"Our poor friend Hogg has had an _affair of honour_.... Two
mornings ago, about seven in the morning, my servant announced,
while I was shaving in my dressing-room, that Mr. Hogg wished
earnestly to speak with me. He was ushered in, and I cannot
describe the half-startled, half-humorous air with which he said,
scratching his head most vehemently, 'Odd, Scott, here's twae
fo'k's come frae Glasgow to provoke mey to fecht a duel.' 'A duel,'
answered I, in great astonishment, 'and what do you intend to do?'
'Odd, I just locket them up in my room and sent the lassie for twae
o' the police, and just gie'd the men ower to their chairge, and I
thocht I wad come and ask you what I should do....' He had already
settled for himself the question whether he was to fight or not,
and all that he had to do was to go to the Police Office and tell
the charge he had to bring against the two Glasgow gentlemen....
The Glaswegians were greatly too many for him [in Court].... They
returned in all triumph and glory, and Hogg took the wings of the
morning and fled to his cottage at Altrive, not deeming himself
altogether safe in the streets of Edinburgh! Now, although I do not
hold valour to be an essential article in the composition of a man
like Hogg, yet I heartily wish he could have prevailed on himself
to swagger a little.... But considering his failure in the field
and the Sheriff Office, I am afraid we must apply to Hogg the
apology which is made for Waller by his biographer: 'Let us not
condemn him with untempered severity because he was not such a
prodigy as the world has seldom seen - because his character
included not the poet, the orator, and the hero.'"
 James Byers, 1733-1817.
 Anne Scott of Harden, afterwards wife of Lord Jerviswoode, and
Elizabeth of Colonel Charles Wyndham.
 James Hope, W.S., Scott's school-fellow, died in Edinburgh 14th
 _Greville_, vol. i. pp. 110-113.
 Sir W. Rae, who was Lord Advocate from 1819 to 1830.
 See letter to Duke of Buccleuch on James Hogg at p. 40.
 No. 10 Walker Street.
 Scott's unwearied interest in James Hogg, despite the waywardness
of this imaginative genius, is one of the most beautiful traits in his
character. Readers of Mr. Lockhart's _Life_, do not require to be
reminded of the active part he took in promoting the welfare of the
"Ettrick Shepherd" on many occasions, from the outset of their
acquaintance in 1801 until the end of his life.
Hogg was a strange compound of boisterous roughness and refinement in
expression, and these odd contrasts surprised strangers such as Moore
and Ticknor. The former was shocked, and the latter said his
conversation was a perpetual contradiction to the exquisite delicacy of
The critics of the day, headed by Professor Wilson, declared he was
Burns's rival as a song-writer, and his superior in anything relating to
external nature! indeed they wrote of him as unsurpassed by poet or
painter in his fairy tales of ancient time, dubbing him Poet Laureate to
the Queen of Elfland; and yet his unrefined manner tempted these friends
to speak of him familiarly as the greatest hog in all Apollo's herd, or
the Boar of the Forest, etc. etc.
Wordsworth, however, on November 21, 1835, when his brother bard had
just left the sunshine for the sunless land, wrote from his heart the
noble lines ending -
"Death upon the Braes of Yarrow Closed the Poet Shepherd's eyes."
 Another, sister Georgiana, married General the Honourable Sir
Alexander Hope, G.C.B., grandfather of Mrs. Maxwell Scott.
 _Chronicles of the Canongate_. First Series, ending with the story
of _The Surgeon's Daughter_.
 Mr. Lockhart justly remarks that this entry "paints the man in his
tenderness, his fortitude, and happy wisdom."
 Charles Rose Ellis had been created Baron Seaford in 1826.
 See Cromek's _Reliques of Burns_, p. 210.
