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' A being made of many beings." 

The Excursion, Book I. 



CHAPTER I. 1816. 

Flaxman — Lamb — The Clarksons at Playford — Wordsworth — Southey — 

De Quincey — Coleridge i 

CHAPTER H. 1817. 

On Circuit— Treason Trials — Coleridge and Tieck— Journey to Paris- 
Hone's Trials 44 

CHAPTER ni. iSrS. 

Lectures by Hazlitt and Coleridge— Visit to Germany — The Court at 

Weimar — Knebel — On Circuit 84 

CHAPTER IV. 1819. 

Clarkson — J. P. Collier and Mr. Walter — On Circuit — Benecke— New 

Chambers 118 

CHAPTER V. 1820. 
On Elton Hamond 141 

Flaxman— Lamb — Swiss Tour with the Wordsworths .... 158 

CHAPTER Vn. 1821. 
Mrs. Barbauld — Flaxman — Tour to Scotland 201 


Wordsworth's Memorial Poems— Visit to Paris— Charles and Mary Lamb 

in Paris 221 

CHAPTER IX. 1823. 

Southey — Wordsworth, Coleridge, Moore, Lamb, and Rogers — Abemethy 

— Acquaintance with Irving — Schlegel — Flaxman .... 240 

vi Contents. 

CHAPTER X. 1824. 

Sir John Franklin — Lamb — Coleridge and Irving — Athenaeum Club 

opened — Lady Morgan — Tour in Normandy— Visit to the Trappists 265 

CHAPTER XI. 1825. 
Julius Hare — Sir James Stephen — Blake's Conversations .... 290 


Blake — Lamb — Irving— Coleridge — Tour in Ireland — Journey with 
O'Connell — Visit to Derrynane — Wordsworth — Visit to Dawson 
Turner — Macaulay — Death of Flaxman 314 

Death of Blake— Lamb at Enfield 378 


Goethe — Opening of the London University — Repeal of Test and Corpo- 
ration Acts— Bishop Stanley— H. C. R. quits the Bar . . . 387 

CHAPTER XV. 1829. 

Antiquarian Society — Linnaean Society — Lamb's Hoax and Confession — 

With Lamb at Enfield — Mrs. Clarkson — Wordsworth — Croker . 400 

Tour in Germany — Visits to Benecke, Knebel, Goethe, Tieck, &c. . . 420 

CHAPTER XVII. 1829-31. 
In Italy — ^Winter in Rome — Tour in Sicily — Stay in Florence . . . 450 


In England again— The Reform Bill— Visits to Lamb and the Clarksons 

—Jeremy Bentham 514 





January ^th. — (At Norwich.) This morning I went 
immediately after breakfast to a Jew dentist, C-: — , 
who put in a natural tooth in the place of one I 
swallowed yesterday. He assured me it came from 
Waterloo, and promised me it should outlast twelve 
artificial teeth. 

January iytk.—{At Bury.) I called with sister on 
Mrs. Clarkson, to take leave of her. The Clarksons 
leave Bury to-day, and are about to settle on a farm 
(Playford) near Ipswich. No one deserves of the 
present race more than Clarkson to have what 
Socrates proudly claimed of his judges — a lodging 
in the Prytaneion at the public expense. This 
ought to exclude painful anxiety on his account, if 
the farm should not succeed. They were in good 


Chap. i. 

A dentist. 

Mr. Clark- 
son leaves 
Bury /or 

Mrs. Barhauld. 

Chap. i. 

A legal 


February 6th. — I attended the Common Pleas this 
morning, expecting that a demurrer on which we had 
a consultation last night would come on, but it did 
not. I heard, however, an argument worthy of the 
golden age of the English law, scil., the age of the civil 
wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster, when 
the subtleties and refinements of the law were in high 
flourishing condition, — or the silver age, that of the 
Stuarts. An almshouse corporation, the warden and 
poor of Croydon, in Surrey, on the foundation of Arch- 
bishop Whitgift, brought an action for rent against their 
tenant. He pleaded that, for a good and valuable 
consideration, they had sold him the land, as authorized 
by the statute, for redeeming land-tax. They replied 
that, in their conveyance, in setting out their title, they 
had omitted the words, " of the foundation of Arch- 
bishop Whitgift," and therefore they contended the 
deed was void, and that they might still recover their 
rent, as before. Good sense and honesty prevailed over 
technical sense. 

February nth. — I walked to Newington, and dined 
with Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Finch. Miss Hamond 
and Charles Aikin were there. As usual, we were very 
comfortable, Mrs. Barbauld can keep up a lively 
argumentative conversation as. well as any one I know ; 
and at her advanced age (she is turned of seventy), she 
is certainly the best specimen of female Presbyterian 
society in the country. N.B. — Anthony Robinson 
requested me to inquire whether she thought the 
doctrine of Universal Restoration scriptural. She said 
she thought we must bring to the interpretation of the 

Primogeniture Scriptural. 

Scriptures a very liberal notion of the beneficence of 
the Deity to find the doctrine there. 

February 12th. — I dined with the Colliers, and in the 
evening went to Drury Lane with Jane Collier and Miss 
Lamb, to see " A New Way to Pay Old Debts," a very 
spirited comedy by Massinger. Kean's Sir Giles Over- 
reach is a very fine piece of acting indeed. His rage 
at the discovery of the fraud in the marriage of his 
daughter is wrought up to a wonderful height, and 
becomes almost too tragical. On the contrary, Munden, 
who also plays admirably the part of a knavish con- 
fidant, is infinitely comical, and in one or two instances 
he played too well, for he disturbed the impression 
which Kean was to raise by the equally strong effect 
of his own acting. Oxberry played Greedy, the hungry 
magistrate, pleasantly, and Harley was thought to per- 
form Wellborn well ; but he displeases me in this, that 
he seems to have no keeping. Sometimes he reminds 
one of Banister, sometimes Lewis ; so that at last he 
is neither a character nor himself Mrs. Glover was 
agreeable in playing Lady Allworth. 

February i$t/i. — A curious argument on the law of 
Primogeniture. It was used by my friend Pattisson, 
and is a scriptural one. In the parable of the Prodigal 
Son, the Father says to his dissatisfied elder Son, " Son, 
all that I have is thine," which is a recognition of the 
right in the firstborn. 

February 2^t/i. — ^At eight I went to Rough's, where 
I met Kean — I should say to see him, not to hear him ; 
for he scarcely spoke. I should hardly have known 
him. He has certainly a fine eye, but his features were 

B 2 

Chap. i. 

Keans Sir 



Kean in 

Kean. — Coleridge his ozvn Publisher. 

Chap. i. 

Law as an 



His own 

relaxed, as if he had undergone great fatigue. When 
he smiles, his look is rather constrained than natural; 
He is but a small man, and from the gentleness of his 
manners, no one would anticipate the actor who excels 
in bursts of passion. 

March ioth.—{Or\ Circuit at Bedford.) I was a little, 
scandalized by the observation of the clerk of a pro- 
secutor's solicitor, in a case in which I was engaged for. 
the prosecution, that there was little evidence against 
one of the defendants,^that, in fact, he had not been, 
very active in the riots, — but he was a sarcastic fellow, 
and they wished to punish him by putting him to the 
expense of a defence without any expectation of con- 
victing him ! 

April 6th. — I rode to London by the old Cambridge 
coach, from ten to four. 

Soon after I arrived I met Miss Lamb by accident, and 
in consequence took tea with her and Charles. I found 
Coleridge and Morgan at their house. Coleridge had 
been ill, but he was then, as before, loquacious, and in 
his loquacity mystically eloquent. He is endeavouring 
to bring a tragedy on the stage, in which he is not 
likely, I fear, to succeed ; and he is printing two 
volumes of Miscellanies, including a republication of 
his poems. But he is printing without a publisher!. 
He read me some metaphysical passages, which will be 
laughed at by nine out of ten readers ; but I am told 
he has written popularly, and about himself. Morgan 
:is looking very pale — rather unhappy than ill. He' 
attends Coleridge with his unexampled assiduity and 

Personal Talk. 

April 2\st. — After dining I rode to Wattisfield by the 
day-coach, I reached my Uncle Crabb's by tea-time, 
and had an agreeable evening with him and Mrs. Crabb. 
I was pleased to revive some impressions which years 
have rendered interesting. 

April 22nd. — This was an indolent day, but far from 
an unpleasant one. I sat with Mr. and Mrs. Crabb a 
great part of the morning, and afterwards walked with 
Mr. Crabb, who was on horseback, through the street 
to Hill Green Farm. On the road family anecdotes 
and village narratives, suggested by the objects in view, 
rendered the walk agreeable to us both. Mr. Crabb is 
arrived at an age when it is a prime pleasure to relate the 
history of his early years ; and I am always an interested 
listener on such occasions. I am never tired by personal 
talk.* The half-literary conversation of half-learned 
people, the commonplaces of politics and religious 
dispute, are to me intolerable ; but the passions of men 
excited by their genuine and immediate personal in- 
terest always gain my sympathy, or sympathy is 
supplied by the observations they suggest. And in 
such conversations there is more truth and originality 
and variety than in the others, in which, particularly 
in religious conversations, there is a mixture of either 
Pharisaical imposture or imperfect self-deception. Men 
on such occasions talk to convince themselves, not 
because they have feelings they must give vent to. 

April 2'jth. — (At Cambridge.) I walked to the cofifee- 

•-It was otherwise with his friend Wordsworth : 

" I am not one who much or oft dehght 
To season my fireside with personal talk." 
Sonnets entitled " Personal Talk." Vol. IV., p. 200. 

Chap. i. 

Mr. Crabb. 


Princess Charlotte's Marriage. 

Chap. i. 

Sir R. 

A good 

A royal 


room and read there the beginning of the trial of 
Wilson, Bruce, and Hutchinson, for concealing Lava- 
lette. In the examination of Sir R. Wilson, previous to 
the trial, he gave one answer which equals anything 
ever said by an accused person so examined. He was 
asked, "Were you applied to, to assist in concealing 
Lavalette ? "— " I was."—" Who applied to you t "— " I 
was born and educated in a country in which the social 
virtues are considered as public virtues, and I have not 
trained my memory to a breach of friendship and con- 

I dined in the Hall. Each mess of four was allowed 
an extra bottle of wine and a goose, in honour of 
the marriage of the Princess Charlotte of Wales and 
the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, which took place this 

May \th. — I rode to Bury on the outside of the " Day" 

coach from six to three Between nine 

and ten we were alarmed by the intelligence that a fire 
had broken out. I ran out, fearing it was at the house of 
one of the Mr. Bucks; but it was at a great distance. 
Many people were on the road, most of whom were laugh- 
ing, and seemingly enjoying the fire. This was the fifth 
or sixth fire that had taken place within a week or two, 
and there could be no doubt it was an act of arson. 
These very alarming outrages began some time since, 
and the pretence was the existence of threshing- 
machines. The farmers in the neighbourhood have' 
surrendered them up, and exposed them broken on the 
high road. Besides, the want of work by the poor, and 
the diminished price of labour, have roused a dangerous 


spirit in the common people, — ^when roused, the most 
formidable of enemies. 

May 2Zth. — Called on Godwin. He was lately with 
Wordsworth, and after spending a night at his house, 
seems to have left him with feelings of strong political 
difference ; and it was this alone, I believe, which, kept 
them aloof from each other. I have learned to bear 
with the intolerance of others when I understand it. 
While Buonaparte threatened Europe with his all- 
embracing military despotism, I felt that all other 
causes of anxiety and fear were insignificant, and I was 
content to forget the natural tendencies of the regular 
governments to absolute power, of the people in those 
states to corruption, and of Roman Catholicism to a 
stupid and degrading religious bigotry. In spite of 
these tendencies, Europe was rising morally and intel- 
lectually, when the French Revolution, after promising 
to advance the world rapidly in its progress towards 
perfection, suddenly, by the woful turn it took, threw the 
age back in its expectations, almost in its wishes, till at 
last, from alarm and anxiety, even zealous reformers 
were glad to compromise the cause of liberty, and pur- 
chase national independence and political liberty at the 
expense of civil liberty in France, Italy, &c. Most in- 
tensely did I rejoice at the counter-Revolution. I had 
also rejoiced, when a boy, at the Revolution, and I am 
ashamed of neither sentiment. And I shall not be 
ashamed, though the Bourbon government should be 
as vile as any which France was cursed with under 
the ancestors of Louis XVIII., and though the promises 
of liberty given to the Germans by their sovereigns 

Chap. i. 

and Words- 

Bear and 

forbear in 


Wordsworth's Politics. — Flaxman on West, R.A. 

Ghap. 1. 


and West. 

should all be broken, and though Italy and Spain 
should relapse into the deepest horrors of Papal super- 
stition. To rejoice in immediate good is permitted to 
us. The immediate alone is within our scope of action 
and observation. But now that the old system is 
restored, with it the old cares and apprehensions revive 
also. And I am sorry that Wordsworth cannot change 
with the times. He ought, I think, now to exhort our 
Government to economy, and >to represent the dangers 
of a thoughtless return to all that was in existence 
twenty-five years ago. Of the integrity of Words- 
worth I have no doubt, and of his genius I have an 
unbounded admiration ; but I doubt the discretion and 
wisdom of his latest political writings. 

June I2th. — Flaxman spoke about West. I related 
the anecdote in his Life* of his first seeing the Apollo, 
and comparing it to a Mohawk warrior. Flaxman laughed, 
and said it was the criticism of one almost as great a 
savage ;] for though there might be a coarse similarity in 
the attitude, Apollo having shot an arrow, yet the figure 
of the Mohawk must have been altogether unlike that 
of the god. This anecdote Flaxman says he heard 
West relate more than twenty years ago, in a discourse 
delivered as President of the Academy. The anec- 
dotes of West's first drawing before he had seen a 
picture Flaxman considers as fabulous. 

* "The Life and Studies of Benjamin West, Esq, President of the Royal 
Academy of London, prior to his Arrival in England, compiled from Materials 
furnished by himself." By John Gait. London, 18 16. This book was pub- 
lished during the painter's life. A Second Part, relating to his hfe and studies 
after his arrival in England, appeared just after his death in 1820, most of it 
having been printed during his last illness. The anecdote referred to will be 
, found in the First Part, p. 105. 

Wtt/t Flaxmau and Shee among the Old Masters. 

: June \\th. — Manning, after breakfasting with me, 
accompanied me to the Italian pictures * The grati- 
fication was not less than before. The admirable 
"Ecce Homo" of Guido in particular delighted me, 
and also Murillo's " Marriage at Cana." Amyot joined 
me there. Also I met Flaxman, and with him was 
Martin Shee, whom I chatted with. Shee was strong 
in his censure of allegory, and incidentally adverted to 
a lady who reproached him with being unable to relish 
a certain poet because he wanted piety. The lady and 
poet, it appeared, were Lady Beaumont and Words- 
worth. Both Flaxman and Shee defended the conceit 
in the picture of the " Holy Family in the Stable," in 
which the light issues from the child ; and Flaxman 
quoted in its justification the expression of the Scrip- 
tures, that Christ came as a light, &c. 

June 2ird. — I dined at Mr. Rutt's. I had intended 
to sleep there ; but as Mr. Rutt goes early to bed, 
I preferred a late walk home, from half-past ten to 
twelve. And I enjoyed the walk, though the evening 

* At the British Institution, previously Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, in 
Pall Mall, and within the last few months destroyed. This Exhibition, opened 
in May, 1816, was the first collection which the directors had formed of Italian 
and Spanish paintings. The "Ecce Homo " by Guido, mentioned in the text, 
was probably the one (No. 33 of the Catalogue) from Stratton, belonging to 
Sir T. Baring. A second "Ecce Homo," No. 55, then belonging to Mr. 
West, and afterwards bequeathed by the poet Rogers to the National Gallery, 
would have been too painful in treatment to have elicited the expression used 
above. Murillo's " Marriage at Cana," No. 10 of the Catalogue, then be- 
longed to Mr. G. Hibbert. It had formerly been in the Julienne, Presle, and 
Robit Collections. It is now at Tottenham Park, Wilts, the property of the 
Marquis of Ailesbury. The " Holy Family in the Stable" was the " Adora- 
tion of the Magi," either No. 22, the fine Paul Veronese, from the Crozat 
Collection, or 115, the Carlo Dolci, belonging respectively to the Earl of Aber- 
deen and to Earl Cowper. 

Chap. i. 




" Times " Difiner-party. 

Chap. i. 

specimen of 



Din tier- 
party at 

was not very fine. I met a tipsy man, whom I chatted 
with, and as he was a labourer of the lowest class, but 
seemingly of a quiet mind, I was glad to meet with so 
fair a specimen of mob feeling. He praised Sir Francis 
Burdett as the people's friend and only good man in 
the kingdom ; yet he did not seem to think flogging 
either sailors or soldiers a very bad thing. He had 
been assisting in building the new Tothill Fields prison, 
and said he would rather be hanged than imprisoned 
there seven years. He was somewhat mysterious on 
this head. He said he would never sing, "Britons 
never shall be Slaves," for Britons are all slaves. Yet 
he wished for war, because there would be work for 
the poor. If this be the general feeling of the lower 
classes, the public peace can only be preserved by 
a vigilant police and severe laws. 

July ^th. — I dined with Walter. A small party. 
Dr. Stoddart, Sterling, Sydenham, &c. The dinner 
was small but of the first quality — turbot, turtle, and 
venison, fowls and ham : wines, champagne and claret. 
Sydenham was once reputed to be "Vetus," but his 
conversation is only intelligent and anecdotic and gen- 
tlemanly ; he is neither logical, nor sarcastic, nor point- 
edly acute. He is therefore certainly not "Vetus." He 
is a partisan of the Wellesleys, having been with the 
Duke in India. Sterling is a sensible man. They were 
all unfavourable to the actual ministry, and their fall 
within six months was very confidently announced. 

July 6th. — I took tea with Mrs. Barbauld, and played 

chess with her till late. Miss H was there, and 

delighted at the expectation of hearing a song com- 

C. Lamb with a Present. 


posed by her sung at Covent Garden. When, how- 
ever, I mentioned this to her brother, in a jocular 
manner, he made no answer, and seemed almost 
offended. Sometimes I regret a want of sensibility in 
my nature, but when such cases of perverted intensity of 
feeling are brought to my observation, I rejoice at my 
neutral apathetic character, as better than the more 
sanguine and choleric temperament, which is so dan- 
gerous at the same time that it is so popular and re- 
spectable. The older I grow, the more I am satisfied, on 
prudential grounds, with the constitution of my sensitive 
nature. I am persuaded that there are very few persons 
who suffer so little pain of all kinds as I do ; and if the 
absence of vice be the beginning of virtue, so the absence 
of suffering is the beginning of enjoyment. I must con- 
fess, however, that I think my own nature an object of 
felicitation rather than applause. 

July iT^th. — An unsettled morning. My print of 
Leonardo da Vinci's " Vierge aux Rochers " was brought 
home framed. I took it to Miss Lamb as a present. 
She was much pleased with it, and so was Lamb, and I 
lost much of the morning in chatting with Miss Lamb. 
I dined at the Colliers'. After dinner I went to Lamb's 
and took tea with him. White of the India House was 
there. We played three rubbers of whist. Lamb 
was in great good humour, delighted like a child with 
his present ; but I am to change the frame for him, 
as all his other frames are black. How Lamb con- 
firms the remark of the childlikeness of genius ! 

Sunday, i^th. — I walked to Becher, and he accom- 
panied me to Oilman's, an apothecary at Highgate, with 

Chap. i. 



and Mary 




Coleridge settled at Highgate. 

Chap. i. 



whom Coleridge is now staying. And he seems to 
have profited already by the abstinence from opium, &c.; 
for I never saw him look so well. He talked very sen- 
sibly, but less eloquently and vehemently than usual. 
He asked me to lend him some books, &c., and related 
a history of the great injustice done him in the reports 
circulated about his losing books. And certainly I 
ought not to join in the reproach, for he gave me to- 
day Kant's works, three vols., miscellaneous. Cole- 
ridge talked about Goethe's work on the theory of 
colours, and said he had some years back discovered 
the same theory, and would certainly have reduced 
it to form, and published it, had not Southey diverted 
his attention from such studies to poetry. On my 
mentioning that I had heard that an English work 
had been published lately, developing the same sys- 
tem, Coleridge answered, with great naivete, that he 
was very free in communicating his thoughts on the 
subject wherever he went, and among literary people. 

July \%th. — The day was showery, but not very un- 
pleasant. I read and finished Goethe's first No. " Ueber 
Kunst," &c., giving an account of the works of art to be 
met with on the Rhine. It is principally remarkable 
as evincing the great poet's generous and disinterested 
zeal for the arts. He seems to rejoice as cordially 
in whatever can promote the intellectual prosperity 
of his country as in the success of his own great mas- 
terpieces of art. His account of the early painting 
discovered at Cologne, and of the discovered design 
of the Cathedral, is very interesting indeed. I also 
read " Des Epimenides Erwachen," a kind of mask. It 

Trials of Agriculttiral Rioters. 


is an allegory, and of course has no great pretensions ; 
but there are fine moral and didactic lines in very- 
beautiful diction. 

July 2T,rd. — (At Bury.) This day was spent in court 
from ten to half-past five. It was occupied in the trial 
of several sets of rioters, the defence of whom Leach 
brought me. I was better pleased with myself than 
yesterday, and I succeeded in getting off some indi- 
viduals who would otherwise have been convicted. In 
the trial of fifteen Stoke rioters, who broke a threshing- 
machine, I made rather a long speech, but with little 
effect. All were convicted but two, against whom no 
evidence was brought. I urged that the evidence of 
mere presence against four others was not sufficient to 
convict them ; and had not the jury been very stupid, 
and the foreman quite incompetent, there would have 
been an acquittal. 

On the trial of five rioters at Clare, I submitted to 
the conviction of four. One was acquitted. 

On the trial of six rioters at Hunden, three were con- 
victed, for they were proved to have taken an active 
share in destroying the threshing-machine. Alderson, 
who conducted all the prosecutions, consented to acquit 
one, and two others were acquitted because the one 
witness who swore to more than mere presence was 
contradicted by two witnesses I called, though the con- 
tradiction was not of the most pleasing kind. 

We adjourned at half-past five. One trial for a 
conspiracy took place, in which I had no concern, and it 
was the only contested matter in which I was not em- 
ployed, — a very gratifying and promising circumstance. 

Ghap. I. 



Howard, the Philanthropist. 

Chap, i, 


July 2/^th. — I was in court from ten o'clock to three. 
The Rattlesden rioters, thirty in number, were tried. 
All were convicted except four, whom Alderson con- 
sented to discharge, and one who proved that he was 
compelled to join the rioters. Morgan, a fine, high- 
spirited old man of near seventy, who alone ventured 
among the mob, defying them without receiving any 
injury and by his courage gaining universal respect, 
deposed with such particularity to every one of 
the rioters, that it was in vain to make any defence. 
I made some general observations in behalf of the 
prisoners, and the Bench, having sentenced one to two 
years' imprisonment, and others to one year and six 
months' imprisonment, dismissed the greater number 
on their finding security for their good behaviour. 

August 2)^d. — (Bedford.) An agreeable day, being 
relieved from the burthensome society of the circuit. 
I breakfasted with Mr. Green, and about ten, Swabey 
and Jameson accompanied me to the village of Car- 
dington. Here we looked over the parish church, in 
which is erected a beautiful monument by Bacon in 
memory of the elder Whitbread. Two female figures 
in alto and basso relief are supporting a dying figure. 
The church has other monuments of less elaborate 
workmanship, and is throughout an interesting village 
church, very neat and handsome without finery. 

Jameson and I then looked into the garden of 
Captain Waldegrave, remarkable as having been 
planted by the celebrated John Howard, who lived 
here before he undertook the voyages which rendered 
his life and his death memorable. An old man. 

Play ford Hall. — Clarkson. 


Howard's gardener, aged eighty-six, showed us the 
grotto left in the condition in which it was when 
Howard Hved there. The garden is chiefly interesting 
from the recollections which it introduces of the very 
excellent man who resided on the spot, and in which 
should be placed, as the most significant and desirable 
memorial, some representation of his person. The 
village is very pretty. Howard's family are buried in 
the church, and there is a small tablet to his memory : 
"John Howard, died at Cherson, in Russian Tartary. 
Jamiary 20th, 1790." 

July igth. — (Ipswich.) I rose at six, and enjoyed a 
leisurely walk to Playford, at four miles' distance, over 
a very agreeable country, well cultivated and diversified 
by gentle hills. Playford Hall stands in a valley. It 
consists of one-half of an ancient hall of considerable 
antiquity T, which had originally consisted of a regular 
three-sided edifice, a row of columns having filled the 
fourth side of the square. There is a moated ditch 
round the building, and by stopping the issue of water, 
which enters by a never-failing, though small, stream, 
the ditch may be filled at any time. The mansion is 
of brick, and the walls are very thick indeed. Some 
ancient chimneys, and some large windows with stone 
frames of good thickness, show the former splendour of 
the residence. Lord Bristol is the owner of the estate, 
to which belong 400 or 500 acres, and which Mr. 
Clarkson now has on a twenty-one years' lease. Mr. 
Clarkson, on my arrival, showed me about the garden ; 
and after I had breakfasted Mrs. Clarkson came down, 
and I spent a long morning very agreeably with her. 

Chap. r. 



Abolitionists — their Merits. 

Chap. i. 


H. C. R. 

sets out on 
a tour. 

We walked to the parish church, up and down the 
valley, round the fields, &c., and I readily sympathized 
with Mrs. Clarksori in the pleasure with which she 
expatiated on the comforts of the situation, and in thef 
hope of their continued residence there. ■ 

Rem.* — To this place Mr. Clarkson retired after the 
great work — -the only work he projected, viz. the 
abolition of the slave-trade — ^was effected ; not antici- 
pating that slavery itself would be abolished by our 
Government in his day. This, however, would hardly 
have taken place had it not been for his exertions to 
accomplish the first step. 

When the present extent of the evil is adverted to, 
as it frequently is, ungenerously, in order to lessen^ 
the merit of the abolitionists, it is always forgotteri 
that, if on the revival of commerce after the peace of 
18 13, and the revival of the spirit of colonization by the 
European powers, the slave-trade had still been the 
practice of Europe, it would have increased tenfold. 
All Australia, New Zealand, and every part of the New 
World, would have been peopled by Africans, purchased 
or stolen by English, Dutch, and French traders. 

August 2()th. — At half-past eight I mounted the 
Oxford stage, at the corner of Chancery Lane, on a 
tour, intended to embrace the lakes of Cumberland and 
Westmoreland. i ■. " 

Next day I met with two gentlemen, with whosd 
appearance and manner I was at once struck and 
pleased, and with whom I became almost immediately 
acquainted. The name of one is Torlonia, a young 

- . ♦.Written in 1851. 

Tour to the Lakes. 


Italian (about twenty), and of the other Mr. Walter, 
his tutor, about twenty-eight. 

September ist. — Strolling into the old church* at 
Manchester, I heard a strange noise, which I should 
elsewhere have mistaken for the bleating of lambs. 
Going to the spot, a distant aisle, I found two rows of 
women standing in files, each with a babe in her arms. 
The minister went down the line, sprinkling each infant 
as he went. I suppose the efficiency of the sprinkling 
— I mean the fact that the water did touch — was 
evidenced by a distinct squeal from each. Words were 
muttered by the priest on his course, but one prayer 
served for all. This I thought to be a christening by 
wholesale ; and I could not repress the irreverent 
thought that, being in the metropolis of manufactures, 
the aid of steam or machinery might be called in. I 
was told that on Sunday evenings the ceremony is 
repeated. Necessity is the only apology for so ir- 
reverent a performance of a religious rite. How the 
essence of religion is sacrificed to these formalities of 
the Establishment ! 

September 2nd. — (At Preston.) My companions were 
glad to look into the Catholic chapel, which is spacious 
and neat. Mr. Walter purchased here a pamphlet, 
which afforded me some amusement. It is a narrative 
extracted from Luther's writings, of the dialogue related 
by Luther himself to have been carried on between him 
and the Devil, who, Luther declares, was the first who 
pointed out to him the absurdity and evil of private 

* Then, I believe, the only parochial church of the town, and now raised to 
the rank of a cathedral. — H. C. R. 


Chap. r. 


Anecdote of 

Wordsworth at Home ; 

Chap, i, 


mass. Of course, it is strongly pressed upon the 
pious reader that even Luther himself confesses that 
the Father of Lies was the author of the Reforma- 
tion ; and a pretty good story is made out for the 

September $th. — (Ambleside.) This was one of the 
most delightful days of my journey ; but it is not easy 
to describe the gratification arising partly from the 
society of most excellent persons, and partly from 
beautiful scenery. Mr, Walter expressed so strong a 
desire to see Wordsworth, that I resolved to take him 
with me on a call. After breakfast we walked to 
Rydal, every turn presenting new beauty. The con- 
stantly changing position of the screen of hill produced 
a great variety of fine objects, of which the high and 
narrow pass into Rydal Water is the grandest. In this 
valley, to the right, stands a spacious house, the seat 
of the Flemings, and near it, in a finer situation, 
the house of Wordsworth, We met him in the road 
before the house. His salutation was most cordial. 
Mr, Walter's plans were very soon overthrown by the 
conversation of the poet in such a spot. He at once 
agreed to protract his stay among the lakes, and to 
spend the day at Grasmere. Torlonia was placed on a 
pony, which was a wild mountaineer, and though it 
could not unhorse him, ran away with him twice. 
From a hillock Wordsworth pointed out several houses 
in Grasmere in which he had lived.* 

During the day I took an opportunity of calling on 
De Quincey, my Temple-hall acquaintance. He has 

* The cottage at Townend, Allan Bank, and the Parsonage. 

his House and Family. 


been very much an invalid, and his appearance bespoke 

Our evening was spent at Wordsworth's. Mr. 
Tillbrook of Cambridge, formerly Thomas Clarkson's * 
tutor, was there. The conversation was general, but 
highly interesting. The evening was very fine, and we 
for the first time perceived all the beauties (glories they 
might be called) of Rydal Mount, It is so situated as 
to afford from the windows of both sitting-rooms a 
direct view of the valley, with the head of Windermere 
at its extremity, and from a terrace in the garden a view 
on to Rydal Water, and the winding of the valley 
in that direction. These views are of a very different 
character, and may be regarded as supplementing 
each other. 

The house, too, is convenient and large enough for 
a family man. And it was a serious gratification to 
behold so great and so good a man as Wordsworth 
in the bosom of his family enjoying those comforts 
which are apparent to the eye. He has two sons 
and a daughter surviving. They appear to be amiable 
children. And, adding to these external blessings the 
mind of the man, he may justly be considered as one 
of the most enviable of mankind. The injustice of the 
public towards him, in regard to the appreciation of his 
works, he is sensible of But he is aware that, though 
the great body of readers — the admirers of Lord Byron, 
for instance — cannot and ought not to be his admirers 
too, still he is not without his fame. And he has that 
expectation of posthumous renown which has cheered 

* Son of the abolitionist. 

C 2 

Chap. i. 



De Q?nnccy. — Soiithey. 

Chap. i. 

De Quincey. 




many a poet, who has had less legitimate claims to it, 
and whose expectations have not been disappointed. 

Mr. Walter sang some Scotch airs to Mr. Tillbrook's 
flute, and we did not leave Rydal Mount till late. My 
companions declare it will be to them a memorable 

Just as we were going to bed De Quincey called on 
me. He was in much better spirits than when I saw 
him in the morning, and expressed a wish to walk with 
me about the neighbourhood. 

September ^th. — I returned to Kendal, partly to 
accommodate my friends, who were pledged to omit no 
opportunity of hearing Sunday mass. I went to the 
Catholic chapel ; and as I stood up while others were 
kneeling, I found my coat tugged at violently. This 
was occasioned by a combination of Roman Catholic 
and Italian zeal. The tug of recognition came from an 
Italian boy, a Piedmontese image-seller, whom we had 
met with before on the road — a spirited lad, who refused 
a shilling Torlonia offered him, and said he had saved 
enough by selling images and other Italian articles to 
buy himself land in Savoy. I understood him to say 
;£'8o ; but that is probably a mistake. He had, how- 
ever, been several years in England. 

September <^th. — (Keswick.) We were gratified by 
receiving an invitation to take tea with the Poet 
Laureate. This was given to our whole party, and our 
dinner was, in consequence, shortened, I had a small 
room on a second floor, from the windows of which I 
had a glimpse only of the fine mountain scenery, and 
could see a single house only amid gardens out of the 

The Laureate^ at Home. 


town. The mountain was Skiddaw. The house was 

The laureate lives in a large house in a nurseryman's 
grounds. It enjoys a panoramic view of the moun- 
tains ; and as Southey spends so much of his time 
within doors, this lovely and extensive view supplies 
the place of travelling beyond his own premises. 

We spent a highly agreeable evening with Southey. 
Mr. Nash, Mr. Westall, Jun., several ladies. Miss 
Barker, Mrs. Southey, Mrs, Coleridge, and Mrs. Lovell, 
were of the party. The conversation was on various 
subjects. Southey's library is richly stored with 
Spanish and Portuguese books. These he showed 
to my Catholic friends, withholding some which he 
thought might give them uneasiness. Looking at his 
books, he said, with great feeling, that he sometimes 
regarded them with pain, thinking what might here- 
after become of them, — a pathetic allusion to the loss 
of his son. 

On Spanish politics he spoke freely. At the same 
time that he reproached Ferdinand with a want of 
generosity, he stated his conviction that he acted 
defensively. The liberals would have dethroned him 
at once, had they been permitted to carry into effect 
the new constitution. 

I found his opinions concerning the state and 
prospects of this country most gloomy. He considers 
the Government seriously endangered by the writings 
of Cobbett, and still more by the Examiner. Jacob- 
inism he deems more an object of terror than at the 
commencement of the French Revolution, from the 

Chap. i. 


Southey on 
of Spain. 

On the 
prospects oj 


Sotithey on Politics. — Coleridge s Children. 

Chap. i. 



difficulties arising out of the financial embarrassments. 
He says that he thinks there will be a convulsion in 
three years ! 

I was more scanda4ized by his opinions concerning 
the press than by any other doctrine. He would have 
transportation the punishment for a seditious libel ! ! ! 
I ought to add, however, that I am convinced Southey is 
an honest alarmist. I did not dispute any point with him. 

Hartley Coleridge is one of the strangest boys I ever 
saw.* He has the features of a foreign Jew, with starch 
and affected manners. He is a boy pedant, exceedingly 
formal, and, I should suppose, clever. 

Coleridge's daughter has a face of great sweetness.-f* 

Derwent Coleridge I saw at Wordsworth's. He 
is a hearty boy, with a good-natured expression. Of 
literature not much was said. Literature is now 
Southey's trade ; he is a manufacturer, and his work- 
shop is his study, — a very beautiful one certainly, but 
its beauty and the delightful environs, as well as his 
own celebrity, subject him to interruptions. His time 
is his wealth, and I shall therefore scrupulously abstain 
from stealing any portion of it. 

September nth. — I left Torlonia and his tutor with 
feelings almost of friendship, certainly of respect and 
regard, and I look forward with pleasure to the con- 
tinuance of our acquaintance. 

Rem.\ — The tutor was gentlemanly in his manners, 

* Hartley Coleridge is the author of " Northern Worthies," and numerous 
beautiful poems. His life was written by his brother Derwent. 

f Afterwards Mrs. Henry Nelson Coleridge, the editor of many of hei* 
father's works. 

J Written in 1851. 

Wet Walk with Wordsworth. 


and as liberal as a sincere Roman Catholic could be. 
The young man was reserved and well bred, but already 
an artificial character, so that I was prepared for what 
I afterwards experienced from him.* 

September 10th. — After I had taken a cold dinner, 
Mr. Wordsworth came to me, and between three and 
four we set out for Cockermouth ; he on horseback, I on 
foot. We started in a heavy shower, which thoroughly 
wetted me. The rain continued with but little inter- 
mission during a great part of the afternoon, and 
therefore the fine scenery in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Keswick was entirely lost. The road, too, was 
so very bad, that all my attention was requisite to keep 
my shoes on my feet. I have no recollection of any 
village or of any scenery, except some pleasing views 
of the lake of Bassenthwaite, and of Skiddaw, from 
which we seemed to recede so little, that even when we 
were near Cockermouth the mountain looked near to 
us. In the close and interesting conversation we kept 
up, Mr. Wordsworth was not quite attentive to the road, 
and we lost our way. A boy, however, who guided us 
through some terribly dirty lanes, put us right. By this 
time it was become dark, and it was late before we 
reached the Globe at Cockermouth. 

If this were the place, and if my memory were 
good, I could enrich my journal by retailing Words- 
worth's conversation. He is an eloquent speaker, 
and he talked upon his own art, and his own works, 
very feelingly and very profoundly ; but I cannot 
venture to state more than a few intelligible results, 

* See a future chapter in reference to H. C. R.'s residence in Rome, 

Chap. i. 

Walk with 

luorth s con- 
and poems. 


Origin and Purpose of 

Chap. i. 

Lucy Gray. 

The Leech- 

The Oak 
ajui the 

for I own that much of what he said was above my 

He stated, what I had before taken for granted, that 
most of his lyrical ballads were founded on some inci- 
dent he had witnessed, or heard of. He mentioned the 
origin of several poems. 

"Lucy Gray,"* that tender and pathetic narrative of 
a child mysteriously lost on a common, was occasioned 
by the death of a child who fell into the lock of a 
canal. His object was to exhibit poetically entire 
solitude, and he represents the child as observing the 
day-moon, which no town or village girl would even 

The " Leech-gatherer "-f- he did actually meet near 
Grasmere, except that he gave to his poetic character 
powers of mind which his original did not possess. 

The fable of " The Oak and the Broom" j proceeded 
from his beholding a rose in just such a situation as he 
described the broom to be in. Perhaps, however, all 
poets have had their works suggested in like manner. 
What I wish I could venture to state after Wordsworth, 
is his conception of the manner in which the mere 
fact is converted into poetry by the power of imagi- 

He represented, however, much as, unknown to him, 
the German philosophers have done, that by the 
imagination the mere fact is exhibited as connected 
with that infinity without which there is no poetry. 

• Wordsworth's " Poetical Works." Vol. I. p. 156. 
t " Resolution and Independence." Vol. 11. p. 124. 
X Vol. 11. p. 20. 

several of Wordszuorth's Poems. 


He spoke of his tale of the dog, called "Fidelity."* 
He says he purposely made the narrative as prosaic 
as possible, in order that no discredit might be thrown 
on the truth of the incident. In the description at the 
beginning, and in the moral at the end, he has alone 
indulged in a poetic vein ; and these parts, he thinks, 
he has peculiarly succeeded in. 

He quoted some of the latter poem, and also from 
"•The Kitten and the Falling Leaves," f to show he had 
connected even the kitten with the great, awful, and 
mysterious powers of nature. But neither now, nor in 
reading the Preface to Wordsworth's new edition of his 
poems, have I been able to comprehend his ideas con- 
cerning poetic imagination. I have not been able to 
raise my mind to the subject, farther than this, that 
imagination is the faculty by which the poet conceives 
and produces — that is, images — individual forms, in 
which are embodied universal ideas or abstractions. 
This I do comprehend, and I find the most beautiful 
and striking illustrations of this faculty in the works of 
Wordsworth himself 

The incomparable twelve lines, " She dwelt among 
the untrodden ways," J ending, " The difference to me !" 
are finely imagined. They exhibit the powerful effect 
of the loss of a very obscure object upon one tenderly 
attached to it. The opposition between the apparent 
strength of the passion and the insignificance of the 
object is delightfully conceived, and the object itself 
well portrayed. 

September \2th. — This was a day of rest, but of enjoy- 

i Vol. IV. p. 207. t Vol. II. p. 61. \ Vol. I. p. 215. 

Chap. i. 


The Kitten 
and the 

Poetic ima- 

She dwelt 

among the 




A Prophet without Honour. 

Chap. i. 


A wet 

ment also, though the amusement of the day was rather 
social than arising from the beauties of nature. 

I wrote some of my journal in bed. After my break- 
fast I accompanied Mr. Wordsworth, Mr. Hutton, and a 
Mr. Smith to look at some fields belonging to the late 
Mr. Wordsworth,* and which were to be sold by auction 
this evening. I may here mention a singular illustra- 
tion of the maxim, "A prophet is not without honour save 
in his own country." Mr. Hutton, a very gentlemanly 
and seemingly intelligent man, asked me, " Is it true — 
as I have heard reported — that Mr. Wordsworth ever 
wrote verses ? " 

September I'^th. — This morning I rose anxious to find 
the change of weather of which yesterday had afforded 
us a reasonable hope. For a time I was flattered by 
the expectation that summer would come at last, 
though out of season ; but the clouds soon collected, 
and the day, to my great regret, though still not to the 
loss of my spirits or temper, proved one of the worst of 
my journey. 

I wrote in my journal till I was called to accompany 
Wordsworth and Mr. Hutton, They were on horse- 
back. The first part of our road, in which one lofty 
and precipitous rock is a noble object, lay to the right 
of the mountains in Lorton Vale, which we skirted at a 
distance. As we advanced the weather grew worse. 
We passed Lampleugh Cross, and when we came near 
the vale of Ennerdale, and were at the spot where the 
vale is specially beautiful and interesting, the mist was- 

* Wordsworth's eldest brother, Richard, who was Sohcitor to the Commis- 
sioners of His Majesty's Woods and Forests. 

Wordsworth's Father. 


so thick as to obscure every object. Nothing was 
distinguishable. We crossed the bridge at Ennerdale, 
and there the road led us over Cold Fell. Cold and 
fell certainly were the day and the scene. It rained 
violently, so that it was with difficulty I could keep up 
my umbrella. The scene must be wild at any time. 
The only object I could discern was a sort of naked 
glen on our right ; a secluded spot, rendered lively, 
however, by a few farmhouses. As we descended the 
fell the weather cleared up, and I could discern an 
extensive line of the Irish Sea. And as we approached 
Calder Bridge we beheld the woods of Ponsonby, in 
which Calder Abbey stands, together with an interesting 
champaign scene of considerable extent. I ought not 
to omit that it was on this very Cold Fell that Mr, 
Wordsworth's father lost his way, and spent a whole 
night. He was instantly taken ill, and never rose again 
from the attack. He died in a few weeks. 

The dreary walk had been relieved by long and 
interesting conversations, sometimes on subjects con- 
nected with the business arising out of the late Mr. 
Wordsworth's will, and sometimes on poetry. 

We had, too, at the close of the walk, a very great 
pleasure. We turned out of the road to look at the 
ruins of Calder Abbey. These ruins are of small 
extent, but they are very elegant indeed. The remains 
of the centre arches of the Abbey are very perfect. 
The four grand arches, over which was the lanthorn of 
the church, are entire. There are also some pillars, 
those of the north side of the nave, and one or two low 
Norman doors, of great beauty. We inserted , our ' 

Chap. i. 


Cold Fell. 

Abbey ^ 


Calder Abbey and Bridge. 

Chap. i. 

More wet. 

Holm Rook. 

names in a book left in a small apartment, where are 
preserved some remains of sculpture and some Roman 

At half a mile distance is the inn at Calder Bridge, 
where we dined and took tea. Wordsworth was 
fatigued, and therefore, after an hour's chat, he took the 
Quarterly Review, and I took to^jmy journal, which I 
completed at twelve o'clock. 

I omitted to notice that I read yesterday Southey's 
article on the Poor, in the last Quarterly Review, a 
very benevolently conceived and well-written article, 
abounding in excellent ideas, and proving that, though 
he may have changed his opinions concerning govern- 
ments and demagogues, he retains all his original love 
of mankind, and the same zeal to promote the best 
interests of humanity. 

September i^th. — (Ravenglass.) We left our very 
comfortable inn, the Fleece at Calder Bridge, after 
breakfast. The day appeared to be decidedly bad, and 
I began to despair of enjoying any fine weather during 
my stay in the country. As I left the village, I doubly 
regretted going from a spot which I could through mist 
and rain discern to be a delicious retreat, more re- 
sembling the lovely secluded retirements I have often 
seen in Wales, than anything I have met with on the 
present journey. We had but seven miles to walk. 
We were now near the sea, with mountains on our left 
hand. We, however, went to see the grounds of an 
Admiral Lutwidge, at Holm Rook ; and, sending in a 
message to the master of the house, he came out, and 
dryly gave the gardener permission to accompany us 

Wordsworth at a Cumberland Auction. 


over the garden. He eyed us closely, and his manner 
seemed that of a person who doubted whether we were 
entitled to the favour we asked. The grounds are 
pleasingly laid out. The Irt — to-day at least a rapid 
river — runs winding in a valley which has been planted 
on each side. From the heights of the grounds fine 
views may be seen on fine days. We went into a hot- 
house, and after admiring the rich clusters of grapes, 
were treated with a bunch of them. 

Having ascertained that we could cross the estuary of 
the Mite river, we came to Ravenglass by the road next 
the sea, and found Mr. Hutton in attendance. 

I was both wet and dirty, and was glad, as yesterday, 
to throw myself between the blankets of a bed and 
read the Quarterly Review. A stranger joined us at 
the dinner-table, and after dinner we took a stroll be- 
yond the village. Near Ravenglass, the Esk, the Irt, 
and the Mite flow into the sea ; but the village itself 
lies more dismally than any place I ever saw on a sea- 
shore ; though I could hear the murmur of the sea, I 
could barely see it from a distance. Sandhills are 
visible on each side in abundance. 

The place consists of a wretched street, and it has 
scarcely a decent house, so that it has not a single 
attraction or comfort in bad weather. On a clear day, 
I understand, there are fine views from the adjacent 

The auction — of some pieces of land — did not begin 
till we had taken tea. This is the custom in this 
country. Punch is sent about while the bidding is 
going on, and it is usual for a man to go from one room 

Chap. t. 


A Cum- 


A t Keswick. — Southey. 

Chap. r. 

Mary of 

to another, and report the bidding which is made in the 
rooms where the auctioneer is not. While I have been 
writing this page, I have continually heard the voice of 
this man. 

I have also been once downstairs, but the passage is 
crowded by low people, to whom an auction must be an 
extraordinary and remarkable occurrence in a place so 
secluded and remote as this, and who, besides, contrive 
to get access to the punch-bowl. I have been reading 
the article in the Quarterly Review about Madame la 
Roche Jacquelein, by Southey. It is very interesting, 
like the Edinburgh review of the same work — a good 
epitome of the narrative. But though I am removed 
sufficiently from the bustle of the auction not to be dis- 
turbed by it, yet the circumstances are not favourable 
to my being absorbed by my book. 

I slept in a double-bedded room with Wordsworth. 
I went early to bed and read till he came upstairs. 

September i$th. — On Hardknot Wordsworth and I 
parted, he to return to Rydal, and I to Keswick. 

Rem* — Making Keswick my head-quarters, I made 
excursions to Borrowdale, which surpasses any vale I 
have seen in the North, to Wastdale, to Crummock 
Water, and to Buttermere : during a part of the time 
the weather was favourable. At the last-named place, 
the landlady of the little inn, the successor to Mary of 
Buttermere, is a very sweet woman — even genteel in 
person and manners. The Southeys and Wordsworths 
all say that she is far superior to the celebrated Mary. 

September 22nd, — (Keswick.) Though I felt unwilling 

* Written in 1851. 

Walk and Political Talk. 


to quit this magnificent centre of attractions, yet my 
calculations last night convinced me that I ought to 
return. Half of my time, and even more, is spent, 
and almost half my money. Everything combines to 
render this the solstice of my excursion. 

Having breakfasted, I carried a book to Southey, and 
took leave of the ladies. He insisted on accompanying 
me, at least to the point where the Thirlmere Road, 
round the western side of the lake, turns off. I enjoyed 
the walk. He was both frank and cordial. We spoke 
freely on politics. I have no doubt of the perfect 
purity and integrity of his mind. I think that he is 
an alarmist, though what he fears is a reasonable cause 
of alarm, viz. a bellum servile, stimulated by the press. 
Of all calamities in a civilized state, none is so horrid 
as a conflict between the force of the poor, combining 
together with foresight and deliberation, and that of 
the rich, the masters, the repositories of whatever in- 
tellectual stores the country possesses. The people, 
Southey thinks, have just education and knowledge 
enough to perceive that they are not placed in such a 
condition as they ought to be in, without the faculty 
of discovering the remedy for the disease, or even its 
cause. In such a state, with the habit of combination 
formed through the agency of benefit societies, as tbe 
system of the Luddites* shows, judgments are per- 
verted, and passions roused, by such writers as Cobbett 
and Hunt, and the war is in secret preparing. This 
seems to be the idea uppermost in Southey's mind, and 

. * Serious riots were caused in 18 12, 1814, 1816, and subsequently, by large 
parties of men under this title. They broke frames and machinery in factories, j 
besides committing other excesses. 

Chap. i. 


dread of a 
civil war. 


With Wordsworth tip Nab Scar. 

Chap. i. 


De Quittcey. 

which has carried him very honestly farther than per- 
haps he ought to be carried in support of Government 
But he is still, and warmly, a friend to national edu- 
cation, and to the lower classes, and as humane as ever 
he was. He has convinced me of the perfect exemption 
of his mind from all dishonourable motives, in the 
change which has taken place in his practical politics 
and philosophy. 

We conversed also on literature — on Wordsworth and 
his own works. He appreciates Wordsworth as he 
ought. Of his own works he thinks " Don Roderick " 
by far the best, though Wordsworth prefers, as I do, 
his " Kehama." Neither of us spoke of his political 

September 2^th. — (Ambleside.) I called on Words- 
worth, who offered to accompany me up Nab Scar, the 
lofty rocky fell immediately behind and hanging over 
his house. The ascent was laborious, but the view from 
the summit was more interesting than any I had before 
enjoyed from a mountain on this journey. I beheld 
Rydal Water from the brow of the mountain, and 
afterwards, under a favourable sun, though the air was 
far from clear, I saw Windermere, with little inter- 
ruption, from the foot to the head, Esthwaite Lake, 
Blelham Tarn, a part of Coniston Lake, a very extensive 
coast with the estuary near Lancaster, &c. &c. These 
pleasing objects compensated for the loss of the nobler 
views from Helvellyn, which I might have had, had I 
not engaged to dine with De Quincey to-day. 

Wordsworth conducted me over the fell, and left me, 
near De Quincey's house, a little after one. He was in 

A Walk with De Quincey, 


bed, but rose on my arrival, I was gratified by the 
sight of a large collection of books, which I lounged 
over. De Quincey, about two, set out on a short excur- 
sion with me, which I did not so much enjoy as he 
seemed to expect. We crossed the sweet vale of Gras- 
mere, and ascended the fell on the opposite corner of 
the valley to Easdale Tarn. The charm of this spot is 
the solemnity of the seclusion in which it lies. There is 
a semicircle of lofty and grey rocks, which are wild 
and rugged, but promote the repose suggested by the 
motionless water. 

We returned to dinner at half-past four, and in an 
hour De Quincey accompanied me on the mountain 
road to Rydal Mount, and left me at the gate of 
Wordsworth's garden-terrace. 

I took tea with Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth, and Miss 
Hutchinson, and had four hours of conversation as 
varied and delightful as I ever enjoyed ; but the detail 
ought not to be introduced into a narrative like this. 

Wordsworth accompanied me on the road, and I 
parted from him under the impressions of thankfulness 
for personal attentions, in addition to the high reverence 
I felt before for his character. I found De Quincey up, 
and chatted with him till past twelve. 

September 25///. — This was a day of unexpected 
enjoyment. I lounged over books till past ten, when 
De Quincey came down to breakfast. It was not till 
past twelve we commenced our walk, which had been 
marked out by Wordsworth. We first passed Grasmere 
Church, and then, going along the opposite side of the 
lake, crossed by a mountain road into the vale of Great 


Chap. i. 


Walk with 



Leeds. — Norwich. — Tour ends. 

Chap, i. 







Langdale. The characteristic repose of Grasmere was 
fully enjoyed by me. 

My return from the Lakes comprehended a visit to 
my friend George Stansfeld,* then settled at Bradford. 
With him I made an excursion to Halifax, where 
was then living Dr. Thompson, who, after being an 
esteemed Unitarian preacher, became a physician. An 
early death deprived the world of a very valuable 
member of society, and my friend Mrs. William Pattis- 
son of a cousin, of whom she and her husband had 
reason to be proud. 

At Leeds, I took a bed at Mr. Stansfeld's, Senr. I 
always feel myself benefited by being with the Stansfeld 
family. There is something most gratifying in the sight 
of domestic happiness united with moral worth. 

At Norwich, where I joined the Sessions, I heard the 
city member, William Smith, address his constituents 
on a petition for parliamentary reform, which he pro- 
mised to present. I admired the tact with which he 
gave the people to understand that little good could be 
expected from their doings, and yet gave no offence. 

October i/^th. — To-day my journey ends — a journey 
of great pleasure ; for I had good health, good spirits, 
and a will determined to be pleased. I had also the 
advantage of enjoying occasionally the very best society. 
Otherwise my tour would have been a sad one, having 
been undertaken in a season the worst which any man 
recollects, and peculiarly unfavourable to the enjoyment 
of picturesque scenery. 

* See Vol. I. p. 233. 

Letter to Wordsworth. 


H. C. R. TO Wordsworth. 

My dear Sir, 

[No date.] 

I fear I must have appeared very ungrateful to 
you, and yet I do not reproach myself for my silence so 
much as I perhaps ought, for I am conscious how much 
you and your family, and everything connected with 
you, have dwelt on my mind since last September, and 
that I have not lost, and do not fear to lose, the most 
lively and gratifying recollection of your kindness 
and attentions. It is these alone that prevent my 
regretting the selection of such an unpropitious 
summer for my tour. Did I once see a bright sun 
in Cumberland or Westmoreland } I very much 
doubt it. 

At last, however, the sun, as if to show how much he 
could do without any accompaniment whatever, made 
his appearance in the middle of a Lincolnshire wash, 
and I actually walked several days with perfect content- 
ment, though I had no other object to amuse me. I 
was supported by that internal hilarity which I have 
more than once found an adequate cause of happiness. 
At some moments, I own, I thought there was an 
insulting spirit in the joyous vivacity and freshness with 
which some flat blotches of water, without even a shore, 
were curled by the breeze, and made alive and gaudy 
by moor-fowl, small birds, and insects, while floating 
clouds scattered their shadows over the dullest of 
heaths. Or was all this to admonish and comfort a 
humble Suflblk-man, and show him how high the 
meanest of counties may be raised by sunshine, and how 

D 2 

Chap. i. 

Letter from 
H. C. R. til 


Lamb on Wit. 

Chap. i. 

A talk with 
Lamb oti 


Coleridge s 


low the most glorious may be depressed by the absence 
of it, or the interference of a mere vapour ? 

November 2nd. — At ten o'clock I called on the Lambs. 
Burney was there, and we played a rubber, and 
afterwards Talfourd stepped in. We had a long chat 

We talked of puns, wit, &c. Lamb has no respect 
for any wit which turns on a serious thought. He 
positively declared that he thought his joke about my 
" great first cause, least understood," a bad one. On the 
other hand, he said, " If you will quote any of my 
jokes, quote this, which is really a good one. Hume 
and his wife and several of their children were with me. 
Hume repeated the old saying, ' One fool makes many.' 
' Ay, Mr. Hume,' said I, pointing to the company, 
'you have a fine family.'" Neither Talfourd nor I could 
see the excellence of this. However, he related a piece 
of wit by Coleridge which we all held to be capital. 
Lamb had written to Coleridge about one of their old 
Christ's Hospital masters, who had been a severe dis- 
ciplinarian, intimating that he hoped Coleridge had 
forgiven all injuries. Coleridge replied that he cer- 
tainly had ; he hoped his old master's soul was in heaven, 
and that when he went there he was borne by a host of 
cherubs, all face and wing, and without anything to ex- 
cite his whipping propensities ! 

We talked of HazHtt's late ferocious attack on 
Coleridge, which Lamb thought fair enough, between 
the parties ; but he was half-angry with Martin Burney 
for asserting that the praise was greater than the abuse. 

Basil Motitagu. 


" Nobody," said Lamb, " will care about or understand 
the * taking up the deep pauses of conversation between 
seraphs and cardinals,' but the satire will be univer- 
sally felt. Such an article is like saluting a man, * Sir, 
you are the greatest man I ever saw,' and then pulling 
him by the nose." 

Simday, 2\th. — I breakfasted with Basil Montagu. 
Arriving before he was ready to receive me, he put into 
my hands a sermon by South, on Man as the Image of 
God, perfect before the Fall, — a most eloquent and 
profound display of the glories of man in an idealized 
condition, with all his faculties clarified, as it were, and 
free from the infirmities of sense. It is absurd to sup- 
pose this as the actual condition of Adam, for how could 
such a being err } But as a philosophical and ideal 
picture it is of superlative excellence. In treating of 
the intellect, I observed a wonderful similarity between 
South and Kant. I must and will read more of this 
very great and by me hitherto unknown writer. 

I read at Montagu's Coleridge's beautiful " Fire, 
Famine, and Slaughter," written in his Jacobinical days, 
and now reprinted, to his annoyance, by Hunt in the 
Examiner. Also an article on commonplace critics by 
Hazlitt. His definition of good company excellent, — 
"Those who live on their own estates and other 
people's ideas." 

December \st. — This was a pleasantly though idly 
spent day. I breakfasted with Walter and Torlonia, and 
then accompanied them to the Portuguese Minister's 
chapel, where the restoration of the Braganza family to 
the throne of Portugal was celebrated by a grand per- 

Chap. I. 



sermon oh 

Man the 

Image of 



Mass at the 




A Grand Mass. — Byron. 

Chap. i. 

Byron on 

the Lake 


Kean in 

' The Iron 


Kean s 

formance of mass. I had the advantage of knowing 
the words, and they assisted my dull sense in properly 
feeling the import of the music, which I unaffectedly 
enjoyed. Strutt was there, and declared it was most 
excellent. " I was like the unbeliever," said he, " and 
ready to cry out, ' Almost thou persuadest me.' " I 
was myself particularly pleased with the finale of the 
creed, — a triumphant flourish, as if the believer, having 
declared his faith, went away rejoicing. The transition 
and the pathetic movements in the Te Deum are, from 
the contrast, very impressive. 

Cargill was telling me the other day that in a letter 
written by Lord Byron to Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, 
in his rattling way he wrote : " Wordsworth, stupendous 

genius ! D d fool ! These poets run about their 

ponds though they cannot fish. I am told there is not 
one who can angle. D d fools ! " 

December 2nd. — I dined at the Colliers', and afterwards 
went to Drury Lane with Naylor, who had procured 
orders and a box for us. We saw " The Iron Chest ;" a 
play of little merit, I think. The psychological interest 
is all the work of Godwin. Colman has added nothing 
that is excellent to " Caleb Williams." The underplot 
is very insipid, and is hardly connected with the main 
incident. But the acting of Kean was very fine indeed. 
He has risen again in my esteem. His impassioned 
disclosure of the secret to Wilford, and his suppressed 
feelings during the examination of Wilford before the 
magistrates, were most excellent ; though it is to be 
observed that the acting of affected sensations, such as 
constrained passion under the mask of indifference, is an 

A Talk with Coleridge. 


easy task. If the poet has well conceived the situation, the 
imagination of the spectator wonderfully helps the actor. 
I was at a distance, and yet enjoyed the performance. 

December 2ist. — Called on Coleridge, and enjoyed his 
conversation for an hour and a half. He looked ill, 
and, indeed, Mr. Oilman says he has been very ill. 
Coleridge has been able to work a great deal of late, 
and with success. The second and third Lay Sermons 
and his Poems, and Memoirs of his Life, &c., in two 
volumes, are to appear. These exertions have been too 
great, Mr. Oilman says. 

Coleridge talked easily and well, with less than his 
usual declamation. He explained, at our request, his 
idea of fancy, styling it memory without judgment, 
and of course not filling that place in a chart of the 
mind which imagination holds, and which in his Lay 
Sermon he has admirably described.* Wordsworth's 
obscure discrimination between fancy and imagination, 
in his last preface, is greatly illustrated by what 
Coleridge has here written. He read us some extracts 
from his new poems, &c., and spoke of his Oerman 
reading. He praises Stefifens and complains of the 
Catholicism of Schlegel, Tieck, &c. 

He mentioned Hazlitt's attack upon him with greater 
moderation than I expected. 

Rem.-\ — It was the day after this conversation with 
Coleridge, that I broke altogether with Hazlitt, in 
consequence of an article in the ExaminerX manifestly 

- * H.C. R. had probably in his mind " Biographia Literaria," Vol. I. pp. 8i, 82. 

f Written in 1851. 

X The Examiner of December 24, 1815, contains some contemptuous re- 
marks on Wordsworth's poetry, signed W. 

Chap. i. 


End of 
H. C. R.'s 
ance with 


H. C. R. cuts Hazlitt. 

Chap. i. 




working for 

a non-suit. 

Game Law 

written by him, in which he abused Wordsworth for his 
writings in favour of the King. 

After I had cut Hazlitt, Mary Lamb said to me, 
" You are rich in friends. We cannot afford to cast 
off our friends because they are not all we wish." And 
I have heard Lamb say, " Hazlitt does bad actions 
without being a bad man." 

Rem* — My fees during the year had risen from 
£l2\ 1 5 J. to ;^355 IQi-. 

At the Spring Assizes we had Baron Wood, a judge 
who was remarkable for his popular feelings. He was 
praised by some of our Radicals for being always against 
the Church and King. In one case he exhibited a very 
strong moral feeling, which perhaps betrayed him to an 
excess. He had a very honourable dislike to prosecu- 
tions or actions on the game laws, and this led him to 
make use of a strong expedient to defeat two actions. 
A and B had gone out sporting together. The plaintiff 
brought two actions, and in the action against B called 
A to prove the sporting by B, and meant to call B to 
prove the case against A. This was apparent — indeed 
avowed. But the Baron interposed, when the witness 
objected to answer a question that tended to convict 
himself A squabble arising between the counsel, the 
Baron said to the witness, " I do not ask you whether 
you ever went out sporting with the defendant, because, 
if I did, you would very properly refuse to answer. But 
I ask you this : Except at a time when you might have 
been sporting with the defendant, did you ever see him 
sport .="' 

* Written in 1850. 

Rolfe, Lord Cranworth. 


" Certainly not, my lord." 

" Of course you did not." 

Then the Baron laughed heartily, and nonsuited the 
plaintiff. No motion was made to set this nonsuit 

It was at the Summer Circuit that Rolfe made his first 
appearance. He had been at the preceding Sessions. 
I have a pleasure in recollecting that I at once foresaw 
that he would become a distinguished man. In my 
Diary I wrote, " Our new junior, Mr. Rolfe, made his 
appearance. His manners are genteel ; his conversation 
easy and sensible. He is a very acceptable companion, 
but I fear a dangerous rival." And my brother asking 
me who the new man was, I said, "I will venture to 
predict that you will live to see that young man attain 
a higher rank than any one you ever saw upon the 
circuit." It is true he is not higher than Leblanc, who 
was also a puisne judge, but Leblanc was never Solicitor- 
General ; nor, probably, is Rolfe yet at the end of his 
career. One day, when some one remarked, "Chris- 
tianity is part and parcel of the law of the land," Rolfe 
said to me, "Were you ever employed to draw an 
indictment against a man for not loving his neighbour 
as himself?" 

Rolfe is, by universal repute, if not the very best, at 
least one of the best judges on the Bench. He is 
one of the few with whom I have kept up an 

* Since writing the above, Baron Rolfe has verified my prediction more strik- 
ingly by being created a peer, by the title of Lord Cranworth, and appointed 
a Vice-Chancellor. Soon after his appointment, he called on me, and I dined 
with him. I related to Lady Cranworth the anecdote given above, of my 

Chap. i. 



Chief Baron Pollock. 

Chap, i, 


Old Bailey. 



I was advised to attend the Old Bailey Sessions, 
which I did several times this year; whether beyond 
this time or not I cannot tell, but I know that it never 
produced me a fee. And I should say I am glad it did 
not, except that my not being employed shows that I 
wanted both a certain kind of talent and a certain kind 
of reputation. I was once invited by the Sheriffs to 
dine with the Lord Mayor and the Judges. It was 
the practice to ask by turns two or three men, both 
at three and five o'clock. I know not whether this is 
still done.* 

In ^the autumn of this year died Mrs. Thelwall, for 
whom I felt a very sincere respect. She was her 
husband's good angel. Before she died he had become 
acquainted with a Miss Boyle, who came to him as 
a pupil to be quahfied for the stage. She failed 
in that scheme, and ultimately became Thelwall's 
wife, without any imputation on her character. She 
is still living with her son, and is a Roman 

During this year my acquaintance with Hamond 
continued. I now became acquainted with his cousin 
Miller, the clergyman, and I for the first time visited 
his friend Pollock, now Lord Chief Baron. Hamond 
went to France, having declined an offer by Serjeant 
Rough, who would have taken him as his private 

conversation with my brother, with which she was evidently pleased. Lady 
Cranworth was the daughter of Mr. Carr, Solicitor to the Excise, whom I for- 
merly used to visit, and ought soon to find some mention of in my journals. 
Lord Cranworth continues to enjoy universal respect. — H. C. R. 1851. 

Lord and Lady Cranworth continued their friendship for H. C. R. until his 
death. Lord Cranworth was twice Lord Chancellor. 

• It is. 



secretary to Demerara. He assigned as a reason 
that he should be forced to Hve in the daily 
practice of insincerity, by subscribing himself the 
humble servant of those towards whom he felt no 

Chap. t. 



Prints by Milller. 

Chap. ii. 

Mrs. A bop. 

A present of 



February $th. — I had to-day the pleasure of being 
reminded of old times, and of having old enjoyments 
brought back to my mind. I saw for the first time 
Mrs. Alsop, Mrs. Jordan's daughter, the plainest 
woman, I should think, who ever ventured on the stage. 
She, nevertheless, delighted me by the sweet tones of 
her voice, which frequently startled me by their re- 
semblance to her mother's. Mrs. Alsop has the same, 
or nearly the same, hearty laugh as Mrs. Jordan, and 
similar frolicsome antics. The play was a lively Spanish 
comedy. How I should have enjoyed her acting, if I 
had not recollected her mother, I cannot tell. 

February %th. — On stepping to my chambers I was 
surprised by finding there, handsomely framed and 
glazed, prints of Domenichino's " St. John the Evan- 
gelist,"* and of the "Madonna di S. Sisto," by Mullen 
The latter engraving delighted me beyond expression. 
As I considered the original painting the finest I had 

* The original picture of the inspired Evangelist about to write, and the 
eagle bringing him the pen, from which Christian Frederich Miiller took his 
engraving, was formerly at Stuttgart, in the Frommann Collection, and is now 
the property of Prince Narischkin, in St. Petersburg. There is an excellent 
repetition of this picture (formerly in the Orleans Gallery) at Castle Howard, 
belonging to the Earl of Carlisle. 

Baron Graham. 


ever seen, twelve years ago, so I deem the print the 
very finest I ever saw. 

February nth. — I called late on Aders. He in- 
formed me that the fine engravings I found at my 
chambers on Saturday are a present from Mr. Aldebert. 
The Madonna diffuses a serenity and delight beyond 
any work of art I am acquainted with. I hope it will 
be my companion through life.* What a companion for 
a man in prison ! I read at night a very ill-written 
German book about Raphael by one Braun,-f- but which 
will nevertheless assist me in acquiring the knowledge 
about Raphael's works in general which I am anxious 
to possess. 

March nth. — (On Circuit at Aylesbury.) We dined 
with Baron Graham, and the dinner was more agree- 
able than any I ever had with any judge. The Baron was 
very courteous and chatty. He seemed to enjoy talk- 
ing about old times when he attended the Circuit as 
counsel. It was, he said, forty years this spring since 
he first attended the Circuit. " At that time," he said, 
" there were three old Serjeants, Foster, Whitaker, and 
Sayer. They did business very ill, so that Leblanc and 
I soon got into business, almost on our first coming." 
Whitaker, in particular, he spoke of as a man who 
knew nothing of law — merely loved his joke. Foster 
did know law, but could not speak. He spoke of 
Leblanc in terms of great praise. He had the most 
business-like mind of any man he ever knew. He was 

* These engravings hung on Mr. Robinson's walls till his death, and were 
left a legacy to a friend greatly attached to art. 

t George Christian Braun. Raphael's " Leben und Wirken." Wiesbaden, 
8vo. 1815. 

Chap. ii. 


of the 
di S. Sisto. 



counsel on 

Circuit in 



Penalties for not attending Chnrch. 

Chap. ii. 


Suit for 
at church. 

exceedingly attentive and laborious. He regularly- 
analyzed every brief in the margin. He had pursued 
the habit through life. He talked a good deal about 
the late George Harding. He said he came into life 
under auspices so favourable, and he possessed so great 
talent, that with ordinary discretion and industry he 
might have attained the highest honours of the pro- 
fession. He was an eloquent speaker and a fine scholar, 
but a child in legal knowledge. He would cram him- 
self to make a set speech, and he would succeed, but 
in a week's time be unable to state even the principles 
on which the case turned. He was nephew to Lord 
Camden, then very popular, and his uncle expected 
everything from his nephew. He had therefore great 
business at once ; but the best clients soon left him. 
" And," said the Baron, " we must draw a veil over his 
latter years." 

Friday, 14///!. — (At Bedford.) Only one case was inte- 
resting. It was a Qui tam action by Dr. Free, rector of 
Sutton, against Sir Montague Burgoyne, Bart., the squire 
of the parish, to recover ;£'20 a month for Sir Montague's 
not going to church. This was founded on one of the 
ancient and forgotten statutes, unrepealed in fact, but 
rendered inoperative by the improved spirit of the age. 
Jameson prosecuted, and he was not sufficiently master 
of himself to give any effect or spirit to his case. In 
a hurried manner he stated the law and the facts. 
He proved the Defendant's non-attendance at church. 
Blosset made for Sir Montague a good and impressive 
speech. Unluckily he bad a good case on the facts, so 
that the most interesting question as to the existence of 

A Methodist Client. 


the act itself was evaded. He proved that during many 
of the months there was no service in the church, it 
being shut up, and that the Defendant was ill during 
the rest of the time ; so that on the merits he had 
a verdict. 

Rem* — Baron Graham was fidgetty, and asked 
Serjeant Blosset whether the act was not repealed by 
the Toleration Act. " My client," said the Serjeant, 
" would rather be convicted than thought to be a Dis- 
senter, "-f- It appeared that, to make assurance doubly 
sure, the Bishop's Chaplain was in court, with the 
Bishop's written declaration that the Defendant, if he 
had offended, was reconciled to the Church. If this 
declaration were presented, after verdict and before 
judgment, no judgment would be entered up. A few 
years ago, Sir Edward Ryan being one of a commission 
to report on the penal laws in matters of religion, I 
mentioned this case to him, and it is noticed in the 
report. Parson Free was, after much litigation, and a 
great expense to the Bishop of London, deprived of his 
living for immorality. His case illustrated the fact 
that, while Bishops have, perhaps, too much power over 
curates, they have certainly too little over the holders 
of livings. 

April Sth.— {At Bury.) A Mr. P , a Methodist 

preacher, called to consult with me on account of an in- 
terruption which took place while preaching at Woolpit. 

* Written in 1851. 

t The Toleration Act, i William and Mary, Chap. XVIII, Sec. 16, con- 
tinued the old penalties for non-attendance at Divine Service on the Lord's 
Day, unless for the sake of attending some place of worship to which that Act 
gives toleration. 

Chap. ii. 


Saving Grace — is it to all Men f 

Chap, ii, 



notions of 


Lawrence s 
picture of 



After this business subject had been discussed, we talked 
on religious matters, and I questioned Mr. P con- 
cerning the Arminian notion about Grace. I could not 
quite comprehend Pascal's letters on the doctrine of 

Grace siiffisante and Grace efficace. Nor did Mr, P 

relieve me from the difficulties entertained on the sub- 
ject. The Wesleyan Methodists, it seems, maintain 
that a measure of Grace is given to all men ; but since 
all men do not avail themselves of this, I inquired why 

not. Mr. P answered they were not disposed. On 

my asking what gave the disposition, he replied, " God's 
influence." — " That, then," said I, " must be Grace." — 
" Certainly." — " Then it seems God gives a measure of 
grace to all men, and to some an additional portion, 
without which the common measure is of no use ! " He 
could not parry the blow. This common measure is 
a subterfuge, to escape the obvious objections to the 
Calvinistic notion of election and reprobation, but 
nothing is gained by it. The difficulty is shoved off, 
not removed. 

April loth. — (Witham.) I spent the forenoon with 
Mrs. Pattisson, reading to her Pope's " Ethical Epistles," 
which were new to her, and which she enjoyed exceed- 
ingly. We had much to talk about besides. Sir Thomas 
Lawrence had given great delight to Mr. and Mrs. Pat- 
tisson, by informing them that the picture of the boys 
was at length gone, after a delay of six years, to the 

May 2nd. — I went in the forenoon into B. R.,f West- 
minster. After my return I had a call from Robert 

* See Vol. I. p. 343. t King's Bench. 

Southey. — Wat Tyler. 


Southey, the Laureate. I had a pleasant chat and a 
short walk with him. He spoke gaily of his "Wat 
Tyler." He understood 36,000 copies had been printed.* 
He was not aware how popular he was when he came 
to town. He did not appear to feel any shame or 
regret at^ having written the piece at so early an age as 
twenty. He wrote the drama in three mornings, anno 
1794. We spoke of his letter to W. Smith,-}- of which I 
thought and spoke favourably. I did not blame Southey, 
but commended him, for asserting the right of all men, 
who are wiser at forty than at twenty years of age, to 
act on such superiority of wisdom. " I only wish," I 
added, " that you had not appeared to have forgotten 
some political truths you had been early impressed with. 
Had you said, * It is the people who want reform as well 
as the Government,' instead of * not the Government,' I 
should have been content." Southey answered, " I spoke 
of the present time only. I am still a friend to Reform." 
May 8///. — I went into the King's Bench. There I 
heard the news which had set all Westminster Hall in 
motion. Gifford has been appointed Solicitor-General.]: 
Gifford's father was a Presbyterian grocer at Exeter. 
He was himself articled to an attorney, and was never 
at a university. He was formerly a warm Burdettite ! 

* The original edition was published in 1794. The edition referred to is 
doubtless the one published by Sherwood, in 1817, "with a preface suitable to 
recent circumstances." Against this edition Southey applied for an injunction, 
but Lord Eldon refused to grant it, the tendency of the work being mischiev- 
ous. — Lowndes' " Bibliographer's Manual." 

t This letter was a reply to remarks by W. Smith, in the House of Com- 
mons, on " Wat Tyler," and is intended as a vindication of the authors right 
to change his opinions. 

t Afterwards Lord Gifford, and Master of the Rolls. 


Chap. it. 



Treason Trials. — Watson. 

Chap. ii. 




On the other hand, I believe he has long abandoned the 
conventicle, and has been quiet on political subjects, if 
he has not changed his opinions. He is patronized by 
Gibbs. Both are natives of Exeter. 

My only concern is that a man hitherto universally 
beloved should thus early in life be in danger of making 
bankrupt of his conscience, which Lord Bacon says has 
been the fate of so many who have accepted the offices 
of Attorney-General and Solicitor-General. 

May lyth. — Another uncomfortable forenoon. It was 
rendered interesting by the arraignment of Watson and 
three other men brought up to plead to a charge of 
high treason for the Spa-Fields Riots.* Watson has a 
face much resembling Serjeant Copley's in profile. The 
other three men, Preston, Hooper, and Thistlethwaite, 
had countenances of an ordinary stamp. All of them, 
on being arraigned, spoke like men of firmness and with 
the air of public orators — a sort of foriimizing tone and 
manner, I was made melancholy by the sight of so 
many persons doomed probably to a violent death 
within a few weeks. They did not require counsel to be 
assigned them in court. Watson inquired whether they 
might speak for themselves if they had counsel. Lord 
Ellenborough answered : " You are not deprived of the 
power of addressing the court by having counsel as- 
signed you," — rather an ambiguous answer. On enter- 

* In 1816 meetings were held in Spa Fields to petition the Prince in behalf 
of the distressed manufacturing classes. The first meeting was held on the 
15th November : thirty thousand persons were said to be present. After the 
second meeting, held December 2nd, what was called the Spa- Fields riot took 
place ; gunsmiths' shops were broken into to procure arms. In one of the 
shops, a Mr. Piatt was seriously wounded. The riot was quelled by the 
military, but not before considerable damage had been done. 

William Hone. 


ing the court, the prisoners, who had been separated 
for some time, shook hands with each other in an 
affecting manner, their hands being below the bar, and 
they seemed to do it as by stealth. All but Preston 
seemed unconcerned. 

There was a comic scene also exhibited. One Hone,* 
of Fleet Street, was brought up at his own suggestion. 
He moved to be discharged on the ground of ill- 
treatment on his arrest. One ground of his motion 
was, that on the commitment it was said he had prayed 
an imparlance to next Term to plead. He put in an 
affidavit that he had done no such thing. Lord Ellen- 
borough said that his refusal to plead was a constructive 
demand of time. He was again asked whether he 
would plead, and refused. He was remanded. Shep- 
herd appeared for the first time as Attorney-General on 
this occasion. 

