extensive information and accomplishment are the principal requisites,
to which must be added an easy and elegant delivery and a well-toned
voice. I think the higher order of genius is not favourable to this
Mrs. Impey, an intelligent person, likes music, and particularly Scotch
airs, which few people play better than Mrs. Lockhart and Miss Louisa
Adam. Had a letter from Mr. William Upcott, London Institution,
proposing to me to edit an edition of Garrick's Correspondence, which I
declined by letter of this day. Thorough decided downfall of rain.
Nothing for it but patience and proof-sheets.
_August_ 30. - The weather scarce permitted us more licence than
yesterday, yet we went down to Lochore, and Walter and I perambulated
the property, and discussed the necessity of a new road from the
south-west, also that of planting some willows along the ditches in the
low grounds. Returned to Blair-Adam to dinner.
_Abbotsford, August_ 31. - Left Blair at seven in the morning. Transacted
business with Cadell and Ballantyne, but our plans will, I think, be
stopped or impeded by the operations before the Arbiter, Mr. Irving, who
leans more to the side of the opposite [party] than I expected. I have a
letter from Gibson, found on my arrival at Abbotsford, which gives
rather a gloomy account of that matter. It seems strange that I am to be
bound to write for men who have broken every bargain with me.
Arrived at Abbotsford at eight o'clock at night.
 By Middleton, 1697.
 The Hector of Germanie, or the Palsgrave Prime Elector. An
Honourable History by William Smith. 4to, 1615.
 Two London playhouses. - See Knight's _Biography of Shakespeare_.
 MoliÃ¨re's _La Princesse d'Ã‰lide_ (Prologue).
 See Crabbe's Tale of _The Struggles of Conscience_. - J.G.L.
 _Tales of a Grandfather_, Miscell. Prose Works, vol. xxiii. p. 72.
 See _Tales of the Genii_. _The Talisman of Oromanes_.
 Eldest daughter of William Fraser of Balnain. - See Burgon's _Life
of P.F. Tytler_, 8vo, Lond. 1859. Mrs. Tytler died in London, aged
eighty-four, in 1837.
 Alexr. Fraser Tytler, 1747-1813. Besides his acknowledged works,
Lord Woodhouselee published anonymously a translation of Schiller's
_Robbers_ as early as 1792.
 Henry Cranstoun, elder brother of Lord Corehouse and Countess
Purgstall. He resided for some years near Abbotsford, at the Pavilion on
the Tweed, where he died in 1843, aged eighty-six. An interesting
account of Countess Purgstall is given by Basil Hall, who was with her
in Styria at her death in 1835. This very early friend of Scott's was
thought by Captain Hall to have been the prototype of Diana
Vernon - "that safest of secret keepers." - See _Schloss Hainfeld_, 8vo,
 The property of Gattonside had been purchased in 1824 by George
Bainbridge of Liverpool, a keen angler, author of _The Fly Fisher's
Guide_, 8vo, Liverpool, 1816.
 Lady Anna Maria Elliot, see _ante_, p. 133.
 W. Scott of Maxpopple.
 In the fairy tale of Countess D'Aulnoy - _Fortunio_.
 See Johnson's _Rambler_, Nos. 204 and 205.
 Afterwards Sir Philip Crampton. "The Surgeon-General struck Sir
Walter as being more like Sir Humphry Davy than any man he had met, not
in person only, but in the liveliness and range of his talk." - _Life_,
vol. viii. p. 23.
 Gaelic for "old women."
 William Douglas, fourth Duke of Queensberry, succeeded, on the
death of his kinsman, Duke Charles, in 1778. He died in 1810 at the age
of eighty-six, when his titles and estates were divided between the Duke
of Buccleuch, Lord Douglas, the Marquis of Queensberry, and the Earl of
See Wordsworth's indignant lines beginning:
"Degenerate Douglas, oh the unworthy Lord";
also _George Selwyn and his Contemporaries_, 4 vols. 8vo, Lond. 1843-4.
 Alexander, tenth Earl of Home, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth,
daughter of Henry, third Duke of Buccleuch.
 Charles, second son of Archibald Lord Douglas.
 James Thomas, Viscount Stopford, afterwards fourth Earl of
Courtown, and his wife, Lady Charlotte, sister of the then Duke of
Buccleuch, at that time still in his minority. Lady Charlotte died
within eighteen months of this date.
"Thus Kitty, beautiful and young,
And wild as colt untamed."
Prior's _Female Phaeton_.
