April 1.—All Fools' day, the only Saint that keeps up some degree of
credit in the world; for fools we are with a vengeance. On this
memorable festival we played the fool with great decorum at Colonel
Ferguson's, going to visit them in a cold morning. In the evening I had
a distressing letter from Mrs. MacBarnet, or some such name, the
daughter of Captain Macpherson, smothered in a great snow storm. They
are very angry at the Review for telling a raw-head and bloody bones
story about him. I have given the right version of the tale willingly,
but this does not satisfy. I almost wish they would turn out a clansman
to be free of the cumber. The vexation of having to do with ladies, who
on such a point must be unreasonable, is very great. With a man it would
be soon ended or mended. It really hurts my sleep.
April 2.—I wrote the lady as civilly as I could, explaining why I
made no further apology, which may do some good. Then a cursed morning
of putting to rights, which drives me well-nigh mad. At two or three I
must go to a funeral—a happy and interesting relief from my employment.
It is a man I am sorry for, who married my old servant, Bell Ormiston.
He was an excellent person in his way, and a capital mason—a great
April 3.—Set off at eight o'clock, and fought forward to Carlisle—a
sad place in my domestic remembrances, since here I married my poor
Charlotte. She is gone, and I am following faster, perhaps, than I wot
of. It is something to have lived and loved; and our poor children are
so hopeful and affectionate, that it chastens the sadness attending the
thoughts of our separation. We slept at Carlisle. I have not forgiven
them for destroying their quiet old walls, and building two lumpy things
like mad-houses. The old gates had such a respectable appearance once,
"When Scotsmen's heads did guard the wall."
Come, I'll write down the whole stanza, which is all that was known to
exist of David Hume's poetry, as it was written on a pane of glass in
"Here chicks in eggs for breakfast sprawl,
Here godless boys God's glories squall,
Here Scotsmen's heads do guard the wall,
But Corby's walks atone for all."
The poetical works of David Hume, Esq., might, as bookmakers know now,
be driven out to a handsome quarto. Line 1st admits of a descant upon
eggs roasted, boiled or poached; 2d, a history of Carlisle Cathedral
with some reasons why the choir there has been proverbially execrable;
3d, the whole history of 1745 with minute memoirs of such as mounted
guard on the Scotch gate. I remember the spikes the heads stood upon;
lastly, a description of Corby Castle with a plan, and the genealogy of
the Howards. Gad, the booksellers would give me £500 for it. I have a
mind to print it for the Bannatynians.
April 4.—In our stage to Penrith I introduced Anne to the ancient
Petreia, called Old Penrith, and also to the grave of Sir Ewain
Cæsarias,  that knight with the puzzling name, which has got more
indistinct. We breakfasted at Buchanan's Inn, Penrith, one of the best
on the road, and a fine stanch fellow owned it. He refused passage to
some of the delegates who traversed the country during the Radical row,
and when the worthies threatened him with popular vengeance, answered
gallantly that he had not lived so long by the Crown to desert it at a
pinch. The Crown is the sign of his inn. Slept at Garstang, an
indifferent house. As a petty grievance, my ink-holder broke loose in
the case, and spilt some of the ink on Anne's pelisse. Misfortunes
seldom come single. "'Tis not alone the inky cloak, good daughter," but
I forgot at Garstang my two breastpins; one with Walter and Jane's hair,
another a harp of pure Irish gold, the gift of the ladies of
 For an account of this monument see Nicolson and Burns's
History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, vol. ii. p. 410, and
"Notabilia of Penrith," by George Watson, C. and W. Transactions, No.
April 5.—Breakfasted at Chorley, and slept at Leek. We were in the
neighbourhood of some fine rock-scenery, but the day was unfavourable;
besides, I did not come from Scotland to see rocks, I trow.
 Lady Eleanor Butler and the Hon. Miss Ponsonby. An
amusing account of Sir Walter's visit to them in 1825 is given by Mr.
Lockhart in the Life, vol. viii. pp. 47-50.
April 6.—Easter Sunday. We breakfasted at Ashbourne and went from
thence to Derby; and set off from thence to Drycot Hall (five miles) to
visit Hugh Scott. But honest Hugh was, like ourselves, on the ramble; so
we had nothing to do but to drive back to Derby, and from thence to
Tamworth, where we slept.