May i()th. — I devoted the forenoon to the Nashes, 
It being the last day of Term, I felt no obligation to 
attend in court. I went into the British Museum. 
For the first time I saw there the Elgin Marbles. Mr. 
Nash, with his characteristic simplicity, exclaimed, "I 
would as soon go into a church pit ! " Indeed, how few 
are there who ought not to say so, if men ought on 
such subjects to avow their want of feeling ! It requires 
science and a habit of attention to subdue the first 
impression produced by the battered and mutilated con- 
dition in which most of these celebrated fragments 
remain. Of the workmanship I can understand nothing. 

* The bookseller, whose trial by Lord Ellenborough will be referred to here- 

E 2 

Chap. ii. 


The Elptt 


Mrs. Barbaidd. — Thekvall married. 

Chap. ii. 



State trials 
of Watson 
and others. 


Castle, the 

The sentiment produced by the sight of such posthu- 
mous discoveries is, however, very gratifying. 

May 26th. — After dining at the CoUiers' I walked to 
Newington, and took tea with Mrs, Barbauld. I found 
that Dr. Aikin had been very seriously ill. Mrs, 
Barbauld herself retains her health and faculties, and is 
an interesting instance of a respected and happy old 
age. I played chess with her, and then went to Becher 

Tuesday, 2yth. — I spent the forenoon at home, and I 
made one or two calls. On Thelwall ; for, though I 
could not cordially congratulate him on a marriage to 
a girl scarcely twenty (he being perhaps sixty), yet I 
thought I might, without impropriety, do an act of 
courtesy. I found him well, his bride but poorly. She 
looked more interesting as an invalid ; and as her 
manners were retiring she pleased me better than when 
I saw her as Miss Boyle — a candidate for the stage. 

June ()th. — The high-treason trials of Watson and 
others, for the Spa- Fields transactions, began to-day, 

nth. — To-day Castle, the Government informer, was 
examined seven and a half hours by Gurney, 

I2th. — This day I was again in court from past eight 
till near seven, excepting dinner-time. The principal 
interest to-day arose from the cross-examination of 
Castle by Wetherell,* from which it resulted that he had 
been guilty of uttering forged notes, and had, as King's 
evidence, hanged one accomplice and transported 
another, though the latter pleaded guilty. He had 
been concerned in setting at liberty some French 

* Afterwards Sir Charles Wetherell, Attorney-General. 

Treason Trials. — Wet her ell. 


officers, to which business he was recommended by a 
person he had visited in Tothill Fields prison, and who 
has since been hanged. There were other things against 
him. So absolutely infamous a witness I never heard 
of. It appeared, too, from his own statement, that he 
was the principal actor in this business throughout. He 
was the plotter and contriver of most of the overt acts, 
and the whole conspiracy was his. It also appeared 
that he was furnished with pocket-money by Mr. 
Stafford, the Bow Street office clerk ; and Mr. Stafford 
also gave him money to send away his wife, who might 
have been a witness to confirm his testimony. This 
latter disgraceful fact, I have no doubt, weighed greatly 
with the jury. 

yune I'^th. — This day, like the preceding, I passed in 
court, from a little after eight till near six ; and I could 
get no dinner, as Wetherell was speaking for the 
prisoner Watson. Wetherell's speech was vehement 
and irregular, and very unequal, with occasional bursts 
of eloquence that produced a great effect. But the 
reasoning was very loose ; he rambled sadly, and his 
boldness wanted discretion and propriety. He kept on 
his legs five hours and a half; but my attention could 
not follow him throughout, and the latter half-hour I 
was away, for an interesting engagement forced me to 
leave the court before six o'clock. 

I dined at Mr. Green's, No. 22, Lincoln's Inn Fields.* 

* Joseph Henry Green, the eminent surgeon. He was the intimate friend of 
Coleridge. In 1818 he became associated with Sir Astley Cooper as Lecturer 
at St. Thomas's Hospital, and was for many years Professor and Lecturer on 
Anatomy at the Royal Academy of Arts, both at Somerset House and in 
Trafalgar Square. In 1840 and 1847 he delivered the Hunterian oration. His 

Chap. ii. 



Ludzvis:: Tieck. 

Chap. ii. 

L. Tieck. 

Coleridge and Ludwig Tieck were of the party. It 
was an afternoon and evening of very high pleasure 

Ludwig Tieck has not a prepossessing exterior. He 
has a shrewd clever face, but I should rather have 
thought him an able man of the world than a romantic 
poet. He was not the greatest talker to-day ; indeed, 
the course of the conversation led others to give him 
information, but what he did say was sensible and 
judicious. Coleridge was not in his element. His 
German was not good, and his English was not free. 
He feared he should not be understood if he talked his 
best. His eloquence was, therefore, constrained, 

Tieck's journey to England is undertaken with a view 
to the study of our old English dramatists, contem- 
poraries of Shakespeare.* He incidentally gave opinions 
of our elder poets more favourable than I expected. 
He estimates them highly, as it seems. 

June i^th. — After a fortnight's delay, I shall be able 
to say but little of these days, though they were in part 
highly interesting. To-day I spent almost entirely in 

portrait hung over the chimney-piece in Coleridge's bedroom at Highgate, and 
I remember seeing it there when I went with my father to see the room after 
Coleridge's death. My father made an elaborate drawing of the room, which 
was afterwards lithographed. J. H, Green died 1863, December 13th; aged 
71, at Hadley, near Bamet.— G. S. Vide also Diary, April 14th, 1847. 

* Before this visit to England Tieck had written " Briefen uber Shake- 
speare" (Letters about Shakespeare), in the " Poetisches Journal," 1800, and 
various articles about him in the " Altenglisches Theater," 1811 (Old-English 
Theatre). After the visit he published the following works : " Shakespeare's 
Vorschule" (Shakespeare's Predecessors), 1823-29; notices of Shakespeare, in 
his " Dramatische Blatter" (Dramatic Leaves), 1828 ; a novel called " Dichter- 
leben " (The Life of a Poet), in which Shakespeare is introduced ; a treatise on 
Shakespeare's sonnets, 1826; and, in company with A. W. Schlegel, the 
famous German translation of Shakespeare, 1825-29, 

Treason Trials. 


court. It was the most interesting day of Watson's 
trial. I heard Copley's and Gifford's speeches. Copley 
spoke with great effect, but with very little eloquence. 
He spoke for about two and a half hours, and sat down 
with universal approbation. He said nothing that was 
not to the purpose. There were no idle or superfluous 
passages in his speech. He dwelt little on the law, and 
that was not very good ; but his analysis of the evidence 
of Castle against Watson was quite masterly. 

The young Solicitor-General followed him. Opinions 
were divided about him. I believe envy at his recent 
appointment contributed to the unfavourable judgments 
of some men. He certainly began too verbosely, and 
dwelt injudiciously on unimportant points, but I 
thought him very acute and able in the latter part 
of his speech. Yet both Gifford and Copley had less 
eloquence than Wetherell in the better parts of his 

June i6th. — I allowed myself some relief from the 
trial this morning. I attended, at the auction mart, the 
sale of chambers, No. 5 King's Bench Walk, first floor, 
for a life and assignment. They sold for 1,355 guineas, 
and it would have cost me, to substitute my life for that 
of the present cestui que vie, more than ^100 more ; I, 
therefore, declined bidding, though the chambers are so 
good, and mine are so bad, that I felt great reluctance 
at the inability to purchase. 

When I went down to Westminster Hall, the 
jury were out of court deliberating on their ver- 
dict. The second time I went with the Naylors. We 
met many people in St. Martin's Lane. Their silence 

Chap. ii. 


Copley and 


Opening of Waterloo Bridge. 

Chap. ii. 






led me to augur ill till a drunken fellow shouted out, 
" England's glory for ever ! " We soon ascertained the 
fact that an acquittal had taken place. There were 
crowds in the street, but quite peaceable. At West- 
minster Hall, I saw old Combe, Barnes, &c. Every one 
was pleased, apparently. I afterwards met the mob 
round a hackney coach in which Watson was. I 
called on Walter and on Collier, and I played chess 

June \%th. — I went to the King's Bench, The three 
other indicted men were brought up and acquitted, no 
evidence being given against them. I came away early, 
and then went into the Middle Temple Garden to see 
the Waterloo Bridge procession.* The sight was inte- 
resting. Vast crowds were visible on the bridge and 
near it, on the Surrey shore. Flags were hoisted over 
every pier, and guns discharged on the approach of the 
royal barges. Several of these barges, with a number of 
boats forming no part of the ceremony, and yet giving it 
interest, were on the Thames. These royal barges were 
rowed round a frigate's boat, on which were flags and 
music. The great personages present, the Prince, Duke 
of Wellington, &c., ascended the bridge on the Surrey 
side, and crossed over ; but this we could not see. 

I spent the evening in writing a dull review of 
Coleridge's second Lay Sermon for the Critical 

* Constable chose this subject for a picture, which was engraved, 
t The Critical Review, June 1817, p. 581. 

Coleridge on Soiithey and Frere. 



Juney 1 8 17. 
My dear Robinson, 

I shall never forgive you if you do not try to 
make some arrangement to bring Mr. L. Tieck and 
yourself up to Highgate very soon. The day, the 
dinner-hour, you may appoint yourself; but what I 
most wish would be, either that Mr, Tieck would come 
in the first stage, so as either to walk or to be driven 
in Mr. Oilman's gig to Caen Wood, and its delicious 
groves and alleys (the finest in England, a grand cathe- 
dral aisle of giant lime-trees, Pope's favourite compo- 
sition walk when with the old Earl, a brother rogue of 
yours in the law line), or else to come up to dinner, 
sleep here, and return (if then return he must) in the 
afternoon four o'clock stage the day after. I should be 
most happy to make him and that admirable man, Mr. 
Frere, acquainted, their pursuits have been so similar ; 
and to convince Mr. Tieck that he is the man among 
us in whom Taste at its maximum has vitalized itself 
into productive power — Genius. You need only show 
him the incomparable translation annexed to Southey's 
" Cid " (which, by the by, would perhaps give Mr. Tieck 
the most favourable impression of Southey's own powers); 
and I would finish the work off by Mr. Frere's "Aristo- 
phanes." In snch GOODNESS, too, as both my Mr. 
Frere (the Right Hon. J. H. Frere), and his brother 
George (the la\vyer in Brunswick Square), live, move, 

and have their being in, there is Genins 

I have read two pages of " Lalla Rookh," or whatever 
it is called. Merciful Heaven ! I dare read no more. 

Chap. ii. 


on Caen- 


Southey f 




Coleridge on T. Moore. 

Chap. ii. 
1 8 17. 

The posses- 
sive case. 


that I may be able to answer at once to any questions, 
" I have but just looked at the work." Oh, Robinson ! 
if I could, or if I dared, act and feel as Moore and his 
set do, what havoc could I not make amongst their 
crockery-ware ! Why, there are not three lines together 
without some adulteration of common English, and the 
ever-recurring blunder of using the possessive case, 
" compassion's tears, &c.," for the preposition " of " — a 
blunder of which I have found no instances earlier 
than Dryden's slovenly verses written for the trade. 
The rule is, that the case 's is 2\yi2.y^ personal ; either it 
marks a person, or a personification, or the relique of 
some proverbial personification, as " Who for their 
belly's sake," in " Lycidas," But for A to weep the 
tears of B puts me in mind of the exquisite passage 
in " Rabelais " where Pantagruel gives the page his cup, 
and begs him to go down into the courtyard, and curse 
and swear for him about half an hour or so, 

God bless you ! 

S. T. Coleridge. - 
Sunday Morning, 

June 22nd. — I sat at home all the forenoon, in -ex- 
pectation of a call from Tieck. He did not come, so 
that between one and two I walked to Dalston. The 
day was not so oppressively hot as it was yesterday, 
though still the heat was very unusual. After dinner I 
read Lord Byron's " Manfred " to Mrs, Becher and Miss 
Lewis. I had occupied myself during the forenoon in 
writing a critique on this painful poem, which neverthe- 

Party with Coleridge at Highgate. 


and Ticck. 

less has passages of great beauty. The ladies would Chap. h. 
have been greatly delighted with it, I dare say, if I had 1817, 
encouraged their admiration, 

June 2^t/L — This was a highly interesting day, of 
which, however, I have not recollected enough to render 
this note of any interest. I accompanied Ludwig Tieck 
and Mr. Green in the stage to Kentish Town, whence 
we walked to Highgate, where we found Coleridge ex- 
pecting us. Mr. Oilman joined our party, and the fore- 
noon till four was spent very agreeably indeed. We 
chatted miscellaneously. Coleridge read some of his 
own poems, and he and Tieck philosophized. Coleridge 
talked most. Tieck is a good listener, and is an un- 
obtrusive man. He cannot but know his own worth 
and excellence, but he has no anxiety to make himself 
and his own works the subject of conversation. He is 
by no means a zealous Roman Catholic. On the con- 
trary, he says, " With intolerant persons of either party, 
I take the opposite side." I ventured to suggest the 
incompatibility of the Catholic religion with any great Ticck on 


improvement. He said it was difficult to decide on Udsin. 
questions of national character. ■ Without the Catholic 
religion, the people in Catholic countries would be 
worse. He thought the Spaniards owed their deliver- 
ance from the French to their religion. At the same 
time he admitted that England owes all her greatness 
and excellence to the Reformation ; and the existence 
of the Catholic system as such requires the existence of 
Protestantism. This is a very harmless Catholicism. 

He spoke with great love of Goethe, yet censured the 
impious Prologue to " Faust," and wishes an English 



Chap. ii. 

S. Rogers 



translation might be made from the earlier edition 
written in Goethe's youth. He does not speak kindly 
of Voss. Of the Schlegels he did not say much. He 
does not like Flaxman's Lord Mansfield, but appears to 
entertain a high opinion of him still. (By the by, sitting 
near Sam Rogers on Talma's night at the Opera 
House, and mentioning Flaxman, Rogers said that 
Canova seemed not very willing to praise Flaxman, 
saying his designs were " pretty inventions." " Inven- 
tion," said Rogers, " is precisely what Canova wants."^ 

Coleridge related anecdotes of himself in Germany 
very pleasantly indeed. 

June 26th. — This was another idle day. I called on 
Tieck, and chatted with him about his tour in England, 
and went to the Westminster Library for books to assist 
him in travelling. I also conversed with Baron Burgs- 
dorf, a sensible man, who is anxious to obtain informa- 
tion about our English courts of justice. I dined in the 
Hall, and after dinner Talfourd chatted with me. I 
took a hasty cup of tea at the Colliers', and at nine I 
went to the Opera House Concert Room, and heard 
Talma and Mdlle. Georges recite. I grudged a guinea 
for payment, but I do not regret having gone. 

Talma performed a scene out of La Harpe's 
" Philoct^te," and out of "Iphigenia in Tauris." His 
first appearance disappointed me. He has little grey 
eyes, too near each other, and, though a regular and 
good. face, not a very striking one. His voice is good, 
but not peculiarly sweet. His excellence lies in the 
imitation of intense suffering. He filled me with 
horror, certainly, as Philoctete, but it was mingled with 

Mademoiselle Georges. 


disgust. Bodily pain is no fit or legitimate subject for 
the drama ; and too often he was merely a man suffer- 
ing from a sore leg. Of his declamation I do not pre- 
sume to judge. The character of Orestes affords finer 
opportunities of display. The terror he feels when 
pursued by the Furies was powerfully communicated, 
and his tenderness towards Pylades on parting was also 
exquisite. Mdlle. Georges had more to do, but she gave 
me far less pleasure. Her acting I thought radically 
bad. Instead of copying nature in the expression of 
passion, according to which the master feeling predom- 
inates over all the others, she merely minces the words. 
If in the same line the words crainte 2S\A joie occur, she 
apes fear and joy by outrageous pantomime ; and in 
the suddenness of the transition forces applause from 
those who are glad to understand something, and grate- 
fully applaud what has enabled them to understand. 
Her acting appeared to me utterly without feeling. 
She pleased me best in " Athalie," — the scene where she 
recounts the dream and first appearance of Joad. Her 
imprecations against Horace for slaying her lover were, 
I thought, violent without being sincere ; and her per- 
formance of the sleep-walking scene in " Macbeth " was 
very poor. In the French play, Macbeth keeps in con- 
finement a son of Duncan, and Lady Macbeth is con- 
templating his murder as well as the former murders 
she had committed, by which the fine moral taught by 
Shakespeare is quite lost. But the French author 
could not conceive, I dare say, why a successful 
murder of former days should excite any remorse or 

Chap. ii. 



Home Tooke. 

Chap. ii. 

Tooke and 






opinion o?t 



I chatted with Rogers the poet. He informs me that 
Madame de Stael is considered in great danger. 

June 28//?. — At six I dined with Pollock.* A genteel 
dinner-party. Coleridge, Mr. and Mrs. John Ray, 
&c. The afternoon went off exceedingly well. An 
anecdote was told of Home Tooke, very characteristic 
and probable. At school, he was asked why he put a 
word in some case or mood, and answered, " I do not 
know," for which he was instantly flogged. Another 
boy was then asked, who repeated the grammatical rule, 
and took his place in the class. On this Tooke cried. 
His master asked him what he meant, and Tooke said, 
" I knew the rule as well as he did, but you did not ask 
for the rule, but the reason. You asked why it is so, 
and I do not know that now." The master is said to 
have taken him aside and given him a Virgil in memory 
of the injustice done him, of which Virgil Tooke was 
very proud. 

I went late to Tieck, and chatted some time about 
the books, &c., he had still to buy. 

Jtme 2C)t]i. — I had more conversation with Tieck this 
evening than before on general literary subjects. He 
is well read in the English dramatic literature, having 
read all the English plays which were accessible in 
Germany ; and he has a decision of opinion which one 
wonders at in a foreigner. He has no high opinion of 
Coleridge's critique, but he says he has learned a great 
deal from Coleridge, who has glorious conceptions about 
Shakespeare (Jierrliche Idem). Coleridge's conversation 
he very much admires, and thinks it superior to any of 

* Afterwards Chief Baron. 

Tieck on Ens'lish Poets. 


his writings. But he says there is much high poetry in 
" Christabel." He thinks well of the remarks on language 
in Lord Ched worth's book about Shakespeare,* and that 
Strutt's remarks are acute. Of Ben Jonson he thinks 
highly. The pieces he distinguished were " Bartholomew 
Fair" (perhaps his best piece), "The Devil is an Ass," 
"The Alchymist," "The Fox," "The Silent Woman," 
&c. He says his work on Shakespeare will be minute 
as to the language, which, he thinks, underwent changes. 
Of German literature he does not speak promisingly. 
The popular writers (such as Fouque) he despises, and 
he says that unhappily there have sprung up a number 
of imitators of himself. He praises Solger's work-f- very 
much, and he is the only recent writer whom he men- 
tioned. Of Goethe he spoke with less enthusiasm than 
I expected, but with as much as he ought, perhaps. 
The want of religion in Goethe is a great scandal to 
Tieck, I have no doubt. His later writings, Tieck 
thinks, are somewhat loquacious. 

Rem.\ — This summer I made my second visit to 
Paris. Of places I shall write nothing, but a few per- 
sonal incidents may be mentioned. 

I undertook to escort my sister, who had a companion 
in Esther Nash. And my nephew was the fourth to fill 
the carriage which we hired at Calais. My brothers 
crossed the water with us. We slept at Dover on the 

* " Notes upon some of the Obscure Passages in Shakespeare's Plays. By 
the late Right Hon. John Lord Chedworth. London, 1805. Privately printed." 

t " Envin, vier Gesprache Uber das Schiine und die Kunst" (Four Conver- 
sations on the Beautiful and Art), 1815. A more systematic work by him, 
entitled " Vorlesungen uber die ^Esthetik" (Lectures on ^^thetics), 1829, was 
published after his death. 

t Written in 1851. 

Chap. 11. 


yourney to 


Ai Paris. — Athanase Coqiierel. 

Chap. ii. 


15th of August, and reached Paris on the 21st, — six 
days on the road. Last year I left Paris after a com- 
fortable breakfast, and slept at Dover ; my travelling 
companion, however, reached London the same night, 
and would have gone to a ball, if he had not un- 
expectedly found his family at home. 

At Paris were then dwelling, under the care of the 
celebrated Madame Campan, the two Miss Hutchisons, 
who accompanied us repeatedly in our sight-seeings. 
To the youngest my nephew was then betrothed. We 
were at the Hotel Valois, Rue Richelieu, from whence 
we issued daily to see the well-known sights of Paris. 
Our acquaintances were not numerous. The ladies 
knew Miss Benger, with whom was Miss Clarke, and 
were glad to be introduced to Helen Maria Williams.* 
Her nephews were then become young men, — at least 
the elder, Coquerel, now the eloquent and popular 
preacher, and a distinguished member of the House 
of Representatives. He has managed to retain his 
post of preacher at the Oratoire. His theology was 
then sufficiently pronounced, and indicated what has 
been since made public. There was a manifest dis- 
inclination to enter on matters of controversy, and he 
had the authority of his own Church to justify him. 
He informed me of the commands issued by the 
ecclesiastical council of the once too orthodox Church 

* Mr. Robinson had been introduced to Miss Williams by Mrs. Clarkson in 
1814. Miss Williams wrote several works in connection with the political state 
of France, as a Republic and as an Empire. She also wrote a novel called 
"Julia," "A Tour in Switzerland," " Miscellaneous Poems," and " Poems on 
various Occasions." During her residence in Paris, which extended over many 
years, she was, by Robespierre, confined for some time in the Temple. 

Life in Paris during the Revolution. 


of Geneva, and addressed to the clergy, to abstain from 
preaching on the Trinity, Eternity of Hell, Corruption 
of Human Nature, and Original Sin, between which last 
two doctrines French theologians make a distinction. 

Professor Froriep of Weimar was then at Paris. He 
introduced me to a remarkable man — Count Schla- 
berndorf, about seventy years of age, a Prussian sub- 
ject, a cynic in his habits, though stately in figure and 
gentlemanly in his air. He was residing in a very 
dirty apartment in the third floor of the Hotel des 
Siciles, Rue Richelieu. His hands and face were clean, 
but his dress, consisting of a bedgown of shot satin of 
a dark colour, was very dirty. He had a grey beard, 
with bushy hair, mild eyes, handsome nose, and lips hid 
by whiskers. He came to France at the beginning of 
the Revolution ; was in prison during the Reign of 
Terror, and escaped. That he might not be talked 
about, he lived on almost nothing. On my answering 
his French in German, he replied with pleasure, and 
talked very freely. His vivacity was very agreeable, 
and without any introduction he burst at once upon the 
great social questions of the age. In my journal I 
wrote, — " He comes nearer my idea of Socrates than 
any man I ever saw, except that I think Socrates 
would not have dressed himself otherwise than his 
fellow-citizens did." He spoke of his first arrival in 
France. " I used to say," he said, " I was a republican, 
and then there were no republics. The Revolution 
came, and then I said, ' There are republics, and no 
republicans.' " I asked him how he came to be arrested. 
He said, " On the denunciation of a political fanatic, a 


Chap. ir. 



A Republic 



Abbe Gregoire. — Janscnists. 

Chap. ii. 


kind-hearted and very benevolent man. He probably 
reasoned thus : * Why is this stranger and nobleman 
here ? What has he done for which the Allies would 
hang him ? He is therefore a suspicious character. If 
he is guilty, he ought to be secured ; if he is a repub- 
lican and innocent, he will be reconciled to a fate which 
the public interest requires.' That was the logic of the 
day. When I was arrested I had but 300 francs. It 
was not safe to attempt getting any supply by means of 
writing, so I lived on bread and boiled plums." Froriep 
inquired why he did not return to Germany. He said, 
" I should be made a centre of intrigues. I am a 
reformer, but an enemy to revolutions." He meta- 
physicized obscurely. Yet he distinguished fairly 
enough between patriotism and nationality. He denied 
the one, but allowed the other to the English aristo- 
cracy, who would sell the liberties of the people to the 
crown, but not the crown to a foreign power. 

During my stay at Paris I renewed my acquaintance 
with Gregoire.* He had been unjustly expelled from 
the Legislative Body, on the ground that he had voted 
for the death of Louis XVI. In fact, he voted him 
guilty, but voted against the punishment of death in 
any case, and that he should be the first spared under 
the new law. No wonder that Louis XVIII. ordered 
his name to be struck out of the list of members of the 
Institute, and that he should be otherwise disgraced. 
Without being one of the great men of the Revolution, 
he was among the best of the popular party. He was 
certainly a pious man, as all the Jansenists were, — the 

* Vide 1 8 14, Vol. I. p. 440. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley. 


Methodists of the Cathohc Church, — with the inevitable 
inconsistencies attached to all who try to reconcile 
private judgment with obedience. He affirmed, as 
indeed many Catholics do, that the use of actual water 
was not indispensable to a saving baptism. 

One of the most interesting circumstances of my 
visit to Paris, was that I fell in with Hundleby,* who 
became one of my most intimate friends. With him 
and two other solicitors, Walton (a friend of Mas- 
querier) and Andros, I made an excursion to Ermenon- 
ville, where Rousseau died, — a wild forest-scene pre- 
cisely suited to that unhappy but most splendid writer. 

[Mr. Robinson returned from France on the 20th of 
September, but visited Brighton, Arundel, and the Isle 
of Wight after his return, and did not settle down in 
London till the 4th of October.] 

November 6th. — I went to Godwin's. Mr. Shelley 
was there. I had never seen him before. His youth, 
and a resemblance to Southey, particularly in his voice, 
raised a pleasing impression, which was not altogether 
destroyed by his conversation, though it is vehement, 
and arrogant, and intolerant. He was very abusive 
towards Southey, whom he spoke of as having sold 
himself to the Court. And this he maintained with the 
usual party slang. His pension and his Laureateship, 
his early zeal and his recent virulence, are the proofs of 
gross corruption. On every topic but that of violent 
party feeling, the friends of Southey are under no diffi- 

* He was partner of Alliston, and has been dead many years. His widow, a 
daughter of a wealthy man, named Curtis, is now the wife of Mr. Tite, the 
architect of the Exchange.— H. C. R., 1851. The Mr. Tite here referred to 
is now Sir William Tite, M.P. for Bath. 

. F 2 

Chap. n. 



Flaxman as disputant. 

Chap. ii. 

Flaxman s 

Death of 

thf Princess 


Wager of 

battle in a 

trial for 





culty in defending him. Shelley spoke of Wordsworth 
with less bitterness, but with an insinuation of his insin- 
cerity, &c. 

November ()th. — I dined with Mr. and Mrs. Flaxman, 
making a fourth with Miss Denman. I enjoyed the 
afternoon. Flaxman is a delightful man in the purity 
and simplicity of his feelings and understanding, though 
an uncomfortable opponent in disputation. I so much 
fear to offend him, that I have a difficulty in being 
sincere. I read extracts from Coleridge's poems. The 
verses to the Duchess of Devonshire, in particular, 
pleased him. Certainly Coleridge has shown that he 
could be courteous and courtly without servility. 

November i6th. — The death of the Princess Charlotte 
has excited more general sorrow than I ever witnessed 
raised by the death of a royal personage, 

November lyth. — I witnessed to-day a scene which 
would have been a reproach to Turkey, or the Emperor 
of Dahomey — a wager of battle in Westminster Hall. 
Thornton was brought up for trial on an appeal after 
acquittal for murder.* No one seemed to have any 
doubt of the prisoner's guilt ; but he escaped owing to 
the unfitness of a profound real-property lawyer to 
manage a criminal trial. For this reason the public 
sense was not offended by recourse being had to an 
obsolete proceeding. The court was crowded to 
excess. Lord Ellenborough asked Reader whether 
he had anything to move, and he having moved that 

• An appeal of murder was a criminal prosecution at the suit of the next-of- 
kin to the person killed, independently of any prosecution by the Crown, and 
might take place, as in this case, after an acquittal. The word "appeal," 
however, has in this usage no reference to former proceedings. 

Last Wager of Battle. 


Thornton should be permitted to plead, he was brought 
to the bar. The declaration, or count, being read to him, 
he said, " Not Guilty. And this I am ready to defend 
with my body." At the same time he threw a large glove 
or gauntlet on to the floor of the court. Though we all 
expected this plea, yet we all felt astonishment — at least 
I did — at beholding before our eyes a scene acted which 
we had read of as one of the disgraceful institutions of 
our half-civilized ancestors. No one smiled. The judges 
looked embarrassed. Clarke on this began a very weak 
speech. He was surprised, "at this time of day," at so 
obsolete a proceeding ; as if the appeal itself were not as 
much so. He pointed out the person of Ashford, the 
appellant, and thought the court would not award battle 
between men of such disproportionate strength. But 
being asked whether he had any authority for such a 
position, he had no better reply than that it was shock- 
ing, because the defendant had murdered the sister, 
that he should then murder the brother. For which 
Lord Ellenborough justly reproved him, by observing 
that what the law sanctioned could not be murder. 
Time was, however, given him to counter-plead, and 
Reader judiciously said in a single sentence, that he had 
taken on himself to advise the wager of battle, on 
account of the prejudices against Thornton, by which a 
fair trial was rendered impossible. 

Rem* — The appellant, in the following Term, set out 
all the evidence in replication, it being the ancient law 
that, when that leaves no doubt, the wager may be 
decHned. Hence a very long succession of pleading, 

* Written in 1851. 

Chap. ii. 


Mrs. Barbauld. 

Chap. ii. 


during which Thornton remained in prison. The court 
ought probably, according to the old law, to . have 
ordered battle, and if the appellant refused, awarded 
that he should be hanged. To relieve the court and 
country from such monstrosities, the judgment was post- 
poned, and an Act of Parliament passed to abolish both 
the wager of battle and the appeal ; which some of my 
Radical city friends thought a wrong proceeding, by 
depriving the people of one of their means of protection 
against a bad Government ; for the King cannot pardon 
in appeal of murder, and the Ministry may contrive the 
murder of a friend to liberty. 

Tindal and Chitty argued the case very learnedly, 
and much recondite and worthless black-letter and 
French lore were lavished for the last time. This 
recourse to an obsolete proceeding terminated in Thorn- 
ton's acquittal. 

November i()th. — This being the day of the funeral of 
the Princess Charlotte, all the shops were shut, and the 
churches everywhere filled with auditors. 

November 2ird. — I walked to Newington, which I 
reached in time to dine with Mrs. Barbauld. Mr. and 
Mrs. Charles Aikin were there. The afternoon passed 
off without any dulness or drowsiness. We had matter 
for conversation in Mrs. Plumptre — a subject on which 
I talk con amore, in^ the wager of battle, and in the 
Princess's death. 

November 2^th. — This was to me an- anxious day. I 
had received from Naylor a brief to speak in mitigation 
of punishment for one Williams, at Portsea, who had 
sold in his shop two of the famous Parodies, one of the 

TJie First Parody Prosecution. 


Litany, in which the three estates, King, Lords, and 
Commons, are addressed with some spirit and point on 
the sufferings of the nation, and the -other of the Creed 
of St. Athanasius, in which the Lord Chancellor, Lord 
Castlereagh, and Lord Sidmouth are, with vulgar buf- 
foonery, addressed as Old Bags, Derry-Down Triangle, 
and the Doctor, and the triple Ministerial character 
spoken of under the well-known form of words. 

These parodies had been long overlooked by the late 
Attorney-General, and he had been reproached for his 
negligence by both Ministerialists and Oppositionists. 
At length prosecutions were begun, and the subject was 
talked of in Parliament. Hone and Carlile had both 
been prosecuted, and by their outrageous conduct had 
roused a strong sense of indignation against them. 
Unhappily this poor Portsea printer was the first 
brought up for judgment. Applications in his behalf 
had been made to the Attorney-General, who did not 
conduct the case with any apparent bitterness. In his 
opening speech on the Litany, he with considerable 
feeling, though in a commonplace way, eulogized the 
Litany, but he admitted to a certain extent the circum- 
stances of mitigation in defendant's affidavit, viz. that 
he had destroyed all the copies he could, after he had 
heard of the prosecution. 

I then addressed the Court, saying that the Attorney- 
General's speech was calculated to depress a man more 
accustomed to address the Court than I was ; but that 
I thought it appeared, even from the Attorney-General's 
own words, that there were no circumstances of aggra- 
vation arisinsf out of the manner in which the crime 

Chap, ii, 

The Paro- 
dies, and 
of Hone, 


H. C. R!s Speech in Mitigation for Williams. 

Chap. ir. 


oti H.C.R.'s 


was committed. I then dwelt, and I believe impres- 
sively, on the hardship of the case for the defendant, 
who, though the least guilty, was the first brought up for 
punishment, and deprecated the infliction of an exem- 
plary punishment on him. This was the best part of 
my speech, I then repeated and enforced the ordinary 
topics of mitigation. 

The Attorney-General then brought on the Creed 
information, and was rather more bitter than at first, 
and he was followed by Topping. 

I replied, and spoke not so well as at first, and was 
led, by an interruption from Bayley, to observe on the 
Athanasian Creed, that many believed in the doctrine 
who did not approve of the commentary. At least my 
remarks on the Creed were sanctioned by the judgment, 
which sentenced the defendant, for the Litany, to 
eight months' imprisonment in Winchester Gaol, and 
a fine of ;^iOO, and for the Creed to four months' 

I stayed in court the rest of the afternoon, and at 
half-past four dined with Gurney. No one but Godfrey 
Sykes, the pleader, was there. He is an open-hearted 
frank fellow in his manner, and I felt kindly towards 
him on account of the warm praise which he gave to 
my friend Manning, and of the enthusiasm with which 
he spoke of Gifford. 

December ird. — Hamond called and chatted on law 
with me. I walked home with him. He lent me the 
last Examiner. In the account of my law case, there 
is a piece of malice. They have put in italics, "Mr. 
Robinson was ready to agree with his Lordship to the 

Wordsworth in Town. 


fullest extent ; " and certainly this is the part of my 
speech which I most regret, for I ought to have observed 
to the Court, that the libel is not charged with being 
against the doctrines of Christianity. I lost the oppor- 
tunity of saying much to the purpose, when Bayley 
observed that the libel was inconsistent with the 
doctrines of Christianity. 

December 4th. — I breakfasted early, and soon after 
nine walked to Dr. Wordsworth's, at Lambeth. I 
crossed for the first time Waterloo Bridge. The view 
of Somerset House is very fine indeed, and the bridge 
itself is highly beautiful ; but the day was so bad that 
I could see neither of the other bridges, and of course 
scarcely any objects. 

I found Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth and the Doctor at 
breakfast, and I spent a couple of hours with them very 
agreeably. We talked about poetry. Wordsworth has 
brought MSS. with him, and is inclined to print one or 
two poems, as it is the fashion to publish small volumes 
now. He means then to add them to the "Thanks- 
giving Ode," &c., and form a third volume. He read 
to me some very beautiful passages. 

December 6th. — I dined with the Colliers, and in the 
evening Hundleby called on me, and we went together 
to Covent Garden. I have not been so well pleased for 
a long time. In " Guy Mannering " there were four 
interesting performances. First, Braham's singing, the 
most delicious I ever heard, though I fear his voice is 
not so perfect as it was ; but in this piece I was parti- 
cularly delighted, as he sang in a style of unstudied 
simplicity. Second, Liston's Dominie Sampson, an 

Chap. ii. 


and Liston 

in Guy 


Hone's First Trial. 

Chap. h. 

Hone s first 

absolutely perfect exhibition. His terror when accosted 
by Meg MerriHes was the most amusing and correctly 
natural representation I ever witnessed. Emery's repre- 
sentation of Dandie Dinmont also most excellent ; and, 
though not equal to the other attractions of the piece, 
Mrs. Egerton gave great effect to Meg Merrilies. But 
the piece itself is worth nothing. 

December i %th. — I spent the greater part of the morn- 
ing at the King's Bench sittings, Guildhall. Hone's first 
trial took place to-day. It was for publishing a parody 
on the Church Catechism, attacking the Government. 
Abbott* sat for Lord Ellenborough. Hone defended 
himself by a very long and rambling speech of many 
hours, in which he uttered a thousand absurdities, but 
with a courage and promptitude which completely 
effected his purpose. Abbott was by no means a match 
for him, and in vain attempted to check his severe 
reproaches against Lord Ellenborough for not letting 
him sit down in the King's Bench, when he was too ill 
to stand without great pain. Hone also inveighed 
against the system of special juries, and rattled over a 
wide field of abuses before he began his defence, which 
consisted in showing how many similar parodies had 
been written in all ages. He quoted from Martin 
Luther, from a Dean of Canterbury, and a profusion of 
writers, ancient and modern, dwelling principally on 
Mr. Reeves and Mr. Canning.f 

* Afterwards Lord Tenterden, Lord Chief Justice of King's Bench. 

•(• Hone's defence was that the practice of parodying religious works, even 
parts of the Holy Scriptures and the Book of Common Prayer, had been 
aclopted by men whose religious character was above suspicion. Examples 
were adduced from Martin Luther, Dr.. John Boys, Dean of Canterbury in 

His Defence. 


Hone had not knowledge enough to give his argu- 
ment a technical shape. It was otherwise a very good 
argument. He might have urged, in a way that no 
judge could object to, that new crimes cannot be 
created without Act of Parliament, and that he ought 
not to be charged by the present Attorney-General 
with a crime, in doing what no other Attorney-General 
had considered to be a crime. Least of all would a 
jury convict him of a crime, who was a known adver- 
sary of the Government, when others, of an opposite 
political character, had not been prosecuted. This last 
point he did indeed urge correctly and powerfully 

I left him speaking to go to dinner at Collier's. The 
trial was not over till late in the evening, when he was 

I spent the evening at Drury Lane, and saw Kean as 
Luke in " Riches."* It was an admirable performance. 
His servile air as the oppressed dependant was almost 
a caricature. But the energy of his acting when he 
appeared as the upstart tyrant of the family of his 
brother was very fine indeed. Though he looked ill in 
health, and had a very bad voice throughout, still his 
performance was a high treat. I could not sit out a 

the reign of James I., Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, Lord Somers, Mr. 
Canning, and Mr. Reeves. Of Mr. Reeves Hone said: " His name stood in 
the title-page of the Book of Common Prayer, in most general use, as 
patentee," " he was a barrister, and had been a commissioner of bankrupts." 
Having shown from these instances, that parodies were not necessarily disre- 
spectful to the work parodied, and that they had been hitherto allowed, Hone 
declared that his ought not to be regarded as an exception, and that on this 
ground, and this alone, he asked for a verdict of " Not Guilty." 
* Altered from Massinger's play of " The City Madam." 

Chap. ii. 



Hones Second Trial. 

Chap. ii. 

Hone s 
second trial. 

poor farce called " The Man in the Moon," and came 
home to a late tea in chambers. 

December igtk. — I went again to the King's Bench, 
Guildhall. Lord Ellenborough sat to-day. I was 
curious to see how he would succeed where Abbott had 
failed, and whether he could gain a verdict on Hone's 
second trial after a former acquittal. Hone was evi- 
dently less master of himself before Ellenborough than 
before Abbott, and perhaps would have sunk in the 
conflict, but for the aid he received from the former 
acquittal. He pursued exactly the same course as 
before. This charge was for publishing a parody on the 
Litany, and it was charged both as an anti-religious and 
a political libel ; but the" Attorney-General did not 
press the political count. After a couple of hours' 
flourishing on irrelevant matter, Hone renewed his 
perusal of old parodies. On this Lord Ellenborough 
said he should not suffer the giving them in evidence. 
This was said in such a way that it at first appeared he 
would not suffer them to be read. However, Hone 
said, if he could not proceed in his own way he would 
sit down, and Lord Ellenborough might send him to 
prison. He then went on as before. Several times he 
was stopped by the Chief Justice, but never to any 
purpose. Hone returned to the offensive topic, and did 
not quit it till he had effected his purpose, and the 
judge, baflled and worn out, yielded to the prisoner : — 

"An eagle, towering in the pride of place, 
W^as by a moping owl hawk'd at and kill'd." 

I came away to dinner and returned to the Hall to 
hear the conclusion of the trial. Shepherd was feeble 

Hones Third Trial. 


in his reply. But Lord Ellenborough was eloquent. 
In a grave and solemn style becoming a judge he 
declared his judgment that the parody was a profane 
libel. The jury retired, and were away so long that I 
left the court, but I anticipated the result.* 

December 20th. — Having breakfasted early, I went 
again to the court at Guildhall. The Government 
had, with inconceivable folly, persisted in bringing 
Hone to a third trial after a second acquittal; and that, 
too, for an offence of far less magnitude, the publishing 
a parody on the Athanasian Creed, which the Court 
punished Williams for by a four-months imprisonment, 
while the parody on the Litany, of which Hone was 
yesterday acquitted, was punished by eight months' 
imprisonment and a fine of £100. The consequence 
was to be foreseen. He was again acquitted, after 
having carried his boldness to insolence. He re- 
proached Lord Ellenborough for his yesterday's charge, 
and assumed almost a menacing tone. He was, as be- 
fore, very digressive, and the greater part of his seven- 
hours speech consisted of very irrelevant matter. He 
did not fail to attack the Bar, declaring there was not 
a man who dared to contradict Lord Ellenborough, for 
fear of losing the ear of the Court — a most indecent, 
because a most true, assertion. I expected he would 
fall foul of me, for my speech on behalf of Williams, 
but I escaped. He drew a pathetic picture of his 
poverty, and gained the good -will of the jury by 

* On the first and third trials, a quarter of an hour was enough for the jury; 
on this second trial, it took them seven times as long — an hour and three- 
qtiarters — to decide on their verdict. 

Chap. ii. 

third trial. 


Lord Ellenboroiigli s overbearing Ways. 

Chap. h. 
1 8 17. 

Lord Ellen- 

showing how much he had already suffered. He de- 
clared that, if convicted, his life would be lost, and at 
the same time he scorned to ask any favour. He was 
very ill when the trial began, but he would not have it 
put off, &c. 

Before he got into his defence I left the Court, and 
called on Mrs. Meyer. I dined and took tea with the 
Colliers, and afterwards went to Amyot. I found him 
liberally disposed on the subject of the late trials. 
Though he considered the parodies political libels, he 
thought the Ministry justly taken in for their canting 
pretence of punishing irreligion and profanity, about 
which they did not care at all. 

To recur to the singular scene of this morning, with- 
out a parallel in the history of the country, I cannot 
but think the victory gained over the Government and 
Lord Ellenborough a subject of alarm, though at the 
same time a matter of triumph. Lord Ellenborough is 
justly punished for his inhumanity to Hone on a former 
occasion, and this illiterate man has avenged all our 
injuries. Lord Ellenborough reigned over submissive 
subjects like a despot. Now he feels, and even the Bar 
may learn, that the fault is in them, and not in their 
stars, if they are underlings.* Lord Ellenborough has 
sustained the severest shock he ever endured, and I 
really should not wonder if it shortened his life.f 

* Mr. Robinson says elsewhere that he never felt able to do his best before 
Lord Ellenborough. 

t Lord Ellenborough resigned his office as Lord Chief Justice on account of 
ill-health in the month of October, 1818, and died on December 13th, in the 
same year. As to the effect of Hone's trial upon Ivord Ellenborough's health, 
there has always been a difference of opinion. 

Lamb's Christmas Turkey. 


H. C. R. TO T. R. 

December, 1817. 

I am quite ashamed of myself. After the notice 
so attentively sent by my sister about the turkeys, I 
ought not to have forgotten to write yesterday ; but the 
infirmities of old age are growing fast upon me, and 
loss of memory is the chief.* Of course I do not 
wish my sister to trouble herself to-morrow, but as 
soon as she can, I will thank her to send as usual to 
the Colliers and to Charles Lamb. But the latter, you 
are to know, is removed to lodgings, and I will thank 
you to let his turkey be directed minutely to Mr. Lamb, 
at Mr. Owen's, Nos. 20 and 21, Great Russell Street, 
Drury Lane. 

You have, of course, been greatly interested by the 
late unparalleled trials. I attended every day, though 
not during the whole days, and listened with very mixed 

Lord EUenborough is, after all, one of the greatest 
men of our age. And though his impatience is a sad 
vice in a judge, he yet becomes the seat of justice nobly ; 
and in the display of powerful qualities adds to our 
sense of the dignity of which man is capable. And 
that a man of an heroic nature should be reduced 
to very silence, like an imbecile child, is indeed a sad 
spectacle. And the Attorney-General too — a mild, 
gentlemanly, honourable nature. But he suffered little 
in comparison with the chief, and he conducted himself 
with great propriety. Hone said, very happily, " It is 

* In 1864, Mr. Robinson notes on this, "What did I mean by old age 
forty-seven years ago?" 

Chap. ii. 


The usual 


turkey for 



Lord Ellen- 


Coleridsce on the Hone Trial. 

Chap. ii. 


Dinner at 
Mr. Monk- 

against the 


a pity Mr. Attorney was not instructed to give up this 
third prosecution. I am sure he would have done it 
with great pleasure. Had the Ministry given him a 
hint — a mere hint — I am sure he would have taken it." 

December 21st. — I breakfasted with Ed. Littledale, 
and met Burrell and Bright * (also at the Bar) there. We 
talked, of course, about the late trials, and Burrell was 
warm, even to anger, at hearing me express my pleasure 
at the result. He went so far as to declare I was a 
mischievous character ; but this was said with so much 
honest feeling, that it did not make me in the least 
angry, and I succeeded in bringing him to moderation at 
last. He feels, as Southey does, the danger arising from 
the popular feeling against the Government ; and he 
considers the indisposition of the London juries to 
convict in cases of libel as a great evil. Bright, who 
came after the heat of the battle was over, took the 
liberal side, and Ed. Littledale inclined to Burrell. The 
beauty of Littledale's chambers,-|- and his capital library, 
excited my envy. 

December 2'jth. — I called on Lamb, and met Words- 
worth with him ; I afterwards returned to Lamb's. 
Dined at Monkhouse's.j The party was small — Mr. and 
Mrs. Wordsworth and Miss Hutchinson, Coleridge and 
his son Hartley, and Mr. Tillbrook. After dinner 
Charles Lamb joined the party. 

I was glad to hear Coleridge take the right side on 

* Mr. Henry Bright, M.P. for Bristol from 1820 to 1830. 

t These looked into Gray's Inn Gardens. 

X Mr. Monkhouse was a London merchant and a connection of Mrs. 
Wordsworth. He married a daughter of Mr. Horrocks, who for a long time 
represented Preston in Parliament. 

Coleridge and Wordsworth at Lamb's- 

Hone's trial. He eloquently expatiated on the necessity 
of saving Hone, in order to save English law, and he 
derided the legal definition of a libel — whatever tends 
to produce certain consequences, without any regard to 
the intention of the publisher.* 

Among the light conversation at dinner, Tillbrook 
related that Southey had received a letter from a person 
requesting him to make an acrostic on the name of a 
young lady in Essex. The writer was paying his ad- 
dresses to this young lady, but had a rival who beat 
him in writing verses. Southey did not send the verses, 
and distributed the money in buying blankets for some 
poor women of Keswick. 

December yoth. — I dined with the Colliers, and spent the 
evening at Lamb's. I found a large party collected round 
the two poets, but Coleridge had the larger number. 
There was, however, scarcely any conversation beyond a 
whisper. Coleridge was philosophizing in his rambling 
way to Monkhouse, who listened attentively, — to Man- 
ning, who sometimes smiled, as if he thought Coleridge 
had no right to metaphysicize on chemistry without 
any knowledge of the subject, — to Martin Burney, who 
was eager to interpose, — and Alsager, who was content 
to be a listener ; while Wordsworth was for a great part 
of the time engaged tete-a-tete with Talfourd. I could 
catch scarcely anything of the conversation. I chatted 
with the ladies. Miss Lamb had gone through the 
fatigue of a dinner-party very well, and Charles was 
in good spirits. 

♦ Compare with this Coleridge's letter to Lord Liverpool, written in July 
this year. Yonge's "Life of Lord Liverpool," Vol. IL p. 300. 

Chap. ii. 
1 8 17. 

and Words- 
worth at 


Southey refuses to 

Chap. ii. 

H. C. R.'s 



asked to be 

Editor of 

The Times. 

December '>,\st. — The last day of the year was one 
of the darkest days I remember in any year, A 
thick fog came over London between eight and nine, 
and remained all the day. Late at night it cleared 

The increase of my fees from ;^355 19^. to £\\^ 5 J. 6^. 
is too paltry to be worth notice. Yet my journal shows 
that I had not relaxed in that attention which the Ger- 
mans call Sitzfleiss — sitting industry — which is com- 
patible with sluggishness of mind. 

Rem.* — During this year, my intimacy with Walter 
not declining, and his anxieties increasing, he authorized 
me to inquire of Southey whether he would undertake 
the editorship on liberal terms. Southey declined the 
offer, without inquiring what the emolument might be ; 
and yet the Times was then supporting the principles 
which Southey himself advocated.-f- 


Mar. \zth, 18 17. 
My dear Sir, 

Your letter may be answered without delibera- 
tion. No emolument, however great, would induce 
me to give up a country life and those pursuits in litera- 
ture to which the studies of so many years have been 
directed. Indeed, I should consider that portion of my 
time which is given up to temporary politics grievously 
misspent, if the interests at stake were less important. 
We are in danger of an insurrection of the Yahoos : it 

* Written in 1851. 

t The fact is stated in the " Life of Southey," Vol. IV. p. 261. 

Edil the Times, 


is the fault of Government that such a caste should 
exist in the midst of civilized society ; but till the breed 
can be mended it must be curbed, and that too with a 
strong hand. 

I shall be in town during the last week in April, on 
my way to Switzerland and the Rhine. You wrong 
our country by taking its general character from a 
season which was equally ungenial over the whole 

Believe me, my dear Sir, 

Yours very truly, 

Robert Southey. 

Chap. ir. 


G 2 


Charm of Good Engravings. 

Chap. hi. 


on Shake- 



Jamiary 6th, — I dined at the Colliers', and at seven 
Walton and Andros came to me. We spent several 
hours very agreeably in looking over between thirty and 
forty new engravings, chiefly sacred subjects. I find 
the appetite for these things grows by what it feeds on. 
I enjoyed many of them, and rejoiced at the prospect 
of seeing a print of Guido's "Hours"* over my chimney- 
piece. Walton is a man of taste, and feels the beauty 
of such things. 

January 12th. — I read in a volume of Voltaire's Mis- 
cellanies to-day his life of Moliere, — amusing enough : 
and his " critique of Hamlet," a very instructive as well 
as entertaining performance ; for it shows how a work 
of unequalled genius and excellence may be laughably 
exposed. I forgive Frenchmen for their disesteem of 
Shakespeare. And Voltaire has taken no unfair liberties 
with our idol. He has brought together all the dis- 
convenances, according to the laws of the French drama, 
as well as the national peculiarities. To a Frenchman, 

* The well-knovm engraving by Raphael Morghen to which Rogers alludes, 
as hanging on his wall, in his "Epistle to a Friend" — 
' ' O mark ! again the coursers of the Sun, 
At Guido's call, their round of glory run." 

Hazlitfs Lecture. 


" Hamlet" must appear absurd and ridiculous to an 
extreme. And^ this by fair means, the Frenchman not 
perceiving how much the absurdity, in fact, lies in his 
own narrow views and feelings. 

Jmmary i6th. — (At Cambridge.) After nine Mr. 
Chase accompanied me to Randall's, where I stayed 
till half-past eleven. We debated on the principles 
of the Ascetics. I contended that the Deity must 
be thought to take pleasure in the improvement of 
civilization, in which is to be included the fine arts ; 
but I was set down by the text about " the lust of the 
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," which 
are said not to proceed from the Father. Thus, I fear, 
every pleasing or bright conception of the Supreme 
Being and of the system of the universe may be met 
by a text ! 

January 2'jth. — I went to the Surrey Institution, 
where I heard Hazlitt lecture on Shakespeare and 
Milton. He delighted me much by the talent he dis- 
played ; but his bitterness of spirit broke out in a 
passage in which he reproached modern poets for their 
vanity and incapacity of admiring and loving anything 
but themselves. He was applauded at this part of his 
lecture, but I know not whether he was generally 

From hence I called at Collier's, and taking Mrs. 
Collier with me, I went to a lecture by Coleridge in 
Fleur-de-lis Court, Fleet Street.* I was gratified unex- 

• The syllabus of this course, which included fourteen lectures, is given 
at length in Vol. II. of Coleridge's "Lectures upon Shakespeare and other 
Dramatists." The subjects are very comprehensive — Language, Literature, 
and Social and Moral Questions. 

Chap, in, 


tion not a 

Hazlitt on 

speare and 


Coleridge's Lecture. — A " Times " Dinner. 

Chap. in. 


on the 
origin of 

Company at 

Dinner at 

pectedly by finding a large and respectable audience, 
generally of superior-looking persons, in physiognomy 
rather than dress. Coleridge treated of the origin of 
poetry and of Oriental works ; but he had little anima- 
tion, and an exceedingly bad cold rendered his voice 
scarcely audible. 

February 4th. — I called on Godwin, and at his house 
met with a party of originals. One man struck me by 
his resemblance to Curran — his name Booth. Godwin 
called him, on introduction, a master of the English 
language, and I understand him to be a learned etymo- 
logist. His conversation was singular, and even original, 
so that I relished the short time I stayed. A rawboned 

Scotchman, , was there also, less remarkable, but 

a hard-headed man. A son of a performer, R by 

name, patronized by Mr. Place,* talked very well too. 

All three Jacobins, and Booth and R debaters: 

I was thrown back some ten years in my feelings. 
The party would have suited me very well about that 
time, and I have not grown altogether out of taste for 
it. I accepted an invitation to meet the same party a 
week hence. 

February loth.—l dined with Walter. A small and 
very agreeable party. Sydenham, Commissioner of 
Excise, suspected to be "Vetus," a great partisan of 
the Wellesleys ; Sterling, more likely to be the real 
"Vetus," — a sensible man; Dr. Baird, a gentlemanly 
physician, and Eraser. The conversation was beginning 

* Mr. Place was a tailor at Charing Cross; a great Westminster Radical, 
an accomplished metaphysician, a frequent writer on political affairs, a man 
of inflexible integrity and firmness, and a friend and protege' of Jeremy 

The New Park — the Regents. 


to be very interesting, when I was obliged to leave the 
party to attend Coleridge's lecture on Shakespeare, 
Coleridge was apparently ill. 

• February i^th. — At two, I took a ride with Preston in 
his gig, into the Regent's Park, which I had never seen 
before. When the trees are grown this will be really 
an ornament to the capital ; and not a mere ornament, 
but a healthful appendage. The Highgate and Hamp- 
stead Hill is a beautiful object, and within the Park the 
artificial water, the circular belt or coppice, the bridges, 
the few scattered villas, &c., are objects of taste. I 
really think this enclosure, with the new street* leading 
to it from Carlton House, will give a sort of glory to 
the Regent's government, which will be more felt by 
remote posterity than the victories of Trafalgar and 
Waterloo, glorious as these are. 

February lyth. — I stayed at home a great part of the 
forenoon. Wirgmann, the Kantianer, called on me. His 
disinterested proselyte-making zeal for the critical phi- 
losophy, though I no longer share his love for that 
philosophy, is a curious and amusing phenomenon. He 
worships his idol with pure affection, without sacrificing 
his domestic duties. He attends to his goldsmith's shop 
as well as to the works of Kant, and is a careful and kind 
educator of his children, though he inflicts the categories 
on them. 

I took tea athome, and Hamond calling, I accompanied 
him to Hazlitt's lecture. He spoke of the writers in the 
reign of Queen Anne, and was bitter, sprightly, and full 
of political and personal allusions. In treating of Prior, 

* Regent Street. ' 

Chap. hi. 




A disciple 
of Kant. 

Hazlitt on 
writers in 
the time of 




Hazlitfs Indiscretion. — L ecture. 

Chap. hi. 




Hazlitt on 

he quoted his unseemly verses against Blackmore to 
a congregation of saints. He drew an ingenious but 
not very intelligible parallel between Swift, Rabelais, 
and Voltaire, and even eulogized the modern infidel. 
So indiscreet and reckless is the man ! 

February 20th. — I dined at Collier's, and went to Cole- 
ridge. It was agreed that I should invite Mrs, Pattisson to 
go with me to the lecture, and I also took Mira May and 
Rachel Rutt. We found the lecture-room fuller than I 
had ever seen it, and were forced to take back seats ; 
but it was a pleasure to Mrs. Pattisson to sit behind Sir 
James Mackintosh. He was with Serjeant Bosanquet 
and some fashionable lady. The party were, however, 
in a satirical mood, as it seemed, throughout the lecture. 
Indeed Coleridge was not in one of his happiest moods 
to-night. His subject was Cervantes, but he was more 
than usually prosy, and his tone peculiarly drawling. 
His digressions on the nature of insanity were carried 
too far, and his remarks on the book but old, and by 
him often repeated, 

February 2y'd. — Heard a lecture by Flaxman at the 
Royal Academy, He was not quite well, and did not 
deliver it with so much animation and effect as I have 
known him on former occasions throw into his lectures. 

February 24th. — I dined and took tea at Collier's, and 
then heard part of a lecture by Hazlitt at the Surrey 
In.stitution, He was so contemptuous towards Words- 
worth, speaking of his letter about Burns, that I lost 
my temper. He imputed to Wordsworth the desire of 
representing himself as a superior man, 

February 27th. — I took tea with Gurney, and invited 

Coleridge's Lecture. — Leigh Hunt. 


Mrs. Gurney to accompany me to Coleridge's lecture. 
It was on Dante and Milton — one of his very best. He 
digressed less than usual, and really gave information 
and ideas about the poets he professed to criticise. I 
returned to Gurney's, and heard Mr. Gurney read Mrs. 
Fry's examination before the committee of the House 
of Commons about Newgate, — a very curious examina- 
tion, and very promising as to the future improvements 
in prison discipline. 

March i<)th. — I had six crown briefs at Thetford. 
One was flattering to me, though it was an unwelcome 
one to hold. It was on behalf of Johnson, whose trial 
for the murder of Mr. Baker, of Wells, lasted the whole 
of the day. I received, a day or two before, a letter 
from Dekker, the chaplain to the Norwich Gaol, saying 
that some gentlemen (the Gurneys principally) had sub- 
scribed, to furnish the prisoner with the means of 
defence. The evidence against him was merely circum- 
stantial, and he had told so consistent a tale, stating 
where he had been, that many believed him innocent. 
He, Dekker, had witnessed my " admirable and suc- 
cessful defence of Massey, for the murder of his wife " 
(such were his words), and had recommended me for the 
present case. 

April i8th. — (At C. Lamb's.) There was a large 
party, — the greater part of those who are usually there, 
but also Leigh Hunt and his wife. He has improved in 
manliness and healthfulness since I saw him last, some 
years ago. There was a glee about him which evinced 
high spirits, if not perfect health, and I envied his 
vivacity. He imitated Hazlitt capitally : Wordsworth ! 

Chap. hi. 



on Dante 

nnd Milton. 

Mrs. Fry. 




Charles Mathews "At Home." 

Chap. hi. 

at home. 

not so well. Talfourd was there. He does not appre- 
ciate Wordsworth's fine lines on " Scorners." Hunt did 
not sympathize with Talfourd, but opposed him play- 
fully, and that I liked him for. 

April 2T,rd. — I had a note from Hundleby, proposing 
to go with me to hear Mathews' Imitations, at eight. 
He came to me accordingly, and I accompanied him 
into the pit of the Lyceum. 

The entertainment consisted of a narrative (for the 
greater part) of a journey in a mail-coach, which gave 
occasion to songs, imitations, &c. The most pleasant 
representation was of a Frenchman, His broken 
English was very happy. And Mathews had caught 
the mind as well as the words of Monsieur. His 
imitation of French tragedians was also very happy. 
Talma was admirably exhibited. 

A digression on lawyers was flat. I did not feel the 
ridicule, and I could not recognize either judge or 

Mathews was not without humour in his representa- 
tion of a French valet, attending his invalid master in 
bed ; and his occasional bursts as master, and as the 
invisible cook and butler, were pleasant. He took a 
child, i.e. a doll, out of a box, and held a droll dialogue. 

The best dramatic exhibition was a narrative as an 
old Scotchwoman. He put on a hood and tippet, 
screwed his mouth into a womanly shape, and, as if by 
magic, became another creature. It was really a treat. 
He concluded by reciting part of Hamlet's speech to 
the players, as Kemble, Kean, Cooke, Young, Banister, 
Fawcett, and Munden, with great success. 

Sir S. Romilly — a Bar Speech. 


April 2^th. — I went to Westminster Hall as usual, 
but had a very unusual pleasure. I heard one of the 
very best forensic speeches ever delivered by Sir Samuel 
Romilly. He had to oppose, certainly, very moderate 
speeches from Gifford and Piggott, and a better one 
from Home. It was in support of an application by 
Mrs. M. A. Taylor, that the Countess of Antrim should 
abstain from influencing her daughter, Lady Frances 
Vane Tempest, in favour of Lord Stewart, who had 
applied for a reference to the Master to fix the marriage 
settlements, which application Romilly resisted. His 
speech was eloquent without vehemence or seeming 
passion, and of Ulyssean subtlety. He had to address 
the Chancellor against the Regent's friend, the Ambas- 
sador at Vienna, and Lord Castlereagh's brother, and he 
continued to suggest, with as little offence as possible, 
whatever could serve his purpose as to the fortune, age, 
morals, &c., of his Lordship. He exposed with much 
humour and sarcasm the precipitation with which the 
marriage was urged, after a few weeks' acquaintance, 
two or three interviews, and a consent obtained at the 
first solicitation. 

April y:>th. — I called on Lamb and accompanied him 
to Mr. Monkhouse, Queen Anne Street East. Haydon 
and Allston,* painters, were there, and two other gentle- 

* Washington Allston, distinguished as an historical painter of a very high 
class, was bom in South Carolina, 1779. In England, 1803, he enjoyed the 
friendship of B. West and Fuseli. At Rome, he was knowh by the resident 
German artists as "The American Titian." He there formed a lasting 
friendship with Coleridge and -Washington Irving. He said of Coleridge, 
" To no other man whom I have ever known do I owe so much intellectually." 
Allston's portnut of Coleridge, painted at Bristol in 1814 for Joshua Wade, is 
now in the National Portrsiit Gallery. His two best known pictures in this 

Chap. hi. 

Sir S. 



Hay don. — A llston. — Masquerier. 

Chap. hi. 


men whose names I did not collect. The conversation 
was very lively and agreeable. Allston has a mild 
manner, a soft voice, and a sentimental air with him — 
not at all Yankeeish ; but his conversation does not 
indicate the talent displayed in his paintings. There is 
a warmth and vigour about Haydon, indicating youthful 
confidence, often the concomitant of talents and genius, 
which he is said to possess. His conversation is certainly 
interesting. Monkhouse himself is a gentlemanly 
sensible man. Lamb, without talking much, talked his 
best. I enjoyed the evening. 

May dfth. — At six I dined with Masquerier,* and met 
a singular party. The principal guest was the once 

country are "Jacob's Dream," at Petworth, painted in 1817, and " Uriel in the 
Sun," at Trentham. He married a sister of the celebrated Dr. Channing. He 
died at Cambridge Port, near Boston in America, 1843. 

* John James Masquerier, a portrait painter by profession. Without 
aspiring to academical rank, he attained an independence by his profes- 
sional life of twenty-eight years. He was descended on both the father's and 
the mother's side from French Protestant refugees. Being sent to school in 
Paris, he witnessed some of the most thriUing scenes of the Revolution, 
Being again at Paris in 1800, he obtained permission to make a likeness of the 
First Consul without his being aware of what was going on. With this and 
other sketches he returned to England, and composed a picture of ' ' Napoleon 
reviewing the Consular Guards in the Court of the Tuileries." It was the first 
genuine likeness of the famous man; and being exhibited in Piccadilly in 1801, 
produced to the young artist a profit of a thousand pounds. Beattie, in his 
Life of Thomas Campbell (Vol. I. p. 429), quotes a description of Masquerier 
by the poet as " a pleasant little fellow with French vivacity." In 1812 he 
married a Scotch lady, the widow of Scott, the Professor of Moral Philosophy 
at Aberdeen. This lady was by birth a Forbes, and related to the Frasers and 
Erskines. After Mr. Masquerier retired from his profession, he went to live at 
Brighton, where he was the respected associate of Copley Fielding, Horace 
Smith, and other artists and hterary men. H. C. R. was his frequent guest, 
and on several occasions travelled with him. Mr. Masquerier died March 
13th, 1855, in his 77th year. 

Abridged from an obituary notice by H. C. R. in the Gentleman s Maga- 
zine, May, 1855. 

Coleridge on Children in Factories. 


famous Major Scott Waring,* he who, when censured 
by the Speaker, on Burke's saying that he hoped it 
would not occasion feelings too painful, started up and 
said he need not fear that : he had already forgotten it. 
The Major now exhibits rather the remains of a 
military courtier and gentleman of the old school than 
of a statesman, the political adversary of Burke. But 
good breeding is very marked in him. 

Coleridge to H. C. R. 

May ird, 1818. 
My dear Sir, 

Ecce iterum Crispinus ! Another mendicant letter 
from S. T. C. ! But no, it is from the poor little 
children employed in the Cotton Factories, who would 
fain have you in the list of their friends and helpers ; 
and entreat you to let me know for and in behalf of 
them, whether there is not some law prohibiting, or 
limiting, or regulating the employment either of children 
or adults, or of both, in the White Lead Manufactory ? 
In the minutes of evidence before the Select Committee 
of the House of Commons on the state of children in 
the Cotton Factories, in 18 16, the question is put to Mr. 
Astley Cooper, who replies, " I believe there is such a 
law." Now, can you help us to a more positive answer ? 
Can you furnish us with any other instances in which 
the Legislature has directly, or by immediate conse- 
quence, interfered with what is ironically called " Free 
Labour ? " (z>. dared to prohibit soul-murder and 

* The friend and zealous supporter of Warren Hastings in his trial. — 
H. C. R. Vide Macaulay's " Essays," Vol. III. pp. 436, 442, &c. 

Chap. rn. 

on the 
of children 
in manu- 


Coleridge on Restricting Children s Labour. 

Chap. hi. 

infanticide on the part of the rich, and self-slaughter on 
that of the poor !) or any dictum of our grave law 
authorities from Fortescue to Bacon, and from Bacon to 
Kenyon and Eldon : for from the borough in Hell I 
wish to have no representative, though on second thoughts 
I shoiild have no objection to a good word in God's 
cause, though it should have slipped from the Devil's 
mouth. In short, my dear sir, the only objection likely 
to produce any hesitation in the House of Lords 
respecting Sir Robert Peel's Bill, which has just passed 
the House of Commons, will come from that Scottish 
(" der Teufel scotch man all for snakes ! ") plebeian 

earl. Lord L , the dangerous precedent of 

legislative interference with free labour, of course 
implying that this bill will provide the first precedent. 
Though Heaven knows that I am seriously hurting myself 
by devoting my days daily in this my best harvest-tide 
as a lecture-monger, and that I am most disinterestedly 
interested in the fate of the measure, yet interested I 
am. Good Mr. Clarkson could scarcely be more so ! 
I should have bid farewell to all ease of conscience if I 
had returned an excuse to the request made for my 
humble assistance. But a little legal information from 
you would do more than twenty S. T. C.s, if there 
exists any law in point in that pithy little manual 
yclept the Statutes of Great Britain. I send herewith 
two of the circulars that I have written as the most to 
the point in respect of what I now solicit from you.* Be 

* This Bill was by the father of the late Sir Robert Peel. (See an interesting 
reference in Yonge's " Life of Lord Liverpool," Vol. II. p. 367.) The Ten 
Hours Bill, restricting the hours of labour in factories for children and persons 
of tender years to ten hours, passed in 1844. 

Macready. — Miss Stephens. — L iston. — Emery. 


so good (if you have time to write at all, and see aught 

that can be of service) to direct to me, care of Nathaniel 

Gould, Esq., Spring Garden Coffee House. I need not 

add, that in the present case. Bis dat qui cito dat. 

For procrastination is a monopoly (in which you have 

no partnership) of your sincere, and with respectful 

esteem, affectionate friend, 

S. T. Coleridge. 

May yth. — I lounged at the Surrey Institution till it 
was time to go to Covent Garden Theatre, where I 
went by appointment with Thomas Stansfeld. We 
heard "The Slave," and saw "The Sorrows of Werther." 
"The Slave" is a sentimental musical drama, which 
exhibits Macready to great advantage. He is an heroic, 
supergenerous, and noble African, who exercises every 
sort of virtue and self-denial, with no regard to pro- 
priety, but considerable stage effect. Miss Stephens' 
singing is as unlike an African as her fair complexion. 
She is very sweet in this character. Braham's voice 
was husky, and he hardly got as much applause as 
Sinclair. Liston as a booby cockney, come to see an 
old maiden aunt ; Emery as his Yorkshire friend, who 
is to help him out of difficulties, are decently funny. 

" The Sorrows of Werther " is a pleasant burlesque, 
and Liston infinitely comic. I cannot account for the 
caprice which made this piece so unpopular, in spite of 
Liston's capital acting. The great objection is that the 
satire is not felt. Werther's sentimentality is ridiculous 
enough, but who cares in England for foreign literature 1 
Had we a party here who were bent on supporting, and 
another resolved to ruin, the German poet, there would 

Chap. hi. 

An evening 
at Covent 


Royal Academy. — Hamond. 

Chap. hi. 

The Royal 




be an interest. Besides, I am not sure that the sapient 
public knew what was meant for burlesque. Is it certain 
that the author knew ? 

May I \th. — I lounged away this day entirely. I went 
first to the Exhibition. There I saw a number of 
gaudy portraits — and a few pictures, which at the end 
of a week I recollect with pleasure. A splendid land- 
scape by Turner, " The Dort Packet Boat," has a rich- 
ness of colouring unusual in water scenes, and perhaps 
not quite true to nature ; but this picture delights me, 
notwithstanding. On the contrary. Turner's " Field 
of Waterloo" is a strange incomprehensible jumble. 
Lawrence's " Duke of Wellington " is a fine painting. 

I called on Miss Lamb, and so passed away the 
forenoon, I dined with the Colliers and took tea with 
the Flaxmans. Mr. Flaxman has more than sixty 
engravings by Piranesi, not better than mine, and only 
seventeen the same, though part of the same series. 
Fraser says the collection amounts to I20. 

May 24th. — This was an agreeable day. I rose 
early, and walked to Norwood. The weather as fit 
for walking as possible, and the book I lounged with 
very interesting. From half-past six to nine on the 
road. It was near ten before Hamond came down. 
I did not suffer him to be called. I found him in 
pleasantly situated small apartments, where he contrives 
to pass away his time with no other society than a little 
child, whom he teaches its letters, and a mouse, that 
feeds out of his hands. I was the first friend who 
called on him there. He writes for his amusement on 
whatever subject chances to engage his attention, but 

Mrs. Barbaiild. — Covent Garden. 


with no purpose, I fear, literary or mercantile. Yet he 
says he suffers no ennui. 

May 3 1 J" A — I wrote an opinion in the forenoon, on 
which I spoke with Manning. I walked then to Clap- 
ton, reading Lord Byron, but finding the Kents from 
home, I went to Mrs. Barbauld's, with whom I dined. 
Several people were there, and young Mr. Roscoe 
called. Mrs. Barbauld speaks contemptuously of Lord 
Byron's new poem,* as being without poetry, and in 
horrible versification. It may be so. 

!^u7ie gf/i. — I took tea with the Miss Nashes, and 
accompanied them to Covent Garden, where we were 
very much amused by " She Stoops to Conquer." 
Liston's Tony Lumpkin is a delightful performance. 
The joyous folly, the booby imbecility, of Tony are 
given with exquisite humour and truth. And I was 
charmed by the beauty of Miss Brunton, though her 
acting is not very excellent. Charles Kemble over- 
acted the sheepishness of the bashful rake, and under- 
acted the rakishness — in both particulars wanting a just 
perception of the character. And Fawcett but poorly 
performed old Hardcastle. But the scenes are so 
comic that, in spite of moderate acting, I was gratified 

3^une i8t/i. — During the general election, nothing has 
hitherto much gratified me but the prospect of Sir 
Samuel Romilly's triumphant election for Westminister, 
and the contempt into which Hunt seems to have 
fallen, even with the mob he courts. His absence from 
the poll, the folly of his committee in joining with 

* " Beppo," published in May, 1818. 

Chap. iir. 



She Stoops 
to Conquer. 

and Hunt. 


Westminster Election. 

Chap. hi. 




elected for 



Kinnaird — and even the secession of the few who have 
split their votes for Cartwright and Hunt, will, I expect, 
in concurrence with the decided hostility of the Court, 
and the semi-opposition of the Whigs, fix Captain 
Maxwell as second to Romilly. 

July 2,rd. — I dined at the Colliers', and then walked 
to the hustings. The crowd was great. Burdett and 
Romilly are again higher on the poll than Captain 
Maxwell. I consider the election as decided. 

Jidy 4th. — I spent the forenoon at Guildhall, and 
took a cold dinner at the Colliers' early, being desirous 
to see something of the election at Covent Garden. I 
was too late, however, to get near the hustings, and suf- 
fered more annoyance from the crowd than sympathy 
with or observation of their feelings could compensate. 
The crowd was very great, and extended through the 
adjacent streets. There was not much tumult. The 
mob could not quite relish Sir Samuel Romilly being 
placed at the head of the poll, though, their hero being 
elected, they could not complain. All the Burdettites, 
therefore, acceded to the triumph of to-day, though a 
few deep-blue ribbons were mingled with the light blue 
and buff of the Whigs. Sir Samuel sat in a barouche 
with W. Smith, &c. Streamers, flags, and a sort of 
palanquin were prepared, to give this riding the air of 
a chairing. He looked rather pale, and as he passed 
through the Strand, and it appeared as if the mob would 
take off the horses, he manifested anxiety and appre- 

• A few weeks after this, in a fit of despair on the death of his wife, he 
destroyed himself, — an event which excited universal sorrow.— H. C. R. 

Visit to Germany. 


Rem* — Thirteen years had elapsed since I left Jena. 
I had kept up a correspondence, though not a close 
one, with two of my friends, and though I had ceased 
to devote myself to German literature, I felt a desire 
to renew my German acquaintance. I wished also to 
become better acquainted with the Rhine scenery, and 
with portions of the Netherlands yet unknown. I shall 
not dwell on places, but confine my reminiscences to 

At Frankfort I saw my old friends, at least those of 
them who were not from home. I found that my Jena 
fellow-student, Frederick Schlosser, had been frightened 
into Romanism by ill-health and low spirits. These led, 
first to the fear of hell, and then to the Romish Church 
as an asylum. His brother was converted at Rome, and 
then made a proselyte of him. They were wrought on, 
too, by Werner, Frederick Schlegel, and the romantic 
school of poets and artists. Of Goethe, Schlosser said, 
" What a tragical old age his is ! He is left alone. He 
opposes himself to the religious spirit that prevails 
among the young ; therefore justice is not done him. 
But he is still our greatest man." He ought, perhaps, 
to have said also, "He is opposed to the democratic 
tendencies of the age." 

On August 23rd I parted from Naylor, and accom- 
panied a Mr. Passavant in his carriage to Weimar, which, 
after travelling all night, we reached the second evening, 
passing through Eisenach, Erfurth, &c. 

At Jena I found my friend Knebel-f* in a garden-house. 
I was not expected, but was soon recognized, and met 

• Written in 1851. t SeeVaX. I. pp. 195 — 199. 

H 2 

Chap. m. 






Chap. hi. 


The Crown 

with a reception which justified the long and fatiguing 
journey. My old friend was the same as ever — a little 
feebler, of course ; but in character and habits the same 
affectionate, generous, high-minded, animated old man 
I knew years ago. With the same quick sensibility to 
everything good and beautiful, the same comical irrita- 
bility without anger, and the same rough, passionate 
tone, which could not for a moment conceal the tender- 
ness of his disposition. Mrs, Von Knebel I found the 
same hospitable and friendly person — attentive to her 
husband's guests, and most anxious to make me com- 
fortable. There was a new member of the family — a 
boy, Bernard — a sweet child, delicately framed, who 
died young. The first affectionate greetings were 
scarcely over, and we were in the very act of projecting 
how I could be brought to see Charles, the Major's 
eldest son, who is a lieutenant in the Prussian service, 
when he suddenly entered the room. The parents were 
overjoyed at seeing him, and I was glad too. Thirteen 
years ago he was a boy, now he had become a fine 
young man, with as fierce an appearance as a uniform, 
whiskers, and moustache can give ; but, in spite of these, 
a gentle creature, and full of affection towards his 

My visit to the Knebels was interrupted by an excur- 
sion of two days to Weimar, of which dignitatis causd 
I must give an account. While at Knebel's, the Crown 
Prince of Weimar called on him, and was courteous to 
me, so that it was incumbent on me to call on him and 
accept an invitation to dine at Court, which I did 
twice. On the first occasion, I was recognized by the 

The Court at Weimar. 


chamberlain, Count Einsiedel, who introduced me to 
the Grand Duchess, Einsiedel was an elegant courtier- 
poet, author of some comedies from Terence, acted in 
masks after the Roman fashion. Prince Paul, the 
second son of the King of Bavaria, was also a visitor. 
There might have been thirty at table, including Goethe's 
son. On our return to the drawing-room, I was intro- 
duced to the Crown Princess, and had rather a long 
conversation with hrer. She was somewhat deaf, and I 
took pains to be understood by her in German and 
English. I mentioned the familiarities of the English 
lower classes towards her brother, the Emperor Alex- 
ander, and expressed a fear lest such things should deter 
her from a visit to England. She said the Emperor was 
perfectly satisfied, and that, as to herself, she wished to 
see England : " Es gehdrt zii den fronunen Wiinsclien " 
(It belongs to the pious wishes). We talked of lan- 
guages. I said I hoped to see the dominion of the 
French language destroyed, as that of their arms had 
been. She smiled and said, "Das ware viel" (That 
would be much). 

