Gallois, an elderly Frenchman (always the most agreeable class), full of information, courteous, and communicative. He had seen nearly, and remarked deeply, and spoke frankly, though with due caution. He went with us to the Museum, where I think the Hall of Sculpture continues to be a fine thing—that of Pictures but tolerable, when we reflect upon 1815. A number of great French daubs (comparatively), by David and Gerard, cover the walls once occupied by the Italian chefs-d’œuvre. Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum. We then visited Notre Dame and the Palace of Justice. The latter is accounted the oldest building in Paris, being the work of St Louis. It is, however, in the interior, adapted to the taste of Louis XIV. We drove over the Pont Neuf, and visited the fine quays, which was all we could make out to-day, as I was afraid to fatigue Anne. When we returned home, I found Count Pozzo di Borgo waiting for me, a personable man, inclined to be rather corpulent handsome features, with all the Corsican fire in his eyes. He was quite kind and communicative. Lord Granville had also called, and sent his Secretary to invite us to dinner to-morrow. In the evening at the Odeon, where we saw Ivanhoe. It was superbly got up, the Norman soldiers wearing pointed helmets and what resembled much hauberks of mail, which looked very well. The number of the attendants, and the skill with which they were moved and grouped on the stage, were well worthy of notice. It
DIARY—PARIS, 1826.371
was an opera, and, of course, the story sadly mangled, and the dialogue, in great part, nonsense. Yet it was strange to hear any thing like the words which I (then in an agony of pain with spasms in my stomach) dictated to
William Laidlaw at Abbotsford now recited in a foreign tongue, and for the amusement of a strange people. I little thought to have survived the completing of this novel.

“November 1.—I suppose the ravishing is going to begin, for we have had the Dames des Halles, with a bouquet like a maypole, and a speech full of honey and oil, which cost me ten francs; also a small worshipper, who would not leave his name, but came seulement pour avoir le plaisir, la felicité, &c. &c. All this jargon I answer with corresponding blarney of my own, for have I not licked the black stone of that ancient castle? As to French, I speak it as it comes, and like Doeg in Absalom and Achitophel
‘——dash on through thick and thin,
Through sense and nonsense, never out nor in.’
We went this morning with
M. Gallois to the Church of St Genevieve, and thence to the College Henri IV., where I saw once more my old friend Chevalier. He was unwell, swathed in a turban of nightcaps and a multiplicity of robes de chambre; but he had all the heart and vivacity of former times. I was truly glad to see the kind old man. We were unlucky in our day for sights, this being a high festival—All Souls’ Day. We were not allowed to scale the steeple of St Genevieve, neither could we see the animals at the Jardin des Plantes, who, though they have no souls, it is supposed, and no interest, of course, in the devotions of the day, observe it in strict retreat, like the nuns of Kilkenny.
I met, however, one lioness walking at large in the Jardin, and was introduced. This was
Madame de Souza. the authoress of some well-known French romances of a very classical character, I am told, for I have never read them. She must have been beautiful, and is still well-looked. She is the mother of the handsome Count de Flahault, and had a very well-looking daughter with her, besides a son or two. She was very agreeable. We are to meet again! The day becoming decidedly rainy, we returned along the Boulevards by the Bridge of Austerlitz, but the weather spoiled the fine show.

“We dined at the Ambassador, Lord Granville’s. He inhabits the same splendid house which Lord Castlereagh had in 1815, namely, Numero 30, Rue de Fauxbourg St Honore. It once belonged to Pauline Borghese, and, if its walls could speak, they might tell us mighty curious stories. Without their having any tongue, they speak to my feelings ‘with most miraculous organ.’ In these halls I had often seen and conversed familiarly with many of the great and powerful, who won the world by their swords, and divided it by their counsel. There I saw very much of poor Lord Castlereagh a man of sense, presence of mind, and fortitude, which carried him through many an affair of critical moment, when finer talents would have stuck in the mire. He had been, I think, indifferently educated, and his mode of speaking being far from logical or correct, he was sometimes in danger of becoming almost ridiculous, in despite of his lofty presence, which had all the grace of the Seymours, and his determined courage. But then he was always up to the occasion, and upon important matters was an orator to convince, if not to delight his hearers. He is gone, and my friend ******** also, whose kindness this town so strongly recalls. It
DIARY—PARIS, 1826.373
is remarkable they were the only persons of sense and credibility who both attested supernatural appearances on their own evidence, and both died in the same melancholy manner. I shall always tremble when any friend of mine becomes visionary. I have seen in these rooms the
Emperor Alexander, Platoff, Schwartzenberg, old Blucher, Fouché, and many a marshal whose truncheon had guided armies—all now at peace, without subjects, without dominion, and where their past life, perhaps, seems but the recollection of a feverish dream. What a group would this band have made in the gloomy regions described in the Odyssey! But to lesser things. We were most kindly received by Lord and Lady Granville, and met many friends, some of them having been guests at Abbotsford; among these were Lords Ashley and Morpeth—there were also Charles Ellis (Lord Seaford now), cum plurimis aliis. Anne saw for the first time an entertainment à la mode de. France, where the gentlemen left the parlour with the ladies. In diplomatic houses it is a good way of preventing political discussion, which John Bull is always apt to introduce with the second bottle. We left early, and came home at ten, much pleased with Lord and Lady Granville’s kindness, though it was to be expected, as our recommendation came from Windsor.

