June 1.—Yesterday I also finished a few trifling memoranda on a book
called The Omen, at Blackwood's request. There is something in the
work which pleases me, and the style is good, though the story is not
artfully conducted. I dined yesterday in family with Skene, and had a
visit from Lord Chief-Commissioner; we met as mourners under a common
calamity. There is something extremely kind in his disposition.
Sir R. D[undas] offers me three days of the country next week, which
tempts me strongly were it but the prospect of seeing Anne. But I think
I must resist and say with Tilburina,
"Duty, I'm all thine own." 
Sheridan's Critic, Act IV. Sc. 2.
If I do this I shall deserve a holiday about the 15th June, and I think
it is best to wait till then.
June 2.—A pleasant letter from Sophia, poor girl; all doing well
there, for which God be praised.
I wrote a good task yesterday, five pages, which is nearly double the
I am settled that I will not go to Abbotsford till to-morrow fortnight.
I might have spared myself the trouble of my self-denial, for go I
cannot, Hamilton having a fit of gout.
Gibson seems in high spirits on the views I have given to him on the
nature of Constable and Co.'s claim. It amounts to this, that being no
longer accountable as publishers, they cannot claim the character of
such, or plead upon any claim arising out of the contracts entered into
while they held that capacity.
June 3.—I was much disturbed this morning by bile and its
consequences, and lost so much sleep that I have been rather late in
rising by way of indemnification. I must go to the map and study the
Italian campaigns instead of scribbling.
June 4.—I wrote a good task yesterday, and to-day a great one, scarce
stirring from the desk the whole day, except a few minutes when Lady Rae
called. I was glad to see my wife's old friend, with whom in early life
we had so many liaisons. I am not sure it is right to work so hard; but
a man must take himself, as well as other people, when he is in the
humour. A man will do twice as much at one time and in half the time,
and twice as well as he will be able to do at another. People are always
crying out about method, and in some respects it is good, and shows to
great advantage among men of business, but I doubt if men of method, who
can lay aside or take up the pen just at the hour appointed, will ever
be better than poor creatures. Lady L[ouisa] S[tuart] used to tell me of
Mr. Hoole, the translator of Tasso and Ariosto, and in that capacity
a noble transmuter of gold into lead, that he was a clerk in the India
House, with long ruffles and a snuff-coloured suit of clothes, who
occasionally visited her father [John, Earl of Bute]. She sometimes
conversed with him, and was amused to find that he did exactly so many
couplets day by day, neither more or less; and habit had made it light
to him, however heavy it might seem to the reader.
Well, but if I lay down the pen, as the pain in my breast hints that I
should, what am I to do? If I think, why, I shall weep—and that's
nonsense; and I have no friend now—none—to receive my tediousness for
half-an-hour of the gloaming. Let me be grateful—I have good news from
June 5.—Though this be Monday, I am not able to feague it away, as
Bayes says.  Between correcting proofs and writing letters, I have
got as yet but two pages written, and that with labour and a sensation
of pain in the chest. I may be bringing on some serious disease by
working thus hard; if I had once justice done to other folks, I do not
much care, only I would not like to suffer long pain. Harden made me a
visit. He argued with me that Lord M. affichéd his own importance, too
much at the election, and says Henry is anxious about it. I hinted to
him the necessity of counter-balancing it the next time, which will be
Buckingham's Rehearsal.—The expression "To Feague"
does not occur in the first edition, where the passage stands thus:—
Thomson also called about the Bannatyne Club.
"Phys.—When a knotty point comes, I lay my head close to it,
with a pipe of tobacco in my mouth and then whew it away. I'
In some subsequent editions the words are:—"I lay my head close to it
with a snuff-box in my hand, and I feague it away. I' faith."
"Bayes.—I do just so, i' gad, always." Act II. Sc. 4.
I am indebted to Dr. Murray for this reference, which he kindly
furnished me with from the materials collected for his great English
These two interruptions did me good, though I am still a poor wretch.
After all, I have fagged through six pages; and made poor Wurmser lay
down his sword on the glacis of Mantua—and my head aches—my eyes
ache—my back aches—so does my breast—and I am sure my heart aches,
and what can Duty ask more?
June 6.—I arose much better this morning, having taken some medicine,
which has removed the strange and aching feeling in my back and breast.