Catherine Hyde, daughter of Henry Earl of Clarendon, and wife of Charles
Duke of Queensberry. She was the friend of Gay, and her beauty, wit, and
oddities have been celebrated in prose and rhyme by the wits and poets
of two generations. Fifty-six years after Prior had sung her "mad
Grace's" praises, Walpole added those two lines to the Female Phaeton -
"To many a Kitty Love his car, will for a day engage,
But Prior's Kitty, ever fair, obtained it for an age."
She died at a great age in 1777. For her letter to George II. when
forbid the Court, see Agar Ellis, _Historical Inquiries_, Lond. 1827, p.
 Ballad on young Rob Roy's abduction of Jean Key, Cromek's
_Collections_. - J.G.L.
 See Letter to C.K. Sharpe, from Drumlanrig, vol. ii. pp. 369-71.
 Sir Frederick Adam, son of the Chief Commissioner - a distinguished
soldier, afterwards High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, and
subsequently Governor of Madras; he died in 1853.
 Mr. Richard Sharp published in 1834 a very elegant and interesting
little volume of _Letters and Essays, in Prose and Verse_. - See
_Quarterly Review_, 102. - J.G.L. He had been Member of Parliament from
1806 to 1820, and died on the 30th of March 1835 at the age of
_September_ 1. - Awaked with a headache, which the reconsideration of
Gibson's news did not improve. We save _Bonaparte_ however, and that is
a great thing. I will not be downcast about it, let the worst come that
can; but I wish I saw that worst. It is the devil to be struggling
forward, like a man in the mire, and making not an inch by your
exertions, and such seems to be my fate. Well! I have much to comfort
me, and I will take comfort. If there be further wrath to come, I shall
be glad that I bear it alone. Poor Charlotte was too much softened by
prosperity to look adverse circumstances courageously in the face. Anne
is young, and has Sophia and Jane to trust to for assistance.
_September_ 2. - Wrote this morning, but only two pages or thereabouts.
At twelve o'clock set out with Anne and Walter to visit at Makerstoun,
but the road between Makerstoun and Merton being very bad, we drove, I
dare say, thirty miles in going and coming, by a circuitous route, and
only got home at half-past seven at night. Saw Lady Brisbane Makdougall,
but not Sir Thomas. Thought of old Sir Henry and his older father
Sir George. Received a box of Australian seeds, forwarded by Andrew
Murray, now head-gardener to the Governor, whom I detected a clever boy,
among my labourers in 1812, and did a little for him. It is pleasant to
see men thrive and be grateful at the same time, so good luck to "Andrew
Mora," as we called him.
_September_ 3. - Made up my necessary task for yesterday and to-day also,
but not more, writing very heavily. Cousin Archie Swinton came to
dinner. We had a dish of cousinred of course - and _of auld lang
_September_ 4. - Archie Swinton left us this morning early. I wrote from
seven to half-past two; but, partly that I had five proof-sheets to
correct, partly that like old John Fraser "I was not very cleever
to-day." I made out but a page and a half.
_September_ 5. - Wrote task and half a page more. Terry arrived and
brought with him a Mr. Bruce, from Persia, with an introduction,
forsooth, from Mr. Blackwood. I will move a _quo warranto_ against this
species of introduction; and the good gentleman is to be here, he
informs me, for two days. He is a dark, foreign-looking man, of small
stature, and rather blunt manners, which may be easily accounted for by
his having been in the East for thirty years. He has a considerable
share of information, and made good play after dinner.
_September_ 6. - Walter being to return to Ireland for three weeks set
off to-day, and has taken Surtees and Charles with him. I fear this is
but a wild plan, but the prospect seemed to make them so happy that I
could not find in my heart to say "No" sufficiently peremptorily. So
away they all went this morning to be as happy as they can. Youth is a
fine carver and gilder. Went down to Huntly Burn, and dawdled about
while waiting for the carriage to bring me back. Mr. Bruce and Colonel
Ferguson pottered away about Persia and India, and I fell asleep by the
fireside. Here is a fine spate of work - a day diddled away, and nothing
to show for it! I must write letters now, there is nothing else for it.
But - yaw - yaw - I must take a nap first. I had a letter from Jem
Ballantyne, plague on him! full of remonstrance, deep and solemn, upon
the carelessness of _Bonaparte_. The rogue is right too. But as to
correcting my style to the
"Jemmy jemmy linkum feedle"
tune of what is called fine writing, I'll be d - - d if I do. Drew Â£12 in
favour of Charles for his Irish jaunt; same time exhorted him to make
himself as expensive to Walter, in the way of eating and drinking, as he
could. Mr. and Mrs. Impey arrived to dinner.