November 2.—Another gloomy day—a pize upon it!—and we have settled to go to St Cloud, and dine, if possible, with the Drummonds at Auteuil. Besides, I expect poor Spencer* to breakfast. There is another thought which depresses me. Well—but let us jot

* The late Honourable William Robert Spencer, the best writer of vers de societé in our time, and one of the most charming of companions, was exactly Sir Walter’s contemporary, and like him first

down a little politics, as my book has a pretty firm lock. The Whigs may say what they please, but I think the Bourbons will stand.
M. * * *, no great Royalist, says that the Duke of Orleans lives on the best terms with the reigning family, which is wise on his part, for the golden fruit may ripen and fall of itself, but it would be dangerous to
‘Lend the crowd his arm to shake the tree.’*
The army, which was
Buonaparte’s strength, is now very much changed by the gradual influence of time, which has removed many, and made invalids of many more. The artisans are neutral, and if the King will govern according to the Charte, and, what is still more, according to the habits of the people, he will sit firm enough, and the constitution will gradually attain more and more reverence as age gives it authority, and distinguishes it from those temporary and ephemeral governments, which seemed only set up to be pulled down. The most dangerous point in the present state of France is that of religion. It is, no doubt, excellent in the Bourbons to desire to make France a religious country; but they begin, I think, at the wrong end. To press the observancy and ritual of religion on those who are not influenced by its doctrines, is planting the growing tree with its head downwards. Rites are sanctified by belief; but belief can never arise out of an enforced observance of ceremonies; it only makes men detest what is imposed on them by compulsion. Then these Jesuits, who constitute, emphatically, an imperium in imperio,

attracted notice by a version of Burger’s Lenore. Like him, too, this remarkable man fell into pecuniary distress in the disastrous year 1825, and he was now an involuntary resident in Paris, where he died in October, 1834, ann. ætat 65.

* Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel—Character of Shaftesbury.

DIARY—PARIS, 1826.375
labouring first for the benefit of their own order, and next for that of the Roman See—what is it but the introduction into France of a foreign influence, whose interest may often run counter to the general welfare of the kingdom?

“We have enough of ravishment. M. Meurice writes me that he is ready to hang himself that we did not find accommodation at his hotel; and Madame Mirbel came almost on her knees to have permission to take my portrait. I was cruel; but, seeing her weeping ripe, consented she should come to-morrow and work while I wrote. A Russian Princess Galitzin, too, demands to see me, in the heroic vein; “Elle vouloit traverser les mers pour aller voir S. W. S.,”* &c. and offers me a rendezvous at my hotel. This is precious tom-foolery; however, it is better than being neglected like a fallen sky-rocket, which seemed like to be my fate last year.

“We went to St Cloud with my old friend Mr Drummond, now living at a pretty maison de campagne at Auteuil. St Cloud, besides its unequalled views, is rich in remembrances. I did not fail to visit the Orangerie, out of which Boney expelled the Council of Five Hun-

* S. W. S. stands very often in this Diary for Sir Walter Scott. This is done in sportive allusion to the following trait of Tom Purdie:—The morning after the news of Scott’s baronetcy reached Abbotsford, Tom was not to be found in any of his usual haunts: he remained absent the whole day and when he returned at night the mystery was thus explained. He and the head shepherd (who, by the by, was also butcher in ordinary), Robert Hogg (a brother of the Bard of Ettrick), had been spending the day on the hill busily employed in prefixing a large S. for Sir to the W. S. which previously appeared on the backs of the sheep. It was afterwards found that honest Tom had taken it upon him to order a mason to carve a similar honourable augmentation on the stones which marked the line of division between his master’s moor and that of the Laird of Kippilaw.

