- The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford (February, 1827) by Sir Walter Scott
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The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford
February, 1827

by Sir Walter Scott

February 1.—I feel a return of the cursed rheumatism. How could it miss, with my wetting? Also feverish, and a slight headache. So much for claret and champagne. I begin to be quite unfit for a good fellow. Like Mother Cole in the Minor, a thimbleful upsets me, [459]—I mean, annoys my stomach, for my brains do not suffer. Well, I have had my time of these merry doings.
"The haunch of the deer, and the wine's red dye,
Never bard loved them better than I."
[459]Foote's Comedy, Act I. Sc. 1.
But it was for the sake of sociality; never either for the flask or the venison. That must end—is ended. The evening sky of life does not reflect those brilliant flashes of light that shot across its morning and noon. Yet I thank God it is neither gloomy nor disconsolately lowering; a sober twilight—that is all.

I am in great hopes that the Bannatyne Club, by the assistance of Thomson's wisdom, industry, and accuracy, will be something far superior to the Dilettanti model on which it started. The Historie of K. James VI., Melville's Memoirs, and other works, executed or in hand, are decided boons to Scottish history and literature.

February 2.—In confirmation of that which is above stated, I see in Thorpe's sale-catalogue a set of the Bannatyne books, lacking five, priced £25. Had a dry walk from the Court by way of dainty, and made it a long one. Anne went at night to Lady Minto's.

Hear of Miss White's death. Poor Lydia! she had a party at dinner on the Friday before, and had written with her own hand invitations for another party. Twenty years ago she used to tease me with her youthful affectations—her dressing like the Queen of Chimney-sweeps on May-day morning, and sometimes with rather a free turn in conversation, when she let her wit run wild. But she was a woman of much wit, and had a feeling and kind heart. She made her point good, a bas-bleu in London to a point not easily attained, and contrived to have every evening a very good literary mêlée, and little dinners which were very entertaining. She had also the newest lions upon town. In a word, she was not and would not be forgotten, even when disease obliged her, as it did for years, to confine herself to her couch; and the world, much abused for hard-heartedness, was kind in her case—so she lived in the society she liked. No great expenditure was necessary for this. She had an easy fortune, but not more. Poor Lydia! I saw the Duke of York and her in London, when Death, it seems, was brandishing his dart over them. [460]
"The view o't gave them little fright." [461]
[460]Scott, who had accompanied this lady to the Highlands in the summer of 1808, wrote from Edinburgh on 19th January:—"We have here a very diverting lion and sundry wild beasts; but the most meritorious is Miss Lydia White, who is what Oxonians call a lioness of the first order, with stockings nineteen times dyed blue; very lively, very good-humoured, and extremely absurd. It is very diverting to see the sober Scotch ladies staring at this phenomenon."—Life, vol. iii. pp. 38, 95, 96.

[461]Burns's "Twa Dogs."—J.G.L.
Did not get quite a day's work finished to-day, thanks to my walk.

February 3.—There is nought but care on every hand. James Hogg writes that he is to lose his farm, [462] on which he laid out, or rather threw away, the profit of all his publications.
[462]Mount Benger.
Then Terry has been pressed by Gibson for my debt to him. That I may get managed.

I sometimes doubt if I am in what the good people call the right way. Not to sing my own praises, I have been willing always to do my friends what good was in my power, and have not shunned personal responsibility. But then that was in money matters, to which I am naturally indifferent, unless when the consequences press on me. But then I am a bad comforter in case of inevitable calamity; and feeling proudly able to endure in my own case, I cannot sympathise with those whose nerves are of a feebler texture.

Dined at Jeffrey's, with Lord and Lady Minto, John Murray and his lady, [463] a Mr. Featherstone, an Americo-Yorkshireman, and some others. Mrs. Murray is a very amiable person, and seems highly accomplished; plays most brilliantly.
[463]John Archibald Murray, whose capital bachelors' dinner on Dec. 8 Scott so pleasantly describes (on page 320), had married in the interval Miss Rigby, a Lancashire lady, who was long known in Edinburgh for her hospitality and fine social qualities as Lady Murray. (See page 378, April 2, 1827.) Miss Martineau celebrated her parliamentary Tea-Table in London, when her husband was Lord Advocate, and Lord Cockburn, the delights of Strachur on Loch Fyne.
February 4.—R.R. These two letters, you must understand, do not signify, as in Bibliomania phrase, a double degree of rarity, but, chirurgically, a double degree of rheumatism. The wine gets to weak places, Ross says. I have a letter from no less a person than that pink of booksellers, Sir Richard Phillips, who, it seems, has been ruined, and as he sees me floating down the same dark tide, sings out his nos poma natamus.