I was called out of the circle by the Grand Duchess, 
and chatted a considerable time with her. I referred to 
the well-known interview between herself and Napoleon, 
after the battle of Jena, of which I said England was 
well-informed, (not adding, "through myself."*) She 

* The account alluded to was communicated by H. C. R. to the Times, 
December 26th, 1807, and republished in Mrs. Austin's " Characteristics of 
Goethe," Vol. III. p. 203. The following extracts will give the substance and 
result of this interesting interview : — 

' ' When the fortunes of the day began to be decided (and that took place 
early in the morning), the Prussians retreating through the town were pursued 
by the French, and slaughtered in the streets. Some of the inhabitants were 

Chap. hi. 



Dinner at 

The Crown. 



Grand Duchess and Napoleon. 

Chap. hi. 

received my compliment favourably — said, as some one 
must stay in the house, she was the proper person ; 
that after the plundering was over, Buonaparte behaved 
civilly enough in his fashion. 

murdered, and a general plunder began. In the evening, the conqueror 
approached and entered the palace of the Duke, now become his own by the 
right of conquest. It was then that the Duchess left her apartment, and 
seizing the moment of his entering the hall, placed herself on the top of the 
staircase, to greet him with the formality of a courtly reception. Napoleon 
started when he beheld her. ' Qui etes vous ? ' he exclaimed, with his charac- 
teristic abruptness. 'Je suis la Duchesse de Weimar' — 'Je vous plains,' he 
retorted fiercely ; 'j'^craserai votre mari.' He then added, ' I shall dine in my 
apartment,' and rushed by her. 

"On his entrance next morning, he began instantly with an interrogative 
(his favourite figure). ' How could your husband, Madame, be so mad as to 
make war against me?' — 'Your Majesty would have despised him if he had 
not,' was the dignified answer he received. 'How so?' he hastily rejoined. 
The Duchess slowly and deliberately rejoined, ' My husband has been in the 
service of the King of Prussia upwards of thirty years, and surely it was not at 
the moment that the King had so mighty an enemy as your Majesty to contend 
against that the Duke could abandon him.' A reply so admirable, which 
asserted so powerfully the honour of the speaker, and yet conciliated the vanity 
of the adversary, was irresistible. Buonaparte became at once more mild, 
and, without noticing the answer already received, continued his interrogatories. 
' But how came the Duke to attach himself to the King of Prussia?' — 'Your 
Majesty will, on inquiry, find that the Dukes of Saxony, the younger 
branches of the family, have always followed the example of the Electoral 
House ; and your Majesty knows what motives of prudence and policy have 
led the Court of Dresden to attach itself to Prussia rather than Austria.' 
This was followed by further inquiries and further answers, so impressive, that 
in a few minutes Napoleon exclaimed with warmth, ' Madame, vous etes la 
femme la plus respectable que j'ai jamais connue : vous avez sauv^ votre marl.' 
Yet he could not confer favour unaccompanied with insult ; for, reiterating his 
assurances of esteem, he added, 'Je le pardonne, mais c'est k cause de vous 
seulement ; car, pour lui, c'est un mauvais sujet." The Duchess to this made 
no reply; but, seizing the happy moment, interceded successfully for her 
suffering people. Napoleon gave orders that the plundering should cease. 

"When the treaty which secured the nominal independence of Weimar, and 
.declared its territorj' to be a part of the Rhenish League, was brought from 
Buonaparte to the Duke by a French general, and presented to him, he 
refused to take it into his own hands, saying, with more than gallantry, ' Give 
it to my wife ; the Emperor intended it for her.' " 

Dinners at Court. 


The Grand Princess inquired whether I had heard 
the Russian service performed, and on my saying " No," 
she said she would give orders that I should be admitted 
the next day (Sunday), I accordingly went. The Rus- 
sian language I thought very soft, and like Italian. But 
I was guilty of an oversight in not staying long, which 
the Princess noticed next day after dinner. She said 
she had ordered some music to be played on purpose 
for me. She seemed an intelligent woman — indeed, 
as all her children have been, she was crammed with 

To terminate at once my mention of the Court, I 
dined here a second time on Sunday, and was intro- 
duced to the Grand Duke. He talked freely and 
bluntly. He expressed his disapprobation of the 
English system of jurisprudence, which allowed lawyers 
to travel for months at a time. "We do not permit 
that." I said, " When the doctor is absent, the patient 
recovers." A bad joke was better than contradiction ; 
besides, he was right. 

The intimacy in which the Grand Duke had lived all 
his life with Goethe, and the great poet's testimony to 
his character — not ordinary eulogy — satisfy me that 
he must have been an extraordinary man. On the 
whole, this visit to Weimar did not add to my pre- 
possessions in its favour. The absence of Goethe was 
a loss nothing could supply. 

I went to the theatre — no longer what it was under 
the management of Goethe and Schiller. Jagermann, 
then the favourite of the Grand Duke, was at this time 
become fat ; her face had lost all proportion, and was 

Chap. hi. 





Griesbach's Widow. 

Chap. hi. 




Griesbach' s 


destitute of expression. She performed, without effect, 
the part of Sappho, in Grillparzer's disagreeable tragedy 
of that name. Mademoiselle Beck played the slave, and 
the scene in which she bewailed her forlorn state, and 
gained the love of Phaon, was the only one that affected 
me. I sat part of the evening with Mesdames Wolzogen 
and Schiller. 

I went to Tiefurth, the former residence of the 
Dowager Duchess Amelia, where Sturm* has his estab- 
lishment, and among the characters I called on was 
Herr von Einsiedel, the motose and cynical husband of 
my old acquaintance, Madame von Einsiedel. 

August 29///. — I accompanied Knebel to Madame 
Griesbach's garden, the most delightful spot in the 
neighbourhood of Jena. This has been bought for 
.^1,000 by the Grand Duchess. Her children were 
there, and I was introduced to the Princesses — mere 
children yet ; but it is surprising how soon they have 
acquired a sense of their dignity. These children are 
over-crammed ; they learn all the sciences and lan- 
guages, and are in danger of losing all personal 
character and power of thought in the profusion of 
knowledge they possess. This is now the fashion 
among the princes of Germany. 

I saw Griesbach's widow. The old lady knew me in 
a moment, and instantly began joking — said she sup- 
posed I was come to pay a visit to E 's^f lecture- 

* Professor Sturm taught at this establishment the economical sciences, 
i.e. all that pertains to agriculture and the useful arts.- H. C. R. 

f The Professor with whom H. C. R. had a misunderstanding. — See Vol. I. 
p. 208. 

Attachment to Knebel. 


My last few days at Jena were spent almost alone 
with Knebel. He told me of Wieland's death, which 
was, he said, delightful. Wieland never lost his cheer- 
fulness or good-humour; and, but a few hours before 
his death, having insisted on seeing his doctor's pre- 
scription, " I see," said he, " it is much the same with 
my life and the doctor's Latin, they are both at an 
end." He was ill but a' week, aind died of an indiges- 

I\Iy last day at Jena was spent not without pleasure. 
It was one of uninterrupted rain ; I could not, therefore, 
take a walk with Fries, as I had intended, so I remained 
the whole day within doors, chatting with my friend 
Knebel. We looked over books and papers. Knebel 
sought for MSS. of the great poets, Goethe, Wieland, and 
Herder for me, and talked much about his early life, 
his opinions, &c. As Andenken (for remembrance) he 
gave me a ring with Raphael's head on it, given him by 
the Duchess Amelia, and four portraits in porcelain and 
iron of the four great German poets. In return, I gave 
him Wordsworth's poems, which had occupied so much 
of our attention. 

On the 9th of September, I left my friend Knebel 
with sorrow, for I could not expect to see him again, 
and I loved him above every German. His memory is 
dear to me. I sauntered, not in high spirits, to Weimar, 
where I slept, and on the loth set out in a diligence 
towards Frankfort. I spent a little time with Knebel's 
son at Erfurth, where he is stationed. I had to spend 
three nights on the road, reaching Frankfort at 4 A.M., 
on the 13th. A more wearisome journey I never made. 

Chap. hi. 


Last day at 

Journey to 


The Brentano Family. 

Chap. hi. 




I spent my time at Frankfort almost entirely with my 
friends of the Aldebert connection, and the Brentano 
family and their friends. 

September I'^tJi. — When I met Christian Brentano he 
embarrassed me by kissing me, with all outward marks 
of friendship. After being an econome for some years in 
Bohemia, after dabbling in philosophy and mathematics, 
and rejecting medicine and law, he is now about to 
become a priest. In a few words, he said that he had 
been, by God's providence, brought to see that religion 
alone can give comfort to man. "I was," said he, "first 
led to this by seeing what faith can do in making 
men good. I was led to know my own worthlessness. 
Nature opened to me somewhat of her relation to God. 
I saw wonderful phenomena — miracles!" — "Do you 
mean," said I, " such miracles as the Scriptures speak 
of?" — "Yes," said he, "of the same kind." I had not 
the assurance to ask him of what kind they were, but 
merely said, I had often wished in my youth to see a 
miracle, in order to put an end to all further doubt and 
speculation. Brentano then talked mystically. That 
he is a deceiver, or playing a part, I am far from 
suspecting. That he has a wrong head, with great 
powers of intellect, I have long known. But I was not 
prepared for such a change. In society he is, however, 
improved; he is now quiet, and rather solicitous to 
please than to shine ; but his wild Italian face, with all 
its caricature ferocity, remains. 

Rem* — The Brentano circle was extended by the pre- 
sence of Savigny and his wife. He was already a great 

* Written in 1851. 

Savigiiy. — Stilling. 


man, though not arrived at the rank he afterwards 
attained. It is a remarkable circumstance, that when I 
lately introduced myself to hirn in Berlin — he being now 
an ex-Minister of. Justice, fallen back on his literary 
pursuits, and retired from official life, which is not his 
especial province — both he and I had forgotten our few 
interviews in this year (18 18), and had thought that we 
had not seen each other since I left Germany at the 
beginning of the century, that is, in 1865. 

My course led me to Baden-Baden. It is enough for 
me to say that I walked through the admirable Murg- 
Thal with great delight, and had for my book during 
the walk, " Scenes out of the World of Spirits," by 
Henry Stilling (or Jung). The theory of the spiritual 
world entertained by this pious enthusiast is founded on 
the assumption that every witch and ghost story is to 
be taken as indubitably true. He has many believers in 
England as elsewhere. Having been reproached as a 
fanatic, he desires all unbelievers to consider his tales as 
mere visions — these tales being narratives of sentences 
passed in heaven on great criminals, &c., by an eye- 
witness and auditor. In Goethe's Life is an interesting 
account of him.* Goethe protected him from persecu- 
tion when a student at Strasburg, but became at last 
tired of him. Goethe corrected the first volume of his 
Autobiography by striking out all the trash. This I 
learned from Knebel. That volume, therefore, should 
be read by those who might find the subsequent volumes 
intolerable. Stilling was the nom de guerre of Jung. 

I spent six days at Paris, where were Miss Nash, 

* Vide " Dichtung und Wahrheit, " Books ix. and x. 

Chap. hi. 





Bust of Wieland. 

Chap. hi. 

selle Mars. 



M. Andrews, &c. The only object of great interest was 
Mademoiselle Mars. " She a little resembles Miss Mel- 
lon* when she was young — i.e. Miss Mellon when she 
stood still, neither giggling nor fidgetty." I did not 
foresee that I was writing of a future duchess. 

November y:)th. — Thelwall called. His visit gave 
me pain. He has purchased The Champion, and is 
about to take up the profession of politician, after so 
many years' pause. An old age of poverty will be his 

December 2,rd. — I bought at Dove Court, St. Martin's 
Lane, a marble bust of Wieland by Schadow, for ten 
guineas. Flaxman informed me of this bust being 
there. He says it is an excellent head, which he would 
have bought himself, had he had a room to put it in. I 
am delighted with my purchase. It is a very strong 
likeness, and in a style of great simplicity. The head 
is covered with a cap, which is only distinguished from 
the skull by two lines crossing the head ; the hair curls 
round below the cap, and the head stoops a very little, 
with the sight rather downwards. The forehead and 
temples are exquisitely wrought, and the drapery is 
pleasingly folded. It is unwrought at the sides, in each 
of which is a square opening. Having this fine object 
constantly before me will generate a love for sculpture.-|- 

December 4th. — I dined with John Collier, and in the 
evening, after taking tea with Miss Lamb, accompanied 

* Afterwards Mrs. Coutts, and then Duchess of St. Albans, 
j" There will be further reference to this bust in the year 1829. It is a mag- 
nificent work of art. A cast of it is or was to be seen ait the Crystal Palace. 

Covent Garden. — Grote. 


her to Covent Garden. We saw "The Rivals," and 
Farren for the first time, the last theatrical tyro that 
has appeared. His Sir Anthony Absolute appeared to 
me delightful. He is a young man, I am told, yet he 
was so disguised by painted wrinkles, and a face and 
figure made up by art, that I could hardly credit the 
report. The consequence of a manufactured counte- 
nance and constrained unnatural attitudes is, that the 
actor has a hard and inflexible manner. Listen's 
Acres, however, gave me the greatest pleasure. It was 
infinitely comic and laughable, and none the worse for 
being even burlesque and farcical. 

Rem* — My journal mentions Farren as an admirable 
comic actor, only twenty-five or twenty-six years old. 
This must be a mistake. He is now worn out, and 
apparently a very old man. 

December igth. — I dined with Serjeant Blossett. No 
one with him but Miss Peckwell and a nephew of the 
Serjeant's, a Mr. Grote, a merchant, who reads German, 
and appears to be an intelligent, sensible man, having 
a curiosity for German philosophy as well as German 
poetry. I read a number of things by Goethe and 
others to the Serjeant, who has already made great 
advances in the language, and can relish the best 
poetry. Grote has borrowed books of me. 

Rem.-f — This year I became a " barrister of five 
years' standing," an expression that has become almost 
ridiculous, being the qualification required for many 
offices by acts of parliament, while it is notorious that 
many such barristers are ill-qualified for any office. I 

* Written in 1851. 

j- Written in 1851. 

Chap. hi. 





A barrister 

of Jive 




Sir S. Romilly. 

Chap. hi. 


Appeal tc 

Sir S. 

was no exception, certainly, at any time of my life, 
being never a learned lawyer or a skilful advocate, and 
yet in this my fifth year I attained some reputation : 
and of this year I have some anecdotes to relate of 
myself and others not uninteresting to those who may 
care for me or for the profession. 

There was but an insignificant increase of fees, from 
;^4i5 in 1817 to i^488 during this year; but this little 
practice brought me into connection with superior men, 
and into superior courts. 

For instance, I had an appeal in the Council Cham- 
bers from Gibraltar with Sir Samuel Romilly. It was 
a case of mercantile guarantee. I have forgotten the 
facts, and I refer to the case merely because it shows 
Sir Samuel's practice. He read from the printed state- 
ment, in the most unimpressive manner, the simple 
facts, adding scarcely an observation of his own. I 
followed at some length, not comprehending the course 
taken by my excellent leader, and Hundleby,* my client, 
was satisfied with my argument. I pleaded before Sir 
W. Grant, Sir William Scott, &c. Hart, afterwards 
Chancellor of Ireland, and Lovett were for the respon- 
dents. Then Sir Samuel Romilly replied in a most 
masterly manner. I never heard a more luminous and 
powerful argument. He went over the ground I had 
trod, but I scarcely knew my own arguments, so 
improved were they. Judgment was ultimately given 
in our favour. I have since understood that it was Sir 
Samuel's practice, when he had the reply, to open the 
case in this way, and not even to read the brief before he 

* Vide note p. 67. 

A Usury Case. 


went to court, knowing that his junior and adversaries 
would give him time enough to become master of the 
facts and settle his argument. 

At the Spring Assizes, at Thetford, I made a speech 
which gained me more credit than any I ever made, 
either before or after, and established my character as 
a speaker : luckily it required no law. I thought of it 
afterwards with satisfaction, and I will give an account 
of the case here (it will be the only one in these 
Reminiscences), partly because it will involve some 
questions of speculative morality. It was a defence in a 
Qui tarn action for penalties for usury to the amount of 
;^2,640.* My attorney was a stranger. He had offered 
the brief to Jameson, who declined it from a conscious- 
ness of inability to speak, and recommended me. The 
plaintiff's witness had requested my client to lend him 
money, which, it is stated by the single witness, he 
consented to do on the payment of i^20. A mortgage 
also was put in ; and on this the case rested. The de- 
fence was a simple one. It could lie only in showing 
that the witness could not safely be relied on ; and this 
I did in a way that produced applause from the au- 
dience, a compliment from the judge, and a verdict in 
my favour. Now, what I look back upon with pleasure 
is, that I gained this verdict very fairly and by no 
misstatement. I will put down some of the salient 
points of my speech, of which I have a distinct recol- 

* A Qui tarn action is an action brought by an informer for penalties of 
which a half share is given to the informer by the statute. The suit would be 
by Moses, plaintiff, who sues " as well for himself" (Qui tarn) as for our Lord 
the King. 

Chap. in. 

A Qui tam 
usury case. 


H. a R:s speech 

Chap. hi. 

H. C. R.'s 

I began — " Gentlemen, I have often thought that 
juries, as conscientious men, anxious to do justice, must 
be distressed by perceiving that they are called upon to 
decide a case on most imperfect evidence, where, from 
the nature of the case, they can only guess what the 
truth may be, hearing only one side. This is one of 
those cases. There can be no doubt that my client lent 
a sum of money to that man, his own attorney, whom 
you have seen in that box ; and that man has thought 
proper to tell you that, in order to obtain that loan, he 
was forced to give i^20. Now, this was a transaction 
between these persons, and I cannot possibly contradict 
him. For, were I to read you my brief, or tell you what 
my client says, of course denying all this, I should be 
reproved by his Lordship, and incur the ridicule of my 
learned friends around me ; because, what the party in 
the cause says is not evidence.* This is a hardship, but 
it is the law; and I refer to it now, not to censure the 
law, which would be indecorous, but to draw your atten- 
tion to this most important consequence, that since you 
are compelled to hear the witness — one party alone — 
and are not at liberty to hear the other party, in a trans- 
action between them and none other, you have the duty 
imposed on you closely to examine what that witness 
has said, and ask yourselves this question, whether such 
a statement as he has thought proper to make, knowing 
that he may swear falsely with safety (for he can never 
be contradicted), must be credited by you. 

" Gentlemen, at the same time that I am not in a 
condition to deny what that man has said, I add, with 

* This law is now altered. 

to the Jury. 


the most entire confidence, that it is impossible for you, 
acting under those rules which good sense and con- 
science alike dictate, to do other than by your verdict 
declare that you cannot, in this essentially criminal case, 
convict the defendant on the uncorroborated testimony 
of that single witness." 

I then pointedly stated that, though in form an action, 
this was in substance a criminal case, and to be tried by 
the rules observed in a criminal court ; and that, unless 
they had a perfect conviction, they would not consign 
this old retired tradesman to a gaol or a workhouse for 
the rest of his days in order to enrich Mr. Moses (the 
common informer, who had luckily a Jew name) and the 
Treasury. And I pledged myself to show that in this 
case were combined all imaginable reasons for distrust, 
so as to render it morally impossible, whatever the fact 
might be, to give a verdict for the Qui tarn plaintiff. 

I then successively expatiated on the several topics 
which the case supplied, — on the facts that the single 
witness was the plaintiffs own attorney — an uncertifi- 
cated bankrupt who was within the rules of the King's 
Bench prison ; that he came down that morning from 
London in the custody of a sheriffs officer, though, 
when asked where he came from, he at first said from 
home, having before said he was an attorney at Lynn. 
And I had laid a trap for him, and led him to say he 
expected no part of the penalty. This I represented 
to be incredible ; and I urged with earnestness the 
danger to society if such a man were of necessity to be 
believed because he dared to take an oath for which he 
could not be called to account here. And I alluded to 


Chap. iir. 


The Counsellor's Baz- 

Chap. hi. 

The coun- 
sellor's bag. 

H. C. R. 

has a chance 
to punish 
his old 

recent cases in which other King's Bench prisoners had 
been transported for perjury, and to the known cases of 
perjury for blood-money. As I have already said, I 
sat down with applause, which was renewed when the 
verdict for the defendant was pronounced. The man I 
had so exposed gave me something to do afterwards on 
his own account ; and, more than once, attorneys, new 
clients, in bringing me a brief, alluded to this case. 
But the power of making such a speech does not 
require the talents most essential to the barrister — '■ 
none of which did I, in fact, possess. 

In the spring Term of this year, Gurney,* the King's 
Counsel's clerk, brought me a bag, for which I pre- 
sented him with a guinea. This custom is now obsolete, 
and therefore I mention it. It was formerly the 
etiquette of the Bar that none but Serjeants and 
King's Counsel could carry a bag in Westminster 
Hall. Till some King's Counsel presented him with 
one, however large the junior (that is, stuff-gowned) 
barrister's business might be, he was forced to carry his 
papers in his hand. It was considered that he who 
carried a bag was a rising man. 

At the following Bury Assizes I was concerned in 
a case no otherwise worth noticing than as it gave 
occasion to good-natured joking. I defended Ridley, 
the tallow-chandler, in an action against him for a 
nuisance in building a chimney in Still Lane. The 
chief witness for plaintiff was Blomfield (father of the 
present Bishop of London).-f- He had said that he was 

* Afterwards Baron Gurney. 
•)■ See Vol. I. p. s. 

H. C. R. Cross-examines his old Schoolmaster, 


a schoolmaster, and the plaintiff and defendant and 
defendant's counsel had all been his pupils. When I 
rose to cross-examine him, C. J. Dallas leaned over, and in 
an audible whisper said, " Now, Mr. Robinson, you may 
take your revenge." Good-natured sparring took place 
between Blomfield and myself, and I got a verdict in a 
very doubtful case, — insisting that, if a nuisance, it must 
be a general one, and so"the subject of an indictment. 
Afterwards, on an indictment, I contended that the 
remedy was by action, if it were a grievance, and in 
this I failed. 

Before the Summer Assizes I dined with C. J. Gibbs. 
Others of the circuit were with me. Some parts of his 
conversation I thought worth putting down, though 
not very agreeable at the time, as it was manifestly 
didactic, and very like that of a tutor with his pupils. 
He spoke with great earnestness against the " Term 
Reports,"* which he considered as ruinous to the pro- 
fession in the publication of hasty decisions, especially 
those at Nisi Prius, and urged the necessity of arguing 
every case on principle. On my remarking on the 
great fame acquired by men who were eminently de- 
ficient, he was malicious enough to ask for an instance. 
I named Erskine. He was not sorry to have an oppor- 
tunity of expressing his opinion of Erskine, which 
could not be high. He remarked on Erskine's sudden 
fall in legal reputation, " Had he been well-grounded, 
he could not have fallen." 

This same day, on my speaking of the talents re- 
quired in an opening and reply, he said that the Lord 

* One of the earliest series of periodical law reports. 

I 2 

Chap. m. 

Chief Jus- 
tice Gibbs. 


Fees of the Bar. 

Chap. hi. 



Chancellor (Eldon) reproached Sir James Mansfield 
with the practice I have noticed in Sir Samuel Romilly, 
of leaving his argument for the reply, which was as- 
cribed to laziness. Gibbs praised Bell, the Chancery 
practitioner, as a man who was always in the right. 
" He always gave the most satisfactory answer to a 
question in^the fewest words," 

In the winter of this year I heard from Gurney 
some interesting facts about fees, which within about 
eleven or twelve years had risen much above what, 
was formerly known. Kaye,* the solicitor, told Gur- 
ney once that he had that day carried the Attorney- 
General (Gibbs) 100 general retainers, that is 500 
guineas. These were on the Baltic captures and insu- 
rance cases. Gibbs did not think that Erskine ever 
made more than 7,000 guineas, and Mingay confessed 
that he only once made 5,000 guineas. He observed 
that the great fortunes made in ancient times by 
; lawyers must have been indirectly as the stewards of 
great men. Otherwise, they were unaccountable. 

I must here add that all this is little compared with 
the enormous gains of my old fellow-circuiteer, Charles 
Austin, who is said to have made 40,000 guineas by 
pleading before Parliament in one session. 

This year there were great changes in the law courts. 
Of the judicial promotions Jekyll said, being the pro- 
fessional wag, that they came by titles very different, 
viz. : — C. J. Abbott by descent, J. Best by intrusion, and 
Richardson by the operation of law. The wit of the 
two first is pungent ; the last, a deserved compliment. 

* Solicitor to the Bank of England, &c. 

A Joke of JekyWs. 


It was expected, said Jekyll, that Vaughan would come 
in by prescription. This was not so good. Sir Henry 
Halford,* the King's physician, was his brother. 

I must not forget that, on Aldebert's death, his books 
were taken by a bookseller, but I was allowed to have 
what I liked at the bookseller's price. I laid out £^Q 
in purchasing Piranesi's prints and other works of art, 
and had many calls from men of taste to see them. 

The Colliers, with whom I used to dine, left London 
this year. Their place was to some extent supplied 
by John Payne Collier,-|- who took a house in Bouverie 
Street. It was not then foreseen that he would become 
a great Shakespearean critic, though he had already 
begun to be a writer. 

• Sir Henry Halford was the son of Dr. Vaughan of Leicester, but changed 
his name in 1809, when he inherited a fortune from his mother's cousm, Sir 
Charles Halford. 

f J. P. Collier wrote " History of English Dramatic Poetry to the Time of 
Shakespeare," 1831 ; " New Facts regarding the Life of Shakespeare," 1835; 
" Sliakespeare Library ; a Collection of the Romances, Novels, Poems, and 
Histories used by Shakespeare as the Foundation of his Dramas," 1843; and 
various other works. 

Chap. hi. 





Clark son 07t the Emperor of Russia. 

Chap. iv. 


and the 




Emperor on 


January \th. — (At Bury.) I walked early up town and 
left with Mr. Clarkson his MS. account of his interview 
with the Emperor of Russia, at Aix-la-Chapelle, on the 
subject of the slave-trade. This interview must receive 
its explanation from future events. The Emperor talked 
of the Quakers and Bible Societies, of the Society against 
War, of which he considered himself a member, and of 
the slave-trade, as one might have expected a religious 
clergyman would have done. Mr. Clarkson is a sincere 
believer in the Emperor's sincerity. 

Thomas R. to Habakkuk R. 

Bury St. Edmunds, January 6th, 18 19. 

The Buck party were at my house 

last Friday, when we were entertained, and most highly 
interested, by Mr. Clarkson's account of his interview 
with the Emperor of Russia, at Aix-la-Chapelle. His 
reception by the most powerful potentate in the world 
was extremely gracious. The Emperor took him most 
cordially by both his hands, drew a chair for him and 
another for himself, when they sat down, in Mr. Clark- 
son's language, " knee to knee, and face to face." The 
principal subject of their conversation was, of course, 

Emperor Alexaiider on Slavery and War. 


Chap. iv. 


And on- 

the abolition of the slave-trade, in which the Emperor 
takes an extraordinary interest, and seems to be most 
earnestly anxious to use his powerful interest to in- 
duce the other Powers of Europe to concur in this 


The Emperor, at this meeting, professed likewise the 
most pacific sentiments, and spoke with great energy of 
the evil and sin of war, admitting that it was altogether 
contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and said that he 
desired to inculcate this sentiment in the minds of 
the different Powers, and should therefore propose fre- 
quent congresses to adjust disputes, without having 
recourse to the too common arbitration of the sword. 
You know, perhaps, that, for the purpose of eradicating 
^he warlike spirit, Peace Societies have been formed both 
in this country and in America. (We have a small one 
in this town.) The Emperor assured Mr. Clarksion 
that he highly approved of them, and wished to be 
considered as belonging to them. And no longer ago 
than yesterday, Mr. Clarkson received a copy of a 
letter, written in English by the Emperor with his own 
hand, and addressed to Mr. Marsden, the Chairman of 
the London Peace Society, in which he repeats the 
same sentiments in favour of the principles of the 
Society. It is at any rate a curious phenomenon to 
find an advocate of such principles in such a person. 
There are those who doubt his sincerity, but where can 
be the motive to induce the Autocrat of all the Russias 
to flatter even such an individual, however excellent, 
as Mr. Clarkson, or Mr. Marsden, a stock-broker in 
London ^ 


Benjamin Constant. 

Chap, iv 


January \A,ih. — I spent the day partly in reading 
some very good political writings by Benjamin Con- 
B. Constant stant — the first part of his first volume. His principles 

on \ ...... 

Monarchy, j appear excellent, and there is to me origmality m them. 
I His treating the monarchical power as distinct from the 
{ executive pleases me much. He considers the essence 
! of the monarch's office to lie in the superintending 
everything and doing nothing. He controls the legis- 
lature by convoking and dismissing their assemblies ; 
and he even creates and annihilates the ministers. 
Being thus separated from the executive body — that 
may be attacked, and even destroyed (as is constantly 
done in England), without any detriment to the'State. 

Rem.* — Had Louis Philippe felt this, he might have 
retained his throne, but he would be an autocrat, 
which did not suit the French people. -f 

January 26th. — We saw " Brutus." This play has 

had great success, and with reason, for it exhibits Kean 

advantageously ; but it seems utterly without literary 

merit, though the subject admitted of a great deal of 

passionate poetry. Kean's exhibition of the Idiot in the 

I first act was more able than pleasing ; when he assumed 

j'the hero, he strutted and swelled, to give himself an air 

f he never can assume with grace. It was not till the close 

I of the piece, when he had to pass sentence on his own 

son, that he really found his way to my heart through 

my imagination. His expression of feeling was deep 

* Written in 1851. 

j- Added in the margin of the MS. :— " Palpable ignorance, this ! At this 
hour a bold usurper and autocrat has succeeded, because he knew how to go 
to work. An accident may, indeed, any day destroy his power. April 17th, 
1852. The date is material." 


Kean in 

Lamb's Love for Art. 


and true, and the conflict of affection and principle well 
carried out. An awkward effect was produced by the 
attempt to blend too much in one play. The act by 
which Brutus overturned the Tarquins was not that of 
a man who had a son capable of treason against his 

February 2nd. — Naylor took tea with me ; and soon 
after, Charles and Mary Lamb came to look at my 
prints. And the looking them over afforded us pleasure. 
Lamb has great taste and feeling ; his criticisms are 
instructive, and I find that enjoyment from works of 
art is heightened by sympathy. Talfourd came while 
we were thus engaged. He stayed with us, and after- 
wards joined us in a rubber, which occupied us till late. 
Talfourd stayed till near one, talking on personal 

February iZth. — I lounged for half an hour before the 
Covent Garden hustings — a scene only ridiculous and 
disgusting. The vulgar abuse of the candidates from 
the vilest rabble ever beheld is not rendered endurable 
by either wit or good temper, or the belief of there 
being any integrity at the bottom. I just saw Hobhouse. 
His person did not please me ; but Sir Richard Phillips, 
whom I met there, tells me I am like him, which I do 
not think to be the fact. Lamb * I could scarcely see, 
but his countenance is better. Orator Hunt was on the 
hustings, but he could not obtain a hearing from the 
mob ; and this fact was the most consolatory part of the 

* The Honourable George I^mb, son of the first Lord Melbourne, and 
brother of William, who afterwards became Prime Minister, 

Chap. iv. 




hustings at 

• Garden. 


Comitas Gentium. 

Chap. iv. 

I? 19. 
Cur ran. 

Anecdote of 



Scotch law. 

No Comitas 


February 2Zth. — After dining at Collier's I went to 
Godwin, with whom I drank tea. Curran was there, 
and I had a very agreeable chat with him ; he is come 
to print his father's life, written by himself; and he 
projects an edition of his speeches. He related an 
affecting anecdote of Grattan in the House of 
Commons. He was speaking in a style that betrayed 
the decline of the faculties of a once great man ; he 
was rambling and feeble, and being assailed by 
coughing, he stopped, paused, and said in an altered 
voice, "I believe they are right. Sir!" and sat down. 

April T,rd. — By coach to Ipswich ; then on foot in the 
dark to Playford (four miles). Mrs. Clarkson was in 
high health and spirits ; Tom and Mr. Clarkson also 
well. I met with some visitors there, who rendered 
the visit peculiarly agreeable. Mr., Mrs., and Miss 
Grahame, from Glasgow. He is a Writer to the Signet, 
a brother to the late James Grahame the poet ; a most 
interesting man, having a fine handsome face and figure, 
resembling Wordsworth in his gait and general air, 
though not in his features, and being a first-rate talker, 
as far as sense and high moral feeling can render con- 
versation delightful. We talked, during the few days of 
my.stay, about English and Scotch law. He complained 
that the Comitas gentium was, not allowed to Scotch- 
men : that is, a lunatic having money in the funds, 
must be brought to England to have a commission issued 
here (though he is already found a lunatic in Scotland) 
before dividends can be paid, &c. ; and bank powers of 
attorney must be executed according to English forms, 
even in Scotland. The first case is certainly a great 

On Burke. 


abuse. Mr. Grahame pleased me much, and I have 
already nearly decided on going to Scotland this 
summer. In politics he is very liberal, inclining to 
ultra principles. He was severe against Southey and 
Wordsworth for their supposed apostasy. He speaks 
highly of the Scotch law, and considers the administra- 
tion of justice there much superior to ours. 

April 2Zth. — My ride to-day was very agreeable ; the 
weather was mild and fine, and I had no ennui. I 
travelled with the Rev. Mr. Godfrey, with whom I 
chatted occasionally, and I read three books of the 
"Odyssey," and several of Burke's speeches. Burke's 
quarrel with Fox does not do honour to Burke. I fear 
he was glad of an opportunity to break with his old 
friend ; yet he appears to have been provoked. In the 
fourth volume of Burke's Speeches, there is the same 
wonderful difference between the reports of the news- 
papers and the publications of Burke himself. 

His own notes of his speech on the Unitarian Peti- 
tion are full of profundity and wisdom ; his attack on 
the Rights of Man as an abstract principle is justified 
on his own representation. How true his axiom, "Crude 
and unconnected truths are in practice what falsehoods 
are in theory!" Strange, that he should have undergone 
so great obloquy because this wise remark has not been 
comprehended ! 

May -^rd. — I dined with Walter, Fraser, and Barnes. 
Fraser I attacked on a trimming article in yesterday's 
Times about Catholic Emancipation, And Barnes 
attacked me about " Peter Bell;" but this is a storm I 
must yield to, Wordsworth has set himself back ten 

Chap. iv. 





T. Moore's Political Satires. 


Tom Cribb's 


years by the publication of this work. I read also 
Tom Cribb's Memorial to the Congress — an amusing 
volume ; but I would rather read than have written it. 
It is really surprising that a gentleman (for so Moore is 
in station and connections) should so descend as to 
exhibit the Prince Regent and the Emperor of Russia 
at a boxing-match, under the names of Porpus and 
Long Sandy. The boxing cant language does not 
amuse me, even in Moore's gravely burlesque lines. 

May 2ird. — I spent several hours at home, looking 
over reports, &c., and then walked to Clapton. I had a 
fine walk home over Bethnal Green. Passing Bonner's 
Fields, a nice boy, who was my gossiping companion, 
pointed out to me the site of Bishop Bonner's house, 
where the Bishop sat and saw the Papists burnt : such 
is the accuracy of traditional tales. He further showed 
me some spots in which the ground is low : here the 
poor burnt creatures were buried, it seems ; and though 
the ground has been filled up hundreds of times, it 
always sinks in again. " I do not suppose it is true," 
said the boy, "but I was afraid once to walk on the 
spot, and so are the little boys now." The feeling that 
Nature sympathizes with man in horror of great crimes, 
and bears testimony to the commission of them, is a 
very frequent superstition — perhaps the most universal. 

jftme 4th. — My sister consulted Astley Cooper. She 
was delighted to find him far from unkind or harsh. 
He treated her with great gentleness, and very kindly 
warned her as much as possible to correct her irrita- 
bility — not of temper, but of nerves. 

June lOth. — Clemens Brentano is turned monk ! 

Flaxman o?t Abraham Cooper. 


June 14th. — Coming home, I found Hamond in town, 
and went with him to the Exhibition. I stayed a couple 
of hours, but had no great pleasure there. Scarcely a 
picture much pleased me. Turner has fewer attractions 
than he used to have, and Callcott's " Rotterdam" is 
gaudier than he. used to be ; he is aiming at a richer 
cast of colour, but is less beautiful as he deviates from 
the delicate greys of Cuyp. Cooper's " Marston Moor" 
did not interest me, though what I have heard since of 
the artist does. I am told he was lately a groom to 
Meux, the brewer, who, detecting him in the act of 
making portraits of his horses, would not keep him as a 
groom, but got him employment as a horse painter. He 
was before a rider at Astley's, it is said. He went into 
the Academy to learn to draw with the boys. Flaxman 
says he knew nothing of the mechanism of his art — he 
could not draw at all — but by dint of genius, without 
instruction (except, as he says, what he learned from 
a shilling book he bought in the Strand), he could paint 
very finely. He is already, says Flaxman, a great 
painter, and will probably become very eminent indeed. 
He is about thirty-five years of age, and is already 
an Associate. He paints horses and low life, but his 
"Marston Moor" is regarded as a fine composition. His 
appearance does not bespeak his origin. " I introduced 
him to Lord Grey," said Flaxman, " and as they stood 
talking together, I could not discern any difference 
between the peer and the painter." 

June \6th. — I was much occupied by a scrape John 
Collier had got into. A few nights ago he reported 
that Mr. Hume had said in the House of Commons 

Chap. iv. 






breach of 


1 26 Collier Committed by the House of Commons. 

Chap. iv. 





that Canning- had risen above the sufferings of others 
by laughing at them. Bell* being last night summoned 
before the House, John Collier gave himself as the 
author, and was in consequence committed to the 
custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. Mr. Wynn moved 
that he should be committed to Newgate, but this 
was withdrawn in consequence of Collier's manly and 
becoming conduct, I was exceedingly alarmed lest this 
might hurt Collier with Walter, but, to my satisfaction, 
I found that Collier had raised himself In Walter's 
opinion ; for, by his gentlemanly behaviour, he raised 
the character of the reporters, and he completely re- 
lieved Walter from the imputation of having altered the 
article. I called on Collier in the House of Commons 
prison ; he was in good spirits. Mrs. Collier was there, 
and Walter came too, with Barnes. I chatted with 
Walter about the propriety of petitioning. He wished 
Collier to lie in custody till the end of the session, but 
I differed in opinion, and corrected the petition, which 
was ultimately adopted. After a hasty dinner in Hall, 
I ran down to the House. Barnes procured me a place, 
and I stayed in the gallery till quite late. There was 
no opposition to Mr. W. Smith's motion- for Collier's 
discharge. He was reprimanded by the Speaker in 
strong unmeaning words. W. Smith moved for the 
bill to relieve the Unitarians against the Marriage Act.-f- 

* The publisher of the Times. 

-f Mr. W. Smith's object was to obtain for Unitarians at their marriage 

the omission of all reference to the Trinity. He did not venture to propose the 

more rational and complete relief- -which was after a time obtained — the 

marriage of Dissenters in their own places of worship. Vide May's Constitu- 

[tional History, Vol. H. 384. 

Walter's Coiidttct to Collier. 


The speech had the merit of raising a feeling favourable 
to the speaker, and it was not so intelligible as to excite 
opposition. Lord Castlereagh did not pretend to 
understand it, and Mr. Wilberforce spoke guardedly 
and with favour of the projected measure. The rest of 
the speaking this evening was very poor indeed — much 
below my expectation. I was heartily tired before 
eleven o'clock. I then came home, and read a little of 
Homer in bed. 

yune2'i^rd. — I called late on Mrs. John Collier. She 
informs me that Walter has been doing a very hand- 
some thing by John Collier. He gave him a bank-note 
for £^0, saying he need not return the surplus after 
paying the fees, and hoped that it would be some 
compensation for the inconvenience he had suffered 
by his imprisonment. Now, the fees amounted to 
not more than ;^I4 or £\^. This is very generous 

July 6th. — I dined with Collier, and had a game of 
chess for an hour. I then looked over papers, &c., 
in chambers ; and between seven and eight went to 
Godwin's by invitation. Charles and Mary Lamb 
were there, also Mr. Booth, — a singular character, not 
unlike Curran in person ; a clever man, says Godwin, 
and in his exterior very like the Grub Street poet 
of the last century. I had several rubbers of whist. 
Charles Lamb's good-humour and playfulness made 
the evening agreeable, which would otherwise have 
been made uncomfortable by the painful anxiety visible 
in Mrs. Godwin, and suspected in Godwin. I came 
home late. 

Chap. iv. 

treatment of 
J. Collier. 

Party at 


Belsham on Church Establishments. 

Chap. iv. 



Value of an 




July yth. — I dined by invitation with Mr. Belsham. 
T. Stansfeld had written to me by Mr. Kenrick (a 
nephew of Mr, Belsham),* requesting me to give Mr. 
Kenrick letters of introduction to Germany. Kenrick 
left me the letter with an invitation from Belsham. I 
had an agreeable visit : a small party — Mr. and Miss 
Belsham, Spurrell, Senr., Martineau, Jardine,-f- a Mr. 
Reid, and Mr. Kenrick. We kept up a conversation 
with very little disputation. Belsham (and I joined 
him) defended Church Establishments, which he 
thought better than leaving religion to make its way 
alone.:}: He said, I think my Church ought to be. 
established ; but as that cannot be, I would rather 
the Anglican Church should be maintained, with all its 
errors and superstitions, than that the unlearned should 
be left at large, each man spreading abroad his own 
follies and absurdities. § Kenrick opposed him, and 
had on some points the best of the argument. Jardine, 
and indeed all the party, were against Mr. Belsham 
and myself. We talked of animal magnetism, and 
told ghost stories, and ghosts seemed on the whole to 
be in credit. 

jfnly %th. — Mr. Kenrick breakfasted with me. I was 
much pleased with him ; he has been, and indeed still 
is, tutor at the Manchester New College, York, and is 

• There was no actual relationship between Mr. Kenrick and Mr. Belsham ; 
Mr Kenrick's father married, as his second wife, the sister of Mr. Belsham. 

f The Barrister, afterwards a Police Magistrate. 

X Written in 1851. 

§ Mr. Belsham's views on thisj'subject were published in three sermons, 
entitled "Christianity pleading for the Patronage of the Civil Power, but 
protesting against the Aid of Penal Laws." Hunter, St. Paul's Churchyard, 

Casuistry of the Bar. 


going for a trip to Germany to improve in philological 
studies. He is a stanch Unitarian, with a deal of zeal, 
but is mild in his manners, a tenacious disputant, but 
courteous — a very promising young man.* 

July \2th. — (At Bury.) I had an agreeable walk with 
Mrs. Kent over the skirts of Hardwick Heath — rather, 
enclosure — and home by the West Gate Street. Mrs. 
Kent was gradually brought to recollect scenes familiar 
to her in childhood, but I could recall few. How little 
do I recollect of my past life ! and the idea often occurs 
to me that it seems difficult to reconcile responsibility 
with utter oblivion. Coleridge has the striking thought 
that possibly the punishment of a future life may consist 
in bringing back the consciousness of the past. 

July 2ist. — Mrs. Kent had left us in the morning. I 
therefore thought it right to dine with the magistrates ; 
and I am glad I did so, as I had a pleasing day. We 
discussed the question, how far a barrister may law- 
fully try to persuade the Bench to a decision which he 
himself knows to be wrong. I endeavoured to establish 
this distinction, that an advocate may practise sophistry, 
though he may not misstate a case or a fact. 

July 25///. — I breakfasted with Basil Montagu, and 
had an hour's pleasant chat with him. He related that 
Dr. Scott informed him that he waited on Oliver Gold- 
smith, with another gentleman, to niake a proposal, on 

* He is now the most learned of the English [Unitarians, and has taken 
the lead in the free investigation of the Old Testament, presuming to apply 
to it, notwithstanding its sacred character, the rules of profane criticism. 
He has lately retired from presiding over the Manchester College. — H. C. R. 
1851. H. C. R. had especially in view Mr. Kenrick's work on Primeval 


Chap. iv. 

and respon- 

of the Bar. 

Anecdote oj 


Ott Circuit. 

Chap. iv. 


Increase of 

the part of Lord North, that Goldsmith should write on 
behalf of the Ministry. They found him in chambers 
in the Temple. He was offered any compensation he 
might desire. He said he could earn from the book- 
sellers as much as his necessities required, and he would 
rather live without being obliged to any one. Scott 
told this story as a proof of Goldsmith's ignorance of 
the world. 

August yth. — This was a morning of disappointment. 
I had intended to do my best in defending some 
Lavenham rioters for bull-baiting, but Burr cut the 
matter short by asserting that, though bull-baiting is a 
lawful sport, in an enclosure of private property, it could 
not be tolerated in the market-place of a town, over 
which there is a right of way. I endeavoured to 
contend that, if the bull-baiting had lasted from time 
immemorial, that fact must modify. the right of way. 
I consented that a verdict of Guilty should be entered, 
on an engagement that no one should be brought up 
for judgment, even if the riot should be renewed next 
5 th November. 

August loth. — On the evening of my arrival at Norwich 
I was even alarmed at the quantity of business there. It 
exceeded, in fact, anything I ever had before. I had during 
these assizes seventeen briefs, of which thirteen were in 
causes^ The produce, seventy-five guineas, including 
retainers, exclusive of the fee of an arbitration. This raises 
my fees on the circuit to one hundred and thirty-four 
guineas, a sum exceeding by twenty-nine guineas the 
utmost I ever before received. Of these causes I shall 

* That is, not criminal cases. 



mention three or four afterwards, I had one con- 
sultation this evening at Serjeant Blossett s, and I was 
engaged the rest of the time till late reading briefs. 

August 29///, Rem* — This day commenced a valuable 
acquaintance with Mr. Benecke, of whom I think very 
highly, as among the most remarkable Germans I 
have ever known. I had received a letter from Poel of 
Altona, introducing me to a Miss Reinhardt, who wished 
to establish herself in England as a teacher of music. 
She was on a visit at the Beneckes'. I called on her, 
and was invited to dine with them soon after, and 
my" acquaintance ripened into intimacy. Benecke was 
a man of great ability in various departments ; he 
was a chemist, and had a chemical manufactory, by 
which he lived. He had been engaged as the con- 
ductor of an Insurance Office at Hamburg, and wrote 
an elaborate work on the law of insurance in German, 
which in Germany is the great authority on the subject. 
This induced him, after our acquaintance, to write a 
small volume in English on the law of insurance, which 
I saw through the press. There was absolutely nothing 
to correct in the language. The book did not sell, but 
Lord Tenterden spoke well of it as a work of principle, 
and allowed it to be dedicated to him. But these were 
merely works and pursuits of necessity. He was a 
philosopher, and of the most religious character : he 
professed orthodoxy, but he would not have been 
tolerated by our high-and-dry orthodox. He had a 
scheme of his own, of which the foundation was — the 
belief in the pre-existence of every human being. His 

Written in 1851. 

Chap. iv. 



K 2 


Theological Speculation. 

Chap. iv. 


were fallen 

Deity of 

tality a 
parte ante. 

Old times 
•with the 

speculation was, that every one had taken part in the 
great rebellion in a former state, and that we were all 
ultimately to be restored to the Divine favour. This 
doctrine of final restoration was the redeeming article 
of his creed. He professed to believe in the divinity of 
Christ, and when I put the question to him, he said, 
that he considered that doctrine as the most essential 
truth of religion ; that God alone without Christ would 
be nothing to us ; Christ is the copula by means of 
whom man is brought to God. Otherwise, the idea of 
God would be what the Epicureans deem it — a mere 
idle and empty notion. I believe Benecke was first led 
to think well of me by hearing me observe, what I said 
without any notion of his opinions, that an immortality 
a parte post supposed a like immortality a parte ante ; 
and that I could not conceive of the creation in time 
of an imperishable immortal being. 

September I2,th. — I rode to London. During the ride 
I was strikingly reminded of the great improvement 
of the country within thirty or forty years. An old 
man, on the box, pointed out to me a spot near a 
bridge on the road, where about forty years ago the 
stage was turned over and seven people drowned ; and 
he assured me that, when he was a boy, the road beyond 
Hounslow was literally lined with gibbets, on which 
were, in irons, the carcases of malefactors blackening in 
the sun. I found London all full of people, collected 
to receive Hunt* in triumph, and accompany him to 
the Crown and Anchor to a dinner, — a mere rabble, 
certainly, but it is a great and alarming evil that the 

• " Orator" Hunt, the Radical, afterwards M.P. for Preston. 

Flaxman on Canova. 


rabble should be the leaders in anything. I hear that 
when, in the evening, Hunt came, the crowds were 
immense, and flags were waved over him with ^^ Liberty 
or Death " inscribed. 

September 22nd. — I called on Talfourd for a short 
time. I dined with Collier and then hastened to Flax- 
man's. I had a very pleasant chat with him and Miss 
Denman.* He related an interesting anecdote of 
Canova. He had breakfasted with Canova at, I 
believe, Mr. Hope's, and then examined with him the 
marbles and antiques. Among them was a beautiful 
bust of Antoninus Pius. Flaxman pointed it out to 
Canova, on which Canova, without answering him, 
muttered to himself, with gesticulations of impatience, 
" I told him so, — I told him so, — but he would never 
take counsel." This was repeated several times in a fit 
of absence. At length Flaxman tapped him on the 
shoulder and said, "Whom did you tell so.-*" Of 
course, the conversation was in Italian. Receiving no 
reply, Flaxman pressed the question, " Why, Buona- 
parte," said he. " I observed to him repeatedly that the 
busts of Antoninus Pius were to be seen everywhere ; 
they were to be found in every part of Italy in great 
abundance, he had made himself so beloved. But he 
would take no advice." — " And did you expect him to 
take any } " said Flaxman. Canova could not say that 
he did, but stated that the courtiers of Buonaparte were 
often astonished at the freedoms he took. 

Rein.'f — Flaxman always spoke of Canova as a man 

* Miss Denman was Mrs. Flaxman's sister, and Flaxman's adopted daughter, 
by whom the Flaxman Gallery at University College was founded. 
t Written in 1851. 

Chap. iv. 


Canova and 

on Canova, 


Carlile tried 

Chap. iv. 

Seals used 
in Persia. 




of great moral qualities, of which I believe he thought 
more highly than of his character as an artist. 

October 2nd. — Colonel D'Arcy was at Masquerier's 
this evening — a very agreeable man, who has been some 
years in Persia. He explained to us the meaning of the 
signets so often mentioned in the Bible and Oriental 
writings. In Persia every man has three seals ; a large 
one, with which he testifies his messages to an inferior ; 
a small one, sent to a superior ; and a middle-sized, for 
an equal. Every man has about him an Indian-ink pre- 
paration, and instead of signing his name, he sends an 
impression of his seal, as a proof that the messenger 
comes from him. Colonel D'Arcy speaks Persian 
fluently. He says it is a simple and easy language, as 
spoken, but the written language is blended with the 
Arabic, and is made complex and difficult. 

October 12th. — I took an early breakfast, and a little 
after nine was in the King's Bench, Guildhall. There 
was a vast crowd already assembled to hear the trial of 
Carlile for blasphemy, which had attracted my curiosity 
also. The prosecution was for republishing Paine's 
" Age of Reason." The Attorney-General opened the 
case in an ordinary way. His pathos did not seem to 
flow from him, and his remarks were neither striking 
nor original. Carlile is a pale-faced, flat-nosed man, 
not unlike Schelling, but having no intellectual resem- 
blance ; though he has shown astonishing powers of 
voice, and a faculty of enduring fatigue that is far more 
wonderful than enviable. He does not appear in any 
respect a man of mind or originality. His exordium 
was an hour long, and was a mere rhapsodical defence. 

for Blasphemy. 


His chief argument was derived from the late Trinity 
Bill,* which, said he, authorizes any one to attack the 
Trinity ; and there being no statute law to declare what 
may not be attacked, anything may. He attacked the 
Attorney-General -f as an ex-Unitarian, and was both 
pert and insolent in the matter, though not in the 
manner. He then set about reading the " Age of 
Reason" through, and therefore I left him. 

October I'^th. — I lounged for half an hour into Guild- 
hall. I found Carlile on his legs : he had been speaking 
without interruption from half-past nine, and I heard 
him at half-past six, with no apparent diminution of 
force ; but he merely read from paper, and what he said 
seemed very little to the purpose. He attempted a 
parallel between his case and Luther's, and asserted the 
right to preach Deism. I see no reason why he should 
not go on for a month in the same style. 

October 14///. — I would have walked with H to 

hear some part of Carlile's trial, but it was just over. 
The man had been speaking for near three days, and 
this will be regarded by many people, I have no doubt, 
as a proof of great talent. He was, however, convicted, 
to my great satisfaction. 

October 2/^th. — (At Bury.) I heard Mr. Fenner preach 
in the forenoon to about twenty persons. How our 
sensations influence our thoughts ! The meeting-house 
striking my eye, and the voice of my old preceptor 
striking my ear, I was made serious, and almost 


• " An Act to relieve Persons who impugn the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity 
from certain Penalties." This was commonly called Mr. William Smith's Act. 

t Gifford. See p. 49. 

Chap. iv. 


Chambers in Kin^s Bench Walk. 

Chap. iv. 

1 8 19. 


Flax -man. 

His piety 
and con- 

November loth. — I went early to Serjeant Frere's 
chambers, 3, King's Bench Walk, and agreed for a four- 
teen years' lease of them from next midsummer, at 
seventy-five guineas per annum. These chambers consist 
of one tolerably-sized room ; a second, which by pulling 
down a partition may be made into a very comfortable 
room ; and a third small room, which may be used 
by a clerk : three fireplaces. Between the two larger 
rooms is a small room, large enough to place a bed 
in, and convenient for that purpose : there is also a 
dark place, in which a bed has been placed for Frere's 
clerk and his wife, besides one or two lock-up places. 
The chambers, without being excellent, are yet good for 
their price, and I am pleased at the idea of occupying 
them. They are quite light, and look into a garden, and 
the staircase is handsome, compared with my present 

December yth. — I dined at the Colliers', and then took 
tea with Flaxman tete-a-tete. He makes religion most 
amiable and respectable at the same time. A childlike 
faith is delightful in a man of distinguished genius. He 
spoke of his fortune, and without ostentation he said he 
had by God's providence prospered ; but he must add 
(what he would say to few but me), that no man who 
had worked for him had been in want, when sick or 

Rem.* — When Flaxman died, his effects were sworn 
to be worth under ;^ 4,000 ; and I have been in the 
habit of citing his comparative poverty as a disgrace to 
the country ; for while he died worth j^ 4,000, Chantrey 

* Written in 1851. 

The " Six Acts." 


died worth above ;^ 15 0,000. Such is the different re- 
ward for genius and useful talent ! 

December <^th. — The bills now passing through Par- 
liament will be, I fear, sad monuments of the in- 
temperance of the Government and people. Reformers 
and Ministry alike exaggerate the alarm justly to be 
feared from the excesses of their adversary, and in so 
doing furnish a reasonable ground for a moderated 
apprehension. There are a few seditious spirits in the 
country who would raise a rebellion if they could, but 
they cannot ; and there are some among the Ministry, 
perhaps, who would not scruple to give the Crown 
powers fatal to the liberties of the people. But neither 
the courts of law nor the people (who as jurymen con- 
cur in the administration of the law) would assist in a 
project destructive of liberty ; nor would the Ministry 
themselves dare make a violent attempt. At the same 
time, the " Six Acts" are objectionable.* 

• " Papers were laid before Parliament containing evidence of the state of 
the country, which were immediately followed by the introduction of further 
measures of repression — then designated, and since familiarly known as, the 
' Six Acts.' The first deprived defendants, in cases of misdemeanour, of the 
right of traversing : to which Lord Holland induced the Chancellor to add a 
clause, obliging the Attorney-General to bring defendants to trial within twelve 
months. By a second it was proposed to enable the court, on the conviction of 
a publisher of a seditious libel, to order the seizure of all copies of the Ubel in 
his possession ; and to punish him, on a second conviction, with fine, imprison- 
ment, banishment, or transportation. By a third, the newspaper stamp duty 
was imposed upon pamphlets and other papers containing news, or observations 
on public affeirs; and recognizances were required from the publishers of 
newspapers and pamphlets for the payment of any penalty. By a fourth, no 
meeting of more than fifty persons was permitted to be held without six days* 
notice being given by seven householders to a resident justice of the peace ; 
and all but freeholders or inhabitants of the county, parish, or township, were 
prohibited from attending, under penalty of fine and imprisonment. The 
justice could change the proposed time and place of meeting: but no meeting 

Chap, iv. 


The Reform 


A Libel by H. C. R. 

Chap. iv. 


A libel by 
H.C.R. in 
the Times. 




Liston, and 


December i$th. — I spent this forenoon, like too many 
of the preceding, loungingly, I called on Walter, after 
being at the Book Auction. He^informed me of what 
I never knew before, that the Times was prosecuted 
once for a libel of my writing ; but the prosecution 
was dropped. He did not inform me of the circum- 
stance at the time, thinking, probably, the intelligence 
would pain me. I do not know whether I am to con- 
sider this an honour or not, as I am ignorant whether 
the libel was an observation on, or the misstatement of, 
a fact. 

December i^th. — I dined at Collier's, and then went 
to Covent Garden. I had rather more pleasure than 
usual. The "Comedy of Errors" is better to see than 
read : besides, a number of good songs by Miss Stephens* 
and others are introduced. The two Dromios, Liston 
and Farren, though not sufficiently alike (nor did they 
strive to be so, for neither would adopt the other's 
peculiarities), afforded amusement, and the incidents, 
barring the improbability, pass off pleasantly enough. 
Some fine scenery is introduced, though out of character 

was permitted to adjourn itself. Every meeting tending to incite the people to 
hatred and contempt of the King's person or the government and constitution 
of the realm was declared an unlawful assembly ; and extraordinary powers 
were given to justices for the dispersion of such meetings and the capture of 
persons addressing them. If any person should be killed or injured in the 
dispersion of an unlawful meeting, the justice was indemnified. Attending a 
meeting with arms, or with flags, banners, or other ensigns or emblems, was an 
offence punishable with two years' imprisonment. Lecture and debating rooms 
were to be licensed, and open to inspection. By a fifth, the training of persons 
in the use of arms was prohibited ; and by a sixth, the magistrates in the 
disturbed counties were empowered to search for and seize arms." — May's 
Constitutional History, Vol. II. 199, 200. 
* Afterwards Countess -of Essex. 

TJie New Chambers. 


and costume. The scene is in Ephesus, and yet one of 
the paintings is the Piazza of Venice, &c. 

December 25/*/^.— Christmas Day. I spent this festival 
not in feasting, but very agreeably, for, like a child, I 
was delighted in contemplating my new toy. I was the 
whole forenoon occupied, after writing some of the 
preceding Mems., in collecting books, &c., in my old, and 
in arranging them in my new, chambers. The putting 
in order is a delightful occupation, and is at least 
analogous to a virtue. Virtue is the love of moral 
order ; and taste, and cleanliness, and method are all 
connected with the satisfaction we have in seeing and 
putting things where they ought to be. 

December 26th. — I read the trial of Sir Thomas 
More. It is quite astonishing that the understanding 
and the courage of men could be so debased as they 
appear to have been in the reign of Henry VIII. I 
doubt whether the legislation of any other country 
has an instance of an enormity so gross and absurd as 
that of rendering it a capital offence to refuse answering 
a question : yet for this offence the Lord Chancellor 
was put to death, — a man of incorruptible integrity, — a 
martyr. Yet he was himself a persecutor, having 
superintended the infliction of torture. 

I am at length settled in my new chambers, and though 
my books are not yet put in order, I have a comfortable 
fire, and a far more pleasing scene from my window and 
within my room than I had in my former apartments. 

December 2^tk. — ^The satisfaction I have in changing 
my residence is accompanied by the serious reflection 
that I cannot reasonably expect so much enjoyment, and 

Chap. iv. 
1 8 19. 

and books. 

Trial of 

Sir Thomas 






Annual Retrospect. 

Chap. iv. 

such uninterrupted ease, as I enjoyed in Essex Court. 
During my six years' residence there I have not once 
been kept awake at night by pain of mind or body, nor 
have I ever sat down to a meal without an appetite. 
My income is now much larger than it was when I 
entered those chambers, and my health is apparently as 
firm. I have lost no one source of felicity. I have made 
accessions to my stock of agreeable companions, if not 
friends. I have risen in respectability, by having 
succeeded to a certain extent in my profession, though 
perhaps not so greatly as some of my friends expected. 
But then I have grown six years older, and human life 
is so short, that this is a large portion. This reflection, 
I say, is a serious one, but it does not sadden me. 

Rem*" — Let me add merely this — that I believe I 
could have written the same in 1829.-J- We shall see, if 
I go so far in these Reminiscences. This year I took 
no journey. 

* Written in 1 85 1. 

f The first year after H. C. R.'s retirement from the Bar. 

Elton Hamond. 



On Elton Hamond [with note]. 


January ist. — No New Year ever opened to me with 
an event so tragical as that which occurred this morn- 
ing. Nor indeed has my journal contained any incident 
so melancholy. 

I had scarcely begun my breakfast, when two men, 
plain in dress but respectable in appearance, called on 
me, and one of them said, in a very solemn tone, " Pray, 
sir, do you know a Mr. Elton Hamond?" — "Yes, ver>- 
well." — "Was he a particular friend of yours .-'" My 
answer was, " He has destroyed himself." 

Re7n* — I have heretofore omitted to write of Hamond, 
postponing till this awful catastrophe all I have to say 
of him. He was born in 1786, and was the eldest of 
two sons of a tea-dealer, who lived in the City. He 
had also sisters. His father died in 1807, leaving 
him sole executor; and being the eldest, — at least of 
the sons, — and a man of imposing and ingratiating 
manners, he was looked up to by his family. I became 
acquainted with him through the Aikins — I cannot say 
precisely when, but soon after my return from Germany. 
His elder sister lived many years with Mrs. Barbauld. 

• Written in 1851. 

Chap. v. 

Death of 

Hamond s 
early life. 


Hamond's Self-Idolatry : 

Ghap. v. 


H. C. R.'s 

ance with 

Hamond s 

belief that 
he was to be 
the greatest 
, of men. 

When I first visited him he lived in Milk Street, where 
his father had carried on the business. Some time 
afterwards Hamond told me that in order to set an 
example to the world of how a business should be 
carried on, and that he might not be interfered with in 
his plans, he turned off the clerks and every servant 
in the establishment, including the porter, and I rather 
think the cook. There could be but one result. The 
business soon had to be given up. His perfect integrity- 
no one doubted. Indeed, his character may be regarded 
as almost faultless, with the exception of those extra- 
vagances which may not unreasonably be set down to 
the account of insanity. When he was satisfied that he 
was right, he had such an overweening sense of his own 
judgment, that he expected every one to submit to 
his decision ; and when this did not take place, he was 
apt to consider the disobedience as criminal. On this 
account he broke off acquaintance with his family and 
nearly all his friends. 

I have only to relate some illustrations, which will be 
found curious, of this unhappy state of mind. When 
he was about eleven years old, he said to his sister, 
" Sister Harriet, who is the greatest man that ever- 
lived.?" She said, "Jesus Christ." He replied, "No; 
bad answer, — but I shall be greater than Jesus Christ." 
His after-misery lay in this, that while he had a convic- 
tion that he was to have been, and ought to have been^ 
the greatest of men, he was conscious that in fact he 
was not. And the reason assigned by him for putting 
an end to his life was, that he could not condescend to 
live without fulfilling his proper vocation. 

his Friends. 


His malady lay in a diseased endeavour to obey the 
injunction, " Nosce teipsum." He was for ever writing 
about himself. Hundreds of quarto pages do I possess, 
all full of himself and of his judgment respecting his 
friends. And he felt it to be his duty to make his un- 
favourable opinion known to the friends themselves, in 
a way which, save for the knowledge of his infirmity, 
would have been very offensive.* 

In the anxious pursuit of self-improvement, he sought 
the acquaintance of eminent men, among whom were 
Jeremy Bentham and his brother, General Bentham, 
James Mill, the historian of India, and Sir Stamford 
Raffles, governor of Java. On Sir Stamford he made 
a demand of the most ridiculous kind, maintaining that 
as Sir Stamford owed everything to his father, he (Sir 
Stamford) was morally bound to give Hamond one-half 
of what he acquired in his office as Governor. Sir 
Stamford gave him an order on his banker for ^i,cx)0, 
which Hamond disdained to take. He went to Scotland 
and made the acquaintance of Dugald Stewart. The 
eminent philosopher and professor wisely advised him 

• As an instance of the sort of authority he assumed over his friends, I may 
mention that, when the reduction of the 5 per cent, stock to 4J was in con- 
templation, I had entertained an opinion in favour of the reduction, on which 
we had some discussion. In a few days he wrote me a letter, saying that he 
deemed my opinion so mischievous, that, if I gave any publicity to it, he should 
be obliged to renounce my further acquaintance. I replied that I honoured 
the firmness with which on all occasions he did what he deemed right, regard- 
less of all consequences to himself, but that he must allow me to follow his 
example, and acton my own sense of right — not his; and that, in consequence, 
I had that morning sent a letter to the Times in support of my opinion. 
Whether the letter appeared I do not know ; but, at all events, what I wrote to 
Hamond had its just weight. He took no offence at my resistance. Nor 
was he offended at the course I took on account of my suspicion of his intention 
to destroy himself. 

Ghap. v. 






Hamond^s Habits. 

Chap. v. 

The Chief 

to think nothing about himself, which poor Elton most 
characteristically misinterpreted. He wrote in his 
diary : " I do think nothing of myself — I know that I 
am nothing." That this was his sincere opinion is 
shown in a letter, in which, recommending his own 
papers to Southey's careful perusal, with a view to pub- 
lication, he says, " You will see in them the writings 
of a man who was in fact nothing, but who was near 
becoming the greatest that ever lived." This was the 
mad thought that haunted him. After he left Milk 
Street, he took a house at Hampstead, where his 
younger sister lived with him. 

At the time of my first acquaintance, or growing 
intimacy with Hamond, Frederick Pollock, now the 
Lord Chief Baron, was his friend. There was no 
jealousy in Hamond's nature, and he loved Pollock the 
more as he rose in reputation. He wrote in his journal : 
" How my heart burned when I read of the high degree 
taken by Pollock at Cambridge !" * 

In 18 1 8 I visited him at Norwood, where I found 
him lodging in a cottage, and with no other occupation 
than the dangerous one of meditation on himself. He 
journalized his food, his sleep, his dreams. His society 
consisted of little children, whom he was fond of talking 
to. From a suspicion that had forced itself on my 
mind, I gave him notice that if Jie destroyed himself, I 
should consider myself released from my undertaking to 
act as his trustee. I think it probable that this caused 
him to live longer than he would otherwise have done. 
It also occasioned his application to Southey to take 
* He was Senior Wrangler. 

Hamond's Characteristics. 


charge of his papers. One of Southey's letters to him 
was printed in the poet's Hfe ; unfortunately, I cannot 
find the other.* To Anthony Robinson, to whom I had 
introduced him, Hamond said that he was on the point 
of making a discovery, which would put an end to 
physical and moral evil in the world. 

In justice to his memory, and that no one who reads 
this may misapprehend his character, I ought not to omit 
adding, that his overweening sense of his own powers 
had not the effect which might have been expected on 
his demeanour to the world at large. He was habitually 
humble and shy, towards inferiors especially. He 
quarrelled once with a friend (Pollock) -f- for not being 
willing to join him in carrying a heavy box through the 
streets of London for a poor woman. His generous offer 
of an annuity to W. Taylor,^ when he was reduced in 
circumstances, has been made known in the Life of 
Taylor. Reference has already been made (p. 42, 
Vol. n.) to his refusal of a private secretaryship to a 

* The other has been found among H. C. R.'s papers ; and both are con- 
tained in the Note to this chapter. 

■j- The name has been given by Sir Frederick Pollock himself, who has kindly 
looked through this chapter in proof, and stated some details. The woman's 
burden was a large tray to be carried from Blackfriars' Bridge to the Obelisk. 
" It was on a Sunday, I think, just after morning church. I offered to join in 
" paying one or two f)orters to help the woman, but what he insisted on was 
" that we should ourselves do it." Sir Frederick adds : " Hamond had in the 
"highest degiree one mark of insanity, viz. an utter disregard of the opinion 
" of all the rest of the world on any point on which he had made up his own 
" mind. He was once on the Grand Jury at the Old Bailey, and presented as 
"from himself alone (all the rest of the jury dissenting) the manner in which 
" the witnesses were sworn. I was present, and became from that moment 
" satisfied that he was insane." "Hamond's case is worth recording; it was 
" not a commonplace malady." 

X Of Nor\vich. Vide "Memoir of William Taylor of Norwich," Vol. II. 
P- 357. 


Chap. v. 


conduct and 



Coroner^ s Inquest. 

Chap, v 


colonial chief justice, on the ground of the obligation 
involved to tell a lie and write a lie every day, 
subscribing himself the humble servant of people 
he did not serve, and towards whom he felt no 
humility. Various eligible offers were made to him, 
but rejected for reasons which made it too probable 
that he could be brought to consent to nothing. 
The impractical notions he had of veracity are shown 
in an inscription written by him for his father's 
tombstone. He objected to the date 18 — , because, 
unless it was added, of the Christian era, no one 
could know in which era his father had lived. His 
grossest absurdities, however, had often a basis of truth, 
which it was not difficult to detect, I conclude, for the 
present, with a sentiment that leaves an impression of 
kindness mingled with pity : — " Had I two thousand a 
year, I would give one hall for birds and flowers," 

On the 4th of January the coroner's inquest was held ; 
Pollock and I attended. We did not, however, offer 
ourselves as witnesses, not being so ready as others 
were to declare our conviction that Elton Hamond was 
insane. To those who think, this is always a difficult 
question, and that because the question of sane or in- 
sane must always be considered with a special reference 
to the relation in which the character, as well as the act, 
is viewed. 

The neighbours very sincerely declared their belief 
in Hamond's insanity, and related anecdotes of absur- 
dities that would not have weighed with wise men. We 
did not fear the result, and were surprised when the 
coroner came to us and said, " The jury say they have 



no doubt this poor gentleman was insane, but they have 
heard there was a letter addressed to them, and they 
insist on seeing it." On this I went into the room, and 
told the jury that I had removed the letter, in order 
that they should not see it. This at first seemed to 
offend them, but I further said that I had done this 
without having read the letter. It had been sealed and 
given to relations, who would certainly destroy it rather 
than allow it to be made public. I informed them of 
the fact that a sister of Mr. Hamond had died in an 
asylum, and mentioned that his insanity manifested 
itself in a morbid hostility towards some of his rela- 
tions. I reminded them of the probability that any 
letter of the kind, if read in public, would be soon in 
the papers ; and I put it to them, as a serious question, 
what their feelings would be if in a few days they 
heard of another act . of suicide. The words were 
scarcely out of my mouth before there was a cry 
from several of the jury, " We do not wish to see it." 
And ultimately the verdict of insanity was recorded. 
The coroner supported me in my refusal to produce the 

.Gooch directed a cast of Hamond's face to be taken. 
It was one of the handsomest faces I ever saw in a cast. 
Afterwards it was given to me, and I gave it to 
Hamond's sister, Harriet. The same man who took this 
mask, an Italian, Gravelli, took a mask of a living 
friend, who complained of it as unsatisfactory. It was, 
in truth, not prepossessing. The Italian pettishly said, 
" You should be dead ! — you should be dead ! " 

Chap. v. 




L 2 


Southey on Hamond. 

Chap. v. 

Southey to H. C. R. 

My dear Sir, 

I shall not easily get your letter out of my 
thought. Some years ago I dined with E. H. at 
Gooch's, and perfectly remember his quiet melancholy 
and meditative manner. The two letters which he 
addressed to me respecting his papers were very ably 
written, and excited in me a strong interest. Of course, 
I had no suspicion who the writer could be ; but if I 
had endeavoured to trace him (which probably would 
have been done had I been in town), Gooch is the 
person whom I should have thought most likely to have 
helped me in the inquiry. 

The school which you indicate is an unhappy one. I 
remember seeing a purblind man at Yarmouth two- 
and-twenty years ago, who seemed to carry with him 
a contagion of such opinions wherever he went. Per- 
haps you may have known him. The morbific matter 
was continually oozing out of him, and where it passes 
off in this way, or can be exploded in paradoxes and 
freaks of intellect, as by William Taylor, the destructive 
effect upon the heart is lessened or postponed. But 
when it meets with strong feeling, and an introspective 
introactive mind, the Aqua Toffana is not more deadly. 

Respecting the papers, I can only say, at present, that 
I will do nothing with them that can be injurious either 
to the dead or the living. When I receive any applica- 
tion upon the subject, I shall desire them to be deposited 
at my brother's, to await my arrival in town, where I. 
expect to be early in March, and to continue about 
two months, some ten days excepted ; and it is 

The Story worthy of Record. 


better that they should be in London, where I can 
consult with you. You will see by the letter to me 
(which I will take with me to town) what his wishes 
were. Consistently with these wishes, with his honour, 
and with the feelings of his friends, I hope it may be 
possible to record this melancholy case for wholesome 
instruction. He says to me, — "You may perhaps find 
an interest in making a fair statement of opinions which 
you condemn, when quite at liberty, as you would be in 
this case, to controvert them in the same page. I desire 
no 'gilt frame for my picture, and if by the side of it 
you like to draw another, and call mine a Satyr and 
yourjown Hyperion, you are welcome. A true light is 
all that I require — a strong light all that I wish." 

Having no suspicion of his intentions, I supposed 
him to be in the last stage of some incurable disease, 
and addressed him as one upon the brink of the grave. 
If one of the pencil readings which you have tran- 
scribed were written since February last, it would show 
that my last letter had made some impression upon 
him, for I had assured him of my belief in ghosts, and 
rested upon it as one proof of a future state. There 
was not the slightest indication of insanity in his annun- 
ciation to me, and there was an expression of humility, 
under which I should never have suspected that so very 
different a feeling was concealed. God help us ! frail 
creatures that we are. 

As my second letter was not noticed by him, I had 
supposed that it was received with displeasure, and 
perhaps with contempt. It rather surprises me, there- 
fore, that he should have retained the intention of com- 1 

Chap, v, 


Hamond's Papers. 

Chap. v. 





mitting his papers to my disposal, little desirous as I 
was of the charge. Nevertheless, I will execute it 
faithfully ; and the best proof that I can give of a 
proper feeling upon the subject, is to do nothing with- 
out consulting you. 

Believe me, dear Sir, 

Yours with much esteem, 

Robert Southey. 
Kesiuick, Janitary 20. 

Southey came to me in the March of this year, when 
he visited London. I soon satisfied him that the MSS. 
had no literary value, and he willingly resigned them to 
me.* In May of this year I wrote : " The more I read, 
the more I am convinced that they contain nothing 
which can benefit the world. They are not valuable 
either as works of art or as discoveries of truth.-f* They 
are merely manifestations of an individual mind, re- 
vealing its weaknesses." Yet I must qualify this by 
saying that Hamond wrote with feeling, and, being in 
earnest, there was an attractive grace in his style. But 
it raised an expectation which he could not fulfil. 
Southey appears to have formed a high opinion of him ; 
he was, however, not aware that, though Hamond could 
write a beautiful sentence, he was incapable of con- 
tinuous thought. Some extracts from Hamond's letters 
and papers I mean to annex to these Reminiscences as 
pikes justificatives. 

* These MSS. are now in the hands of H. C. R.'s executors. An account 
of them, and some extracts, will be found in a Note to this chapter. 
I t The scheme for the reformation of the world seems to consist in a number 
j of moral precepts, and has in it no originality. 

Extracts from. them. 



The papers now in the hands of the executors consist of — (A), "Life. 
Personal Anecdotes. Indications of Character." (B), " Letters of Farewell." 
(C), " Miscellaneous Extracts." (D), " Extracts from Journal, &c." (E), 
"Extracts. Scheme of Reforming the World, &c." (F), "On Education, 
Character, &c." (G), " Ethics." Also various letters by E. H. and others. 
Those by himself include the long one, finished only a few minutes before his 
death. Among the letters from others to him, are several by Jeremy Bentham 
on business matters — (1809 — 1819), and a larger number by Maria Edgeworth, 
on matters of personal interest — (1808 — 181 1). As Mr. Robinson did not make 
the extracts he proposed, the following are given as among the most 
interesting : — 

When I was about eight or ten I promised marriage to a wrinkled cook we 
had, aged about sixty-five. I was convinced of the insignificance of beauty, 
but really felt some considerable ease at hearing of her death about four years 
after, when I began to repent my vow. 

I always said that I would do anything to make another happy, and told a 
boy I would give him a shilling if it would make him happy ; he said it would, 
so I gave it him. It is not to be wondered at that I had plenty of such 
applications, and soon emptied my purse. It is true I rather grudged the 
money, because the boys laughed rather more than I wished them. But it 
would have been inconsistent to have appeared dissatisfied. Some of them 
were generous enough to return the money, and I was prudent enough to take 
it, though I declared that if it would make them happy I should be sorry to 
have it back again. 

At the age of eighteen I used to amuse myself with thinking on how many 
followers I could muster on a state emergency. I reckoned Abbot, Charles, 
Edward Deacon, Charles Mills, H. Jeffreys, and the Millers. I was then 
profuse of my presents, and indifferent to my comforts. I was shabby in my 
appearance, loved to mix with the lowest mob, and was sometimes impatiently 
desirous of wealth and influence. I remembered that Caesar walked carelessly 
and part drunken along the streets, and I felt myself a future Cassar. The 
decencies of life I laughed at. I was proud to recollect that I had always 
expected to be great since I was twelve years old. 