dred. I thought I saw the scoundrels jumping the windows, with the bayonet at their rumps. What a pity the house was not two stories high! I asked the Swiss some questions on the locale, which he answered with becoming caution, saying, however, that ‘he was not present at the time.’ There are also new remembrances. A separate garden, laid out as a play-ground for the royal children, is called Trocadero, from the siege of Cadiz. But the Bourbons should not take military ground—it is firing a pop-gun in answer to a battery of cannon. All within the house is deranged. Every trace of Nap. or his reign totally done away, as if traced in sand over which the tide has passed.
Moreau and Pichegru’s portraits hang in the royal antechamber. The former has a mean physiognomy; the latter has been a strong and stern-looking man. I looked at him, and thought of his death-struggles. In the guard-room were the heroes of La Vendeé, Charette with his white bonnet, the two La Roche Jacquelines, l’Escures, in an attitude of prayer, Stofflet, the gamekeeper, with others.

November 3.—Sat to Mad. MirbelSpencer at breakfast. Went out and had a long interview with Marshal Macdonald, the purport of which I have put down elsewhere. Visited Princess Galitzin, and also Cooper, the American novelist. This man, who has shown so much genius, has a good deal of the manners, or want of manners, peculiar to his countrymen. He proposed to me a mode of publishing in America, by entering the book as the property of a citizen. I will think of this. Every little helps, as the tod says, when, &c. At night, at the Theatre de Madame, where we saw two petit pieces, Le Marriage de Raison, and Le plus beau jour de Ma Vie—both excellently played. Afterwards at Lady Granville’s rout, which was as splendid
as any I ever saw—and I have seen beaucoup dans cet genre. A great number of ladies of the first rank were present, and if honeyed words from pretty lips could surfeit, I had enough of them. One can swallow a great deal of whipped cream, to be sure, and it does not hurt an old stomach.

November 4.—After ten I went with Anne to the Tuileries, where we saw the royal family pass through the Glass Gallery as they went to chapel. We were very much looked at in our turn, and the King, on passing out, did me the honour to say a few civil words, which produced a great sensation. Mad. la Dauphine and Mad. de Berri curtsied, smiled, and looked extremely gracious; and smiles, bows, and curtsies rained on us like odours, from all the courtiers and ladies of the train. We were conducted by an officer of the Royal Gardes du Corps to a convenient place in the chapel, where we had the pleasure of hearing the mass performed with excellent music.

“I had a perfect view of the royal family. The King is the same in age as I knew him in youth at Holyroodhouse,—debonair and courteous in the highest degree. Mad. Dauphine resembles very much the prints of Marie Antoinette, in the profile especially. She is not, however, beautiful, her features being too strong, but they announce a great deal of character, and the princess whom Buonaparte used to call the man of the family. She seemed very attentive to her devotions. The Duchess of Berri seemed less immersed in the ceremony, and yawned once or twice. She is a lively-looking blonde—looks as if she were good-humoured and happy, by no means pretty, and has a cast with her eyes; splendidly adorned with diamonds, however. After this gave Mad. Mirbel a sitting, where I encountered a
general officer, her uncle, who was chef de l’etat major to Buonaparte. He was very communicative, and seemed an interesting person, by no means over much prepossessed in favour of his late master, whom he judged impartially, though with affection. We came home and dined in quiet, having refused all temptations to go out in the evening; this on
Anne’s account as well as my own. It is not quite gospel, though Solomon says it—The eye can be tired with seeing, whatever he may allege in the contrary. And then there are so many compliments. I wish for a little of the old Scotch causticity. I am something like the bee that sips treacle.

November 5.—I believe I must give up my journal till I leave Paris. The French are literally outrageous in their civilities—bounce in at all hours, and drive one half mad with compliments. I am ungracious not to be so entirely thankful as I ought to this kind and merry people. We breakfasted with Mad. Mirbel, where were the Dukes of Fitz-James and Duras, &c. &c. goodly company; but all’s one for that. I made rather an impatient sitter, wishing to talk much more than was agreeable to Madame. Afterwards we went to the Champs Elysées, where a balloon was let off, and all sorts of frolics performed for the benefit of the bons gens de Paris—besides stuffing them with victuals. I wonder how such a civic festival would go off in London or Edinburgh, or especially in Dublin. To be sure, they would not introduce their shilelahs! But, in the classic taste of the French, there were no such gladiatorial doings. To be sure, they have a natural good-humour and gaiety which inclines them to be pleased with themselves, and every thing about them. We dined at the Ambassador’s, where was a large party, Lord Morpeth, the Duke of Devonshire,
and others all very kind.
Pozzo di Borgo there, and disposed to be communicative. A large soirée. Home at eleven. These hours are early, however.

