October 1.—Wrote my task, then walked from one till half-past four.
Dogs took a hare. They always catch one on Sunday—a Puritan would say
the devil was in them. I think I shall get more done this evening. I
would fain conclude the volume at the Treaty of Tilsit, which will make
it a pretty long one, by the by. J.B. expressed himself much pleased
with Nap., which gives me much courage. He is gloomy enough when
things are not well. And then I will try something at my Canongate.
They talk about the pitcher going to the well; but if it goes not to the
well, how shall we get water? It will bring home none when it stands on
the shelf, I trow. In literature, as in love, courage is half the
"The public born to be controlled
Stoops to the forward and the bold."
October 2.—Wrote my task. Went out at one and wrought in the wood
till four. I was made happy by a letter from my nephew, little Walter,
as we used to call him, from his age and size, compared to those of his
cousin. He has been kindly received at Bombay by the Governor
Mountstuart Elphinstone, and by Sir Thomas Bradford. He is taking his
ground, I think, prudently, and is likely to get on. Already first
Lieutenant of Engineers—that is well to begin with.
Colonel Ferguson, Miss Margaret, and some ladies, friends of theirs,
dine, also Mr. and Mrs. Laidlaw, and James Laidlaw, and young Mr. N.
October 3.—I wrote my task as usual, but, strange to tell, there is a
want of paper. I expect some to-day. In the meantime, to avoid all
quarrel with Dame Duty, I cut up some other leaves into the usual
statutory size. They say of a fowl that if you draw a chalk line on a
table, and lay chick-a-diddle down with his bill upon it, the poor thing
will imagine himself opposed by an insurmountable barrier, which he will
not attempt to cross. Suchlike are one-half of the obstacles which serve
to interrupt our best resolves, and such is my pretended want of paper.
It is like Sterne's want of sous when he went to relieve the Pauvre
October 4.—I ought to record with gratitude to God Almighty the
continued health of body and mind, which He hath vouchsafed to grant me.
I have had of late no accesses either of bile or of nervous affection,
and by mixing exercise with literary labour, I have escaped the tremor
cordis which on other occasions has annoyed me cruelly. I went to the
inspection of the Selkirkshire Yeomanry, by Colonel Thornhill, 7th
Hussars. The Colonel is a remarkably fine-looking man, and has a good
address. His brow bears token of the fatigues of war. He is a great
falconer, and has promised to fly his hawks on Friday for my amusement,
and to spend the day at Abbotsford. The young Duke of B. was on the
field looking at the corps, most of whom are his tenants. They did very
well, and are fine, smart young men, and well mounted. Too few of them
though, which is a pity. The exercise is a work which in my time I have
Finished my task at night.
October 5.—I was thinking this morning that my time glided away in a
singularly monotonous manner, like one of those dark grey days which
neither promise sunshine nor threaten rain; too melancholy for
enjoyment, too tranquil for repining. But this day has brought a change
which somewhat shakes my philosophy. I find by a letter from J. Gibson
that I may go to London without danger, and if I may, I in a manner
must, to examine the papers in the Secretary of State's office about
Bon. when at Saint Helena. The opportunity having been offered must be
accepted, and yet I had much rather stay at home. Even the prospect of
seeing Sophia and Lockhart must be mingled with pain, yet this is
foolish too. Lady Hamilton  writes me that Pozzo di Borgo,  the
Russian Minister at Paris, is willing to communicate to me some
particulars of Bonaparte's early life. Query—might I not go on there?
In for a penny, in for a pound. I intend to take Anne with me, and the
pleasure will be great to her, who deserves much at my hand.
Eldest daughter of the illustrious Admiral Lord Duncan,
wife of Sir Hew Hamilton Dalrymple. She died in 1852.
October 6.—Charles and his friend Surtees left us this morning.
This implacable enemy of Napoleon,—a Corsican, died in
his seventy-fourth year in 1842.