I believe it is from the diaphragm; it must be looked to, however. I
have not yet breakfasted, yet have cleared half my day's work holding it
at the ordinary stint.
Worked hard. John Swinton, my kinsman, came to see me,—very kind and
affectionate in his manner; my heart always warms to that Swinton
connection, so faithful to old Scottish feelings. Harden was also with
me. I talked with him about what Lord M. did at the election; I find
that he disapproves—I see these visits took place on the 5th.
June 7.—Again a day of hard work, only at half-past eight I went to
the Dean of Faculty's to a consultation about Constable,  and met
with said Dean and Mr. [J.S.] More and J. Gibson. I find they have as
high hope of success as lawyers ought to express; and I think I know how
our profession speak when sincere. I cannot interest myself deeply in
it. When I had come home from such a business, I used to carry the news
to poor Charlotte, who dressed her face in sadness or mirth as she saw
the news affect me; this hangs lightly about me. I had almost forgot the
appointment, if J.G. had not sent me a card, I passed a piper in the
street as I went to the Dean's and could not help giving him a shilling
to play Pibroch a Donuil Dhu for luck's sake—what a child I am!
This alludes to the claim advanced by the creditors of
Constable and Co. to the copyright of Woodstock and the Life of
Napoleon. The Dean of the Faculty of Advocates was at that time George
Cranstoun, afterwards a judge on the Scottish Bench under the title; of
Lord Corehouse, from 1826 until 1839, when he retired; he died 1850.
June 8.—Bilious and headache this morning. A dog howl'd all night and
left me little sleep. Poor cur! I dare say he had his distresses, as I
have mine. I was obliged to make Dalgleish shut the windows when he
appeared at half-past six, as usual, and did not rise till nine, when
me voici. I have often deserved a headache in my younger days without
having one, and Nature is, I suppose, paying off old scores. Ay, but
then the want of the affectionate care that used to be ready, with
lowered voice and stealthy pace, to smooth the pillow—and offer
condolence and assistance,—gone—gone—for ever—ever—ever. Well,
there is another world, and we'll meet free from the mortal sorrows and
frailties which beset us here. Amen, so be it. Let me change the topic
with hand and head, and the heart must follow.
I think that sitting so many days and working so hard may have brought
on this headache. I must inflict a walk on myself to-day. Strange that
what is my delight in the country is here a sort of penance! Well, but
now I think on it, I will go to the Chief-Baron and try to get his
Lordship's opinion about the question with Constable; if I carry it, as
there is, I trust, much hope I shall, Mr. Gibson says there will be
funds to divide 6s. in the pound, without counting upon getting anything
from Constable or Hurst, but sheer hard cash of my own. Such another
pull is possible, especially if Boney succeeds, and the rogue had a
knack at success. Such another, I say, and we touch ground I believe,
for surely Constable, Robinson, etc., must pay something; the struggle
is worth waring  a headache upon.
I finished five pages to-day, headache, laziness, and all.
June 9.—Corrected a stubborn proof this morning. These battles have
been the death of many a man—I think they will be mine. Well but it
clears to windward; so we will fag on.
Slept well last night. By the way, how intolerably selfish this Journal
makes me seem—so much attention to one's naturals and non-naturals!
Lord Mackenzie  called, and we had much chat about business. The
late regulations for preparing cases in the Outer-House do not work
well, and thus our old machinery, which was very indifferent, is
succeeded by a kind that will hardly move at all. Mackenzie says his
business is trebled, and that he cannot keep it up. I question whether
the extreme strictness of rules of court be advisable in practice they
are always evaded, upon an equitable showing. I do not, for instance,
lodge a paper debito tempore, and for an accident happening, perhaps
through the blunder of a Writer's apprentice, I am to lose my cause. The
penalty is totally disproportioned to the delict, and the consequence
is, that means are found out of evasion by legal fictions and the like.
The judges listen to these; they become frequent, and the rule of Court
ends by being a scarecrow merely. Formerly, delays of this kind were
checked by corresponding amendes. But the Court relaxed this petty
fine too often. Had they been more strict, and levied the mulct on the
agents, with no recourse upon their clients, the abuse might have been
remedied. I fear the present rule is too severe to do much good.
The eldest son of "The Man of Feeling." He had been a
judge from 1822; he died at the age of seventy-four in 1851.