April 7.—We visited the Castle in the morning. It is inhabited by a
brother-in-law of the proprietor; and who is the proprietor? "Why, Mr.
Robbins," said the fat housekeeper. This was not a name quite according
with the fine chivalrous old hall, in which there was no small quantity
of armour, and odds and ends, which I would have been glad to possess.
"Well, but madam, before Mr. Robbins bought the place, who was the
proprietor?" "Lord Charles Townshend, sir." This would not do neither;
but a genealogy hanging above the chimney-piece informed me that the
Ferrars were the ancient possessors of the mansion, which, indeed, the
horseshoes in the shield over the Castle gate might have intimated.
Tamworth is a fine old place, neglected, but, therefore, more like hoar
antiquity. The keep is round. The apartments appear to have been
modernised tempore Jac. Imi*. There was a fine demipique saddle,
said to have been that of James II. The pommel rose, and finished off in
the form of a swan's crest, capital for a bad horseman to hold on by.
To show Anne what was well worth seeing, we visited Kenilworth. The
relentless rain only allowed us a glimpse of this memorable ruin. Well,
the last time I was here, in 1815,  these trophies of time were
quite neglected. Now they approach so much nearer the splendour of
Thunder-ten-tronckh, as to have a door at least, if not windows. They
are, in short, preserved and protected. So much for the novels. I
observed decent children begging here, a thing uncommon in England: and
I recollect the same unseemly practice formerly.
 The visit to Kenilworth in 1815 is not noticed in the
Life, but as Scott was in London for some weeks in the spring of that
year he may have gone there on his return journey. Mr. Charles Knight,
writing in 1842, says that Mr. Bonnington, the venerable occupant of the
Gate House, told him that he remembered the visit and the visitor! It
was "about twenty-five years ago"—and after examining some carving in
the interior of the Gate House and putting many suggestive questions,
the middle-aged active stranger slightly lame, and with keen grey eye,
passed through the court and remained among the ruins silent and alone
for about two hours. (Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 89.) The famous romance
did not appear until six years later, viz. in January 1821, and in the
autumn of that year it is somewhat singular to find that Scott and his
friend Mr. Stewart Rose are at Stratford-on-Avon writing their names on
the wall of Shakespeare's birthplace—and yet leaving Kenilworth
unvisited.—Perhaps the reason was that Mr. Stewart Rose was not in the
secret of the authorship of the Novels.
We went to Warwick Castle. The neighbourhood of Leamington, a
watering-place of some celebrity, has obliged the family to decline
showing the Castle after ten o'clock. I tried the virtue of an old
acquaintance with Lord Warwick and wrote to him, he being in the
Courthouse where the assizes were sitting. After some delay we were
admitted, and I found my old friend Mrs. Hume, in the most perfect
preservation, though, as she tells me, now eighty-eight. She went
through her duty wonderfully, though now and then she complained of her
memory. She has laid aside a mass of black plumes which she wore on her
head, and which resembled the casque in the Castle of Otranto. Warwick
Castle is still the noblest sight in England. Lord and Lady Warwick came
home from the Court, and received us most kindly. We lunched with them,
but declined further hospitality. When I was last here, and for many
years before, the unfortunate circumstances of the late Lord W. threw an
air of neglect about everything. I believe the fine collection of
pictures would have been sold by distress, if Mrs. Hume, my friend, had
not redeemed them at her own cost.  I was pleased to see Lord
Warwick show my old friend kindness and attention. We visited the
monuments of the Nevilles and Beauchamps, names which make the heart
thrill. The monuments are highly preserved. We concluded the day at
 In the Annual Register for July 1834 is the following
notice: "Lately at Warwick Castle, aged ninety-three, Mrs. Home, for
upwards of seventy years a servant of the Warwick family. She had the
privilege of showing the Castle, by which she realised upwards of
April 8.—We visited the tomb of the mighty wizard. It is in the bad
taste of James the First's reign; but what a magic does the locality
possess! There are stately monuments of forgotten families; but when you
have seen Shakspeare's what care we for the rest. All around is
Shakspeare's exclusive property. I noticed the monument of his friend
John a Combe immortalised as drawing forth a brief satirical notice of
After breakfast I asked after Mrs. Ormsby, the old mad woman who was for
some time tenant of Shakspeare's house, and conceived herself to be
descended from the immortal poet. I learned she was dying. I thought to
send her a sovereign; but this extension of our tour has left me no more
than will carry me through my journey, and I do not like to run short
upon the road. So I take credit for my good intention, and—keep my
sovereign—a cheap and not unusual mode of giving charity.