November 6.—Cooper came to breakfast, but we were obsedés partout. Such a number of Frenchmen bounced in successively and exploded (I mean discharged) their compliments, that I could hardly find an opportunity to speak a word, or entertain Mr Cooper at all. After this we sat again for our portraits. Mad. Mirbel took care not to have any one to divert my attention, but I contrived to amuse myself with some masons finishing a façade opposite to me, who placed their stones, not like Inigo Jones, but in the most lubberly way in the world, with the help of a large wheel, and the application of strength of hand. John Smith of Darnick, and two of his men, would have done more with a block and pulley than the whole score of them. The French seem far behind in machinery. We are almost eaten up with kindness, but that will have its end. I have had to parry several presents of busts, and so forth. The funny thing was the airs of my little friend. We had a most affectionate parting wet, wet cheeks on the lady’s side. Pebble-hearted, and shed as few tears as Crab of doggish memory.*

“Went to Galignani’s, where the brothers, after some palaver, offered L.105 for the sheets of Napoleon, to be reprinted at Paris in English. I told them I would think of it. I suppose Treuttel and Würtz had apprehended something of this kind, for they write me that they had made a bargain with my publisher (Cadell, I suppose) for the publishing of my book in all sorts of ways. I must look into this.

“Dined with Marshal Macdonald† and a splendid

* See the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II. Scene 3.

† The Marshal had visited Scotland in 1825—and the Diarist

party; amongst others,
Marshal Marmont—middle size, stout made, dark complexion, and looks sensible. The French hate him much for his conduct in 1814, but it is only making him the scape-goat. Also I saw Mons. de Mole, but especially the Marquis de Lauriston, who received me most kindly. He is personally like my cousin Colonel Russell. I learned that his brother, Louis Law,* my old friend, was alive, and the father of a large family. I was most kindly treated, and had my vanity much flattered by the men who had acted such important parts talking to me in the most frank manner.

“In the evening to Princess Galitzin, where were a whole covey of Princesses of Russia arrayed in tartan, with music and singing to boot. The person in whom I was most interested was Mad. de Boufflers, upwards of eighty, very polite, very pleasant, and with all the acquirements of a French court lady of the time of Mad. Sevigné, or of the correspondent rather of Horace Walpole. Cooper was there, so the Scotch and American lions took the field together. Home, and settled our affairs to depart.

November 7.—Off at seven breakfasted at Beauvais, and pushed on to Amiens. This being a forced march, we had bad lodgings, wet wood, uncomfortable

then saw a good deal of him under the roof of his kinsman, Mr Macdonald Buchanan.

* Lauriston, the ancient seat of the Laws, so famous in French history, is very near Edinburgh, and the estate was in their possession at the time of the Revolution. Two or three cadets of the family were of the first emigration, and one of them (M. Louis Law) was a frequent guest of the poet’s father, and afterwards corresponded during many years with himself. I am not sure whether it was M. Louis Law whose French designation so much amused the people of Edinburgh. One brother of the Marquis de Lauriston, however, was styled Le Chevalier de Mutton-hole—this being the name of a village on the Scotch property.

supper, damp beds, and an extravagant charge. I was never colder in my life than when I waked with the sheets clinging around me like a shroud.

November 8.—We started at six in the morning, having no need to be called twice, so heartily was I weary of my comfortless couch. Breakfasted at Abbeville—then pushed on to Boulogne, expecting to find the packet ready to start next morning, and so to have had the advantage of the easterly tide. But, lo ye! the packet was not to sail till next day. So, after shrugging our shoulders—being the solace à la mode de France—and recruiting ourselves with a pullet and a bottle of Chablis à la mode d’ Angleterre, we set off for Calais after supper, and it was betwixt three and four in the morning before we got to Dessein’s, when the house was full or reported to be so. We could only get two wretched brick-paved garrets, as cold and moist as those of Amiens, instead of the comforts which we were received with at our arrival.* But I was better prepared. Stripped off the sheets, and lay down in my dressing-gown, and so roughed it out—tant bien que mal.