Went to see Colonel Thornhill's hawks fly. Some part of the amusement is
very beautiful, particularly the first flight of the hawks, when they
sweep so beautifully round the company, jingling their bells from time
to time, and throwing themselves into the most elegant positions as they
gaze about for their prey. But I do not wonder that the impatience of
modern times has renounced this expensive and precarious mode of
sporting. The hawks are liable to various misfortunes, and are besides
addicted to fly away; one of ours was fairly lost for the day, and one
or two went off without permission, but returned. We killed a crow and
frightened a snipe. There are, however, ladies and gentlemen enough to
make a gallant show on the top of Mintlaw Kipps. The falconer made a
fine figure—a handsome and active young fellow with the falcon on his
wrist. The Colonel was most courteous, and named a hawk after me, which
was a compliment. The hawks are not named till they have merited that
distinction. I walked about six miles and was not fatigued.
There dined with us Colonel Thornhill, Clifton, young Whytbank, Spencer
Stanhope, and his brother, with Miss Tod and my old friend Locker, 
Secretary to Greenwich Hospital. We did not break up the party till one
in the morning, and were very well amused.
E.H. Locker, Esq., then Secretary, afterwards one of the
Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital—an old and dear friend of
Scott's.—See Oct. 25.
October 7.—A weary day of rain. Locker and I chatted from time to
time, and I wrought not at Boney, but upon the prose works, of which I
will have a volume ready to send in on Monday. I got a letter from John
Gibson, with an offer by Longman for Napoleon of ten thousand five
hundred guineas,  which I have advised them to accept. Also I hear
there is some doubt of my getting to London, from the indecision of
these foolish Londoners.
As an illustration of Constable's accuracy in gauging the
value of literary property, it may be stated that in his formal
declaration, after sequestration, he said:—"I was so sanguine as to the
success of the Memoirs of Napoleon that I did not hesitate to express
it as my opinion that I had much confidence in it producing him at least
£10,000, and this I observed, as my expectation, to Sir W. Scott." This
opinion was expressed not only before the sale of the work, but before
it was all written.—A. Constable and his Correspondents, vol. iii. p.
I don't care whether I go or no! And yet it is unpleasant to see how
one's motions depend on scoundrels like these. Besides, I would like to
be there, were it but to see how the cat jumps. One knows nothing of the
world, if you are absent from it so long as I have been.
October 8.—Locker left me this morning. He is of opinion the ministry
must soon assume another form, but that the Whigs will not come in. Lord
Liverpool holds much by Lord Melville—well in point of judgment—and by
the Duke of Wellington—still better, but then the Duke is a soldier—a
bad education for a statesman in a free country. The Chancellor is also
consulted by the Premier on all law affairs. Canning and Huskisson are
at the head of the other party, who may be said to have taken the
Cabinet by storm, through sheer dint of talent. I should like to see
how these ingredients are working; but by the grace of God, I will take
care of putting my finger into the cleft stick.
Locker has promised to get my young cousin Walter Scott on some
quarter-deck or other.
Received from Mr. Cadell the second instalment advance of cash on
Canongate. It is in English bills and money, in case of my going to
October 9.—A gracious letter from Messrs. Abud and Son, bill-brokers,
etc.; assure Mr. Gibson that they will institute no legal proceedings
against me for four or five weeks. And so I am permitted to spend my
money and my leisure to improve the means of paying them their debts,
for that is the only use of my present journey. They are Jews: I suppose
the devil baits for Jews with a pork griskin. Were I not to exert
myself, I wonder where their money is to come from.
A letter from Gillies menacing the world with a foreign miscellany. The
plan is a good one, but "he canna haud it," as John Moodie  says. He
will think all is done when he has got a set of names, and he will find
the difficulty consists not in that, but in getting articles. I wrote on
the prose works.
Another of the Abbotsford labourers.
Lord and Lady Minto dined and spent the night at Abbotsford.
October 10.—Well, I must prepare for going to London, and perhaps to
Paris. The morning frittered away. I slept till eight o'clock, then our
guests till twelve; then walked out to direct some alterations on the
quarry, which I think may at little expense be rendered a pretty recess.
Wordsworth swears by an old quarry, and is in some degree a supreme
authority on such points. Rain came on; returned completely wet. I had
next the displeasure to find that I had lost the conclusion of vol. v.
of Napoleon, seven or eight pages at least, which I shall have to write
over again, unless I can find it. Well, as Othello says, "that's not
much." My cousin James Scott came to dinner.
I have great unwillingness to set out on this journey; I almost think it
"They that look to freits, my master dear,
Their freits will follow them." 
See Ballad of Edom of Gordon.
I will stick to my purpose. Answered a letter from Gillies about
establishing a foreign journal; a good plan, but I fear in sorry hands.