_October_ 1. - I set about work for two hours, and finished three pages;
then walked for two hours; then home, adjusted sheriff processes, and
cleared the table. I am to set off to-morrow for Ravensworth Castle, to
meet the Duke of Wellington; a great let off, I suppose. Yet I would
almost rather stay and see two days more of Lockhart and my daughter,
who will be off before my return. Perhaps. But there is no end to
perhaps. We must cut the rope and let the vessel drive down the tide of
_October_ 2. - Set out in the morning at seven, and reached Kelso by a
little past ten with my own horses. Then took the Wellington coach to
carry me to Wellington - smart that. Nobody inside but an old lady, who
proved a toy-woman in Edinburgh; her head furnished with as substantial
ware as her shop, but a good soul, I'se warrant her. Heard all her
debates with her landlord about a new door to the cellar, etc. etc.;
propriety of paying rent on the 15th or 25th of May. Landlords and
tenants have different opinions on that subject. Danger of dirty sheets
in inns. We dined at Wooler, and I found out Dr. Douglas on the outside,
son of my old acquaintance Dr. James Douglas of Kelso. This made us even
lighter in mind till we came to Whittingham. Thence to Newcastle, where
an obstreperous horse retarded us for an hour at least, to the great
alarm of my friend the toy-woman. _N.B._ - She would have made a good
feather-bed if the carriage had happened to fall, and her undermost. The
heavy roads had retarded us near an hour more, so that I hesitated to go
to Ravensworth so late; but my good woman's tales of dirty sheets, and
certain recollections of a Newcastle inn, induced me to go on. When I
arrived the family had just retired. Lord Ravensworth and Mr. Liddell
came down, however, and really received me as kindly as possible.
_October_ 3. - Rose about eight or later. My morals begin to be corrupted
by travelling and fine company. Went to Durham with Lord Ravensworth
betwixt one and two. Found the gentlemen of Durham county and town
assembled to receive the Duke of Wellington. I saw several old friends,
and with difficulty suited names to faces, and faces to names. There was
Headlam, Dr. Gilly and his wife, and a world of acquaintance besides,
Sir Thomas Lawrence too, with Lord Londonderry. I asked him to come on
with me, but he could not. He is, from habit of coaxing his subjects I
suppose, a little too fair-spoken, otherwise very pleasant. The Duke
arrived very late. There were bells and cannon and drums, trumpets and
banners, besides a fine troop of yeomanry. The address was well
expressed, and as well answered by the Duke. The enthusiasm of the
ladies and the gentry was great - the common people were lukewarm.
The Duke has lost popularity in accepting political power. He will be
more useful to his country it may be than ever, but will scarce be so
gracious in the people's eyes; and he will not care a curse for what
outward show he has lost. But I must not talk of curses, for we are
going to take our dinner with the Bishop of Durham, a man of amiable
and courteous manners, who becomes his station well, but has traces of
bad health on his countenance.
We dined, about one hundred and forty or fifty men, a distinguished
company for rank and property. Marshal Beresford, and Sir John,
amongst others, Marquis of Lothian, Lord Duncombe, Marquis Londonderry,
and I know not who besides:
"Lords and Dukes and noble Princes,
All the pride and flower of Spain."
We dined in the rude old baronial hall, impressive from its antiquity,
and fortunately free from the plaster of former improvement, as I trust
it will, from the gingerbread taste of modern Gothicisers. The bright
moon streaming in through the old Gothic windows, made a light which
contrasted strangely with the artificial lights within; spears, banners,
and armour were intermixed with the pictures of old, and the whole had a
singular mixture of baronial pomp with the graver and more chastened
dignity of prelacy. The conduct of our reverend entertainer suited the
character remarkably well. Amid the welcome of a Count Palatine he did
not for an instant forget the gravity of the Church dignitary. All his
toasts were gracefully given, and his little speeches well made, and the
more affecting that the failing voice sometimes reminded us that our
aged host laboured under the infirmities of advanced life. To me
personally the Bishop was very civil, and paid me his public
compliments by proposing my health in the most gratifying manner.