_September_ 7. - Mr. Bruce, the bastinadoed, left us this morning
promising wine from Shiraz and arms from India. From our joint
observation he must be a half-caste, probably half an Arab. He told us
of his having been taken by pirates in the Arabian Gulf, and having
received two thousand bastinadoes on the soles of his feet, after which
he was buried in a heap of dung by way of cure. Though the matter was
certainly serious enough to the sufferer, yet it excited our suppressed,
or scarce suppressed, mirth. Alas! let never traveller tell any distress
which borders on the ludicrous if he desires to excite the sympathy of
Another thing he mentioned was the mode of seasoning timber for
shipbuilding in the Arabian Gulf. They bury it in the sand within
water-mark, and leave it exposed to the flux and reflux of the tide for
six months at least, but often for twelve or eighteen. The tendency to
vegetation which produces the dry-rot is thus prevented effectually, and
the ships built of this wood last for twenty years.
We drove to Ashestiel in the morning, after I had written a good task,
or nearly so (nay, I lie, it wanted half a page), and passed a pleasant
day. Terry read _Bobadil_ in the evening, which he has, I think,
_September_ 8. - I have rubbed up, by collation with Mr. Impey, Sir
Frederick Adam's idea of the Greeks. He deeply regrets the present war
as premature, undertaken before knowledge and rational education had
extended themselves sufficiently. The neighbourhood of the Ionian
Islands was fast producing civilisation; and as knowledge is power, it
is clear that the example of Europeans, and the opportunities of
education thereby afforded, must soon have given them an immense
superiority over the Turk. This premature war has thrown all back into a
state of barbarism. It was precipitated by the agents of Russia. Sir
Frederick spoke most highly of Byron, the soundness of his views, the
respect in which he was held - his just ideas of the Grecian cause and
character, and the practical and rational wishes which he formed for
them. Singular that a man whose conduct in his own personal affairs had
been anything but practical should be thus able to stand by the helm of
a sinking state! Sir Frederick thinks he might have done much for them
if he had lived. The rantipole friends of liberty, who go about freeing
nations with the same success which Don Quixote had in redressing
wrongs, have, of course, blundered everything which they touched. The
Impeys left us to-day, and Captain Hugh Scott and his lady arrived. Task
_September_ 9. - I begin to fear _Nap_. will swell to seven volumes. I
have a long letter from James B. threatening me with eight; but that is
impossible. The event of his becoming Emperor is the central point of
his history. Now I have just attained it, and it is the centre of the
third volume. Two volumes and a half may be necessary to complete the
whole. Walked with Hugh Scott up the Rhymer's Glen, and round by the
lake. Mr. Bainbridge of Gattonside House dined, also Colonel Ferguson.
Was bang up to my task again this day.
_September_ 10. - Corrected proof-sheets in the morning, then immured
myself to write, the more willingly that the day seemed showery; but I
found myself obliged to read and study the map so much that I did not
get over half a sheet written. Walked with Hugh Scott through Haxell
Cleuch. Great pleasure to show the young wood to any who understands
_September_ 11. - Jane and her mother go into town this morning, and Anne
with them, to look out a lodging for us during the time we must pass in
town. It seems strange to have this to do, having had always my father's
house or my own to go to. But - _Sic transit gloria mundi_.
Well, it is half-past twelve o'clock, and at length having regulated all
disappointments as to post-horses, and sent three or four servants three
or four miles to remedy blunders, which a little forethought might have
prevented, my family and guests are separated -
"Like youthful steers let loose, east, north, and south."
Miss Miln goes to Stirling; the Scotts to Lessudden; Anne and Jane to
Edinburgh; and I am left alone. I must needs go up and see some
operations about the spring which supplies us with water, though I
calculate my presence is not very necessary. So now - to work - to work.
But I reckoned without my host, or, I should rather say, without my
_guest_. Just as I had drawn in my chair, fitted a new "Bramah" on the
stick, and was preparing to feague it away, I had a call from the son of
an old friend, Mr. Waldie of Henderland. As he left me, enter young
Whytbank and Mr. Auriol Hay of the Lyon Office, and we had a long
armorial chat together, which lasted for some time - then the library was
to be looked at, etc. So, when they went away, I had little better to do
than to walk up to the spring which they are digging, and to go to my
solitary dinner on my return.