Of those he names as his assistants they who can be useful will do
little, and the labours of those who are willing to work will rather
hold the publication down. I fear it will not do.
I am downhearted about leaving all my things, after I was quietly
settled; it is a kind of disrooting that recalls a thousand painful
ideas of former happier journeys. And to be at the mercy of these
fellows! God help—but rather God bless—man must help himself.
October 11.—We are ingenious self-tormentors. This journey annoys me
more than anything of the kind in my life. My wife's figure seems to
stand before me, and her voice is in my ears—"Scott, do not go." It
half frightens me. Strong throbbing at my heart, and a disposition to be
very sick. It is just the effect of so many feelings which had been
lulled asleep by the uniformity of my life, but which awaken on any new
subject of agitation. Poor, poor Charlotte!! I cannot daub it further. I
get incapable of arranging my papers too. I will go out for
half-an-hour. God relieve me!
I quelled this hysterica passio by pushing a walk towards Kaeside and
back again, but when I returned I still felt uncomfortable, and all the
papers I wanted were out of the way, and all those I did not want seemed
to place themselves under my fingers; my cash, according to the nature
of riches in general, made to itself wings and fled, I verily believe
from one hiding-place to another. To appease this insurrection of the
papers, I gave up putting my things in order till to-morrow morning.
Dined at Kippielaw with a party of neighbours. They had cigars for me,
very politely. But I must break folks off this. I would [not] willingly
be like old Dr. Parr, or any such quiz, who has his tastes and whims,
forsooth, that must be gratified. So no cigars on the journey.
October 12. —Reduced my rebellious papers to order. Set out after
breakfast, and reached Carlisle at eight o'clock at night.
"On the 12th of October, Sir Walter left Abbotsford for
London, where he had been promised access to the papers in the
Government offices; and thence he proceeded to Paris, in the hope of
gathering from various eminent persons authentic anecdotes concerning
Napoleon. His Diary shows that he was successful in obtaining many
valuable materials for the completion of his historical work; and
reflects, with sufficient distinctness, the very brilliant reception he
on this occasion experienced both in London and Paris. The range of his
society is strikingly (and unconsciously) exemplified in the record of
one day, when we find him breakfasting at the Royal Lodge in Windsor
Park, and supping on oysters and porter in "honest Dan Terry's house,
like a squirrel's cage," above the Adelphi Theatre in the Strand. There
can be no doubt that this expedition was in many ways serviceable in his
Life of Napoleon; and I think as little that it was chiefly so by
renewing his spirits. The deep and respectful sympathy with which his
misfortunes, and gallant behaviour under them, had been regarded by all
classes of men at home and abroad, was brought home to his perception in
a way not to be mistaken. He was cheered and gratified, and returned to
Scotland with renewed hope and courage for the prosecution of his
marvellous course of industry."—Life, vol. ix. pp. 2, 3.
Rokeby Park, October 13.—We were off 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. I
saw his nephew's wife for the first time, a very pleasing young person.
It was great pleasure to me to see Morritt happy in the midst of his
family circle, undisturbed, as heretofore, by the sickness of any dear
John B. Saurey Morritt of Rokeby, a friend of twenty
years' standing, and "one of the most accomplished men that ever shared
On recalling my own recollections during my journey I may note that I
found great 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 Bowes,
which used to strike me as a distinguished feature, seemed an ill-formed
mass of rubbish, a great deal lower 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.
He had published, before making Scott's acquaintance, a Vindication of
Homer, in 1798, a treatise on The Topography of Troy, 1800, and
translations and imitations of the minor Greek Poets in 1802.
Mr. Morritt survived his friend till February 12th, 1843, when he died
at Rokeby Park, Yorkshire, in his seventy-second year.—See Life
October 14.—Strolled about in the morning with Morritt, and saw his
new walk up the Tees, which he is just concocting. Got a pamphlet he has
written on the Catholic Question. In 1806 he had other views on that
subject, but "live and learn" as they say. One of his squibs against Fox
and Grenville's Administration concludes—
"Though they sleep with the devil, yet theirs is the hope,
On the scum of old England, to rise with the Pope."
Set off at two, and reached Wetherby to supper and bed.
It was the Corporation of Leeds that by a subscription of £80,000
brought in the anti-Catholic candidate. I remember their subscribing a
similar sum to bring in Morritt, if he would have stood.