I cannot remain in society without injuring a man by the tricks of commerce, 
or the force which the laws of honour sometimes require. I must quit it. I 
would rather undergo twice the danger from beasts and ten times the danger 
from rocks. It is not pain, it is not death, that I dread — it is the hatred of a 
man ; there is something in it so shocking that I would rather submit to any I 

Chap. v. 


Hainond's Letters. 

Chap. v. 
J 8 20. 

injury than incur or increase the hatred of a man by revenging it ; and indeed 
I think this principle is pretty general, and that, as Mr. Reynolds says, " No, I 
don't want to fight, but it is to please Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Tomkins that I 
must fight." 

To H. C. Robinson. 

Silver Street, 

20 Oct. 1813. 
My dear Robinson, 

I leave you all my papers, with entire liberty to preserve, destroy, lend, 
or publish all or any of them as you please ; you will, I know, take care that 
no one suffers unjustly or improperly by anything that I have written about 
him. There are passages in some of my early journals which might, I think, be 
injurious to my brother in a manner that he never at all merited. Any expres- 
sions injurious to I have no wish that you should conceal: in 

general, I may say that I should like everybody of whom I have expressed any 
opinion to be acquainted with it. Tlie chief philosophical value of my papers 
(most of them utterly worthless in every other respect) I conceive to be that 
they record something of a mind that was very near taking a station far above 
all that have hitherto appeared in the world. Rely upon this, I am quite 
certain of it, that nothing but my sister Harriet's confidence and sympathy,* 
and such things as are easily procured, w-as wanting to enable me to fulfil my 
early and frequent vow to be the greatest man that had ever lived. I never 
till last May saw my course clearly, and then all that I wanted to qualify me for 
it I was refused. I leave my skull to any craniologist that you can prevail 
upon to keep it. Farewell ! my dear friend ; you have thought more justly 
of me than anybody has ; maintain your sentiments; once more, farewell! I 
embrace you with all my heart. 

E. Hamond. 

yune zgtk, 1817. — It is provoking that the secret of rendering man perfect 
in wisdom, power, virtue, and happiness should die with me. I never till this 
moment doubted that some other person would discover it, but I now recollect 
that, when I have relied on others, I have always been disappointed. Perhaps 
none may ever discover it, and the human race has lost its only chance of 
eternal happiness. 

Another sufficient reason for suicide is, that I was this morning out of temper 
with Mrs. Douglas (for no fault of hers). I did not betray myself in the least, 

* She would have been willing to devote her life to him, but he required that 
she should implicitly adopt his opinions. — H. C. R. 

Soiithey to Hamond. 


but I reflected that to be exposed to |the possibility of such an event once a 
year was evil enough to render life intolerable. The disgrace of using an 
impatient word is to me overpowering. 

A most sufficient reason for dying is, that if I had to write to Sir John 
Lubbock or Mr. Davey, I should be obliged to begin "Dear Sir," or else be 
very uncomfortable about the consequences, I am obliged to compromise with 
vice. At present (this is another matter), I must either become less sensible to 
the odiousness of vice, or be entirely unfit for all the active duties of life. 
Religion does but imperfectly help a man out of this dilemma. 

SouTHEY TO Elton Hamond. 

oj Keswick, 5 Febry. 18 19. 

I lose no time in repljdng to your extraordinary letter. If, as you say, 
the language of your papers would require to be recast, it is altogether im- 
possible for me to afford time for such an undertaking. But the style of your 
letter leads me to distrust your opinion upon this point ; and if the papers are 
written with equal perspicuity, any change which they might undergo from 
another hand would be to their injury. It appears, therefore, to me that they 
would only require selection and arrangement. 

Now, sir, it so happens that I have works in preparation of great magnitude, 
and (unless I deceive myself) of proportionate importance. And there must be 
many persons capable of preparing your manuscripts for the press, who have 
time to spare, and would be happy in obtaining such an employment. There 
may possibly also be another reason why another person may better be applied 
to on this occasion. The difference between your opinions and mine might be 
so great, that I could not with satisfaction or propriety become the means of 
introducing yours to the public. This would be the case if your reasonings 
tended to confound the distinctions between right and wrong, or to shake the 
foundations of religious belief. And yet I think that if there had been a great 
gulph between us you would hardly have thought of making me your editor. 
Indeed, if there had not been something in your letter which seems to make it 
probable that I should feel a Uvely interest in the transcript of your thoughts 
and feelings, my answer would have been brief and decisive. 

I should like to see a specimen of the papers, such as might enable me to 
form a judgment of them ; more than this I cannot say at present. I cannot 
but admire the temper of your letter. You are looking wisely and calmly 
toward the grave ; allow me to add a fervent hope that you may also be looking 
with confidence and joy beyond it. 

Believe me, Sir, 

Yours with respect, 

Robert Southey. 

Chap. v. 


Soiithcy to Hamond. 

Chap. v. 

SouTHEY TO Elton Hamond. 

Keswick, 2 March, 18 19. 

Your letter, my dear sir, affects me greatly. It represents a state of mind 
into which I also should have fallen had it not been for that support which 
you are not disposed to think necessary for the soul of man. I, too, identified 
my own hopes with hopes for mankind, and at the price of any self-sacrifice would 
have promoted the good of my fellow-creatures. I, too, have been disappointed, 
in being undeceived ; but having learnt to temper hope with patience, and when 
I lift up my spirit to its Creator and Redeemer, to say, not with the lips alone 
but with the heart. Thy will be done, I feel that whatever afflictions I have 
endured have been dispensed to me in mercy, and am deeply and devoutly 
thankful for what I am, and what I am to be when I shall burst my shell. 

sir ! religion is the one thing needful — without it no one can be truly 
happy (do you not /eel this ?) : with it no one can be entirely miserable. Without 
it, this world would be a mystery too dreadful to be borne, our best affections 
and our noblest desires a mere juggle and a curse, and it were better, indeed, 
to be nothing than the things we are. I am no bigot. I believe that men will 
be judged by their actions and intentions, not their creeds. I am a Christian, 
and so will Turk, Jew and Gentile be in Heaven, if they have lived well 
according to the light which was vouchsafed them. I do not fear that there 
will be a great gulph between you and me in the world which we must both 
enter ; but if I could persuade you to look on towards that world with the eyes 
of faith, a change would be operated in all your views and feelings, and hope 
and joy and love would be with you to your last breath— universal love — love for 
mankind, and for the Universal Father into whose hands you are about to 
render up your spirit. 

That the natural world by its perfect order displays evident marks of design, 
I think you would readily admit ; for it is so palpable, that it can only be dis- 
puted from perverseness or affectation. Is it not reasonable to suppose that 
the moral order of things should in like manner be coherent and harmonious ? 
It is so, if there be a state of retribution after death. If that be granted, every 
thing becomes intelligible, just, beautiful, and good. Would you not, from the 
sense of fitness and of justice, wish that it should be so ? And is there not 
enough of wisdom and of power apparent in the creation to authorize us in 
inferring, that whatever upon the grand scale would be best, therefore must 
be ? Pursue this feeUng, and it will lead you to the Cross of Christ. 

1 never fear to avow my belief that warnings from the other world are some- 
times communicated to us in this, and that absurd as the stories of apparitions 
generally are, they are not always false, but that the spirits of the dead have 
sometimes been permitted to appear. I believe this because I cannot refuse 
my assent to the evidence which exists of such things, and to the universal 
consent of all men who have not learnt to think otherwise. Perhaps you will 
not despise this as a mere superstition when I say that Kant, the profoundest 

Hamond's Farewell Letters. 


thinker of modem ages, came by the severest reasoning to the same conclu- 
sion. But if these things are, there is a state after death ; — and if there be a 
state after death, it is reasonable to presume that such things should be. 

You will receive this as it is meant. It is hastily and earnestly written — in 
perfect sincerity — in the fulness of my heart. Would to God that it might 
find the way to yours ! In case of your recovery, it would reconcile you to life, 
and open to you sources of happiness 10 which you are a stranger. 

But whether yoiu" lot be for life or death — dear sir, — 

God bless you ! 

Robert Southey. 

To Joseph 

Norwood, December, 7 o'clock, 1819, 
My dear Joseph, 

I fear that my late letters have offended and perplexed you ; but I am 
convinced you will forgive all that you have thought amiss in them, and in the 
author of them, when you are told that he is — don't be shock'd, my dear 
Joseph — no more. I am somewhat disturbed, while I think of the pain which 
this may give you, as I shed tears over my poverty when I saw Pollock cry 
about it, although it was not, neither is the present moment, painful to me. I 
have enjoyed my dinner, and been saying "good-bye" to my poor acquaint- 
ance as I met them, and running along by moonlight to put a letter in the 
Post-office, and shall be comfortable — not to say merry — to the laet, if I don't 
oppress myself with farewell letters, of which I have several still to write. I 
have much indeed to be grateful to you for, but I dare not give way to tender 

Your letters, as you know, will be offered to Southey, with all my other papers, 
to do the best he can and chooses with. ...... 

Good-bye to you ! 
E. H. 

To H. C. R. UNDER the Name of Roviso. 

Norwood, 31 Dec. 1819. 

(8 o'clock in the evening.^ 
Dear Roviso, 

I am stupified with writing, and yet I cannot go my long journey with- 
out taking leave of one from whom I have received so much kindness, and from 
whose society so much delight. My place is booked for a passage in Charon's 
boat to-night at twelve. Diana kindly consents to be of the party. This 
is handsome of her. She was not looked for on my part. Perhaps she is 
willing to acknowledge my obedience to her laws by a genteel compliment. 
Good. The gods, then, are grateful. Let me imitate their example, and thank 
you for the long, long list of kind actions that I know of, and many more 
which I don't know of, but believe without knowing. 

Go on — be as merry as you can. If you can be reUgious, good; but don't 

Chap, v, 


Hamoiid to the 

Chap. v. 

sink the man in the Christian. Bear in mind what you know to be the just 
rights of a fellow-creature, and don't play the courtier by sacrificing your 
fellow-subjects to the imaginary King of heaven and earth. I say imaginary — 
because he is known only by the imagination. He may have a real existence. 
I would rather he had. I have very little hopes of my own future fate, but I 
have less fear. In truth, I give myself no concern about it — why should I ? 
why fumble all through the dictionary for a word that is not there ? 

But I have some more good-byes to say. 

I have left a speech for the gentlemen of the inquest. Perhaps the driver of 
the coach may be able to tell you what is going on. On Monday my landlord, 
Mr. Williams, of the Secretary's Office, E. I. House, will probably be in town 
at a little after nine. Mind you don't get yourself into a scrape by making an 
over-zealous speech if you attend as my counsel. You may say throughout, 
" The culprit's defence is this." Bear in mind, that I had rather be thrown in 
a ditch than have a disingenuous defence made. 

I take the liberty of troubling you with the enclosed. The request it con- 
tains is the last trouble I shall ask of you. Once more, good-bye ! 

Yours gratefully and affectionately, 

Elton Hamond. 

To THE Coroner and the Gentlemen who will sit on my Body. 

Norwood, ■^xst Deer. 18 19. 

To the charge of self-murder I plead not guilty. For there is no guilt 
in what I have done. Self-murder is a contradiction in terms. If the King 
who retires from his throne is guilty of high treason ; if the man who takes 
money out of his own coffers and spends it is a thief; if he who burns his 
own hayrick is guilty of arson ; or he who scourges himself of assault and 
battery, then he who throws up his own life may be guilty of murder,— if not, 

If anything is a man's own, it is surely his life. Far, however, be it from 
me to say that a man may do as he pleases with his own. Of all that he has 
he is a steward. Kingdoms, money, harvests, are held in trust, and so, but I 
think less strictly, is life itself. Life is rather the stewardship than the talent. 
The King who resigns his crown to one less fit to rule is guilty, though not of 
high treason ; the spendthrift is guilty, though not of theft ; the wanton burner 
of his hayrick is guilty, though not of arson; the suicide who could have 
performed the duties of his station is perhaps guilty, though not of murder, 
not of felony. They are all guilty of neglect of duty, and all, except the 
suicide, of breach of trust. But I cannot perform the duties of my station. 
He who wastes his life in idleness is guilty of a breach of trust ; he who puts 
an end to it resigns his trust, — a trust that was forced upon him, — a trust 
which I never accepted, and probably never would have accepted. Is this 

Coroner and Jury. 


felony? I smile at the ridiculous supposition. How we came by the foolish 
law which considers suicide as felony I don't know; I find no warrant for it in 
Philosophy or Scripture. It is worthy of the times when heresy and apostacy 
were capital offences; when offences were tried by battle, ordeal, or expurga- 
tion ; when the fine for slaying a man was so many shillings, and that for slaying 
an ass a few more or less. 

Every old institution will find its vindicators while it remains in practice. 
I am an enemy to all hasty reform, but so foolish a law as this should be put an 
end to. Does it become a jtiry to disregard it ? For juries to disregard their 
oaths for the sake of justice is, as you probably know, a frequent practice. 
The law places them sometimes in the cruel predicament of having to choose 
between perjury and injustice : whether they do right to prefer perjury, as the 
less evil, I am not sure. I would rather be thrown naked into a hole in the road 
than that you should act against your consciences. But if you wish to acquit 
me, I cannot see that your calling my death accidental, or the effect of insanity, 
would be less criminal than a jury's finding a ;^io Bank-of- England note worth 
thirty-nine shillings, or premeditated slaying in a duel simple manslaughter, 
both of which have been done. But should you think this too bold a course, 
is it less bold to find me guilty of beingyfe/c de se when I am not guilty at all, as 
there is no guilt in what I have done ? I disdain to take advantage of my situa- 
tion as culprit to mislead your understandings, but if you, in your consciences, 
think premeditated suicide no felony, will you, upon your oaths, convict me 
of felony? Let me suggest the following verdict, as combining liberal truth 
with justice : — " Died by his own hand, but not feloniously." If I have offended 
God, it is for God, not you, to enquire. Especial public duties I have none. 
If I have deserted any engagement in society, let the parties aggrieved consign 
my name to obloquy. I have for nearly seven years been disentangling myself 
from all my engagements, that I might at last be free to retire from life. I am 
free to-day, and avail myself of my liberty. I cannot be a good man, and 
prefer death to being a bad one — as bad as I have been and as others are. 

I take my leave of you and of my country condemning you all, yet with true 
honest love. What man, alive to virtue, can bear the ways of the best of you ? 
Not I, you are wrong altogether. If a new and better light appears, seek it ; 
in the meantime, look out for it. God bless you all ! 

Elton Hamond. 

Chap. v. 


Mrs. Flaxmmis Death. 

Chap. vi. 

Death of 





February 6th. — Mrs. Flaxman died. A woman of 
great merit, and an irreparable loss to her husband. 
He, a genius of the first rank, is a very child in the 
concerns of life. She was a woman of strong sense, 
and a woman of business too — the very wife for an artist. 
Without her, he would not have been able to manage 
his household affairs early in life. Now, his sister and 
the youngest sister of his wife will do this for him. 

February i<^th. — Went to Drury Lane for the first 
time this season. I was better pleased than usual. 
Though Braham is growing old, he has lost none of his 
fascination in singing two or three magnificent songs in 
" The Siege of Belgrade." But he shared my admiration 
with a new actress, or rather singer, who will become, I 
have no doubt, a great favourite with the public — a 
Madame Vestris. She is by birth English, and her 
articulation is not that of a foreigner ; but her looks, 
walk, and gesticulations are so very French, that I 
almost thought myself in some Parisian theatre. She 
has great feeling and naivete in her acting, and I am 
told is a capital singer. I know that she delighted 

March ^th. — Took tea at Flaxman's. I had not seen 
him since his loss. There was an unusual tenderness in 

Flaxman. — Madame de Stael. 


his manner. He insisted on making me a present of 
several books, Dante's Penitential Psalms and [a blank 
in the Diary], both in Italian, and Erasmus's Dialogues, 
as if he thought he might be suddenly taken away, and 
wished me to have some memorial of him. The visit, 
on the whole, was a comfortable one. I then sat an 
hour with Miss Vardill, who related an interesting 
anecdote of Madame de Stael. A country girl, the 
daughter of a clergyman, had accidentally met with 
an English translation of " Delphine " and " Corinne," 
which so powerfully affected her in her secluded life, as 
quite to turn her brain. And hearing that Madame de 
Stael was in London, she wrote to her, offering to 
become her attendant or amanuensis. Madame de 
Stael's secretary, in a formal answer, declined the 
proposal. But her admirer was so intent on being in 
her service in some way, that she came up to London, 
and stayed a few days with a friend, who took her to 
the great novelist, and, speaking in French, gave a hint 
of the young girl's mind. Madame de Stael, with great 
promptitude and kindness, administered the only 
remedy that was likely to be effectual. The girl almost 
threw herself at her feet, and earnestly begged to be 
received by her. The Baroness very kindly, but 
decidedly, remonstrated with her on the folly of her 
desire. " You may think," she said, " it is an enviable 
lot to travel over Europe, and see all that is most 
beautiful and distinguished in the world ; but the joys 
of home are more solid ; domestic life affords more 
permanent happiness than any that fame can give. 
You. have a father — I have none. You have a home — I 

Chap. vi. 

Madame de 



SchlegeVs Obligations to Gibbon. 

Chap. vi. 


Gibbon and 

was led to travel because I was driven from mine. Be 
content with your lot ; if you knew mine, you would 
not desire it." With such admonitions she dismissed 
the petitioner. The cure was complete. The young 
woman returned to her father, became more steadily 
industrious, and without ever speaking of her adventure 
with Madame de Stael, silently profited by it. She is 
now living a life of great respectability, and her friends 
consider that her cure was wrought by the only hand 
by which it could have been effected. 

March yth. — Dined with the Judge (Graham). 
Among the most eminent judges of the last generation 
was Mr. Justice Buller. He and Baron Graham were 
of the same standing at College, Graham said to-day, 
that though Buller was a great lawyer, he was ignorant 
on every subject but law. He actually believed in the 
obsolete theory that our earth is the centre of the 

April JtJi. — Arrived at Bury before tea. My brother 
and sister were going to hear an astronomical lecture. 
I stayed alone and read a chapter in Gibbon on the 
early history of the Germans. Having previously read 
the first two lectures of Schlegel, I had the pleasure 
of comparison, and I found much in Gibbon that I 
had thought original in Schlegel. Their views differ 
slightly ; for the most part in the higher character 
given by Schlegel to the Germans, the correctness of 
which I had doubted. It seems absurd to ascribe great 
effects to the enthusiastic love of nature by a people 
otherwise so low in civilization. But probably he is 
justified in the opinion that the Goths were to no great 

Kean's Lear. 


degree the bringers of barbarism. He considers them 
the great agents in the renovation of society. 

April 26th. — An invitation from Aders to join him 
in one of the orchestra private boxes at Drury Lane. 
There was novelty in the situation. The ease and 
comfort of being able to stand, sit, or loll, have rather 
the effect of indisposing the mind to that close 
attention to the performance which is necessary to 
full enjoyment. Kean delighted me much in Lear, 
though the critics are not satisfied with him. His 
representation of imbecile age was admirable. In the 
famous imprecation scene he produced astonishing 
effect by his manner of bringing out the words with the 
effort of a man nearly exhausted and breathless, rather 
spelling his syllables than forming them into words. 
*' How sharp-er-than-a-serp-ent's-tooth-it-is," &c., &c. 
His exhibition of madness was always exquisite. 
Kean's defects are lost in this character, and become 
almost virtues. He does not need vigour or grace as 
Lear, but passion — and this never fails him. The play 
was tolerably cast. Mrs. W. West is an interesting 
Cordelia, though a moderate actress. And Rae is a 
respectable Edgar. I alone remained of the party to 
see " The King and the Miller (of Mansfield)." But I 
heard scarcely any part, for the health of the King 
being drunk, a fellow cried out from the shilling 
gallery — " The Queen ! " The allusion was caught up, 
and not a word was heard afterwards. The cries for 
the health of the Queen were uttered from all quarters, 
and as this demand could not be complied with, not a 
syllable more of the farce was audible. 


Chap. vi. 

Kean as 




the Queen of 

George IV. 

1 62 


Chap. vr. 


worth and 
C. Lamb. 

Peter Bell. 


June 2nd. — At nine I went to Lamb's, where I found 
Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth. Lamb was in a good 
humour. He read some recent compositions, which 
Wordsworth cordially praised. Wordsworth seemed to 
enjoy Lamb's society. Not much was said about his 
own new volume of poems. He himself spoke of 
"The Brownie's Cell"* as his favourite. It appears 
that he had heard of a recluse living on the island when 
there himself, and afterwards of his being gone, no one 
knew whither, and that this is the fact on which the 
poem is founded. 

June nth. — Breakfasted with Monkhouse, Mr. and 
Mrs, Wordsworth there. He has resolved to make some 
concessions to publip taste in " Peter Bell." Several 
offensive passages will be struck out, such as, " Is it a 
party in a parlour," &c., which I implored him to omit 
before the book first appeared. Also the over-coarse 
expressions, " But I will bang your bones," &c. I never 
before saw him so ready to yield to the opinion of 
others. He is improved not a little by this in my 
mind. We talked of Haydon. Wordsworth wants to 
have a large sum raised to enable Haydon to continue 
in his profession. He wants ^2,000 for his great 
picture. The gross produce of the exhibition is ;^i,200.-f' 

• Vol. III. p. 44. Edition 1857. 

f Haydon exhibited his great picture of " Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" at 
the Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly. It was opened to the public March 27th. 
Wordsworth's face was introduced, ' ' A Bowing Head ; " also ' ' Newtoh's Face 
of Belief," and "Voltaire's Sneer." The exhibition continued open till 
November, by which time ;^i,S47 8j. had been received in shillings at the 
doors, and ;^2i2 19^. 6d. paid for sixpenny catalogues. The picture is now in 
America. During the exhibition in London a gentleman asked if ^^i, 000 would 
buy it, and was told, " No." — Autobiography of Haydon, Vol. I. p. 337^ 

Portrait Exhibition. 


June 19//^. — Went to the British Gallery, where a 
collection of English portraits was exhibited.* Very- 
interesting, both as works of art and as memorials of 
eminent persons. Certainly such a gallery is calculated 
to raise a passion for biography, though some of the 
portraits rather tend to produce historical scepticism, 
than to confirm the impressions which have been handed 
down to us. Iwas really displeased to see the name of 
the hated Jeffreys put to a dignified and sweet counte- 
nance, that might have conferred new grace on some 
delightful character. This, however, was the most 
offensive violation of probability. 

Jtme 21st. — After taking tea at home I called at 
Monkhouse's, and spent an agreeable evening. Words- 
worth was very pleasant. Indeed he is uniformly so 
now. And there is absolutely no pretence for what was 

* This very interesting exhibition, and the first of its kind, was opened in 
May of this year at tlie British Institution, Pall Mall. It comprised 183 
portraits of the most eminent historical characters, almost entirely British, "and 
the catalogue, with a well-considered preface, contained biographical accounts 
of the persons represented. In the year 1846 another portrait exhibition was 
held at the same institution, but not with commensurate success. The pictures 
then amounted to 215 in number, and the catalogue was destitute of bio- 
graphical notices. A more extensive and extremely well-organized collection 
of national portraits formed part of the great Art-Treasures' Exhibition at 
Manchester, in 1857. These, exclusive of many choice portraits in other 
departments of the Exhibition, amounted to 386. Many of these paintings 
were of considerable size. These portrait gatherings have, however, been far 
distanced by the successive exhibitions of national portraits, under Government 
auspices, at South Kensington, which extended over the last three years, and 
combined in the aggregate no fewer than 2,846 pictures. The greater part of 
these portraits were of the highest authenticity, and the catalogues were 
remarkable both for the conciseness and comprehensiveness of the information 
which they afforded. Mr. Robinson's words in the text above have been 
signally verified. The portrait of Ixsrd Chancellor Jeffreys' was painted by 
Riley, and contributed by the Earl of Winchelsea. That of John, Duke of 
Marlborough, was by Kneller, and contributed by the Marquis of Stafford. 

M 2 

Chap vi. 


of English 


1 64 

Duke of Wellington. 

Chap. Vi. 

nvd Marl- 

in society. 

always an exaggerated charge against him, that he 
could talk only of his own poetry, and loves only his 
own works. He is more indulgent than he used to be 
of the works of others, even contemporaries and rivals, 
and is more open to arguments in favour of changes 
in his own poems. Lamb was in excellent spirits. 
Talfourd came in late, and we stayed till past twelve. 
Lamb was at last rather overcome, though it produced 
nothing but humorous expressions of his desire to go 
on the Continent. I should delight to accompany him. 

Jnne 2/^th. — Took Miss Wordsworth to the British 
Gallery. A second contemplation of these historic 
portraits certainly adds to their effect. To-day there 
was an incident which somewhat gratified me. The 
Duke of Wellington was there, and I saw him looking 
at the portrait of the Duke of Marlborough. A lady 
was by his side. She pointed to the picture, and he 
smiled. Whether the compliment was to his person or 
to his military glory I cannot tell. Though Marl- 
borough has the reputation of having been as dis- 
tinguished in the ball-room as in the field of battle, 
the portrait is neither beautiful nor interesting. The 
Duke of Wellington's face is not flexible or subtle, but 
it is martial, that is, sturdy and firm. I liked him in 
dishabille better than in his robes at the chapel of his 
palace in the Rue St. Honore. 

June 271/1. — Went to Lamb's, found the Wordsworths 
there, and having walked with them to Westminster 
Bridge, returned to Lamb's, and sat an hour with 
Macready, a very pleasing man, gentlemanly in his 
manners, and sensible and well informed. 

Lamb at Cambridge. 


July Zth. — I rode early (from Hadleigh) to Needham 
in a post-chaise, to be taken on by the Ipswich coach to 
Bury. I had an agreeable ride, and was amused by 
perusing Gray's letters on the Continent, published by 
Mason.* His familiar epistolary style is quite delight- 
ful, and his taste delicate without being fastidious. I 
should gladly follow him anywhere, for the sake of 
remarking the objects he was struck by, but I fear I 
shall not have it in my power this year. 

July i^th. — (At Cambridge on circuit.) After a day's 
work at Huntingdon, I had just settled for the evening, 
when I was agreeably surprised by a call from Miss 
Lamb. I was heartily glad to see her, and accompany- 
ing her to her brother's lodgings, I had a very pleasant 
rubber of whist with them and a Mrs. Smith. An 
acceptable relief from circuit society. 

July 20th. — I had nothing to do to-day, and therefore 
had leisure to accompany Lamb and his sister on a 
walk among the colleges. All Lamb's enjoyments are 
so pure and so hearty, that it is an enjoyment to see 
him enjoy. We walked about the exquisite chapel and 
the gardens of Trinity. 

July ^ist, August 1st. — It is now broad daylight, 
and I have not been to bed. I recollected Lord Bacon's 
recommendation of occasional deviation from regular 
habits, and though I feel myself very tired (after 
making preparations for my journey on the Continent), 
and even sleepy at half-past four, yet I shall recover, I 
trust, in the course of the day. 

• "Works, containing his Poems and Correspondence. To which are added, 
Memoirs of his Life and Writings, by W. Mason, M.A." London, 1807. A 
new edition in 1820. 

Chap. vi. 


Miss Lamb. 

C. Lamb at 


1 66 

Swiss Tour 

Chap, vi, 

Swiss Tour with the Wordsworths. 

Rem* — This account of my first tour in Switzerland 
may not improperly be compared to the often-cited 
performance of " Hamlet," with the character of Hamlet 
left out. The fact being that every place in Switzerland 
is known to every one, or may be, from the innumerable 
books that have been published, the names are sufficient, 
and I shall therefore content myself with relating the few 
personal incidents of the journey, and a very few par- 
ticulars about places. What I have to say will probably 
disappoint the reader, who may be aware that the jour- 
ney was made in the company of no less a person than 
the poet Wordsworth, [If there are fewer of Words- 
worth's obsei-vations than might be expected, the clue 
may perhaps be in the fact stated elsewhere, that " he 
was a still man when he enjoyed himself r — Ed.] 

He came to London with Mrs. and Miss Wordsworth 
in the month of June, partly to be present at the mar- 
riage of Mrs. Wordsworth's kinsman, Mr. Monkhouse, 
with Miss Horrocks, of Preston, in Lancashire, and to 
accompany them in a marriage tour. I was very much 
gratified by a proposal to be their companion on as 
much of the journey as my circuit would permit. It 
was a part of their plan to go by way of the Rhine, 
and it was calculated (justly, as the event showed) that 
I might, by hastening through France, reach them in 
time to see with them a large portion of the beauties of 

Mr. Wordsworth published on his return a small 
volume, entitled, " Memorials of a Tour on the Con- 

* Written in 1851. 

with Wordsworth. 


tinent," one of the least popular of his works. Had 
it appeared twenty years afterwards, when his fame 
was established, the reception would have been very 

I left London on the 1st of August, and reached 
Lyons on the 9th. On the journey I had an agree- 
able companion in a young Quaker, Walduck, then 
in the employ of the great Quaker chemist, Bell, of 
Oxford Street. It was his first journey out of England. 
He had a pleasing physiognomy, and was stanch to 
his principles, but discriminating. Walking together 
in one of the principal streets of Lyons, we met the 
Host, with an accompanying crowd. " You must pull off 
your hat, Walduck." — " I will die first ! " he exclaimed. 
As I saw some low fellows scowling, and did not wish 
to behold an act of martyrdom, / pulled off his hat. 
Afterwards, passing by the cathedral, I said to him, " I 
must leave you here, for I won't go in to be insulted." 
He followed me with his hat off. "I thought you 
would die first !" — " Oh, no ; here I have no business or 
right to be. If the owners of this building choose to 
make a foolish rule that no one shall enter with his hat, 
they do what they have a legal right to do, and I must 
submit to their terms. Not so in the broad highway." 
The reasoning was not good, but one is not critical when 
the conclusion is the right one practically. Passing the 
night of the loth on the road, we reached Geneva late 
on the nth. On the 13th we went to Lausanne, where 
Walduck left me. On the 14th I went to Berne. I 
rose before five, and saw the greater part of the town 
before breakfast. It is one of the most singular places 

Chap. vi. 

the Quaker. 



1 68 


Chap. vi. 


I ever saw. It stands on a sort of peninsular eleva- 
tion formed by the River Aare, and consists of two or 
three long streets, with a few others intersecting them. 
The houses are of freestone, and are built in part on 
arches, under which there is a broad passage, with shops 
within. No place, therefore, can be cooler in summer 
or warmer in winter. In the middle of the streets there 
is a channel with a rapid stream of water. 

About the town there are fountains in abundance, 
crowned with statues of armed men, Swiss heroes. 
And there are gross and whimsical representations of 
bears* on several of the pubhc buildings. Two living 
bears are kept in a part of the fosse of the town. I 
walked to the Enge Terrace, from which the view of the 
Bernese Alps is particularly fine. The people are as 
picturesque as the place. The women wear black caps, 
fitting the head closely, with prodigious black gauze 
wings : Miss Wordsworth calls it the butterfly cap. In 
general, I experienced civility enough from the people 
I spoke to, but one woman, carrying a burthen on 
her head, said sharply, on my asking the way, " Ich 
kann kein Welsch" (I can't speak any foreign language). 
And on my pressing the question, being curious to see 
more of her, and at last saying, " Sie ist dumm" (she is 
stupid), she screamed out, " Fort, fort" (go along). 

On the 15 th I went to Solothurn, and an acquaint- 
ance began out of which a catastrophe sprang. In 
the stage between Berne and Solothurn, which takes 
a circuit through an unpicturesque, flat country, were 
two very interesting young men, who I soon learned 
* The arms of the town. 



were residing with a Protestant clergyman at Geneva, 
and completing their education. The elder was an 
American, aged twenty-one, named Goddard. He had 
a sickly air, but was intelligent, and not ill-read in 
English poetry. The other was a fine handsome lad, 
aged sixteen, of the name of Trotter, son of the then, 
or late. Secretary to the Admiralty. He was of Scotch 
descent. They were both genteel and well-behaved 
young men, with the grace communicated by living in 
good company. We became at once acquainted, — I 
being then, as now, yoiuig in the facility of forming 
acquaintance. We spent a very agreeable day and 
evening together, partly in a walk to a hermitage in the 
neighbourhood, and took leave of each other at night, — 
I being bound for Lucerne, they for Zurich. But in the 
morning I saw, to my surprise, my young friends with 
their knapsacks in their hands ready to accompany me. 
Goddard said, with a very amiable modesty, "If you will 
permit us, we wish to go with you. I am an admirer 
of Wordsworth's poems, and I should be delighted 
merely to see him. Of course I expect no more." I 
was gratified by this proposal, and we had a second day 
of enjoyment, and this through a very beautiful country. 
My expectations were not disappointed. I had heard 
of the Wordsworth party from travellers with whom we 
met. I found my friends at the Cheval Blanc. From 
them I had a most cordial reception, and I was myself 
in high spirits. Mrs. Wordsworth wrote in her journal : 
" H. C. R. was drunk with pleasure, and made us drunk 
too." My companions also were kindly received. 

I found that there was especial good luck attending 

Chap. vi. 



The Extortionate Guide. 

Ghap. VI. 




bridges at 

my arrival. Wordsworth had met with an impudent 
fellow, a guide, who, because he would not submit to 
extortion, had gone off with the ladies' cloaks to 
Sarnen. Now it so happened that one of our fellow- 
travellers this day was the Statthalter of Sarnen. I 
spoke to him before we went to bed, and we arranged 
to go to Sarnen the next day. We rose at four o'clock, 
had a delightful walk to Winkel, embarked there on the 
lake, sailed to Alpnach, and then proceeded on foot. 
The judge was not betrayed into any impropriety. He 
had heard Mr. Wordsworth's story, and on going to the 
inn, he, without suffering Mr, Wordsworth to say a 
word, most judiciously interrogated the landlord, who 
was present when the bargain was made. He con- 
firmed every part of Mr. Wordsworth's statement. On 
this, the Statthalter said, " I hear the man has not 
returned, a fact which shows that he is in the wrong. 
I know, him to be a bad fellow. He will be home this 
evening, you may rely on it, and you shall have the 
cloaks to-morrow." Next day the man came, and was 
very humble. 

Wordsworth and I returned to dinner, and found my 
young friends already in great favour with the ladies. 
After dinner we walked through the town, which has no 
other remarkable feature than the body of water flowing 
through it, and the several covered wooden bridges. In 
the angles of the roof of these bridges there are paint- 
ings on historical and allegorical subjects. One series 
from the Bible, another from the Swiss war against 
Austria, a third called the Dance of Death, The last 
is improperly called, for Death does not force his 

Tour as Pedestrians. 


partner to an involuntary waltz, as in the famous 
designs which go by Holbein's name, but appears in all 
the pictures an unwelcome visitor; There are feeling 
and truth in many of the conceptions, but the ex- 
pression is too often ludicrous, and too often coarsely 

August i8t/i. — Proceeded on our journey. I pur- 
chased a knapsack, and sent my portmanteau to 
Geneva. All the party were, in like manner, put on 
short commons as to luggage, and our plan of travelling 
was this : in the plains and level valleys we had a char- 
a-banc, and we walked up and down the mountains. 
Once only we hired mules, and these the guides only 
used. Our luggage was so small, even for five (Mrs. 
Monkhouse and Miss Horrocks did not travel about with 
the rest of the party), that a single guide could carry 
the whole. 

We sailed on the lake as far as Kiisnacht, the two 
young men being still our companions ; and between 
two and three we began to ascend the Rigi, an in- 
dispensable achievement in a Swiss tour. We engaged 
beds at the Staffel, and went on to see the sun set, but 
we were not fortunate in the weather. Once or twice 
there were gleams of light on some of the lakes, but 
there was little charm of colouring. After an early and 
comfortable supper we enjoyed the distant lightning ; 
but it soon became very severe, and some of the rooms 
of the hotel were flooded with rain. Our rest was 

* The XXXVIII. Poem of the " Memorials" was written while the work 
was in the press, and at H. C. R.'s suggestion that Mr. Wordsworth should 
write on the bridges at Lucerne. This will appear in a letter by Miss Words- 
worth in 1822. 

Chap. vi. 


The Rigi. 


The Rigi. 

Chap. vi. 

Accident to 

disturbed by a noisy party, who, unable to obtain beds 
for tTiemselves, resolved that no one else should enjoy 
his. The whole night was spent by them in an 
incessant din of laughing, singing, and shouting. We 
were called up between three and four A.M." but had 
a very imperfect view from this "dread summit of the 
Queen of Mountains" — Regina montium. The most 
beautiful part of the scene was that which arose from 
the clouds below us. They rose in succession, some- 
times concealing the country, and then opening to our 
view dark lakes, and gleams of very brilliant green. 
They sometimes descended as if into an abyss beneath 
us. We saw a few of the snow-mountains illuminated 
by the first rays of the sun. 

My journal simply says: "After breakfast our young 
gentlemen left us." I afterwards wrote, " We separated 
at a spot well suited to the parting of those who were 
to meet no more. Our party descended " through the 
valley of our 'Lady of the Snow,' and our late com- 
panions went to Arth. We hoped to meet in a few 
weeks at Geneva." 

I will leave the order of time, and relate now all that 
appertains to this sad history. The young men gave us 
their address, and we promised to inform them when 
we should be at Geneva, on our return. But on that 
return we found that poor Goddard had perished in the 
lake of Zurich, on the third day after our leave-taking 
on the Rigi. 

I heard the story from Trotter on the 23rd of 
September. They had put themselves in a crazy boat ; 
and a storm arising, the boat overset. It righted itself, 

Goddard's Death. 


but to no purpose. Trotter swam to the shore, but 
Goddard was not seen again. Trotter was most hos- 
pitably received by a Mr. Keller, near whose house the 
catastrophe took place. The body was cast ashore 
next day, and afterwards interred in the neighbouring 
churchyard of Kusnacht. An inscription was placed 
near the spot where the body was found, and a mural 
monument erected in the church. At the funeral a 
pathetic address was delivered by the Protestant clergy- 
man, which I read in the Zurich paper. We were all 
deeply impressed by the event, Wordsworth, I knew, 
was not fond of drawing the subjects of his poems from 
occurrences in themselves interesting, and therefore, 
though I urged him to write on this tragic incident, I 
little expected he would. There is, however, a beautiful 
elegiac poem by him on the subject.* [To the later 
editions there is prefixed a prose introduction. This 
I wrote, Mr. Wordsworth wrote to me for information, 
and I drew up the account in the first person.] 

" And we were gay, our hearts at ease ; 
With pleasure dancing through the frame 
We journeyed ; all we knew of care — 
Our path that straggled here and there ; 
Of trouble — but the fluttering breeze ; 
Of Winter — but a name. 
If foresight could have rent the veil 
Of three short days— but hush — no more ! 
Calm is the grave, and calmer none 
Than that to which thy cares are gone, 
Thou victim of the stormy gale ; 
Asleep on Ziirich's shore. 
Oh, Goddard ! — what art thou? — a name — 
A simbeam follow' d by a shade." 

In a subsequent visit to Switzerland I called at 

* Poems of the Imagination, Vol. III. p. 169, Poem XXXIII. 

Chap. vi. 

poem on 



Goddard's Sister. 

Chap. vi. 


Mr. Keller's, and saw some of the ladies of the house, 
who gave me full particulars, I afterwards became 
acquainted, in Italy, with Goddard's nearest surviving 

relative, a sister, then married to a Mr. . The 

winter preceding I was at Rome, when a Mrs. Kirkman, 
the wife of an American gentleman, once Principal of 
Harvard College, asked me whether I had ever known 
a Mr. Goddard, her countryman. On my answering in 
the affirmative, she said, " I am sorry to hear it, for there 
has been a lady here in search of you. However, she 
will be here again on her return from Naples." And in 
a few months I did see her. It was Goddard's sister. 
She informed me that Wordsworth's poem had afforded 
her mother great comfort, and that she had come to 
Europe mainly to collect all information still to be had 
about her poor brother ; that she had seen the Kellers, 
with whom she was pleased, and that she had 
taken notes of all the circumstances of her brother's 
fate ; that she had seen Trotter, had been to Rydal 
Mount, and learned from Wordsworth of my being in 
Italy. She was a woman of taste, and of some literary 

On my return to England, I was very desirous to 
renew my acquaintance with Trotter, but I inquired 
after him in vain. After a time, when I had relaxed 
my inquiries, I heard of him accidentally — that he was 
a stock-broker, and had married a Miss Otter, daughter 
of the Bishop of Chichester. I had learned this just 
before one of the balloting evenings at the Athenaeum 
— when, seeing Strutt there, and beginning my inquiries 
about . his brother-in-law, he stopped them by saying. 

Goddard's Companion, Trotter. 


" You may ask himself, for there he is. He has been a 
member of the Athenaeum these twelve years ! " He 
called to Trotter, " Here is a gentleman who wants to 
speak with you." — " Do you recollect me .'' " — " No, I 
do not." — "Do you recollect poor Goddard .-' " — "You 
can be no one but Mr. Robinson." We were glad to see 
each other, and our acquaintance was renewed. The 
fine youth is now the intelligent man of business. He 
has written a pamphlet on the American State Stocks. 
Many years ago he came up from the country, tra- 
velling fifty miles to have the pleasure of breakfasting 
with Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth at my apartments.. 

To go back to the 19th of August, after parting from 
our young companions we proceeded down the valley in 
which is the chapel dedicated to our Lady of the Snow, 
the subject of Wordsworth's nineteenth poem. The 
preceding eighteen have to do with objects which had 
been seen before I joined the party. The elegiac 
stanzas are placed near the end of the collection, I 
know not for what reason. The stanzas on the chapel 
express poetically the thoughts which a prosaic mind 
like mine might receive from the numerous votive 
offerings hung on the walls. There are pictures re- 
presenting accidents, — such as drowning, falling from a 
horse, and the Mother and the Child are in the clouds, — 
it being understood that the escape proceeded from her 
aid. Some crutches with painted inscriptions bear 
witness to the miracles wrought on the lame. 

" To thee, in this aerial cleft. 
As to a common centre, tend 
All sufferers that no more rely 
On mortal succour—all who sigh 

Chap. vt. 

Our Lady 
of the 


The Heart of Switzerland. 

Chap. vr. 



And pine, of human hope bereft, 
Nor wish for earthly friend. 

Thy very name, O Lady ! flings 

O'er blooming fields and gushing springs 

A tender sense of shadowy fear, 

And chastening sympathies ! " 

We passed the same day through Goldau, a desolate 
spot, once a populous village, overwhelmed by the slip 
from the Rossberg. 

On the 20th at Schwyz, which Wordsworth calls 
the "heart" of Switzerland, as Berne is the "head."* 
Passing through Brunnen, we reached Altorf on 
the 2 1st, the spot which suggested Wordsworth's 
twentieth effusion.f My prose remark on the people 
shows the sad difference between observation and 
fancy. I wrote : " These patriotic recollections are 
delightful when genuine, but the physiognomy of the 
people does not speak in favour of their ancestors. 
The natives of the district have a feeble and melan- 
choly character. The women are afflicted by goitre. 
The children beg, as in other Catholic cantons. The 
little children, with cross-bows in their hands, sing un- 
intelligible songs. Probably Wilhelm Tell serves, like 
Henri Quatre, as a name to beg by." But what says 
the poet ? — 

" Thrice happy burghers, peasants, warriors old, 
Infants in arms, and ye, that as ye go 
Home-ward or school-ward, ape what ye behold ; 
Heroes before your time, in frolic fancy bold !" ^ 

"And when that calm Spectatress from on high 
Looks down — the bright and solitary moon, 

* Poem XXL of the " Memorials." 

f " Effusion in Presence of the Painted Tower of Tell at Altorf." 

"Mountain named — of God Himself!' 


Who never gazes but to beautify ; 

And snow-fed torrents, which the blaze of noon 

Roused into fury, murmur a soft tune 

That fosters peace, and gentleness recalls ; 

Then might the passing monk receive a boon 

Of saintly pleasure from these pictured walls, 

While, on the warlike groups, the mellowing lustre fiiUs." 

We next crossed the St. Gotthard. Wordsworth 
thinks this pass more beautiful than the more celebrated 
[a blank here]. We slept successively at Amsteg on the 
22nd, Hospenthal on the 23rd, and Airolo on the 24th. 
On the way we were overtaken by a pedestrian, a 
young Swiss, who had studied at Heidelberg, and was 
going to Rome. He had his flute, and played thq 
Ranz des Vaches. Wordsworth begged me to ask him 
to do this, which I did on condition that he wrote a 
sonnet on it. It is XXH. of the collection. The 
young man was intelligent, and expressed pleasure in 
our company. We were sorry when he took French 
leave. We were English, and I have no doubt he 
feared the expense of having such costly companions. 
He gave a sad account of the German Universities, and 
said that Sand, the murderer of Kotzebue, had many 
apologists among the students. 

We then proceeded on our half-walk and half-drive, 
and slept on the 25th at Bellinzona, the first decidedly 
Italian town. We walked to Locarno, where we resisted 
the first, and indeed almost the only, attempt at extor- 
tion by an innkeeper on our journey. Our landlord 
demanded twenty-five francs for a luncheon, the worth 
of which could scarcely be three. I tendered a ducat 
(twelve francs), and we carried away our luggage. We 
had the good fortune to find quarters in a new hous^, 


Chap, vi, 



Ranz des 




Queen Caroline. 

Chap. vi. 

Lake of 


the master of which had not been spoiled by receiving 
Enghsh guests. 

On the 27th we had a row to Luino, on the Lago 
Maggiore, a walk to Ponte Tresa, and then a row to 
Lugano, where we went to an excellent hotel, kept by 
a man of the name of Rossi, a respectable man. 

Our apartments consisted of one handsome and 
spacious room, in which were Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth, 
(this room fronted the beautiful lake) ; a small back 
room, occupied by Miss Wordsworth, with a window 
looking into a dirty yard, and having an internal com- 
munication with a two-bedded room, in which Monk- 
house and I slept. I had a ver)/- free conversation with 
Rossi about the Queen, who had been some time in his 
house. It is worth relating here, and might have been 
worth making known in England, had the trial then 
going on had another issue. He told me, but not 
emphatically, that when the Queen came, she first slept 
in the large room, but not liking that, she removed to 
the back room. " And Bergami," said Rossi, " had the 
room in which you and the other gentleman sleep." 
— " And was there," I asked, " the same communication 
then that there is now between the two rooms V — "Of 
course," he replied. " It was in the power, certainly, of 
the Queen and Bergami to open the door : whether it was 
opened or not, no one can say." He added, " I know 
nothing ; none of my servants know anything." The 
most favourable circumstance related by Rossi was, that 
Bergami's brother did not fear to strike off much from 
the bill. He added, too, that the Queen was surrounded 
hy cattiva gcnte. 

" Turrets guarded by San Salvador." 


On the 28th we took an early walk up the mountain 
San Salvador, which produced No. XXIV. of Words- 
worth's Memorial Poems.* Though the weather was 
by no means favourable, we enjoyed a much finer view 
than from the Rigi. The mountains in the neighbour- 
hood are beautiful, but the charm of the prospect lies 
in a glimpse of distant mountains. We saw a most 
elegant pyramid, literally in the sky, partly black, and 
partly shining like silver. It was the Simplon. Mont 
Blanc and Monte Rosa were seen in parts. Clouds 
concealed the bases, and too soon also the summits. 
This splendid vision lasted but a few minutes. The 
plains of Piedmont were hardly visible, owing to the 
black clouds which covered this part of the horizon. 
We could, however, see in the midst of a dark surface 
a narrow ribbon of white, which we were told was the 
Po. We were told the direction in which Milan lay, 
but could not see the cathedral. 

The same day we went on to Menaggio, on the Lake 
Como. This, in Wordsworth's estimation, is the most 
beautiful of the lakes. On the 29th and 30th we slept 
at Cadenabbia, and " fed our eyes " — 

" in paths sun-proof 
With purple of the trellis roof, 
That through the jealous leaves escapes 
From Cadenabbia's pendent grapes." f 

The beds in which Monkhouse and I slept at Menag- 
gio were intolerable, but we forgot the sufferings of 

* Wordsworth speaks of the "prospect" as "more diversified by magnifi- 
cence, beauty, and sublimity than perhaps any other point in Europe, of so 
inconsiderable an elevation (2,000 feet), commands." — Introduction to Poem 

t Vide Poem XXV. of the "Memorials." 

N 2 

Chap. vi. 


Lake Como. 


Surpassing Enjoyments. 

Chap. vi. 


A travel- 
ling ac- 

the night in the enjoyment of the morning. I wrote in 
my journal: "This day has been spent on the lake, and 
so much exquisite pleasure I never had on water. The 
tour, or rather excursion, we have been making sur- 
passes in scenery all that I have ever made ; and Words- 
worth asserts the same. I write now from an inn where 
we have been served with all the promptitude of an 
English hotel, and with a neatness equal to that of 
Holland. But the pleasure can hardly be recorded. It 
consists in the contemplation of scenes absolutely inde- 
scribable by words, and in sensations for which no words 
have been even invented. ^We were lucky in meeting 
two honest fellows of watermen, who have been atten- 
tive and not extortionate. I will not enumerate the 
points of view and villas we visited. We saw nothing 
the guide-books do not speak of." 

On the 31st we slept at Como, and next day went to 
Milan, where we took up our abode at Reichardt's Swiss 
Hotel. We were, however, sent to an adjacent hotel to 
sleep, there being no bed unoccupied at Reichardt's* 
We arrived just before dinner, and were placed at the 
upper end of a table reserved for the English, pf whom 
there were five or six present, besides ourselves. Here 
we made an acquaintance with a character of whom I 
have something to say. 

A knot of young persons were listening to the ani- 
mated conversation of a handsome young man, who was 
rattling away on the topics of the day with great 
vivacity. Praising highly the German poets Goethe; 
Schiller, &c., he said, " Compared with these, we have 
not a poet worth naming." I sat opposite him, and 

All Adventurer. 


said, "Die gegenwartige Gesellschaft ausgenommen" 
(the present company excepted). Now, whether he 
heard or understood me I cannot possibly say. If so, 
the rapidity with which he recovered himself was ad- 
mirable, for he instantly went on — " When I say no 
one, I always except Wordsworth, who is the greatest 
poet England has had for generations." The effect was 
ludicrous. Mrs. Wordsworth gave me a nudge, and 
said, " He knows that's William." And Wordsworth, 
being taken by surprise, said, " That's a most ridiculous 
remark for you to make. My name is Wordsworth." 
On this the stranger threw himself into an attitude of 
astonishment — well acted at all events — and apologized 
for the liberty he had taken. After dinner he came to 
us, and said he had been some weeks at Milan, and 
should be proud to be our cicerone. We thought the 
offer too advantageous to be rejected, and he went 
round with us to the sights of this famous city. But 
though I was for a short time taken in by him, I soon 
had my misgivings ; and coming home the first evening, 

Wordsworth said, " This Mr. is an amusing man, 

but there is something about him I don't like." And I 
discovered him to be a mere pretender in German 
literature, — he knew merely the names of Goethe and 
Schiller. He made free with the names of our English 
literary notabilities, such as Shelley, Byron, Lamb, 
ieigh Hunt ; but I remarked that of those I knew 
lie took care to say no more. One day he went to 
'Mrs. Wordsworth with a long face, and said he had 
Jost his purse. But she was not caught. Some one 
else must have paid the piper. At Paris we met 

Chap. vi. 

about the 
new ac- 



A Universal Borrower. 

Chap. vi. 

A universal 



0/ the 



the same gentleman again, and he begged me to lend 
him\;^i5, as he had been robbed of all his money. I 
was enabled to tell him that I had that very morning 
borrowed £10. He was, however, more successful in an 
application to Monkhouse, who said, " I would rather 
lose the money than ever see that fellow again." It is 
needless to say he " lost his money and his friend," but 
did not, in the words of the song, " place great store on 
both." As usually happens in such cases, we learnt 
almost immediately after the money had been ad- 
vanced, that Mr. was a universal borrower. 

His history became known by degrees. He was an 
American by birth, and being forced to fly to England, 
he became secretary to a Scotchman, who left him 
money, that he might study the law. This money he 
spent or lost abroad, and it was at this stage that we 
fell in with him. He afterwards committed what was 
then a capital forgery, but made his escape. These 
circumstances being told in the presence of the man- 
ager of a New York theatre, he said, " Then I am at 
liberty to speak. I knew that fellow in America, and 
saw him with an iron collar on his neck, a convict for 
forgery. He had respectable friends, and obtained his 
pardon on condition that he should leave the country. 
Being one day in a box at Covent Garden, I saw him. 
Perceiving that I knew him, he came to me, and most 
pathetically implored me not to expose him. ' I am a 
reformed man,' said he ; * I have friends, and have a 
prospect of redeeming myself I am at your mercy.' 
His appearance was not inconsistent with this account. 
I therefore said, * I. hope you are speaking the truth. I 

The Three Milan Soimets. 


cannot be acquainted with you, but unless I hear of 
misconduct on your part in this country, I will keep 
your secret.' " 

Some time afterwards we heard that this reckless 
adventurer had died on a bed of honour — that is, was 
killed in a duel. 

I remained a week at Milan, where I fell in with Mrs. 
Aldebert, and renewed my acquaintance with her ex- 
cellent brother, Mr. Mylius, who is highly honoured in 
very old age. Milan furnished Wordsworth with matter 
for three poems, on Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," 
" The Eclipse of the Sun " (which Monkhouse and I 
saw on our journey from Milan), and " The Column," a 
memorial of Buonaparte's defeated ambition.* I have 
very little to say, as I abstain from a description of 
the usual sights. I may, however, remark, that at the 
picture gallery at the Brera, three pictures made an 
impression on me, which was renewed on every sub- 
sequent visit : — Guercino's " Abraham and Hagar," 
Raphael's " Marriage of the Virgin," and Albani's " Oak 
Tree and Cupids." 

At the Ambrosian Library we inspected the famous 
copy of Virgil which belonged to Petrarch. It has in 
the poet's own handwriting a note, stating when and 
where he first saw Laura. Wordsworth was deeply 
interested in this entry, and would certainly have 
requested a copy, if he had not been satisfied that 
he should find it in print. The ciistos told us that 
when Buonaparte came here first, and the book was 

• Poems XXVI., XXVII.. and XXIX. of the " Memorials." 

Chap. vi. 

And his 



coty of 
Virgil and 
its seizure 


1 84 

" A Labour worthy of Etertial Yotith." 

.Chap. vi. 

J 820. 

da Vinci, 

Objects of 

interest at 


picture of 
da Vinci. 

shown him, he seized it, exclaiming, " This is mine." 
He had it bound, and his own N. marked on it. It 
came back when the other plunder was restored. 
Another curiosity was a large book by Leonardo da 
Vinci, full of mechanical studies. Wordsworth was 
much struck with the fact that a man who had 
produced works of so great beauty and sublimity, had 
prepared himself by intense and laborious study of 
scientific and mathematical details. It was not till late 
that he ventured on beauty as exhibited in the human 

Other objects of interest at Milan, which I never 
forgot, were the antique columns before the Church 
of St. Laurent ; the exhibition of a grand spectacle, the 
siege of Troy, in the Amphitheatre, capable of holding 
30,000 persons, which enabled me to imagine what 
Roman shows probably were ; and the exquisite scenery 
of the Scala Theatre. 

But the great attraction of this neighbourhood is 
the celebrated picture of Leonardo da Vinci in the 
refectory of the Convent of Maria della Grazia. After 
sustaining every injury from Italian monks, French 
soldiers, wet, and the appropriation of the building to 
secular purposes, this picture is now protected by the 
public sense of its excellence from further injury. And 
more remains of the original than from Goethe's 
dissertation I expected to see. The face .of our 
Saviour appears to have suffered less than any other 
part. And the countenance has in it exquisite 
feeling ; it is all sweetness and dignity. Wordsworth 
says — 

Da Vinci's "Last Supper r 


' ' Tho" searching damps, and many an envious flaw, 
Have marr'd this work ; the calm ethereal grace, 
The love deep-seated in the Saviour's face, 
The mercy, goodness, have not faild to awe 
The elements ; as they do melt and thaw 
The heart of the beholder." * 

Some of the apostles have a somewhat caricature 
expression, which has been far better preserved in the 
several copies existing, as well as in the engraving of 
Raphael Morgen. There is a sort of mawkish senti- 
mentality in the copies of St. John, which always 
offended me. There is less of it in the original. That 
and St. Andrew are the best preserved, next to the 
face of Christ. 

On the 5 th of September the Wordsworths went 
back to the lake of Como, in order to gratify Miss 
Wordsworth, who wished to see every spot which her 
brother saw in his first journey, — a journey made when 
he was young. 

On the 7th, Monkhouse and I went to Varese. As 
we approached the town we drew nigh the mountains. 
Varese is most delightfully situated. There is on a 
mountain, 2,000 feet high, a church with fifteen appen- 
dant chapels. To this we found peasants were flocking 
in great numbers, it being the eve of the birthday of 
the Virgin. We resolved to witness this scene of 
devotion, and our walk afforded me more delight than 
any single excursion I have yet made. For two miles 
the mountain is very steep. The fifteen chapels are 
towards the top, and beautiful, containing representa- 
tions of the Passion of Christ in carved and painted 

♦ Poem XXVI. of the "Memorials." 

Chap. vi. 


Festival on 
the eve of 

the Virgin s 

1 86 

Festival of " Our Lady!' 

Chap. vi. 

wood. The figures are as large as life, and at least 
very expressive. Though so closely resembling wax 
figures, they excited no disgust. On the contrary, I 
was highly pleased with the talent of the artists. The 
dragging of the cross, and the crucifixion, are deeply 
affecting. The spectator looks through iron grates, the 
apertures of which are purposely small. My view was 
imperfect, on account of the number of pious worshippers. 
Towards the top the crowd was immense. We some- 
times had to jump over the bodies of men and women. 
The church I could scarcely enter. Hundreds of 
women were lying about with their provisions in 
baskets. The hats of the peasantry were covered with 
holy gingerbread mingled with bits of glass. Bands of 
people came up chanting after a sort of leader. This 
scene of devotion would have compensated for the walk ; 
but we had, in addition, a very fine prospect. On one 
side the plains of Lombardy, studded with churches and 
villages, on another five or six pieces of water. In 
another direction we saw a mass of Alpine hills and 
valleys, glens, rocks, and precipices. A part of the lake 
of Lugano was prominently visible. To enjoy this view 
I had to ascend an eminence beyond the church. Our 
walk home, Monkhouse thought, was hardly less than 
six miles. We found our inn rather uncomfortable 
from the number of guests, and from the singing in the 

We rejoined the Wordsworths at Baveno on the 
8th. Then we crossed the Simplon, resting successively 
on the 9th at Domo d'Ossola, loth Simplon, nth 
Turtman, and the 12th and 13th at the baths of Leuk. 

Echo upon the Gemmi. 


From this place we walked up the Gemmi, by far the 
most wonderful of all the passes of Switzerland I had 
ever, or have now ever, crossed. The most striking part 
is a mountain wall 1,600 feet in perpendicular height, 
and having up it a zigzag path broad enough to enable 
a horse to ascend. The road is hardly visible from 
below. A parapet in the more dangerous parts renders 
it safe. Here my journal mentions our seeing men 
employed in picking up bees in a torpid state from the 
cold. The bees had swarmed four days before. It does 
not mention what I well recollect, and Wordsworth has 
made the subject of a sonnet, the continued barking of 
a dog irritated by the echo of his own voice. In human 
life this is perpetually occurring. It is said that a dog 
has been known to contract an illness by the continued 
labour of barking at his own echo. In the present in- 
stance the barking lasted while we were on the spot. 

"A solitary wolf-dog, ranging on 
Through the bleak concave, wakes this wondrous chime 
Of aery voices lock'd in unison, — 
Faint — far off— near — deep — solemn and sublime ! — 
So from the body of one guilty deed 
A thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed ! " * 

On the 14th we slept at Martigny, having passed 
through the most dismal of all the valleys in Switzer- 
land — the valley of the Rhone, and Sion, the most 
ugly of all the towns.-|- A barren country, and a town 
of large and frightful edifices. An episcopal town too. 
It looked poverty-struck. 

I say nothing of Chamouni, where we slept two 

* No. XXXI. of the " Memorials," " Echo upon the GemmL" 

f The painters, however, think it full of picturesque subjects. I 

Chap. vi. 

The pass of 
the Gemmi. 

The Rhone 


Chap. vi. 


nights, the 15 th and i6th ; nor of the roads to it, but 
that the Tete Noire, by which we returned, is still more 
interesting than the Col de Balme, by which we went. 
Again at Martigny on the 17th. I should not have 
omitted to mention that, to add to the sadness produced 
by the Valais, Wordsworth remarked that there the 
Alps themselves were in a state of decay — crumbling to 
pieces. His is the line : — 

" The human soul craves something that endures." 

On the 1 8th we were at Villeneuve, and on the 19th 
and 20th at Lausanne. In the latter place I saw some 
relations of Mrs. H. Mylius, the Minnets, an agreeable 

At Geneva I became acquainted with a Scotch M.D., 
a Dr. Chisholm, a very estimable man, with four very 
agreeable daughters. The mother an English lady in 
the best sense of the word. At Dr. Chisholm's house I 
met the celebrated historian Sismondi, who reminded 
me of Rogers, the poet. On the 23rd I sought out Mr. 
Pictet, to make what could not but be a melancholy call. 
I met Trotter on the road. He was affected when he 
saw me. We walked together to the city, and he gave 
me those details which I have already written. We had 
all been sincerely afflicted at Goddard's death. He was 
an amiable and interesting young man ; and we could 
not help recollecting that it was his rencontre with me, 
and his desire to see Wordsworth, which occasioned his 
being at the lake of Zurich when the storm took place. 

In the afternoon I called on Mrs. Reeve.* She, too, 

* The widow of Dr. Reeve, of Norwich, and mother of Mr. Henry Reeve, 
the translator of De Tocqueville. . . _ 

Biiffon's Residence. 


had a sad tale to tell. She witnessed the departure of 
the party for Mont Blanc, among whom were the three 
guides who perished.* 

September ^d^th. — In the morning much time lost in 
running about. After dinner we went to a delightful 
spot at Petit-Saconnex, where Geneva, the lake, Mont 
Blanc, were all seen illuminated by the setting sun. A 
very magnificent scene, which we all enjoyed. 

On the 25th we left Geneva. On our way to Paris 
we visited Montbar, the residence of BufFon, a man of 
sufficient fame to render one curious to see the seat of 
his long retirement and study. We did not see the 
dwelling-house within, it being out of order, and his 
library and its furniture are dispersed ; but we walked 
in the garden, and ascended a tower of considerable 
height as well as antiquity. This belonged to the royal 
family, and was purchased by the celebrated Buffon, 
who had changed the military castle into a modern 
chateau. The garden is of small extent, and consists 
of several broad terraces with very fine trees in them. 
The prospect is not particularly fine. The view em- 
braces several valleys, but the surrounding hills are all 
of one height, and the valleys are cold and somewhat 
barren. Near the tower there is a small column, which 
the son of Bufibn raised to his father's memory. The 
inscription was torn off during the Revolution. I 
thought more of the unfortunate son than of the father, 
for the son left this retreat (which his father preferred 
to the court), to perish on the scaffold at Paris. The 
heroism with which he died, saying only to the people 

• In Dr. Hamel's well-known attempt to ascend Mont Blanc. 

Chap. vi. 


residence of 




Chap. vi. 




chateau at 



A beggar. 

" Je m'appelle Buffbn," bespeaks an intense sense of his 
father's worth, and interests me more than the talents 
which gave the father celebrity. 

We passed through the forest of Fontainebleau. 
The part through which we rode is in no way remark- 
able — a mere collection of trees with avenues. No 
variety of surface. We alighted at the Ville de Lyon, 
where we were in all respects well satisfied with our 
entertainment. The chateau is a vast hunting-palace, 
built by a succession of French kings from Saint Louis 
downwards. Francis L and Henry IV. are spoken of 
as having built the more prominent parts. It has 
no pretension to architectural beauty whatever. The 
apartments are curious — some from their antiquity, 
with painted roofs exhibiting the taste of ancient times — 
others from their splendour, with the usual decorations 
of satin hangings, gilt thrones, china tables, &c., &c. In 
a little plain room there is exhibited a table, which must 
be an object of great curiosity to those who are fond of 
associating the recollection of celebrated events with 
sensible objects. I have this feeling but feebly. 
Nevertheless I saw with interest the table on which 
Buonaparte signed his abdication in the year 18 14. 
We were also shown the apartments in which the Pope 
was kept a prisoner for twenty months, for refusing to 
yield to Napoleon ; from which apartments, the con- 
cierge assured us, he never descended. After an ex- 
cellent dinner, we were shown some pleasing English 
gardens, laid out by Josephine. 

On nearing Paris I answered the solicitations of a 
beggar by the gift of a most wretched pair of pantaloons. 


End of the Wordsworth Jourtiey. 


He clutched them, and ran on begging, which showed a 
mastery of the craft. When he could get no more from 
the second carriage, he sent after me kisses of amusing 
vivacity. Our merriment was checked by the informa- 
tion of the postilion that this beggar was an ancien 
cure. We came to another sight not to be found in 
England — a man and woman actually yoked together, 
and harrowing. The sight was doubly offensive on 
Sunday, the day of rest, when we witnessed it. We 
cannot expect to make political economists of the 
peasantry'-, but professed thinkers ought to know that 
were the seventh day opened universally to labour, this 
would but lessen the value of the poor man's capital — 
his limbs. 

At Fontainebleau we were awakened by the firing of 
cannon. The waiter burst into our room — "Voila un 
Prince ! " It was the birth of the now Due de 
Bordeaux — perhaps one day the King of France. 

At Paris I renewed my old acquaintance, and saw 
the old sights. On the 8th I left the Wordsworths, 
who were intending to prolong their stay. On the 9th 
I slept at Amiens ; on the loth was on the road ; on the 
nth reached Dover; and on the 12th of October slept 
in my own chambers. 

*' And so," my journal says, " I concluded my tour in 
excellent health and spirits, having travelled farther, 
and seen a greater number and a greater variety of 
sublime and beautiful objects, and in company better 
calculated to make me feel the worth of these objects, 
than any it has been my good fortune to enjoy." Of 
that journal I must now say that it is the most meagre 

Chap. vi. 


Birth of a 

End of the 
with the 


Leizh Himt. 

Chap. vi. 


Dinner at 
H. My I i us. 


and defective I ever wrote — perhaps from want of time. 
The most interesting details, and not the least true, 
have been written from memory, the journal giving me 
only the outlines. The fidelity of what I have written 
from recollection might be doubted ; but that would be 

October 2(^th. — I was employed looking over law 
papers all the forenoon ; I then walked in the rain to 
Clapton, reading by the way the Indicator.* There is 
a spirit of enjoyment in this little work which gives 
a charm to it. Leigh Hunt seems the very opposite 
of Hazlitt. He loves everything, he catches the sunny 
side of everything, and, excepting that he has a few 
polemical antipathies, finds everything beautiful, 

November %th. — Spent the afternoon with H, Mylius, 
and dined there with a large party — English and 
foreign. Mr. and Mrs. Blunt, friends of Monkhouse, 
were there — she a sensible lively woman, though she 
ventured to ridicule the great poet. I suspect she has 
quarrelled with Monkhouse about him ; for she says, 
" All Wordsworth's friends quarrel with those who 
do not like him." Is this so .'' And what does it 


November gth. — In the afternoon . called on Words- 
worth. He arrived yesterday night in town after 
a perilous journey. He was detained nine days at 
Boulogne by bad weather, and on setting off from the 
port was wrecked. He gave himself up for lost, and 

* A weekly publication edited by Leigh Hunt. It consists of a hundred 
numbers, and forms two vols. London, 1819-21. 

The Pickpocket. ^ 


had taken off his coat to make an attempt at swim- 
ming ; but the vessel struck within the bar, and the 
water retired so fast that, when the packet fell in pieces, 
the passengers were left on land. They were taken 
ashore in carts. 

November I'^th. — In the evening I set out on a walk 
Avhich proved an unlucky one. As I passed in the 
narrow part of the Strand, near Thelwall's, I entered 
incautiously into a crowd. I soon found myself unable 
to proceed, and felt that I was pressed on all sides. I 
had buttoned my greatcoat. On a sudden I felt a 
hand at my fob. I instantly pressed my hands down, 
recollecting I had Mrs. Wordsworth's watch in my 
pocket. I feared making any motion with my hands, 
and merely pressed my waistband. Before I could 
make any cry, I was thrown down (how, I cannot say). 
I rose instantly. A fellow called out, " Sir, you struck 
me !" I answered, "I am sorry for it, — I'm robbed, and 
that is worse." I was uncertain whether I had lost 
anything, but it at once occurred to me that this was a 
sort of protecting exclamation. I ran into the street, 
and fhen remarked, for the first time, that I had lost my 
best umbrella. I felt my watch, but my gold chain and 
seals were gone. The prime cost of what was taken 
was about eight guineas. On the whole, I escaped very 
well, considering all circumstances. Many persons have 
been robbed on this very spot, and several have been 
beaten and ill-treated in the heart of the City — and in 
the daytime. Such is the state of our police ! My 
watch-chain was taken ^ from me, not with the violence 
of robbery, or the secrecy of theft, but with a sort 

Chap. vi. 

H. C. R. 

hustled and 

robbed in 
the Strand. 


Literati Asleep. 

Chap. vi. 

Party at 


Dinner at 
Mr. Monk- 


of ease and boldness that made me for a moment not 
know what the fellow meant. He seemed to be decently- 
dressed, and had on a white waistcoat. 

I called at Lamb's, where the Wordsworths were. I 
was in good spirits telling my tale. It is not my habit 
to fret about what happens to me through no fault of 
my own. I did not reproach myself on this occasion; 
and as the loss was not a serious inconvenience, it did 
not give me a moment's uneasiness. 

I then went to a large party at Masquerier's. There 
were whist-tables, dancing, beautiful drawings by Lewis, 
made on Masquerier's late journey, and. some interesting 
people there. I saw, but had no conversation with, 
Lawrence, whose medical lectures have excited much 
obloquy on account of the Materialism obtruded in 

November i^th. — The afternoon was agreeable. I 
dined with the Wordsworths, and Lambs, and Mr. 
Kenyon, at Monkhouse's. It was an agreeable com- 
pany and a good dinner, though I could not help 
sleeping. Wordsworth and Monkhouse either followed 
my example, or set me one, and Lamb talked as if 
he were asleep. Wordsworth was in excellent mood. 
His improved and improving mildness and tolerance 
must very much conciliate all who know him. 

November 20th. — I was glad to accompany the 
Wordsworths to the British Museum. I had to wait 
for them in the anteroom, and we had at last but a 

* Lectures on Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man. By 
William Lawrence. London: John Callord. 1819. The author recalled 
and suppressed this edition; but the work^has since been repeatedly re- 

A Party at Lamb's. 


hurried survey of the antiquities. I did not perceive 
that Wordsworth much enjoyed the Elgin Marbles ; but 
he is a still man when he does enjoy himself, and by 
no means ready to talk of his pleasure, except to his 
sister. We could hardly see the statues. The Memnon,* 
however, seemed to interest him very much. Took tea 
with the Lambs. I accompanied Mrs. and Miss Words- 
worth home, and afterwards sat late with Wordsworth 
at Lamb's. 

November 2ist. — I went late to Lamb's, and stayed 
an hour there very pleasantly. The Wordsworths were 
there, and Dr. Stoddart. The Doctor was very civil. 
Politics were hardly touched on, for Miss Kellyf- stepped 
in, thus drawing our attention to a far more agreeable 
subject. She pleased me much. She is neither young 
nor handsome, but very agreeable ; her voice and manner 
those of a person who knows her own worth, but is at 
the same time not desirous to assume upon it. She 
talks like a sensible woman. Barry Cornwall, too, 
came in. Talfourd also there. 

November 29///. — Being engaged all day in court, I 

* This formed no part of the Elgin Collection, It is the colossal Egyptian 
head of Rameses II., supposed to be identical with the Sesostris of the 
Greeks, and was known when first brought to the British Museum as the 
Memnon. This head, one of the finest examples of Egyptian art in Europe, 
was removed by Belzoni in 1815, and presented to the Museum by Messrs. H. 
Salt and Burckhardt, in 18 17. 

t Miss Kelly, bom at Brighton in 1790, attained great popularity as an 
actress in performing characters of a domestic kind. She was twice shot at on 
the stage. Charles Lamb, in 1818, addressed her in the lines beginning : 

"You are not Kelly of the common strain." 
One of her best performances was in the melodrama of "The Maid and the 
Magpie," subsequently referred to. Miss Kelly built the small theatre in Dean 
Street, Soho, and latterly devoted her time to preparing pupils for the stage. 

O 2 

Chap. vi. 

A I Lamb's. 

Miss Kelly. 


Queen's Trial. — A nti-.Kingite. 

Chap. vi. 


visit to 
St. Paul' s. 


on the 

Queen s 



saw nothing of the show of the day — the Queen's visit 
to St. Paul's. A great crowd were assembled, which the 
Times represents as an effusion of public feeling, echoed 
by the whole nation in favour of injured innocence. 
The same thing was represented by the Ministerial 
papers as a mere rabble, I think the Government 
journals on this occasion are nearer the truth than their 
adversaries ; for though the popular delusion has spread 
widely, embracing all the lowest classes, and a large 
proportion of the middling orders, yet the great ma- 
jority of the educated, and nearly all the impartial, 
keep aloof. 

Rem.* — The disgraceful end of the disgraceful pro- 
cess against the Queen took place while the Words- 
worths were in town. Whilst the trial was going on, 
and the issue still uncertain, I met Coleridge, who said, 
" Well, Robinson, you are a Queenite, I hope ? " — 
" Indeed I am not." — " How is that possible .'' " — " I am 
only an anti-Kingite." — " That 's just what I mean." 

On the 3rd of December I dined with the Beneckes, 
and made an acquaintance, which still continues, with 
Mr. and Mrs. Sieveking.-f- He is a merchant of great 
respectability, and related to my Hamburg acquaint- 
ance. A man of sense, though not a writer ; he is highly 
religious, a believer in mesmerism, and with an inclina- 
tion to all mystical doctrines. His eldest son is now a 
young M.D.,J and a very amiable young man. He was 

* Written in 1851. 

f Resident for many years at Stamford Hill. Mr. Sieveking died, at his son's 
residence in Manchester Square, Nov. 29th, 1868, aged 79. 

J Now Physician in Ordinary to the Prince of Wales. He attended H. C. R. 
in his last illness. 

Lafnb on Keats. 


educated partly at our University College, and I can 
cite him as a testimony in its favour. After spending 
several years at Paris, Berlin, and at Edinburgh, where 
he took his degree, he gave his decided opinion that 
the medical school of our University College was the 
best in Europe. 

December %th. — I read a little of Keats's poems to the 
Aders', — the beginning of " Hyperion," — really a piece 
of great promise. There are a force, wildness, and 
originality in the works of this young poet which, if his 
perilous journey to Italy does not destroy him, promise 
to place him at the head of the next generation of 
poets. Lamb places him next to Wordsworth — not 
meaning any comparison, for they are dissimilar. 

December l/^th. — On my return from court, where I 
had gained a cause for H. Stansfeld, I met Esther 
Nash and walked with her. After dining at Collier's, I 
accompanied her to Drury Lane. " The English Fleet," 
a very stupid opera, but Braham's singing was delight- 
ful. Madame Vestris, though rather too impudent, is a 
charming creature, and Munden, as the drunken sailor, 
was absolutely perfect. Afterwards a melodrama ("The 
Maid and the Magpie "), in which the theft of a magpie 
gives occasion to a number of affecting scenes, was ren- 
dered painfully affecting by Miss Kelly's acting. The 
plan well laid and neatly executed. 

December i^th. — I spent the forenoon at home read- 
ing law, and went late to the Aders', where I read 
Keats's "Pot of Basil," a pathetic tale, delightfully 
told. I afterwards read the story in Boccaccio — each in 
its way excellent. I am greatly mistaken if Keats do 

Chap. vi. 



Two Evenings with Flaxman. 

Chap. vi. 

at Mr. 

Flaxman s. 


not very soon take a high place among our poets. Great 
feeling and a powerful imagination are shown in this 
little volume. 

December 20th. — Another forenoon spent at home over 
law-books. The evening I spent at Aders'. The Flax- 
mans there. They seemed to enjoy the evening much. 
Aders produced his treasures of engraving as well as 
his paintings, and Flaxman could appreciate the old 
masters. He did not appear much to relish Thorwald- 
sen's designs, and some anecdotes he related made us 
suppose that he was indisposed to relish Thorwaldsen's 
works of art. Flaxman greatly admired the head of 
Mrs. Aders' father,* and declared it to be one of the 
best of Chantrey's works. We supped, and Flaxman 
was in his best humour. I was not aware how much 
he loved music. He was more than gratified — he was 
deeply affected by Mrs. Aders' singing. It was apparent 
that he thought of his wife, but he was warm in his 
praises and admiration of Mrs. Aders. 