November 9.—At four in the morning we were called—at six we got on board the packet, where I found a sensible and conversible man, a very pleasant circumstance. At Dover Mr Ward came with the lieutenant-governor of the castle, and wished us to visit that ancient fortress. I regretted much that our time was short, and the weather did not admit of our seeing views, so we could only thank the gentlemen in declining their civility. The castle, partly ruinous, seems to have been very fine. The Cliff, to which Shakspeare gave his im-

* A room in Dessein’s hotel is now inscribed “Chambre de Walter Scott”—another has long been marked “Chambre de Sterne.”

mortal name, is, as all the world knows, a great deal lower than his description implies. Our Dover friends, justly jealous of the reputation of their Cliff, impute this diminution of its consequence to its having fallen in repeatedly since the poet’s time. I think it more likely that the imagination of Shakspeare, writing perhaps at a period long after he may have seen the rock, had described it such as he conceived it to have been. Besides, Shakspeare was born in a flat country, and Dover Cliff is at least lofty enough to have suggested the exaggerated features to his fancy. At all events, it has maintained its reputation better than the Tarpeian Rock no man could leap from it and live. Left Dover after a hot luncheon about four o’clock, and reached London at half-past three in the morning. So, adieu to la belle France, and welcome merry England.

Pall-Mail, November 10.—Ere I leave la belle France, however, it is fit I should express my gratitude for the unwontedly kind reception which I met with at all hands. It would be an unworthy piece of affectation did I not allow that I have been pleased—highly pleased—to find a species of literature intended only for my own country, has met such an extensive and favourable reception in a foreign land, where there was so much a priori to oppose its progress. For my work I think I have done a good deal; but, above all, I have been confirmed strongly in the impressions I had previously formed of the character of Nap., and may attempt to draw him with a firmer hand.

“The succession of new people and unusual incidents has had a favourable effect on my mind, which was becoming rutted like an ill kept high-way. My thoughts have for some time flowed in another and pleasanter channel than through the melancholy course into which my solitary and deprived state had long driven them,
and which gave often pain to be endured without complaint, and without sympathy. ‘For this relief,’ as Marcellus says in
Hamlet, ‘much thanks.’

“To-day I visited the public offices, and prosecuted my researches. Left enquiries for the Duke of York, who has recovered from a most desperate state. His legs had been threatened with mortification; but he was saved by a critical discharge;—also visited the Duke of Wellington, Lord Melville, and others, besides the ladies in Piccadilly. Dined and spent the evening quietly in Pall-Mall.

November 11.—Croker came to breakfast, and we were soon after joined by Theodore Hook, alias (on dit) John Bull—he has got as fat as the actual monarch of the herd. Lockhart sat still with us, and we had, as Gil Blas says, a delicious morning, spent in abusing our neighbours, at which my three neighbours are no novices any more than I am myself, though (like Puss in Boots, who only caught mice for his amusement), I am only a chamber counsel in matters of scandal. The fact is, I have refrained, as much as human frailty will permit, from all satirical composition. Here is an ample subject for a little black-balling in the case of Joseph Hume, the great accountant, who has managed the Greek loan so egregiously. I do not lack personal provocation (see 13th March last), yet I won’t attack him—at present at least—but qu’il se garde de moi:
‘I’m not a king, nor nae sic thing,
My word it may not stand;
But Joseph may a buffet bide,
Come he beneath my brand.’

“At dinner we had a little blow-out on Sophia’s part. Lord Dudley, Mr Hay, Under Secretary of State, Sir Thomas Lawrence, &c. Mistress, as she now calls her-
Joanna Baillie, and her sister, came in the evening. The whole went off pleasantly.

November 12.—Went to sit to Sir T. L. to finish the picture for his Majesty, which every one says is a very fine one. I think so myself; and wonder how Sir Thomas has made so much out of an old weather-beaten block. But I believe the hard features of old Dons like myself are more within the compass of the artist’s skill than the lovely face and delicate complexion of females. Came home after a heavy shower. I had a long conversation about * * with * * * *—all that was whispered is true a sign how much better our domestics are acquainted with the private affairs of our neighbours than we are. A dreadful tale of incest and seduction, and nearly of blood also—horrible beyond expression in its complications and events—‘And yet the end is not;’—and this man was amiable, and seemed the soul of honour—laughed, too, and was the soul of society. It is a mercy our own thoughts are concealed from each other. Oh! if, at our social table, we could see what passes in each bosom around, we would seek dens and caverns to shun human society! To see the projector trembling for his falling speculations; the voluptuary rueing the event of his debauchery; the miser wearing out his soul for the loss of a guinea—all—all bent upon vain hopes and vainer regrets—we should not need to go to the hall of the Caliph Vathek to see men’s hearts broiling under their black veils. Lord keep us from all temptation, for we cannot be our own shepherd!