_September_ 12. - Notwithstanding what is above said, I made out my task
yesterday, or nearly so, by working after dinner. After all, these
interruptions are not such bad things; they make a man keen of the work
which he is withheld from, and differ in that point much from the
indulgence of an indisposition to labour in your own mind, which
increases by indulgence. _Les fÃ¢cheux_ seldom interrupt your purpose
absolutely and entirely - you stick to it for contradiction's sake.
Well, I visited the spring in the morning, and completed my task
afterwards. As I slept for a few minutes in my chair, to which I am more
addicted than I could wish, I heard, as I thought, my poor wife call me
by the familiar name of fondness which she gave me. My recollections on
waking were melancholy enough. These be
"The airy tongues that syllable men's names."
All, I believe, have some natural desire to consider these unusual
impressions as bodements of good or evil to come. But alas! this is a
prejudice of our own conceit. They are the empty echoes of what is past,
not the foreboding voice of what is to come.
I dined at the Club to-day at Selkirk, and acted as croupier. There were
eighteen dined; young men chiefly, and of course young talk. But so it
has been, will be, and must be.
_September_ 13. - Wrote my task in the morning, and thereafter had a
letter from that sage Privy Councillor and booby of a Baronet, - - . This
unutterable idiot proposes to me that I shall propose to the Dowager
Duchess of - - , and offers his own right honourable intervention to
bring so beautiful a business to bear. I am struck dumb with the
assurance of his folly - absolutely mute and speechless - and how to
prevent him making me further a fool is not easy, for the wretch has
left me no time to assure him of the absurdity of what he proposes; and
if he should ever hint at such a piece of d - - d impertinence, what must
the lady think of my conceit or of my feelings! I will write to his
present quarters, however, that he may, if possible, have warning not to
continue this absurdity.
Dined at Major Scott, my cousin's, where was old Lord Buchan. He, too,
is a prince of Bores, but age has tamed him a little, and like the giant
Pope in the _Pilgrim's Progress_, he can only sit and grin at Pilgrims
as they go past, and is not able to cast a fank over them as
formerly. A few quiet puns seem his most formidable infliction nowadays.
_September_ 14. - I should not have forgotten, among the memorabilia of
yesterday, that Mr. Nasmyth, the dentist, and his family called, and I
showed them the lions, for truly he that has rid a man of the toothache
is well entitled to command a part of his time. _Item_, two young
Frenchmen made their way to our sublime presence in guerdon of a
laudatory copy of French verses sent up the evening before, by way of
"Open Sesame," I suppose. I have not read them, nor shall I. No man that
ever wrote a line despised the _pap_ of praise so heartily as I do.
There is nothing I scorn more, except those who think the ordinary sort
of praise or censure is matter of the least consequence. People have
almost always some private view of distinguishing themselves, or of
gratifying their curiosity - some point, in short, to carry, with which
you have no relation, when they take the trouble to praise you. In
general, it is their purpose to get the person praised to puff away in
return. To me their rank praises no more make amends for their bad
poetry than tainted butter would pass off stale fish.
_September_ 15. - Many proofs to correct and dates to compare. What
signify dates in a true story? I was fidgety after breakfast, owing to
perusing some advices from J. Gibson, poor fellow. I will not be
discouraged, come of things what will. However, I could not write
continuously, but went out by starts, and amused myself by cutting trees
in the avenue. Thus I dawdled till Anne and Jane came home with merry
faces, and raised my spirits of course. After tea I e'en took heart of
grace and finished my task, as I now do this day's journal.
_September_ 16. - Worked hard to-day, and in morning and evening made out
five pages and a half, as much perhaps as one should attempt, yet I was
not overworked. On the contrary, went out with Tom about one o'clock and
cut trees, etc., to clear the avenue; and favour the growth of such
trees as are designed for standards. I received visits too - the Laird of
Bemerside, who had been for nine years in Italy with his
family - also the Laird of Kippielaw. Anne and Jane drove up and called
at the Haining.
I expected James Ballantyne to dinner as he proposed, but the worthy
typographer appeared not. He is sometimes inaccurate in keeping such
appointments, which is not according to the "Academy of compliments."