February 5.—R. One R. will do to-day. If this cursed rheumatism gives way to February weather, I will allow she has some right to be called a spring month, to which otherwise her pretensions are slender. I worked this morning till two o'clock, and visited Mr. Grant's [464] pictures, who has them upon sale. They seem, to my inexperienced eye, genuine, or at least, good paintings. But I fear picture-buying, like horse-jockeyship, is a profession a gentleman cannot make much of without laying aside some of his attributes. The pictures are too high-priced, I should think, for this market. There is a very knowing catalogue by Frank Grant himself. Next went to see a show of wild beasts; it was a fine one. I think they keep them much cleaner than formerly, when the strong smell generally gave me a headache for the day. The creatures are also much tamer, which I impute to more knowledge of their habits and kind treatment. A lion and tigress went through their exercise like poodles—jumping, standing, and lying down at the word of command. This is rather degrading. I would have the Lord Chancellor of Beasts good-humoured, not jocose. I treated the elephant, who was a noble fellow, to a shilling's worth of cakes. I wish I could have enlarged the space in which so much bulk and wisdom is confined. He kept swinging his head from side to side, looking as if he marvelled why all the fools that gaped at him were at liberty, and he cooped up in the cage.
[464]Mr. (afterwards Sir Francis) Grant became a member of the Scottish Academy in 1830, an associate of Royal Academy in 1842, and Academician in 1851. His successful career as a painter secured his elevation to the Presidentship of the Academy in 1866. Sir Francis died at Melton-Mowbray in October 1878, aged 75.
Dined at the Royal Society Club—about thirty present. Went to the Society in the evening, and heard an essay by Peter Tytler [465] on the first encourager of Greek learning in England. [466]
[465]Patrick Fraser Tytler, the Scottish historian. He died on Christmas-day 1849, aged fifty-eight.—See Burgon's Memoirs, 8vo, Lond. 1859.

[466]Audubon says in his Journal of the same date:—"Captain Hall led me to a seat immediately opposite to Sir Walter Scott, the President, where I had a perfect view of the great man, and studied Nature from Nature's noblest work."
The publication of Audubon's great work, The Birds of America, commenced in 1827, and was completed in 1839, forming 4 vols. in the largest folio size, and containing 435 plates. It shows the indomitable courage of the author, that even when the work was completed, he had only 161 subscribers, 82 of whom were in America. The price of the book was two guineas for each part with 5 coloured plates. During the last dozen years its price at auctions runs about £250 to £300. Audubon died in New York in 1851.—See Life, by Buchanan, 8vo, London, 1866.
February 6.—Was at Court till two; afterwards wrote a good deal, which has become a habit with me. Dined at Sir John Hay's, where met the Advocate and a pleasant party. There had been a Justiciary trial yesterday, in which something curious had occurred. A woman of rather the better class, a farmer's wife, had been tried on the 5th for poisoning her maid-servant. There seems to have been little doubt of her guilt, but the motive was peculiar. The unfortunate girl had an intrigue with her son, which this Mrs. Smith (I think that is the name) was desirous to conceal, from some ill-advised puritanic notions, and also for fear of her husband. She could find no better way of hiding the shame than giving the girl (with her own knowledge and consent, I believe) potions to cause abortion, which she afterwards changed for arsenic, as the more effectual silencing medicine. In the course of the trial one of the jury fell down in an epileptic fit, and on his recovery was far too much disordered to permit the trial to proceed. With only fourteen jurymen it was impossible to go on. But the Advocate, Sir William Rae, says she shall be tried anew, since she has not tholed an assize. Sic Paulus aitet recte quidem. But, having been half tried, I think she should have some benefit of it, as far as saving her life, if convicted on the second indictment. The Advocate declares, however, she shall be hanged, as certainly she deserves. But it looks something like hanging up a man who has been recovered by the surgeons, which has always been accounted harsh justice.

February 7.—Wrote six leaves to-day, and am tired—that's all.