“We dined to-day at Lady Stafford’s at West-hill. Lord S. looks very poorly, but better than I expected. No company, excepting Sam Rogers and Mr Thomas Grenville, a very amiable and accomplished man whom I knew better about twenty years since. Age has touched him, as it has doubtless affected me. The great lady
received us with the most cordial kindness, and expressed herself, I am sure sincerely, desirous to be of service to

November 13.—I consider Charles’s business as settled by a private intimation which I had to that effect from Sir W. K., so I need negotiate no farther, but wait the event. Breakfasted at home, and somebody with us, but the whirl of visits so great that I have already forgot the party. Lockhart and I dined at an official person’s, where there was a little too much of that sort of flippant wit, or rather smartness, which becomes the parochial Joe Miller of boards and offices. You must not be grave, because it might lead to improper discussions; and to laugh without a joke is a hard task. Your professed wags are treasures to this species of company. Gil Blas was right in eschewing the literary society of his friend Fabricio; but nevertheless one or two of the mess could greatly have improved the conversation of his Commis. Went to poor Lydia White’s, and found her extended on a couch, frightfully swelled, unable to stir, rouged, jesting, and dying. She has a good heart, and is really a clever creature, but unhappily, or rather happily, she has set up the whole staff of her rest in keeping literary society about her. The world has not neglected her. It is not always so bad as it is called. She can always make up her circle, and generally has some people of real talent and distinction. She is wealthy, to be sure, and gives petit dinners, but not in a style to carry the point à force d’ argent. In her case the world is good-natured, and, perhaps it is more frequently so than is generally supposed.

November 14.—We breakfasted at honest Allan Cunningham’s—honest Allan—a leal and true Scots-
man of the old cast. A man of genius, besides, who only requires the tact of knowing when and where to stop, to attain the universal praise which ought to follow it. I look upon the alteration of ‘It’s hame and it’s hame,’ and ‘A wet sheet and a flowing sea,’ as among the best songs going. His prose has often admirable passages, but he is obscure, and overlays his meaning, which will not do nowadays, when he who runs must read.

“Dined at Croker’s, at Kensington, with his family, the Speaker, and the facetious Theodore Hook.

“We came away rather early, that Anne and I might visit Mrs Arbuthnot to meet the Duke of Wellington. In all my life I never saw him better. He has a dozen of campaigns in his body—and tough ones. Anne was delighted with the frank manners of this unequalled pride of British war, and me he received with all his usual kindness. He talked away about Buonaparte, Russia, and France.

November 15.—I went to the Colonial Office, where I laboured hard. Dined with the Duke of Wellington. Anne could not look enough at the vainqeur du vainqeur de la terre. The party were Mr and Mrs Peel and Mr and Mrs Arbuthnot, Vesey Fitzgerald, Banks, and Croker, with Lady Bathurst and Lady Georgina. One gentleman took much of the conversation, and gave us, with unnecessary emphasis, and at superfluous length, his opinion of a late gambling transaction. This spoiled the evening. I am sorry for the occurrence though, for Lord * * * is fetlock deep in it, and it looks like a vile bog. This misfortune, with the foolish incident at * * *, will not be suffered to fall to the ground, but will be used as a counterpoise to the Greek loan. Peel asked me, in private, my opinion of three candidates for the
Scotch gown, and I gave it him candidly. We shall see if it has weight. I begin to tire of my gaieties; and the late hours and constant feasting disagree with me. I wish for a sheep’s-head and whisky-toddy against all the French cookery and champagne in the world. Well, I suppose I might have been a Judge of Session by this time—attained, in short, the grand goal proposed to the ambition of a Scottish lawyer. It is better, however, as it is, while, at least, I can maintain my literary reputation.