One effect of running causes fast through the Courts below is, that they
go by scores to appeal, and Lord Gifford  has hitherto decided them
with such judgment, and so much rapidity, as to give great satisfaction.
The consequence will in time be, that the Scottish Supreme Court will be
in effect situated in London. Then down fall—as national objects of
respect and veneration—the Scottish Bench, the Scottish Bar, the
Scottish Law herself, and—and—"there is an end of an auld sang." 
Were I as I have been, I would fight knee-deep in blood ere it came to
that. But it is a catastrophe which the great course of events brings
"And who can help it, Dick?"
Baron Gifford died a few months later, viz., in Sept.
1826; he had been Attorney-General in 1819, and Chief-Justice in 1824.
Lord and Lady Gifford had visited Abbotsford in the autumn of 1825.
I shall always be proud of Malachi as having headed back the Southron,
or helped to do so, in one instance at least.
Speech of Lord Chancellor Seafield on the ratification of
the Scottish Union.—See Miscell. Prose Works, vol. xxv. p. 93.
June 10.—This was an unusual teind-day at Court. In the morning and
evening I corrected proofs—four sheets in number; and I wrote my task
of three pages and a little more. Three pages a day will come, at
Constable's rate, to about £12,000 to £15,000 per year. They have sent
their claim; it does not frighten me a bit.
June 11.—Bad dreams about poor Charlotte. Woke, thinking my old and
inseparable friend beside me; and it was only when I was fully awake
that I could persuade myself that she was dark, low, and distant, and
that my bed was widowed. I believe the phenomena of dreaming are in a
great measure occasioned by the double touch, which takes place when
one hand is crossed in sleep upon another. Each gives and receives the
impression of touch to and from the other, and this complicated
sensation our sleeping fancy ascribes to the agency of another being,
when it is in fact produced by our own limbs acting on each other. Well,
here goes—incumbite remis.
June 12.—Finished volume third of Napoleon. I resumed it on the 1st
of June, the earliest period that I could bend my mind to it after my
great loss. Since that time I have lived, to be sure, the life of a
hermit, except attending the Court five days in the week for about three
hours on an average. Except at that time I have been reading or writing
on the subject of Boney, and have finished last night, and sent to
printer this morning the last sheets of fifty-two written since 1st
June. It is an awful screed; but grief makes me a house-keeper, and to
labour is my only resource. Ballantyne thinks well of the work—very
well, but I shall [expect] inaccuracies. An' it were to do again, I
would get some one to look it over. But who could that some one be? Whom
is there left of human race that I could hold such close intimacy with?
No one. "Tanneguy du Châtel, ou es-tu!" . Worked five pages.
See Moréri's Dictionnaire, Art. "Tanneguy du Châtel."
June 13.—I took a walk out last evening after tea, and called on Lord
Chief-Commissioner and the Macdonald Buchanans, that kind and friendly
clan. The heat is very great, and the wrath of the bugs in proportion.
Two hours last night I was kept in an absolute fever. I must make some
arrangement for winter. Great pity my old furniture was sold in such a
hurry! The wiser way would have been to have let the house furnished.
But it's all one in the Greek.
"Peccavi, peccavi, dies quidem sine lineâ!" I walked to make calls;
got cruelly hot; drank ginger-beer; wrote letters. Then as I was going
to dinner, enter a big splay-footed, trifle-headed, old pottering
minister, who came to annoy me about a claim which one of his
parishioners has to be Earl of Annandale, and which he conceits to be
established out of the Border Minstrelsy. He mentioned a curious
thing—that three brothers of the Johnstone family, on whose descendants
the male representative of these great Border chiefs devolved, were
forced to fly to the north in consequence of their feuds with the
Maxwells, and agreed to change their names. They slept on the side of
the Soutra Hills, and asking a shepherd the name of the place, agreed in
future to call themselves Sowtra or Sowter Johnstones. The old
pudding-headed man could not comprehend a word I either asked him or
told him, and maundered till I wished him in the Annandale
beef-stand.  Mr. Gibson came in after tea, and we talked business.
Then I was lazy and stupid, and dosed over a book instead of writing. So
on the whole, Confiteor, confiteor, culpa mea, culpa mea!