Saw in Morritt's possession an original miniature of Milton by Cooper—a
valuable thing indeed. The pedigree seemed authentic. It was painted
for his favourite daughter—had come into possession of some of the
Davenants—was then in the Devonshire collection from which it was
stolen. Afterwards purchased by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and at his sale by
Morritt or his father.  The countenance handsome and dignified, with
a strong expression of genius, probably the only portrait of Milton
taken from the life excepting the drawing from which Faithorne's head is
MS. note on margin of Journal by Mr. Morritt: "No—it
was left by Reynolds to Mason, by Mason to Burgh, and given to me by Mr.
[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, but things seem much the same. 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.
Other things seem, externally at least, much the same. The land,
however, is much better ploughed; straight ridges everywhere adopted in
place of the old circumflex of twenty years ago. Three horses, however,
or even four, are often seen in a plough yoked one before the other. Ill
habits do not go out at once. We slept at Grantham, where we met with
Captain William Lockhart and his lady, bound for London like ourselves.
[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 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
We reached Biggleswade to-night at six, and paused here to wait for the
Lockharts. Spent the evening together.
[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.
Read over 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."
Chiverton was the first publication (anonymous) of Mr.
W. Harrison Ainsworth, the author of Rookwood and other popular
It is interesting to know that Scott would not read this
book until Woodstock was fairly off his hands.
They are both clever books; one in imitation of the days of chivalry;
the other (by Horace Smith, one of the authors of the Rejected
Addresses) dated in the time of the Civil Wars, and introducing
historical characters. I read both with great interest during the
See ante, p. 167, and the introduction to the original edition written
in March 1826, in which the author says:—"Some accidental collision
there must be, when works of a similar character are finished on the
same general system of historical manners, and the same historical
personages are introduced. Of course, if such have occurred, I shall be
probably the sufferer. But my intentions have been at least innocent,
since I look on it as one of the advantages attending the conclusion of
Woodstock, that the finishing of my own task will permit me to have
the pleasure of reading BRAMBLETYE-HOUSE, from which I have hitherto
conscientiously abstained."—Novels, vol. xxxix. pp. lxxv-vi.
I am something like Captain Bobadil  who trained up a hundred
gentlemen to fight very nearly, if not altogether, as well as myself.
And so far I am convinced of this, that I believe were I to publish the
Canongate Chronicles without my name (nom de guerre, I mean) the
event would be a corollary to the fable of the peasant who made the real
pig squeak against the imitator, while the sapient audience hissed 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 my former doings, when indisputably I bore away the
garland. Therefore I am as firmly and resolutely determined that I will
tilt under my own cognisance. 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.
Ben Jonson, Every Man in his Humour.
|Expense of journey,||£4100|
|Servants on journey,||200|
|Cash in purse (silver not reckoned),||200|
This is like to be an expensive journey; but if I can sell an early copy
of the work to a French translator, it should bring me home.
Thank God, little Johnnie 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 show in
succession Kings, Queens, the Battle of Waterloo, Bonaparte at Saint
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 background eclipse the principal
figures—the frame overpower the picture.
Twelfth Night, Act II. Sc. 3.
Another thing in my favour is, that my contemporaries steal too openly.
Mr. Smith has inserted in Brambletye House whole pages from Defoe's
Fire and Plague of London.
Rehearsal, Act III. Sc. 1.
"Steal! foh! a fico for the phrase—
Convey, the wise it call!" 
Merry Wives, Act I. Sc. 3.
When I convey an incident or so, I am at as much pains to avoid
detection as if the offence could be indicted in literal fact at the Old
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 last
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 woe'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!"
Poor Rob Burns! to tack thy fine strains of sublime patriotism! Better
take 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
Hamlet, Act II. Sc. 2.
Sallied forth in the morning; bought a hat. Met S[ir] W[illiam]
K[nighton],  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 Rogers and Richard Sharp, also good Dr.
and Mrs. Hughes, 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
translating Napoleon, which, being a hundred guineas, will help my
expenses to town and down again.
Sir Walter had made his acquaintance in August 1822, and
ever afterwards they corresponded with each other—sometimes very
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 Caesarea Augusta? Could he have proved it to be Numantium,
there would have been a concatenation accordingly. 