November 16.—Breakfasted with Rogers, with my daughters and Lockhart. R. was exceedingly entertaining, in his dry, quiet, sarcastic manner. At eleven to the Duke of Wellington, who gave me a bundle of remarks on Buonaparte’s Russian campaign, written in his carriage during his late mission to St Petersburgh. It is furiously scrawled, and the Russian names hard to distinguish, but it shall do me yeoman’s service. Thence I passed to the Colonial Office, where I concluded my extracts. Lockhart and I dined with Croker at the Admiralty au grand couvert. No less than five Cabinet Ministers were present—Canning, Huskisson, Melville, Peel, and Wellington, with sub-secretaries by the bushel. The cheer was excellent, but the presence of too many men of distinguished rank and power always freezes the conversation. Each lamp shines brightest when placed by itself; when too close, they neutralize each other.*

November 17.—Sir John Malcolm at breakfast. Saw the Duke of York. The change on H. R. H. is most wonderful. From a big, burly, stout man, with a thick and sometimes an inarticulate mode of speaking, he has

* In returning from this dinner Sir Walter said, “I have seen some of these great men at the same table for the last time.”

sunk into a thin-faced, slender-looking old man, who seems diminished in his very size. I could hardly believe I saw the same person, though I was received with his usual kindness. He speaks much more distinctly than formerly; his complexion is clearer; in short, H. R. H. seems, on the whole, more healthy after this crisis than when in the stall-fed state, for such it seemed to be, in which I remember him. God grant it; his life is of infinite value to the King and country—it is a breakwater behind the throne.

November 18.—Was introduced by Rogers to Mad. D’Arblay, the celebrated authoress of Evelina and Cecilia,—an elderly lady, with no remains of personal beauty, but with a simple and gentle manner, a pleasing expression of countenance, and apparently quick feelings. She told me she had wished to see two persons—myself, of course, being one, the other George Canning. This was really a compliment to be pleased with—a nice little handsome pat of butter made up by a neat-handed Phillis of a dairymaid, instead of the grease, fit only for cart-wheels, which one is dosed with by the pound.

Mad. D’ Arblay told us that the common story of Dr Burney, her father, having brought home her own first work, and recommended it to her perusal, was erroneous. Her father was in the secret of Evelina being printed. But the following circumstances may have given rise to the story:—Dr Burney was at Streatham soon after the publication, where he found Mrs Thrale recovering from her confinement, low at the moment, and out of spirits. While they were talking together, Johnson, who sat beside in a kind of reverie, suddenly broke out—‘You should read this new work, madam—you should read Evelina; every one says it is excellent, and they are right.’ The delighted father obtained a commission
from Mrs Thrale to purchase his daughter’s work, and retired the happiest of men. Mad. D’Arblay said she was wild with joy at this decisive evidence of her literary success, and that she could only give vent to her rapture by dancing and skipping round a mulberry-tree in the garden. She was very young at this time. I trust I shall see this lady again.

“Dined at Mr Peel’s with Lord Liverpool, Duke of Wellington, Croker, &c. The conversation Very good, Peel taking the lead in his own house, which he will not do elsewhere. * * * Should have been at the play, but sat too long at Peel’s. So ends my campaign amongst these magnificoes and potent seigniors, with whom I have found, as usual, the warmest acceptation.

November 20.—I ended this morning my sittings to Lawrence, and am heartily sorry there should be another picture of me except that which he has finished. The person is remarkably like, and conveys the idea of the stout blunt carle that cares for few things and fears nothing. He has represented the author as in the act of composition, yet has effectually discharged all affectation, from the manner and attitude. He dined with us at Peel’s yesterday, where, by the way, we saw the celebrated Chapeau de Paille, which is not a Chapeau de Paille at all. I also saw this morning the Duke of Wellington and the Duke of York; the former so communicative, that I regretted extremely the length of time,* but have agreed on a correspondence with him. Trop d’honneur pour moi. The Duke of York seems still mending, and spoke of state affairs as a high Tory. Were his health good, his spirit is as strong as ever. H. R. H. has a devout horror of the Liberals. Having the Duke

* Sir Walter no doubt means that he regretted not having seen the Duke at an earlier period of his historical labours.

of Wellington, the
Chancellor, and (perhaps) a still greater person on his side, he might make a great fight when they split, as split they will. But Canning, Huskisson, and a mitigated party of Liberaux will probably beat them. Canning’s wit and eloquence are almost invincible. But then the Church, justly alarmed for their property, which is plainly struck at, and the bulk of the landed interest, will scarce brook even a mild infusion of Whiggery into the Administration. Well, time will show.

“We visited our friends Peel, Lord Gwydir, Mr Arbuthnot, &c. and left our tickets of adieu. In no instance, during my former visits to London, did I ever meet with such general attention and respect on all sides.

Lady Louisa Stuart dined—also Wright and Mr and Mrs Christie. Dr and Mrs Hughes came in the evening; so ended pleasantly our last night in London.