December 26th. — After dining at Collier's, I went to 
Flaxman — took tea and had several interesting hours' 
chat with him. I read some of Wordsworth's poems 
and Keats's " Eve of St. Agnes." I was, however, so 
drowsy that I read this poem without comprehending 
it. It quite affects me to remark the early decay of my 
faculties. I am so lethargic that I shall soon be unable 
to discharge the ordinary business of life ; and as to 
all pretensions to literary taste, this I must lay aside 
entirely. How wretched is that state, at least how low 

* John Raphael Smith, the eminent engraver, who died in London, 1811. 
He was appointed engraver to the Prince of Wales. 

Edgar Taylor, 


is it, when a man is content to renounce all claim to 
respect, and endeavours only to enjoy himself! Yet I 
am reduced to this. When my vivacity is checked by 
age, and I have lost my companionable qualities, I shall 
then have nothing left but a little good-nature to make 
me tolerable, even to my old acquaintances.* 

December $isf. — Bischoff told me that when, some 

years back, T , the common friend of himself and 

Monkhouse, was in difficulties, Bischoff communicated 
the fact to Monkhouse, who seemed strongly affected. 
He said nothing to Mr. Bischoff, but went instantly to 

T and offered him ;^ 10,000, if that could save him 

from failure. It could not, and T rejected the offer. 

After dining with W. Collier alone, and sitting in 
chambers over a book, I went to Edgar Taylor's,-|- having 
refused to dine with him. He had a party, and I stayed 
there till the old year had passed. There were Richard 
and Arthur Taylor, E. Taylor's partner, Roscoe,| and 
a younger Roscoe§ (a handsome and promising young 
man, who is with Pattison the pleader, || and is to be 
called to the Bar), and Bowring, the traveller. His person 

* Written between forty-six and forty-seven years before H. C. R. died. 

f Mr. Edgar Taylor was a very eminent solicitor, and an accomplished man. 
He translated the French metrical chronicle, by Wace, entitled, "Roman de 
Rou. " He also wrote a ' ' History of the German Minnesingers, " with translated 
specimens ; and prepared a version of some of the admirable fairy stories of 
the brothers Grimm : illustrated by George Cruikshank. And it is well known 
that he was the "Layman " whose revised translation of the New Testament 
was published by Pickering in 1840, shortly after his death. This work was 
almost entirely prepared by him during a long and painful illness. 

J Robert Roscoe. Like almost all William Roscoe's sons, an author and 
poet. He died in 1850. 

§ Henry Roscoe, author of "The Lives of Eminent Lawyers," &c. &c. He 
died in 1836. 

II Afterwards a Judge. 

Chap. vi. 


At Mr. 


Taylor s. 

Sir John 


Close of Year. 

Chap. vi. 


End of the 

is mild and amiable, and his tone of conversation agree- 
able. He is in correspondence with the Spanish patriots, 
and is an enthusiast in their cause. 

So passed away the last hours of the year — a year 
which I have enjoyed as I have the former years of my 
life, but which has given me a deeper conviction than 
I ever had of the insignificance of my own character. 

A Picture of Mrs. Barbaiild. 



January ist. — I dined at Collier's, and then went to 
Covent Garden, where I saw "Virginius." Macready 
very much pleased me. The truth of his performance is 
admirable. His rich mellow tones are delightful, and 
did he combine the expressive face of Kean with his 
own voice,' he would far surpass Kean, for in judgment I 
think him equal. The scene in which he betroths his 
daughter is delightfully tender, but the catastrophe is 
too long delayed and wants effect, and the last act is an 

January 2\st. — I looked over papers, and at twelve 
o'clock walked out. I called on the Colliers, and then 
went to Mrs. Barbauld's. She was in good spirits, but 
she is now the confirmed old lady. Independently of 
her fine understanding and literary reputation, she 
would be interesting. Her white locks, fair and un- 
wrinkled skin, brilliant starched linen, and rich silk 
gown, make her a fit object for a painter. Her conver- 
sation is lively, her remarks judicious, and always 

January "^oth. — This day being a holiday, I went to 
Kemble's sale. I met Amyot there, and we had a 

Chap. vii. 





Prints and Art Criticism. 

Chap. vii. 


Wbxks of 


call to the 


pleasant lounge together. Mr, and Mrs. Masquerier 
and Lewis took tea with me, and stayed several hours 
looking over my prints, and I enjoyed their pleasure. 
Is it vanity, sympathy, or good-nature, or a compound 
of all these feelings, which makes the owner of works 
of art enjoy the exhibition t Besides this, he learns the 
just appreciation of works of art, which is a positive 
gain, if anything appertaining to taste may be called so. 
February loth. — The evening was devoted to Tal- 
fourd's call to the Bar, which was made more amusing 
by the contemporaneous call of the Irish orator, 
Phillips.* Talfourd had a numerous dinner-party, at 
which I was the senior barrister. We were so much 
more numerous than the other parties — there being 
three besides Phillips's — that we took the head-table and 
the lead in the business of the evening. Soon after we 
were settled, with the dessert on the table, I gave 
Talfourd's health. He, after returning thanks, gave as 
a toast the Irish Bar, and in allusion to Phillips's call, 
said that what had just taken place was a great gain 
to England, and a loss to Ireland. This compliment 
called up the orator, and he spoke in a subdued tone 
and with a slowness that surprised me. I left the Hall 
for an hour and a half to take tea with Manning. 
When I returned Phillips was again on his legs, and 
using a great deal of declamation. He spoke five times 
in the course of the evening. Monkhouse came to the 
Hall, and at about twelve we adjourned to Talfourd's 
chambers, where an elegant supper was set out. In 
bed at half-past two, 

* Afterwards Commissioner of the Insolvent Court, 

Flaxman^s Religiousness. 


March lOth. — I took tea at Flaxman's, and enjoyed 
the two hours I stayed there very much. Of all the 
religious men I ever saw, he is the most amiable. The 
utter absence of all polemical feeling — the disclaiming 
of all speculative opinion as an essential to salvation — 
the reference of faith to the affections, not the under- 
standing, are points in which I most cordially concur 
with him ; earnestly wishing at the same time that I 
was in all respects like him. 

Wordsworth to H. C. R. 

i2tJi March, 182 1. 
My dear Friend, 

You were very good in writing me so long a letter, 
and kind, in your own Robinsonian way. Your deter- 
mination to withdraw from your profession in sufficient 
time for an autumnal harvest of leisure, is of a piece 
wit^ the rest of your consistent resolves and practices. 
Consistent I have said, and why not rational? The 
word would surely have been added, had not I felt that 
it was awkwardly loading the sentence, and so truth 
would have been sacrificed to a point of taste, but for 
this compunction. Full surely you will do well ; but 
take time ; it would be ungrateful to quit in haste a 
profession that has used you so civilly. Would that I 
could encourage the hope of passing a winter with you 
in Rome, about the time you mention, which is just the 

period I should myself select ! As to 

poetry, I am sick of it ; it overruns the country in all 
the shapes of the Plagues of Egypt — frog-poets (the 
Croakers), mice-poets (the Nibblers), a class which Gray, 

Chap, vii, 




Poetry an 


Tradition of Goldsmith. 

Chap. vii. 






in his dignified way, calls flies, the "insect youth," — a 
term wonderfully applicable upon this occasion. But 
let us desist, or we shall be accused of envying the 
rising generation. Mary and I passed some days at 
Cambridge, where, what with the company of my dear 
brother* — our stately apartments^ with all the venerable 
portraits there, that awe one into humility — old friends, 
new acquaintance, and a hundred familiar remem- 
brances, and freshly conjured up recollections, I enjoyed 
myself not a little. I should like to lend you a sonnet, 
composed at Cambridge ; but it is reserved for cogent 
reasons, to be imparted in due time. Farewell ! happy 
shall we be to see you. 

Wm. Wordsworth. 

April i6th. — (On a visit to the Pattissons at Witham.) 
I walked to Hatfield -f- with William, Looked into the 
church — the Vicar, Bennet, was our cicerone. He spoke 
of Goldsmith as a man he had seen. Goldsmith had 
lodged at Springfield, with some farmers. He spent his 
forenoons in his room, writing, and breakfasted off 
water-gruel, without bread. In his manners he was a 
bear. — " A tame one," I observed, and it was assented 
to. He dressed shabbily, and was an odd man. No 
further particulars could I get, except that while Gold- 
smith was there, a gentleman took down some cottages, 
which Bennet supposes gave rise to the " Deserted 
Village." Bennet pointed out to us the antiquities of 
his church ; among them a recumbent statue, which 

* Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
t Hatfield Peverel, two miles from Witham. 

Mrs. Barbaiild and the Lambs, 


every one believed was a woman, till Flaxman came 
and satisfied him that it was a priest. 

April lyth. — Hayter, a painter in crayons,* dined with 
us. He is taking a likeness of Mr. Pattisson, and is 
certainly successful as a portrait painter. In other 
respects he is a character. He is self-educated, but is 
a sensible man, and blends humour with all he says. 
And his affection for his children, one of whom is 
already a promising young artist, gives a kind of 
dignity to his character. 

June \2th. — I accompanied my brother and sister to 
Covent Garden. We had a crowding to get there. It 
was Liston's benefit. He played delightfully Sam 
Swipes in " Exchange no Robbery," his knavish father 
passing him off as the foster-son of a gentleman who 
had run away after entrusting him with the child. The 
supposed father was admirably represented by Farren. 
And these two performers afforded me more pleasure 
than the theatre often gives me. 

July yth. — I was busied about many things this fore- 
noon. I'went for a short time to the King's Bench. Then 
looked over Hamond's papers, and went to Saunders' 
sale. Dined hastily in Coleman Street, and then went to 
Mrs. Barbauld's, where I was soon joined by Charles and 
Mary Lamb. This was a meeting I had brought about 
to gratify mutual curiosity. The Lambs are pleased 

* Mr. Charles Hayter, author of "A Treatise on Perspective," published in 
1825, and generally considered successful in taking likenesses. He was the 
father of the present Sir George Hayter and Mr. John Hayter, both dis- 
tingtiished portrait painters, still living. Charles Hayter lodged at Witham 
many months during 1821. His price for such crayon drawings was ten 
guineas. The picture above referred to is still in possession of the family. 

Chap. vir. 





Mrs. Bar- 
bauld and 
the Lambs. 


A Misanthropist defined. 

Chap. vii. 



Bury gaol. 

with Mrs. Barbauld, and therefore it is probable that 
they have pleased her. Mrs. C. Aikin was there, and 
Miss Lawrence, Lamb was chatty, and suited his 
conversation to his company, except that, speaking of 
Gilbert Wakefield, he said he had a peevish face. 
When he was told Mrs, Aikin was Gilbert Wakefield's 
daughter, he was vexed, but got out of the scrape 
tolerably well. I walked with the Lambs by the turn- 
pike, and then came home, not to go to bed, but to sit 
up till the Norwich coach should call for me, I had 
several letters to write, which with packing, drinking 
chocolate, &c., fully occupied my time, so that I had no 
ennui, though I was unable to read. 

Rem.* — One evening, when I was at the Aikins', 
Charles Lamb told a droll story of an India-house 
clerk accused of eating man's flesh, and remarked that 
among cannibals those who rejected the favourite dish 
would be called misanthropists. 

Jidy 2%rd. — Finished Johnson's " Hebrides." I feel 
ashamed of the delight it once afforded me. The style 
is so pompous, the thoughts so ordinary, with so little 
feeling, or imagination, or knowledge. Yet I once 
admired it. What assurance have I that I may not 
hereafter think as meanly of the books I now admire } 

August 12//^.— *-(Bury.) I went with Pryme-j- to see 
the gaol, which, notwithstanding its celebrity, I had not 
visited. There I saw neither a filthy assemblage of 
wretches brought together to be instructed for future 

* Written in 1849. 

t A fellow-circuiteer of H. C. R. 's, long M.P. for Cambridge. He was 
also Professor of Political Economy in the University of Cambridge. He died 
Dec. 19th, 1868. 

Long Vacation Tour. 


crimes rather than punished for past, nor a place of 
ease and comfort, inviting rather than deterring to the 
criminal. The garden, yards, and buildings have an air 
of great neatness ; but this can hardly be a recommen- 
dation to the prisoners. They are separated by many 
subdivisions, and constantly exposed to inspection. In 
the day they work at a mill, and at night all are 
secluded. Each has his little cell. The all-important 
thing is to avoid letting criminals be together in idleness. 
To a spectator there is nothing offensive in this prison. 
And certainly if its arrangements were followed univer- 
sally, much misery would be prevented and good service 
rendered to morality. 

[In the autumn of this year Mr. Robinson made a tour 
to Scotland of a little over a month. The chief personal 
recollections are all that will be given here. — Ed.] 

August 29///. — ^Visited Dryburgh Abbey. A day of 
interest, apart from the beauties of my walk. Mrs. 
Masquerier had 'given me a letter of introduction to the 
well-known Earl of Buchan — a character. He married 
her aunt, who was a Forbes, Lord Buchan, who was 
advanced in years, had, by a life of sparing, restored in 
a great measure the family from its sunken state ; but, 
in doing this,'he had to endure the reproach of penurious 
habits, while his two younger brothers acquired a bril- 
liant reputation : one was Lord Erskine, the most perfect 
of nisi prius orators, and one of the poorest of English 
Chancellors, — the other, Henry Erskine, the elder brother, 
enjoyed a higher reputation among friends, but, in the 
inferior sphere of the Scotch courts, could not attain to 
an equally wide-spread celebrity. Lord Buchan had 

Chap. vii. 



Lord Buchan. 

Chap. vii. 


of the 

Letters of 

been a dilettante in letters. He had written a life of 
Thomson the poet, and of the patriotic orator, Fletcher 
of Saltoun, the great opponent of the Scottish union. 

Before I was introduced to the Earl, I saw in the 
grounds ample monuments of his taste and character. 
He received me cordially. He being from home when I 
called, I left my letter, and walked in the grounds. On 
my return, he himself opened the door for me, and said 
to the servant, " Show Mr. Robinson into his bedroom. 
You will spend the day here." 

He was manifestly proud of his alliance with the 
royal house of the Stuarts, but was not offended with 
the free manner in which I spoke of the contemptible 
pedant James I. of England. He exhibited many relics 
of the unfortunate Mary ; and (says my journal) enu- 
merated to me many of his ancestors, " whom my 
imperfect recollections would have designated rather 
as infamous than illustrious." But no man of family 
ever heartily despised birth. He was a stanch Whig, 
but had long retired from politics. He was proud of 
his brother, the great English orator, but lamented his 
acceptance of the Chancellorship. " I wrote him a 
letter," said the Earl, " offering, if he would decline the 
office, to settle my estate on his eldest son. Unluckily, 
he did not receive my letter until it was too late, or he 
might have accepted my offer ; his mind was so con- 
fused when he announced the fact of the appointment, 
that he signed his letter * Buchan.' " 

The next day I left Dryburgh, furnished with a 
useful letter to the Scotch antiquary and bookseller, 
David Laing, who rendered me obliging offices at 

Offer of a Letter to Sir Walter Scott. 


Edinburgh. I had also a letter to the famous Sir 
James Sinclair, the agriculturist, which I was not 
anxious to deliver, as in it I was foolishly characterized 
as a "really learned person," this being proveably false. 
" The praises," says my journal, " usually contained in 
letters of the kind one may swallow, because they 
never mean more than that the writer likes the object 
of them." Lord Buchan offered me a letter to Sir 
Walter Scott, which I declined. I found that he had 
no liking for Sir Walter, and I was therefore sure that 
Sir Walter had no liking for him ; and it is bad policy 
to deliver such letters. I regretted much that a letter 
from Wordsworth to Scott reached me too late; that 
I should have rejoiced to deliver. 

My first concern at Edinburgh was to see Anthony 
Robinson, Junr. He showed me such of the curiosities 
of the place as were known to him. In his sitting- 
room I complained of an offensive smell, which he 
explained by opening a closet-door, and producing 
some human limbs. He had bought these of the 
resurrection men. He afterwards disappeared ; and on 
his father's death, a commission was sent to Scotland 
to collect evidence respecting Anthony Robinson, Junr., 
from which it was ascertained that he had not been 
heard of for years. He had left his clothes, &c., at 
Perth, and had gone to Edinburgh to continue his 
studies ; and it was at Edinburgh that he was last 
heard of. This being just before the dreadful exposure 
took place of the murders effected by. burking, my 
speculation was that poor Anthony was one of, the 


Chap. vii. 






** Sabbath " Grahame. 

Chap. vii. 





2nd September (Sunday). — Mr. David Laing took me 
to hear Dr. Thomson, a very eminent Scotch preacher, 
who had at Edinburgh the hke pre-eminence which Dr. 
Chalmers had at Glasgow. But he appeared to me to 
be a mere orator, profiting by a sonorous voice and a 
commanding countenance. This, however, may be an 
erroneous judgment. 

This same day originated an acquaintance of which 
I will now relate the beginning and the end. Walking 
with Laing, he pointed out to me a young man. 
"That," said he, "is James Grahame, nephew of the 
poet of * The Sabbath.' " I begged Laing to introduce 
me. His father's acquaintance I had made at Mr. 
Clarkson's. This produced a very cordial reception, 
and after spending a day (the 3rd) in a walk to Roslin 
and Hawthornden (of which, if I said anything on such 
subjects, I should have much to say), I went to an 
evening party at Mr. Grahame's. Laing was there, and 
my journal mentions a Sir W. Hamilton, the same 
man, I have no doubt, who has lately been involved 
in a controversy with our (University College) Pro- 
fessor De Morgan on logic. My journal speaks of him 
as, according to Laing, a young lawyer of brilliant 
talents, a profound thinker, and conversant with Ger- 
man philosophy and literature. 

On the 9th of September an incident occurred espe- 
cially amusing in connection with what took' place 
immediately afterwards. I rose very early to see a new 
place, and (it was between six and seven) seeing a 
large building, I asked a man, who looked like a 
journeyman weaver, what it was. He told me a 

Dr. Chalmers. 


grammar-school, " But, sir," he added, " I think it 
would become you better on the Lord's Day morning 
to be reading your Bible at home, than asking about 
public buildings." I very quickly answered, " My 
friend, you have given me a piece of very good advice ; 
let me give you one, and we may both profit by our 
meeting. Beware of spiritual pride." The man scowled 
with a Scotch surliness, and, apparently, did not take 
my counsel with as much good-humour as I did his. 

It was after this that I heard Dr. Chalmers preach. 
In the forenoon it was a plain discourse to plain people, 
in a sort of school. In the afternoon it was a splendid 
discourse, in the Tron Church, against the Judaical 
observance of the Sabbath, which he termed "an 
expedient for pacifying the jealousies of a God of 
vengeance," — reprobating the operose drudgery of such 
Sabbaths. He represented the whole value of Sabbath 
observance to lie in its being a free and willing service 
— a foretaste of heaven. "If you cannot breathe in 
comfort here, you cannot breathe in heaven hereafter." 
Many years afterwards, I mentioned this to Irving, 
who was then the colleague of Chalmers, and already 
spoken of as his rival in eloquence, and he told me 
that the Deacons waited on the Doctor to remonstrate 
with him on the occasion of this sermon. 

That I may conclude with Dr. Chalmers now, let me 
here say, that I was as much gratified with him as 
I was dissatisfied with Andrew Thomson ; that he 
appeared absorbed in his subject, utterly free from 
ostentation, and forgetful of himself. I admired him 
highly, ranking him with Robert Hall ; but I heard 

P 2 

Chap. vii. 


Dr. Chal- 
mers as a 


Wordsworth's " Browttie." 

Chap. vii. 





him once too often. On my return from the Highlands, 
T heard him on the 30th of September, in the morning, 
on the sin against the Holy Ghost, which he declared 
to be no particular sin, but a general indisposition to 
the Gospel. " It can't be forgiven," he said, " because 
the sinner can't comply with the condition — desire to 
be forgiven," But it was the evening sermon which 
left a painful impression on my mind. He affirmed the 
doctrine of original sin in its most offensive form. He 
declined to explain it. 

The elder Mr. Grahame was one of the leading mem- 
bers of the Doctor's congregation. He is very much 
like his son, only milder, because older. He had 
another son, still living, and whom I saw now and then. 
This was Tom Grahame, an incarnation of the old 
Covenanter, a fierce radical and ultra-Calvinist, who 
has a warm-hearted, free way, which softens his other- 
wise bitter religious spirit. 

On September i6th I had a little adventure. Being 
on the western side of Loch Lomond, opposite the 
Mill, at Inversnaid, some women kindled a fire, the 
smoke of which was to be a signal for a ferry-boat. 
No ferryman came ; and a feeble old man offering him- 
self as a boatman, I entrusted myself to him. L asked 
the women who he was. They said, "That's old An- 
drew." According to their account, he lived a hermit's 
life in a lone island on the lake ; the poor peasantry 
giving him meal and what he wanted, and he picking 
up pence. On my asking him whether he would take 
me across the lake, he said, "I wull, if you'll gi'e me 
saxpence." So I consented. But before I was half 

Intelligent Inqidsitiveness. 


over, I repented of my rashness, for I feared the oars 
would fall out of his hands. A breath of wind would 
have rendered half the voyage too much for him. 
There was some cunning mixed up with the fellow's 
seeming imbecility, for when his strength was failing 
he rested, and entered into talk, manifestly to amuse 
me. He said he could see things before they happened. 
He saw the Radicals before they came, &c. He had 
picked up a few words of Spanish and German, which 
he uttered ridiculously, and laughed. But when I put 
troublesome questions, he affected not to understand 
me ; and was quite astonished, as well as delighted, 
when I gave him two sixpences instead of the one he 
had bargained for. The simple-minded women, who 
affected to look down on him, seemed, however, to 
stand in awe of him, and no wonder. On my telling 
Wordsworth this history, he exclaimed, "That's my 
'Brownie.'" His " Brownie's Cell"* is by no means 
one of my favourite poems. My sight of old Andrew 
showed me the stuff out of which a poetical mind can , 
weave such a web. I 

After visiting Stirling and Perth, I went to Crieff. 
On my way I met a little Scotch girl, who exhibited a 
favourable specimen of the national character. I asked 
the name of the gentleman whose house I had passed, 
and put it down in my pocket-book. "And do you 
go about putting people's names in your book .?" — 
" Yes." — " And what 's the use of it .?" Now this was 
not said in an impertinent tone, as if she thought I 

" Su Wordsworth's " Memorials of a Tour in Scotland in 1814," Vol. III., 
P- 44- 

Chap. vii. 


Scotch girl. 


open-air Preaching. 

Chap. vii. 


was doing a silly act, but in the real spirit of nafve 

On Saturday, the 22nd of September, I went by Comric 
to Loch Earn head. On Sunday, the 23rd, by Killin to 
Kenmore. I put down names of places which I would 
gladly see again in my old age. This day I witnessed 
a scene which still rests on my eye and ear. I will 
abridge from my journal : — " It was in the forenoon, 
a few miles from Kenmore, when, on the high road, I 
was startled by a screaming noise, which I at first 
mistook for quarrelling ; till, coming to a hedge, which 
I overlooked, I beheld a scene which the greatest of 
landscape painters in the historic line might have 
delighted to represent. The sombre hue cast over 
the field reminded me of Salvator Rosa. I looked 
down into a meadow, at the bottom of which ran a 
brook ; and in the background there was a dark 
mountain frowning over a lake somewhat rippled by 
wind. Against a tree on the river's bank was placed 
a sort of box, and in this was a preacher, declaiming 
in the Gaelic tongue to an audience full of admiration. 
On the rising hill before him were some 200 or 300 
listeners. Far the greater number were lying in groups, 
but some standing. Among those present were ladies 
genteelly dressed. In the harsh sounds which .grated 
on my ear I could not distinguish a word, except a few 
proper names of Hebrew persons." 

Oil September the 29///, from Lanark, I visited the 
Duke of Hamilton's palace, and had unusual pleasure 
in the paintings to be seen there. I venture to copy my 
remarks on the famous Rubens' " Daniel in the Lions' 

Rubens* Daniel and the Lions. 


Den :" — "The variety of character in the lions is admir- 
able. Here is indignation at the unintelligible power 
which restrains them ; there reverence towards the being 
whom they dare not touch. One of them is consoled 
by the contemplation of the last skull he has been 
picking ; one is anticipating his next meal ; two are 
debating the subject together. But the Prophet, with a 
face resembling Curran's (foreshortened* so as to lose 
its best expression), has all the muscles of his counte- 
nance strained from extreme terror. He is without joy 
or hope ; and though his doom is postponed, he has no 
faith in the miracle which is to reward his integrity. It 
is a painting rather to astonish than delight." 

On the \st of October I passed a place the name of 
which I could not have recollected twelve hours but for 
the charm of verse : 

" I wish I were where Ellen lies, 
By fair Kirkconnel Lea." 

On returning to England, a stout old lady, our coach 
companion, rejoiced heartily that she was again in old 
England, a mean rivulet being the insignificant 
boundary. This feeling she persisted in retaining, 

• Daniel's head is thrown back, and he looks upwards with an earnest 
expression and clasped hands, as if vehemently supplicating. The picture 
formerly belonged to King Charles I. It was at that time entered as 
follows in the Catalogue of the Royal Pictures: — "A piece of Daniel in 
the Lions' Den with Uons about him, given by the deceased Lord 
Dorchester to the King, being so big as the Ufe. Done by Sir Peter 
Paul Rubens." Dr. Waagen very justly observes that, upon the whole, 
the figure of Daniel is only an accessory employed by the great master to 
introduce, in the most perfect form, nine figures of lions and lionesses the size 
of life. Rubens, in a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton (who presented the picture 
to the King), dated April 28th, 1618, expressly states that it was wholly his 
own workmanship. The price was 600 florins. Engraved in mezzotint by 
W. Ward. 1789. 

Chap. vii. 



Daniel in 

the Lions' 




De Quincey's Writings. 

Chap. vii. 


The first 




Don Juan. 

though an act of disobedience to the law which 
annihilated England as a state, and though our supper 
was worse than any lately partaken of by any of us in 

October ^th. — I went to Ambleside, and for four days 
I was either there or at Rydal Mount. My last year's 
journey in Switzerland had improved my acquaintance 
with the Wordsworth family, and raised it to friendship. 
But my time was short, and I have nothing to record 
beyond this fact, that Mrs. Wordsworth was then in 
attendance upon a lady in a fever, consequent on lying 
in, — Mrs. Quillinan, a lady I never saw, a daughter of 
Sir Egerton Brydges. 

October yth. — My journal mentions (what does not 
belong to my recollections, but to my obliviscences) an 
able pamphlet by Mr. De Quincey against Brougham, 
written during the late election, entitled, " Close 
Comments on a Straggling Speech " — a capital title, at 
all events. All that De Quincey wrote, or writes, is 
curious, if not valuable ; commencing with his best- 
known " Confessions of an English Opium Eater," and 
ending with his scandalous but painfully interesting 
" Autobiography," in Tait's Magazine. 

October 2ird. — To London on the Bury coach, and 
enjoyed the ride. Storks, Dover, Rolfe, and Andrews 
were inside playing whist. I was outside reading. 
I read Cantos III., IV., and V. of "Don Juan." I 
was amused by parts. There is a gaiety which is 
agreeable enough when it is playful and ironical, 
and here it is less malignant than it is in some of 
Byron's writings. The gross violations of decorum and 

Death of Mrs. Charles Aikin. 


morality one is used to. I felt no resentment at the 
lines — 

" A drowsy, frowsy poem call'd ' The Excursion,' 
Writ in a manner which is my aversion," * 

nor at the afifected contempt throughout towards 
Wordsworth. There are powerful descriptions, and 
there is a beautiful Hymn to Greece. I began Madame 
de Stael's "Ten Years' Exile." She writes with elo- 
quence of Buonaparte, and her egotism is by no means 

October 26th. — Met Charles Aikin. I saw he had a 
hatband, and he shocked me by the intelligence of his 
wife's death. I saw her a few days before I set off on my 
journey. She then appeared to be in her usual health. 
The conversation between us was not remarkable ; but 
I never saw her without pleasure, or left her without a 
hope I should see her again. She was a very amiable 
woman. She brought to the family a valuable accession 
of feeling. To her I owe my introduction to Mrs. 
Barbauld. I have been acquainted with her, though 
without great intimacy, twenty-four years. She was 
Gilbert Wakefield's eldest daughter, and not much 
younger than myself. 

November 2nd. — Finished Madame de Stael's "Ten 
Years' Exile." A very interesting book in itself, and to 
me especially interesting on account of my acquaint- 
ance with the author. Her sketches of Russian manners 
and society are very spirited, and her representation of 
her own sufferings under Buonaparte's persecutions is 
as eloquent as her novels. The style is animated, 

* " Don Juan," Canto III., v. 94. 

Chap, vii, 

Mrs. C. 
A ikiti. 

Madame de 






Lord Mayor's Dinner. 

Chap. vii. 




The Lambs. 

and her declamations against Napoleon are in her best 

Noveinber ytk. — Called on De Quincey to speak about 
the Classical Journal. I have recommended him to 
Valpy, who will be glad of his assistance. De Quincey 
speaks highly of the liberality of Taylor and Hessey, 
who gave him forty guineas for his " Opium Eater." 

November gth. — Dined at Guildhall. About 500 per- 
sons present, perhaps 600. The tables were in five lines 
down the hall. Gas illumination. The company all well 
dressed at least. The ornaments of the hustings, with 
the cleaned statues, &c., rendered the scene an imposing 
one. I dined in the King's Bench, a quiet place, and 
fitter for a substantial meal than the great hall. I was 
placed next to Croly (newspaper writer and poet), and 
near several persons of whom I knew something, so 
that I did not want for society. Our dinner was good, 
but ill-served and scanty. As soon as we had finished 
a hasty dessert, I went into the great hall, where I was 
amused by walking about. I ascended a small gallery 
at the top of the hall, whence the view below was very 
fine ; and I afterwards chatted with Firth, &c. Some 
dozen judges and Serjeants were really ludicrous objects 
in their full-bottomed wigs and scarlet robes. The 
Dukes of York and Wellington, and several Ministers 
of State, gave eclat to the occasion. 

November \Zth. — I stepped into the Lambs' cottage 
at Dalston. Mary, pale and thin, just recovered from 
one of her attacks. They have lost their brother John, 
and feel their loss. They seemed softened by affliction, 
and to wish for society. 

Flaxmaji on Animal Magnetism. 


Poor old Captain Burney died on Saturday. The 
rank Captain had become a misnomer, but I cannot call 
him otherwise. He was made Admiral a few weeks ago. 
He was a fine old man.* His whist parties were a great 
enjoyment to me. 

December i \th. — Dined with Monkhouse. Tom Clark- 
son went with me. The interest of the evening arose 
from MSS. of poems by Wordsworth, on the subject of 
our journey. After waiting so long without writing 
anything — so at least I understood when in Cumberland 
— the fit has come on him, and within a short time he 
has composed a number of delightful little poems ; and 
Miss Hutchinson writes to Mr. Monkhouse that he goes 
on writing with great activity .•}• 

December ^ist. — At Flaxman's, where I spent several 
hours very pleasantly. We talked of animal mag- 
netism. Flaxman declared he believed it to be fraud 
and imposition, an opinion I was not prepared for from 
him. But the conversation led to some very singular 
observations on his part, which show a state of mind by 
no means unfit for the reception of the new doctrine. 
He spoke of his dog's habit of fixing her eye upon him 
when she wanted food, &c., so that he could not endure 
the sight, and was forced to drive her away : this he 
called an animal power ; and he intimated also a belief 
in demoniacal influence ; so that it was not clear to 

• The circumnavigator of the world with Captain Cook, and historian of 
circumnavigation. A himiorous old man, friend of Charles Lamb, son of Dr. 
Burney, and brother of Madame d'Arblay. Martin Burney was his son.— 
H. C. R. 

t These poems have been referred to in connection with the tour which 
suggested them. 

Chap. vii. 



on animal 


John Wood. 

Chap. vii. 



me that he did not think that animal magnetism was 
somewhat criminal, allowing its pretensions to be well- 
founded, rather than supposing them to be vain. There 
is frequently an earnestness that becomes uncomfortable 
to listen to when Flaxman talks with religious feeling. 

Rem.* — My Diary mentions " John Wood, a lively 
genteel young man !" Now he is a man of importance 
in the State, being the Chairman of the Board of 
Inland Revenue. He was previously the head of the 
Stamp Office and Chairman of Excise. In the latter 
capacity he lately effected great economical reforms. 
He is a rare example of independence and courage, not 
renouncing the profession of his unpopular religious 

My practice this year was as insignificant as ever, 
even falling off in the amount it produced ; the fees 
being 572^ guineas, whereas in 1820 they were 663. 

* Written in 1851. 

Chantrey and his Studio. 




yamiary loth. — At twelve Monkhouse called. I 
walked with him and had a high treat in a call at 
Chantrey's, having to speak with him about Words- 
worth's bust. What a contrast to Flaxman ! A 
sturdy, florid-looking man, with a general resemblance 
in character to Sir Astley Cooper, both looking more 
like men of business and the world than artists or 
students. Chantrey talks with the ease of one who 
is familiar with good company, and with the confidence 
of one who is conscious of his fame. His study is rich 
in works of art. His busts are admirable. His com- 
positions do not in general please me. He has in hand 
a fine monument of EUenborough. A good likeness 

January 22?id. — I went into court on account of a 

* Chantrey was an excellent bust-maker, and he executed ably. He wanted 
poetry and imagination. The Children in Litchfield Cathedral, which might 
have given him reputation with ix)sterity, were the design of Stothard. It is to 
Chantrey's high honoiu- that he left a large portion of his ample fortune, 
after the death of his widow, for the encouragement of fine art, and made 
for that purpose wise arrangements. Lady Chantrey gave all his casts, &c., 
to Oxford University, where they constitute a gallery. Asking Rogers its 
value lately, he said, "As a collection of historical portraits, they are of great 
value; as works of art, that," snapping his fingers. — H. C, R. 

Chap. viii. 



Dreams and Prognostics. 

Chap. viii. 



single defence, which unexpectedly came on imme- 
diately, and having succeeded in obtaining an acquittal, 
I was able to leave Bury by the " Day " coach. I had 
an agreeable ride, the weather being mild. I finished 
" Herodotus," a book which has greatly amused me. 
The impression most frequently repeated during the 
perusal was that of the compatibility of great moral 
wisdom with gross superstition. It is impossible to 
deny that " Herodotus " encourages by his silence, if 
not by more express encouragement, the belief in 
outrageous fictions. The frequency of miracle in all 
ancient history is unfavourable to the belief of that 
affirmed in the Jewish history. This book inspires a 
salutary horror of political despotism, but at the same 
time a dangerous contempt of men at large, and an 
uncomfortable suspicion of the pretensions of philoso- 
phers and patriots. 

February 2^th. — I went to Aders', and found him and 
his wife alone. An interesting conversation. Mrs. 
Aders talked in a tone of religion which I was pleased 
with. At the same time she showed a tendency to 
superstition which I could only wonder at. She has 
repeatedly had dreams of events which subsequently 
occurred, and sometimes with circumstances that ren- 
dered the coincidence both significant and wonderful. 
One is remarkable, and worth relating. She dreamed 
when in Germany that a great illumination took place, 
of what kind she was not aware. Two luminous balls 
In one she saw her sister, Mrs. Longdale, with 


an infant child in her arms. On the night of the illu- 
mination on account of the Coronation (years after the 

Wordswortfis **Tour^' Poems. 


dream), she was called by Miss Watson into the back 
drawing-room, to see a ball or luminous body which 
had been let off at Hampstead. She went into the 
room, and on a sudden it flashed on her mind with 
painful feelings, "This was what I saw in my dream." 
That same evening her sister died. She had been 
lately brought to bed. The child lived. 

H. C. R. TO Miss Wordsworth. 

3, King's Bench, 

2,1th February, 1822. 
I am indeed a very bad correspondent, but a long 
foolscap letter was written more than a fortnight back, 
when I met Mr. Monkhouse, and he told me what 
rendered my letter utterly inexpedient, for it was an 
earnest exhortation to you and Mrs. Wordsworth to 
urge the publication of the delightful poems, which is 
now done ; and the expression of a wish that one of the 
Journals might appear also, and that would be in vain. 
I am heartily glad that so many imperishable records 
will be left of incidents which I had the honour of 
partially enjoying with you. The only drawback on 
my pleasure is, that I fear when the book is once 
published, Mr. Wordsworth may no longer be inclined 
to meditate on what he saw and felt, and therefore 
much may remain unsaid which would probably have 
appeared in the Memorials, if they had been delayed till 
1823. I hope I have not seen all, and I should rejoice 
to find among the unseen poems some memorial of those 
patriotic and pious bridges at Lucerne, suggesting to 
so gefierative a mind as your brother's a whole cycle 

Chap. viii. 

0/ a Tour 

on the 


Wordsworth's Memorial Poems. 

Chap. viri. 

Poets need 


" The poet's 

of religious and civic sentiments. The equally affecting 
Senate-house not made by hands, at Sarnen, where the 
rites of modern legislation, like those of ancient religion, 
are performed in the open air, and on an unadorned 
grass-plat ! ! ! But the poet needs no prompter ; I shall 
be grateful to him for what he gives, and have no right 
to reflect on what he withholds. I wish he may have 
thought proper to preface each poem by a brief memo- 
randum in prose. Like the great poet of Germany, 
with whom he has so many high powers in common, 
he has a strange love of riddles. Goethe carries further 
the practice of not giving collateral information ; he 
seems to anticipate the founding of a college for the 
delivery of explanatory lectures like those instituted 

in Tuscany for Dante. 

•# # * * # « 

My last letter, which I destroyed, was all about the 
poems. I have not the vanity to think that my praise 
can gratify, but I ought to say, since the verses to 
Goddard were my suggestion, that I rejoice in my good 
deed. It is instructive to observe how a poet sees and 
feels, how remote from ordinary sentiment, and yet how 
beautiful and true ! Goethe says he had never an 
affliction which he did not turn into a poem. Mr. 
Wordsworth has shown how common occurrences are 
transmuted into poetry. Midas is the type of the true 
poet. Of the Stanzas, I love most — loving all — the 
" Eclipse of the Sun." Of the Sonnets, there is ojie 
remarkable as unique ; the humour and nafvete, and 
the exquisitely refined sentiment of the . Calais fish- 
women are a combination of excellences quite novel. 

TJie Lambs and their Grief. 


I should, perhaps, have given the preference after all to 
the Jungfrau Sonnet, but it wants unity. I know not 
which to distinguish, the Simplon Stone, the Bruges, or 
what else ? I have them not here. Each is the best 
as I recollect the impression it made on me. 

Miss Wordsworth to H. C. R. 

ird March, 1822. 

My brother will, I hope, write to Charles Lamb 
in the course of a few days. He has long talked of 
doing it ; but you know how the mastery of his own 
thoughts (when engaged in composition, as he has 
lately been) often prevents him from fulfilling his best 
intentions ; and since the weakness of his eyes has 
returned, he has been obliged to fill up all spaces of 
leisure by going into the open air for refreshment and 
relief of his eyes. We are very thankful that the 
inflammation, chiefly in the lids, is now much abated. 
It concerns us very much to hear so indifferent an 
account of Lamb and his sister ; the death of their 
brother, no doubt, has afflicted them much more than 
the death of any brother, with whom there had, in near 
neighbourhood, been so little personal or family com- 
munication, would afflict any other minds. We deeply 
lamented their loss, and wished to write to them as 
soon as we heard of it ; but it not being the particular 
duty of any one of us, and a painful task, we put it off, 
for which we are now sorry, and very much blame our- 
selves. They are too good and too confiding to take it 
unkindly, and that thought makes us feel it the more. 


Chap. viii. 

On the 


Wordsivorth composing. 

Chap. viii. 

The Bridge 
at Lucerne. 



an author. 

, With respect to the tour poems, I am 

afraid you will think my brother's notes not sufficiently 
copious ; prefaces he has none, except to the poem on 
Goddard's death. Your suggestion of the Bridge at 
Lucerne set his mind to work ; and if a happy mood 
comes on he is determined even yet, though the work is 
printed, to add a poem on that subject. You can have 
no idea with what earnest pleasure he seized the idea ; 
yet, before he began to write at all, when he was pon- 
dering over his recollections, and asking me for hints 
and thoughts, I mentioned that very subject, and he then 
thought he could make nothing of it. You certainly 
have the gift of setting him on fire. When I named 
(before your letter was read to him) your scheme for 
next autumn, his countenance flushed with pleasure, and 
he exclaimed, " I '11 go with him." Presently, however, 
the conversation took a sober turn, and he concluded 
that the journey would be impossible ; "and then," said 
he, " if you or Mary, or both, were not with me, I should 

not half enjoy it ; and that is impossible," 

We have had a long and interesting letter from Mrs. 
Clarkson. Notwithstanding bad times, she writes in 
cheerful spirits and talks of coming into the North this 
summer, and we really hope it will not end in talk, as 
Mr. Clarkson joins with her ; and if he once determines, 
a trifle will not stop him. Pray read a paper in the 
London Magazine, by Hartley Coleridge, on the Uses of 
the Heathen Mythology in Poetry. It has pleased us 
very much. The style is wonderful for so young a man 

— so little of effort and no affectation 

Dorothy Wordsworth. 

Tendency of Byron's " CavL' 


March \st. — Came home early from Aders' to read 
" Cain." The author has not advanced any novelties in 
his speculations on the origin of evil, but he has stated 
one or two points with great effect. The book is 
calculated to spread infidelity by furnishing a ready 
expression to difficulties which must occur to every one, 
more or less, and which are passed over by those who 
confine themselves to scriptural representations. The 
second act is full of poetic energy, and there is some truth 
of passion in the scenes between Cain's wife and himself. 

April ?>ih. — I had a very pleasant ride to London 
from Bury. The day was fine, and was spent in 
reading half a volume of amusing gossip — DTsraeli on 
the literary character, in which the good and evil of 
that by me most envied character are displayed so 
as to repress envy without destroying respect. Yet I 
would, after all, gladly exchange some portion of my 
actual enjoyments for the intenser pleasures of a more 
intellectual kind, though blended with pains and suffer- 
ings from which I am free. 

April \oth. — As I sat down to dinner, a young man 
introduced himself to me by saying, " My name is 
Poel."— "A son of my old friend at Altona ! " I 
answered ; and I was heartily glad to see him. Indeed 
the sight of him gave my mind such a turn, that I could 
scarcely attend to the rest of the company. Poel was 
but a boy in 1807. No wonder, therefore, that I had 
no recollection of him. He, however, recognized me in 
a moment, and he says I do not appear in the slightest 
degree altered. I should have had a much heartier 
pleasure in seeing him had I not known that his 

Q 2 

Chap. viir. 

Byron' s 

D' Israeli 
on the 




Flaxman among Statesmen. 

Chap. viii. 

ID or tfi s 


Chat with a 



mother died but a few months ago. She was a most 
amiable and a superior woman. The father is now 
advanced in years, but he retains, the son tells me, all 
his former zeal for liberty.* 

April ilth. — Took tea with the Flaxmans, and read 
to them extracts from Wordsworth's new poems, " The 
Memorials," And I ended the evening by going to 
Drury Lane to see " Giovanni in London," a very 
amusing extravaganza. Madame Vestris is a fascinat- 
ing creature, and renders the Don as entertaining as 
possible. And at the same time there is an air of irony 
and mere wanton and assumed wickedness, which 
renders the piece harmless enough. The parodies on 
well-known songs, &c,, are well executed. 

April 2^th. — Walked to Hammersmith and back. 
On my way home I fell into chat with a shabby-looking 
fellow, a master-bricklayer, whose appearance was that 
of a very low person, but his conversation quite sur- 
prised me. He talked about trade with the knowledge 
of a practical man of business, enlightened by those 
principles of political economy which indeed are be- 
come common ; but I did not think they had alighted 
on the hod and trowel. He did not talk of the books 
of Adam Smith, but seemed imbued with their spirit. 

May yth. — I took tea with the Flaxmans. Flaxman 
related with undesigned humour some circumstances of 
the dinner of the Royal Academy on Saturday. He 
was seated between Cabinet Ministers! Such a man to 
be placed near and to be expected to hold converse 
with lyord Liverpool and the Marquis of Londonderry, 

* F/V/f Vol. I., p. 237. 

Charles Mathews at Home. 


and his words. These were introduced in a sort of 
biography of himself. In a second part of the enter- 
tainment, three characters were perfect, — a servant 
scrubbing his miserly master's coat, a French music- 
master in the character of Cupid in a ballet, and (the 
very best) a steward from a great dinner-party relating 
the particulars of the dinner. He was half-drunk, and, 
I know not how, Mathews so completely changed his 
face that he was not to be known again. The fat Welsh- 
man, the miser, and the lover, were less successful. 

Chap. viii. 

the Duke of Wellington, and Chateaubriand ! A greater 
contrast cannot be conceived than between an artist 
absorbed in his art, of the simplest manners, the purest 
morals, incapable of intrigue or artifice, a genius in his 
art, of pious feelings and an unworldly spirit, and a set 
of statesmen and courtiers ! The only part of the 
conversation he gave was a dispute whether spes makes 
spei in the genitive, which was referred to the Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench. Flaxman spoke favourably 
of the conversation and manners of Lord Harrowby. 

May \%th. — Took tea with the Nashes, and accom- 
panied Elizabeth and Martha to Mathews's Mimetic 
Exhibition. I was delighted with some parts. In a 
performance of three hours' duration there could not 
fail to be flat and uninteresting scenes ; e.g., his attempt 
at representing Curran was a complete failure. I was 
much pleased with a representation of John Wilkes 
admonishing him, Mathews, when bound apprentice ; 
Tate Wilkinson's talking on three or four subjects at 
once, and an Irish party at whist. I really do believe 
he has seen F , so completely has he copied his voice 

C. Mathews 
at Home. 



Chap. viii. 

Kobht Hood 


An appeal 

case in Hie 


May 22nd. — I read a considerable part of Ritson's 
" Robin Hood Ballads," recommendable for the infor- 
mation they communicate concerning the state of 
society, rather than for the poetry, which is, I think, 
far below the average of our old ballads. 

May 2'^rd. — Visited Stonehenge, a very singular and 
most remarkable monument of antiquity, exciting sur- 
prise by the display of mechanical power, Avhich baffles 
research into its origin and purposes, and leaves an 
impression of wonder that such an astonishing work 
should not have preserved the name of its founders. 
Such a fragment of antiquity favours the speculation of 
Schelling and the other German metaphysicians, concern- 
ing a bygone age of culture and the arts and sciences. 

ytme 1st. — Hundleby sent me, just before I went to 
dinner, papers, in order to argue at ten on Monday 
morning before the Lords (the Judges being sum- 
moned) the famous case of Johnstone and Hubbard, 
or, in the Exchequer Chamber, Hubbard and John- 
stone, in which the Exchequer Chamber reversed the 
decision of the King's Bench, the question being on 
the effect of the Registry Acts on sales of ships at sea. 
This case had been argued some seven or eight times 
in the courts below, — among others, by two of the 
Judges (Richardson and Parke), and had been pend- 
ing fourteen years (the first action, indeed, against 
Hubbard was in 1803). And on such a case I was to 
prepare myself in a few hours, because Littledale, who 
had attended the Lords three times, could not prepare 
himself for want of time ! No wonder that I took 
books into bed, and was in no very comfortable mood. 

Appeal Case before the Lords. 


June T^rd. — I rose before five and had the case on my 
mind till past nine, when Hundleby called. He took 
me down to Westminster in a boat. There I found 
Carr in attendance. A little after ten I was called on, 
and I began my argument before the Chancellor, Lord 
Redesdale, one bishop, and nearly all the Judges. I 
was nervous at first, but in the course of my argument 
I gained courage, and Manning, who attended without 
telling me he should do so (an act of such kindness and 
friendship as I shall not soon forget), having whispered 
a word of encouragement, I concluded with tolerable 
comfort and satisfaction. 

In the course of my argument I said one or two bold 
things. Having referred to a late decision of the King's 
Bench, which is, in effect, a complete overruling of the 
case then before the Lords (Richardson v. Campbell, 
5 B. and A. 196), I said : " My learned friend will say 
that the cases are different. And they are different : 
the Lord Chief Justice, in giving judgment, says so. 
My Lords, since the short time that I have been in the 
profession, nothing has excited my admiration so much 
as the mingled delicacy and astuteness with which the 
learned Judges of one court avoid overruling the 
decisions of other courts. (Here Richardson, Parke, 
and Bailey smiled, and the Chancellor winked.) It 
would be indecorous in me to insinuate, even if I dared 
to imagine, what the opinion of the Judges of the 
King's Bench is ; but I beg your Lordships to consider 
whether the reasoning of Lord Chief Justice Abbott 
applies to that part of the case in which it differs from 
the case before the House, or to that in which the cases 

Chap. viii. 



before the 




H. c. r:s 


banter of 

the Jvdges. 


Old People Stupid. 

Chap. viii. 

A venire de 

Br a ha III. 

Old people. 

are the same." I afterwards commented on a mistake 
arising from confounding the words of the statute of 
W. and those of 34 George III., and said : "This mis- 
take has so pervaded the profession, that the present 
reporters have put a false quotation into the lips of 
the Chief Justice," I knowing that the Chief Justice 
himself supplied the report. 

After I had finished, Carr began his answer. But in a 
few minutes the Chancellor found that the special ver- 
dict was imperfectly framed, and directed a venire de novo 
{i.e. a new trial). Carr and I are to consent to amend it. 
Carr said to me very kindly, " on his honour, that he 
thought I had argued it better than any one on my side." 
Manning, too, said I had done it very well, and the 
Chancellor, on my observing how unprepared my client 
was to make alterations, said, " You have done so well at 
a short notice, that I have no doubt you will manage 
the rest very well." As Hundleby, too, was satisfied, I 
came away enjoying myself without being at all gay, 
like a man escaped from peril. I was, after all, by no 
means satisfied with myself, and ascribed to good-nature 
the compliments I had received. 

yime ^th. — Went for half the evening to Drury Lane. 
The few songs in the piece (the " Castle of Andalusia") 
were sung by Braham — viz. " All's Well," and " Victory," 
songs sung by him on all occasions and on no occasion, 
but they cannot be heard too often. 

June gth. — Went to the Lambs'. Talfourd joined me 
there. I was struck by an observation of Miss Lamb's, 
" How stupid those old people are ! " Perhaps my 
nephew's companions say so of my brother and me 

SchlegcCs Cosmical Speculations. 


already. Assuredly they will soon say so. Talfourd 
and I walked home together late, 

June lyth. — I went to call on the Lambs and take 
leave, they setting out for France next morning. I gave 
Miss Lamb a letter for Miss Williams, to whom I sent 
a copy of *' Mrs. Leicester's School."* The Lambs have 
a Frenchman as their companion, and Miss Lamb's nurse, 
in case she should be ill. Lamb was in high spirits; his 
sister rather nervous. Her courage in going is great. 

June 2<^th. — Read to-day in the Vienna JaJirbiicher 
der Literatnr a very learned and profound article on the 
history of the creation in Genesis. I was ashamed of 
my ignorance. Schlegel defends the Mosaic narrative, 
but understands it in a higher sense than is usually 
given to the history. His ideas are very curious. He 
supposes man to have been created between the last 
and last but one of the many revolutions the earth 
has undergone, and adopts the conjecture, that the 
Deluge was occasioned by a change in the position of 
the equation, which turned the sea over the dry land, 
and caused the bed of the ocean to become dry. He 
also supposes chaos not to have been created by God, 
but to have been the effect of sin in a former race of 
creatures ! Of all this I know nothing. Perhaps no 
man can usefully indulge in such speculations, but it is 
at least honourable to attempt them. 

July \Zth. — I finished "Sir Charles Grandison," a 
book of great excellence, and which must have improved 
the moral character of the age. Saving the somewhat 
surfeiting compliments of the good people, it has not a 

* A set of Tales by Mary Lamb, with three contributed by her brother. 

Chap. viii. 

and Mary 
Lamb going 
to France. 

Schlegel on 

the history 

of the 


Sir Charles 


Lonz Vacation Tour. 

Chap. viii. 

Excursion . 



voyage to 
Scot land. 

down the 

serious fault. The formality of the dialogue and style 
is soon rendered endurable by the substantial worth 
of what is said. In all the subordinate incidents Sir 
Charles is certainly a beau ideal of a Christian and a 
gentleman united. The story of Clementina is the glory 
of the work, and is equal to anything in any language. 

[Mr. Robinson's tour this year was principally in the 
South of France. He kept a journal, as usual. A few 
extracts will be given, but no connected account of the 

Atigtcst lOth. — At 7 A.M. I embarked on board the 
Lord Melville steam-packet off the Tower Stairs, 
London. Our departure was probably somewhat 
retarded, and certainly rendered even festive, by the 
expected fete of the day. The King was to set out on 
his voyage to Scotland, and the City Companies' barges 
had been suddenly ordered to attend him at Gravesend. 
The river was therefore thronged with vessels of every 
description, and the gaudy and glittering barges of the 
Lord Mayor, and some four or five of the Companies', 
gave a character to the scene. The appearance of 
unusual bustle continued until we reached Gravesend, 
near which the Royal Sovereign yacht was lying in 
readiness for His Majesty. The day was fine, which 
heightened the effect of the show. At Greenwich, the 
crowds on land were immense ; at Gravesend, the show 
was lost. Of the rest of the prospect I cannot say 
much. The Thames is too wide for the shore, which is 
low and uninteresting. The few prominent objects 
were not particularly gratifying to me. The most 
remarkable was a group of gibbets, with the fragments 

Lamb's Likings in Paris. 


of skeletons hanging on them. A few churches, the 
Reculvers, and the town of Margate were the great 
features of the picture, 

August 20th. — (Paris.) Mary Lamb has begged me 
to give her a day or two. She comes to Paris this 
evening, and stays here a week. Her only male friend 
is a Mr. Payne, whom she praises exceedingly for his 
kindness and attentions to Charles. He is the author of 
" Brutus," and has a good face. 

Augttst 2ist. — (With Mary Lamb.) When Charles 
went back to England he left a note for his sister's 
direction. After pointing out a few pictures in the 
Louvre, he proceeds : — " Then you must walk all along 
the borough side of the Seine, facing the Tuileries. 
There is a mile and a half of print-shops and bookstalls. 
If the latter were but English ! Then there is a place 
where the Paris people put all their dead people, and 
bring them flowers, and dolls, and gingerbread-nuts, and 
sonnets, and such trifles ; and that is all, I think, worth 
seeing as sights, except that the streets and shops of 
Paris are themselves the best sight." I had not seen 
this letter when I took Mary Lamb a walk that 
corresponds precisely with Lamb's taste, all of whose 
likings I can always sympathize with, but not generally 
with his dislikings. 

August 22nd. — Aders introduced me to Devou, a 
very Frenchman, but courteous and amiable, lively and 
intelligent. He accompanied us to Marshal Soult's 
house. But the Marshal was not at home. He would 
have been a more interesting object than the Spanish 
pictures which were his plunder in the kidnapping war. 

Chap. vm. 

Miss Lamb. 

Lamb on 





De Lamennais. 

Chap. viii. 



Though the paintings by Murillo and Velasquez were 
very interesting, I omit all mention of them. But 
being taken to Count Sommariva's, I there saw what 
has never been equalled by any other work of Canova, 
though this was an early production, the Mary Mag- 
dalene sitting on a cross. The truth and homely depth 
of feeling in the expression are very striking. 

On the 2nd of September I left Grenoble, and after 
a hot and fatiguing journey of two nights and three 
days, partly through a very beautiful country, I reached 

This journey was rendered interesting by the com- 
panions I had in the diligence. A religiense from 
Grenoble, and two professors of theology. One of 

them Professor R , an especially ingratiating man. 

He praised the lately published " Essai sur I'Indifference 
en Matiere de Religion," and offered me a copy. But I 
promised to get it. 

Rem* — This I did. It was the famous work of 
De Lamennais, of which only two volumes were then 
published. A book of great eloquence, by a writer 
who has played a sad part in his day. From being the 
ultramontanist, and exposing himself to punishment 
in France as the libeller of the Eglise Gallicane, he 
became the assailant of the Pope, and an ultra-radical, 
combining an extreme sentimental French chartism 
with a spiritualism of his own. He has of late years 
been the associate of George Sand. Her " Spiridion," 
it is said, was written when travelling with him. 

September Afth. — It was during this night, and perhaps 

* Written in 1851. 

Office of Procureur du Roi. 


between two and three, that we passed the town of 
Manosque, where a new passenger was taken in, who 
announced his office as Prociiretir dii Roi to the people 
in a tone which made me fear we should meet with an 
assuming companion. On the contrary, he contributed 
to render the day very agreeable. 

I talked law with him, and obtained interesting 
information concerning the proceedings in the French 
administration of justice. It appears that within his 
district — there are about 500 Prociireurs du Roi in the 
country — ^he has the superintendence of all the criminal 
business. When a robbery or other offence is committed, 
the parties come to him. He receives the complaint, 
and sends the gendarmerie in search of the offender. 
When a murder or act of arson has been perpetrated, 
he repairs to the spot. In short, he is a sort of coroner 
and high sheriff as well as public prosecutor, and at the 
public expense he carries on the suit to conviction or 

On inquiry of the steps he would take on informa- 
tion that a person had been killed in a duel, he said, that 
if he found a man had killed his adversary in the 
defence of his person, he should consider him as inno- 
cent, and not put him on his trial. I asked, "If you find 
the party killed in b. fair duel, what then.?" — "Take upi 
my papers and go home, and perhaps play a rubber at 
night with the man who had killed his adversary." I 
am confident of these words, for they made an impres- 
sion on me. But I think the law is altered now. 

October /^th. — We had for a short distance in the 
diligence an amusing young priest — the only lively 

Chap. viii. 

French law. 

Office of 


du Roi. 

Duelling in 


Bon mot of Talleyrand. 

Chap. viii. 

Nephew s 

Talfourd' s 

De Liimen- 

nais on 


man of his cloth I have seen in France. He 
told anecdotes with great glee ; among others the 
following : — 

When Madame de Stael put to Talleyrand the trou- 
blesome question what he would have done had he seen 
her and Madame de R^camier in danger of drowning, 
instead of the certainly uncharacteristic and sentimental 
speech commonly put into his lips as the answer, viz. 
that he should have jumped into the water and saved 
Madame de Stael, and then jumped in and died with 
Madame de R^camier — instead of this, Talleyrand's 
answer was, "Ah! Madame de Stael sait tant de choses 
que sans doute. elle pent nager ! " 

October I'^th. — At home. I had papers and letters to 
look at, though in small quantity. My nephew came 
and breakfasted with me. He did not bring the news, 
for Burch of Canterbury had informed me of his mar- 
riage with Miss Hutchison. I afterwards saw Manning ; 
also Talfourd, who was married to Miss Rachel Rutt 
during the long vacation. 

October \/^th. — I rode to Norwich on the "Day" 
coach, and was nearly all the time occupied in read- 
ing the Abbe De Lamennais' " Essai sur ITndifference," 
an eloquent and very able work against religious in- 
difference, in which, however, he advocates the cause of 
Popery, without in the slightest degree accommodating 
himself to the spirit of the age. He treats alike 
Lutherans, Socinians, Deists, and Atheists. I have not 
yet read far enough to be aware of his proofs in favour 
of his own infallible Church, and probably that is 
assumed, not proved ; but his skill is very great and 



masterly in exposing infidelity, and especially the incon- 
sistencies of Rousseau, 

December (^th. — Heard to-day of the death of Dr. 
Aikin — a thing not to be lamented. He had for years 
sunk into imbecility, after a youth and middle age of 
extensive activity. He was in his better days a man of 
talents, and of the highest personal worth, — one of the 
salt of the earth. 

December 21st. — The afternoon I spent at Aders'. A 
large party, — a splendid dinner, prepared by a French 
cook, and music in the evening. Coleridge was the star 
of the evening. He talked in his usual way, though with 
more liberality than when I saw him last some years 
ago. But he was somewhat less animated and brilliant 
and paradoxical. The music was enjoyed by Coleridge, 
but I could have dispensed with it for the sake of his 

" For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense." 

December 2,^ St. — The New Year's eve I spent, as I 
have done frequently, at Flaxman's. And so I con- 
cluded a year, like so many preceding, of uninterrupted 
pleasure and health ; with an increase of fortune and no 
loss of rep.utation. Though, as has always been the case, 
I am not by any means satisfied with my conduct, yet 
I have no matter of self-reproach as far as the world is 
concerned. My fees amounted to 629 guineas. 

Chap. viii. 

Dr. Aikin s 


of the year. 


Lamb in Sober Mood. 

Chap. tx. 







Janimry Zth. — Went in the evening to Lamb. I have 
seldom spent a more agreeable few hours with him. 
He was serious and kind — his wit was subordinate to 
his judgment, as is usual in tete-^-tete parties. Speak- 
ing of Coleridge, he said, " He ought not to have a 
wife or children ; he should have a sort of diocesan 
care of the world — no parish duty." Lamb repro- 
bated the prosecution of Byron's " Vision of Judgment." 
Southey's poem of the same name is more worthy of 
punishment, for his has an arrogance beyond endurance. 
Lord Byron's satire is one of the most good-natured 
description — no malevolence. 

February 26th. — A letter from Southey. I was glad 
to find he had taken in good part a letter I had written 
to him on some points of general politics, &c., the pro- 
priety of writing which I had myself doubted. 

Southey to H. C. R. 

Keswick, 22nd February, 1823. 
My dear Sir, 

I beg your pardon for not having returned the 

MSS. which you left here a year and a half ago, when 

I was unlucky enough to miss seeing you. I thought 

to have taken them myself to London long ere this, 

Southey o)i his History. 


and put off acknowledging them till a more convenient 
season from time to time. But good intentions are no 
excuse for sins of omission. I heartily beg your 
pardon, — and will return them to you in person in the 
ensuing spring. 

I shall be at Norwich in the course of my travels, — 
and of course see William Taylor. As for vulgar 
imputations, you need not be told how little I regard 
them. My way of life has been straightforward and — 
as the inscription upon Akbar's seal says, — " I never 
saw any one lost upon a straight road," To those who 
know me, my life is my justification ; to those who do 
not, my writings would be, in their whole tenor, if they 
were just enough to ascertain what my opinions are 
before they malign me for advancing them. 

What the plausible objection to my history* which 
you have repeated means, I cannot comprehend, — 
" That I have wilfully disregarded those changes in the 
Spanish character which might have been advan- 
tageously drawn from the spirit of the age in the more 
enlightened parts of Europe," I cannot guess at what 
is meant. 

Of the old governments in the Peninsula, my opinion 
is expressed in terms of strong condemnation, — not in 
this work only, but in the " History of Brazil," where- 
ever there was occasion to touch upon the subject. 
They are only not so bad as a Jacobinical tyranny, 
which, while it continues, destroys the only good that 
these governments left (that is, order), and terminates 

* The first volume of Southey's "History of the Peninsular War." The 
second volume was published in 1827, and the third in 1833. 


Chap. ix. 



0/ his 

History of 

the Spanish 


On the old 


Civil Wars of Spain. 

Chap. ix. 


On 7ion-i?i- 

Sonthey s 

rule in 

The least of 
two evils. 

at last in a stronger despotism than that which it has 
overthrown. I distrust the French, because, whether 
under a Bourbon or a Buonaparte, they are French still ; 
but if their government were upright, and their people 
honourable, in that case I should say that their 
interference with Spain was a question of expediency ; 
and that justice, and humanity, as well as policy, would 
require them to put an end to the commotions in that 
wretched country, and restore order there, if this could be 
effected. But I do not see how they can effect it. And 
when such men as Mina and Erolles are opposed to 
each other, I cannot but feel how desperately bad the 
system must be which each is endeavouring to suppress ; 
and were it in my power, by a wish, to decide the 
struggle on one side or the other, so strongly do I per- 
ceive the evils on either side, that I confess I should 
want resolution and determination. 

You express a wish that my judgment were left 
unshackled to its own free operation. In God's name, 
what is there to shackle it .'* I neither court preferment, 
nor popularity ; and care as little for the favour of the 
great as for the obloquy of the vulgar. Concerning 
Venice, — I have spoken as strongly as you could desire. 
Concerning Genoa, — instead of giving it to Sardinia, I 
wish it could have been sold to Corsica. The Germans 
were originally invited to govern Italy, because the 
Italians were too depraved and too divided to govern 
themselves. You cannot wish more sincerely than I do 
that the same cause did not exist to render the con- 
tinuance of their dominion — not indeed a good — but 
certainly, under present circumstances, the least of two 

Order preferred to Freedom. 


evils. It is a bad government, and a clumsy one ; — and, 
indeed, the best foreign dominion can never be better 
than a necessary evil. 

Your last question is — what I think of the King of 
Prussia's utter disregard of his promises } You are far 
better qualified to judge of the state of his dominions 
than I can be. But I would ask you, whether the recent 
experiments which have been made of establishing 
representative governments are likely to encourage 
or deter those princes who may formerly have wished 
to introduce them in their states .-' And whether the 
state of England, since the conclusion of the war, has 
been such as would recommend or disparage the 
English constitution, to those who may once have 
considered it as the fair ideal of a well-balanced 
government } The English Liberals and the English 
press are the worst enemies of liberty. 

It will not be very long before my speculations upon 
the prospects of society will be before the world. You 
will then see that my best endeavours for the real 
interests of humanity have not been wanting. Those 
interests are best consulted now by the maintenance of 
order. Maintain order, and the spirit of the age will 
act surely and safely upon the governments of Europe. 
But if the Anarchists prevail, there is an end of all 
freedom ; a generation like that of Sylla, or Robe- 
spierre, will be succeeded by a despotism, appearing 
like a golden age at first, but leading, like the 
Augustan age, to the thorough degradation of every- 

I have answered you, though hastily, as fully as the 

R 2 

Chap. ix. 



forms of re- 




enemies to 


Order the 
end to be 
aimed at. 


Garrow about himself. 

Chap. ix. 


worth on 
the Cintra 


limits of a letter will admit, — fairly, freely, and willingly. 
My views are clear and consistent, and, could they be 
inscribed on my grave-stone, I should desire no better 

Wordsworth is at Coleorton, and will be in London 
long before me. He is not satisfied with my account 
of the convention of Cintra : the rest of the book he 
likes well. Our difference here is, that he looks at the 
principle, abstractedly, and I take into view the cir- 

When you come into this country again, give me a 
few days. I have a great deal both within doors and 
without which I should have great pleasure in showing 
you. Farewell ! and believe me 

Yours sincerely, 

Robert Southey. 

March \st. — (On circuit.) We dined with Garrow. 
He was very chatty. He talked about his being 
retained for Fox, on the celebrated scrutiny in 1784 
before the House of Commons, " to which," he said, " I 
owe the rank I have the honour to fill." He mentioned 
the circumstances under which he went first to the bar 
of the Commons. He was sent for on a sudden, with- 
out preparation, almost without reading his brief. He 
spoke for two hours, " and it was," he said, " the best 
speech I ever made. Kenyon was Master of the Rolls, 
hating all I said, but he came down to the bar and said, 
good-naturedly, * Your business is done ; now you '11 get 
on.' " Garrow talked of himself with pleasure, but with- 
out expressing any extravagant opinions about himself. 

Wtt/t Wordsworth and Moore. 


April 2nd. — An interesting day. After breakfasting 
at Monkhouse's, I walked out with Wordsworth, his son 
John, and Monkhouse. We first called at Sir George 
Beaumont's to see his fragment of Michael Angelo — a 
piece of sculpture in bas and haut relief — a holy family. 
The Virgin has the child in her lap ; he clings to her, 
alarmed by something St. John holds towards him, 
probably intended for a bird. The expression of the 
infant's face and the beauty of his limbs cannot well be 
surpassed. Sir George supposes that Michael Angelo 
was so persuaded he could not heighten the effect 
by completing it, that he never finished it. There is 
also a very fine landscape by Rubens, full of power 
and striking effect. It is highly praised by Sir 
George for its execution, the management of its lights, 
its gradation, &c. 

Sir George is a very elegant man, and talks well on 
matters of art. Lady Beaumont is a gentlewoman of 
great sweetness and dignity. I should think among 
the most interesting by far of persons of quality in 
the country. I should have thought this, even had I 
not known of their great attachment to Wordsworth. 

We then called on Moore, and had a very pleasant 
hour's chat with him. Politics were a safer topic than 
poetry, though on this the lapinions of Wordsworth and 
Moore are nearly as adverse as their poetic character. 
Moore spoke freely and in a tone I cordially sympa- 
thized with about France and the Bourbons. He 
considers it quite uncertain how the French will feel 
at any time on any occasion, so volatile and vehement 
are they at the same time. Yet he thinks that, as far 

Chap. ix. 


A day with 


of Michael 

Angelo' s. 

Sir George 
and Lady 


Moore on 
the French. 


A Quintctt of Poets : 

Chap. ix. 

0/1 French 

Dinner at 
Mo Ilk- 

as they have any thought on the matter, it is in favour 
of the Spaniards and hberal opinions. Notwithstand- 
ing this, he says he is disposed to assent to the 
notion, that of all the people in Europe, the French 
alone are unfit for liberty. Wordsworth freely con- 
tradicted some of Moore's assertions, but assented to 
the last. 

Of French poetry Moore did not speak highly, and 
he thinks that Chenevix has overrated the living poets 
in his late articles in the Edinburgh Review. Moore's 
person is very small, his countenance lively rather than 
intellectual. I should judge him to be kind-hearted and 

Wordsworth and I went afterwards to the Society of 
Arts, and took shelter during a heavy rain in the great 
room. Wordsworth's curiosity was raised and soon 
satisfied by Barry's pictures. 

Concluded my day at Monkhouse's. The Lambs 
were there. 

April ^th. — Dined at Monkhouse's. Our party con- 
sisted of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, Moore, and 
Rogers. Five poets of very unequal worth and most 
disproportionate popularity, whom the public probably 
would arrange in a dift"erent order. During this 
afternoon, Coleridge alone displayed any of his pecu- 
liar talent. I have not for years seen him in such 
excellent health and with so fine a flow of spirits. His 
discourse was addressed chiefly to Wordsworth, on 
points of metaphysical criticism — Rogers occasionally 
interposing a remark. The only one of the poets who 
seemed not to enjoy himself was Moore. He was very 

Moore s Account of it. 


attentive to Coleridge, but seemed to relish Lamb, next 
to whom he was placed. 

Rem* — Of this dinner an account is given in Moore's 
Life, which account is quoted in the AthencBum of 
April 23rd, 1853. Moore writes: — "April 4th, 1823. 
Dined at Mr. Monkhouse's (a gentleman I had never 
seen before) on Wordsworth's invitation, who lives there 
whenever he comes to town. A singular party. Cole- 
ridge, Rogers, Wordsworth and wife, Charles Lamb, 
(the hero at present of the London Magazine) and his 
sister (the poor woman who went mad in a diligence on 
the way to Paris), and a Mr. Robinson, one of the 
minora sidera of this constellation of the Lakes ; the 
host himself, a Maecenas of the school, contributing 
nothing but good dinners and silence. Charles Lamb, 
a clever fellow, certainly, but full of villanous and 
abortive puns, which he miscarries of every minute. 
Some excellent things, however, have come from him." 
Charles Lamb is indeed praised by a word the most 
unsuitable imaginable, for he was by no means a 
clever man ; and dear Mary Lamb, a woman of sin- 
gular good sense, who, when really herself, and free 
from the malady that periodically assailed her, was 
quiet and judicious in an eminent degree — this ad- 
mirable person is dryly noticed as "the poor woman 
who went mad in a diligence," &c. Moore is not to 
be blamed for this — they were strangers to him. The 
Atlienceiim Reviewer, who quotes this passage from 
Moore, remarks : " The tone is not to our liking," and 
it is added, " We should like to see Lamb's account." 

* Written in 1853. 

Chap. ix. 


account of 
the dinner. 


LaniUs Account, and H. C. R.'s. 

Chap. ix. 


account of 
the dinner. 

H. c. r:s 

account of 
the dmner. 

This occasioned my sending to the AthencBuni (June 
25th, 1853) a letter by Lamb to Bernard Barton* 
" Dear Sir, — I wished for you yesterday. I dined in 
Parnassus with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Rogers, and 
Tom Moore : half the poetry of England constellated 
in Gloucester Place ! It was a delightful evening ! Cole- 
ridge was in his finest vein of talk — had all the talk ; 
and let 'em talk as evilly as they do of the envy of poets, 
I am sure not one there but was content to be nothing 
but a listener. The Muses were dumb while Apollo 
lectured on his and their fine art. It is a lie that poets 
are envious : I have known the best of them, and can 
speak to it, that they give each other their merits, and 
are the kindest critics as well as best authors. I am 
scribbling a muddy epistle with an aching head, for we 
did not quaff Hippocrene last night, marry ! It was 
hippocrass rather." 

Lamb was in a happy frame, and I can still recall to 
my mind the look and tone with which he addressed 
Moore, when he could not articulate vei-y distinctly : — 
" Mister Moore, will you drink a glass of wine with 
me T — suiting the action to the word, and hobnobbing. 
Then he went on : " Mister Moore, till now I have 
always felt an antipathy to you, but now that I have 
seen you I shall like you ever after." Some years after 
I mentioned this to Moore. He recollected the fact, 
but not Lamb's amusing manner. Moore's talent was 
of another sort ; for many years he had been the most 
brilliant man of his company. In anecdote, small- 
talk, and especially in singing, he was supreme ; but 

* Lamb's Works, Vol. I., p. 204. 

TJie Poets at a Concert. 


he was no match for Coleridge in his vein. As Httle 
could he feel Lamb's humour. 

Besides these five bards were no one but Mrs. Words- 
worth, Miss Hutchinson, Mary Lamb, and Mrs. Gilman. 
I was at the bottom of the table, where I very ill per- 
formed my part. 

April 5 th. — Went to a large musical party at Aders', 
in Euston Square. This party I had made for them. 
Wordsworth, Monkhouse, and the ladies, the Flaxmans, 
Coleridge, Mr. and Mrs. Gilman, and Rogers, were my 
friends. I noticed a great diversity in the enjoyment of 
the music, which was first-rate. Wordsworth declared 
himself perfectly delighted and satisfied, but he sat 
alone, silent, and with his face covered, and was generally 
supposed to be asleep. Flaxman, too, confessed that he 
could not endure fine music for long. But Coleridge's 
enjoyment was very lively and openly expressed. 

. April I2)th. — Dover lately lent me a very curious 
letter, written in 1757 by Thurlow to a Mr. Caldwell, 
who appears to have wanted his general advice how to 
annoy the parson of his parish. The letter fills several 
sheets, and is a laborious enumeration of statutes and 
canons, imposing an infinite variety of vexatious and 
burdensome duties on clergymen. Thurlow begins by 
saying : " I have confined myself to consider how a 
parson lies obnoxious to the criminal laws of the land, 
both ecclesiastical and secular, upon account of his 
character and office, omitting those instances in which 
all men are equally liable." And he terminates his 
review by a triumphant declaration : — " I hope my Lord 
Leicester will think, even by this short sketch, that I 

Chap. ix. 

party at 

The poets' 

diverse love 

of music. 

Thurlow' i 

advice how 

to annoy 



Lord Thiirlow's CJmrcJiism. 

Chap. ix. 



on the 


sian Creed. 

at whist. 

did not talk idly to him, when I said that parsons were 
so hemmed in by canons and statutes, that they can 
hardly breathe, according to law, if they are strictly 

Scarcely any of the topics treated of have any 
interest, being for the most part technical ; but after 
writing of the Statutes of Uniformity, especially 13th 
and 14th Ch. II. c. 64, he has this passage : — " I have 
mentioned these severe statutes and canons, because I 
have known many clergymen, and those of the best 
character, followers of Eusebius, who have, in the very 
face of all these laws, refused to read the Athanasian 
Creed. Considering the shocking absurdity of this 
creed, I should think it a cruel thing to punish anybody 
for not reading it but those who have sworn to read it, 
and who have great incomes for upholding that per- 

. . . neque enim lex est sequior ulla 
Quam necis artifices arte perire sua. 

May 2nd. — Having discharged some visits, I had 
barely time to return to dress for a party at Mr. 
Green's, Lincoln's Inn Fields. An agreeable party. 
Coleridge was the only talker, and he did not talk his 
best ; he repeated one of his own jokes, by which 
he offended a Methodist at the whist-table ; calling for 
her last trump, and confessing that, though he always 
thought her an angel, he had not before known her to 
be an archangel. 

Rem.* — Early in May my sister came to London 
to obtain surgical advice. She consulted Sir Astley 

* Written in 1851. 

Consulthig Abernethy. 


Cooper, Cline, and Abernethy. Abernethy she de- 
clared to be the most feehng and tender surgeon she 
had ever consulted. His behaviour was characteristic, 
and would have been amusing, if the gravity of the 
occasion allowed of its being seen from a comic point 
of view. My sister calling on him as he was going out, 
said, by way of apology, she would not detain him two 
minutes. " What ! you expect me to give you my 
advice in two minutes .-' I will do no such thing. I 
know nothing about you, or your mode of living. I 
can be of no use. Well, I am not the first you have 
spoken to ; whom have you seen i* — Cooper i* — Ah ! 
very clever with his fingers ; and whom besides .? — 
Cline 1 — why come to me then ? you need not go to 
any one after him. He is a sound man." 

May 2lst. — Luckily for me, for I was quite unpre- 
pared, a tithe case in which I was engaged was put off 
till the full term. Being thus unexpectedly relieved, I 
devoted great part of the forenoon to a delightful stroll. 
I walked through the Green Park towards Brompton ; 
and knowing that with the great Bath road on my 
right, and the Thames on my left, I could not greatly 
err, I went on without inquiry. I found myself at 
Chelsea. Saw the new Gothic church, and was pleased 
with the spire, though the barn-like nave, and the 
slender and feeble flying buttresses, confirmed the 
expectation that modern Gothic would be a failure. 
Poverty or economy is fatal in its effects on a style of 
architecture which is nothing if it be not rich. I turned 
afterwards to the right, through Walham Common, and 
arrived at Naylor's at three. The great man whom we 

Chap. ix. 