An example of Scott's wonderful patience, and his power
of utilising hints gathered from the most unpromising materials. Apropos
of this Mr. Skene relates:—"In one of our frequent walks to the pier of
Leith, to which the freshness of the sea breeze offered a strong
inducement to those accustomed to pass a few of the morning hours within
the close and impure atmosphere of the Court of Session, I happened to
meet with, and to recognise, the Master of a vessel in which I had
sailed in the Mediterranean. Our recognition of each other seemed to
give mutual satisfaction, as the cordial grasp of the seaman's hard fist
effectually indicated. It was some years since we had been shipmates, he
had since visited almost every quarter of the globe, but he shook his
head, and looked serious when he came to mention his last trip. He had
commanded a whaler, and having been for weeks exposed to great stress of
weather in the polar regions, finally terminated in the total loss of
his vessel, with most of her equipage, in the course of a dark
tempestuous night. When thrown on her beam-ends, my friend had been
washed overboard, and in his struggles to keep himself above water had
got hold of a piece of ice, on the top of which he at length succeeded
in raising himself—'and there I was, sir, on a cursed dark dirty night,
squatted on a round lump of floating ice, for all the world like a
tea-table adrift in the middle of a stormy sea, without being able to
see whether there was any hope within sight, and having enough ado to
hold on, cold as my seat was, with sometimes one end of me in the water,
and sometimes the other, as the ill-fashioned crank thing kept whirling,
and whomeling about all night. However, praised be God, daylight had not
been long in, when a boat's crew on the outlook hove in sight, and
taking me for a basking seal, and maybe I was not unlike that same, up
they came of themselves, for neither voice nor hand had I to signal
them, and if they lost their blubber, faith, sir, they did get a willing
prize on board; so, after just a little bit gliff of a prayer for the
mercy that sent them to my help, I soon came to myself again, and now
that I am landed safe and sound, I am walking about, ye see, like a
gentleman, till I get some new craft to try the trade again.'—Sir
Walter, who was leaning on my arm during this narrative, had not taken
any share in the dialogue, and kept gazing to seaward, with his usual
heavy, absorbed expression, and only joined in wishing the seaman better
success in his next trip as we parted. However, the detail had by no
means escaped his notice, but dropping into the fertile soil of his
mind, speedily yielded fruit, quite characteristic of his habits. We
happened that evening to dine in company together; I was not near Sir
Walter at table, but in the course of the evening my attention was
called to listen to a narrative with which he was entertaining those
around him, and he seemed as usual to have excited the eager interest of
his hearers. The commencement of the story I had not heard, but soon
perceived that a shipwreck was the theme, which he described with all
the vivid touches of his fancy, marshalling the incidents and striking
features of the situation with a degree of dexterity that seemed to
bring all the horrors of a polar storm home to every one's mind, and
although it occurred to me that our rencontre in the morning with the
shipwrecked Whaler might have recalled a similar story to his
recollection, it was not until he came to mention the tea-table of ice
that I recognised the identity of my friend's tale, which had luxuriated
to such an extent in the fertile soil of the poet's imagination, as to
have left the original germ in comparative insignificance. He cast a
glance towards me at the close, and observed, with a significant nod,
'You see, you did not hear one-half of that honest seaman's story this
morning.' It was such slender hints, which in the common intercourse of
life must have hourly dropped on the soil of his retentive memory, that
fed the exuberance of Sir Walter's invention, and supplied the seemingly
inexhaustible stream of fancy, from which he drew forth at pleasure the
ground-work of romance."—Reminiscences.
June 14.—In the morning I began with a page and a half before
breakfast. This is always the best way. You stand like a child going to
be bathed, shivering and shaking till the first pitcherful is flung
about your ears, and then are as blithe as a water-wagtail. I am just
come home from Parliament House; and now, my friend Nap., have at you
with a down-right blow! Methinks I would fain make peace with my
conscience by doing six pages to-night. Bought a little bit of Gruyère
cheese, instead of our domestic choke-dog concern. When did I ever
purchase anything for my own eating? But I will say no more of that. And
now to the bread-mill.
June 15.—I laboured all the evening, but made little way. There were
many books to consult; and so all I could really do was to make out my
task of three pages. I will try to make up the deficit of Tuesday to-day
and to-morrow. Letters from Walter—all well. A visit yesterday from
June 16.—Yesterday sate in the Court till nearly four. I had, of
course, only time for my task. I fear I will have little more to-day,
for I have accepted to dine at Hector's. I got, yesterday, a present of
two engravings from Sir Henry Raeburn's portrait of me, which (poor
fellow!) was the last he ever painted, and certainly not his worst. 