Oxford, November 20.—Left London after a comfortable breakfast, and an adieu to the Lockhart family. If I had had but comfortable hopes of their poor, pale, prostrate child, so clever and so interesting, I should have parted easily on this occasion, but these misgivings overcloud the prospect. We reached Oxford by six o’clock, and found Charles and his friend young Surtees waiting for us, with a good fire in the chimney, and a good dinner ready to be placed on the table. We had struggled through a cold, sulky, drizzly day, which deprived of all charms even the beautiful country near Henley. So we came from cold and darkness into light, and warmth, and society. N. B.—We had neither daylight nor moonlight to see the view of Oxford from the Maudlin bridge, which I used to think one of the most beautiful in the world.

“The expense of travelling has mounted high. I am too eld to rough it, and scrub it, nor could I have saved
fifty pounds by doing so. I have gained, however, in health and spirits, in a new stock of ideas, new combinations, and new views. My self-consequence is raised, I hope not unduly, by the many flattering circumstances attending my reception in the two capitals, and I feel confident in proportion. In Scotland I shall find time for labour and for economy.

Cheltenham, November 21.—Breakfasted with Charles in his chambers at Brazen-nose, where he had every thing very neat. How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child’s board! It is like the aged man reclining under the shadow of the oak which he has planted. My poor plant has some storms to undergo, but were this expedition conducive to no more than his entrance into life under suitable auspices, I should consider the toil and the expense well bestowed. We then sallied out to see the lions. Remembering the ecstatic feelings with which I visited Oxford more than twenty-five years since, I was surprised at the comparative indifference with which I revisited the same scenes. Reginald Heber, then composing his Prize Poem, and imping his wings for a long flight of honourable distinction, is now dead in a foreign land—Hodgson* and other able men all entombed. The towers and halls remain, but the voices which fill them are of modern days. Besides, the eye becomes saturated with sights, as the full soul loathes the honeycomb. I admired indeed, but my admiration was void of the enthusiasm which I formerly felt. I remember particularly having felt, while in the Bodleian, like the Persian magician who visited the enchanted library in the bowels of the mountain, and willingly suffered himself to be enclosed in its recesses, while less eager sages retired in

* Dr Frodsham Hodgson, the late excellent Master of Brazennose College.

alarm. Now I had some base thoughts concerning luncheon, which was most munificently supplied by
Surtees, at his rooms in University College, with the aid of the best ale I ever drank in my life, the real wine of Ceres, and worth that of Bacchus. Dr Jenkyns,* the vice-chancellor, did me the honour to call, but I saw him not. Before three set out for Cheltenham, a long and uninteresting drive, which we achieved by nine o’clock. My sister-in-law, Mrs Thomas Scott, and her daughter, instantly came to the hotel, and seem in excellent health and spirits.

Nov. 22.—Breakfasted and dined with Mrs Scott, and leaving Cheltenham at seven, pushed on to Worcester to sleep. Nov. 23.—Breakfasted at Birmingham and slept at Macclesfield. As we came in between ten and eleven, the people of the inn expressed surprise at our travelling so late, as the general distress of the manufacturers has rendered many of the lower classes desperately outrageous. Nov. 24.—Breakfasted at Manchester—pressed on—and by dint of exertion reached Kendal to sleep; thus getting out of the region of the stern, sullen, unwashed artificers, whom you see lounging sulkily along the streets in Lancashire. God’s justice is requiting, and will yet farther requite, those who have blown up this country into a state of unsubstantial opulence, at the expense of the health and morals of the lower classes.

Abbotsford, November 26.—Consulting my purse, found my good L.60 diminished to Quarter less Ten. In purse, L.8. Naturally reflected how much expense has increased since I first travelled. My uncle’s servant, during the jaunts we made together while I was a boy, used

* Dr Richard Jenkyns, Master of Baliol College.

to have his option of a shilling per diem for board wages, and usually preferred it to having his charges borne. A servant nowadays to be comfortable on the road should have 4s. or 4s. 6d. board wages, which before 1790 would have maintained his master. But if this be pitiful, it is still more so to find the alteration in my own temper. When young on returning from such a trip as I have just had, my mind would have loved to dwell on all I had seen that was rich and rare, or have been placing, perhaps, in order, the various additions with which I had supplied my stock of information—and now, like a stupid boy blundering over an arithmetical question half obliterated on his slate, I go stumbling on upon the audit of pounds, shillings, and pence. Well,—the skirmish has cost me L.200. I wished for information—and I have had to pay for it.”——