Learning from Washington Irving's description of Stratford that the hall
of Sir Thomas Lucy, the justice who rendered Warwickshire too hot for
Shakspeare, and drove him to London, was still extant, we went in quest
Charlcote is in high preservation, and inhabited by Mr. Lucy, descendant
of the worshipful Sir Thomas. The Hall is about three hundred years old,
an old brick structure with a gate-house in advance. It is surrounded by
venerable oaks, realising the imagery which Shakspeare loved so well to
dwell upon; rich verdant pastures extend on every side, and numerous
herds of deer were reposing in the shade. All showed that the Lucy
family had retained their "land and beeves." While we were surveying the
antlered old hall, with its painted glass and family pictures, Mr. Lucy
came to welcome us in person, and to show the house, with the collection
of paintings, which seems valuable, and to which he had made many
He told me the park from which Shakspeare stole the buck was not that
which surrounds Charlcote, but belonged to a mansion at some distance
where Sir Thomas Lucy resided at the time of the trespass. The tradition
went that they hid the buck in a barn, part of which was standing a few
years ago, but now totally decayed. This park no longer belongs to the
Lucys. The house bears no marks of decay, but seems the abode of ease
and opulence. There were some fine old books, and I was told of many
more which were not in order. How odd if a folio Shakspeare should be
found amongst them! Our early breakfast did not prevent my taking
advantage of an excellent repast offered by the kindness of Mr. and Mrs.
Lucy, the last a lively Welshwoman. This visit gave me great pleasure;
it really brought Justice Shallow freshly before my eyes; the luces in
his arms "which do become an old coat well"  were not more plainly
portrayed in his own armorials in the hall-window than was his person in
my mind's eye. There is a picture shown as that of the old Sir Thomas,
but Mr. Lucy conjectures it represents his son. There were three
descents of the same name of Thomas. The party hath "the eye severe, and
beard of formal cut," which fills up with judicial austerity the
otherwise social physiognomy of the worshipful presence, with his "fair
round belly with fat capon lined." 
 Merry Wives, Act I. Sc. 1.
We resumed our journey. I may mention among the pictures at Charlcote
one called a Roman Knight, which seemed to me very fine; Teniers'
marriage, in which, contrary to the painter's wont, only persons of
distinction are represented, but much in the attitude in which he
delights to present his boors; two hawking pieces by Wouvermans, very
fine specimens, cum aliis.
 As You Like It, Act II. Sc. 7.
We took our way by Edgehill, and looked over the splendid richness of
the fine prospect from a sort of gazeeboo or modern antique tower, the
place of a Mr. Miller. It is not easy to conceive a richer and more
peaceful scene than that which stretched before us, and [one with which]
strife, or the memory of strife, seems to have nothing to do.
"But man records his own disgrace,
And Edgehill lives in history."
We got on to Buckingham, an ugly though I suppose an ancient town.
Thence to Aylesbury through the wealth of England, in the scene of the
"Neither drunk nor sober, but neighbour to both,
I met with a man in Aylesbury vale;
I saw by his face that he was in good case,
To speak no great harm of a pot of good ale."
We slept at Aylesbury. The landlord, who seemed sensible, told me that
the land round the town, being the richest in England, lets at £3, or
£3, 10s. and some so high as £4 per acre. But the poor-rates are 13s.
to the pound. Now, my Whitehaugh at Huntly Burn yielded at last set £4
April 9, [London],—We got to town about mid-day, and found Sophia,
Lockhart, and the babies quite well—delighted with their companion
Charles, and he enchanted with his occupation in the Foreign Office. I
looked into my cash and found £53 had diminished on the journey down to
about £3. In former days a journey to London cost about £30 or thirty
guineas. It may now cost one-fourth more. But I own I like to pay
postilions and waiters rather more liberally than perhaps is right. I
hate grumbling and sour faces; and the whole saving will not exceed a
guinea or two for being cursed and damned from Dan to Beersheba. We had
a joyful meeting, I promise you. 