Irving — Jiis Appearance : 

Chap. ix. 



were met to admire came soon after. It was the 
famous Scotch preacher, the associate of Dr. Chalmers 
at Glasgow, Mr. Irving. He was brought by his 
admirer, an acquaintance of Naylor's, a Mr. Laurie,* 
a worthy Scotchman, who to-day was in the back- 
ground, but speaks at religious meetings, Naylor says. 
There was also Thomas Clarkson, not in his place to-day. 
Irving on the whole pleased me. Little or no assump- 
tion, easy and seemingly kind-hearted, talking not more 
of his labours in attending public meetings (he was 
come from one) than might be excused ; he did not 
obtrude any religious talk, and was not dogmatical. 

Rem.-\ — Irving had a remarkably fine figure and face, 
and Mrs. Basil Montagu said it was a question with the 
ladies whether his squint was a grace or a deformity. 
My answer would have been. It enhances the effect 
either way. A better saying of Mrs. Montagu's was, 
that he might stand as a model for St. John the Baptist 
— indeed for any Saint dwelling in the wilderness and 
feeding on locusts and wild honey. Those who took an 
impression unpropitious to him, might liken him to an 
Italian bandit. He has a powerful voice, feels always 
warmly, is prompt in his expression, and not very careful 
of his words. His opinions I liked. At the meeting he 
had attended in the morning (it was of a Continental 
Bible Society), he attacked the English Church as a 
persecuting Church, and opposed Wilberforce, who had 
urged prudent and tcnoffending proceedings. I told 
Irving of my Scotch journey. He informed me that the 
sermon I heard Dr. Chalmers preach against the Judaical 

* Afterwards Sir Peter.— i?^/«. 1851. t Written in 1851. 

His PreacJmig. 


spending of the Sabbath, had given offence to the 
elders, who remonstrated with him about it * He only- 
replied that he was glad his sermon had excited so 
much attention. On my expressing my surprise that 
Dr. Chalmers should leave Glasgow for St. Andrew's, 
Irving said it was the best thing he could do. He had, 
by excess of labour, worn out both his mind and body. 
He ought for three or four years to do nothing at all, but 
recruit his health. We talked a little about literature. 
Irving spoke highly of Wordsworth as a poet, and 
praised his natural piety. 

May 2$th. — After reading a short time, I went to 
the Caledonian Chapel, to hear Mr. Irving. Very mixed 
impressions. I do not wonder that his preaching 
should be thought to be acting, or at least as indicative 
of vanity as of devotion. I overheard some old ladies 
in Hatton Garden declaring that it was not pure gospel ; 
they did not wish to hear any more, &c. The most 
unfavourable circumstance, as tending to confirm this 
suspicion, is a want of keeping in his discourse. Abrupt 
changes of style, as if written (and it was written) at 
a dozen different sittings. His tone equally variable. 
No master-feeling running through the whole, like the 
red string through the Royal Marine ropes, to borrow 
an image from Goethe. Yet his sermon was very im- 
pressive. I caught myself wandering but once. It 
began with a very promising division of his subject. 
His problem to show how the spiritual man is equally 
opposed to the sensual, the intellectual, and the moral 
man, but he expatiated chiefly on the sensual character. 

• Vide page 211. 

Chap. ix. 


sermon on 

the Sabbath. 

Irving s 


Irving' s Doctrine. 

Chap. ix. 


On the 
and spiri- 
tual man. 

He drew some striking pictures. He was very vehe- 
ment, both in gesticulation and declamation. To me 
there was much novelty, perhaps because I am less 
familiar with Scotch than English preaching. Basil 
Montagu and several young barristers were there. The 
aisles were crowded by the profane, at least by persons 
drawn by curiosity. 

Rem.* — One unquestionable merit he had — he read 
the Scriptures most beautifully ; he gave a new sense to 
them. Even the Scotch hymns, when he recited them, 
were rendered endurable. Of my own acquaintance 
with him I shall speak hereafter. 

yune d>th. — I attended Mrs. J. Fordham to hear Mr. 
Irving, and was better pleased with him than before. 
There was an air of greater sincerity in him, and his 
peculiarities were less offensive. His discourse was a 
continuation of last week's — on the intellectual man as 
opposed to the spiritual man. He showed the peculiar 
perils to which intellectual pursuits expose a man. The 
physician becomes a materialist — the lawyer an atheist 
— because each confines his inquiries, the one to the 
secondary laws of nature, the other to the outward 
relations and qualities of actions. The poet, on the 
contrary, creates gods for himself He worships the 
creations of his own fancy. Irving abused in a common- 
place way the sensual poets, and made insinuations 
against the more intellectual, which might be applied 
to Wordsworth and Coleridge. He observed on the 
greater danger arising to intellectual persons from their 
being less exposed to adversity ; their enjoyments of 

* Written in 1851. 

5. Rogers on Walter Scott. 


intellect being more independent of fortune. The best 
part of his discourse was a discrimination between the 
three fatal errors of — 1st, conceiving that our actions are 
bound by the laws of necessity ; 2nd, that we can reform 
when we please ; and 3rd, that circumstances determine 
our conduct. There was a great crowd to-day, and the 
audience seemed gratified. 

Jime lytk. — I had an opportunity of being useful to 
Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth, who arrived to-day from 
Holland. They relied on Lamb's procuring them a 
bed, but he was out. I recommended them to Mrs. 
, but they could not get in there. In the mean- 
while I had mentioned their arrival to Talfourd, who 
could accommodate them. I made tea for them, and 
afterwards accompanied them to Talfourd's. I was 
before engaged to Miss Sharpe, where we supped. The 
Flaxmans were there, Samuel Rogers, and his elder 
brother, who has the appearance of being a superior 
man, which S. Sharpe reports him to be. An agree- 
able evening. Rogers, who knows all the gossip of 
literature, says that on the best authority he can affirm 
that Walter Scott has received ;^ 100,000 honorarium 
for his poems and other works, including the Scotch 
novels! Walter Scott is Rogers' friend, but Rogers did 
not oppose Flaxman's remark, that his works have in 
no respect tended to improve the moral condition of 
mankind. Wordsworth came back well pleased with 
his tour in Holland. He has not, I believe, laid in 
many poetical stores. 

yu7ie 22nd. — An unsettled morning. An attempt to 
hear Irving ; the doors crowded. I read at home till 

Chap. ix. 



S. /Wooers. 




A Sermon of Irving' s. 

Chap. ix. 


Sermon on 
ity and 

his service was over, when by appointment I met 
Talfourd, with whom I walked to Clapton. Talfourd 
was predetermined to be contemptuous and scornful 
towards Irving, whom he heard in part, and no wonder 
that he thought him a poor reasoner, a commonplace 
declaimer, full of bad imagery. Pollock, with more 
candour, declares him to be an extraordinary man, but 
ascribes much of the effect he produces to his sonorous 
voice and impressive manner. 

June 29///. — Thomas Nash, of Whittlesford, calling, 
induced me to go again to hear Mr. Irving. A crowd. 
A rush into the meeting. I was obliged to stand all 
the sermon. A very striking discourse ; an exposition 
of the superiority of Christianity over Paganism. It 
was well done. His picture of Stoicism was admirably 
conceived. He represented it at the best as but the 
manhood, not the womanhood, of virtue. The Stoic 
armed himself against the evils of life. His system, 
after ail, was but refined selfishness, and while he 
protected himself, he did not devote himself to others ; 
no kindness, no self-offering, &c. Speaking of the 
common practice of infidels to hold up Socrates and 
Cato as specimens of Pagan virtue, he remarked that 
this was as uncandid as it would be to represent the 
Royalists of the seventeenth century by Lord Falkland, 
or the Republicans by Milton, or the courtiers of 
Louis XIV. by F^nelon, the French philosophers 
before the Revolution by D'Alembert, or the French 
Republicans after by Carnot ! But neither in this 
nor in any other of his sermons did he manifest great 
powers of thought. 

Godwin's Difficulties. 


This week has brought us the certain news of the 
counter-revolution in Portugal. But men still will not 
be convinced that the counter-revolution in Spain must 
inevitably follow. 

jfune 2,0th. — I finished Goethe's fifth volume. Some 
of the details of the retreat from Champagne, and still 
more those of the siege of Mayence, are tedious, but 
it is a delightful volume notwithstanding. It will be 
looked back upon by a remote posterity as a most 
interesting picture from the hand of a master of the 
state of the public mind and feeling at the beginning 
of the Revolution. The literary and psychological 
parts of the book are invaluable. The tale of the 
melancholy youth who sought Goethe's advice, which, 
after a visit in disguise to the Harz, he refused to 
give, because he was assured he could be of no use, 
is fraught with interest. It was at that time Goethe 
wrote the fine ode, " Harz Reise im Winter."* 

July \2th. — I met Cargill by appointment, but on 
calling at Mr. Irving's we received a card addressed to 
callers, stating that he had shut himself up till three, 
and wished not to be interrupted except on business of 
importance. How excellent a thing were this but a 
fashion ! 

I called on Murray, and signed a letter (which is to be 
lithographed, with a fac-simile of handwriting) recom- 
mending Godwin's case. It is written by Mackintosh.-f* 

August 6th. — Went to the Haymarket. I have not 

* Vol. II., p. 49. 

t The object of this letter was to obtain a sum of money to help Godwin out 
of his difficulties. 

Chai'. IX. 






quiet for 






Lamb's Religiojisness. 

Chap. rx. 


letter to 

A. W. 

lately been so much amused. In " Sweethearts and 
Wives," by Kenny, Listen plays a sentimental lover 
and novel-reader, A burlesque song is the perfection 
of farce : — 

"And when I cry and plead for marcy, 
It does no good, but wicy warsy."* 

[This year Mr. Robinson made a tour in Germany, 
Switzerland, and the Tyrol.] 

October 26th. — I met with Talfourd, and heard from 
him much of the literary gossip of the last quarter. 
Sutton Sharpe,-f* whom I called on, gave me a second edi- 
tion, and lent me the last London Magazine, X contain- 
ing Lamb's delightful letter to Southey.§ His remarks 
on religion are full of deep feeling, and his eulogy on 
Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt most generous. Lamb must 
be aware that he would expose himself to obloquy by 
such declarations. It seems that he and Hazlitt are no 
longer on friendly terms. Nothing that Lamb has ever 
written has impressed me more strongly with the sweet- 
ness of his disposition and the strength of his affections. 

November 10th. — An interesting day. I breakfasted 
with Flaxman, by invitation, to meet Schlegel. 
Had I as much admiration for Schlegel's personal 

* This song was very popular at the time, under the name of ' ' Billy Lack-a- 
day's Lament." The verse was : 

" Miss Fanny, now she has undone me, 
Like any queen looks down upon me ; 
And when I kneels to ax for marcy. 
It does no good, but wicy warsy." 
f Nephew of S. Rogers. Afterwards Q.C., and eminent at the equity bar. 
X See the Works of Charles Lamb, Vol. I., p. 322. 

§ Southey had said in a review of " Elia's Essays " : — " It is a book which 
wants only a sounder religious feeling, to be as delightful as it is original." He 
did not intend to let the word sounder stand, but the passage was printed 
without his seeing a proof of it. 

A. W. Schickel. 


character as I have for his literary powers, I should 
have been gratified by his telling Flaxman that it was 
I who first named him to Madame de Stael, and who 
gave Madame de Stael her first ideas of German 
literature. Schlegel is now devoting himself to Indian 
learning, and hardly attends to anything else. Our 
conversation during a short breakfast was chiefly on 
Oriental subjects. He brought with him his niece, an 
artist, who has been studying under Girard at Paris. 
Flaxman had made an appointment with Rundle and 
Bridge. And we rode there, principally to see 
Flaxman's " Shield of Achilles," one of his greatest 
designs. Mr. Bridge said it is a disgrace to the English 
nobility that only four copies have been ordered, — by 
the King, the Duke of York, the Duke of Northumber- 
land, and Lord Lonsdale.* Schlegel seemed to admire 
the work. It was Lord Mayor's Day, and we stayed to 
see the procession. 

November \Zth. — I spent the forenoon at home. 
Finished Mrs. Wordsworth's Journal. I do not know 
when I have felt more humble than in reading it, it is 
so superior to my own. She saw so much more than I 
did, though we were side by side during a great part of 
the time. Her recollection and her observation were 
alike employed with so much more effect than mine. 
This book revived impressions nearly dormant. 

November 2^th. — I walked out early. Went to the 
King's Bench, where one of Carlile's men was brought 
up for judgment for publishing blasphemy. A half- 

• There is a fine cast of it in the Flaxman Gallery, University College, 
London, presented by C. R. Cockerell, R.A. 

S 2 

Chap. ix. 


Shield of 






Law of 


W/ia^ is Blasphemy ? 

Chap. ix. 



crazy Catholic, French, spoke in mitigation, — "My 
lords," he said, " your lordships cannot punish this 
man, now that blasphemy is justified by Act of 
Parliament." This roused Lord Ellenborough. " That 
cannot be, Mr, French." — " Why, my lord, the late Bill 
repealing the penalties on denying the Trinity justifies 
blasphemy!"* This was a very sore subject to Lord 
Ellenborough, on account of the imputed heterodoxy of 
the Bishop of Carlisle, his father. French could only 
allege that this might have misled the defendant. He 
was put down, after uttering many absurdities. On this 
the defendant said : " I should like to know, my lords, 
if I may not say Christ was not God without being 
punished for it?" This brought up Best, and he said: 
" In answer to the question so indecently put, I have 
no hesitation in saying that, notwithstanding the Act 
referred to, it is a crime punishable by law to say of the 
Saviour of the world that he was" — and then there was 
a pause — " other than he declared himself to be." He 
was about to utter an absurdity, and luckily bethought 

November 26th. — Took tea and supped at Godwin's, 
The Lambs there, and some young men. We played 
whist, &c. Mrs. Shelley there. She is unaltered, yet 
I did not know her at first. She looks elegant and 
sickly and young. One would not suppose she was the 
author of " Frankenstein." 

November 2'jth. — I called early on Southey at his 
brother's ; he received me cordially ; we chatted during 
a short walk. He wishes me to write an article on 

* See ante, p. 135. 

Flaxmaiis Belief in Spirits. 


Germany for the Quarterly, which I am half-incHned 
to do. Southey talks liberally and temperately on 
Spanish affairs. He believes the King of Portugal 
will give a constitution to the people, but he has no 
hopes from the King of Spain. He has been furnished 
with Sir Hew Dairy mple's papers, from which he has 
collected two facts which he does not think it right at 
present to make public : one, that the present King of 
France* offered to fight in the Spanish army against 
Buonaparte ; the other, that of thirty-five despatches 
which Sir Hew sent to Lord Castlereagh, only three 
were answered. The Spanish Ministry have been very 
abstinent in not revealing this fact against Louis 
lately ; it would give new bitterness to the national 
feeling against him. No one now cares about Castle- 
reagh's reputation. 

Decetnber '^rd. — I dined in Castle Street, and then 
took tea at Flaxman's. A serious conversation on 
Jung's " Theorie der Geisterkunde " -f* (" Theory of the 
Science of Spirits"). Flaxman is prepared to go a very 
great way with Jung, for though he does not believe 
in animal magnetism, and has a strong and very 
unfavourable opinion of the art, and though he does 
not believe in witchcraft, yet he does believe in ghosts, 
and he related the following anecdotes as confirming 
his belief : Mr. E ordered of Flaxman a monu- 
ment for his wife, and directed that a dove should be 
introduced. Flaxman supposed it was an armorial 
crest, but on making an inquiry was informed that it 
was not, and was told this anecdote as explanatory of 

* Louis XVIII. t This work has been translated into English. 

Chap. ix. 




Ghost Stories, 

Chap. ix. 

the required ornament. When Mrs, E was on 

her death-bed, her husband being in the room with her, 
perceived that she was apparently conversing with 
some one. On asking her what she was saying, Mrs. 

E • rephed, " Do not you see Miss at the 

window .-• " — " Miss is not here," said her hus- 
band. " But she is," said Mrs. E . " She is at 

the window, standing with a dove in her hand, and she 
says she will come again to me on Wednesday." Now 

this Miss , who was a particular friend of Mrs. 

E , resided at a distance, and had then been dead 

three months. Whether her death was then known to 

Mrs. E , I cannot say. On the Wednesday Mrs. 

E died. Flaxman also related that he had a 

cousin, a Dr. Flaxman, a Dissenting minister, who died 
many years ago. Flaxman, when a young man, was a 
believer in ghosts, the Doctor an unbeliever. A warm 
dispute on the subject having taken place, Mr. Flaxman 
said to the Doctor : " I know you are a very candid, as 
well as honest man, and I now put it to you whether, 
though you are thus incredulous, you have never experi- 
enced anything which tends to prove that appearances 
of departed spirits are permitted by Divine Providence V 
Being thus pressed, the Doctor confessed that the 
following circumstance had taken place : — There came 
to him once a very ignorant and low fellow, who lived 
in his neighbourhood, to ask him what he thought 
of an occurrence that had taken place the preceding 
night. As he lay in bed, on a sudden a very heavy and 
alarming noise had taken place in a room above him 
where no one was, and which he could not account for. 

Flaxinaii's Swedenborgianism. 


He thought it must come from a cousin of his at sea, 
who had promised to come to him whenever he died. 
The Doctor scolded at the man and sent him off. Some 
weeks afterwards the man came again, to tell him that 
his cousin, he had learned, was drowned that very- 

Rem.* — Let me add here, what I may have said 
before, that Charles Becher told me a story the very 
counterpart of this, — that one night he was awakened 
by a sound of his brother's voice crying out, that he 
was drowning, and it afterwards appeared that his 
brother was drowned that very night. It should be 
said that there was a furious tempest at the time, 
and Becher was on the English coast, and knew that 
his brother was at sea on the coast of Holland. 

I should add to what I have said of Flaxman, that 
he was satisfied Jung had borrowed his theory from a 
much greater man, Swedenborg. 

December 22nd. — Dined with Southern in Castle 
Street, and then went to Flaxman's. I read to them 
parts of Jung's work, but Flaxman thought his system 
very inferior to Swedenborg's. Flaxman declared his 
conviction that Swedenborg has given the true inter- 
pretation of the Old and New Testaments, and he 
believes in him as an inspired teacher. He says, that 
till he read his explanations of the Scriptures, they 
were to him a painful mystery. He has lent me a 
summary of the Swedenborgian doctrines. 

December 31J/. — A year to me of great enjoyment, 
but not of prosperity. My fees amounted to 445 

* Written in iS^i. 

Chap. ix. 


on Sweden- 


Yearly Retrospect. 

Chap. ix. ' guineas. As to myself, I have become more and more 
1823. desirous to be religious, but seem to be further off than 
ever. Whenever I draw near, the negative side of the 
magnet works, and I am pushed back by an invisible 


Sir jfo/m Franklin. 



Jamiary \st. — I dined with Flaxman. An agreeable 
afternoon. The FrankHns there. 

Rem* — Captain, the now lost Sir John Franklin, had 
married Ellen, the youngest daughter of Porden, the 
architect. I appear not to have justly appreciated his 
bodily nature. My journal says: " His appearance is not 
that of a man fit for the privations and labours to which 
his voyage of discovery exposed him. He is rather 
under-set ; has a dark complexion and black eyes ; a 
diffident air, with apparently an organic defect of vision ; 
not a bold soldier-like mien. It seemed as if he had not 
recovered from his hunger." Flaxman was very cheer- 
ful. When he has parties, he seems to think it his duty 
to give his friends talk as well as food, and of both his 
entertainment is excellent. He tells a story well, but 
rather diffusely. We looked over prints, and came home 
late. It is a curious coincidence, that being engaged 
to dine with Captain Franklin at Flaxman's, I had to 
decline an invitation to meet Captain Parry at Mr. 
Martineau's, Stamford Hill. 

January \oth. — Walked out and called on Miss 
Lamb. I looked over Lamb's library in part. He has 

♦ Written in i8tI. 

Chap. x. 




LainUs Library. — Woohnan. 

ClIAP. X. 


Irving' s 


to Come. 

Woobnan s 

the finest collection of shabby books I ever saw ; such 
a number of first-rate works in very bad condition is, I 
think, nowhere to be found. 

January 22nd. — Rode to London from Bury on the 
" Telegraph." I was reading all the time it was light 
Irving's "Argument of Judgment to Come," which I 
have since finished. It is a book of great power, but on 
the whole not calculated to resolve doubts. It is more 
successful in painting strongly to believers the just 
inferences from the received doctrine. It is written 
rather to alarm than persuade ; and to some would 
have the effect of deterring from belief. 

How different this from John Woolman's Journal * I 
have been reading at the same time. A perfect gem ! 
His is a schone Scele (beautiful soul). An illiterate 
tailor, he writes in a style of the most exquisite purity 
and grace. His moral qualities are transferred to his 
writings. Had he not been so very humble he would 
have written a still better book, for, fearing to indulge 
in vanity, he conceals the events in which he was a 
great actor. His religion is love. His whole existence 
and all his passions were love ! If one could venture 
to impute to his creed, and not to his personal character, 
the delightful frame of mind which he exhibited, one 
could not hesitate to be a convert. His Christianity is 
most inviting, — it is fascinating. 

* "John Woolman's Works, containing the Journal of his Life, Gospel 
Labours, and Christian Experiences. To which are added his Writings." 
Philadelphia, 1775. Dublin, 1794. London, 1824. 8vo. Charles Lamb 
greatly admired this work, and brought it to H. C. R.'s notice. Woolman 
was an American Quaker, one of those who first had misgivings about the 
institution of slavery. 



February ^rd. — Made a long-deferred call on Mr. 
Irving, with whom I was very much pleased. He 
received me with flattering cordiality, and introduced 
me to his wife, a plain but very agreeable woman, 
Irving is learning German, which will be an occasion of 
acquaintance between us, as I can be of use to him. 
We had an agreeable chat ; his free, bold tone, the 
recklessness with which he talks, both of men and things, 
renders his company piquant. He spoke of the Scottish 
character as to be found only in the peasantry, not in 
the literati. Jeffrey and the Edinburgh critics do not 
represent the people ; neither, I observed, do Hume, 
Adam Smith, &c. I adverted to some of the criticisms 
on his sermons. He seemed well acquainted with 
them, but not much to regard them. He said that 
Coleridge had given him a new idea of German meta- 
physics, which he meant to study. 

February \^th. — Having resolved to devote my Sun- 
days in future to the perusal of writings of a religious 
character, I this morning made choice of a volume 
of Jeremy Taylor as a beginning. I pitched on his 
" Marriage Ring," a splendid discourse, equally fine as 
a composition and as evidencing deep thought. Yet 
it has passages hardly readable at the present day. It 
has naive expressions, which raise a smile. In the 
midst of a long argument to prove that a husband 
ought not to beat his wife^ he asks, " If he cannot 
endure her talk, how can she endure his beating V 

February \']th. — I had a short chat with Benecke, and 
read him extracts from Jeremy Taylor. Glad to find 
Benecke a thinking Christian. He is, with all his piety 

Chap. x. 

Irving s 





Chap. x. 

On the 

eternity of 

future puti- 



J> ving and 

and gravity, a believer in universal restoration, or, at 
least, a disbeliever in eternal punishment. By the by, I 
met the other day this remark : " It is a greater difficulty 
how evil should ever come into the world, than that, 
there being evil already here, it should be continued for 
ever in the shape of punishment. If it is not incon- 
sistent with the Divine attributes to suffer guilt, is it so 
that he should ordain punishment ?" But I think I 
have a short and yet satisfactory answer. Evil here, 
and the evil of punishment, like all other may be means 
to an end, which end may be the good of all. But 
eternal punishment supposes evil to be an End- 
February 20th. — Rode to Hammersmith, where, 
accompanying Naylor, I dined with Mr. Slater. A 
rather large party, rendered interesting by Irving. A 

young clergyman, a Mr. P , talked of the crime of 

giving opium to persons before death, so that they went 
before their Maker stupefied. A silly sentiment, which 
Irving had the forbearance not to expose, though his 
manner sufficiently indicated to me what his feeling 

was. There was also a Mr. C , an old citizen, a 

parvenn, said by Slater to be an excellent and very 
clever man ; but he quoted Dr. Chalmers to prove that 
the smaller the violation of the law, the greater the 
crime. Irving spoke as if he knew how Hall had 
spoken of him, censured his violent speeches, and re- 
ported his having said to a young theological student, 
" Do you believe in Christ .'' Do you disbelieve in Dr. 
Collier V and incidentally asked, " If such things (some 
infirmity of I forget what divine) are overlooked, why 
not my censoriousness .''" Speaking of Hall, Irving said 

Flaxman on Sir Joshua. 





that he thought his character had greatly suffered by j Chap, x 
the infusion of party spirit, which had disturbed his 1824. 
Christian sentiments. Mrs. Irving was also very agree- 
able; the cordiality of both husband and wife was gratify- 
ing to me. I anticipate pleasant intercourse with them. 

February 2'jth. — Had a long chat with Flaxman 
about Sir Joshua Reynolds. In the decline of life he 
expressed dissatisfaction with himself for not having 
attended to religion. He was not always sufficiently 
attentive to the feelings of others, and hurt Flaxman 
by saying to him on his marriage, — " You are a ruined 
man — you will make no further progress now." 

February 29//^. — Read the second sermon on Advent. 
It has checked my zeal for Jeremy Taylor. It is true, 
as Anthony Robinson says, that one does not get on 
with him ; or rather he does not get on with his subject. 
A diffuse declaimer must, however, expose himself to 
this reproach. In eloquence, as in dancing, the object 
is not so much to get from the spot as to delight by 
graceful postures and movements without going away. 
And I find as I go on with Jeremy Taylor that he is 
merely eloquent — he dances, but he does not journey 
on. And in works of thought there should be a union 
of qualities. One might parody Pope, and say : 

" Or set on oratoric ground to prance, 
Show all his paces, not a step advance." 

March ^th. — Walked over to Lamb's. Meant a short 
visit, but Monkhouse was there as well as Manning ; so 
I took tea and stayed the whole evening, and played 
whist. Besides, the talk was agreeable. On religion, 
Monkhouse talked as I did not expect ; rather earnestly 



Lamb's Piety. — Dr. Parr. 

Chap. x. 



on the Atonement, as the essential doctrine of Chris- 
tianity, but against the Trinity, which he thinks by a 
mere mistake has been adopted from Oriental philo- 
sophy, under a notion that it was necessary to the 
Atonement. The dogmatism of theology has disgusted 
Lamb, and it is that alone which he opposes ; he has 
the organ of theosophy, and is by nature pious. 

March 26th. — At the Spring Assizes at Thetford. I 
dined with my nephew and niece, then living there. I 
drank tea with Edmund Henry Barker.* His literary 
anecdotes were entertaining. He wrote a work of some 
size about Dr. Parr, whose pupil he was. He said 
Parr was intolerant of young scoffers at religion ; and 
to a Roman Catholic who had jeered at the story of 
Balaam's ass and its cross, he said with more severity 
than wit, — " It would be well, young man, if you had 
less of the ass and more of the cross." To a lady, who, 
seeing him impatient at her talk, said, — " You must ex- 
cuse us ladies, whose privilege it is to talk nonsense." — 
" Pray, madam, did you talk nonsense, it would be your 
infirmity, not your privilege, unless, indeed, you deem 
it the privilege of a duck to waddle because it cannot 
walk." Barker related an anecdote of Parr in connection 

with , which makes amends for many a harsh 

word. He had lent i^200, as Barlcer thought, 

but I think it was, in fact, i^SOO. " I shall never see 
the money again," said the Doctor ; " but it is of no 
consequence. It is for a good man, and a purpose." 

April 19///. — I went after breakfast to Monkhouse. 

* Edmund Henry Barker, O.T.N., which symbols being interpreted mean 
i>/ Thetford, Norfolk. 

Irving and Wordsworth. 


Mr. Irving there ; he was very courteous. Wordsworth 
also there. Listened with interest to a serious con- 
versation between the poet and the pulpit orator, and 
took a share in it. Wordsworth stated that the great 
difficulty which had always pressed on his mind in 
religion was the inability to reconcile the Divine 
prescience with accountability in man. I stated mine to 
be the incompatibility of the existence of evil, as final 
and absolute, with the Divine attributes. Irving did 
not attempt to solve either. He declared that he was 
no metaphysician, and that he did not pretend to know 
more of God than was revealed to him. He did not, 
however, seem to take any offence at the difficulties 
suggested. An interesting hour's conversation. 

May \%th. — Called on Irving. He was very friendly, 
as was also his wife, A little serious talk ; but Irving is 
no metaphysician, nor do I suppose a deep thinker. 
But he is liberal, and free from doctrinal superstition. 
He received my free remarks on the terrors which he 
seeks to inspire with great good-nature. I left him 
"John Woolman," a book which exhibits a Christian 
all love* Woolman was a missionary, and Irving is 
writing on the missionaries. He called it a Godsend. 

May 22nd. — After a call on Flaxman, dined with 
Captain Franklin. A small but interesting party. 
Several friends of Franklin's — travellers, or persons 
interested in his journeys — all gentlemen and men of 
sense. They talked of the Captain's travels with 
vivacity, and he was in good spirits ; he appeared 
quite the man for the perilous enterprise he has 

* See ante, p. 266. 

Chap. x. 

Irving and 
worth on 
points of 



Sir yphn 


Lamb and Mrs. Barbanld. 

Chap. x. 


Sir Francis 
and Lady 


Lamb and 



undertaken, Mr. Palgrave (formerly Cohen), a well- 
known antiquary, was there, and his wife, the daughter 
of Dawson Turner. She has more beauty, elegance, 
sense, and taste united than I have seen for a long 

Alay 2%th. — I went down to Westminster to hear 
Serjeant Wilde in defence of the British Press for a 
libel on Mr. Chetwynd. He spoke with great vehe- 
mence and acuteness combined. His vehemence is not 
united to elegance, so that he is not an orator ; but the 
acuteness was not petty. He will soon be at the head 
of the Common Pleas. 

Rem.* — My prophecy was more than fulfilled. He is 
now, as Lord Truro, the Lord High Chancellor; but, like 
other recent Chancellors, it is not so that he will be best 
known to posterity. 

June \st. — I was induced to engage myself to dine 
with C. Lamb. After dinner he and I took a walk to 
Newington. We sat an hour with Mrs. Barbauld. She 
was looking tolerably, but Lamb (contrary to his habit) 
was disputatious with her, and not in his best way. He 
reasons from feelings, and those often idiosyncrasies ; 
she from abstractions and verbal definitions. Such 
people can't agree. 

June "i^rd. — At nine (much too early), I went to a 
dance and rout at Mr. Green's, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
where I stayed till three. A large party. Luckily for 
me, Coleridge was there, and I was as acceptable to him 
as a listener as he to me as a talker. Even in the 
dancing-room, notwithstanding the noise of the music, 

• Written in 1851. 

IVi^/i Lamb to Coleridge. 


he was able to declaim very amusingly on his favourite j Chap. x. 

topics. This evening his theme was the growing hypo- 
crisy of the age, and the determination of the higher 
classes, even in science, to repress alt liberality of 
speculation. Sir Humphry Davy has joined the party, 
and they are now patronizing Granville Penn's absurd 
attack on geology as being against revealed religion. 
It seems that these ultra-religionists deem the confir- 
mation of the great fact of a deluge from the pheno- 
mena within the crust of the globe as inconsistent with 
the Mosaic account. After so entire a destruction of 
the earth, how could the dove find a growing olive } 
Coleridge thinks German philosophy in a state of 
rapid deterioration. He metaphysicized a la Schelling 
while he abused him, saying the Atheist seeks only 
for an infinite cause of all things; the spurious divine 
is content with mere personality and personal will, 
which is the death of all reason. The philosophic theo- 
logian unites both. How this is to be done he did not 

June loth. — Dined at Lamb's, and then walked with 
him to Highgate, self-invited. There we found a large 
party. Mr. and Mrs. Green, the Aderses, Irving, Col- 
lins, R.A., a Mr. Taylor,* a young man of talents in the 
Colonial Office, Basil Montagu, and one or two others. 
It was a rich evening. Coleridge talked his best, and it 
appeared better because he and Irving supported the 
same doctrines. His superiority was striking. The 
subject dwelt on was the superiority of the internal 
evidence of Christianity. In a style not clear or 

* Henry Taylor, author of " Philip van Artevelde." 





A Talk at Coleridge s. 

Chap. x. 



intelligible to me, both Coleridge and Irving declaimed. 
The advocatus diaboli for the evening was Mr. Taylor, 
who, in a way very creditable to his manners as a 
gentleman, but with little more than verbal cleverness, 
ordinary logic, and the confidence of a young man who 
has no suspicion of his own deficiencies, affirmed that 
those evidences which the Christian thinks he finds in 
his internal convictions, the Mahometan also thinks he 
has; and he also asserted that Mahomet had im- 
proved the condition of mankind. When the party were 
breaking up, and the gentlemen were severally looking 
for their hats, Lamb asked him whether he came in 

a turban or a hat. There was also a Mr. C , 

who broke out at last by an opposition to Mr. Irving, 
which made the good man so angry that he ex- 
claimed, "Sir, I reject the whole bundle of your 

opinions." Now it seemed to me that Mr. C. had 

no opinions, only words, for his assertions seemed a 
mere galimatias. 

The least agreeable part of Coleridge's talk was 
about German literature. He allowed Goethe no other 
merit than that of exquisite taste. 

In my talk with Irving alone, he spoke of a friend 
who has translated " Wilhelm Meister," and said, " We 
do not sympathize on religious matters ; but that is 
nothing. Where I find that there is a sincere searching 
after truth, I think I like a person the better for not 
having found it." — " At least," I replied, " you have an 
additional interest in him." Whether Irving said this, 
suspecting me to be a doubter, I do not know. Pro- 
bably he did. 

Athaiccum Club opened. 


On my walk with Lamb, he spoke with enthusiasm 
of Manning,* declaring that he is the most wonderfid 
man he ever knew, more extraordinary than Words- 
worth or Coleridge. Yet he does nothing. He has 
travelled even in China, and has been by land from 
India through Thibet, yet, as far as is known, he has 
written nothing. Lamb says his criticisms are of the 
very first quality. 

July 1st. — Made my first call at the Athenaeum, a 
genteel establishment ; but I foresee that it will not 
answer my purpose as a dining-place, and, if not, I gain 
nothing by it as a lounge for papers, &c. 

J^e7H.-f — It now constitutes one of the great elements 
of my ordinary life, and my becoming a member was 
an epoch in my life. Originally it was proposed that 
all the members (1,000) of the Athenaeum should be 
men of letters, and authors, artists, or men of science 
— in a word, producers ; but it was found impossible to 
form a club solely of such materials, and, had it been 
possible, it would have been scarcely desirable. So the 
qualification was extended to lovers of literature, and 

* Thomas Manning, at one time a mathematical tutor at Cambridge. Some 
of Lamb's most characteristic letters were addressed to him. He resided in 
China for several years, pursuing his studies in Chinese; but he did not travel 
in China until he went up to Pekin with Lord Amherst, Manning and Sir 
George Staunton being interpreters to the English Embassy. Manning, before 
he left England for the East (1803 — 4), published a worli on Algebra, in two 
vok. He was among the detained after the rupture of the Peace of Amiens, 
and released by Napoleon as a savant, and also because he had solved a 
mathematical problem for " the First Consul." The only account of Thomas 
Manning, who was, as C. Lamb says, a "wonderful man," literary, scientific, 
honest, true, benevolent, is to be found in the British and foreign Quarterly 
for 1844, article " Wm. Taylor of Norwich." 

t Written in 1851. 

T 2 

Chap. x. 

Lamb on 
hi% friend 



Lady Morgan. 

Chap. x. 


when Amyot proposed me to Heber, the great book- 
collector, I was declared by Heber to be worthy, on 
account of my being a German scholar. He at once 
consented to propose me, but I needed a seconder 
who knew me. Flaxman named me to Gurney, the 
barrister, who consented to second me, and he writing 
a letter to that effect, I was in fact seconded by 
I know not whom. The entrance fee was £\o, and 
the annual subscription £^. A house was building 
for us in the square opposite the Park. We occu- 
pied for a time the south-west corner of Regent 

July 1st. — I dined with Storks, to meet Lady and Sir 
Charles Morgan, and I was much amused by the visit. 
Before I went, I was satisfied that I should recognize 
in the lady one who had attracted my attention at 
Pistrucci's, and my guess was a hit. Lady Morgan did 
not displease me till I reflected on her conversation. 
She seems good-natured as well as lively. She talked 
like one conscious of her importance and superiority. 
I quoted Kant's " There are two things which excite 
my admiration — the moral law within me, and the starry 
heavens above me." — " That is mere vague declamation," 
said Sir Charles ; " German sentiment and nothing else. 
The starry heavens, philosophically considered, are no 
more objects of admiration than a basin of water!" 
Lady Morgan most offended me by her remarks about 
Madame de Stael. 

She talked of her own books. ^^^2,400 was asked for 
a house. " That will cost me two books," she said. 
She has seen Prati, who, she says, advises her to go to 

Mrs. Opie. 


Germany ; " but I have no respect for German litera- 
ture or philosophy." — "Your ladyship had better stay 
at home. Does your ladyship know anything about 
them.?" was my ungallant reply. 

Rem* — I saw her once or twice after this, but I 
never courted her company ; and I thought the giving 
her a pension one of the grossest misapplications of the 
small sum at the disposal of the Government. Words- 
worth repeatedly declared his opinion that writers for 
the people — novelists, poets, and dramatists — had no 
claim, but that authors of dictionaries and books of 
reference had. 

July $th. — I dined in Castle Street, and took tea at 
Lamb's. Mr. Irving and his friend, Mr. Carlyle, were 
there. An agreeable evening enough ; but there is so 
little sympathy between Lamb and Irving, that I do not 
think they can or ought to be intimate. 

ytily 6th. — Took tea with Lamb. Hessey gave an 
account of De Quincey's description of his own bodily 
sufferings. " He should have employed as his pub- 
lishers," said Lamb, " Pain and Fuss " (Payne and 

July 14th. — At the Assizes at Norwich. Called on 
Mrs. Opie, who had then become a Quakeress. She 
received me very kindly, but as a Quakeress in dress and 
diction. I found her very agreeable, and not materially 
changed. Her dress had something coquettish in it, 
and her becoming a Quakeress gave her a sort of eclat ; 
yet she was not conscious, I dare say, of any unworthy 
motive. She talked in her usual graceful and affec- 

* Written in 1851. 

Chap. x. 

Lamb and 


Mrs. Opie. 


Baldwin. — Irvinz. 

Chap. x. 

A pun. 



tionate manner. She mentioned Lord Gifford — surely 
a slip of the tongue. 

Jidy lyth. — To-day heard a good pun from the 

unfortunate A . The college beer was very bad 

at St. John's. " The brewer ought to be drowned 

in a butt of his ovy^n beer," said one fellow. A 

replied, " He ought. He does, indeed, deserve a 
watery bier." 

Rem.* Jidy 2T^rd. — My first visit to Charles Baldwin, 
at Camberwell, where he dwelt in a sort of park, where 
once Dr. Lettsom lived. He has been ever since as 
owner, first of Baldwin's Evening Mail, and afterwards 
of the Standard, at the head of the Tory and Church 
party press, and our acquaintance has, of course, 
fluctuated, but has not altogether ceased. 

August \2th. — All day in court. In one cause I held 
a brief under Henry Cooper. The attorney, a stranger, 
Garwood, of Wells, told me that he was informed by 
his friend Evans (the son of my old friend, Joseph 
Evans), that I was the H. C. R. mentioned in the 
London Magazine as the friend of Elia. " I love Elia," 
said Mr. Garwood ; " and that was enough to make me 
come to you! " 

August \%th. — Called on Mr. Irving, and had an 
agreeable chat with him. He is an honourable man in 
his feelings. He was called away by a poor minister, 
who, having built a chapel, says he must go to prison 
unless Mr. Irving would preach a sermon for him. Mr. 
Irving refused. He said he had no call or mission to 
relieve men from difficulties into which they throw 

* Written in 1851. 

A nti-Bourbonism. 


themselves. He says there is much cant and selfishness 
which stalk abroad under the mask of the word gospel. 
Irving praises exceedingly Luther's "Table-Talk," which 
I have lent him. " It is the profoundest table-talk I 
ever read," he says. 

August 2-^rd. — I went to Brighton, and after spending 
a few days with my friends there and at Lewes, I made 
a tour almost entirely in Normandy. 

Rem* — During my journey I was not inattentive to 
the state of public opinion. It was decidedly against 
the Bourbons, as far as I accidentally heard sentiments 
expressed. Of course I except official zeal. At Caen, 
I was amused at the Bureau de la Police by a plaster 
cast of the King, like those sold by Italian boys for 6d. 
Round the brow a withered leaf, to represent the laurel 
" meed of mighty conquerors," with this inscription : — 

Franyois fidele ! incline-toi ; 
Traitre, fr^mis, — voici le Roi ! 

This contempt for the family was by no means con- 
fined to the Republicans or Imperialists, though cer- 
tainly much of it^was, and is, to be ascribed to the 
national character, which would lead them to tolerate 
sooner King Stork than King Log, if the devouring 
sovereign conferred any kind of honour on those he 

How low the condition of the French judges is, was 
also made evident to me. The salary of the puisne 
judges in the provinces — at Avranches, for instance — is 
i,2CX) livres per annum, without fees or emoluments of 
any kind : and from the conducteur of our diligence I 

* Written in 1851. 

Chap. x. 

Tour in 


for the 




French Judges, Bar, and Solicitors. 

Chap. x. 

Avouh and 
. Avocats, 

Walk to the 


of La 


learned that he and his {eWovj-coftdncteurs had recently- 
struck, because an attempt had been made to reduce 
their salary from 4,000 to 3,000 livres, with permission 
to take the usual fees ; and every traveller gives 

The Avocats, who are distinguishedrfrom the Azwiies, 
receive small fees till they become of importance, and 
then such men as Berryer will gain as much as several 
hundred thousand francs per anmini. The Avones, tout 
comme chez nous, earn more than the Avocats in criminal 
cases, though the orders are by no means so entirely 
separated. The Avones alone represent the client, who 
is bound by their admissions' only ; and their bills are 
taxed like those of our attorneys. 

The most interesting occurrence on this journey was 
my visit to the Monastery of La Trappe, to which I 
walked on September 21st, from Mortagne. The spot 
itself is simple, mean, and ugly — very unlike la grande 
Chartreuse. It had been thoroughly destroyed early in 
the Revolution, and, when restored, the order was in 
great poverty. Its meanness took away all my enthu- 
siasm, for my imagination was full of romantic images 
of " shaggy woods and caves forlorn." It is situated in 
a forest about three leagues from Mortagne. Indica- 
tions of its peculiar sanctity were given by inscriptions 
on barns and mean houses of husbandry, such as Domus 
Dei, Beati qui habitant in ilia; and these beati dind f dices 
were repeated so often, as to excite the suspicion that 
the inscribers were endeavouring to convince themselves 
of their own felicity. The people I saw this day were 
mean and vulgar for the greater part, with no heroic 

Visit to the Trappists. 


quality of the monk. Some few had visages indicating 
strength of the lowest animal nature, others had a 
cunning look. One or two were dignified and in- 

On knocking at the gate, a dirty old man opened it, 
and conducted me to a little room, where I read on the 
wall, " Instructions to Visitors." The most significant 
of these was, that if, among the monks, any one were 
recognized, though he were a son, a parent, or a 
brother, he was not to be spoken to. As every monk 
had renounced all connection with the world, all his 
relations with the world were destroyed. 

Visitors were not to speak till spoken to, and then to 
answer briefly. I was led into a gallery from which I 
could see the monks at mass. As others were on their 
knees, I followed their example on entering, but I felt 
it to be a kind of hypocrisy, and did not repeat the act 
when I had once risen. The only peculiarity in the 
performance of the mass was the humility of the 
monks, — sometimes on their knees and hands, and at 
other times standing bent as a boy does at leapfrog, 
when a little boy is to leap over him. 

Being beckoned back into the waiting-room, two 
monks having white garments entered and prostrated 
themselves before me, covering their faces with their 
hands. They remained in this posture long enough to 
make me feel silly and uncomfortable. Not that I felt 
like a Sultan or Grand Turk, as if I were the object of 
worship, for I knew that this was an act of humility 
which would be performed to a beggar. Only once 
before was a man ever on his knees to me, and then I 

Chap. x. 

at mass. 


Trappist Food. 

Chap. x. 


felt contempt and anger, and this man was a sort of 
sovereign, or portion of a king — one of the Junta of 
Gahcia, in Spain. Towards these men I felt pity, not 
admiration. One had a stupid face, the other a most 
benignant expression. This, the good genius of the 
two, after leading me into the church, where unintel- 
ligible ceremonies were gone through, read to me out of 
a book what I did not understand. I was in a state of 
confusion, and I did what I was bid as obediently as a 
postulant. I was left alone, and then another monk 
came. I was offered dinner, which I had previously 
resolved to accept, thinking I might, at least for one 
day, eat what was the ordinary food for life of men 
who at one time had probably fared more sumptuously 
than I had ever done ; but it was a trial, I own. 

I would leave nothing on my plate, and was prudent 
in not overloading it. The following was my fare and 
that of two other guests, meanly dressed men. A little 
table was covered with a filthy cloth, but I had a clean 
napkin. First, a soupe maigre, very insipid ; a dish of 
cabbage, boiled in what I should have thought butter, 
but that is a prohibited luxury ; a dish of boiled rice 
seasoned with a little §alt, but by no means savoury ; 
and barley or oatmeal boiled, made somewhat thick with 
milk — not disagreeable, considered as prison allowance. 
While at dinner there came in the/r^/r cellier, or butler, 
who said he had a favour to ask of me. It was that I 
would write to him from England, and inform him by 
what means the English Gloucester cheese has the 
reddish hue given to it. The society have cows and 
sell their cheese, which makes a large portion of their 

Trappist Ignorance. 


income. This I promised to do, intimating that the 
colour without the flavour would be of little use. In 
fact, I did send — what I hope was received — a packet of 

,* which cost me about as many shillings as my 

dinner cost sous. I was glad of this, for I saw no poor- 
box in which I could deposit the cost of my meal. 
The man who made this request had a ruddy com- 
plexion, and by no means a mortified air. The monk 
who brought in the wine also had a laughing eye, and 
I saw him smile. All the others were dismal, forlorn, 
and silent. He could speak even loudly, yet he had 
the dress of a frere convcrs. Among the monks was 
the famous Baron Geramb, of whom I heard a romantic 
tale (worth telling, were this a part of a book). One of 
the young men who dined with me was a seminarist of 
Seez. His hands betrayed that he had been accustomed 
to day labour. His conversation was that of the most 
uneducated. He was so ignorant that, on my expressing 
my astonishment that the Emperor of Austria could 
allow his daughter to marry Buonaparte, who had a 
wife already, he accounted for it by his being a Pro- 
testant. This young man made the journey to the 
monastery to relieve himself from his college studies at 
Seez, as our Cambridge students go to the Lakes. At 
the same time, his object was, I fear, purer than theirs. 
He came for edification, to be strengthened in the pious 
resolution which made him assume the holy office of a 
priest, and avail himself of the charitable education 
freely given him by his patron, the bishop. He was my 
cicerone round the monastery, and felt like a patron 

• Probably wliat Mr. Robinson sent was Amotto, or Annatto. 

Chap. x. 


of sofne of 
the monks. 


Laws of the Trappist Order. 

Chap. : 


Their beds. 

The Laws 
of the 

towards me. When I confessed that I was a Protes- 
tant, he smiled with satisfaction, that he had had pene- 
tration to guess as much, though he had never seen me 

At that time the church was in want of supplies 
for the lower order of clergy ; but it is otherwise 

Under his guidance I could see through the windows 
the monks at their dinner at a long table, with a sort 
of porridge pot before them, while the readers in the 
several apartments were reading to the diners. I saw 
the dormitories. The monks sleep on boards covered 
with a thin piece of cloth or serge. Each has his name 
written on his den. The Pere prieiir does not sleep 
better than the others. 

My informant told me that the monks have only a 
very short interval between prayer and toil and sleep ; 
and this is not called recreation lest the recluse should 
be led to forget that he is to have no enjoyment but 
what arises from the contemplation of God. 

If they sweat, they are not allowed to wipe their 
sweat from their brows ; probably because they think 
this would be resistance to the Divine command. 

The monks labour but very little, from pure weakness. 
Among the very few books in the strangers' room were 
two volumes of the " Laws of the Order." I turned 
them over. Among the laws was a list of all those 
portions of the Old Testament which the monks were 
prohibited reading. Certainly this was not a mutila- 
tion of the sacred writings which the Protestants have 
any right to make a matter of reproach. On my going 

Mrs. Barbaiild. 


away, the priest who had first spoken to me came 
again, and asked me my object in coming, I said, "A 
serious curiosity ;" that I wished to see their monastery ; 
that I knew CathoHcs grossly misrepresented Pro- 
testantism from ignorance, and I beheved Protestants 
misrepresented Catholicism in like manner. He took 
my hand at parting, and said, " Though you are not of 
our religion, we should be glad to see you again. I hope 
God in his grace will bring you to the true religion." I 
answered, " I thank you for the wish. If your religion 
be the true one, I wish to die a believer in it. We 
think differently ; God will judge between us." Cer- 
tainly this visit did not bring me nearer to Roman 
Catholicism in inclination. 

October %th. — Came home by Dover, Hastings, and 
Brighton, and returned to my chambers on the^^evening 
of the 15 th of October. 

October i$th. — Mrs. Aders speaks highly — I think, 
extravagantly — of Masquerier's picture of me, which 
she wishes to copy. She says it is just such a picture 
as she would wish to have of a friend — my very best 
expression. It need be the best to be endurable. 

November 4th. — Walked to Newington. Mrs. Bar- 
bauld was going out, but she stayed a short time with 
me. The old lady is much shrunk in appearance, and 
is declining in strength. She is but the shade of her 
former self, but a venerable shade. She is eighty-one 
years of age, but she retains her cheerfulness, and 
seems not afraid of death. She has a serene hope and 
quiet faith — delightful qualities at all times, and in old 
age peculiarly enviable. 

Chap. x. 


Port rati of 
H. C. R. 



Beware of Cheap Bargains. 

Chap. x. 


dining club. 

The Lambs. 


A book- 

November i6th. — Called on Southern. He tells me 
that the dining-club he proposes is to be in Essex 
Street, and to consist of about fifty members, chiefly 
partisans of Bentham. Hume, the M.P., is to be one, 
and Bowring, Mill, and others will join. Southern pro- 
poses Hogg as a member. I have intimated a strong 
doubt whether I would belong to it. 

November 21st. — Dined at the Bar mess in Hall, and 
then went to Lamb's. AUsop was there, an amiable 
man. I believe his acquaintance with Lamb originated 
in his sending Coleridge a present of ;^ioo, in admira- 
tion of his genius. 

December 1st. — Called at Flaxman's. He has been 
very ill, even dangerously, and is still unwell, but reco- 
vering. These repeated attacks announce a breaking 
constitution. One of the salt of the earth will be lost 
whenever this great and good man leaves it. 

December "i^rd. — A bad morning, for jl went to book- 
auctions, and after losing my time at Sotheby's, I lost 
my money at Evans's ! I bought the " Annual Register," 
complete, for £,\c) ^s. This is certainly a book of 
reference, but how often shall I refer to it } Lamb 
says, in all my life, nineteen times. Bought also the 
" Essayists," Chalmers's edition, 45 vols., well-bound, for 
6^ guineas, little more than the cost of binding ; but 
this is a lady's collection. How often shall I want to 
refer to it 1 Brydge's " Archaica," 2 vols., 4to, published 
in nine one-guinea parts ;' but it is only a curious book, 
to be read once and then laid by. " Beware of cheap 
bargains," says Franklin — a useless admonition to me. 

December loth. — Took tea at home. Mr. Carlyle 

Sir Jolm Franklin. 


with me. He presses me to write an account of my 
recollections of Schiller for his book. I was amused 
by looking over my MSS., autographs, &c. ; but it 
has since given me pain to observe the weakness 
and incorrectness of my memory. I find I recollect 
nothing of Schiller worth recollection. At ten went 
to Talfourd's, where were Haydon and his wife, 
and Lamb and his sister ; a very pleasant chat with 
them. Miss Mitford there ; pleasing looks, but no 

December 14M. — E. Littledale sent me a note 
informing me that the Douai Bible and Rheims 
Testament were to be sold to-day, by Saunders. I 
attended, and bought them both very cheap — for Zs. 6d. 
and 3i". 6d. ; but I also bought Law's " Jacob Bohme" 
for ^i ys.) though 4 vols., 4to, still a foolish purchase, 
for what have I to do with mystical devotion, who am 
in vain striving to gain a taste for a more rational 
religion "> Had I a depth of reflection and a strength 
of sagacity which I am conscious of not possessing, I 
might profit by such books. 

December 2^th. — Christmas' Day. I dined by invita- 
tion with Captain Franklin. Some agreeable people, 
whom I expected to meet, were not there. And the 
party would have been dull enough had not the Captain 
himself proved a very excellent companion. His con- 
versation that of a man of knowledge and capacity — 
decision of character combined with great gentleness of 
manners. He is eminently qualified for the arduous 
labour he has undertaken of exploring by land the 
Northern regions, in order to meet, if possible, the North 

Chap. x. 





Article in Quarterly. 

Chap. x. 


H. C. R.'s 

article in 


Pole navigators. Mrs. Franklin still remains very much 
an invalid. 

December 31^'/. — I went to a party at Captain Frank- 
lin's. The Flaxmans were there, also Lieutenant Back, 
the former companion of the Captain ; but the company 
too numerous for interesting conversation. 

I concluded the year at the Athenaeum, a spot where, 
if my health and other accidents of felicity which I 
have yet been blessed in, be preserved to me, I hope to 
have much enjoyment. 

Rem.* — When Southey was in town and breakfasted 
with me, I mentioned to him that the Prussian Govern- 
ment had volunteered very extensive reforms in its ad- 
ministration, and acquired so great strength by it, in the 
popular sentiment, that it was mainly to be ascribed to 
this, that the successful resistance to French'oppression 
occurred. Southey said, " I wish you would write an 
article on this for the Quarterly.'' I rudely said, " I 
should be ashamed to write for the Qtiarterly," and 
Southey was evidently offended. 

But the article was written, and ultimately appeared 
in the Quarterly, though not precisely as written' by me. 
It underwent no change, however, beyond the insertion 
of a Greek passage, and one or two omissions. It 
appeared in Vol. XXXI. No. 62, published in April, 1825. 

During this year there was a small rise in the amount 
of my fees, from 445 to 469^ guineas ; and I have to 
record the sudden death of my fellow-circuiteer, Henry 

Several incidents took place during the assizes at 

• Written in 1851. 

Defects in Criminal Law. 


Bury, which deserve notice as illustrative of the bad 
state of criminal law and practice in the country. One 
man indicted pleaded guilty. Eagle said, " I am your 
counsel ; say, * Not guilty.' " With difficulty, the Chief 
Baron interposing, he did. The prosecutor being called, 
refused to be sworn, and was sent to gaol. I tried to 
do without him, and failed. The man was acquitted. 
In another case I defended, and the evidence being very 
slight, the Chief Baron stopped me and told the jury 
to acquit ; but the jury said they had doubts, and, the 
Chief Baron going on, all the prisoners were convicted, 
though against some there was no evidence. 

At Norwich, another case occurred exhibiting the 
wretched state of the law, in which I was the in- 
strument of necessitating a reform. I defended a knot 
of burglars, against whom there was a complete case if 
the evidence of an accomplice were receivable, but none 
without. Now, that accomplice had been convicted of 
felony, and sentenced by a Court of Quarter Sessions 
to imprisonment alone, without the addition of a fine or 
a whipping. And the statute restoring competence 
requires an imprisonment and a fine or a whipping. 
Gazelee refused to attend to this objection, and all were 
convicted ; but I called on Edghill, the clerk of assize, 
and told him that, unless the men were discharged, I 
would memorialize the Secretary of State. And in 
consequence the men were in a few days discharged ; 
and Sir Robert Peel, at the opening of the session of 
Parliament, brought in a short act amending the law. 
Imprisonment or fine alone was rendered sufficient to 
give a restoration of legal credit. 

VOL. ir. u 

Chap, x, 


of the law 


Dr. Shepherd, of Gateacre. 

Chap. xi. 



Anecdote of 
Jew and 


January 2nd. — Dined at Christie's.* A very agreeable 
afternoon. General Gifford and the cousins Edgar and 
Richard Taylor there. Had a fine walk to Lamb's. 
Read to him his article on Liston — a pretended life, 
without a word of truth, and not much wit in it. Its 
humour lies in the imitation of the style of biographers. 
It will be ill-received ; and, if taken seriously by Liston, 
cannot be defended, 

January ^.th. — Breakfasted with J, Wood.-f" Shepherd,]: 
of Gateacre, the stranger whom we were to meet, Mr, 
Field,§ of Warwick, and R, Taylor present. We had a 
very pleasant morning. Shepherd an amusing and, I 
have no doubt, also an excellent man. He related a 
droll anecdote, which he had just heard from the 
manager of Covent Garden Theatre. " We have to 
do," said the manager, "with a strange set of people. 
Yesterday there was a regular quarrel between a car- 
penter and a scene-shifter about religion. One was a 
Jew, whom the other, a Christian, abused as belonging 

* A merchant, one of whose daughters married Edgar Taylor, already 
referred to (see p. 199) ; and another. Captain, now Major Gifford. 

f See p. 220. 

X Rev. Wm. Shepherd, LL.D., a friend of Lord Brougham's, and author 
of "The Life of Poggio Bracciolini." 

§ Author of "The Life of Dr. Parr." 

Quarrel between a Jew and a Christian. 


to a bloodthirsty race. * Why am I bloodthirsty ? ' 
replied the Jew. 'When my forefathers conquered 
Palestine they killed their enemies, the Philistines ; but 
so do you English kill the French. We are no more 
bloodthirsty than you.' — ' That is not what I hate your 
people for ; but they killed my God, they did.' — ' Did 
they ? Then you may kill mine, if you can catch him.' " 

Shepherd, like the radicals in general, was very 
abusive of Southey, whom it was my difficult office 
to defend. Difficult, not because he is not a most 
upright man, but because he and his opponents are 
alike violent party men, who can make no allowance 
for one another. 

Jamiary \'jth. — There were but two appeals at the 
Bury Epiphany Sessions. I succeeded in obtaining a 
verdict in both. They were easy cases. On my saying 
of one of them, " The case will be short," that insolent 

fellow, R , said, " Do you speak in your professional 

or your personal character } " I replied, " Sir, that is a 
distinction I do not understand. I always speak as a 
gentleman, and the truth." He blushed and apologized, 
and said his question was only a joke. 

February nth. — Went to Covent Garden Theatre. 
A dull time of it, though I went in at half-price. The 
pantomime a fatiguing exhibition, but the scenery 
beautiful ; and this is one of the attractions of the 
theatre for me. A panoramic view of the projected 
improvement of the Thames, by the erection of a 
terrace on arches along the northern shore, is a pleasing 
anticipation of a splendid dream, which not even in this 
projecting age can become a reality. 

U 2 

Chap. xi. 


radicals on 




A retort. 

dreams of a 


Julius Hare. 

Chap. xi. 


y utiles 

March 1 8M, — (Cambridge Spring Assizes.) Went to 
a large party at Serjeant Frere's. Met there Julius 
Hare, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hare, who 
noticed me at Weimar in 1804. Julius was then a 
school-boy, but he has some recollection of me ; and 
I was anxious to see him, as he had spoken of me 
to Peacock.* Hare is a passionate lover of German 
literature and philosophy. He has the air of a man of 
talent, and talks well. I was struck with his great 
liberality. We had so many points of contact and 
interest that I chatted with him exclusively till past 
twelve, paying no attention to the music, or the 
numerous and fashionable company. 

Rein.-\ — Hare became afterwards remarkable as one 
of the authors of " Guesses at Truth," with his now 
deceased brother Augustus, and also as a writer of 
eloquent devotional works — " The Mission of the 
Comforter," &c. Yet it is his misfortune to satisfy no 
party. The High Church party consider him a heretic, 
on account of his intimacy with Bunsen and Arnold, 
and especially his affectionate memoir of Sterling ; and 
he is as much reprobated in the Record, the oracle 
of the Low Church party. He is brother-in-law to 
Frederick Maurice. He must be a man of wide charity 
and comprehensive affections who makes almost idols 
of Goethe, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Bunsen, Arnold, 
Maurice, and W. S. Landor. 

April i<)th. — After dining with the magistrates, I 
gladly stole away to make a call on Hare. I had great 
pleasure in looking over his library of German books — 

* Afterwards Dean of Ely. f Written in 1851. 

A Bar Dinner at the Athenceuni. 


the best collection of modern German authors I have 
ever seen in England. He spoke of Niebuhr's " Roman 
History " as a masterpiece ; praised Neander's " St. 
Bernard," " Emperor Julian," " St. Chr>'sostom," and 
" Denkwurdigkeiten ;" was enthusiastic about Schleier- 
macher. Hare represents Count De Maistre as the 
superior of De Lamennais. I am to read his " Soirees 
de St. Petersbourg." After two very delightful hours 
with Hare, I returned to the " Red Lion," and sat up 
late chatting with the juniors. 

April 22nd. — -In the evening called on C. Lamb. He 
and his sister in excellent spirits. He has obtained his 
discharge from the India House, with the sacrifice of 
rather more than a third of his income. He says he 
would not be condemned to a seven years' return to his 
office for a hundred thousand pounds. I never saw him 
so calmly cheerful as now. 

May ^th. — A house dinner at the Athenaeum set on 
foot by me. It went off very well indeed. I took the 
bottom of the table. We had Edward Littledale at the 
top. The rest barristers, or coming to the Bar, viz : — 
F. Pollock, Storks, Wightman, L. Adolphus, Wood, and 
Amos, Dodd and his pupil, Lloyd — not an unpleasant 
man of the party. The conversation not at all pro- 
fessional or pedantic. We broke up early. I remained 
at the place till late. After my nap, Sir Thomas 
Lawrence came in, Dawson Turner, &c. The President 
and Turner talked of the present Exhibition, Turner 
asserting it to be superior to the Exhibitions in the days 
of Sir Joshua. This Sir Thomas denied. He said two 
or three paintings by Sir Joshua, with one by Northcote 

Chap. xi. 


C. Lamb. 

Dinner at 






J^.A. Exhibition, 

Chap. xi. 


and other 

or Opie, made an Exhibition of themselves. In number, 
there is now a superiority of good works. Both praised 
Danby's " Passage of the Red Sea," also a picture 
by Mulready. Hilton and Leslie were named, and 
Hayter's " Trial of Lord William Russell," The land- 
scape by Turner, R.A., was highly extolled. Yet I have 
heard that he is going out of fashion. Sir Thomas 
mentioned that the Marquis of Stafford, on seeing 
Danby's picture, rode immediately to the artist, and 
bought it for 500 guineas. An hour afterwards Lord 
Liverpool was desirous of purchasing it. Sir Thomas 
spoke of Mr. Locke* as having the greatest genius of 
all living painters. Not that he is the greatest painter. 
I afterwards learned from Flaxman that Locke was the 
son of a gentleman once very rich, and was now too far 
advanced in years to have recourse to painting as a 
profession. He had expressed to Flaxman the very 
obvious sentiment, " How happy would it have been if, 
in early life, I had been under the necessity of earning 
my own livelihood!" 

May yth. — Went to the Exhibition, with the ad- 
vantage of having had my attention drawn to the best 
pictures, which, for the most part, equalled my expecta- 
tions. Turner, R,A., has a magnificent view of Dieppe, 
If he will invent an atmosphere, and a play of colours 
all his own, why will he not assume a romantic name } 
No one could find fault with a Garden of Armida, or 
even of Eden, so painted. But we know Dieppe, in the 
north of France, and can't easily clothe it in such fairy 
hues. I can understand why such artists as Constable 

* In the Reminiscences Hope is the name. 

Scott of Bromley. 


and Collins are preferred. Constable has a good 
landscape, but why does he spot and dot his canvas ? 
The effect is good on a great scale. Collins's healthy 
scenes are refreshing to look at. 

May loth. — Dined at Green's, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 
A large party. Phillips, R.A,, there, and his very 
pleasing wife ; Ward and Collins, also of the Academy, 
and a Mr. Stokes, a disputer, and so far an unpleasant 
companion, but said to be able and scientific. 

Rem* — Yesterday, at the Athenaeum, I charged 
Stokes (now my very agreeable acquaintance) with 
being this same man. He pleads guilty, thinking his 
identity sufficiently lost after twenty-six years. 

May 14/^. — ^William Pattisson, Thomas Clarkson, and 
Joseph Beldam, called to the Bar. I dined with them 
on the occasion, 

Rem.-f — Not many years ago, it was remarked by 
Beldam that both of his companions met with an early 
and violent death — Pattisson drowned in a lake among 
the Pyrenees,! Clarkson thrown from a gig, and killed 
on the spot. But the three young men and their friends 
rejoiced on the 14th of May, with that "blindness to the 
future wisely given." 

About this time my sister put herself under the care 
of Scott of Bromley. She had known him when he 
was in some business or handicraft at Royston. He 
was an interloper, and regular practitioners would 
not meet him in consultation. He owed all his reputa- 
tion and success to his skill as a bandager. He was 
especially successful in the cure of sore legs, and the 

* Written in 1851. f Written in 1851. J See year 1832. 

Chap. xi. 



Scott of 


Sir James Stephen. 

Chap. xr. 


Sir yatnes 

heretic, Thomas Belsham, gave him the credit of pro- 
longing his hfe several years. I once heard Coleridge 
explain the rationale of the treatment. " By a very 
close pressure, Scott forces the peccant humour into the 
frame, where it is taken up by absorbents, and expelled 
by medicine." My sister was benefited for a time, and 
thought that an earlier application to him might have 
saved her. 

jftine nth. — W. Pattisson with me. I went in the 
evening to see Mathews, and was amused. But mere 
imitations of common life, exposing oddities, cant 
phrases, and puerilities, pall on the sense very soon. 
Where the original of an imitation is known, the 
pleasure is enhanced. " Good night," pronounced as 
Kemble, Munden, and others might be supposed to 
pronounce it, amused me very much. 

June \2th. — A very interesting day. I breakfasted 
early and walked to Hampstead ; then proceeded to 
Hendon. The exceeding beauty of the morning and. 
the country put me into excellent spirits. I found my 
friend James Stephen in a most delightfully situated 
small house. Two fine children, and an amiable and 
sensible wife. I do not know a happier man. He is a 
sort of additional Under Secretary of State. He had 
previously resolved to leave the Bar, being dissatisfied 
with the practice in the Court of Chancery. He has 
strict principles, but liberal feelings in religion. Though 
a stanch Churchman, he is willing to sacrifice the eccle- 
siastical Establishment of Ireland. 

June i6ih. — Finding myself released at an early hour 
from my professional duties, I took a cold dinner at the 

A Talk %vith Coleridge. 


Athenaeum, and then went to Basil Montagu. Mr. 
Edward Irving was there. He and his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Martin, and myself placed ourselves in a chariot. 
Basil Montagu took a seat on the outside, and we 
drove to Highgate, where we took tea at Mr. Oilman's. 
I think I never heard Coleridge so very eloquent as 
to-day, and yet it was painful to find myself unable to 
recall any part of what had so delighted me, — i.e. any- 
thing which seemed worthy to be noted down. So that 
I could not but suspect some illusion arising out of the 
impressive tone and the mystical language of the orator. 
He talked on for several hours without intermission. 
His subject the ever-recurring one of religion, but so 
blended with mythology, metaphysics, and psychology, 
that it required great, attention sometimes to find the 
religious element. I observed that, when Coleridge 
quoted Scripture or used well-known religious phrases, 
Irving was constant in his exclamations of delight, but 
that he was silent at other times. Dr. Prati* came 
in, and Coleridge treated him with marked attention. 
Indeed Prati talked better than I ever heard him. One 
sentence (Coleridge having appealed to him) deserves 
repetition : " I think the old Pantheism of Spinoza far 
better than modern Deism, which is but the hypocrisy 
of materialism." In which there is an actual sense, and 
I believe truth. Coleridge referred to an Italian, Vico, 
who is said to have anticipated Wolf's theory concern- 
ing Homer, which Coleridge says was his own at Col- 
lege. Vico wrote " Principi di una Scienza nuova," viz. 
Comparative History. Goethe, in his Life, notices him as 

* An Italian : a lawyer by profession. 

Chap. xi. 



Dr. Praii. 


Lamb, the " Siiperanmiated Ma?i" 

Chap. xi. 

Lamb, the 
' ' Super- 

an original thinker and a great man. He wrote on the 
origin of Rome. Coleridge drew a parallel between the 
relation of the West India planters to the negroes, and 
the patricians of Rome to the plebeians ; but when I 
inquired concerning the origin of the inequality, he 
evaded giving me an answer. He very eloquently 
expatiated on history, and on the influence of Chris- 
tianity on society. His doctrines assume an orthodox 
air, but to me they are unintelligible. 

H. C. R. TO Miss Wordsworth. 

y^ime, 1825. 
I have not seen the Lambs so often as I used to do, 
owing to a variety of circumstances. Nor can I give 
you the report you so naturally looked for of his con- 
duct at so great a change in his life The 

expression of his delight has been child-like (in the 
good sense of that word). You have read the " Super- 
annuated Man." I do not doubt, I do not fear, that he 
will be unable to sustain the " weight of chance desires." 
Could he — but I fear he cannot — occupy himself in 
some great work requiring continued and persevering 
attention and labour, the benefit would be equally his 
and the world's. Mary Lamb has remained so long 
well, that one might almost advise, or rather permit, 
a journey to them. But Lamb has no desire to travel. 
If he had, few things would give me so much pleasure 
as to accompany him. I should be proud of taking 
care of him. But he has a passion for solitude, he says, 
and hitherto he finds that his retirement from business 
has not brought leisure. 

William Hotte. 


Rem* — I bought my first spectacles, July 8th, at 
Gilbert's. I became first sensible of the want at the 
French Theatre, where I could not read the bills. Flax- 
man advised my getting spectacles immediately ; it 
being a mistake, he said, to think that the eyes should 
be exercised when it causes them inconvenience. I had 
no occasion to change the glass for some time, and have 
changed but twice in twenty-six years ; nor, happily, 
in my seventy-seventh year do I remark any increased 
symptom of decaying sight. 

October 1 1 th. — In the latter part of the day went to 
Lamb's. He seemed to me in better health and spirits. 
But Hone the parodist was with him, and society 
relieves Lamb. The conversation of Hone, or rather 
his manners, pleased me. He is a modest, unassuming 

October 29///. — Tea with Anthony Robinson. A long 
and serious talk with him on religion, and on that in- 
explicable riddle, the origin of evil. He remarked that 
the amount of pain here justifies the idea of pain here- 
after, and so the popular notion of punishment is 
authorized. But I objected that evil or pain here may 
be considered a mean towards an end. So may pain, 
inflicted as a punishment. But endless punishment 
would be itself an end in a state where no ulterior object 
could be conceived. Anthony Robinson declared this 
to be a better answer to the doctrine of eternal punish- 
ment than any given by Price or Priestley. Leibnitz, 
who in terms asserts "eternal punishment," explains 
away the idea by affirming merely that the conse- 

• Written in 1851. 

Chap. 'XI. 

?. 1825. 

Eyes begin 




Flaxman's Dislike of Southey. 

Chap. xi. 


7 he new 



dislike of 

St. Bride's 


quences of sin must be eternal, and that a lower degree 
of bliss is an eternal punishment. 

November \st. — Dined at Wardour Street, and then 
went to Flaxman. The family being at dinner, I strolled 
in the Regent's Park. The splendour and magnitude of 
these improvements are interesting subjects of observa- 
tion and speculation. At Flaxman's a pleasing visit. 
He was characteristic. I find that his dislike to Southey 
originates in the latter's account of Swedenborg and the 
doctrines of the sect in his " Espriella." Flaxman 
cannot forgive derision on such a subject. To my sur- 
prise, he expressed disapprobation of the opening of St, 
Bride's steeple.* " It is an ugly thing, and better hid." 
On inquiry, I found that his objection is not confined to 
the lower part of the tower, in which I should have 
concurred, for I think the upper part or spire alone 
beautiful ; but he objects to the spire itself, and indeed 
to almost every spire attached to Grecian buildings. 
He makes an exception in favour of Bow Church. 

November 20th, Sunday. — Hundleby and William 
Pattisson took breakfast with me, and then we went to 
Irving's church. He kept us nearly three hours. But 
after a very dull exposition of a very obscure chapter in 
Hebrews, we had a very powerful discourse — the com- 
mencement of a series on Justification by Faith. That 
which he calls religion and the gospel is a something 
I have a repugnance to. I must, indeed, be new-born 
before I can accept it. But his eloquence is captivating. 
He speaks like a man profoundly convinced of the 

* The Fleet Street houses to the north had, till lately, formed a continuous 
range in front of the church. 

Blake and Linnell. 


truth of what he teaches. He has no cant, hypocrisy, 
or ilhberahty. His manner is improved. He is less 
theatrical than he was a year ago, 

November 27///. — A half hour after midnight died 
Mr. Collier. The last two days he was conscious of his 
approaching end. On his mentioning a subject which I 
thought had better be postponed, I said, " We will leave 
that till to-morrow." — " To-morrow } " he exclaimed, 
"to-morrow."* That may be ages !" These words were 
prophetic, and the last I heard from him. He was one 
of the oldest of my friends. 

December loth. — Dined with Aders. A very remark- 
able and interesting evening. The party at dinner 
Blake the painter, and Linnell, also a painter. In the 
evening, Miss Denman and Miss Flaxman came. 

Shall I call Blake artist, genius, mystic, or madman } 
Probably he is all. I will put down without method 
what I can recollect of the conversation of this remark- 
able man.* He has a most interesting appearance. 
He is now old (sixty-eight), pale, with a Socratic 
countenance, and an expression of great sweetness, 
though with something of languor about it except 
when animated, and then he has about him an air 
of inspiration. The conversation turned on art, poetry, 
and religion. He brought with him an engraving of 
his " Canterbury Pilgrims." One of the figures in 

* The substance of H. C. R.'s intercourse with Blake is given in a paper of 
Recollections, which may be found in Gilchrist's "Life of William Blake," 
vide pp. 337-344, 348-350, &c. In the present work, H. C. R.'s interviews 
with that remarkable man given, for the most part, from the Diary 
written just after they took place In the National Portrait Gallery may be 
seen a fine portrait of Blake, by Thomas PhilUps, R.A. A beautiful minia- 
ture of him has also been painted by Mr. Linnell, which he still possesses. 

Chap. xi. 


Death of 
Mr. Collier. 



Blake s Religious Opiniotts. 

Chap. xi. 

Blake s 

it is like a figure in a picture belonging to Mr, Aders. 
" They say I stole it from this picture," said Blake, 
" but I did it twenty years before I knew of this pic- 
ture. However, in my youth, I was always studying 
paintings of this kind. No wonder there is a resem- 
blance." In this he seemed to explain humanly what 
he had done. But at another time he spoke of his 
paintings as being what he had seen in his visions. 
And when he said " my visions," it was in the ordinary 
unemphatic tone in which we speak of every-day 
matters. In the same tone he said repeatedly, " the 
Spirit told me." I took occasion to say, " You express 
yourself as Socrates used to do. What resemblance do 
you suppose there is between your spirit and his .'' " 
" The same as between our countenances." He paused 
and added, " I was Socrates," — and then, as if cor- 
recting himself, said, " a sort of brother. I must have 
had conversations with him. So I had with Jesus 
Christ. I have an obscure recollection of having been 
with both of them." I suggested, on philosophical 
grounds, the impossibility of supposing an immortal 
being created, an eternity a parte post without an 
eternity a parte ante. His eye brightened at this, and 
he fully concurred with me. " To be sure, it is im- 
possible. We are all co-existent with God, members of 
the Divine body. We are all partakers of the Divine 
nature." In this, by-the-by, Blake has but adopted an 
ancient Greek idea. As connected with this idea, I will 
mention here, though it formed part of our talk as we 
were walking homeward, that on my asking in what 
light he viewed the great question concerning the deity 

Blake on Good and Evil. 


of Jesus Christ, he said, " He is the only God. But 
then," he added, " and so am I, and so are you." He 
had just before (and that occasioned my question) been 
speaking of the errors of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ 
should not have allowed himself to be crucified, and 
should not have attacked the Government. On my 
inquiring how this view could be reconciled with the 
sanctity and Divine qualities of Jesus, Blake said, 
" He was not then become the Father." Connecting, 
as well as one can, these fragmentary sentiments, it 
would be hard to fix Blake's station between Christi- 
anity, Platonism, and Spinozism. Yet he professes to 
be very hostile to Plato, and reproaches Wordsworth 
with being not a Christian, but a Platonist. 