I had the pleasure to give one to young Mr. Davidoff for his uncle, the
celebrated Black Captain of the campaign of 1812. Curious that he should
be interested in getting the resemblance of a person whose mode of
attaining some distinction has been very different. But I am sensible,
that if there be anything good about my poetry or prose either, it is a
hurried frankness of composition which pleases soldiers, sailors, and
young people of bold and active disposition. I have been no sigher in
shades—no writer of
"Songs and sonnets and rustical roundelays,
Framed on fancies, and whistled on reeds." 
Painted for Lord Montagu in 1822.—See Life, vol. vii.
[Abbotsford, Saturday,] June 17.—Left Edinburgh to-day after
Parliament House to come [here]. My two girls met me at Torsonce, which
was a pleasant surprise, and we returned in the sociable all together.
Found everything right and well at Abbotsford under the new regime. I
again took possession of the family bedroom and my widowed couch. This
was a sore trial, but it was necessary not to blink such a resolution.
Indeed, I do not like to have it thought that there is any way in which
I can be beaten. 
Raeburn apparently executed two "half lengths" of Scott almost identical
at this time, giving Lord Montagu his choice. The picture chosen
remained at Ditton, near Windsor, until 1845, when at Lord Montagu's
death it became the property of his son-in-law, the Earl of Home, and it
is now (1889) at the Hirsel, Coldstream. The engraving referred to was
made from the replica, which remained in the artist's possession, by Mr.
Walker, and published in 1826. Sir Henry Raeburn died in July 1823, and
I do not know what became of the original, which may be identified by an
official chain round the neck, not introduced in the Montagu picture.
Song of The Hunting of the Hare.—J.G.L.
This entry reminds one of Hannah More's account of Mrs.
Garrick's conduct after her husband's funeral. "She told me," says Mrs.
More, "that she prayed with great composure, then went and kissed the
dear bed, and got into it with a sad pleasure."—See Memoirs of Mrs.
More, vol. i. p. 135.—J.G.L.
June 18.—This morning wrote till half-twelve—good day's work—at
Canongate Chronicles. Methinks I can make this work answer. Then drove
to Huntly Burn and called at Chiefswood. Walked home. The country crying
for rain; yet on the whole the weather delicious, dry, and warm, with a
fine air of wind. The young woods are rising in a kind of profusion I
never saw elsewhere. Let me once clear off these encumbrances, and they
shall wave broader and deeper yet. But to attain this I must work.
Wrought very fair accordingly till two; then walked; after dinner out
again with the girls. Smoked two cigars, first time these two months.
June 19.—Wrought very fair indeed, and the day being scorching we
dined al fresco in the hall among the armour, and went out early in
the evening. Walked to the lake and back again by the Marle pool; very
June 20.—This is also a hard-working day. Hot weather is favourable
for application, were it not that it makes the composer sleepy. Pray God
the reader may not partake the sensation! But days of hard work make
short journals. To-day we again dine in the hall, and drive to Ashestiel
in the evening pour prendre le frais.
June 21—We followed the same course we proposed. For a party of
pleasure I have attended to business well. Twenty pages of Croftangry,
five printed pages each, attest my diligence, and I have had a
delightful variation by the company of the two Annes. Regulated my
little expenses here.
[Edinburgh,] June 22.—Returned to my Patmos. Heard good news from
Lockhart. Wife well, and John Hugh better. He mentions poor Southey
testifying much interest for me, even to tears. It is odd—am I so
hard-hearted a man? I could not have wept for him, though in distress I
would have gone any length to serve him. I sometimes think I do not
deserve people's good opinion, for certainly my feelings are rather
guided by reflection than impulse. But everybody has his own mode of
expressing interest, and mine is stoical even in bitterest grief. Agere
atque pati, Romanum est. I hope I am not the worse for wanting the
tenderness that I see others possess, and which is so amiable. I think
it does not cool my wish to be of use where I can. But the truth is, I
am better at enduring or acting than at consoling. From childhood's
earliest hour my heart rebelled against the influence of external
circumstances in myself and others. Non est tanti!