 Sir Walter remained at this time six weeks in London. His
eldest son's regiment was stationed at Hampton Court; his second son had
recently taken his desk at the Foreign Office, and was living at his
sister's in Regent's Park. He had thus looked forward to a happy meeting
with all his family—but he encountered scenes of sickness and
distress.—Life, vol. ix. pp. 226-7.
April 10.—I spent the morning in bringing up my journal; interrupted
by two of these most sedulous visitants who had objects of their own to
serve, and smelled out my arrival as the raven scents carrion—a vile
comparison, though what better is an old fellow, mauled with rheumatism
and other deplorables? Went out at two and saw Miss Dumergue and other
old friends; Sotheby in particular, less changed than any one I have
seen. Looked in at Murray's and renewed old habits. This great city
seems almost a waste to me, so many of my friends are gone; Walter and
Jane coming up, the whole family dined together, and were very happy.
The children joined in our festivity. My name-son, a bright and
blue-eyed rogue, with flaxen hair, screams and laughs like an April
morning; and the baby is that species of dough which is called a fine
baby. I care not for children till they care a little for me.
April 11.—Made calls, walked myself tired; saw Rogers, Sharp,
Sotheby, and other old friends.
April 12.—Dinner at home; a little party of Sophia's in the evening.
Sharp told me that one evening being at Sheridan's house with a large
party, Tom S. came to him as the night drew late, and said in a whisper,
"I advise you to secure a wax-light to go to bed with," shewing him at
the same time a morsel which he had stolen from a sconce. Sharp followed
his advice, and had reason to be thankful for the hint. Tired and
sleepy, I make a bad night watcher.
April 13.—Amused myself by converting the Tale of the Mysterious
Mirror into Aunt Margaret's Mirror, designed for Heath's
what-dye-call-it. Cadell will not like this, but I cannot afford to have
my goods thrown back upon my hands. The tale is a good one, and is said
actually to have happened to Lady Primrose, my great-grandmother having
attended her sister on the occasion. Dined with Miss Dumergue. My proofs
from Edinburgh reached to-day and occupied me all the morning.
April 14. Laboured at proofs and got them sent off, per Mr. Freeling's
cover. So there's an end of the Chronicles.  James rejoices in the
conclusion, where there is battle and homicide of all kinds. Always
politic to keep a trot for the avenue, like the Irish postilions. J.B.
always calls to the boys to flog before the carriage gets out of the
inn-yard. How we have driven the stage I know not and care not—except
with a view to extricating my difficulties. I have lost no time in
beginning the second series of Grandfather's Tales, being determined
to write as much as I can even here, and deserve by industry the soft
pillow I sleep on for the moment.
 The book was published early in April under the following
title: Chronicles of the Canongate, Second Series, by the Author of
Waverley, etc., "SIC ITUR AD ASTRA" Motto of Canongate Arms, in
three volumes. (St. Valentine's Day; or The Fair Maid of Perth.)
Edinburgh: Printed for Cadell and Co., Edinburgh, and Simpkin and
Marshall, London, 1828; (at the end) Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne
There is a good scene supposed to have happened between Sam Rogers and a
lady of fashion—the reporter, Lord Dudley. Sam enters, takes a stool,
creeps close to the lady's side, who asks his opinion of the last new
poem or novel. In a pathetic voice the spectre replies—"My opinion? I
like it very much—but the world don't like it; but, indeed, I begin to
think the world wrong in everything, except with regard to you." Now,
Rogers either must have said this somewhere, or he has it yet to say. We
dined at Lord Melville's.
April 15.—Got the lamentable news that Terry is totally bankrupt.
This is a most unexpected blow, though his carelessness about money
matters was very great. God help the poor fellow! he has been
ill-advised to go abroad, but now returns to stand the storm—old debts,
it seems, with principal and interest accumulated, and all the items
which load a falling man. And wife such a good and kind creature, and
children. Alack! alack! I sought out his solicitor. There are £7000 or
more to pay, and the only fund his share in the Adelphi Theatre, worth
£5000 and upwards, and then so fine a chance of independence lost. That
comes of not being explicit with his affairs. The theatre was a most
flourishing concern. I looked at the books, and since have seen Yates.
The ruin is inevitable, but I think they will not keep him in prison,
but let him earn his bread by his very considerable talents. I shall
lose the whole or part of £500 which I lent him, but that is the least
of my concern. I hope the theatre is quite good for guaranteeing certain
payments in 1829 and 1830. I judge they are in no danger.