The Bishop's lady received a sort of drawing-room after we rose from
table, at which a great many ladies attended. I ought not to forget that
the singers of the choir attended at dinner, and sung the Anthem _Non
nobis Domine_, as they said who understood them, very well - and, as I
think, who did not understand the music, with an unusual degree of
spirit and interest. It is odd how this can be distinguished from the
notes of fellows who use their throats with as little feeling of the
notes they utter as if they were composed of the same metal as their
After the drawing-room we went to the Assembly-rooms, which were crowded
with company. I saw some very pretty girls dancing merrily that
old-fashioned thing called a country-dance which Old England has now
thrown aside, as she would do her creed, if there were some foreign
frippery offered instead. We got away after midnight, a large party, and
reached Ravensworth Castle - Duke of Wellington, Lord Londonderry, and
about twenty besides - about half-past one. Soda water, and to bed by
_October_ 4. - Slept till nigh ten - fatigued by our toils of yesterday,
and the unwonted late hours. Still too early for this Castle of
Indolence, for I found few of last night's party yet appearing. I had an
opportunity of some talk with the Duke. He does not consider Foy's
book as written by himself, but as a thing _got up_ perhaps from
notes. Says he knew Foy very well in Spain. Mentioned that he was, like
other French officers, very desirous of seeing the English papers,
through which alone they could collect any idea of what was going on
without their own cantonments, for Napoleon permitted no communication
of that kind with France. The Duke, growing tired of this, at length
told Baron Tripp, whose services he chiefly used in communication with
the outposts, that he was not to give them the newspapers. "What reason
shall I allege for withholding them?" said Baron Tripp. "None," replied
the Duke. "Let them allege some reason why they want them." Foy was not
at a loss to assign a reason. He said he had considerable sums of money
in the English funds and wanted to see how Stocks fell and rose. The
excuse did not, however, go down. I remember Baron Tripp, a Dutch
nobleman, and a dandy of the first water, and yet with an energy in his
dandyism which made it respectable. He drove a gig as far as Dunrobin
Castle, and back again, _without a whip_. He looked after his own horse,
for he had no servant, and after all his little establishment of clothes
and necessaries, with all the accuracy of a _petit-maÃ®tre_. He was one
of the best-dressed men, and his horse was in equally fine condition as
if he had had a dozen of grooms. I met him at Lord Somerville's, and
liked him much. But there was something exaggerated, as appeared from
the conclusion of his life. Baron Tripp shot himself in Italy for no
What is called great society, of which I have seen a good deal in my
day, is now amusing to me, because from age and indifference I have lost
the habit of considering myself as a part of it, and have only the
feelings of looking on as a spectator of the scene, who can neither play
his part well nor ill, instead of being one of the _dramatis personÃ¦_;
and, careless what is thought of myself, I have full time to attend to
the motions of others.
Our party went to-day to Sunderland, where the Duke was brilliantly
received by an immense population, chiefly of seamen. The difficulty of
getting into the rooms was dreadful, for we chanced to march in the rear
of an immense Gibraltar gun, etc., all composed of glass, which is here
manufactured in great quantities. The disturbance created by this thing,
which by the way I never saw afterwards, occasioned an ebbing and
flowing of the crowd, which nearly took me off my legs. I have seen the
day I would have minded it little. The entertainment was handsome; about
two hundred dined, and appeared most hearty in the cause which had
convened them - some indeed so much so, that, finding themselves so far
on the way to perfect happiness, they e'en ... After the dinner-party
broke up there was a ball, numerously attended, where there was a
prodigious anxiety discovered for shaking of hands. The Duke had enough
of it, and I came in for my share; for, though as jackal to the lion, I
got some part in whatever was going. We got home about half-past two in
the morning, sufficiently tired. The Duke went to Seaham, a house of
Lord Londonderry's. After all, this Sunderland trip might have been
_October 5_. - A quiet day at Ravensworth Castle, giggling and making
giggle among the kind and frank-hearted young people. Ravensworth Castle
is chiefly modern, excepting always two towers of great antiquity. Lord
Ravensworth manages his woods admirably well, and with good taste. His
castle is but half-built. Elections have come between. In the
evening, plenty of fine music, with heart as well as voice and
instrument. Much of the music was the spontaneous effusions of Mrs.
Arkwright, who had set Hohenlinden and other pieces of poetry. Her music
was of a highly-gifted character. She was the daughter of Stephen
Kemble. The genius she must have inherited from her mother, who was a
capital actress. The Miss Liddells and Mrs. Barrington sang the "The
Campbells are coming," in a tone that might have waked the dead.
_October_ 6. - Left Ravensworth this morning, and travelled as far as
Whittingham with Marquis of Lothian. Arrived at Alnwick to dinner, where
I was very kindly received. The Duke is a handsome man, who will be
corpulent if he does not continue to take hard exercise. The Duchess
very pretty and lively, but her liveliness is of that kind which shows
at once it is connected with thorough principle, and is not liable to be
influenced by fashionable caprice. The habits of the family are early
and regular; I conceive they may be termed formal and old-fashioned by
such visitors as claim to be the pink of the mode. The Castle is a fine
old pile, with various courts and towers, and the entrance is
magnificent. It wants, however, the splendid feature of a keep. The
inside fitting up is an attempt at Gothic, but the taste is meagre and
poor, and done over with too much gilding. It was done half a century
ago, when this kind of taste was ill-understood. I found here the Bishop
of [Gloucester], etc. etc.