But in the letter which announced his intended visit, he talked of
having received himself a visit from the Cholera Morbus. I shall be very
sorry if so unwelcome a guest be the cause of the breach of his
_September_ 17. - Rather surprised with a letter from Lord Melville,
informing me that he and Mr. Peel had put me into the Commission for
inquiring into the condition of the Colleges in Scotland. I know little
on the subject, but I dare say as much as some of the official persons
who are inserted of course. The want of efficient men is the reason
alleged. I must of course do my best, though I have little hope of being
useful, and the time it will occupy is half ruinous to me, to whom time
is everything. Besides, I suppose the honour is partly meant as an act
of grace for _Malachi_. I shall never repent of that escapade, although
it offended persons for the time whose good opinion I value. J.B.
continues ill at Teviot Grove, as they call it. I am a little anxious
I finished my task and an extra page - hope to do another before supper.
Accomplished the said diligent purpose.
_September_ 18. - Rainy and gloomy - that small sifting rain driving on an
eastern gale which intermits not. Wrote letters to Lord Melville, etc,
and agreed to act under the Commission. Settled to be at Melville
Castle, Saturday 24th. I fear this will interfere consumedly with
business. I corrected proof-sheets, and wrote a good deal, but intend to
spend the rest of the day in reading and making notes. No bricks to be
made without straw.
[_Jedburgh_,] _September_ 19. - Circuit. Went to poor Mr. Shortreed's,
and regretted bitterly the distress of the family, though they
endeavoured to bear it bravely, and to make my reception as comfortable
and even cheerful as possible. My old friend R.S. gave me a ring found
in a grave at the Abbey, to be kept in memory of his son. I will
certainly preserve it with especial care.
Many trifles at circuit, chiefly owing to the cheap whisky, as they were
almost all riots. One case of assault on a deaf and dumb woman. She was
herself the chief evidence; but being totally without education, and
having, from her situation, very imperfect notions of a Deity, and a
future state, no oath could be administered. Mr. Kinniburgh, teacher of
the deaf and dumb, was sworn interpreter, together with another person,
a neighbour, who knew the accidental or conventional signs which the
poor thing had invented for herself, as Mr. K. was supposed to
understand the more general or natural signs common to people in such a
situation. He went through the task with much address, and it was
wonderful to see them make themselves intelligible to each other by mere
pantomime. Still I did [not] consider such evidence as much to be
trusted to in a criminal case. Several previous interviews had been
necessary between the interpreter and the witness, and this is very much
like getting up a story. Some of the signs, brief in themselves, of
which Mr. K. gave long interpretations, put me in mind of Lord Burleigh
in the _Critic_: "Did he mean all this by the shake of the head?" "Yes,
if he shook his head as I taught him." The man was found not
guilty. Mr. K. told us of a pupil of his whom he restored, as it may be
said, to humanity, and who told him that his ideas of another world were
that some great person in the skies lighted up the sun in the morning as
he saw his mother light her fire, and the stars in the evening as she
kindled a lamp. He said the witness had ideas of truth and falsehood,
which was, I believe, true; and that she had an idea of punishment in a
future state, which I doubt. He confessed she could not give any guess
at its duration, whether temporary or eternal. I should like to know if
Mr. K. is in that respect much wiser than his pupils. Dined, of course,
with Lord Mackenzie, the Judge.
_September_ 20. - Waked after a restless night, in which I dreamed of
poor Tom Shortreed. Breakfasted with the Rev. Dr. Somerville. This
venerable gentleman is one of the oldest of the literary brotherhood - I
suppose about eighty-seven, and except a little deafness quite entire.
Living all his life in good society as a gentleman born - and having,
besides, professional calls to make among the poor - he must know, of
course, much that is curious concerning the momentous changes which have
passed under his eyes. He talks of them accordingly, and has written
something on the subject, but has scarce the force necessary to seize on
the most striking points, "_palabras,_ neighbour Verges," - gifts
which God gives. The bowl that rolls easiest along the green goes
furthest, and has least clay sticking to it. I have often noticed that a
kindly, placid good-humour is the companion of longevity, and, I
suspect, frequently the leading cause of it. Quick, keen, sharp
observation, with the power of contrast and illustration, disturbs this
easy current of thought. My good friend, the venerable Doctor, will not,
I think, die of that disease.
Called at Nesbit Mill on my cousin Charles. His wife received me better
than I deserved, for I have been a sad neglectful visitor. She has a
very pleasant countenance.
Some of the Circuit lawyers dined here, namely R. Dundas, Borthwick, the
facetious Peter Robertson, Mr. R. Adam Dundas, and with them Henry
Scott of Harden.
_September_ 21. - Our party breakfasted late, and I was heavy-headed, and
did not rise till eight. Had drank a little more wine than usual, but as