I should have gone to the Club to-day, but Sir James Mackintosh had
mistaken the day. I was glad of it, so stayed at home.
It is written that nothing shall flourish under my shadow—the
Ballantynes, Terry, Nelson, Weber, all came to distress. Nature has
written on my brow, "Your shade shall be broad, but there shall be no
protection derived from it to aught you favour."
Sat and smoked and grumbled with Lockhart.
April 16.—We dined at Dr. Young's; saw Captain Parry, a handsome and
pleasant man. In the evening at Mr. Cunliffe's, where I met sundry old
April 17.—Made up my "Gurnal," which had fallen something behind. In
this phantasmagorial place the objects of the day come and depart like
shadows.  Made calls. Gave [C.K.] Sharpe's memorial to Lord Leveson
Gower. Went to Murray's, where I met a Mr. Jacob, a great economist. He
is proposing a mode of supporting the poor, by compelling them to labour
by military force, and under a species of military discipline. I see no
objection to it, only it will make a rebellion to a certainty; and the
tribes of Jacob will certainly cut Jacob's throat. 
 Among the "objects that came and departed like shadows"
in this phantasmagoria of London life was a deeply interesting letter
from Thomas Carlyle, and but for the fact that it bears Sir Walter's
London address, and the post-mark of this day, one could not imagine he
had ever seen it, as it remained unacknowledged and unnoticed in either
Journal or Correspondence.
Canning's conversion from popular opinions was strangely brought round.
While he was studying at the Temple, and rather entertaining
revolutionary opinions, Godwin sent to say that he was coming to
breakfast with him, to speak on a subject of the highest importance.
Canning knew little of him, but received his visit, and learned to his
astonishment, that in expectation of a new order of things, the English
Jacobins desired to place him, Canning, at the head of their expected
revolution. He was much struck, and asked time to think what course he
should take—and, having thought the matter over, he went to Mr. Pitt
and made the Anti-Jacobin confession of faith, in which he persevered
until——. Canning himself mentioned this to Sir W. Knighton, upon
occasion of giving a place in the Charter-house, of some ten pounds a
year, to Godwin's brother. He could scarce do less for one who had
offered him the dictator's curule chair.
It is dated 13th April 1828; and one of the latest letters he indited
from "21 Comely Bank, Edinburgh." After advising Scott that "Goethe has
sent two medals which he is to deliver into his own hand," he gives an
extract from Goethe's letter containing a criticism on Napoleon, with
the apology that "it is seldom such a writer obtains such a critic," and
in conclusion he adds, "Being in this curious fashion appointed, as it
were, ambassador between two kings of poetry, I would willingly
discharge my mission with the solemnity that beseems such a business;
and naturally it must flatter my vanity and love of the marvellous to
think that by means of a foreigner whom I have never seen, I might soon
have access to my native sovereign, whom I have so often seen in public,
and so often wished that I had claim to see and know in private and near
at hand. ... Meanwhile, I abide your further orders in this matter, and
so with all the regard which belongs to one to whom I in common with
other millions owe so much, I have the honour to be, sir, most
respectfully, your servant.—T.C."
 William Jacob, author of Travels in Spain in 1810-11,
and several works on Political Economy. Among others "some tracts
concerning the Poor Colonies instituted by the King of the Netherlands,
which had marked influence in promoting the scheme of granting small
allotments of land on easy terms to our cottagers; a scheme which,
under the superintendence of Lord Braybrooke and other noblemen and
gentlemen in various districts of England, appears to have been attended
with most beneficent results."—Life, vol. ix. p. 229. Mr. Jacob died
in 1852 aged eighty-eight.
Dined with Rogers with all my own family, and met Sharp, Lord John
Russell, Jekyll, and others. The conversation flagged as usual, and
jokes were fired like minute guns, producing an effect not much less
melancholy,—a wit should always have an atmosphere congenial to him,
otherwise he will not shine. Went to Lady Davy's, where I saw the kind
face, and heard the no less friendly greeting, of Lady Selkirk,  who
introduced all her children to me.
 The widow of his old school-fellow, the Hon. Thomas
Douglas, afterwards Earl of Selkirk.—See Life, vol. i. p. 77, and 208
April 18.—Breakfasted with Joanna Baillie, and found that gifted
person extremely well, and in the display of all her native knowledge of
character and benevolence. She looks more aged, however. I would give as
much to have a capital picture of her as for any portrait in the world.