_October 7_. - This morning went to church and heard an excellent sermon
from the Bishop of Gloucester; he has great dignity of manner, and
his accent and delivery were forcible. Drove out with the Duke in a
phaeton, and saw part of the park, which is a fine one, lying along the
Alne. But it has been ill-planted. It was laid out by the celebrated
Brown, who substituted clumps of birch and Scottish firs for the
beautiful oaks and copse which grows nowhere so freely as in
Northumberland. To complete this, the late Duke did not thin, so the
wood is in poor state. All that the Duke cuts down is so much waste, for
the people will not buy it where coals are so cheap. Had they been
oak-wood, the bark would have fetched its value; had they been grown
oaks, the sea-ports would have found a market. Had they been [larch],
the country demands for ruder purposes would have been unanswerable. The
Duke does the best he can to retrieve his woods, but seems to despond
more than a young man ought to do. It is refreshing to see a man in his
situation give so much of his time and thoughts to the improvement of
his estates, and the welfare of the people. The Duke tells me his people
in Keeldar were all quite wild the first time his father went up to
shoot there. The women had no other dress than a bed-gown and petticoat.
The men were savage and could hardly be brought to rise from the heath,
either from sullenness or fear. They sung a wild tune, the burden of
which was Ourina, ourina, ourina. The females sung, the men danced
round, and at a certain part of the tune they drew their dirks, which
they always wore.
We came by the remains of the old Carmelite Monastery of Hulne, which is
a very fine object in the park. It was finished by De Vesci. The gateway
of Alnwick Abbey, also a fine specimen, is standing about a mile
distant. The trees are much finer on the left side of the Alne, where
they have been let alone by the capability-villain. Visited the enceinte
of the Castle, and passed into the dungeon. There is also an armoury,
but damp, and the arms in indifferent order. One odd petard-looking
thing struck me. - _Mem_. to consult Grose. I had the honour to sit in
Hotspur's seat, and to see the Bloody Gap, where the external wall must
have been breached. The Duchess gave me a book of etchings of the
antiquities of Alnwick and Warkworth from her own drawings. I had
half a mind to stay to see Warkworth, but Anne is alone. We had prayers
in the evening read by the Archdeacon.
The Marquis of Lothian on Saturday last told me a remarkable thing,
which he had from good authority. Just before Bonaparte's return from
Elba there was much disunion at the Congress of Vienna. Russia and
Prussia, conscious of their own merits, made great demands, to which
Austria, France, and Britain, were not disposed to accede. This went so
far that war became probable, and the very Prussian army which was so
useful at Waterloo was held in readiness to attack the English. On the
other hand, England, Austria, and France entered into a private
agreement to resist, beyond a certain extent, Prussia's demands of a
barrier on the Rhine, etc., and, what is most singular of all, it was
from Bonaparte that the Emperor Alexander first heard of this triple
alliance. But the circumstance of finding Napoleon interesting
himself so far in the affairs of Europe alarmed the Emperor more than
the news he sent him. On the same authority, Gneisenau and most of
BlÃ¼cher's personal suite remained behind a house at the battle of Ligny,
and sent out an officer from time to time, but did not remain even in
sight of the battle, till BlÃ¼cher put himself at the head of the cavalry
with the zeal of an old hussar.
_October_ 8. - Left Alnwick, where I have experienced a very kind
reception, and took coach at Whittingham at eleven o'clock. I find there
is a new road to be made between Alnwick and Wooler, which will make the
communication much easier, and avoid Remside Moor.
Saw some fine young plantations about Whittingham suffering from
neglect, which is not the case under the Duke's own eye. He has made
two neat cottages at Percy's Cross, to preserve that ancient monument of
the fatal battle of Hedgeley Moor. The stones marking the adjacent spot
called Percy's Leap are thirty-three feet asunder. To show the
uncertainty of human testimony, I measured the distance (many years
since, it is true), and would have said and almost sworn that it was but
eighteen feet. Dined at Wooler, and reached home about seven o'clock,
having left Alnwick at half-past nine. So it would be easy to go there
to dinner from Abbotsford, starting at six in the morning, or seven
would do very well.