To-day I was detained in the Court from half-past ten till near four;
yet I finished and sent off a packet to Cadell, which will finish
one-third of the Chronicles, vol. 1st.
Henry Scott came in while I was at dinner, and sat while I ate my
beef-steak. A gourmand would think me much at a loss, coming back to my
ploughman's meal of boiled beef and Scotch broth, from the rather
recherché table at Abbotsford, but I have no philosophy in my
carelessness on that score. It is natural—though I am no ascetic, as my
June 23.—The heat tremendous, and the drought threatening the hay and
barley crop. Got from the Court at half-twelve, and walked to the
extremity of Heriot Row to see poor Lady Don; left my card as she does
not receive any one. I am glad this painful meeting is adjourned. I
received to-day £10 from Blackwood for the article on The Omen. Time
was I would not have taken these small tithes of mint and cummin, but
scornful dogs will eat dirty puddings, and I, with many depending on me,
must do the best I can with my time—God help me!
[Blair-Adam,] June 24.—Left Edinburgh yesterday after the Court,
half-past twelve, and came over here with the Lord Chief-Baron and
William Clerk, to spend as usual a day or two at Blair-Adam. In general,
this is a very gay affair. We hire a light coach-and-four, and scour the
country in every direction in quest of objects of curiosity. But the
Lord Chief-Commissioner's family misfortunes and my own make our holiday
this year of a more quiet description than usual, and a sensible degree
of melancholy hangs on the reunion of our party. It was wise, however,
not to omit it, for to slacken your hold on life in any agreeable point
of connection is the sooner to reduce yourself to the indifference and
passive vegetation of old age.
June 25.—Another melting day; thermometer at 78° even here. 80° was
the height yesterday at Edinburgh. If we attempt any active proceeding
we dissolve ourselves into a dew. We have lounged away the morning
creeping about the place, sitting a great deal, and walking as little as
might be on account of the heat.
Blair-Adam has been successively in possession of three generations of
persons attached to and skilled in the art of embellishment, and may be
fairly taken as a place where art and taste have done a great deal to
improve nature. A long ridge of varied ground sloping to the foot of the
hill called Benarty, and which originally was of a bare, mossy, boggy
character, has been clothed by the son, father, and grandfather; while
the undulations and hollows, which seventy or eighty years since must
have looked only like wrinkles in the black morasses, being now drained
and limed, are skirted with deep woods, particularly of spruce, which
thrives wonderfully, and covered with excellent grass. We drove in the
droskie and walked in the evening.
June, 26.—Another day of unmitigated heat; thermometer 82; must be
higher in Edinburgh, where I return to-night, when the decline of the
sun makes travelling practicable. It will be well for my work to be
there—not quite so well for me; there is a difference between the
clean, nice arrangement of Blair-Adam and Mrs. Brown's accommodations,
though he who is insured against worse has no right to complain of them.
But the studious neatness of poor Charlotte has perhaps made me
fastidious. She loved to see things clean, even to Oriental
scrupulosity. So oddly do our deep recollections of other kinds
correspond with the most petty occurrences of our life.
Lord Chief-Baron told us a story of the ruling passion strong in death.
A Master in Chancery was on his deathbed—a very wealthy man. Some
occasion of great urgency occurred in which it was necessary to make an
affidavit, and the attorney, missing one or two other Masters, whom he
inquired after, ventured to ask if Mr. ——— would be able to receive
the deposition. The proposal seemed to give him momentary strength; his
clerk sent for, and the oath taken in due form, the Master was lifted up
in bed, and with difficulty subscribed the paper; as he sank down again,
he made a signal to his clerk—"Wallace."—"Sir?"—"Your
ear—lower—lower. Have you got the half-crown?" He was dead before
[Edinburgh,] June 27.—Returned to Edinburgh late last night, and
had a most sweltering night of it. This day also cruel hot. However, I
made a task or nearly so, and read a good deal about the Egyptian
Expedition. Had comfortable accounts of Anne, and through her of Sophia.
Dr. Shaw doubts if anything is actually the matter with poor Johnnie's
back. I hope the dear child will escape deformity, and the infirmities
attending that helpless state. I have myself been able to fight up very
well, notwithstanding my lameness, but it has cost great efforts, and I
am besides very strong. Dined with Colin Mackenzie; a fine family all
growing up about him, turning men and women, and treading fast on our
heels. Some thunder and showers which I fear will be but partial.