It is one of the subtle remarks of Hume, on certain 
religious speculations, that the tendency of them is to 
make men indifferent to whatever takes place, by 
destroying all ideas of good and evil. I took occasion 
to apply this remark to something Blake had said. " If 
so," I said, " there is no use in discipline or education — 
no difference between good and evil." He hastily broke 
in upon me : " There is no use in education. I hold it 
to be wrong. It is the great sin. It is eating of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the 
fault of Plato. He knew of nothing but the virtues 
and vices, and good and evil. There is nothing in all 
that. Everything is good in God's eyes." On my 
putting the obvious question, " Is there nothing abso- 
lutely evil in what men do .''" — " I am no judge of that. 
Perhaps not in God's eyes." He sometimes spoke as if 
he denied altogether the existence of evil, and as if we 

Chap. xi. 

Blake on 
the evil of 


evil in 

God's eyes. 


Blake on Art — on Swedenborg. 

Chap. xi. 


pure in 

God's sight. 

Art an 


of the 


Fame ati 

Blake on 

had nothing to do with right and wrong ; it being 
sufficient to consider all things as alike the work of 
God. Yet at other times he spoke of there being error 
in heaven. I asked about the moral character of Dante, 
in writing his "Vision" — was he pure.-' "Pure," said 
Blake, "do you think there is any purity in God's eyes .'' 
The angels in heaven are no more so than we. * He 
chargeth his angels with folly.'" He afterwards repre- 
sented the Supreme Being as liable to error. " Did he 
not repent him that he had made Nineveh ?" It is easier 
to repeat the personal remarks of Blake than these 
metaphysical speculations, so nearly allied to the most 
opposite systems of philosophy. Of himself, he said he 
acted by command. The Spirit said to him, " Blake, 
be an artist, and nothing else." In this there is felicity. 
His eye glistened while he spoke of the joy of devoting 
himself solely to divine art. Art is inspiration. When 
Michael Angelo, or Raphael, or Mr. Flaxman, does any 
of his fine things, he does them in the Spirit. Blake 
said, " I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame, for 
whatever natural glory a man has is so much taken 
from his spiritual glory. I wish to do nothing for profit. 
I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am 
quite happy." 

Among the unintelligible things he expressed was his 
distinction between the natural world and the spiritual. 
The natural world must be consumed. Incidentally, 
Swedenborg was referred to. Blake said, " He was a 
Divine teacher. He has done much good, and will do 
much. He has corrected many errors of Popery, and 
also of Luther and Calvin. Yet Swedenborg was wrong 

Blake oil Wordszvorth. 


in endeavouring to explain to the rational faculty what 
the reason cannot comprehend. He should have left 
that." Blake, as I have said, thinks Wordsworth no 
Christian, but a Platonist. He asked me whether 
Wordsworth believed in the Scriptures. On my reply- 
ing in the affirmative, he said he had been much pained 
by reading the Introduction to "The Excursion." It 
brought on a fit of illness. The passage was produced 
and read : — 

"Jehovah — with his thunder and the choir 
Of shouting angels, and the empyreal thrones — 
I pass them unalarmed." 

This "pass them unalarmed" greatly offended Blake. 
Does Mr. Wordsworth think his mind can surpass 
Jehovah } I tried to explain this passage in a sense in 
harmony with Blake's own theories, but failed, and 
Wordsworth was finally set down as a Pagan ; but still 
with high praise, as the greatest poet of the age. 

Jacob Boehme was spoken of as a divinely inspired 
man. Blake praised, too, the figures in Law's translation 
as being very beautiful. Michael Angelo could not 
have done better. 

Though he spoke of his happiness, he also alluded to 
past sufferings, and to suffering as necessary. " There 
is suffering in heaven, for where there is the capacity of 
enjoyment, there is also the capacity of pain." 

I have been interrupted by a call from Talfourd, and 
cannot now recollect any further remarks. But as Blake 
has invited me to go and see him, I shall possibly have 
an opportunity of throwing connection, if not system, 
into what I have written, and making additions. I feel 


Chap. xi. 


tvorih a 

Blake on 




Blake — Aphorisms. 

Chap. xi. 

from Blake. 

Blake s 

great admiration and respect for him. He is certainly 
a most amiable man — a good creature. And of his 
poetical and pictorial genius there is no doubt, I believe, 
in the minds of judges. Wordsworth and Lamb like 
his poems, and the Aderses his paintings. 

A few detached thoughts occur to me. " Bacon, 
Locke, and Newton are the three great teachers of 
Atheism, or of Satan's doctrine." 

" Everything is Atheism which assumes the reality of 
the natural and unspiritual world." 

" Irving is a highly gifted man. He is a seftt man. 
But they who are sent go further sometimes than they 

" Dante saw devils where I see none. I see good 
only. I saw nothing but good in Calvin's house. 
Better than in Luther's — in the latter were harlots." 

" Parts of Swedenborg's scheme are dangerous. His 
sexual religion is so." 

" I do not believe the world is round. I believe it is 
quite flat." 

" I have conversed with the spiritual Sun. I saw him 
on Primrose Hill. He said, ' Do you take me for the 
Greek Apollo .■" ' — * No,' I said ; ' that ' (pointing to the 
sky) ' is the Greek Apollo. He is Satan.' " 

" I know what is true by internal conviction. A doc- 
trine is told me. My heart says, ' It must be true.' " I 
corroborated this by remarking on the impossibility 
of the unlearned man judging of what are called the 
external evidences of religion, in which he heartily con- 

I regret that I have been unable to do more than 

Blake's Manners and Dwelling. 


put down these few things. The tone and manner are 
incommunicable. There are a natural sweetness and 
gentility about Blake which are delightful. His friend 
Linnell seems a great admirer.* 

Perhaps the best thing he said was his comparison 
of moral with natural evil. " Who shall say that God 
thinks evil .-• That is a wise tale of the Mahometans, 
of the angel of the Lord that murdered the infant 
(alluding to the ' Hermit ' of Parnell, I suppose). Is 
not every infant that dies of disease murdered by an 
angel .?" 

December lyth. — A short call this morning on Blake. 
He dwells in Fountain Court, in the Strand. I found 
him in a small room, which seems to be both a working- 
room and a bedroom. Nothing could exceed the 
squalid air both of the apartment and his dress ; yet 
there is diffused over him an air of natural gentility. 
His wife has a good expression of countenance. 

I found him at work on Dante. The book (Gary) 
and his sketches before him. He showed me his 
designs, of which I have nothing to say but that they 
evince a power I should not have anticipated, of group- 
ing and of throwing grace and interest over conceptions 
monstrous and horrible.-f- 

Our conversation began about Dante. " He was an 
Atheist — a mere politician, busied about this world, as 
Milton was, till in his old age he returned to God, 
whom he had had in his childhood." 

* Linnell aided Blake during his life, and after his death took care of his 
widow. Linnell possesses a grand collection of Blake's works, 
t Linnell possesses the whole series of the Dante drawings. 

X 2 

Chap. xi. 




opinion of 



B lake — Man icheism. 

Chap. xi. 

Blake s 
doctrine of 

And of good 
avd evil. 


sliould only 

be of the 


On the 



I tried to ascertain from Blake whether this charge of 
Atheism was not to be understood in a different sense 
from that which would be given to it according to the 
popular use of the word. But he would not admit 
this. Yet when he in like manner charged Locke with 
Atheism, and I remarked that Locke wrote on the 
evidences of Christianity and lived a virtuous life, 
Blake had nothing to say in reply. Nor did he make 
the charge of wilful deception. I admitted that Locke's 
doctrine leads to Atheism, and with this view Blake 
seemed to be satisfied. 

From this subject we passed over to that of good and 
evil, on which he repeated his former assertions more 
decidedly. He allowed, indeed, that there are errors, 
mistakes, &c. ; and if these be evil, then there is evil. 
But these are only negations. Nor would he admit 
that any education should be attempted, except that of 
the cultivation of the imagination and fine arts. " What 
are called the vices in the natural world are the highest 
sublimities in the spiritual world." When I asked 
whether, if he had been a father, he would not have 
grieved if his child had become vicious or a great crimi- 
nal, he answered, " When I am endeavouring to think 
rightly, I must not regard my own any more than other 
people's weaknesses." And when I again remarked 
that this doctrine puts an end to all exertion, or even 
wish to change anything, he made no reply. 

We spoke of the Devil, and I observed that, when a 
child, I thought the Manichean doctrine, or that of two 
principles, a rational one. He assented to this, and in 
confirmation asserted that he did not believe in the 

Blake — Jiis Faculty of Vision. 


omnipotence of God. The language of the Bible on 
that subject is only poetical or allegorical. Yet soon 
afterwards he denied that the natural world is anything. 
" It is all nothing ; and Satan's empire is the empire of 

He reverted soon to his favourite expression, "My 
visions." " I saw Milton, and he told me to beware of 
being misled by his ' Paradise Lost' In particular, he 
wished me to show the falsehood of the doctrine, that 
carnal pleasures arose from the Fall. The Fall could not 
produce any pleasure." As he spoke of Milton's appear- 
ing to him, I asked whether he resembled the prints of 
him. He answered, " All." — " What age did he appear 
to be.''" — "Various ages — sometimes a very old man." 
He spoke of Milton as being at one time a sort of clas- 
sical Atheist, and of Dante as being now with God. His 
faculty of vision, he says, he has had from early infancy. 
He thinks all men partake of it, but it is lost for want 
of being cultivated. He eagerly assented to a remark I 
made, that all men have all faculties in a greater or less 

I am to continue my visits, and to read to him 
Wordsworth, of whom he seems to entertain a high 

Dined with Flanagan at Richard's Coffee-house. A 
pleasant party. Frith, Reader, Brent, Dr. Badham, 
Hawkins, Long, Martin Shee, Storks, and myself I 
was placed next to Shee, R.A. He gratified me much 
by his warm praise of Flaxman, speaking of him as by 
far the greatest artist of his country, though his worth 
is disgracefully overlooked. ;Shee would not hear of a 

Chap. xt. 


Satan's is 
the empire 
over matter. 

On the Fail 
of Mail. 

faculty of 

Sir M. A. 

P.R.A., OH 


Flaxvian. — Blake. 

Chap. xi. 




Blake on 

And on 






comparison between Flaxman and his more successful 
rival, Chantrey. Dr. Badham was on my other side, and 
talked very agreeably. He has travelled in Greece. 

December 22ud. — A short call on Flaxman. I find 
that, though he is a decided spiritualist, he is a believer 
in phrenology. In Swedenborg, there is a doctrine 
which reconciles him to Gall's seemingly materialistic 
doctrine, viz. the mind forms the body ; and Flaxman 
believes that the form of the skull is modified in after 
life by the intellectual and moral character. 

December 24th. — A call on Blake — my third inter- 
view. I read to him Wordsworth's incomparable ode,* 
which he heartily enjoyed. But he repeated, " I fear 
Wordsworth loves nature, and nature is the work of the 
Devil. The Devil is in us as far as we are nature." On 
my inquiring whether the Devil, as having, less power, 
would not be destroyed by God, he denied that God 
has any power, and asserted that the Devil is eternally 
created — not by God, but by God's permission. And 
when I objected that permission implies power to pre- 
vent, he did not seem to understand me. The parts of 
Wordsworth's ode which Blake most enjoyed were the 
most obscure, — at all events, those which I least like 
and comprehend. 

December 2'jth. — (At Royston). This morning I read 
to the young folks Mrs. Barbauld's " Legacy." This 
delightful book has in it some of the sweetest things 
I ever read. " The King in his Castle," and " True 
Magicians," are perfect allegories, in Mrs. Barbauld's 

* " Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood." 
Vol. v., p. 103; edition 1857. 

Annual Retrospect. 


best style. Some didactic pieces are also delightful. 
We had a family dinner at Mr. Wedd Nash's. Mr. 
Nash, Senr., was of the party. He, however, took no 
share in the conversation. His mind is, in fact, gone ; 
but — and this is singular — his heart remains. He is as 
amiable, as conscientious, as pure, as delicate in his 
moral feelings as ever. His health continues good, but 
a fit of the gout prevented my seeing much of him. 
And I believe I shall never see him again. He is a 
model of goodness, but, as the bigots think, a child of 
wrath, being a heretic. 

Rem* — This year my fees rose from 46gj4 guineas 
to ^TTYii — a very large increase in amount, but very 
far from flattering. The increase arose chiefly from 
the death of Henry Cooper,-}- in the summer. If a 
stroke of wit occurred to him, he would blurt it out, 
even though it told against himself. And sometimes I 
succeeded in making this apparent. Still, however, 
with all his faults, and though he was as little of a 
lawyer almost as myself, his death caused a vacancy 
which I was unable to fill. 

I wrote to Miss Wordsworth in August : " In Norfolk, 
I started for the first time a leader — holding briefs in 
sixteen out of seventeen causes, in nine of which I was 
either senior or alone." 

At the Aylesbury Assizes, there was a trial which 
exhibited the aristocratic character of our nation. An 
Eton boy was indicted for murder, he having killed 
another boy in a boxing match. It was not a case for 
a conviction — perhaps not for manslaughter, though, 

* Written in 1851. t See'^o\. I., p. 419. 

Chap. xi. 

Mr. Nash. 

al income. 

H. C. R. a 

leader on 

the Norfolk 



Aji Arbitration. 

Chap. xi. j had the fight taken place between two stable-boys, that, 


Whist club. 




probably, would have been the verdict. But what dis- 
gusted me was that Lord Nugent stood in the dock by 
the side of the boy, and I did not scruple to tell him so. 
His desire was to mitigate the boy's pain. The family 
of the killed boy took no part in the prosecution, and the 
judge dismissed the offender without a word of reproof 

During this year I became a member of a whist club, 
which, though small in number, made me more a man of 
expense. And my being introduced to the Athenseum 
was really an epoch in my life. That club has never 
ceased to constitute an important feature of my daily 
life. I had a place of resort at all times, and my circle 
of acquaintance was greatly increased. 

The death of old Mrs. Collier, past ninety, brought 
me into further connection with Anthony Sterry, the 
Quaker — a most benevolent man. My acquaintance 
with him began in an act of rudeness towards him, 
in ignorance of the facts of the case. He accepted 
my apology in a Christian spirit, which, indeed, he 
showed throughout. I had to do with a considerable 

sum of money in which he and had an interest. 

On the present occasion Sterry proposed that, as there 
might be doubtful points, I should be Chancellor, to 
decide them. Never had arbitrator so easy a task, for 
Sterry took an opportunity of saying to me, " I would 
not boast, but I believe Providence has favoured me 

more than Friend . I wish, therefore, that thou 

wouldst always give the turn in his favour, not mine." 

And I ought to add that , on his part, seemed to 

be equally unselfish. 

Pa7tic of 1825. 


Towards the close of this year, Thornton* became 
connected with the Times. Barnes afterwards said to 
me, "We are obHged to you, not you to us." I had 
mentioned Thornton to Walter. 

This winter was rendered memorable by what was 
afterwards spoken of as a crisis or crash in the mercan- 
tile world. Many banks failed. Some friends of mine 
wrote to ask if I would turn a part of my property 
into cash, and advance it to them, I consented to do 
this ; but their apprehensions proved to be groundless 
— the panic did not seriously affect them. To one 
friend, to whom I could be of no service, I had the 
satisfaction of administering comfort. His was the case 
of a man who, after a life of industry and self-denial, 
finds the accumulations of more than fifty years put in 
peril. He does not know whether he will not be left 
destitute. And, to use his own words, he is " too old to 
begin life again, and too young to die." He talked 
very philosophically, yet with feeling. 

I spent my Christmas, as I had done many, at 
Royston. All there were in low spirits, on account of 
the failure of the Cambridge Bank. The Nashes say 
that, among their friends, nine families are reduced from 
affluence to poverty, by unexpected blows of adversity. 
Neither Wedd Nash's fine organ, nor Pope's " Epistle 
on the Use of Riches," could keep up our spirits ; and, 
notwithstanding good punch, our vivat to the New Year 
was not a cheerful burst of glee. And never was there 
a less merry New Year in London than the present. 

Chap. xi. 



* Thomas Thornton, who, in 1823, married Elizabeth, daughter of H. C. R 's j 
l)iother Habakkuk. I 


Blake resists the Angels. 

Chap-, xii. 

Book of Job. 



Jaimary 6th. — A call on Blake. His conversation 
was very much a repetition of what he said on a former 
occasion. He was very cordial. I had procured him 
two subscriptions for his " Job," from George Procter 
and Basil Montagu. I paid £1 for each. This seemed 
to put him in spirits. He spoke of being richer than 
ever, in having become acquainted with me ; and he told 

Mrs. A that he and I were nearly of the same 

opinions. Yet I have practised no deception inten- 
tionally, unless silence be so. The strangest thing he 
said was, that he had been commanded to do a certain 
thing — that is, to write about Milton — and that he was 
applauded for refusing. He struggled with the angels, 
and was victor. His wife took part in our conversation. 

Jaimary ()th. — My ride to Norwich to-day was diver- 
sified by an agreeable incident. On the road, a few 
miles out of London, we took up a very gentlemanly 
Quaker. He and I did not at once get into conversa- 
tion, and when it became light, I amused myself by 
reading till the coach stopped for breakfast. Then our 
conversation began, and permitted very little reading 
afterwards. He told me his name on my making an 

Joseph John Gurney. 


inquiry concerning Hudson Gurney. I was speaking to 
J. J. Gurney. We soon entered on controversial sub- 
jects. I praised a work of Quaker autobiography with- 
out naming it. He said, " Thou meanest * John 
Woolman ; ' " and added, " let me not take credit for a 
sagacity I do not possess. Amelia Opie has told me of 
thy admiration of the book." We now knew each 
other, and talked like old acquaintances. He is kind in 
his feelings, if not liberal in his opinions. He read to 
me some letters from Southey. In one Southey thus 
expressed himself : — " I cannot believe in an eternity of 
hell. I hope God will forgive me if I err, but in this 
matter I cannot say, * Lord, help thou mine unbelief " 
J.J. Gurney spoke of Mrs. Opie very kindly, and of 
the recent death of her father, Dr. Alderson, as edifying. 
He was purged from unbelief. 

February 'i^rd. — The whole morning in the Courts, 
waiting in the Common Pleas for nothing ; but I saw a 
meeting of knights girt with swords to elect the Grand 
Assize, a proceeding, it is to be hoped, to be soon 
brushed off with a multitude of other antiquated pro- 
ceedings, which time has rendered inconvenient. 

February 6th. — Late at the Athenaeum. Hudson 
Gurney was there. He related with great effect the 
experience of Ferguson of Pitfour. Ferguson was a 
Scotch Member, a great supporter of Pitt's, both in 
Parliament and at the table. Not a refined man, but 
popular on account of his good-natured hospitality, and 
of the favour he showed to national prejudices. In his 
old age he was fond of collecting young M.P.'s at his 
table, and of giving them the benefit of his Parlia- 

Chap. XII. 


7- 7- 



electing the 



Ferguson of 


Blake on Wordsworth. 

Ferguson s 


Blake on 
worth' s 

Chap. xii. mentary experience, which he used to sum up in these 
1826. few axiomatic sentences : — 

" I was never present at any debate I could avoid, or 
absent from any division I could get at. 

" I have heard many arguments which convinced my 
judgment, but never one that influenced my vote. 

" I never voted but once according to my own opinion, 
and that was the worst vote I ever gave. 

"■ I found that the only way to be quiet in Parliament 
was always to vote with the Ministers, and never to take 
a place." 

February i?>th. — Called on Blake. An amusing chat 
with him. He gave me in his own hand-writing a copy 
of Wordsworth's Preface to " The Excursion." At the 
end there is this note : — 

" Solomon, when he married Pharaoh's daughter, and 
became a convert to the heathen mythology, talked 
exactly in this way of Jehovah, as a very inferior object 
of man's contemplation. He also passed him by * un- 
alarmed,' and was permitted. Jehovah dropped a tear, 
and followed him by his Spirit into the abstract void. 
It is called the Divine mercy. Satan dwells in it, but 
mercy does not dwell in him." 

Of Wordsworth Blake talked as before. Some of 
his writings proceed from the Holy Spirit, but others 
are the work of the Devil. However, on this subject, I 
found Blake's language more in accordance with ortho- 
dox Christianity than before. He talked of being 
under the direction of self. Reason, as the creature of 
man, is opposed to God's grace. He warmly declared 
that all he knew is in the Bible. But he understands 

On reason 



Blake on his own Writings. 


the Bible in its spiritual sense. As to the natural sense, 
he says, "Voltaire was commissioned by God to expose 
that. I have had much intercourse with Voltaire, and 
he said to me, ' I blasphemed the Son of Man, and it 
shall be forgiven me ; but they (the enemies of Voltaire) 
blasphemed the Holy Ghost in me, and it shall not be 
forgiven them." I asked in what language Voltaire 
spoke. " To my sensations,- it was English. It was like 
the touch of a musical key. He touched it, probably, 
French, but to my ear it became English." I spoke 
again of the form of the persons who appear to him, 
and asked why he did not draw them. " It is not worth 
while. There are so many, the labour would be too 
great. Besides, there would be no use. As to Shake- 
speare, he is exactly like the old engraving, which is 
called a bad one. I think it very good." 

I inquired of Blake about his writings. " I have 
written more than Voltaire or Rousseau. Six or seven 
epic poems as long as Homer, and twenty tragedies as 
long as Macbeth." He showed me his vision {for so it 
may be called) of Genesis — "as understood by a Christian 
visionary." He read a passage at random ; it was strik- 
ing. He will not print any more. " I write," he says, 
" when commanded by the spirits, and the moment I 
have written I see the words fly about the room in all 
directions. It is then published, and the spirits can 
read. My MS. is of no further use. I have been 
tempted to burn my MSS., but my wife won't let me." 
— " She is right," said I. " You have written these, not 
from yourself, but by order of higher beings. The 
MSS. are theirs, not yours. You cannot tell what 

Chap. xit. 


Voltaire s 

Blake s 
account of 

his oiun 


Blake s Horror of Mojiey. 



Blake on 
the angels 


His horror 
of money. 

purpose they may answer unforeseen by you." He liked 
this, and said he would not destroy them. He repeated 
his philosophy. Everything is the work of God or the 
Devil. There is a constant falling off from God, angels 
becoming devils. Every man has a devil in him, and 
the conflict is eternal between a man's self and God, 
&c., &c. He told me my copy of his songs would 
be five guineas, and was pleased by my manner of 
receiving this information. He spoke of his horror of 
money, — of his having turned pale when money was 
offered him. 

H. C. R. TO Miss Wordsworth. 

[No date, but the post mark is February.] 

My dear Friend, 

I did a mighty foolish thing when I intimated at 
the close of my last letter that I should write again very 
soon. This was encouraging — not to say inviting — you 
to postpone writing till I had so written. Now I have, 
you see, not fulfilled my intention. And I take up my 
pen now, not so much because I have anything to say, 
as to discharge myself of the sort of promise which such 
an intimation raised. And, besides, the quantity of what 
I shall then have sent you will entitle me to some notice 
from you. 

Of my friends here, there are few to mention. Clark- 
son, Junr., you will probably soon see. He means to visit 
you, if possible, on the circuit. He will give you all 
Playford and Woodbridge news. The Lambs are really 
improving. If you look into the last New Monthly 
Magazine, you will be delighted by perceiving that 

Lamb against Classifying Poeins. 


Charles Lamb is himself again. His peculiar mixture 
of wit and fancy is to be found there in all its charming 
individuality. No one knows better than he the pro- 
portions of earnestness and gaiety for his undefinable 
compositions. His health, I think, is decidedly improv- 

A few evenings ago I met at his house one of the 
attaches to the great Lombard Street shop. He said 
that Mr. Wordsworth's works had been repeatedly 
inquired after lately ; and that the inquirers had been 
referred to Hurst's house. This led to a talk about the 
new edition, and the new arrangement. Lamb observed, 
" There is only one good order — and that is the order in 
which they were written — that is, a history of the poet's 
mind." This would be true enough of a poet who 
produced everything at a heat, where there is no 
pondering, and pausing, and combining, and accumu- 
lating, and bringing to bear on one point the inspirations 
and the wise reflections of years. 

In the last edition — I hope I shall never see it — of 
course not meaning the variorum editions of Commen- 
tators, but in the last of the author's own editions 
intended for future generations, the editor will say to 
himself — aware of the habit people have of beginning 
at the beginning, and ending at the end — How shall I be 
best understood and most strongly felt t By what train 
of thought and succession of feelings is the reader to be 
led on — ^how will his best faculties and wisest curiosity 
be most excited .-' The dates given to the table of con- 
tents will be sufficient to inform the inquisitive reader 
how the poet's own mind was successively engaged. 

Chap. xii. 

Lamb on 



Print them 

in the order 

of birth. 


Classification of 

Chap. xii. 

An editor's 
tion not 
that of the 

Lamb disapproves (and it gave me pleasure to find I was 
authorized by his opinion in the decided opinion I had 
from the first) of the classification into poems of fancy, 
imagination, and reflection. The reader who is enjoying 
(for instance) to the top of his bent the magnificent 
Ode which in every classification ought to be the last, 
does not stay to ask, nor does he care, what faculty has 
been most taxed in the production. This is certain, 
that what the poet says of nature is equally true of the 
mind of man, and the productions of his faculties. 
They exist not in " absolute independent singleness." 
To attempt ascertaining curiously the preponderance of 
any one faculty in each work is a profitless labour. 

An editor such as Dr. Johnson would make short 
work of it. All the elegies, all the odes, all the 
sonnets, all the etceteras together. But then your 
brother has had the impertinence to plague the critics 
by producing works that cannot be brought under any 
of the heads of Enfield's " Speaker," though he has not 
a few that might be entitled, A Copy of Verses. Why a 
copy .-• I used to ask when a schoolboy. Goethe has 
taken this class of poems under his especial protection. 
And his " Gelegenheit's Gedichte " (Occasional Poems) 
are among the most delightful of his works. My 
favourites of this class among your brother's works are, 
" Lady ! the Songs of Spring were in the Grove," and 
" Lady ! I rifled a Parnassian Cave." 

One exception I am willing to make in favour of the 
Sonnet^ though otherwise a classification according to 
metrical form is the most unmeaning. 

If I may venture to express the order that I should 

Wordsworth' s Poems. 


most enjoy, it would be one formed on the great objects 
of human concern ; though I should be by no means 
solicitous about any, or care for the inevitable blend - 
ings and crossings of classes. Were these poems in 
Italian, one grand class would be alia bella Nattira. 
Unluckily, we want this phrase, which both the Germans 
and French have. Der schonen Natur gewidmet. Such 
a heading would be affected in English. Still, I should 
like to see brought together all the poems which are 
founded on that intense love of nature — that exqui- 
sitive discernment of its peculiar charms — and that 
almost deification of nature which poor Blake (but of 
that hereafter) reproaches your brother with. As sub- 
divisions, would be the Duddon, the Memorials, the 
naming of places. One division of the Sonnets would 
correspond with this great class. 

After nature come the contemplations of human life, 
viewed in its great features — infancy and youth — active 
life (viz. "the happy warrior") — old age and death. Col- 
lateral with these are the affections arising out of the 
social relations — maternal and filial — fraternal and con- 
nubial love, &c,, &c., &c. Then there is a third great 
division, which might be entitled The Age. Here we 
should be forced to break into the Sonnets, in which 
shape most of these poems are. Why is the " Thanks- 
giving Ode" to be the last of this class } It is a sort of 
moral and intellectual suicide in your brother not to 
have continued his admirable series of poems " dedi- 
cated to liberty" — he might add "and public virtue." 

I assure you it gives me real pain when I think that 

Chap. xir. 


The Nature 



Life poems. 

Poems of 
the Age. 


Classification of Poems. 

Chap. xii. 


poems 7iil 
after 18 14. 


H. C. R. 


some future commentator may possibly hereafter write, 
— " This great poet survived to the fifth decennary of 
the nineteenth century, but he appears to have died 
in the year 18 14, as far as hfe consisted in an active 
sympathy with the temporary welfare of his fellow- 
creatures. He had written heroically and divinely 
against the tyranny of Napoleon, but was quite indif- 
ferent to all the successive tyrannies which disgraced 
the succeeding times." 

A fourth class would be the religious poems. Here I 
have a difficulty : ought these to be separated from the 
philosophical poems, or united with them } In some 
of these poems, Mr. Wordsworth has given poetical 
existence to feelings in which the mafiy will join ; others 
are moods of his own mind, mystical, as the mob — 
philosophical, as the few would say. I should give my 
vote for a separation. The longer narrative poems, 
such as the " White Doe," would form classes of them- 

I have above mentioned Blake. I forget whether I 
have referred before to this very interesting man, with 
whom I am now become acquainted. Were the 
"Memorials" at my hand, I should quote a fine passage 
in the Sonnet on the Cologne Cathedral as applicable to 
the contemplation of this singular being.* I gave your 
brother some poems in MS. by him, and they interested 
him, as well they might ; for there is an affinity between 
them, as there is between the regulated imagination of a 

» Probably these lines : — 
I " O for the help of Angels to complete 

; This Temple — Angels governed by a plan 

' Thus far pursued (how gloriously ! ) by man.' 

Blake described. 


wise poet and the incoherent outpourings of a dreamer. 
Blake is an engraver by trade, a painter and a poet also, 
whose works have been a subject of derision to men 
in general ; but he has a few admirers, and some of 
eminence have eulogized his designs. He has lived in 
obscurity and poverty, to which the constant halluci- 
nations in which he lives have doomed him. I do not 
mean to give you a detailed account of him; a few 
words will serve to inform you of what class he is. He 
is not so much a disciple of Jacob Bohme and Sweden- 
borg as a fellow-visionary. He lives as they did, in a 
world of his own, enjoying constant intercourse with 
the world of spirits. He receives visits from Shake- 
speare, Milton, Dante, Voltaire, &c., and has given me 
repeatedly their very words in their conversations. His 
paintings are copies of what he sees in his visions. His 
books (and his MSS. are immense in quantity) are 
dictations from the spirits. A man so favoured, of 
course, has sources of wisdom and truth peculiar to 
himself. I will not pretend to give you an account 
of his religious and philosophical opinions ; they are 
a strange compound of Christianity, Spinozism, and 
Platonism. I must confine myself to what he has said 
about your brother's works, and I fear this may lead 
me far enough to fatigue you in following me. After 
what I have said, Mr. Wordsworth will not be flattered 
by knowing that Blake deems him the only poet of 
the age, nor much alarmed by hearing that Blake 
thinks that he is often in his works an Atheist. 
Now, according to Blake, Atheism consists in wor- 
shipping the natural world, which same natural 

Y 2 

Chap. xii. 

Blake no 

man s 



estimate of 

The slaves 
of Nature 



Blake on Wordsworth. 

Chap, xii. 


Dante, and 





effect of 





world, properly speaking, is nothing real, but a mere 
illusion produced by Satan. Milton was for a great 
part of his life an Atheist, and therefore has fatal errors 
in his " Paradise Lost," which he has often begged 
Blake to confute. Dante (though now with God) lived 
and died an Atheist ; he was the slave of the world 
and time. But Dante and Wordsworth, in spite of 
their Atheism, were inspired by the Holy Ghost. 
Indeed, all real poetry is the work of the Holy Ghost, 
and Wordsworth's poems (a large proportion, at least) 
are the work of Divine inspiration. Unhappily, he is 
left by God to his own illusions, and then the Atheism 
is apparent. I had the pleasure of reading to Blake, in 
my best style (and you know I am vain on that point, 
and think I read Wordsworth's poems peculiarly well), 
the " Ode on Immortality." I never witnessed greater 
delight in any listener ; and in general Blake loves the 
poems. What appears to have disturbed his mind, on 
the other hand, is the Preface to " The Excursion." He 
told me, six months ago, that it caused him a stomach 
complaint, which nearly killed him. When I first saw 
Blake at Mrs. Aders', he very earnestly asked me, " Is 
Mr. Wordsworth a sincere, real Christian ?" In reply to 
my answer, he said, " If so, what does he mean by the 
worlds to which the heaven of heavens is but a veil ? 
and who is he that shall pass Jehovah unalarmed ?" It 
is since then that I have lent Blake all the works which 
he but imperfectly knew, I doubt whether what I 
have written will excite your and Mr, Wordsworth's 
curiosity ; but there is something so delightful about 
the man, — though in great poverty, he is so perfect a 

Blake's Poverty ajtd Refinement. 


gentleman, with such genuine dignity and indepen- 
dence — scorning presents, and of such native delicacy in 
words, &c., &c., &c. — that I have not scrupled promis- 
ing to bring him and Mr. Wordsworth together. He 
expressed his thanks strongly, saying, " You do me 
honour : Mr. Wordsworth is a great man. Besides, he 
may convince me I am wrong about him ; I have 
been wrong before now," &c. Coleridge has visited 
Blake, and I am told talks finely about him. 

That I might not encroach on a third sheet, I have 
compressed what I had to say about Blake. You must 
see him one of these days, and he will interest you, at 
all events, whatever character you give to his mind. 

I go on the 1st of March on the circuit, which will 
last a month. If you write during that time direct, 
" On the Norfolk Circuit ;" if before, direct here. 

My best remembrances to Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth. 
And recollect again that you are not to read all this 
letter to any one if it will offend. And you are your- 
self to forgive it, coming from one who is 

Affectionately your friend, 

H. C. R. 

March 22nd. — A consultation in a libel case for a 
Methodist preacher. Rather a comic scene. The zeal 
as well as the taste of the partisans of the prosecutor 
was shown in the brief. One sentence I copy as a 
specimen : — " This shameful trash, originating in the 
profoundest malice, nurtured and propagated on the 
base hope of extortion, has ingratitude unparalleled for 
its stain, wickedness hitherto undiscovered for its nature, 

Chap. xii. 


poverty and 

A Libel 





Book borrowed from Lamb. 

Chap. xii. and the indelible shame of its own reputation to seal 


How evil 
reports arise 
and spread. 

Hay s 

Essay on 


the abhorrent character of its crime," 

March z^rd. — Was much pleased with my great- 
niece (daughter of Tom). She has as many indications 
of sensibility and talent as I ever witnessed in a child 
not much more than two years old. She sings with 
apparently a full feeling of what she sings. 

April i6th. — A report concerning sufficiently 

spread to make his return from the Continent necessary. 
Yet A says he is quite satisfied that the report is 
groundless. It cannot be traced to any authority what- 
ever, and it is of a kind which, though highly injurious, 
might arise out of the most insignificant of idle re- 
marks. A says to B, " Nobody knows why 

keeps abroad : it is quite unaccountable. His friends 
say nothing," B says to C, " Have you heard why 
keeps away ,-' Can he be in difficulties?" In 

speaking of the matter to D, C acknowledges that there 

is a suspicion that is in difficulties, and adds, " I 

hope there is nothing in it, for I had a high opinion of 
him. Better say nothing," Surmises increase, and the 
whisper goes down to Z, and comes back and crosses 
and jostles ; and unless some one gives himself the 
trouble to write to the subject of these reports, he 
comes home to find his reputation gone. 

April 2-^1'd. — Called late on Lamb. He lent me a 
humorous " Essay on Deformity," which I read with 
pleasure. It is very much in Lamb's own style of 
humour, and is a piece of playful self-satire, if not 
written in the assumed character of a hump-backed, 
diseased member of Parliament, Published by Dods- 

Coleridge s "Aids to Rejlcction." 


ley, 1794, the author, William Hay, Esq. He would 
have been known to the wits of his age.* 

May \Wt. — At night over Coleridge's "Aids to 
Reflection," a work which has interested me*greatly and 
occupied me much of late. It has remarkable talent 
and strange singularities. His religion that of the 
vulgar, his philosophy his own. This work exhibits the 
best adaptation of Kantian principles to English religious 

Rem.'f — That beautiful composition, in the special 
sense of being compounded of the production of the 
Scotch Abp. Leighton and himself, I compared to an 
ancient statue said to be made of ivory and gold 
likening the part belonging to the Archbishop to ivory, 
and that belonging to Coleridge to gold. Coleridge 
somewhere admits that, musing over Leighton's text, he 
was not always able to distinguish what was properly 
his own from what was derived from his master. 
Instead of saying in my journal that his philosophy is 
his own, and his religion that of the vulgar, might I not 
more truly have said that he was not unwilling in some 
publication to write both ^j-^terically and ^.r^terically } 

May 20th. — At Miss Sharpe's. A small but agree- 
able party — the Flaxmans, Aikins, &c. Samuel Rogers 
came late, and spoke about Wordsworth's poems with 
great respect, but with regret at his obstinate adherence 
to his peculiarities. 

Rem.\ — There was at this time a current anecdote 
that Rogers once said to Wordsworth, " If you would 

* Works on Deformity, &c., by William Hay. London, 1794. 4to. 2 vols, 
t Written in 1852. J Written in 1852. 

Chap. xii. 

Coleridge s 

Aids to 

much from 

S. Rogers 
on Words- 


Lamb sitting for his Portrait. 

Chap. xii. 

Scar gill. 

Portrait of 

Lis ton. 

Paul Pry. 



let me edit your poems, and give me leave to omit 
some half-dozen, and make a few trifling alterations, I 
would engage that you should be as popular a poet 
as any living." Wordsworth's answer is said to have 
been, " I am much obliged to you, Mr. Rogers ; I am a 
poor man, but I would rather remain as I am." 

May 26th. — Mr. Scargill* breakfasted with me. A 
sensible man. He said, an Englishman is never happy 
but when he is miserable ; a Scotchman is never at 
home but when he is abroad ; an Irishman is at peace 
only when he is fighting. 

Called on Meyer of Red Lion Square, where Lamb 
was sitting for his portrait.f A strong likeness ; but it 
gives him the air of a thinking man, and is more like 
the framer of a system of philosophy than the genial 
and gay author of the " Essays of Elia." 

May 2'jth. — At the Haymarket. An agreeable 
evening. I saw nothing but Liston. In " Quite 
Correct" he is an innkeeper, very anxious to be quite 
correct, and understanding everything literally. His 
humorous stupidity is the only pleasant thing in the 
piece. In " Paul Pry" he is not the mar-plot but the 
make-plot of the play, for by his prying and picking 
out of the water some letter by which a plot is detected, 
he exposes a knavish housekeeper, who is on the point 
of inveigling an old bachelor into marriage. Liston's 
inimitable face is the only amusement. 

Jtine $th. — A party at Miss Benger's. Saw Dr. 

• The supposed author of the "Autobiography of a Dissenting Minister." 
t There is a lithograph by Vinter of this portrait in Barry Cornwall's 
"Memoir of Charles Lamb," p. 19a. 

Irving's Intolerance, 


Kitchener, of gastronomic celebrity, but had no conver- 
sation with him. A grave and formal man, with long 
face and spectacles. Other authors were there — a Mr. 
Jerdan, the editor of the Literary Gazette* a work I do 
not like ; Miss Landon, a young poetess — a starling — 
the " L. E. L." of the Gazette, with a gay good- 
humoured face, which gave me a favourable impression ; 
an Australian poet, with the face of a frog ; and Miss 
Porter (Jane), who is looking much older than when I 
last saw her. 

June \2th. — With W. Pattisson at Irving's. We took 
tea there. Some slight diminution of respect for him. 
He avowed intolerance. Thought the Presbyterian 
clergy were right in insisting on the execution of 
Aikenhead for blasphemy. -f* Yet I cannot deny the 
consistency of this. The difficulty lies in reconciling 
any form of Christianity with tolerance. There came 
in several persons, who were to read the Prophets with 
Irving. I liked what I saw of these people, but Pattis- 
son and I came away, of course, before the reading 
began. Irving has sunk of late in public opinion in 
consequence of his writing and preaching about the 

* Literary Gazette, and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, tfc. A 
weekly periodical established in 1817, under the editorship of William Jerdan, 
Esq., and continued by the Rev. H. Christmas. 

t Thomas Aikenhead, a student of eighteen, was hanged at Edinburgh, in 
1697, for having uttered free opinions about the Trinity and some of the books 
of the Bible. His offence was construed as blasphemy under an old Scottish 
statute, which was strained for the purpose of convicting him. After his 
sentence he recanted, and begged a short respite to make his peace with God. 
This the Privy Council declined to grant, unless the Edinburgh clergy would 
intercede for him ; but so far were they from seconding his petition, that they 
actually demanded that his execution should not be delayed ! (See " Macaulay's 
History," Vol. IV., pp. 781-4.) 

Chap. xii. 



L. E. L. 


His belief 
in a shortly 
coming mil- 


Coleridge's Talk difficult to Note. 

Chap. xn. 


Reason the 
only sin. 



Difficulty of 
Coleridge s 


practices of 

some who 

cry No 


millennium, which, as he said this afternoon, he believes 
will come in less than forty years. He is certainly an 
enthusiast — I fear, too, a fanatic. 

June iph. — Called early on Blake. He was as wild 
as ever, with no great novelty. He talked, as usual, 
of the spirits, asserted that he had committed many 
murders, that reason is the only evil or sin, and that 
careless people are better than those who, &c., &c. 

June i$th. — Called at Montagu's. Rode with him, 
Mrs. Montagu, and Irving to Highgate. Coleridge, as 
usual, very eloquent, but, as usual, nothing remains now 
in my mind that I can venture to insert here. I never 
took a note of Coleridge's conversation which was not 
a caput mortuum. But still there is a spirit, and a 
glorious spirit too, in what he says at all times. Irving 
was not brilliant, but gloomy in his denunciations of 
God's vengeance against the nation for its irreligion. 
By-the-by, Coleridge declaims against Irving for his 
reveries about the Prophecies. Irving, however, pleased 
me by his declaration on Monday, that Coleridge had 
convinced him that he was a bibliolatrist. 

June lyth, Rem.* — Went down to Witham, and 
Pattisson drove me to Maldon, that I might exercise 
my electoral franchise. The Pattissons were then Whigs 
and Liberals, and Mr. Lennard was their candidate. 
There was a sort of medium man, a Mr. Wynn, a Tory, 
but less offensive than Quentin Dick, a vulgar anti- 
papist. I gave a plumper for Lennard, and made a 
speech on the hustings. I began wilfully with a few 
sentences meant for fun, and gained a little applause. 

* Written in 1853. 

Eminence in Art and Politics compared. 


I declared that I was an enemy to popish practices. 
But when I turned round and said that the anti-catholic 
laws were of a popish character, and therefore I was 
against them, the storm of hisses and screams was 
violent. One fellow cried out, " Don't believe that feller 
— he's a lawyer — he's paid for what he says." I enjoyed 
the row, and could well imagine how a man used to 
being abused, and knowing that it is his party, and not 
he, that is attacked, can very well bear it. 

Jime 2'jth. — Dined at Flaxman's. Mr. Tulk, late 
M.P. for Sudbury, his father-in-law, Mr, Norris, and a 
namesake of mine, Mr. Robinson, I think an M.P. 
Our talk chiefly on public matters. The littleness of 
this sort of greatness is now so deeply impressed on me, 
that I am in no danger of overestimating the honours 
which public office confers. The quiet and dignity at- 
tendant on a man of genius, like Flaxman, are worth 
immeasurably more than anything which popular favour 
can give. The afternoon was as lively as the oppressive 
heat would permit. 

Irish Tour.* 
Jidy T,oth. — I left London early by coach, and the 
journey was rendered pleasant by an agreeable com- 
panion, the son of an old and valued friend. On 
passing through Devizes, I had a mortifying sense of 

• This tour is given more at length than usual, as one in which Mr. Robin- 
son himself felt especial interest He says of it : " My Reminiscences of this 
journey were written nearly eight years ago [i.e. in 1843), when I by no means 
thought I should write so much as I have done, and when I hoped merely mat 
I might be able to produce something worth preserving for friends after my 
death. I had already written an account of my adventures in Holstein in 1807, 
and what I wrote next is contained in the following pages." 

Chap. xii. 

Flaxman' s. 

A genius 





On a Tour. 

Chap. xii. 

The river 
Avon at 

my own forgetfulness, as well as of the transiency of 
human things. There I spent three years at school. 
But I could not without difficulty find an individual in 
the place who knows me now. Not a school-fellow have 
I any recollection of. The very houses had nearly 
grown out of knowledge ; and an air of meanness in 
the streets was very unpleasant to me. Yet, had I not 
been expected elsewhere, I should have stayed a night 
at the Bear.* I could, perhaps, have found out some 
once familiar walk. 

We were set down at Melksham, twelve miles before 
Bath, at the house of the mother of my companion, 
Mrs. Evans, a widow.f Her sister-in-law and a cousin 
were there, one daughter and three sons, besides my 
companion. They seemed to have one heart between 
them all, and to be as affectionate a knot of worthy 
people as I ever saw. Mrs. Evans and her sister were 
glad to see an old acquaintance, who enabled them to 
live over again some hours they might otherwise have 
forgotten for ever. 

August ^th. — I proceeded to the Hot Wells, Bristol. 

Rem.l — My journal expresses disgust at the sight of 
the river Avon, "a deep bank of sohd dirty clay on 
each side with a streamlet of liquid mud in the centre." 
I should not think it worth while to mention this, were 
it not to add that a few years since I found this Western 
port vastly improved by the formation of a wet dock, so 

* The inn formerly kept by the father of Sir T. Lawrence. 

f The widow of my excellent friend Joseph Evans, who died in 1812, and 
who was a son of Dr. Evans of Bristol, Principal of a Baptist College there. 
— H. C. R. 

J Written in 1843. 

First Visit to Ireland. 


that the city is in a degree relieved from the nuisance of 
a tidal river. I had the company of a younger son of 
Mrs. Evans.* 

Atigiist $th. — I embarked in a steamer for Cork. 
The cabin passengers paid £i each ; the steerage 
passengers 2s. A pleasant voyage, with pleasant com- 
panions, whom I have never heard of since. 

August 6tk. — Landed early in the Cove of Cork. 
And four of us were put on a jaunting-car or jingle. 
I was amused and surprised by the efficiency of man 
and beast. The animal, small and rough, but vigorous ; 
the driver all rags and vivacity. He managed — ^how 
I could not conceive — to pack us all on his car, and 
vast quantities of luggage too, with the oddest tackle 
imaginable — pack-thread, handkerchiefs, &c., &c. 

Rem.-\ — My first impression of the Irish poor was 
never altered. The men were all rags. Those who did 
not beg or look beggingly (and many such I saw) were 
worse dressed than an English beggar. The women, 
though it was summer, had on dark cloth cloaks. Yet, 
except the whining or howling beggars, the gaiety of 
these poverty-stricken creatures seemed quite invincible. 

"And they, so perfect is their misery, 
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement." 

O'Connell one day, pointing to a wretched house, said 
to me, " Had you any idea of so much wretchedness } " 
I answered, " I had no idea of so little wretchedness 
with such destitution." 

* Either he or his brother is now the printer and part proprietor of Punch. 
— H. C. R. 1843. 
■j- Written in 1843. 

Chap. xii. 



The Irish 


Cork. — Dan. O' Connell in Court. 

Chap. xii. 

The Courts 
of yustice 
at Cork. 


O' Conncll. 


August yth. — I rose early and took a walk in the city. 
After breakfast, seeing in the coffee-room two gentle- 
men who appeared to be barristers, I presented my card 
to them, told them I was an English barrister, and 
requested them to take me into court. They complied 
with great politeness. The name of one was Thwaites. 
The courts, two wretched buildings in the shape of 
meeting-houses ; the jury sitting aloft in the gallery, 
and the counsel, on one side, sitting so near the gallery 
that they were obliged to lift up their heads ludicrously 
to catch a glimpse of the foreman. 

I went first into the Nisi Prius Court. Mr. Justice 
Torrens was sitting. A very young-looking, fair-com- 
plexioned, mild and gentlemanly man. A point of law 
was being argued. The prominent man at the Bar was 
a thick-set, broad-faced, good-humoured, middle-aged 
person, who spoke with the air of one conscious of 
superiority. It was Daniel O'Connell. He began to 
talk over with Mr. Thwaites the point under discussion. 
I could not help putting in a word. " You seem, sir, 
to be of our profession," said O'Connell. " I am an 
English barrister." He asked my name, and from that 
moment commenced a series of civilities which seem 
likely to be continued, and may greatly modify this 
journey. He took me by the arm, led me from court to 
court, as he had business in most cases, and yet found 
time to chat with me at intervals all the day. He made 
much of me, and, as I have no doubt, from a mere 
exuberance of good-nature. 

In the other court was Baron Pennefather,' a man 
whom all the Bar praised for his manners as well as for 

H. C. R. finds a School-fellow. 


his abilities. He had nevertheless a droll air, with a 
simplicity somewhat quizzical. 

With the judges as well as the Bar and the people 
O'Connell seemed to be a sort of pet ; his good-humour 
probably atoning for his political perversities, and, what 
must have been to his colleagues more objectionable, 
his great success. Bennett, K.C., was his chief op- 
ponent — a complete contrast. Wagget, Recorder of 
Cork, is a man of ingratiating sweetness of manner. 
Among the juniors is O'Loghlen, a rising man with a 
good face.* 

I found that business was transacted with more 
gravity and politeness than I had expected. An 
Insurance cause was tried, in which both judges and 
counsel seemed to be at fault. It is only recently that 
insurances have been effected here. On questions of 
evidence greater latitude was allowed than in our 
English courts. That is, there was more common sense, 
with fewer technicalities. I amused myself attending 
to the business, with one incident to divert my mind, 
and that is worth mentioning. 

I recollected that among my school-fellows at Devizes 
was a Cork boy, named Johnson. I had heard of his 
being an attorney. I recalled his countenance to my 
mind — red hair, reddish eyes, very large nose, and fair 
complexion. I looked about, and actually discovered 
my old school-fellow in the Under Sheriff. On inquiry, 
I found I was right in my guess. When the judge 

* I have since reet him at Rolfe's, when he, the Solicitor-General of Ireland, 
was visiting the Solicitor-General of England. He died, lamented, as Master 
of the Rolls —H. C. R. 

Chap. xii. 

The Irish 

An Insur- 
ance cause. 

An old 


Schoolboy Recollections interchanged. 


with Under 




Chap. xii. retired I went up to the Under Sheriff and said, " Will 
1826. you allow me to ask you an impertinent question?" 
His look implied, " Any question that is 7iot imperti- 
j nent." — " Were you at school at Devizes ? " — " Yes, I 
was. Why, you are not an old school-fellow ? " — " Yes, 
I am." — " I shall be glad to talk with you." Our con- 
versation ended in my engaging to dine with him to- 

August ?)th. — The morning was spent in lounging 
about the environs of Cork, about which I shall say 
nothing here. In the afternoon I went to my old 
school-fellow, Johnson, whom I found handsomely housed 
in the Parade. Accompanied him and two strangers 
in a jingle to his residence at our landing-place. Pas- 
sage. From first to last I could not bring myself back 
to his recollection ; but I had no difficulty in satisfying 
him that I had been his school-fellow, so many were the 
recollections we had in common, Johnson has a wife, 
an agreeable woman, and a large fine family. He gave 
me an account of himself. He began the world with a 
guinea, and by close attention to business is now at the 
head of his profession. For many years he has been 
Solicitor to the Admiralty, Excise, Customs, and Stamp 
Office. He is a zealous Protestant — I fear an Orange- 
man. I therefore avoided politics, for, had we quarrelled, 
we could not, as formerly, have settled our difference by 
a harmless boxing-match. But our old school was a 
subject on" which we both had great pleasure in talking. 
Our recollections were not always of the same circum- 
stances, and so we could assist each other. " Do you 
remember Cuthbert ? " said his daughter. " What," 

With Dan. O'ConnelL 


said I, " a shy, blushing lad, very gentle and amiable ? " 
She turned to her father, and said, " If we could have 
doubted that this gentleman was your school-fellow, 
this would be enough to convince us. He has described 
Cuthbert as he was to the last." She said this with 
tears in her eyes. He was the friend of the family, and 
but lately dead. Johnson promised that if I would visit 
him on my return, he would invite three or four school- 
fellows to meet me. 

The drive to Passage was very beautiful ; but the 
boy who drove me did not keep his promise, to call for 
me before nine, to take me back, and so I had to 

August ()th. — This, too, a very interesting day. I rose 
early, strolled on the fine Quay, and breakfasted. After 
eight I was packed upon the Killarney Mail, with a 
crowded mass of passengers and luggage, heaped up in 
defiance of all regulations of Parliament or prudence. 
The good humour with which every one submitted to 
inconveniences was very national. I was wedged in 
behind when I heard a voice exclaim, "You must get 
down, Mr. Robinson, and sit by O'Connell in front. He 
insists on it." The voice was that of a barrister whom 
I had seen in court, and who, by pressing me to change 
places with him, led to my having as interesting a ride 
as can be imagined ; for " the glorious Counsellor," as 
he was hailed by the natives on the road, is a capital 
companion, with high animal spirits, infinite good 
temper, great earnestness in discussion, and replete with 
intelligence on all the subjects we talked upon. There 
was sufficient difference between us to produce incessant 

Chap. xir. 




O' Connell. 

Talk with 
O ' Conn ell. 


Starting-point for Controversy. 

Chap. xii. 

Talk with 
O' Conn ell. 

Is Roman 
intolerant ? 

controversy, and sufficient agreement to generate kind- 
ness and respect. Perceiving, at first, that he meant to 
have a long talk on the stirring topics of the day, I 
took an early opportunity of saying, " In order that we 
should be on fair terms, as I know a great deal about 
you, and you know nothing about me, it is right that I 
should tell you that I am by education a Dissenter, that 
I have been brought up to think, and do think, the 
Roman Catholic Church the greatest enemy to civil and 
religious liberty, and that from a religious point of view 
it is the object of my abhorrence. But, at the same time, 
you cannot have, politically, a warmer friend. I think 
emancipation your right. I do not allow myself to ask 
whether in like circumstances you would grant us what 
you demand. Emancipation is your right. And were 
I a Roman Catholic, there is no extremity I would not 
risk in order to get it." 

These, as nearly as possible, were my words. On 
my ending, he seized me by the hand very cordially, 
and said, " I would a thousand times rather talk with 
one of your way of thinking than with one of my own." 
Of course the question of the truth or falsehood of the 
several schemes of religion was not once adverted to, 
but merely the collateral questions of a historical or 
judicial bearing. And on all these O'Connell had an 
infinite advantage over me, in his much greater acquaint- 
ance with the subject. He maintained stoutly that 
intolerance is no essential principle of the Roman 
Catholic Church, but is unhappily introduced by poli- 
ticians for secular interests, the priests of all religions > 
having yielded on this point to kings and magistrates. 

Proclamntion and Shooting Down Catholics. 


Of this he did not convince me. He also affirmed — and 
this may be true — that during the reign of Queen Mary 
not a single Protestant was put to death in Ireland. 
Nor was there any reaction against the Protestants 
during the reign of James II. 

Our conversation was now and then amusingly diver- 
sified by incidents. It was known on the road that 
"the glorious Counsellor" was to be on the coach, and 
therefore at every village, and wherever we changed 
horses, there was a knot of people assembled to cheer 
him. The country we traversed was for the most part 
wild, naked, and comfortless. 

I will mention only the little town of Macroom, 
because I here alighted, and was shown the interior of 
a gentleman's seat (Hedges Eyre, Esq.), — a violent 
Orangeman, I was told. However, in spite of the 
squire, there was in the town a signboard on which 
was the very " Counsellor" himself, with a visage as 
fierce as the Saracen's head. He would not confess to 
having sat for the picture, and promised us one still 
finer on the road. 

On a very wild plain he directed my attention to a 
solitary tree, at a distance so great that it was difficult 
to believe a rifle would carry a ball so far. Yet here a 
great-uncle of O'Connell's was shot. He had declared 
that he would shoot a man who refused to fight him 
on account of his being a Catholic. For this he was 
proclaimed under a law passed after the Revolution, 
authorizing the Government to declare it lawful to put 
to death the proclaimed individuals. He never left his 
house unarmed, and he kept at a distance from houses 

Z 2 

Chap. xii. 

by the way. 


Counsellor s 



Dan. and the Beggar. 

Chap. xii. 


by the way. 


of Roman 

and places where his enemies might He in wait for him ; 
but he had miscalculated the power of the rifle. 

At one of the posting-houses there was with the 
crowd a very, very old woman, with grey eyes, far 
apart, and an expression that reminded me of that 
excellent woman, D. W. As soon as we stopped she 
exclaimed, with a piercing voice, " Oh, that I should 
hve to see your noble honour again ! Do give me some- 
thing, your honour, to ." — " Why, you are an old 

cheat," cried the Counsellor, " Did you not ask me for 
a sixpence last time, to buy a nail for your coffin ?" — " I 
believe I did, your honour, and I thought it." — "Well, 
then, there's a shilling for you, but only on condition 
that you are dead before I come this way again." She 
caught the shilling, and gave a scream of joy that quite 
startled me. She set up a caper, and cried out, " I'll 
buy a new cloak — I'll buy a new cloak !" — "You foolish 
old woman, nobody will give you a shilling if you have 
a new cloak on." — " Oh, but I won't wear it here, I 
won't wear it here ! " And, when the horses started, we 
left her still capering, and the collected mob shouting 
the praises of "the glorious Counsellor." Everywhere 
he seemed to be the object of warm attachment on 
the part of the people. And even from Protestants 
I heard a very high character of him as a private 

To recur once more to our conversation. On my 
telling him that if he could prove his assertion that 
intolerance is not inherent in Roman Catholicism, he 
would do more than by any other means to reconcile 
Protestants to Roman Catholics, — that the fires of 



Smithfield are oftener thought of than the seven sacra- 
ments or the mass, he recommended Milner's " Letters 
to a Prebendary," * and a pamphlet on the CathoHc 
claims by Dr. Troy.-j* He said, " Of all the powerful 
intellects I have ever encountered, Dr. Troy's is the 
most powerful." 

He related a very important occurrence, which, if 
true, ought by this time to be one of the acknowledged 
facts of history.| During the famous rising of the Irish 
volunteers, in 1786, the leaders of the party, the Bishop 
of Bristol, Lord Charlemont, and Mr. Flood, had re- 
solved on declaring the independence of Ireland. At a 
meeting held for the purpose of drawing up the pro- 
clamation, Grattan made his appearance, and confounded 
them all by his determined opposition. " Unless you 
put me to death this instant, or pledge your honour 
that you will abandon the project, I will go instantly 
to the Castle, and denounce you all as traitors." His 
resolution and courage prevailed. This was known to 
the Government, and therefore it was that the Govern- 

* "Letters to a Prebendary: being an Answer to Reflections on Popery. 
By the Rev. J. Sturges, LL.D. With Remarks on the Opposition of Hoadlyism 
to the Doctrines of the Church of England, &c. By the Rev. John Milner." 
Winchester, 1800. 4to. 

t Archbishop of DubHn. An Irish friend to whom I have shown this pas- 
sage, thinks that H. C. R. must have confounded names, and that it was of 
Father Arthur O'Leary O'Connell spoke as having produced a powerful 
pamphlet on the Catholic claims. O'Leary's "Loyalty Asserted" appeared 
in 1777. His "Essay on Toleration; or, Plea for Liberty of Conscience," 
appeared in 1780 or 1781. 

X This anecdote does not seem to be correct as it stands. There was no 
rising of volunteers in 1786; only a weak and ineffectual convention of 
delegates. Their power had been already long on the wane. Flood and 
Grattan were then bitter enemies. Moreover, the grant (not pension) to 
Grattan was in 1783. 

Chap. xii. 

and the 
dence of 


King Dan!s Commands to H. C. R. 

Chap. xii. 



to visit 




King Dan. 

The Lakes 


ment assented to the grant of a pension by the Irish 

We arrived, about four o'clock, at the mean and un- 
comfortable little town of Killarney. On our arrival 
O'Connell said, just as I was about to alight, " You are 
aware by this time that I am king of this part of 
Ireland. Now, as I have the power, I tell you that I 
will not suffer you to alight until you give me your 
word of honour that on Monday next you will be at 
the house of .my brother-in-law, Mr. M'Swiney, at 
Cahir. There I shall be with my family, and you must 
then accompany me to Derrynane, my residence. Now, 
promise me that instantly." — " I am too well aware of 
your power to resist you ; and therefore I do promise." 
He took me to the Kenmare Arms, and introduced me 
as a particular friend ; and I have no doubt that the 
attentions I received were greatly owing to the recom- 
mendation of so powerful a patron. A glance shows 
me that this spot deserves all its fame for the beauty 
of its environs. 

Angust loth. — Having risen early and begun my 
breakfast, I was informed by my landlord, that four 
gentlemen would be glad if I would join them in an 
excursion to the Lower Lake. Two were a father and 
son, by no means companionable, but perfectly inno- 
cuous. The other two were very good society ; one Mr. 
J. White, of Glengariff, a nephew of Lord Bantry ; the 
other a Mr. Smith, the son of a magistrate, whose family 
came into Ireland under Cromwell. We walked to 
Ross Castle, and there embarked on the lake for Muck- 
russ Abbey, where we saw bones and fragments of 

Kj Harney. — A Hedge-school. 


coffins lying about most offensively. We next proceeded 
to the Tore Lake, landed at Tore Cottage, and saw a 
cascade. At Innisfallen Island we had the usual meal 
of roasted salmon. The beauties of these places — are 
they not written in the guide-books .-* Our coxswain 
was an intelligent man, and not the worse for believing 
in the O'Donoghue and his spectral appearances. 

August nth. — Walked up the mountain Mangerton. 
Had a little boy for our guide. He took us by a glen 
from Mr. Coltman's new house. On our way we saw a 
number of cows, where the pasture is said to be rich, 
and our little guide pointed out a ledge of stone where, 
he said, " a man goes a-summering." He attends to the 
cows, and lives under the shelter of the ledge of stone. 
We saw, of course, the famous Devil's Punch-bowl. On 
the summit a magnificent mountain scene presented 
itself Three gentlemen as well as ourselves were there, 
and one of them, a handsome young man, with the air of 
an officer, accosted me with the question whether I was 
not at Munich three years ago, when a German student 
fought a duel. That incident I well recollect. 

August \2th. — A drive to the Gap of Dunloe. Near 
the entrance I observed a hedge-school — some eight 
or ten ragged urchins sitting literally in a ditch. The 
boatman said the master is " a man of bright learning 
as any in Kerry." A remarkable feature in the rocks of 
this pass is that they take a dark colour from the action 
of water on them. The charm of the Gap was the echo 
called forth in several places by a bugleman, a well- 
behaved man, and an admirable player. He played 
the huntsman's chorus in " Der Freischiitz." I think 

Chap. xii. 


A hedge- 


Wiih O'ConnelVs Brother-in-law. 

Chap. xii. 


old age. 


•with the 
O Connells 
at Cahir. 

he would, without the echo, make his fortune in 

At the middle of the Gap sat a forlorn, cowering 
object, a woman aged 105. She is said to have survived 
all her kin. She spoke Irish only. Her face all 
wrinkles ; her skin like that of a dried fish. I never saw 
so frightful a creature in the human form. Swift must 
have seen such a one when he described his Goldrums.* 

August 14th. — Took my place on an outside car — (a 
Russian drosky, in fact) — a by no means inconvenient 
vehicle on good roads. At five, reached the house 
of Mr. M'Swiney, at Cahir. It would have been 
thought forlorn in England. In Ireland, it placed the 
occupier among the honoratiores. Here I found a 
numerous family of O'Connells. Mrs. O'Connell an 
invalid, very lady-like and agreeable. There were six 
or seven other ladies, well-bred, some young and hand- 
some. It was a strict fast day. The dinner, however, 
was a very good one, and no mortification to me. 
Salmon, trout, various vegetables, sweet puddings, pie, 
cream, custards, &c., &c. There was for the invalid a 
single dish of meat, of which I was invited to partake. 
On arriving at the table, O'Connell knocked it with the 
handle of his knife — every one put his hand to his face 
— and O'Connell begged a blessing in the usual way, 
adding something in an inaudible whisper. At the end 
every one crossed himself. I was told that O'Connell 
had not tasted food all day. He is rigid in the dis- 
charge of all the formalities of his Church, but with the 

* Struldbrugs. The Editor fears it is impossible to correct all H. C. R.'s 
mistakes as to names. 

Royal Progress to Derrynane. 


utmost conceivable liberality towards others ; and there 
is great hilarity in his ordinary manners. 

After tea I was taken to the house of another con- 
nection of the O'Connells, named Primrose, and there 
I slept. 

August i$th. — I did not rise till late. Bad weather 
all day. The morning spent in writing. In the after- 
noon a large dinner-party from Mr. M'Swiney's. 
Before dinner was over the piper was called in. He 
was treated with kind familiarity by every one. The 
Irish bagpipe is a more complex instrument than the 
Scotch, and the sound is less offensive. The young 
people danced reels, and we did not break up till late. 
O'Connell very lively — the soul of the party. 

August i6t/i. — A memorable day. I never before 
was of a party which travelled in a way resembling a 
royal progress. A chariot for the ladies. A car for 
the luggage. Some half-dozen horsemen, of whom I 
was one. I was mounted on a safe old horse, and soon 
forgot that I had not been on horseback three times 
within the last thirty years. The natural scenery little 
attractive. Bog and ocean, mountain and rock, had 
ceased to be novelties. We passed a few mud huts, 
with ragged women and naked urchins ; but all was 
redolent of life and interest. At the door of every hut 
were the inhabitants, eager to greet their landlord, for 
we were now in O'Connell's territory. And their tones 
and gesticulations manifested unaffected attachment. 
The women have a graceful mode of salutation. 
They do not courtesy, but bend their bodies forward. 
They join their hands, and then, turning the palms 

Chap. xir. 

The Irish 

yourney to 



A Ruiminz Court held. 

Chap. xii. 

Mode of 
disputes • 
among his 

An Irish 

outward, spread them, making a sort of figure of a bell 
in the air. And at the same time they utter unin- 
telligible Irish sounds. 

At several places parties of men were standing in 
lanes. Some of these parties joined us, and accom- 
panied us several miles. I was surprised by remarking 
that some of the men ran by the side of O'Connell's 
horse, and were vehement in their gesticulations and 
loud in their talk. First one spoke, then another. 
O'Connell seemed desirous of shortening their clamour 
by whispering me to trot a little faster. Asking after- 
wards what all this meant, I learnt from him that all 
these men were his tenants, and that one of the 
conditions of their holding under him was, that they 
should never go to law, but submit all their disputes to 
him. In fact, he was trying causes all the morning.* 
We were driven into a hut by a shower. The orators 
did not cease. Whether we rested under cover or 
trotted forward, the eloquence went on. The hut in 
which we took shelter was, I was told, of the better- 
most kind. It had a sort of chimney, not a mere 
hole in the roof, a long wooden seat like a garden chair, 
and a recess which I did not explore. The hovels I 
afterwards saw seemed to me not enviable even as 

At the end of ten miles we entered a neat house, the 

* This is worthy of note, especially for its bearing on one of the charges 
brought against the agitator on the recent monster trial. He is accused of 
conspiring to supersede the law of the land and its tribunals by introducing 
arbitrations. I could have borne witness that he had adopted this practice 
seventeen years ago, but it would have been exculpatory rather than criminat- 
ing testimony. — H. C. R., 1844. 



only one we saw. Before the door was the weir of 
a salmon fishery. Here Mrs. O'Connell alighted, and 
was placed on a pillion, as the carriage could not cross 
the mountain. As the road did not suit my horseman- 
ship, I preferred walking. The rest of the gentlemen 
kept their horses. From the highest point was a scene, 
not Alpine, but as wild as any I ever saw in Scotland. 
A grand view of the ocean, with rocky islands, bays, 
and promontories. The mouth of the Kenmare river 
on one side, and Valentia bay and island on the other, 
forming the abuttals of O'Connell's country, Derrynane. 
In the centre, immediately behind a small nook of 
land, with a delicious sea-beach, is the mansion of the 
O'Connells — the wreck, as he remarked, of the family 
fortune, which has suffered by confiscations in every 
reign. The last owner, he told me, Maurice, died two 
years ago, aged ninety-nine. He left the estate to his 
eldest nephew, the Counsellor. The house is of plain 
stone. It was humble when Maurice died, but Daniel 
has already added some loftier and more spacious 
rooms, wishing to render the abode more suitable to his 
rank, as the great leader of the Roman Catholics. 

I was delighted by his demeanour towards those who 
welcomed him on his arrival. I remarked (myself un- 
noticed) the eagerness with which he sprang from his 
horse and kissed a toothless old woman, his nurse. 

While the ladies were dressing for dinner, he took me 
a short walk on the sea-shore, and led me to a penin- 
sula, where were the remains of a monastery — a sacred 
spot, the cemetery of the O'Connell family. He showed 
me inscriptions to the memory of some of his ancestors. 

Chap. xii. 

A "wild 



The family 
mansion of 

O' Connells. 

The ceme- 
tery of the 
O' Conn ell 


Irish Catholics Bourbonites. 

Chap. xii. 

O Conneir s 

It is recorded of the Uncle Maurice, that he lived 
a long and prosperous life, rejoicing in the acquisition 
of wealth as the means of raising an ancient family 
from unjust depression. His loyalty to his king was 

O'Connell has an uncle now living in France in high 
favour with Charles X,, having continued with him 
during his emigration. Circumstances may have radi- 
calized the Counsellor, but his uncle was made by the 
Revolution a violent Royalist and anti-Gallican, as their 
ancestors had always been stanch Jacobites, O'Connell 
remarked that, with a little management, the English 
Government might have secured the Irish Catholics as 
their steadiest friends — at least, said he, significantly, 
" but for the Union," He represented the priests as 
stanch friends to the Bourbons. They inflexibly hated 
Buonaparte, and that is the chief reason why an invasion 
in his day was never seriously thought of. " But," said 
he, "if the present oppression of the Catholics con- 
tinues, and a war should arise between France and 
England, with a Bourbon on the throne, there is no 
knowing what the consequences might be," * 

We had an excellent dinner — the piper there, of 
course, and the family chaplain. Tea at night, I slept 
in a Very low old-fashioned room, which showed how 

- -* I cannot help adverting to one or two late acts of O'Connell, which seem 
inconsistent with his Radical professions on other occasions. His uniform 
declaration in favour of Don Carlos of Spain against the Queen and her 
Liberal adherents ; his violent declamations against Espartero, and the Spanish 
Liberals in general; and, not long since, his abuse of the Government of Louis 
Philippe, and his assertion of the right of the Pretender, the Duke of Bor- 
deau.x, to the throne.— H. C. R., 1844. 

O^Connell on the Reformation. 


little the former lords of this remote district regarded 
the comforts and decorations of domestic life. 

August lyth. — Rain all day. I scarcely left the 
house. During the day chatted occasionally with 
O'Connell and various members of the family. Each 
did as he liked. Some played backgammon, some 
sang to music, many read. I was greatly interested in 
the " Tales of the O'Hara Family." 

August i8t/i. — Fortunately the weather better. I 
took a walk with O'Connell. The family priest accom- 
panied us, but left abruptly. In reply to something I 
said, O'Connell remarked, " There can be no doubt that 
there were great corruptions in our Church at the 
time what you call the Reformation took place, and 
a real reform did take place in our Church." On 
this the priest bolted. I pointed this out to O'Connell. 
" Oh," said he, " I forgot he was present, or I would 
not have given offence to the good man. . . . . . 

He is an excellent parish priest. His whole life is 
devoted to acts of charity. He is always with the 

We walked to a small fort, an intrenchment of loose 
stones, called a rath, and ascribed to the Danes. He 
considered it a place of refuge for the natives against 
plundering pirates, Danes or Normans, who landed 
and stayed but a short time, ravaging the country. 

" Our next parish in that direction," said O'Connell, 
pointing sea-ward, " is Newfoundland." 

The eldest son, Maurice, has talents and high spirits. 
He is coming to the Bar, but will do nothing there. 
He is aware that he will be one dav rich. He is fit to 

Chap. xit. 

The family 

\tions in the 
before the 



Takes leave of Derrynane. 

Chap. xii. 

Feelings at 

O' Connelt s 
justifiable f 

Return to 

yourney to 

be the chieftain of his race. He has the fair eye which 
the name O'Connell imports. 

I beheve mass was performed every morning before 
I rose. Nothing, however, was said to me about it. 

With feehngs of great respect and thankfulness for 
personal kindness, I left Derrynane between twelve and 
one. I believe my host to be a perfectly sincere man. 
I could not wonder at his feeling strongly the injuries 
his country has sustained from the English. My fear is 
that this sentiment may in the breasts of many have 
degenerated into hatred. I did not conceal my decided 
approbation of the Union ; on which he spoke gently. 
Something having been said about insurrection, he said, 
" I never allow myself to ask whether an insurrection 
would be right, if it could be successful, for I am sure it 
would fail." I had for my journey Maurice O'Connell's 
horse, named Captain Rock. Luckily for me, he did 
not partake of the qualities of his famed namesake. I 
did not, however, mount till we had passed the high 
ground before the fishery. 

Slept at Mr. Primrose's. 

August \<^th. — Returned to Killarney. A ride through 
a dreary country, which wanted even the charm of 

August 2\st. — Before eight o'clock I left my friendly 
landlord. I was jammed in a covered jingle, which took 
us to Tralee in three hours. Cheerful companions in the 
car, who were full of jokes I could not share in. The 
country a wild bog-scene, with no other beauty than the 
line of the Killarney hills. Tralee is the capital of 
Kerry, and bears marks of prosperity. After looking 

Labour Market at Kihnallock. 


round the neighbourhood a little, I walked on to 
Ardfert, where were the ruins of a cathedral. I 
learned, from the intelligent Protestant family at the 
inn, that book-clubs had been established, and that 
efforts were being made to get up a mechanic's 

August 2ird. — Having slept at Adare, I proceeded to 
Limerick, the third city of Ireland. My impression not 
pleasing. The cathedral seemed to me gaol-like with- 
out, and squalid within. One noble street, George 
Street. While at dinner I heard of a return chaise to 
Bruff. My plan was at once formed, and before six I 
was off. 

August 2Atth. — Rose early, and at eight was on the 
road towards the object of this excursion, the Baalbec 
of Ireland, the town of Kilmallock, w^hich lies four 
miles from Bruff. " Etiain pcricre rumcey This fan- 
ciful epithet is intelligible. Though there are only two 
remarkable ruins, there are numerous fragments along 
the single street of the town. And the man who was 
my cicerone, the constable of the place, told me that 
within twenty years a large number of old buildings 
had been pulled down, and the materials used for 
houses. He also told me that there were in Kilmallock 
fifty families who would gladly go to America, if they 
had a free passage. Many could get no work, though 
they would accept sixpence per day as wages. I returned 
to Limerick, visiting on the way some Druidical remains 
near a lake, Loughgur. During the day I chatted with 
several peasant children, and found that they had 
nearly all been at school. The schools, though not 

Chap. xii. 




Summons from King Dan. 

Chap. xii. 






favoured by the priests, are frequented by Catholics 
as well as Protestants. 

August 26th. — (At Waterford.) Waterford has the 
peculiarity, that being really like a very pretty village, 
it has nevertheless a long and handsome quay. Ships 
of large burthen are in the river, and near are a village 
church, and gentlemen's country houses. I with diffi- 
culty obtained a bed at the Commercial Hotel, as a 
great assemblage of Catholics was about to take place. 
This I learned by accident at Limerick, and I changed 
my travelling plan accordingly. 

August 2yth. — (Sunday.) I rose early and strolled 
into a large Catholic cathedral, where were a crowd of 
the lowest of the people. There was one gentleman 
in the gallery, almost concealed behind a pillar, and 
seemingly fervent in his devotions. I recognized Daniel 
O'Connell, my late hospitable host. He slipped away 
at a side door, and I could not say a word to him, as I 
wished to do. I afterwards went into the handsome 
Protestant church. It is here the custom to make the 
churches attractive, — not the worst feature of the 
Government system, when the Protestants themselves 
defray the cost ; which, however, is seldom the case. 

August 2Zth. — I was called from my bed by the 
waiter. " Sir, Counsellor O'Connell wants you." He 
came to present me with a ticket for the forthcoming 
pubLfc dinner, and refused to take the price, which was 
£2. No Protestant was allowed to pay. He promised 
to take me to the private committee meetings, &c. 
The first general meeting was held in the chapel, which 
contains some thousands, and was crowded. The 

Wyse and O'Connell. 


speeches were of the usual stamp. Mr. Wyse, Lucien 
Buonaparte's son-in-law, was the first who attracted any 
attention ; but O'Connell himself was the orator of the 
day. He spoke with great power and effect. He is 
the idol of the people, and was loudly applauded when 
he entered the room, and at all the prominent parts of his 
speech. His manner is colloquial, his voice very sweet, 
his style varied. He seems capable of suiting his tone 
to every class of persons, and to every kind of subject. 
His language vehement — all but seditious. He spoke 
two hours, and then there was an adjournment.* 

August 2<)th. — In the forenoon I was taken by 
O'Connell to the sacristy, where a committee arranged 
what was to be done at the public meeting. As usual 
in such cases, whatever difference of opinion there may 
be is adjusted in private by the leaders. Here I 
remarked that O'Connell always spoke last, and his 
opinion invariably prevailed. At this meeting a sub- 
scription was opened for the relief of the forty-shilling 
freeholders, who had been persecuted by the landlords 
for voting with the priests rather than with themselves. 
I was glad to pay for my ticket in this way, and put 
down £s by " a Protestant English Barrister." The 
public meeting was held at half-past two. Two speeches 
by priests especially pleased me. A violent and 
ludicrous speech was made by a man who designated 
O'Connell as "the buttress of liberty in Ireland, who 
rules in the wilderness of free minds." O'Connell spoke 
with no less energy and point than yesterday. 

* My journal does not mention the subject; but in those days emancipation, 
and not repeal, was the cry. — H. C. R. 


Chap. xii. 

O' ConnelV s 




Emancipation Dinner. 

Chap. xii. 