The Dumergues, at 15 Piccadilly West—early friends of
Lady Scott's.—See Life., vol. ii. p. 120.
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 Life, vol. vii. p.
Breakfasted at Rogers' with Sir Thomas Lawrence; Luttrell, the great
London wit;  Richard Sharp, etc. Sam made us merry with an account
of 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
This brilliant conversationalist was the author of
several airy and graceful productions in verse, which were published
anonymously, such as Lines written at Ampthill Park, in 1818; Advice
to Julia, a letter in Rhyme, in which he sketched high life in London,
in 1820. He also published Crockford House: a rhapsody, in 1827. Moore
in his Diary has embalmed numerous examples of his satiric wit. Henry
Luttrell died in 1851.
I went to the Foreign Office, and am put by Mr. Wilmot Horton into the
hands of a confidential clerk, Mr. Smith, who promises access to
everything. 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.
The Orlando Furioso, by Mr. Stewart Rose, was published
in 8 vols. 8vo, London 1823-1831.
Dined with Mrs. Coutts. Tragi-comic distress of my good friend on the
marriage of her presumptive heir with a daughter of Lucien Bonaparte.
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 very prepossessing manners.
Something like Tom Moore. There were also Terry, Allan Cunningham,
Newton, and 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 ornée—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
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 beside the royal retinue—Lady C[onyngham], her
daughter, and two or three other ladies. After we left table, there was
excellent music by the Royal 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
everywhere, 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 toward 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
King Lear, Act IV. Sc. 6.—J.G.L.
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, met by appointment my daughters and Lockhart, 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.
We returned to a hasty dinner [in Pall Mall], and then hurried away to
see honest Dan Terry's house, called the Adelphi Theatre, where we saw
the Pilot, from the 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 honest Dan's theatre as full seemingly as it could hold. The heat
was dreadful, and Anne was so very 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
spaces of the theatre, and which is accessible by a most complicated
combination of staircases and small passages. Here we had rare good
porter and oysters after the play, and found Anne much better. She had
attempted too much; indeed I myself was much fatigued.
October 22.—This morning Drs. Gooch, Shaw, and Yates breakfasted, and
had a consultation about wee Johnnie. They give us great hopes that his
health will be established, but the seaside or the country seem
indispensable. Mr. Wilmot Horton,  Under Secretary of State, also
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
Afterwards the Right Hon. Sir Robert Wilmot Horton,
Governor of Ceylon.
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 namesake, Gilpin.
Mr. William and Mrs. Lockhart dined with us. Tom Moore  and Sir
Thomas Lawrence came in the evening, which made a pleasant soirée.
Smoke my French—Egad, it is time to air some of my vocabulary. It is, I
find, cursedly musty.
Moore, on hearing of Scott's arrival, hastened to London
from Sloperton, and had several pleasant meetings, particulars of which
are given in his Diary (vol. v. pp. 121 to 126). He would, as Scott
says on the 23d, have gone to Paris with them—"seemed disposed to go";
but between that date and 25th fancied that he saw something in Scott's
manner that made him hesitate, and then finally give up the idea. He
adds that Scott's friends had thrown out hints as to the impropriety of
such a political reprobate forming one of the party. This suspicion on
Moore's part shows how he had misunderstood Scott's real character. If
Scott thought it right to ask the Bard of Ireland to be his companion,
no hints from Mr. Wilmot Horton, or any members of the Court party,
would have influenced him, even though they had urged that "this
political reprobate" was author of The Fudge Family in Paris and the
October 23.—Sam Rogers and Moore breakfasted here, and we were very
merry fellows. Moore seemed disposed to go to France with us. I visited
the Admiralty, and got Sir George Cockburn's journal, which is
valuable.  Also visited Lady Elizabeth and Sir Charles Stewart. My
heart warmed to the former, on account of the old Balcarres connection.
Sir Charles and she were very kind and communicative. I foresee I will
be embarrassed with more communications than I can well 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 Bonapartists
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.
Sir George died in 1853. His journal does not appear to
have been published.
"Sing tantararara, rogues all."
We dined at the Residentiary-house with good Dr. Hughes,  Allan
Cunningham, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and young Mr. Hughes. Thomas
Pringle  is returned from the Cape, and called in my absence. He
might have done well there, could he have scoured his brain 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. Crofton Croker made me a present of a small
box of curious Irish antiquities containing a gold fibula, etc. etc.