February 8.—I lost much time to-day. I got from the Court about half-past twelve, therefore might have reckoned on four hours, or three at least, before dinner. But I had to call on Dr. Shortt at two, which made me lounge till that hour came. Then I missed him, and, too tired to return, went to see the exhibition, where Skene was hanging up the pictures, and would not let me in. Then to the Oil Gas Company, who propose to send up counsel to support their new bill. As I thought the choice unadvisedly made, I fairly opposed the mission, which, I suppose, will give much offence; but I have no notion of being shamefaced in doing my duty, and I do not think I should permit forward persons to press into situations for which their vanity alone renders them competent. Had many proof-sheets to correct in the evening.

February 9.—We had a long day of it at Court, but I whipped you off half-a-dozen of letters, for, as my cases stood last on the roll, I could do what I liked in the interim. This carried me on till two o'clock. Called on Baron Hume, and found him, as usual, in high spirits, notwithstanding his late illness. Then crept home—my rheumatism much better, though. Corrected lives of Lord Somerville and the King [George III.] [467] for the Prose Works, which took a long time; but I had the whole evening to myself, as Anne dined with the Swintons, and went to a ball at the Justice-Clerk's. N.B.—It is the first and only ball which has been given this season—a sign the times are pinching.
[467]Biographical Notices had been sent to the Weekly Journal in 1826, and are now included in the Miscell. Prose Works, vol. iv. pp. 322-342.
February 10.—I got a present of Lord Francis Gower's printed but unpublished Tale of the Mill. [468] It is a fine tale of terror in itself, and very happily brought out. He has certainly a true taste for poetry. I do not know why, but from my childhood I have seen something fearful, or melancholy at least, about a mill. Whether I had been frightened at the machinery when very young, of which I think I have some shadowy recollection—whether I had heard the stories of the miller of Thirlestane [469] and similar molendinar tragedies, I cannot tell; but not even recollection of the Lass of Patie's Mill, or the Miller of Mansfield, or he who "dwelt on the river Dee," have ever got over my inclination to connect gloom with a mill, especially when sun is setting. So I entered into the spirit of the terror with which Lord Francis has invested his haunted spot. I dine with the Solicitor to-day, so quoad labour 'tis a blank. But then to-morrow is a new day.
"To-morrow to fresh meads and pastures new." [470]
[468]Afterwards included in The Pilgrimage and other Poems, Lond. 1856.

[469]See Craig Brown's Selkirkshire, vol. i. pp. 285-86.

[470]Milton's Lycidas, varied.
February 11.—Wrought a good deal in the morning, and landed Boney at Smolensk. But I have him to bring off again; and, moreover, I must collate the authorities on the movements of the secondary armies of Witgenstein and the Admiral with the break-tooth name. Dined with Lord Minto, where I met Thomson, Cranstoun, and other gay folks. These dinner parties narrow my working hours; yet they must sometimes be, or one would fall out of the line of society, and go to leeward entirely, which is not right to venture. This is the high time for parties in Edinburgh; no wonder one cannot keep clear.

February 12.—I was obliged to read instead of writing, and the infernal Russian names, which everybody spells ad libitum, makes it difficult to trace the operations on a better map than mine. I called to-day on Dr. Shortt, principal surgeon at Saint Helena, and who presided at the opening of Bonaparte's body. He mentions as certain the falsehood of a number of the assertions concerning his usage, the unhealthy state of the island, and so forth. I have jotted down his evidence elsewhere. I could not write when I came home. Nervous a little, I think, and not yet up to the motions of Tchitchagoff, as I must be before I can write. Will [Clerk] and Sir A. Ferguson dine here to-day—the first time any one has had that honour for long enough, unless at Abbotsford. The good Lord Chief-Commissioner invited himself, and I asked his son, Admiral Adam. Col. Ferguson is of the party.

February 13.—The dining parties come thick, and interfere with work extremely. I am, however, beforehand very far. Yet, as James B. says—the tortoise comes up with the hare. So Puss must make a new start; but not this week. Went to see the exhibition—certainly a good one for Scotland—and less trash than I have seen at Somerset-House (begging pardon of the pockpuddings). There is a beautiful thing by Landseer—a Highlander and two stag-hounds engaged with a deer. Very spirited, indeed. I forgot my rheumatism, and could have wished myself of the party. There were many fine folks, and there was a collation, chocolate, and so forth. We dine at Sir H. Jardine's, with Lord Ch.-Com., Lord Chief-Baron, etc.