June, 28.—Another hot morning, and something like an idle day, though
I have read a good deal. But I have slept also, corrected proofs, and
prepared for a great start, by filling myself with facts and ideas.
June 29.—I walked out for an hour last night, and made one or two
calls—the evening was delightful—
"Day its sultry fires had wasted,
Calm and cool the moonbeam rose;
Even a captive's bosom tasted
Half oblivion of his woes." 
Campbell's Turkish Lady, slightly altered. The poet was
then editor of the New Monthly Magazine, but he soon gave it
I wonder often how Tom Campbell, with so much real genius, has not
maintained a greater figure in the public eye than he has done of late.
The Magazine seems to have paralysed him. The author, not only of the
Pleasures of Hope, but of Hohenlinden, Lochiel, etc., should have
been at the very top of the tree. Somehow he wants audacity, fears the
public, and, what is worse, fears the shadow of his own reputation. He
is a great corrector too, which succeeds as ill in composition as in
education. Many a clever boy is flogged into a dunce, and many an
original composition corrected into mediocrity. Yet Tom Campbell ought
to have done a great deal more. His youthful promise was great. John
Leyden introduced me to him. They afterwards quarrelled. When I repeated
Hohenlinden to Leyden, he said, "Dash it, man, tell the fellow that I
hate him, but, dash him, he has written the finest verses that have been
published these fifty years." I did mine errand as faithfully as one of
Homer's messengers, and had for answer, "Tell Leyden that I detest him,
but I know the value of his critical approbation." This feud was
therefore in the way of being taken up. "When Leyden comes back from
India," said Tom Campbell, "what cannibals he will have eaten and what
tigers he will have torn to pieces!"
Gave a poor poetess £1. Gibson writes me that £2300 is offered for the
poor house; it is worth £300 more, but I will not oppose my own opinion,
or convenience to good and well-meant counsel: so farewell, poor No. 39.
What a portion of my life has been spent there! It has sheltered me from
the prime of life to its decline; and now I must bid good-bye to it. I
have bid good-bye to my poor wife, so long its courteous and kind
mistress,—and I need not care about the empty rooms; yet it gives me a
turn. I have been so long a citizen of Edinburgh, now an indweller only.
Never mind; all in the day's work.
J. Ballantyne and B. Cadell dined with me, and, as Pepys would say, all
was very handsome. Drank amongst us one bottle of champagne, one of
claret, a glass or two of port, and each a tumbler of whisky toddy. J.B.
had courage to drink his with hot water; mine was iced.
June 30.—Here is another dreadful warm day, fit for nobody but the
flies. And then one is confined to town.
Yesterday I agreed to let Cadell have the new work,  edition 1500,
he paying all charges, and paying also £500—two hundred and fifty at
Lammas, to pay J. Gibson money advanced on the passage of young Walter,
my nephew, to India. It is like a thorn in one's eye this sort of debt,
and Gibson is young in business, and somewhat involved in my affairs
besides. Our plan is, that this same Miscellany or Chronicle shall
be committed quietly to the public, and we hope it will attract
attention. If it does not, we must turn public attention to it
ourselves. About one half of vol. i. is written, and there is worse
abomination, or I mistake the matter.
Viz.: the first series of Chronicles of the Canongate,
which was published in 1827. The title originally proposed was The
Canongate Miscellany or Traditions of the Sanctuary.
I was detained in Court till four; dreadfully close, and obliged to
drink water for refreshment, which formerly I used to scorn, even on the
moors, with a burning August sun, the heat of exercise, and a hundred
springs gushing around me.
Woodstock had just been launched under the following
title:—Woodstock, or the Cavalier; a Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred
and Fifty-one, by the author of Waverley, Tales of the Crusaders,
etc. "He was a very perfect gentle knight" (Chaucer). Edinburgh: Printed
for Archibald Constable and Co., Edinburgh; and Longman, Rees, Orme,
Brown, and Green, London, 1826. (At the end) Edinburgh: Printed by James
Ballantyne and Co. 3 vols. post 8vo.
Corrected proofs, etc., on my return. I think I have conquered the
trustees' objections to carry on the small edition of novels. Got
Cadell's letter about the Chronicle.