Dr. Hughes, who died Jan. 6, 1833, aged seventy-seven,
was one of the Canons-residentiary of St. Paul's, London. He and Mrs.
Hughes were old friends of Sir Walter, who had been godfather to one of
their grandchildren.—See Life, vol. vii. pp. 259-260. Their son was
John Hughes, Esq., of Oriel College, whose "Itinerary of the Rhone" is
mentioned with praise in the introduction to Quentin Durward.—See
letter to Charles Scott, in Life, vol. vii. p. 275.
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," etc., of poor Byron.
Mr. Pringle was a Roxburghshire farmer's son who in youth
attracted Sir Walter's notice by his poem called The Autumnal
Excursion; or, Sketches in Teviotdale. He was for a short 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 the Anti-Slavery Society, published a charming little
volume entitled African Sketches, and died in December 1834. He was a
man of amiable feelings and elegant genius.
An esteemed friend of Sir Walter's, who attended on him
during his illness in October 1831, and in June 1832.
The conversation is seldom excellent among official people. So many
topics are what Otaheitians call taboo. We hunted down a pun or two,
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.
Afterwards Sir Francis Palgrave, Deputy-Keeper of the
public records, and author of the History of Normandy and England, 4
vols. 8vo, 1851-1864, and other works.
October 25.—Good 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 inquiries;
then to the French Ambassador for my passports. Picked up Sotheby, who
endeavoured to saddle me for a review of his polyglot 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 dined at Miss
Dumergue's, and spent a part of our soirée at Lydia White's. To-morrow,
"For France, for France, for it is more than need." 
William Wilson of Wandsworth Common, formerly of
Wilsontown, in Lanarkshire.—J.G.L.
[Calais,] October 26.—Up at five, and in the packet 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 dragons 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.
E.H. Locker, then Secretary of Greenwich Hospital.—See
ante, Oct. 7.
King John, Act I. Sc. 1.
October 27.—Custom House, etc., 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 various 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 cathedrals 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 voilà 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 are 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 a matter of necessity. 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 motive 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 thriving and
increasing prosperity. The château, the abode of the gentleman, and the
villa, the retreat of the thriving négociant, 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, pollarded, and switched. The demand for firewood
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, and we are very comfortably fed and lodged.
This morning wet and surly. Sallied, however, by the assistance of a
hired coach, and left cards for Count Pozzo di 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 front 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 substitute of brick
and plaster for freestone resembles the mean ambition which displays
Bristol stones in default of diamonds.
There were two well-known Frenchmen of this name at the
time of Scott's visit to Paris: (1) Jean-Antoine-Gauvain Gallois, who
was born about 1755 and died in 1828; (2) Charles-André-Gustave-Léonard
Gallois, born 1789, died 1851. It was the latter of these who translated
from the Italian of Colletta Cinq jours de l'histoire de Naples, 8vo,
Paris, 1820. But at this date he was only thirty-seven, and it can
scarcely be of him that Scott writes (p. 288) as an "elderly" man. The
probability is that it was the elder Gallois whom Scott saw, and that he
ascribed to him, though the title is misquoted, a work written by the
We went to theatre in the evening—Comédie Française the place,
Rosemunde the piece. It is the composition of a young man with a
promising name—Émile 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 attempt 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
frightfully 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.
"When he was in Paris," Hazlitt writes, "and went to
Galignani's, he sat down in an outer room to look at some book he wanted
to see; none of the clerks had the least suspicion who he was. When it
was found out, the place was in a commotion."—From Mr. Alexander
Ireland's excellent Selections from Hazlitt's writings, 8vo, Lond.
1889, p. 482.
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 for 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 petty 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 anything 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'oeuvre. Fiat justitia, ruat coelum. 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 eye. He was quite kind and communicative. Lord
Granville had also called, and sent Mr. Jones [his secretary] to invite
us to dinner to-morrow. In the evening at the Odéon, 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 was an
opera, and of course the story greatly mangled, and the dialogue in a
great part nonsense. Yet it was strange to hear anything 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. 
Ivanhoe might have borne a motto somewhat analogous to
the inscription which Frederick the Great's predecessor used to affix to
his attempts at portrait-painting when he had the gout: "Fredericus I.
in tormentis pinxit."—Recollections of Sir Walter Scott, p. 240.