_October 9, [Abbotsford]_. - No proofs here, which I think odd of Jas. B.
But I am not sorry to have a day to write letters, and besides I have a
box of books to arrange. It is a bad mizzling day, and might have been a
good day for work, yet it is not quite uselessly spent.
_October_ 10. - Breakfasted at Huntly Burn with the merry knight, Sir
Adam Ferguson. When we returned we found a whole parcel of proofs which
had been forgot yesterday at the toll - so here ends play and begins
work. Dr. Brewster and Mr. Thornhill. The latter gave me a box, made of
the real mulberry-tree. Very kind of him.
_October_ 11. - Being a base melancholy weeping day I e'en made the best
of it, and set in for work. Wrote ten leaves this day, equivalent to
forty pages. But then the theme was so familiar, being Scottish history,
that my pen never rested. It is more than a triple task.
_October_ 12. - Sent off proofs and copy, a full task of three pages. At
one Anne drove me to Huntly Burn, and I examined the earthen fence
intended for the new planting, and altered the line in some points. This
employed me till near four, the time of my walking home being included.
_October_ 13. - Wrote in the forenoon. Lord Bessborough and Mr. and Mrs.
Ponsonby called to see the place. His lady used to be civil to me in
London - an accomplished and pleasing woman. They only stayed an hour. At
dinner we had Lord and Lady Bathurst, and my friend Lady Georgiana - also
Marquis of Lothian and Lord Castlereagh, plenty of fine folks. Expected
also the Lord Register and Mrs. Dundas, but they could not come. Lord
Bathurst told me that Gourgaud had negotiated with the French Government
to the last moment of his leaving London, and that he had been told so
by the French Ambassador. Lord B. refused to see him, because he
understood he talked disrespectfully of Napoleon.
_October_ 14. - I read prayers to the company of yesterday, and we took a
drive round by Drygrange Bridge. Lord B. told me that the late king made
it at one time a point of conscience to read every word of every act of
parliament before giving his assent to it. There was a mixture of
principle and nonsense in this. Lord Lothian left us. I did a full task
to-day, which is much, considering I was a good deal occupied.
_October_ 15. - My noble guests departed, pleased I believe with their
visit. I have had to thank Lord Bathurst for former kindness. I respect
him too, as one who being far from rich, has on the late occasion
preferred political consistency to a love of office and its emoluments.
He seems to expect no opposition of a formal kind this next session.
What is wonderful, no young man of talents seems to spring up in the
House of Commons. I wonder what comes of all the clever lads whom we see
at college. The fruit apparently does not ripen as formerly. Lord
Castlereagh remained with us. I bestowed a little advice on him. He is a
warm-hearted young fellow, with some of the fashionable affectations of
the age about him, but with good feelings and an inclination to come
_October_ 16. - With all this racketing the work advances fast. The third
volume of the _Tales_ is now half finished, and will, I think, be a
useful work. Some drizzling days have been of great use to its progress.
This visiting has made some dawdling, but not much, perhaps not more
than there ought to be for such a task.
I walked from Huntly Burn up the little Glen, which was in all the
melancholy beauty of autumn, the little brook brawling and bickering in
fine style over its falls and currents.
_October_ 17. - Drove down to Mertoun and brought up Elizabeth Scott to
be our guest for some days or so. Various chance guests arrived. One of
the most welcome was Captain MacKenzie of the Celtic Society and the 72d
regiment, a picture of a Highlander in his gigantic person and innocent
and generous disposition. Poor fellow, he is going to retreat to
Brittany, to make his half-pay support a wife and family. I did not dare
to ask how many. God send I may have the means of serving him.
He told me a Maclean story which was new to me. At the battle of
Sheriffmuir that clan was commanded by a chief called Hector. In the
action, as the chief rushed forward, he was frequently in situations of
peril. His foster-father followed him with seven sons, whom he reserved
as a body-guard, whom he threw forward into the battle as he saw his
chief pressed. The signal he gave was, "Another for Hector!" The youths
replied, "Death for Hector!" and were all successively killed. These
words make the sign and countersign at this day of the clan Gillian.
Young Shortreed dined with us and the two Fergusons, Sir Adam and the
Colonel. We had a pleasant evening.
_October_ 19. - Wrought out my task, and better - as I have done for these
several days past. Lady Anna Maria Elliot arrived unexpectedly to