She gave me a manuscript play to read upon Witchcraft.  Dined with
the Dean of Chester, Dr. Phillpotts. 
"Where all above us was a solemn row
Of priest and deacons, so were all below." 
 Ante, p. 10. Afterwards included in her Poetical and
Dramatic Works, Lond. 1851.
There were the amiable Bishop of London (Howley ), Coplestone, whom
I remember a first man at Oxford, now Bishop of Llandaff, the Dean of
St. Paul's, and other dignitaries of whom I knew less. It was a very
pleasant day—the wigs against the wits for a guinea in point of
conversation. Anne looked queer, and much disposed to laugh at finding
herself placed betwixt two prelates [in black petticoats].
 Dr. Henry Phillpotts, consecrated Bishop of Exeter in
 Crabbe's Tale of the Dumb Orators.—J.G.L.
 Dr. Howley, raised in 1828 to the Archbishopric of
April 19.—Breakfasted with Sir George Philips. Had his receipt
against the blossoms being injured by frost. It consists in watering
them plentifully before sunrise. This is like the mode of thawing beef.
We had a pleasant morning, much the better that Morritt was with us. He
has agreed to go to Hampton Court with us to-morrow.
Mr. Reynolds called on me about the drawing of the Laird's Jock; he is
assiduous and attentive, but a little forward. Poor Gillies also called.
Both asked me to dinner, but I refused. I do not incline to make what is
called literary acquaintances; and as for poor G., it is wild to talk
about his giving dinner to others, when he can hardly get credit for his
Dined with Sir Robert Henry Inglis, and met Sir Thomas
Acland, my old and kind friend. I was happy to see him. He may be
considered now as the head of the religious party in the House of
Commons, a powerful body which Wilberforce long commanded. It is a
difficult situation; for the adaptation of religious motives to earthly
policy is apt—among the infinite delusions of the human heart—to be a
snare. But I could confide much in Sir T. Acland's honour and integrity.
Bishop Blomfield [of Chester],  one of the most learned prelates of
the church, also dined.
 Translated to the see of London in 1828, where he
remained until his death in 1859.
Coming home, an Irish coachman drove us into a cul de sac, near
Battersea Bridge. We were obliged to get out in the rain. The people
admitted us into their houses, where they were having their bit of
supper, assisted with lights, etc., and, to the honour of London,
neither asked nor expected gratification.
April 20.—We went to Walter's quarters in a body, and saw Hampton
Court, with which I was more struck than when I saw it for the first
time, about 1806. The pictures are not very excellent, but they are
curious, which is as interesting, except to connoisseurs. Two I
particularly remarked, of James I. and Charles I. eating in public. The
old part of the palace, built by Wolsey, is extremely fine. Two handsome
halls are still preserved: one, the ceiling of which is garnished, at
the crossing and combining of the arches, with the recurring heads of
Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn—great stinginess in Henry, for these
ornaments must have been put up after Wolsey's fall. He could surely
afford a diversity of this species of ornament if any man could.
Formerly, when the palace was completely a fishing-house, it extended
into, or rather over, the river. We had a good dinner from Walter, and
wended merrily home.
April 21.—Dining is the principal act of the day in London. We took
ours at Kensington with Croker. There were Theodore Hook and other
witty men. He looks unhealthy and bloated. There was something, I know
not what, awanting to the cheerfulness of the party. And
"Silence like a heavy cloud,
O'er all the warriors hung."
If the general report of Croker's retiring be accurate, it may account
April 22.—Sophia left this to take down poor Johnnie to Brighton. I
fear—I fear—but we must hope the best. Anne went with her sister.
Lockhart and I dined with Sotheby, where we met a large dining party,
the orator of which was that extraordinary man Coleridge. After eating a
hearty dinner, during which he spoke not a word, he began a most learned
harangue on the Samothracian Mysteries, which he considered as affording
the germ of all tales about fairies past, present, and to come. He then
diverged to Homer, whose Iliad he considered as a collection of poems by
different authors, at different times during a century. There was, he
said, the individuality of an age, but not of a country. Morritt, a
zealous worshipper of the old bard, was incensed at a system which would
turn him into a polytheist, gave battle with keenness, and was joined by
Sotheby, our host. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance
and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. "Zounds! I was never so
bethumped with words." Morritt's impatience; must have cost him an extra
sixpence worth of snuff. 