February 14.—"Death's gi'en the art an unco devel." [471] Sir George Beaumont's dead; by far the most sensible and pleasing man I ever knew; kind, too, in his nature, and generous; gentle in society, and of those mild manners which tend to soften the causticity of the general London [tone] of persiflage and personal satire. As an amateur, he was a painter of the very highest rank. Though I know nothing of the matter, yet I should hold him a perfect critic on painting, for he always made his criticisms intelligible, and used no slang. I am very sorry, as much as is in my nature to be, for one whom I could see but seldom. He was the great friend of Wordsworth, and understood his poetry, which is a rare thing, for it is more easy to see his peculiarities than to feel his great merit, or follow his abstract ideas. I dined to-day at Lord Ch.-Commissioner's—Lord Minto, and Lord Ch.-Baron, also Harden. Little done to-day.
"Death's gi'en the Lodge an unco devel,
Tam Samson's dead."
February 15.—Rheumatism returns with the snow. I had thoughts of going to Abbotsford on Saturday, but if this lasts, it will not do; and, sooth to speak, it ought not to do; though it would do me much pleasure if it would do.

I have a letter from Baron Von Goethe, [472] which I must have read to me; for though I know German, I have forgot their written hand. I make it a rule seldom to read, and never to answer, foreign letters from literary folks. It leads to nothing but the battle-dore and shuttle-cock intercourse of compliments, as light as cork and feathers. But Goethe is different, and a wonderful fellow, the Ariosto at once, and almost the Voltaire of Germany. Who could have told me thirty years ago I should correspond, and be on something like an equal footing, with the author of Goetz? Ay, and who could have told me fifty things else that have befallen me? [473]
[472]For letter and reply see Life, vol. ix. pp. 92, 98.

[473]Sir Walter at this date returned the valuable MSS. lent him by the Duke of Wellington in Nov. 1826 (see ante, p. 306) with the following letter:—
"EDINBURGH, 15th February 1827.
"My dear Lord Duke,—The two manuscripts safely packed leave this by post to-day, as I am informed your Grace's franks carry any weight. * * * "I have been reading with equal instruction and pleasure the memoir on the Russian campaign, which demonstrates as plainly as possible that the French writers have taken advantage of the snow to cover under it all their General's blunders, and impute to it all their losses. This I observe is Bonaparte's general practice, and that of his admirers. Whenever they can charge anything upon the elements or upon accident, he and they combine in denying all bravery and all wisdom to their enemies. The conduct of Kutusow on more than one occasion in the retreat seems to have been singularly cautious, or rather timorous. For it is impossible to give credit to the immense superiority claimed by Ségur, Beauchamp, etc., for the French troops over the Russians. Surely they were the same Russians who had fought so bravely against superior force, and how should the twentieth part of the French army have been able to clear their way without cavalry or artillery in a great measure? and it seems natural to suppose that we must impute to tardy and inactive conduct on the part of their General what we cannot account for on the idea of the extremely superior valour or discipline claimed for the French soldiers by their country. The snow seems to have become serious on the 6th November, when Napoleon was within two marches of Smolensk, which he soon after reached, and by that time it appears to me that his army was already mouldered away from 100,000 men who left Moscow, to about 35,000 only, so that his great loss was incurred before the snow began.
"I am afraid your Grace has done me an unparalleled injury in one respect, that the clearness, justice, and precision of your Grace's reasoning puts me out of all patience with my own attempts. I dare hardly hope in this increase of business for a note or two on Waterloo; but if your Grace had any, however hasty, which could be copied by a secretary, the debt would be never to be forgotten.
"I am going to mention a circumstance, which I do with great apprehension, lest I should be thought to intrude upon your Grace's goodness. It respects a youth, the son of one of my most intimate friends, a gentleman of good family and fortune, who is extremely desirous of being admitted a cadet of artillery. His father is the best draughtsman in Scotland, and the lad himself shows a great deal of talent both in science and the ordinary branches of learning. I enclose a note of the youth's age, studies, and progress, in case your Grace might think it possible to place on your list for the Engineer service the name of a poor Scots Hidalgo; your Grace knows Scotland is a breeding not a feeding country, and we must send our sons abroad, as we send our black cattle to England; and, as old Lady Campbell of Ardkinglas proposed to dispose of her nine sons, we have a strong tendency to put our young folks 'a' to the sword.'
"I have too long detained you, my Lord Duke, from the many high occupations which have been redoubled upon your Grace's head, and beg your Grace to believe me, with an unusually deep sense of respect and obligation, my dear Lord Duke, your Grace's much honoured and grateful, humble servant, WALTER SCOTT."—Wellington's Despatches, etc. (Continuation), vol. iii. pp. 590-1. London, 8vo, 1868.
February 16.—R. Still snow; and, alas! no time for work, so hard am I fagged by the Court and the good company of Edinburgh. I almost wish my rheumatics were bad enough to give me an apology for staying a week at home. But we have Sunday and Monday clear. If not better, I will cribb off Tuesday; and Wednesday is Teind day. We dined to-day with Mr. Borthwick, younger of Crookston.