 Mr. Lockhart gives an account of another dinner party at
which Coleridge distinguished himself:—"The first time I ever witnessed
it [Hook's improvisation] was at a gay young bachelor's villa near
Highgate, when the other lion was one of a very different breed, Mr.
Coleridge. Much claret had been shed before the Ancient Mariner
proclaimed that he could swallow no more of anything, unless it were
punch. The materials were forthwith produced; the bowl was planted
before the poet, and as he proceeded in his concoction, Hook, unbidden,
took his place at the piano. He burst into a bacchanal of egregious
luxury, every line of which had reference to the author of the Lay
Sermons and the Aids to Reflection. The room was becoming excessively
hot: the first specimen of the new compound was handed to Hook, who
paused to quaff it, and then, exclaiming that he was stifled, flung his
glass through the window. Coleridge rose with the aspect of a benignant
patriarch and demolished another pane—the example was followed
generally—the window was a sieve in an instant—the kind host was
furthest from the mark, and his goblet made havoc of the chandelier. The
roar of laughter was drowned in Theodore's resumption of the song—and
window and chandelier and the peculiar shot of each individual destroyer
had apt, in many cases exquisitely witty, commemoration. In walking home
with Mr. Coleridge, he entertained ——— and me with a most excellent
lecture on the distinction between talent and genius, and declared that
Hook was as true a genius as Dante—that was his example."—Theodore
Hook, Lond. 1853, p. 23-4.
We went to Lady Davy's in the evening, where there was a fashionable
April 23.—- Dined at Lady Davy's with Lord and Lady Lansdowne, and
several other fashionable folks. My keys were sent to Bramah's with my
desk, so I have not had the means of putting matters down regularly for
several days; but who cares for the whipp'd cream of London society? Our
poor little Johnnie is extremely ill. My fears have been uniform for
this engaging child. We are in God's hands. But the comfortable and
happy object of my journey is ended,—Seged, Emperor of Ethiopia, 
was right after all.
 Johnson's Rambler.
April 24.—Spent the day in rectifying a road bill which drew a
turnpike road through all the Darnickers' cottages, and a good field of
my own. I got it put to rights. I was in some apprehension of being
obliged to address the Committee. I did not fear them, for I suppose
they are no wiser or better in their capacity of legislators than I find
them every day at dinner. But I feared for my reputation. They would
have expected something better than the occasion demanded, or the
individual could produce, and there would have been a failure.
April 25.—Threatened to be carried down to vote at the election of a
Collector of the Cess.  Resolved if I did go to carry my son with
me, which would give me a double vote.
 The County Land Tax.
Had some disagreeable correspondence about this with Lord Minto and the
We had one or two persons at home in great wretchedness to dinner.
Lockhart's looks showed the misery he felt. I was not able to make any
fight, and the evening went off as heavily as any I ever spent in the
course of my life.
Finished my Turnpike business by getting the exceptionable clauses
omitted, which would be good news to Darnick. Put all the Mirror in
proof and corrected it. This is the contribution (part of it) to Mr.
Reynolds' and Heath's Keepsake. We dined at Richardson's with the two
chief Barons of England  and Scotland.  Odd enough, the one
being a Scotsman and the other an Englishman. Far the pleasantest day we
have had; I suppose I am partial, but I think the lawyers beat the
bishops, and the bishops beat the wits.
 The Right Hon. Sir W. Alexander of Airdrie, called to the
English Bar 1782, Chief Baron 1824; died in London in his eighty-eighth
April 26.—This morning I went to meet a remarkable man, Mr. Boyd of
the house of Boyd, Benfield & Co., which broke for a very large sum at
the beginning of the war. Benfield went to the devil, I believe. Boyd, a
man of a very different stamp, went over to Paris to look after some
large claims which his house had over the French Government. They were
such as it seems they could not disavow, however they might be disposed
to do so. But they used every effort, by foul means and fair, to induce
Mr. Boyd to depart. He was reduced to poverty; he was thrown into
prison; and the most flattering prospects were, on the other hand, held
out to him if he would compromise his claims. His answer was uniform. It
was the property, he said, of his creditors, and he would die ere he
resigned it. His distresses were so great that a subscription was made
among his Scottish friends, to which I was a contributor, through the
request of poor Will Erskine. After the peace of Paris the money was
restored, and, faithful to the last, Boyd laid the whole at his
creditors' disposal; stating, at the same time, that he was penniless
unless they consented to allow him a moderate sum in name of percentage,
in consideration of twenty years of danger, poverty, and [exile], all of
which evils he might have escaped by surrendering their right to the
money. Will it be believed that a muck-worm was base enough to refuse
his consent to this deduction, alleging he had promised to his father,
on his death-bed, never to compromise this debt. The wretch, however,
was overpowered by the execrations of all around him, and concurred,
with others, in setting apart for Mr. Boyd a sum of £40,000 or £50,000
out of half a million of money.  This is a man to whom statues
should be erected, and pilgrims should go to see him. He is
good-looking, but old and infirm. Bright dark eyes and eyebrows contrast
with his snowy hair, and all his features mark vigour of principle and
resolution. Mr. Morritt dined with us, and we did as well as in the
circumstances could be expected.
 Sir Samuel Shepherd
 Walter Boyd at this time was M.P. for Lymington; he had
been a banker in Paris and in London; was the author of several
well-known tracts on finance, and died in 1837.
Released from the alarm of being summoned down to the election by a
civil letter from Lord Minto. I am glad both of the relief and of the
manner. I hate civil war amongst neighbours.
April 27.—Breakfasted this day with Charles Dumergue on a poulet à
la tartare, and saw all his family, specially my godson. Called on Lady
Stafford and others, and dined at Croker's in the Admiralty, with the
Duke of Wellington, Huskisson, Wilmot Horton, and others, outs and ins.
No politics of course, and every man disguising serious thoughts with a
light brow. The Duke alone seemed open, though not letting out a word.
He is one of the few whose lips are worth watching. I heard him say
to-day that the best troops would run now and then. He thought nothing
of men running, he said, provided they came back again. In war he had
always his reserves. Poor Terry was here when I returned. He seems to
see his matters in a delusive light.
April 28.—An attack this day or yesterday from poor Gillies, boring
me hard to apply to Menzies of Pitfoddels to entreat him to lend him
money. I could not get him to understand that I was decidedly averse to
write to another gentleman, with whom I was hardly acquainted, to do
that which I would not do myself. Tom Campbell  is in miserable
distress—his son insane—his wife on the point of becoming so. I nunc,
et versus tecum meditare canoros. 
 Campbell died at Boulogne in 1844, aged sixty-seven; he
was buried in Westminster, next Southey.
We, i.e. Charles and I, dined at Sir Francis Freeling's with Colonel
Harrison of the Board of Green Cloth, Dr. [Maltby] of Lincoln's Inn, and
other pleasant people. Doctor Dibdin too, and Utterson, all old
Roxburghe men. Pleasant party, were it not for a bad cold, which makes
me bark like a dog.
 Hor. Epp. ii. 2, 76.
April 29.—Anne and Lockhart are off with the children this morning at
seven, and Charles and I left behind; and this is the promised meeting
of my household! I went to Dr. Gilly's to-day to breakfast. Met Sir
Thomas Acland, who is the youngest man of his age I ever saw. I was so
much annoyed with cough, that, on returning, I took to my bed and had a
siesta, to my considerable refreshment. Dr. Fergusson called, and
advised caution in eating and drinking, which I will attend to.
Dined accordingly. Duke of Sussex had cold and did not come. A Mr. or
Dr. Pettigrew made me speeches on his account, and invited me to see his
Royal Highness's library, which I am told is a fine one. Sir Peter
Laurie, late Sheriff, and in nomination to be Lord Mayor, bored me
close, and asked more questions than would have been thought warrantable
at the west end of the town.
April 30.—We had Mr. Adolphus and his father, the celebrated lawyer,
to breakfast, and I was greatly delighted with the information of the
latter. A barrister of extended practice, if he has any talents at all,
is the best companion in the world. 
 The elder Mr. Adolphus distinguished himself early in
life by his History of the Reign of George III.—J.G.L.
Dined with Lord Alvanley and a fashionable party, Lord Fitzroy Somerset,
Marquis and Marchioness of Worcester, etc. Lord Alvanley's wit made the
party very pleasant, as well as the kind reception of my friends the