February 17.—James Ferguson ill of the rheumatism in head and neck, and Hector B. Macdonald in neck and shoulders. I wonder, as Commodore Trunnion says, what the blackguard hell's-baby has to say to the Clerks of Session. [474] Went to the Second Division to assist Hector. N.B.—Don't like it half so well as my own, for the speeches are much longer. Home at dinner, and wrought in the evening.
[474]Smollett's Peregrine Pickle, VOL. i. cap. 13.
February 18.—Very cold weather. I am rather glad I am not in the country. What says Dean Swift—
"When frost and snow come both together,
Then sit by the fire and save shoe leather."
Wrought all morning and finished five pages. Missie dined with us.

February 19.—As well I give up Abbotsford, for Hamilton is laid up with the gout. The snow, too, continues, with a hard frost. I have seen the day I would have liked it all the better. I read and wrote at the bitter account of the French retreat from Moscow, in 1812, till the little room and coal fire seemed snug by comparison. I felt cold in its rigour in my childhood and boyhood, but not since. In youth and advanced life we get less sensible to it, but I remember thinking it worse than hunger. Uninterrupted to-day, and did eight leaves. [475]
[475]One page of his MS. answers to four or five of the close printed pages of the original edition of his Bonaparte.—J.G.L.
February 20.—At Court, and waited to see the poisoning woman. She is clearly guilty, but as one or two witnesses said the poor wench hinted an intention to poison herself, the jury gave that bastard verdict, Not proven. I hate that Caledonian medium quid. One who is not proven guilty is innocent in the eye of law. It was a face to do or die, or perhaps to do to die. Thin features, which had been handsome, a flashing eye, an acute and aquiline nose, lips much marked, as arguing decision, and, I think, bad temper—they were thin, and habitually compressed, rather turned down at the corners, as one of a rather melancholy disposition. There was an awful crowd; but, sitting within the bar, I had the pleasure of seeing much at my ease; the constables knocking the other folks about, which was of course very entertaining. [476]
[476]Lord Cockburn says:—"Scott's description of the woman is very correct; she was like a vindictive masculine witch. I remember him sitting within the bar looking at her. As we were moving out, Sir Walter's remark upon the acquittal was, 'Well, sirs, all I can say is that if that woman was my wife I should take good care to be my own cook.'"—Circuit Journeys, 8vo, Edinburgh, 1888, p. 12.
Lord Liverpool is ill of an apoplexy. I am sorry for it. He will be missed. Who will be got for Premier? Not B—— certainly; [477] he wants weight. If Peel would consent to be made a peer, he would do better; but I doubt his ambition will prefer the House of Commons. Wrought a a good deal.
[477]This can scarcely be taken to refer to Brougham, though at the time
"Canning calls Brougham his Learned Friend.
'My honours come and share 'em.
Reformers their assistance give
To countenance old Sarum."
Annus Mirabilis.
It may, however, stand for Lord Bathurst, who became President of the Council shortly afterwards in Wellington's Administration.
February 21.—Being the vacant Wednesday I wrote all the morning. Had an answer from D. of W., unsuccessful in getting young Skene put upon the engineer list; he is too old. Went out at two with Anne, and visited the exhibition; also called on the Mansfield family and on Sydney Smith. Jeffrey unwell from pleading so long and late for the poisoning woman. He has saved her throat and taken a quinsey in his own. Adam Ferguson has had a fall with his horse.

February 22.—Was at Court till two, then lounged till Will Murray [478] came to speak about a dinner for the Theatrical Fund, in order to make some arrangements. There are 300 tickets given out. [479] I fear it will be uncomfortable; and whatever the stoics may say, a bad dinner throws cold water on the charity. I have agreed to preside, a situation in which I have been rather felicitous, not by much superiority of wit or wisdom, far less of eloquence; but by two or three simple rules which I put down here for the benefit of posterity.
[478]Mr. W.H. Murray, Manager of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. This excellent actor retired from the stage with a competency, and spent the last years of his life in St. Andrews, where he died in March 1852, aged 61.

[479]This was the dinner at which the veil was publicly withdrawn from the authorship of Waverley; it took place on Friday, 23d February 1827, and a full account of the proceedings is given in the Life, vol. ix. pp. 79-84.
1st. Always hurry the bottle round for five or six rounds without prosing yourself or permitting others to prose. A slight fillip of wine inclines people to be pleased, and removes the nervousness which prevents men from speaking—disposes them, in short, to be amusing and to be amused.

2d. Push on, keep moving, as Punch says. Do not think of saying fine things—nobody cares for them any more than for fine music, which is often too liberally bestowed on such occasions. Speak at all ventures, and attempt the mot pour rire. You will find people satisfied with wonderfully indifferent jokes if you can but hit the taste of the company, which depends much on its character. Even a very high party, primed with all the cold irony and non est tanti feelings, or no feelings, of fashionable folks, may be stormed by a jovial, rough, round, and ready preses. Choose your texts with discretion, the sermon may be as you like. If a drunkard or an ass breaks in with anything out of joint, if you can parry it with a jest, good and well—if not, do not exert your serious authority, unless it is something very bad. The authority even of a chairman ought to be very cautiously exercised. With patience you will have the support of every one.

When you have drunk a few glasses to play the good fellow, and banish modesty if you are unlucky enough, to have such a troublesome companion, then beware of the cup too much. Nothing is so ridiculous as a drunken preses.

Lastly. Always speak short, and Skeoch doch na skiel—cut a tale with a drink.
"This is the purpose and intent
Of gude Schir Walter's testament." [480]
[480]Sir Walter parodies the conclusion of King Robert the Bruce's "Maxims or Political Testament."—See Hailes' Annals, A.D. 1311.—J.G.L.
We dined to-day at Mrs. Dundas of Arniston, Dowager.

February 24.—I carried my own instructions into effect the best I could, and if our jests were not good, our laugh was abundant. I think I will hardly take the chair again when the company is so miscellaneous; though they all behaved perfectly well. Meadowbank taxed me with the novels, and to end that farce at once I pleaded guilty, so that splore is ended. As to the collection, it was much cry and little woo', as the deil said when he shore the sow. Only £280 from 300 people, but many were to send money to-morrow. They did not open books, which was impolitic, but circulated a box, where people might put in what they pleased—and some gave shillings, which gives but a poor idea of the company. Yet there were many respectable people and handsome donations. But this fashion of not letting your right hand see what your left hand doeth is no good mode of raising a round sum. Your penny-pig collections don't succeed. I got away at ten at night. The performers performed very like gentlemen, especially Will Murray. They attended as stewards with white rods, and never thought of sitting down till after dinner, taking care that the company was attended to.

February 25.—Very bad report of the speeches in the papers. We dined at Jeffrey's with Sydney Smith—funny and good-natured as usual. One of his daughters is very pretty indeed; both are well-mannered, agreeable, and sing well. The party was pleasant.

February 26.—At home, and settled to work; but I know not why I was out of spirits—quite Laird of Humdudgeon, and did all I could to shake it off, and could not. James Ballantyne dined with me.

February 27.—Humdudgeonish still; hang it, what fools we are! I worked, but coldly and ill. Yet something is done. I wonder if other people have these strange alternations of industry and incapacity. I am sure I do not indulge myself in fancies, but it is accompanied with great drowsiness—bile, I suppose, and terribly jaded spirits. I received to-day Dr. Shortt and Major Crocket, who was orderly-officer on Boney at the time of his death.

February 28.—Sir Adam breakfasted. One of the few old friends left out of the number of my youthful companions. In youth we have many companions, few friends perhaps; in age companionship is ended, except rarely, and by appointment. Old men, by a kind of instinct, seek younger companions who listen to their stories, honour their grey hairs while present, and mimic and laugh at them when their backs are turned. At least that was the way in our day, and I warrant our chicks of the present day crow to the same tune. Of all the friends that I have left I have none who has any decided attachment to literature. So either I must talk on that subject to young people—in other words, turn proser, or I must turn tea-table talker and converse with ladies. I am too old and too proud for either character, so I'll live alone and be contented. Lockhart's departure for London was a loss to me in this way. Came home late from the Court, but worked tightly in the evening. I think discontinuing smoking, as I have done for these two months past, leaves me less muzzy after dinner. At any rate, it breaks a custom—I despise custom.

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