Lord Fitz- 

Sir yohn 

The dinner was fixed for seven, but was not on the 
table till past eight. There were present more than 
200. The walls of the room were not finished ; but it 
was well lighted, and ornamented with transparencies, 
on which were the names Curran, Burke, Grattan, &c. 
The chair was taken by O'Brien. My memory would 
have said Sir Thomas Esmond. O'Gorman, by whom 
I sat, was pressing that I should take wine, but I 
resisted, and drew a laugh on him by calling him an 
intolerant persecutor, even in matters of drink. What 
must he be in religion } 

The usual patriotic and popular sentiments were 
given. The first personal toast was Lord Fitzwilliam, 
the former Lord-Lieutenant, who had not been in 
Ireland till now since he gave up his office because 
he could not carry emancipation. The venerable Earl 
returned thanks in a voice scarcely audible. With his 
eyes fixed on the ground, and with no emphasis, he 
muttered a few words about his wish to serve Ireland. 
I recollected that this was the once-honoured friend of 
Burke, and it was painful to behold the wreck of a 
good, if not a great man. Another old man appeared 
to much greater advantage, being in full possession 
of his faculties — Sir John Newport ; his countenance 
sharp, even somewhat quizzical. Lord Ebrington, too, 
returned thanks — a fine spirited young man. The 
only remarkable speech was O'Connell's, and that was 
short. When the toast, " the Liberal Protestants," was 
given, O'Connell introduced an Englishman, who spoke 
so prosily that he was set down by acclamation. It 
was after twelve, and after the magnates had retired, 

H. C. R:s speech. 


that a toast was given to which I was called upon to 
respond, — " Mr. Scarlett and the Liberal members of 
the English Bar," My speech was frequently inter- 
rupted by applause, which was quite vociferous at the 
end. This is easily accounted for, without supposing 
more than very ordinary merit in the speaker. I began 
by the usual apology, that I felt myself warranted 
in rising, from the fact that I was the only English 
Protestant barrister who had signed the late petition for 
Catholic emancipation. This secured me a favourable 
reception. " I now solicit permission to make a few 
remarks, in the two distinct characters of Englishman 
and Protestant. As an Englishman, I am well aware 
that I ought not to be an object of kindness in the eyes 
of an Irishman. I know that for some centuries the 
relation between the two countries has been charac- 
terized by the infliction of injustice and wrong on the 
part of the English. If, therefore, I considered myself 
the representative of my countrymen, and any indi- 
vidual before me the representative of Irishmen, I 
should not dare to look him in the face." (Vehement 
applause.) " Sir, I own to you I do not feel flattered 
by this applause. But I should have been ashamed to 
utter this sentence, which might seem flattery, if I had 
not meant to repeat it in another application. And I 
rely on the good-nature and liberality of Irishmen to 
bear with me while I make it. I am Protestant as well 
as Englishman. And were I to imagine myself to be 
the single Protestant, and any one before me the single 
Catholic, I should expect him to hang down his head 
while I looked him boldly in the face." There was an 

A A 2 

Chap. xii. 

Speech of 

H. c. /e. 


All Sects Persecutors. 

Chap. xii. 


The spirit 
of persecu- 
tion tiot 
confi7ied to 
one sect. 


inherent in 
licism ? 

appalling silence — not a sound, and I was glad to escape 
from a dangerous position, by adding, " I am aware 
that, in these frightful acts of religious zeal, the guilt 
is not all on one side. And I am not one of those who 
would anxiously strike a balance in the account current 
of blood. Least of all would I encourage a pharisaic 
memory. On the contrary', I would rather, were it pos- 
sible, that, for the sake of universal charity, we should all 
recollect the wrongs we have committed, and forget those 
we have sustained, — but not too soon. Irishmen ought 
not to forget past injustice, till injustice has entirely 
ceased." I then went on to safer topics. I confessed 
myself brought up an enemy to the Roman Catholic 
Church, and would frankly state why I especially feared 
it. " I speak with confidence, and beg to be believed 
in what I know. The Catholic religion is obnoxious to 
thousands in England, not because of the number of 
its sacraments, or because it has retained a few more 
mysteries than the Anglican acknowledges, but because 
it is thought — and I own I cannot get rid of the appre- 
hension — that there is in the maxims of your Church 
something inconsistent with civil and religious liberty." 
On this there was a cry from different parts of the 
room, " That 's no longer so," — " Not so now." I then 
expressed my satisfaction at the liberal sentiments I had 
heard that morning from two reverend gentlemen. " Did 
I think that such sentiments would be echoed were the 
Roman Catholic Church not suffering, but triumphant, 
— could they be published as a papal bull, I do not say 
I could become altogether a member of your Church, 
but it would be the object of my affection. Nay, if 

A Lawyers Diimer-party. 


such sentiments constitute your religion, then I am of 
your Church, whether you will receive me or no." After 
I sat down my health was given, and I had a few words 
more to say. There was a transparency on the wall 
representing the genius of Liberty introducing Ireland 
to the Temple of British Freedom. I said, " Your 
worthy artist is better versed in Church than in State 
painting, for, look at the keys which Liberty holds, — 
they are the keys of St. Peter!" A general laugh 
confessed that I had hit the mark. 

September i^th. — (Dublin.) I mention St. Patrick's 
Cathedral for the sake of noticing the common blunder 
in the inscribed monument to Swift. He is praised as 
the friend to liberty. He was not that ; he was the 
enemy of injustice. He resisted certain flagrant acts of 
oppression, and tried to redress his country's wrongs, 
but he never thought of the liberties of his country. 

I prolonged my stay at Dublin in order to spend the 
day with Cuthbert, a Protestant barrister. There dined 
with him my old acquaintance, Curran, son of the 
orator. His tone of conversation excellent. I will 
write down a few Irish anecdotes. Lord Chancellor 
Redesdale* was slow at taking a joke. In a bill case 
before him, he said, "The learned counsellor talks of 
flying kites. What does that mean } I recollect 
flying kites when I was a boy, in England." — " Oh, 
my Lord," said Plunkett, " the difference is very great. 
The wipd raised those kites your Lordship speaks of — 
ours raise the wind." Every one laughed but the Chan- 
cellor, who did not comprehend the illustration. It was 

♦ Lord Redesdale was Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1802 to 1806. 

Chap. xii. 





A Ride with Sheil. 

Chap. xii. 


A coach- 
ride with 

A vehement 

Plunkett, also, who said, " If a cause were tried before 
Day (the Justice), it would be tried in the dark." 
Cuthbert related, in very interesting detail, a memorable 
incident of which he was a witness. On the discussion 
of the Union question, Grattan had obtained his elec- 
tion, and came into the House while the debate was 
going on. He made a famous speech, which so pro- 
voked Corry, that in his reply he called Grattan a 
traitor, and left the House. Grattan followed him. 
They fought a duel in the presence of a crowd. And 
before the speaker whom they left on his legs had 
finished, Grattan returned, having shot his adversary.* 

September i^th. — Though not perfectly well, I de- 
termined to leave Dublin this day, and had taken my 
place on the Longford stage, when I saw Sheil get 
inside. I at once alighted, and paid 4^. 6d. additional 
for an inside seat to Mullingar, whither I learned he was 
going. It was a fortunate speculation, for he was both 
communicative and friendly. We had, as companions, 
a woman, who was silent, and a priest, who proved to be 
a character. We talked immediately on the stirring 
topics of the day. Sheil did not appear to me a pro- 
found or original thinker, but he was lively and amusing. 
Our priest took a leading part in the conversation. He 
was a very handsome man, with most prepossessing 
manners. He told us he had had the happiness to be 

educated under Professor P at Salamanca. "No 

one," said he, " could possibly go through a course of 
study under him, without being convinced that Protes- 

* The Right Honourable Isaac Corry, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer. 
Although in this duel Grattan shot his antagonist, the wound was not fatal. 

A 71 Irish Prescription. 


tantism is no Christianity, and that Roman Catholicism 
is the only true religion. Any one who was not con- 
vinced must be a knave, a fool, or a madman." To do 
justice to Shell, he joined me in a hearty laugh at this. 
And we forced the priest at last to make a sort of 
apology, and acknowledge that invincible ignorance is 
pardonable. I told him drily, that I was a friend to 
emancipation, but if it should be proposed in Parlia- 
ment, and I should be there, I should certainly move to 
except from its benefits all who had studied under 

Father P at Salamanca. At Mullingar, a crowd 

were waiting for the orator, and received him with 

September l$th. — Proceeded to Sligo on the mail,. and 
had a very pleasant companion in a clergyman, a Mr. 
Dawson. He asserted anti-Catholic principles with a 
mildness and liberality, and at the same time with an 
address and knowledge, I have seldom witnessed. We 
went over most of the theologico-political questions of 
the day, and if we did not convince we did not offend 
each other. Of the journey I shall say nothing, but 
that I passed through one town I should wish to 
see again — Boyle, lying very beautifully, with pic- 
turesque ruins of an abbey. As we approached Sligo 
the scenery became more wild and romantic. There I 
was seriously indisposed, and Mr. Dawson recommended 
me to a medical man, a Dr. Bell, a full-faced, jovial 
man, who was remarkably kind. When I had opened 
my case, the only answer I could get for some time 
was, " You must dine with me to-day." This I refused 
to do, but I promised to join the party in the evening, 

Chap. xii. 



Dr. Bell. 


A Supper-party. 

Chap. xir. 



and was gratified by the geniality of all whom I met at 
his house, and especially by his own hospitality. 

September i6th. — Dr. Bell again asked me to dine with 
him, but excused me on my expressing a desire to be 
free. I enjoyed, however, another evening at his house, 
where Mr. Dawson was the ami de la maison. 

September lyth. — After a very hospitable breakfast 
with Dr. Bell, availed myself of the opportunity of 
proceeding on my journey in my landlord's car. I 
noticed some buildings, which a very meanly dressed 
man, one who in England would be supposed to belong 
to the lowest class, told me were Church school build- 
ings, erected by Lord Palmerston, whom he praised 
as a generous landlord to the Catholic poor. He said 
that, formerly, the peasants were so poor, that having 
no building, a priest would come and consecrate some 
temporary chapel, and then take away the altar, which 
alone makes the place holy. On my expressing myself 
strongly at this, the man said, in a style that quite 
startled me, " I thank you, sir, for that sentiment." 
At nine o'clock, we entered the romantically situated 
little town of Ballyshannon. My host and driver took 
me to the chief inn, but no bed was to be had. He 
said, however, that he would not rest till he had lodged 
me somewhere, and he succeeded admirably, for he took 
me to the house of a character, — a man who, if he had 
not been so merry, might have sat for a picture of 
Romeo's apothecary. I had before taken a supper 
with a genuine Irish party at the Inn, — an Orange 
solicitor, who insolently browbeat the others ; a Papist 
manager of a company of strolling players ; and a 



Quaker so wet as to be — like the others — on the verge of 
intoxication. I had to fight against all the endeavours 
to find out who I was ; but neither they, nor the apothe- 
cary, Mr. Lees, nor my former host, Mr, Boyle, knew 
me, till I avowed myself. I found I could not escape 
drinking a little whisky with Mr. Lees, who would 
first drink with me and then talk with me. On my 
saying, in the course of our conversation, that I had 
been in Waterford, he sprang up and exclaimed, " May 
be you are Counsellor Robinson .''" — " My name is Robin- 
son." On this he lifted up his hands, " That I should 
have so great a man in my house !" And I had some 
difficulty in making him sit down in the presence of 
the great man. Here I may say that, at Dublin, I 
found a report of my speech at Waterford, in an Irish 
paper, containing not a thought or sentiment I actually 
uttered, but a mere series of the most vulgar and violent 

September 24th. — The journey to Belfast on a stage- 
coach was diversified by my having as companions two 
reverend gentlemen, whom I suspected to be Scotch 
seceders, — amusingly, I should say instructively, igno- 
rant even on points very nearly connected with their 
own professional pursuits. They were good-natured, if 
not liberal, and with no violent grief lamented the 
heretical tendencies in the Academical Institution at 
Belfast. " It has," said they, " two notorious Arians 
among the professors, Montgomery and Bruce, but they 
do not teach theology, and are believed honourably to 
abstain from propagating heresy." Arianism, I heard, 
had infected the Synod of Ulster, and the Presbytery 

Chap. xii. 





journey to 


The plague 




Chap. xii. 


of Antrim consists wholly of Arians. On my men- 
tioning Jeremy Taylor, these two good men shook 
their heads over " the Arian." I stared. " Why, sir, 
you know his very unsound work on original sin ?" — " I 
know that he has been thought not quite up to the 
orthodox mark on that point." — " Not up to the mark ! 
He is the oracle of the English Presbyterians of the 
last century." This was puzzling. At length, however, 
the mist cleared up. They were thinking of Dr. John 
Taylor, of Norwich, the ancestor of a family of my 
friends. And as to Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down 
and Connor, they had never heard of such a man. Yet 
these were teachers. They were mild enemies of 
emancipation, and seemed half-ashamed of being so, 
for they had more fear of Arianism than of Popery. 

September 26th. — Strolled on the shore of the Lough 
that adjoins the town. Then began my homeward 
journey, and it was not long before I landed at Port 
Patrick. I was now in Scotland. That I felt, but I 
had been gradually and almost unconsciously losing all 
sense of being in Ireland. The squalid poverty of the 
people had been vanishing ; and, though a poor ob- 
server of national physiognomies, I had missed the 
swarthy complexion, the black eyes, and the long 
haggard faces. The signs of Romanism had worn out. 
The ear was struck with the Puritan language. The 
descendants of Scottish settlers under the Stuarts and 
Cromwells, I have always considered as Englishmen 
born in Ireland, and the northern counties as a Scotch 
colony. And yet I am told that this is not the true 
state of things. 

A Murder Revenged. 


September 2Zth. — At Kirkcudbright, where I took up 
my quarters with my friend Mrs. Niven, at law my 

October^ ist. — Mr. Niven, no slanderer of his country- 
men, related to me in a few words a tale, which in 
every incident makes one think how Walter Scott 

would have worked it up. Sir Gordon wilfully 

shot his neighbour. The man might have been cured, 
but he preferred dying, that his murderer might be 
hanged. The Gordon fled, and lived many years in 

exile, till he was visited by a friend. Sir Maxwell, 

who persuaded him that the affair was forgotten, and 
that he might return. The friends travelled together to 
Edinburgh, and there they attended together the public 
worship of God in the kirk. In the middle of the service 
the Maxwell cried aloud, " Shut all the doors, here is a 
murderer !" The Gordon was seized, tried, and hanged, 
and the Maxwell obtained from the crown a grant of a 
castle, and the noble demesnes belonging to it. This 
account was given to me while I was visiting the pic- 
turesque ruins of the castle. 

October ^rd. — On my way southward I passed through 
Annan, the birthplace of my old acquaintance Edward 

October $th. — Went round by Keswick to Ambleside. 
As I passed through Keswick, I had a chat with the 
ladies of Southey's family. Miss D. Wordsworth's illness 
prevented my going to Rydal Mount. But I had two 
days of Wordsworth's company, and enjoyed a walk on 
Loughrigg Fell. In this walk the beauty of the English 
and Scotch lakes was compared with those of Killarney, 

Chap. xii. 

Mr. Niven. 




and Scotch 



Two Days zuith Wordsworth. 

Chap. xii. 


with those of 
■ Killarney. 


and the preference given to the former was accounted 
for by the broken surface of the sides of the mountains, 
whence arises a play of colour, ever mixed and ever 
changing. The summits of the mountains round Kil- 
larney are as finely diversified as could be wished, 
but the sides are smooth, little broken by crags, or 
clothed with herbage of various colour, though fre- 
quently wooded. Wordsworth showed me the field he 
has purchased, on which he means to build, should he 
be compelled to leave the Mount. And he took me 
over Mr. Tillbrook's knacky cottage, the " Rydal wife 
trap," really a very pretty toy. He also pointed out 
the beautiful spring, a description of which is to be an 
introduction to a portion of his great poem, and con- 
tains a poetical view of water as an element in the com- 
position of our globe. The passages he read appear to 
be of the very highest excellence. 

October yth. — Incessant rain. I did not leave Amble- 
side for Rydal till late. We had no resource but books 
and conversation, of which there was no want. Poetry 
the staple commodity, of course. A very pleasing 
young lady was of our party to-day, as well as yester- 
day, a Miss A , from Sussex. Very pretty, and very 

naive and sprightly — just as young ladies should be. 
The pleasure of the day is not to be measured by the 
small space it occupies in my journal. Early at my inn. 
A luxurious supper of sherry-negus and cranberry tart. 
Read the first part of Osborne's " Advice to his Son," 
— a book Wordsworth gave to Monkhouse, and which, 
therefore, I supposed to be a favourite. But I found, 
on inquiry, that Wordsworth likes only detached re- 

Dawson Turner. 


marks, for Osborne is a mere counsellor of selfish pru- 
dence and caution. Surely there is no need to print 
— " Beware lest in trying to save your friend you get 
drowned yourself ! " 

October 2>th. — Wordsworth full of praises of the fine 
scenery of Yorkshire. Gordale Scar (near Malham) he 
declares to be one of the grandest objects in nature, 
though of no great size. It has never disappointed him. 

October 14th. — Reached Bury. Thus ended an enjoy- 
able journey. The most remarkable circumstance at- 
tending it is, that I seemed to lose that perfect health 
which hitherto has accompanied me in my journeys. 
But now I feel perfectly well again. Perhaps my indis- 
position in Ireland may be beneficial to me, as it has 
made me sensible that my health requires attention. 

During my absence in Ireland, my excellent sister- 
in-law died. I cannot write of her at length here. The 
letter respecting her death was missent, and did not 
reach me till about a week after it was written. My 
sister was a most estimable woman, with a warm heart, 
great vivacity of feeling as well as high spirits, great 
integrity of character, and a verj' strong understanding. 

October 26th. — (At Mr. Dawson Turner's, Yarmouth.) 
I was summoned to breakfast . at eight ; and was 
delighted to find myself at nine treated with genuine 
hospitality and kindness, for I was left to myself Mr. 
Turner's family consists of two married daughters, — 
Mrs. Hooker, wife of the traveller to Iceland, and now a 
professor at Glasgow, a great botanist and naturalist, 
and Mrs. Palgrave, wife of the ex-Jew Cohen,* now 

• See p. 272. 

Chap. xir. 


la'dj's death 



Dawson Turner's House. 

Chap. xii. 

A visit to 


Mr. D. 

Turner s 


bearing the name of Mrs. Turner's father, and four 
unmarried daughters, all very interesting and accom- 
plished young women, full of talent, which has left their 
personal attractions unimpaired. He has two sons — 
the youngest only at home, a nice boy. At the head of 
these is a mother worthy of such children. She, too, is 
accomplished, and has etched many engravings, which 
were published in Mr. Turner's " Tour in Normandy," 
and many heads, some half-dozen of which he gave me, 
or rather I took, he offering me as many as I chose. 
The moment breakfast was over, Mr. Turner went to 
the bank, Mrs. Turner to her writing-desk, and every 
one of the young ladies to drawing, or some other 
tasteful occupation, and I was as much disregarded as 
if I were nobody. In the adjoining room, the library, 
was a fire, and before breakfast Mr. Turner had said 
to me, " You will find on that table pen, ink, and 
paper." Without a word more being said I took 
the hint, and went into that apartment as my own. 
And there I spent the greater part of the time 
of my visit. I took a short walk with Mr. Turner 
— the weather did not allow of a long one. We 
had a small party at dinner — Mr. Brightwell, Mr. 
Worship, &c. A very lively evening. I sat up late in 
my bedroom. 

October 2'jth. — Mr. Turner is famous for his collection 
of autographs, of which he has nearly twenty thick quarto 
volumes, consisting of letters, for the greater part, of 
distinguished persons of every class and description. 
But these form by far the smallest portion of his riches 
in MSS. He has purchased several large collections, 

His AiitograpJis. 


and obtained from friends very copious and varied con- 
tributions. Every one who sees such a collection is 
desirous of contributing to it. Some are of great 
antiquity and curiosity. I was not a little flattered 
when Mr. Turner, having opened a closet, and pointed 
out to me some remarkable volumes, gave me the 
key, with directions not to leave the closet open. He 
had before shown me several volumes of his private 
correspondence, with an intimation that they were 
literary letters, which might be shown to all the world, 
and that I might read everything I saw. I began to 
look over the printed antiquarian works on Ireland, but 
finding so many MSS. at my command, I confined 
myself to them. I read to-day a most melancholy 
volume of letters by Cowper, the poet, giving a par- 
ticular account of his sufferings, his dreams, &c., all 
turning on one idea — the assurance that he would be 
damned. In one he relates that he thought he was being 
dragged to hell, and that he was desirous of taking a 
memorial to comfort him. He seized the knocker of the 
door, but recollecting that it would melt in the flames, 
and so add to his torments, he threw it down ! His 
correspondent was in the habit of communicating to 
him the answers from God which he received to his 
prayers for Cowper, which answers were all promises of 
mercy. These Cowper did not disbelieve, and yet they 
did not comfort him. 

October 2S>th. — I must not forget that the elder Miss 
Turner, a very interesting girl, perhaps twenty-five, is a 
German student. By no means the least pleasant part 
of my time was that which I spent every day in hearing 

Chap. xir. 



Inspired and Uninspired Texts. 

Chap. xii. 


Mr. D. 

Turner s 

collection of 




her read, and in reading to her passages from Goethe 
and Schiller. 

The only letters I had time to look over among the 
Macro papers, purchased by Mr. Turner, including those 
of Sir Henry Spelman, were a collection of letters to 
Dr. Steward, the former preacher at the Church Gate 
Street Meeting, Bury. These were all from Dissenting 
ministers, about whom I was able to communicate some 
information to Mr. Turner. Dr. Steward lived once in 
Dublin, and the letters give an interesting account of 
the state of religious parties in Ireland, circa 1750-60. 
The Lord-Lieutenant then favoured the New Light 
party, i.e., the Arians. These few letters engrossed my 
attention. I could not calculate the time requisite for 
reading the whole collection. 

October 2gtk. — (Sunday.) I accompanied the family 
to the large, rambling, one-sided church, which is still 
interesting. Unpleasant thoughts suggested by a verse 
from Proverbs, read by the preacher, — " He that is 
surety for a stranger shall smart for it ; but he that 
hateth suretyship is safe." It is remarkable that no 
enemy to revealed religion has attacked it by means 
of a novel or poem, in which mean and detestable 
characters are made to justify themselves by precepts 
found in the Bible. A work of that kind would be 
insidious, and not the less effective because a super- 
ficial objection. But some share of the reproach should 
fall on the theologians who neglect to discriminate 
between the spiritual or inspired, and the unspiritual 
or uninspired parts of the sacred writings. The worldly 
wisdom of the above text is not to be disputed, and if 



found in the works of a Franklin, unobjectionable — for 
he was the philosopher of prudence ; but it is to be 
regretted that such a lesson should be taught us as 
"the Word of God." I could not help whispering to 
Dawson Turner, " Is this the Word of God ?" He 
replied, " All bankers think so." 

October 2)Oth. — A pleasant forenoon like the rest. 
After an early dinner, left my hospitable host and 
hostess. This house is the most agreeable I ever 
visited. No visit would be unpleasantly long there. 

November 2<^th. — At home over books. An hour at 
the Temple Library helping Gordon in lettering some 
German books. At four I went to James Stephen, and 
drove down with him to his house at Hendon. A 
dinner-party. I had a most interesting companion in 
young Macaulay, one of the most promising of the 
rising generation I have seen for a long time. He is 
the author of several much admired articles in the 
Edinburgh Review. A review of Milton's lately dis- 
covered work on Christian Doctrine, and of his political 
and poetical character, is by him. I prefer the political 
to the critical remarks. In a paper of his on the new 
London University, his low estimate of the advantages of 
our University education, i.e. at Oxford and Cambridge, 
is remarkable in one who is himself so much indebted 
to University training. He has a good face, — not the 
delicate features of a man of genius and sensibility, but 
the strong lines and well-knit limbs of a man sturdy 
in body and mind. Very eloquent and cheerful. Over- 
flowing with words, and not poor in thought. Liberal 
in opinion, but no radical. He seems a correct as well 


Chap. xii. 

Mr. and 





Estimate of 


Death of Flaxman. 

Chap. xii. 


Mr. {after- 
wards Sir 
y.) Soane. 

Death of 

Blake on 

Flaxman s 


as a full man. He showed a minute knowledge of sub- 
jects not introduced by himself 

December — Dined at Flaxman's. He had a cold, 
and was not at all fit for company. Therefore our party 
broke up early. At his age every attack of disease is 
alarming. Among those present were the Miss Tulks, 
sisters of the late M.P. for Sudbury, and Mr. Soane, 
architect and R.A. He is an old man, and is suffering 
under a loss of sight, though he is not yet blind. He 
talked about the New Law Courts,* and with warmth 
abused them. He repudiates them as his work, being 
constrained by orders. We had a discussion on the 
merits of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, he con- 
tending that, even in its present situation, it heightens 
instead of diminishing the effect of the Abbey. 

December yth. — I was alarmed yesterday by the ac- 
count I received when I called at Flaxman's. This 
morning I sent to inquire, and my messenger brought 
the melancholy intelligence that Flaxman died early in 
the morning ! The country has lost one of its greatest 
and best men. As an artist, he has done more than any 
other man of the age to spread her fame ; as a man, 
he exhibited a rare specimen of moral and Christian 

I walked out, and called at Mr. Soane's. He was 
not at home. I then went to Blake's. He received the 
intelligence much as I expected. He had himself been 
very ill during the summer, and his first observation 
was, with a smile, " I thought I should have gone first." 
He then said, " I cannot consider death as anything but 

* The Courts at Westminster, then just built by Mr. Soane. 

Blake. — Flaxmans Funeral. 


a going from one room to another." By degrees he fell 
into his wild rambling way of talk. " Men are born 
with a devil and an angel," but this he himself inter- 
preted body and soul. Of the Old Testament he 
seemed to think not favourably. Christ, said he, took 
much after his mother, the Law. On my asking for an 
explanation, he referred to the turning the money- 
changers out of the . temple. He then declared against 
those who sit in judgment on others. " I have never 
known a very bad man who had not something very 
good about him." He spoke of the Atonement, and 
said, " It is a horrible doctrine ! If another man pay 
your debt, I do not forgive it." .... He produced 
'' Sintram," by Fouque, and said, " This is better than 
my things." 

December i$th. — The funeral of Flaxman. I rode to 
the house with Thompson, R.A., from Somerset House. 
Thompson spoke of Flaxman with great warmth. He 
said so great a man in the arts had not lived for 
centuries, and probably for centuries there would not be 
such another. He is so much above the age and his 
country, that his merits have never been appreciated. 
He made a design (said Thompson) for a monument 
for Pitt, in Westminster Abbey — one of the grandest 
designs ever composed, far beyond anything imagined 
by Canova. But this work, through intrigue, was taken 
from him, and the monument to Nelson given him 
instead, — a work not to his taste, and in which he took 
no pleasure. Yet his genius was so universal that there 
is no passion which he has not perfectly expressed. 
Thompson allowed that Flaxman's execution was not 

B B 2 

Chap. xir. 

Flaxman s 


Flaxman Gallery. 

Chap. xii. 

Flaxman s 

equal to his invention, more from want of inclination 
than of power. Perhaps there was a want of power in 
his wrist* On arriving at Flaxman's house, in Buck- 
ingham Street, we found Sir Thomas Lawrence and five 
others, who, with Mr. Thompson and Flaxman himself, 
constituted the council of the year. The five were 
Phillips, Howard, Shee, Jones, and one whose name I 
do not recollect. Two Mr. Denmans \ and two Mr. 
Mathers were present, and Mr. Tulk and Mr. Hart. I 
sat in the same carriage with Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
Mr. Hart, and Mr. Tulk ; and Sir Thomas spoke with 
great affection and admiration of Flaxman, as of a 
man who had not left, and had not had, his equal. 
The interment took place in the burial-ground of St. 
Giles-in-the-Fields, near the old St. Pancras Church. 
Speaking of Michael Angelo, Sir Thomas represented 
him as far greater than Raphael. 

Reni.\ — Let me add now, though I will not enlarge 
on what is not yet completed, that I have for several 
years past been employed in fixing within the walls 
of University College all the casts of Flaxman, — the 
single act of my life which, to all appearance, will leave 
sensible and recognizable consequences after my death. 

December I'jth. — Dined at Bakewell's, at Hampstead. 

A Mr. M there, a Genevese curate, expelled from 

his curacy by the Bishop of Friburg. No trial or any 
proceeding whatever. This is arbitrary enough. Yet 
M being ultra in his opinions, one cannot deem the 

* Very lately Charles Stokes, the executor of Chantrey, told me that 
Chantrey expressed the same opinion. — H. C. R., 1851. 
f Mrs. Flaxman was a Miss Denman. ;J; Written in 1851. 

Sir John Soane. — Rolfe. 


act of despotism very flagrant. The oppression of 
mere removal from clerical functions, when the person 
is not a believer, does not excite much resentment. 

M predicts with confidence a bloody war, ending in 

the triumph of liberal principles. 

Rem.* — After twenty-five years I may quote a couplet 
from Dryden's "Virgil" : — 

' ' Tlie gods gave ear, and granted half his prayer, 
The rest the winds dispersed in empty air." 

December \Zth. — Called upon Soane, the architect, 
whom I met at Flaxman's. His house -f is a little 
museum, almost unpleasantly full of curiosities. Every 
passage as full as it could be stuck with antiques or 
casts of sculpture, with paintings, including several of 
the most famous Hogarths — the " Election," &c. The 
windows are of painted glass, some antiques. There 
are designs, plans, and models of famous architectural 
works. A model of Herculaneum, since the excavations, 
is among the most remarkable. A consciousness of my 
having no safe judgment in such matters lessens the 
pleasure they would give me. He complained of the 
taking down of the double balustrade of the Treasury. 
I own I thought it very grand. " According to the 
original plan of the Courts, all the conveniences required 
by the profession would," he says, " have been afforded." 

December 20th. — A morning of calls, and those agree- 
able. First with Rolfe, who unites more business 
talents with literary tastes than any other of my ac- 
quaintance. Later, a long chat with Storks, and a walk 
with him. He now encourages my inclination to leave 

* Written in 1851. f ^'ow the Soane Mxiseum, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

Chap. xii. 

Soane s 

Sir John 

Soane' s 





Dr. Dibdin. 

Chap. xii. 


Dr. Dibdin. 


the Bar. His own feelings are less favourable to the 
profession, and he sees that there may be active em- 
ployment without the earning of money, or thoughts 
of it. 

December 21st. — A call from Benecke. We began an 
interesting conversation on religion, and have appointed 
a time for a long and serious talk on the subject. I 
am deeply prepossessed in favour of everything that 
Benecke says. He is an original thinker, pious, and 
with no prejudices. Dined with Mr. Payne, and spent 
an agreeable afternoon. Dr. Dibdin and Mr. D'Arblay 
(son of the famous authoress of " Cecilia") were there. 
Dibdin exceedingly gay, too boyish in his laugh for a 
D.D., but I should judge kind-hearted. 

December 2nd. — An interesting morning. By invita- 
tion from Dr. Dibdin,* I went to Lord Spencer's, where 
were several other persons, and Dibdin exhibited to us 
his lordship's most curious books. I felt myself by no 
means qualified to appreciate the worth of such a col- 
lection. A very rich man cannot be reproached for 
spending thousands in bringing together the earliest 
printed copies of the Bible, of Homer, Virgil, Livy, 
&c., &c. Some of the copies are a most beautiful 
monument of the art of printing, as well as of paper- 
making. It is remarkable that the art arose at once to 
near perfection. At Dresden, we see the same imme- 
diate excellence in pottery. My attention was drawn 
to the famous Boccaccio, sold at the Roxburgh sale 
(in my presence) to the Duke of Marlborough, for 

* Dr. Dibdin was employed by Lord Spencer to write an account of the 
rare books in his libraries. 

Necessity and Free-will. 


£2,66^, and, on the sale of the Duke's effects, purchased 
by Lord Spencer for (if I am not mistaken) £<^iS. 

December 2/^th. — After breakfast I walked down to 
Mr. Benecke's, with whom I had a very long and inte- 
resting religious conversation. He is a remarkable man, 
very religious, with a strong tendency to what is called 
enthusiasm, and perfectly liberal in his feeling. The 
peculiar doctrine of Christianity, he says, is the fall of 
man, of which Paganism has no trace. The nature of 
that fall is beautifully indicated in the allegory at the 
beginning of the book of Genesis. The garden of 
Eden represents that prior and happier state in which 
all men were, and in which they sinned. Men come 
into this world with the character impressed on them 
in their prior state, and all their acts arise out of that 
character. There is therefore, in the doctrine of neces- 
sity, so much truth as this — all actions are the inevitable 
effect of external operations on the mind in a given 
state, that state having sprung necessarily out of the 
character brought into this world.' Christianity shows 
how man is to be redeemed from this fallen condition. 
Evil cannot be ascribed to God, who is the author of 
good. It could only spring out of the abuse of free- 
will in that prior state, which does not continue to 

To this I objected that the difficulties of the neces- 
sarian doctrine are only pushed back, not removed, by 
this view. In the prior state, there is this inextricable 
dilemma. If the free-will were in quality and in 
quantity the same in all, then it remains to be explained 
how the same cause produces different effects. But if 

Chap. xii. 


Talk with 

Benecke on 


and free- 


Conflict of English aiid Scotch Lazv. 

Chap. xii. 

Prim Hive 
powers in- 


the quality or the quantity of the power called free-will 
be unequal, then the diversity in the act or effect may 
be ascribed to the primitive diversity in the attribute. 
In that case, however, the individual is not responsible, 
for he did not create himself, or give himself that power 
or attribute of free-will. 

Rem.* — To this I would add, after twenty-five years, 
that the essential character of free-will places it beyond 
the power of being explained. We have no right to 
require that we should understand or explain any 
primitive or originating power — call it God or free-will. 
It is enough that we imist believe it, whether we will or 
no ; and we must disclaim all power of explanation. 

During this year I was made executor to a Mrs. 
Vardill — a character. She was the widow of a clergy- 
man, an American Loyalist, a friend of old General 
Franklin. The will had this singular devise in it, that 
Mrs. Vardill left the residue of her estate, real and 
personal, to accumulate till her daughter, Mrs. Niven, 
was fifty-two years 'of age. I mention this will, how- 
ever, to refer to one of the most remarkable and 
interesting law cases which our courts of law have 
witnessed since the union of England and Scotland. 
The litigation arose not out of the will, but out of a 
pending suit, to take from her property in her possession. 
The question was, whether a child legitimated in Scot- 
land by the marriage (after his birth) of his father and 
mother can inherit lands in England } The case (Birt- 
whistle V. Vardill) was tried at York, and afterwards 
argued on two occasions before the Lords. Scotch 

* Written in 1851. 

Legitimation by subseqiieiit Marriage. 


lawyers held that such a child was in every respect 
entitled to inherit his father's estate in England. But, 
happily for my friend, the English lawyers were almost 
unanimously of the opposite opinion. 

Concluded the year at Ayrton's. We made an awk- 
ward attempt at games, in which the English do not 
succeed — acting words as rhymes to a given word, and 
finding out likenesses from which an undeclared word 
was to be guessed. We stayed till after twelve, when 
Mrs. Ayrton made us all walk upstairs through her 
bedroom for good luck. On coming home, I was 
alarmed by a note from Cuthbert Relph, saying, " Our 
excellent friend Anthony Robinson is lying alarmingly 
ill at his house in Hatton Garden." 

Chap. xh. 


End of the 


Anthony Robinson's Death. 

Chap. xiii. 



Rem.^ — The old year closed with a melancholy 
announcement, which was verified in the course of the 
first month. On the 20th of January died my ex- 
cellent friend, Anthony Robinson, one of those who 
have had the greatest influence on my character. 
During his last illness I was attending the Quarter 
Sessions, but left Bury before they closed, as I was 
informed that my dying friend declared he should not 
die happy without seeing me. I spent nearly all the 
day preceding his death at Hatton Garden. He was in 
the full possession of his faculties, and able to make 
some judicious alterations in his will. On the 20th he 
was altogether exhausted — able to say to me, " God 
bless you !" but no more. I contributed an article, 
containing a sketch of my friend's character, to the 
Monthly Repository.^ 

January 2'jth. — The day of the burial of my old 
dear friend Anthony Robinson, which took place in a 
vault of the Worship Street General Baptist Meeting 

* Written in 1851. 

f Vol. I. New Series, p. 288. Sec Vol. I. of the present work, p. 358. 



February 2nd. — Gotzenberger, the young painter 
from Germany, called, and I accompanied him to 
Blake.* We looked over Blake's Dante, Gotzen- 
berger was highly gratified by the designs. I was 
interpreter between them. Blake seemed gratified by 
the visit, but said nothing remarkable. 

Rem.^ — It was on this occasion that I saw Blake for 
the last time. He died on the I2th of August. His 
genius as an artist was praised by Flaxman and Fuseli, 
and his poems excited great interest in Wordsworth. 
His theosophic dreams bore a close resemblance to 
those of Swedenborg. I have already referred to an 
article written by me, on Blake, for the Hamburg 
" Patriotic Annals." | My interest in this remarkable 
man was first excited in 1806. Dr. Malkin, our Bury 
grammar-school head-master, published in that year a 
memoir of a very precocious child, who died. An 
engraving of a portrait of him, by Blake, was prefixed. 
Dr. Malkin gave an account of Blake, as a painter and 
poet, and of his visions, and added some specimens of 
his poems, including the " Tiger." I will now gather 
together a few stray recollections. When, in 18 10, I 
gave Lamb a copy of the Catalogue of the paintings ex- 
hibited in Carnaby Street, he was delighted, especially 
with the description of a painting afterwards engraved, 
and connected with which there was a circumstance 
which, unexplained, might reflect discredit on a most 
excellent and amiable man. It was after the friends 

• Gotzenberger was one of the pupils of Cornelius, who assisted him in 
painting the frescoes, emblematical of Theology, Philosophy, Jurisprudence, 
and Medicine, in the Aula of the University of Bonn. 

t Written in 1852. J Vol I., p. 299. 

Chap. xih. 


berger at 

Last visit 
to Blake. 

380 Canterbury Pilgrimage by Blake and Stothard. 

Chap. xiii. 

The Can- 

Blake' s 

remarks on 


Hazlitt on 

of Blake had circulated a subscription paper for an 
engraving of his " Canterbury Pilgrims," that Stothard 
was made a party to an engraving of a painting of the 
same subject, by himself* But Flaxman considered this 
as not done wilfully. Stothard's work is well known ; 
Blake's is known by very few. Lamb preferred the 
latter greatly, and declared that Blake's description 
was the finest criticism he had ever read of Chaucer's 
poem. In the Catalogue, Blake writes of himself with 
the utmost freedom. He says, "This artist defies all 
competition in colouring," — that none can beat him, for 
none can beat the Holy Ghost, — that he, and Michael 
Angelo and Raphael, were under Divine influence, 
while Correggio and Titian worshipped a lascivious 
and therefore cruel Deity, and Rubens a proud Devil, 
&c. Speaking of colour, he declared the men of Titian 
to be of leather, and his women of chalk, and ascribed 
his own perfection in colouring to the advantage he 
enjoyed in seeing daily the primitive men walking in 
their native nakedness in the mountains of Wales. 
There were about thirty oil paintings, the colouring 
excessively dark and high, and the veins black. The 
hue of the primitive men was very like that of the 
Red Indians. Many of his designs were unconscious imi- 
tations. He illustrated Blair's " Grave," the " Book of 
Job," and four books of Young's "Night Thoughts." The 
last I once showed to William Hazlitt. In the designs 
he saw no merit ; but when I read him some of Blake's 
poems he was much struck, and expressed himself 

* For an account of this matter, see Gilchrist's " Life of Blake," Vol. I. 
pp. 203-209. 

Blake's Notes on Wordsworth. 


with his usual strength and singularity. "They are 
beautiful," he said, "and only too deep for the vulgar. 
As to God, a worm is as worthy as any other object, 
all alike being to him indifferent, so to Blake the 
chimney-sweeper, &c. He is ruined by vain struggles 
to get rid of what presses on his brain ; he attempts 
impossibilities." I added, " He is like a man who lifts 
a burthen too heavy for him ; he bears it an instant — 
it then falls and crushes him." 

I lent Blake the 8vo edition, 2 vols., of Wordsworth's 
poems, which he had in his possession at the time of his 
death. They were sent me then. I did not at first 
recognize the pencil notes as his, and was on the point 
of rubbing them out when I made the discovery. In 
the fly-leaf. Vol. I., under the words Poems referrijig to 
the Period of Childhood, the following is written : — " I 
see in Wordsworth the natural man rising up against 
the spiritual man continually ; and then he is no poet, 
but a heathen philosopher, at enmity with all true 
poetry or inspiration." On the lines 

" And I could wish my days to be 
Bound each to each by natural piety," 

he wrote, " There is no such thing as natural piety, 
because the natural man is at enmity with God." On 
the verses, " To H. C, Six Years Old " (p. 43), the 
comment is, " This is all in the highest degree imagina- 
tive, and equal to any poet — but not superior. I can- 
not think that real poets have any competition. None 
are greatest in the kingdom of heaven. It is so in 
poetry." At the bottom of page 44, " On the Influence 
of Natural Objects," is written, " Natural objects always 

Chap. xiii. 

notes on 


Imagination the Divine Vision. 

Chap. xiii. did and now do weaken, deaden, and obliterate imagi- 

1827. nation in me. Wordsworth must know that what he 

writes valuable is not to be found in nature. Read 

Michael Angelo's Sonnet, Vol. II. p. 179." That is, the 

one beginning — 

" No mortal object did these eyes behold, 
When first they met the lucid light of thine." 

It is remarkable that Blake, whose judgments were 
in most points so very singular, should nevertheless, 
on one subject closely connected with Wordsworth's 
poetical reputation, have taken a very commonplace 
view. Over the heading of the " Essay Supplementary 
to the Preface," at the end of the volume, he wrote : 
" I do not know who wrote these Prefaces. They are 
very mischievous, and directly contrary to Words- 
worth's own practice" (p. 341). This Preface is not 
the defence of his own style, in opposition to what 
is called poetic diction, but a sort of historic vindication 
of the unpopular poets. On Macpherson (p. 364) 
Wordsworth wrote with the severity with which all 
great writers have written of him. Blake's comment 
was : " I believe both Macpherson and Chatterton, 
that what they say is ancient is so." And at the end 
of the essay he wrote : " It appears to me as if the 
last paragraph, beginning ' Is it the right of the whole, 
&c.,' was written by another hand and mind from the 
rest of these Prefaces. They give the opinions of a 
[word effaced] landscape painter. Imagination is the 
divine vision, not of the world, nor of man, nor from 
man as he is a natural man, but only as he is a spiritual 
man. Imagination has nothing to do with memory." 

Mrs. Blake. 


A few months after Blake's death, Barron Field and 
I called on Mrs. Blake. The poor old lady was more 
affected than I expected she would be at the sight of 
me. She spoke of her husband as dying like an angel. 
She informed us that she was going to live with Linnell 
as his housekeeper. She herself died within a few 
years. She seemed to be the very woman to make 
her husband happy. She had been formed by him. 
Indeed, otherwise, she could not have lived with him. 
Notwithstanding her dress, which was poor and dingy, 
she had a good expression on her countenance, and 
with a dark eye, the remains of youthful beauty. She 
had the wife's virtue of virtues — an implicit reverence 
for her husband. It is quite certain that she believed 
in all his visions. On one occasion, speaking of his 
visions, she said, " You know, dear, the first time you 
saw God was when you were four years old, and he 
put his head to the window, and set you a-screaming." 
In a word, she was formed on the Miltonic model, 
and, like the first wife. Eve, worshipped God in her 

" He for God only, she for God in him." 

February 2^th. — Went to J affray's, with whom I 
dined and spent an agreeable evening. I read to them 
Dryden's translation of Lucretius on the fear of 
death, which gave them great pleasure. It was quite a 
gratification to have excited so much pleasure. Indeed, 
this is one of the masterpieces of English transla- 
tion, and, next to Christian hopes, the most delight- 

• For a full account of Blake's works, as well as his life, see Gilchrist's 
"Life of William Blake," 2 vols. Macmillan & Co., 1863. 

Chap. xiii. 





Thomas Belslmm. 

Chap. xiii. 




ful and consolatory contemplation of the unknown 

August Ml. — News arrived of the death of Canning, 
an event that renders quite uncertain the policy and 
government of the country, and may involve it in 
ruinous calamities. How insignificant such an occurrence 
renders the petty triumphs and mortifications of our 
miserable circuit ! 

September ?>th. — (At Brighton.) Raymond took me 
to call on the venerable, infirm. Unitarian minister, 
Thomas Belsham. He received me with great cor- 
diality, as if I had been an old friend. We talked 
of old times, and the old gentleman was delighted 
to speak of his juvenile years, when he was the 
fellow-student of my uncle Crabb and Mr. Fenner. 
He spoke also of Anthony Robinson with respect. 
Belsham retains, as usual, a strong recollection of the 
affairs of his youth, but he is now fast declining. It 
was gratifying to observe so much cheerfulness in these, 
perhaps, last months of his existence. I am very glad 
I called on him.-|- 

C. Lamb to H. C. R. 

Chase Side, 

Oct. 1st, 1827. 
Dear R., 

I am settled for life, I hope, at Enfield. I have 

taken the prettiest, compact est house I ever saw, near 

to Anthony Robinson's, but, alas ! at the expense of 

* This translation was a great favourite with H. C. R., who read it aloud 
to many of his friends, 
f Rev. T. Belsham died in 1829. 

Lamb at Enfield. 


poor Mary, who was taken ill of her old complaint the 
night before we got into it. So I must suspend the 
pleasure I expected in the surprise you would have had 
in coming down and finding us householders. 

Farewell ! till we can all meet comfortable. Pray 
apprise Martin Burney. Him I longed to have seen 
with you, but our house is too small to meet either of 
you without Iter knowledge. 

God bless you ! 

C. Lamb. 

October 2'jth. — Dined with Mr. Naylor. A very 
agreeable party. A Mr. Hamilton, a Scotch bookseller, 
from Paternoster Row, there ; he had all the charac- 
teristic good qualities of his country — good sense, 
integrity, and cheerfulness, with manners mild and 
conciliating. He enjoyed a bon mot, and laughed 
heartily ; therefore, according to Lamb, a licsiis naturce. 
He was the publisher of Irving's first work, and spoke 
of him with moderation and respect. We told stories 
of repartees. By-the-by, Mr. Brass, a clergyman of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, says that he heard Dr. 
Parr say to Barker, who had teased him on one occa- 
sion, " Sir, you are a young man ; you have read much, 
thought little, and know nothing at all." 

December 26th. — Having heard from Charles Lamb 
that his sister was again well, I lost no time in going to 
see them. And accordingly, as soon as breakfast was 
over, I walked into the City, took the stage to Edmon- 
ton, and walked thence to Enfield. I found them in 
their new house — a small but comfortable place, and 

VOL. II. c c 

Chap. xiii. 

Dinner at 

Naylor s. 

The Lambs 
at Enfield. 



Chap. xiii. 

Charles Lamb quite delighted with his retirement. He 
fears not the solitude of the situation, though he seems 
to be almost without an acquaintance, and dreads rather 
than seeks visitors. We called on Mrs. Robinson, who 
lives opposite ; she was not at home, but came over in 
the evening, and made a fourth in a rubber of whist. 
I took a bed at the near public-house. 

December 2'jth. — I breakfasted with the Lambs, and 
they then accompanied me on my way through the 
Green Lanes. I had an agreeable walk home, reading 
on the way Roper's " Life of Sir T. More." Not by 
any means to be compared with Cavendish's " Wolsey," 
but still interesting from its simplicity. 

Recollections of Mrs. Siddons. 




February yth, Rem* — I read one of the most worth- 
less books of biography in existence — Boaden's 
"Life of Mrs. Siddons." Yet it gave me very great 
pleasure. Indeed, scarcely any of the finest passages 
in " Macbeth," or " Henry VIII.," or " Hamlet," could 
delight me so much as such a sentence as, " This 
evening Mrs. Siddons performed. Lady Macbeth, or 
Queen Katharine, or the Queen Mother," for these 
names operated on me then as they do now, in recalling 
the yet unfaded image of that most marvellous woman, 
to think of whom is now a greater enjoyment than to 
see any other actress. This is the reason why so many 
bad books give pleasure, and in biography more than in 
any other class. 

March 2nd. — Read the second act of " Prometheus," 
which raised my opinion very much of Shelley as a 
poet, and improved it in all respects. No man, who was 
not a fanatic, had ever more natural piety than he, and 
his supposed Atheism is a mere metaphysical crotchet, 
in which he was kept by the affected scorn and real 
malignity of dunces. 

* Written in 1852. 

Chap. xiv. 



C C 2 


Repeal of Test Act. 

Chap. xiv. 

A walk to 
Lamb' 5. 

Test and 



French law 

April ^th. — (Good Friday.) I hope not ill-spent ; it 
was certainly enjoyed by me. As soon as breakfast 
was over, I set out on a walk to Lamb's, whom I 
reached in three and a quarter hours — at one. I was 
interested in the perusal of the " Profession de Foi 
d'tin Cure Savoyard!' The first division is unexcep- 
tionable. His system of natural religion is delightful, 
even fascinating ; his metaphysics quite reconcilabla 
with the scholastic philosophy of the Germans. At 
Lamb's I found Moxon and Miss Kelly, who is an un- 
affected, sensible, clear-headed, warm-hearted woman. 
We talked about the French theatre, and dramatic 
matters in general. Mary Lamb and Charles were 
glad to have a dummy rubber, and also piquet with 

April i()th. — Went for a few minutes into the Court, 
but I had nothing to do. Should have gone to Bury, 
but for the spending a few hours with Mrs. Wordsworth. 
I had last night the pleasure of reading the debate in 
the Lords on the repeal of the Corporation and Test 
Acts.* No one but Lord Eldon, of any note, appeared 
as a non-content, and the Archbishop of York, and the 
Bishops of Chester (Blomfield), Lincoln (Kay), and 
Durham (Van Mildert), all spoke in favour of the 
measure, as well as the prime minister, the Duke of 
Wellington. At the same time, the French Ministry 
were introducing laws in favour of the liberty of the 
press. The censorship and the law of tendency (by 

* These Acts required that all persons taking any office under Government 
should receive the Lord's Supper, according to the usage of the Church of 
England, within three months of their appointment. 

A Present from Goetlie. 


which not particular libels might be the object of 
prosecution, but the tendency of a great number of 
articles, within six months), and the restriction of the 
right to publish journals, were all given up. These are 
to me all matters of heartfelt joy. 

April 22nd. — Was highly gratified by receiving from 
Goethe a present of two pairs of medals, of himself 
and the Duke and Duchess of Weimar. Within one 
of the cases is an autographic inscription : " Herrn 
Robhison zu frenndlichein Gedenken von W. Goethe. 
Mdrz, 1828." (To Mr. Robinson, for friendly remem- 
brance, from W. Goethe, &c.) This I deem a high 


H. C. R. TO Goethe. 

3, King's Bench Walk, Temple ^ 
^ist January, 1829. 

I avail myself of the polite offer of Mr. Des 
Voeux, to forward to you a late acknowledgment of 
the high honour you conferred on me last year. I had, 
indeed, supplied myself with a cast, and with every 
engraving and medallion that I had heard of; still the 
case you have presented me with is a present very 
acceptable as well as most flattering. The delay of the 
acknowledgment you will impute to any cause rather 
than the want of a due sense of the obligation. 

Twenty-four years have elapsed since I exchanged 
the study of German literature for the pursuits of an 
active life, and a busy but uncongenial profession — the 
law. During all this time your works have been the 
constant objects of my affectionate admiration, and the 
medium by which I have kept alive my early love of 

Chap. xiv. 


H. C. R. to 


Letter to Goethe. 

Chap. xiv. 


German poetry. The slow progress they have till 
lately been making among my countrymen has been 
a source of unavailing regret. Taylor's " Iphigenia in 
Tauris," as it was the first, so it remains the best, 
version of any of your larger poems. 

Recently Des Vceux and Carlyle have brought other 
of your greater works before our public, — and with love 
and zeal and industry combined, I trust they will yet 
succeed in effectually redeeming rather our literature 
than yojir name from the disgrace of such publications 
as Holcroft's " Hermann and Dorothea," Lord Leveson 
Gower's "Faustus," and a catch-penny book from the 
French, ludicrous in every page, not excepting the title 
— " The Life of Goethe." 

I perceive, from your " Kiinst tmd Alterthwn" that 
you are not altogether regardless of the progress which 
your works are making in foreign countries. Yet I 
do not find any notice of the splendid fragments 
from "Faust" by Shelley, Lord Byron's friend, a man 
of unquestionable genius, the perverse misdirection of 
whose powers and early death are alike lamentable. 
Coleridge, too, the only living poet of acknowledged 
genius, who is also a good German scholar, attempted 
" Faust," but shrunk from it in despair. Such an aban- 
donment, and such a performance as we have had, force 
to one's recollection the line, — 

" For fools rush in where angels fear to tread." 

As you seem not unacquainted even with our periodical 
works, you perhaps know that the most noted of our 
Reviews has on a sudden become a loud eulogist. 

It was understood, last year, that Herr von Goethe, 

University College, London. 


your son, and his lady were on the point of visiting 
England. Could you be induced to accompany them, 
you would find a knot, small, but firm and steady, of 
friends and admirers, consisting of countrymen of your 
own as well as of natives. They would be proud to 
conduct you to every object not undeserving your 
notice. We possess the works of our own Flaxman, 
and we have rescued from destruction the Elgin 
Marbles, and here they are. 

I had intended visiting my old friend Herr von Knebel 
last year, but having planned a journey into Italy in 
the Autumn of the present, I have deferred my visit till 
the following Spring, when I hope you will permit me 
in person to thank you for your flattering attention. 
I have the honour to be. Sir, 

With the deepest esteem, 

H. C. Robinson. 

May 'i^rd. — A morning of calls, and a little business 
at W, Tooke's, whom I desired to buy for me a 
share in the London University.* This I have done at 
the suggestion of several friends, including my brother 
Thomas, as a sort of debt to the cause of civil and 
religious liberty. I think the result of the establish- 
ment very doubtful indeed, and shall not consider my 
share as of any pecuniary value.-f* 

* Afterwards University College. 

\ I shall have much to say hereafter of what, for many years, has con- 
stituted a main business of my life. Never were ;^ioo better spent, — I 
mean considered as an item of personal expense ; for the University College 
is far from having yet answered the great purposes originally announced. — 
H. C. R., 1852. 

Chap. xiv. 



Criminals Executed. 

Chap. xiv. 



execution of 

May iT,th. — There were to be five men executed, and 
I was desirous to witness for once the ceremony within 
the prison. At half-past seven I met the Under 
Sheriff, Foss, at the gate. At eight we were joined by- 
Sheriff Wilde, when some six or eight of us walked in 
procession through long narrow passages to a long, 
naked, and wretched apartment, to which were suc- 
cessively brought the five unhappy creatures who were 
to suffer. The first, a youth, came in pale and 
trembling. He fainted as his arms were pinioned. 
He whispered some inaudible words to a clergyman 
who came and sat by him on a bench, while the others 
were prepared for the sacrifice. His name was Brown. 
The second, a fine young man, exclaimed, on entering 
the room, that he was a murdered man, being picked 
out while two others were suffered to escape. Both 
these were, I believe, burglars. Two other men were 
ill-looking fellows. They were silent, and seemingly 
prepared. One man distinguished himself from the 
rest — an elderly man, very fat, and with the look of a 
substantial tradesman. He said, in a tone of indigna- 
tion, to the fellow who pinioned him, " I am not the 
first whom you have murdered. I am hanged because 
I had a bad character." [I could not but think that 
this is, in fact, properly understood, the only legitimate 
excuse for hanging any one ; — because his character 
(not reputation) is such that his life cannot but be a 
curse to himself and others.] A clergyman tried to 
persuade him to be quiet, and he said he was resigned. 
He was hanged as a receiver of stolen horses, and 
had been a notorious dealer for many years. The 

Irving on the Test and Corporation Acts. 


procession was then continued through other passages, 
to a small room adjoining the drop, to which the 
culprits were successively taken and tied up. I could 
not see perfectly what took place, but I obsen^ed that 
most of the men ran up the steps and addressed the 
mob. The second burglar cried out, " Here 's another 
murdered man, my lads ! " and there - was a cry of 
" Murder" from the crowd. The horse-stealer also 
addressed the crowd. I was within sight of the drop, 
and observed it fall, but the sheriffs instantly left the 
scaffold, and we returned to the Lord Mayor's parlour, 
where the Under Sheriff, the Ordinary, two clergymen, 
and two attendants in military dress, and I, breakfasted. 

The breakfast was short and sad, and the conversa- 
tion about the scene we had just witnessed. All agreed 
it was one of the most disgusting of the executions 
they had seen, from the want of feeling manifested by 
most of the sufferers ; but sympathy was checked by the 
appearance of four out of five of the men. However, I 
shall not soon see such a sight again.* 

May 1 8///. — Read lately Irving's letter to the King, 
exhorting him not to commit the horrible act of 
apostasy against Christ, the passing the Act repealing 
the Test and Corporation Acts, which will draw down 
certainly an express judgment from God. He asserts 
that it is a form of infidelity to maintain that the King 
reigns for the people, and not for Christ ; and that he is 
accountable to the people, as he is accountable to Christ 
alone. In the course of the pamphlet, however, he 
insinuates that the King, who has all his authority from 

• Nor have I.— H. C, R., 1852. 

Chap. xiv. 

Irving on 

the repeal of 

the Test and 




Breakfast with Wordsworth and Coleridge. 

Chap. xiv. 

on Irving. 

dinner after 
the repeal of 
the Test and 


Christ, has no power to act against the Church ; and as 
he never explains what is the Church, it seems to me to 
be a certain inference from his principle, that the King 
ought to be resisted whenever he acts against the 
judgment of God's minister — the pastor of the church 
of the Caledonian Chapel. 

yune I %th. — An • interesting day. Breakfasted with 
Aders. Wordsworth and Coleridge were there. Alfred 
Becher also. Wordsworth was chiefly busied about 
making arrangements for his journey into Holland. 
Coleridge was, as usual, very eloquent in his dreamy 
monologues, but he spoke intelligibly enough on some 
interesting subjects. It seems that he has of late been 
little acquainted with Irving. He says that he silenced 
Irving by showing how completely he had mistaken the 
sense of the Revelation and Prophecies, and then Irving 
kept away for more than a year. Coleridge says, " I 
consider Irving as a man of great power, and I have an 
affection for him. He is an excellent man, but his brain 
has been turned by the shoutings of the mob. I think 
him mad, literally mad.'.' He expressed strong indig- 
nation at Irving's intolerance. 

June iSth. — A grand dinner was given in Free- 
masons' Tavern to celebrate a really great event. The 
Duke of Sussex was in the chair — not a bad chairman, 
though no orator. Scarcely fewer than 400 persons 
were present. I went with my brother and the Pattis- 
sons, and did not grudge my two guineas, though I 
was not edified by the oratory of the day. Lord John 
Russell, as well as Lord Holland, and other great men, 
spoke (I thought) moderately, while a speech from 

Test Act Dinner. 


Aspland was admirable. Brougham spoke with great 
mastery, both as to style and matter, and Denman with 
effect. We did not break up till past one. Aspland's 
was the great speech of the day, and was loudly 

Dr. Wurm to H. C. R. 


Jime \c)th, 1828, 
» . . . . Did you ever meet with Hegel, or any 
of his works "i He is now the great Leviathan among 
the philosophical writers of his day. He enjoys the 
perfect confidence of the Prussian Government, for he 
has contrived to give to a strange sort of pantheism a 
curious twist, by which it is constantly turned into a 
most edifying " Apologie des Bestehendeu" (Apology for 
things as they are). Marheinecke is his theological 
amanuensis; his motto is at least as old as the Greek 
mysteries, and who knows but it may be older still } — 
" Lasst WIS Filosofen den Begriff, gibt dem Volke das 
Bild !" (Leave us philosophers the true idea, give to 
the multitude the symbol.) 

July <,th, Rem* — I saw "Medea" at the Italian Opera, 
and for the first and last time in my life had an enjoy- 
ment from an Opera singer and actor which might 
fairly be compared to that which Mrs. Siddons so often 
afforded me. Madame Pasta gave an effect to the 
murder scene which I could not have thought possible 

♦ Written in 1852. 

Chap, xiv, 




Madame Pasta. — Omiiibiis. 

Chap. xiv. 

Tour to the 


before I witnessed it as actual. In spite of the want of 
a tragic face or figure (for she was forced to strain her 
countenance into a frown, and make an effort to look 
great, and all her passion was apparently conscious, and 
I had never before witnessed the combined effect of 
acting with song), still the effect was overpowering. 
What would not Mrs. Siddons have made of the 
character ? So I asked then, and ask now. The scene 
unites all the requisites to call forth the powers she so 
eminently possessed ; but the Grecian fable has never 
flourished on the English stage. 

On Thursday, August 6th, I set out on a tour to the 
Pyrenees, having written to Shutt, who was about to 
make the journey. 

Rem.* — On the loth August, at Paris, my attention 
was drawn to a novelty — a number of long diligences 
inscribed, "Entreprise generale pour des omnibus." 
And on my return, in October, I made frequent use 
of them, paying five sous for a course. I remarked 
then, that so rapid is the spread of all substantial 
comforts, that they would certainly be introduced 
in London before Christmas, as in fact they were ; -f- 
and at this moment they constitute an important 
ingredient in London comfort. Indeed they are now 
introduced into all the great cities of Europe and 

On the 25th of August, after a walk of seven leagues 
from Luchon to Arreau, we had an agreeable adventure, 

* Written in 1852. 

f They were not introduced in London till the autumn of 1829, and then 
only on those roads, off the stones as it was called, on which stage-coaches were 
permitted to compete with hackneys and cabs. 

Bishop Stanley. 


the memory of which lasted. Shutt and I had recon- 
ciled ourselves to dining in a neat kitchen with the 
people of the house, when a lively-looking little man in 
black, a sort of Yorick in countenance, having first 
surveyed us, stepped up and very civilly offered us the 
use of the parlour in which were himself and his family. 
" We have finished our dinner," he said, " and shall be 
happy to have your company." The lady was a most 
agreeable person, and the family altogether very amiable. 
We had a very pleasant evening. The gentleman was 
a good liberal Whig, and we agreed so well that, 'on 
parting next day, he gave us his card. " I am a 
Cheshire clergyman," he said, " and I shall be glad to 
see you at my living, if you ever are in my neighbour- 

When I next saw him he was become Bishop of 
Norwich. He did not at once recognize me when I 
first saw him in company with the Arnolds, on my going 
to see the Doctor's portrait, but Mrs. Stanley did, and 
young Stanley,* the biographer of Dr. Arnold, and the 
Bishop afterward showed me courteous hospitality at his 
palace at Norwich, when the Archaeological Institute was 
held there. This kindness to us strangers in this little 
adventure in the Pyrenees was quite in harmony with 
his character. The best of Christian bishops, he was 
the least of a prelate imaginable ; hence he was treated 
with rudeness by the bigots when he took possession 
of his bishopric. But he was universally beloved and 
lamented at his death. 

On this journey I fell in also with two English 

* Dean of Westminster. 

Chap. xiv. 



Quitting the Bar. 

Chap. xiv. 


*' Intruding 


H. C. R. 

quits the 


exquisites, who, after seeing this district, expressed their 
wonder that any Enghshman who knew Derbyshire 
could think the Pyrenees worth seeing ; they did not. 
They were going to the Alps, and asked me what I 
advised them to see. I told them, in a tone of half- 
confidence, that, whatever people might say, there was 
nothing worth tJieir seeing ; and I was not at all 
scrupulous about their misunderstanding me. At 
Rome, I saw some sportsmen, who took over dogs 
to sport in the Campagna. They were delighted with 
their sport, and had been a week there without seeing 
St. Peter's, and probably would leave Rome without 
going in. 

December i^th. — Walked to Enfield from Mr. 
Relph's.* I dined with Charles and Mary Lamb, and 
after dinner had a long spell at dummy whist with 
them. When they went to bed, I read a little drama 
by Lamb, " The Intruding Widow," which appeared in 
Blackwood's Magazine. It is a piece of great feeling, 
but quite unsuitable for performance, there being no 
action whatever in it. 

A great change took place this year, through my 
quitting the Bar at the end of the summer circuit. My 
object in being called to the Bar was to acquire a 
gentlemanly independence, such at least as would 
enable a bachelor, of no luxurious or expensive habits, 
to enjoy good society with leisure. And having about 
;^200 per annum, with the prospect of something more, 
I was not afraid to make known to my friends that, 
while I deemed it becoming in me to continue in the 

* Mr. Cuthbert Relph, of Turner's Hill, Cheshunt. 



profession till I was fifty years of age, and until I 
had a net income of ;^500 per annum, I had made 
up my mind not to continue longer, unless there 
were other inducements than those of mere money- 

* In looking back on his life, Mr. Robinson used to say, that two of the 
wisest acts he had done were going to the Bar, and quitting the Bar. 

Chap. xiv. 


Antiquarian Society. 

Chap. xv. 

Study of 

Society of 




The New Year opened on me at Witham, where I 
enjoyed my visit with an ease I had not for many years 
felt, being relieved from all anxieties. I had already 
commenced my studies of the Italian language, or 
rather renewed what I had begun in Holstein twenty 
years before ; and I set about reading Goldoni, a 'dra- 
matist admirably suited to that object, whose popularity 
showed the fallen state of the drama in Italy, as that of 
his superior in the same style, Kotzebue, had lately 
been doing in Germany. But the plays — properly sen- 
timental comedies — fairly exhibited the national con- 
dition and feeling in the last generation. 

February 12th. — Before eight I went to the Anti- 
quarian Society, to consummate an act of folly by being 
admitted an F.S.A. As soon as the step was taken, 
every one, even the members themselves, were ready to 
tell me how sunken the Society is. They do nothing at 
all, says every one. Certainly this evening did not put 
me in good-humour with myself. There were about 
forty persons present, Hudson Gurney, M.P., in the 
chair. Amyot presented me to him, when he ought to 
have ceremoniously put on his hat and taken me by the 

Royal Society. 


hand, and gravely repeated a form of words set down 
for him. 

Two very insignificant little papers were read, from 
neither of which did I collect a thought. One was a 
genealogical memoir, the other an extract from a cata- 
logue of furniture in the palace of Henry VIII. No 
attempt to draw any inference, historical or otherwise, 
from any one article. After one dull half-hour was 
elapsed, another still duller succeeded, and then Amyot 
took me as a guest to the Royal Society. Here, indeed, 
the handsome hall, fine collection of portraits, the mace, 
and the dignified deportment of the President, Davies 
Gilbert, were enough to keep one in an agreeable state 
of excitement for thirty minutes. But as to the 
memoir, what it was about I do not know. Some 
chemical substance was the subject of admeasurement, 
and there was something about some millionth parts of 
an inch. After the meeting the members adjourned to 
the library, where tea was served. Chatted there with 
Tiarks and others. One circumstance was pleasant 
enough. Amyot introduced me to Davies Gilbert, the 
P.R.S., and he invited me to his Saturday evening 

Rem* — I have since made some agreeable acquaint- 
ance from my connection with the Antiquarian Society, 
and its proceedings hav6 not been without incidents of 

February \^th. — I was engaged to dine with Mr. 
Wansey at Walthamstow. When I arrived there I was 
in the greatest distress, through having forgotten his 

* Written in 1852. 
VOL. II. I^ D 

Chap. xv. 

Its dull 


Lapse of 



Chap. xv. 

Mr. Cogan. 


with the 



name. And it was not till after half-an-hour's worry 
that I recollected he was a Unitarian, which would 
answer as well ; for I instantly proceeded to Mr, 
Cogan's. Having been shown into a room, young Mr. 
Cogan came — "Your commands,, sir .!*" — "Mr. Cogan, 
I have taken the liberty to call on you in order to know 
where I am to dine to-day." He smiled. I went on, 
" The truth is, I have accepted an invitation to dine with 
a gentleman, a recent acquaintance, whose name I have 
forgotten ; but I am sure you can tell me, for he is a 
Unitarian, and the Unitarians are very few here." And 
before I had gone far in my description he said, " This 
can be no other than Mr. Wansey. And now, may I 
ask your name .-'" — " No, thank you, I am much obliged 
to you for enabling me to get a dinner, but that is no 
reason why I should enable you to make me table-talk 
for the next nine days," He laughed. " There is no 
use in your attempting to conceal your name. I know 
who you are, and, as a proof, I can tell you that a name- 
sake of yours has been dining with us, an old fellow- 
circuiteer of yours. We have just finished dinner in 
the old Dissenting fashion. My father and mother will 
be very glad to see you," Accordingly I went in, and 
sat with the Cogans a couple of hours, Mr. Cogan kept 
a school for many years, and was almost the only 
Dissenting schoolmaster whose competence as a Greek 
scholar was acknowledged by Dr. Parr,* 

February lyth. — Dined with the members of the 
Linnaean Society at the Thatched House Tavern — intro- 

* The late Premier, the Right Honourable Benjamin Disraeli, received his 
education at this school, where he remained till he was articled to a solicitor. 

Littncean Society. 


duced by Benson. An amusing dinner. In the chair 
an old gentleman from the country — Mr. Lambert. 
Present, Barrow, of the Admiralty ; Law, Bishop of 
Bath and Wells ; Stokes, and, cum miiltis aliis, Sir 
George Staunton. I had the good luck to be placed 
next the latter, who amused me much. He is the son 
of the diplomatic traveller in China, known by his book, 
and he himself afterwards filled the situation of his 
father. He has a jiffle and a jerk in his bows and 
salutations which give him a ludicrous air ; but he is 
perfectly gentlemanly, and I believe in every way 
respectable. He is a great traveller, a bachelor, and a 
man of letters. We adjourned early to the Linnsean 
Society, where I found many acquaintances. I can't 
say I was much edified by the articles read. They 
rivalled those of the Antiquarians and of the Royal 
Society in dulness. But the people there, and the fine 
collection of birds and insects, were at least amusing. 
Lord Stanley in the chair. 

February 21st, Rem* — At six dined with Gooden. 
Tom Hill, the real original Paul Pry, was there, the man 
whom everybody laughed at, and whom, on account of 
his good-nature, many tolerated, and some made use 
pf as a circulating medium. He was reported to be of 
great age ; and Theodore Hook circulated the apology 
that his baptismal register could not be found, because 
it was burnt in the Fire of London. He dealt in 
literary haberdashery, and was once connected with 
the Mirror, a magazine, the motto of which was 
" A snapper up of unconsidered trifles." He was 

• Written in 1852. 

D D 2 

Chap. xv. 



Paul Pry. 


Paul Pry. — Hudson Gurney. 

Chap. xv. 

Irving s 
sermon on 


also a great fetcher and carrier of gossiping para- 
graphs for the papers. His habit of questioning 
was quite ludicrous ; and because it was so ridi- 
culous, it was less offensive, when he was universally 

February 22>th, Rem.* — Went with Amyot to dine 
with Hudson Gurney. A small party. Mr. Madden, 
of the British Museum, Dr. Philpotts, and one lady 
from Norwich. A pleasant afternoon. The defeat 
of Peel at Oxford was, perhaps, felt by no one but 
Dr. Philpotts, and he was in good spirits, and was 
very good company. He said his son was against him 
at Oxford, and he was not sorry for it, which I recol- 
lect being not displeased with him for saying. By-the- 
by, the Doctor has recently written in defence of his 
conduct on this occasion, in answer to the Edinburgh 
Review. Had the Doctor gone on in the same direc- 
tion as Lord Palmerston, his conduct would have been 
but mildly censured. It is the repeated vacillation, 
the changing backwards as well as forwards, which 
cannot be forgiven. 

March \st (Sunday). — Heard Irving preach a furious 
sermon against Catholic emancipation. He kept me 
attentive for an hour and a half He was very eloquent, 
and there was enough of argument and plan in his 
discourse to render it attractive to a thinking man. At 
the same time, the extravagant absurdities he uttered 
were palpable. His argument was, in short, this : — 
Christ ordained that the civil and ecclesiastical go- 
vernment should be in different hands ; the King is 

» Written in 1852. 

Irving against Catholic Emancipation. 


his vicegerent in all temporal concerns, and we owe 
him implicit and absolute obedience ; the Church is 
equally sovereign in all spiritual matters. The Devil 
raised up the Papacy, which, grasping both powers, 
possesses neither ; for, whenever power is given to a 
Churchman, whenever he is raised to a magistracy, there 
the mystery of iniquity is made manifest ; hence the 
diabolical character of the Papal power. In order to 
show that this doctrine is that of the Church of Eng- 
land, Irving referred to a clause in the 37th Article, but 
that Article merely refuses to the King the power of 
preaching, and of administering the Sacraments ; it 
gives him Ecclesiastical authority in express terms ; and 
what has Irving to say of the bench of bishops "i Irving 
prayed against the passing of the threatened bill,, but 
exhorted the people to submit to the Government. If 
persecution^should follow (as is probable), they are to 
submit to martyrdom. In the midst of a furious tirade, 
a voice cried from the door, " That is not true ! " He 
finished his period, and then exclaimed, after a pause, 
" It is well when the Devil speaks from the mouth of 
one possessed. It shows that the truth works." When 
I heard Irving, I thought of the fanatics of Scotland in 
the seventeenth century. His powerful voice, equally 
musical and tender ; his admirable enunciation and 
glorious figure, are enough to excite his audience 
to rebellion, if his doctrine had permitted acts of 

Chap. xv. 


A Dream by Clarkson. 

Chap. xv. 

A dream. 

Mrs. Clarkson to H. C. R. 

March 12 th, 1829. 
Perhaps it may edify you if I relate a remarkable 
dream of my husband's. He dreamt that he was dead 
and laid out, and was looking at his toes to see if they 
had laid him straight, when his attention was arrested 
by the appearance of an angel, who told him that he 
was sent from God to tell him that some resurrection 
men were coming for him ; that he was to lie quite still 
till they came, then take the sword, which the angel 
laid down by his side, and pursue them, and that he 
should be protected. The angel disappeared — the men 
came — my husband did as he was commanded — seized 
the men one after the other, and cut off their ears with 
the sword. He awoke, laughing, at seeing them run 
away with their hands holding their heads where the 
ears had been cut off. As you may suppose, this 
dream occurred at Christmas time, when we had been 
feasting, and the papers were filled with the Edinburgh 
murders. If you had heard Mr. Clarkson tell the 
dream, you would never have forgotten it. It was so 
exquisitely droll that, for a day or two afterwards, 
one or other of us was perpetually bursting out into 
laughter at the remembrance of it. 

H. C. R. TO Wordsworth. 

April 22nd, 1829. 
My dear Friend, 

After walking to and from Deptford, 

on the 5th of March, returning over Westminster 

Bridge, I must e'en, in the joy of my pro-popery heart, 



step into the avenues of the House of Commons, to 
hear the details of the Bill that night brought forward 
by the Home Secretary, I loitered about three- 
quarters of an hour at midnight, chatting with the 
emancipationist members. Went to bed at two, and 
in the morning found my left knee as crooked as the 
politics of the Ministry are, by the anti-Catholics, 
represented to be. After using leeches, poultices, &c., 
for three weeks, I went down to Brighton, and again, in 
a most unchristian spirit, put myself under the hands of 
the Mahomedan Mahomet — was stewed in his vapour- 
baths, and shampooed under his pagan paws. But I 
found it easier to rub in than drive out a devil, for I 
went with a rheumatic knee, and came away with one 
knee, one shoulder, and two elbows, all rheumatic. I 
am now under a regular doctor's hands, but the malady 
seems obstinate, and my present indisposition, slight as 
it is, serves to disturb my visions of enjoyment. It is 
sad to feel one's " animal impulses all gone by," when 
one is conscious of possessing the higher sensations but 
feebly. Hitherto, mere locomotion has been to me, as it 
was to Johnson, almost enough to gratify me. There was 
a time when mere novelty of external scenery (without 
any society whatever) sufficed. I am half-ashamed of 
becoming more nice both as to persons and places. 

[This is the attack of rheumatism which called forth 
Lamb's " Hoax" and " Confession." They have already 
been printed in Talfourd's work. For reprinting here, 
in situ, these most characteristic productions, the Editor 
feels assured that no apology is necessary.] 

Chap. xv. 

An attack 
of rheu- 


Lamb's Letter thereon. 

Chap. xv. 

C. Lamb to H. C. R. 

April, 1829. 

Dear Robinson, 

We are afraid you will slip from us, from Eng- 
land, without again seeing us. It would be charity to 
come and see me, I have these three days been laid 
up with strong rheumatic pains in loins, back, shoulders, 
I shriek sometimes from the violence of them. I get 
scarce any sleep, and the consequence is, I am restless, 
and want to change sides as I lie, and I cannot turn 
without resting on my hands, and so turning all my 
body at once, like a log with a lever. 

While this rainy weather lasts I have no hope of alle- 
viation. I have tried flannels and embrocation in vain- 
Just at the hip-joint the pangs sometimes are so excru- 
ciating that I cry out. It is as violent as the cramp, 
and far more continuous. I am ashamed to whine 
about these complaints to you, who can ill enter into 

But, indeed, they are sharp. You go about in rain 
or fine, at all hours, without discommodity. I envy 
you your immunity at a time of life not much removed 
from my own. But you owe your exemption to tem- 
perance, which it is too late for me to pursue. I, in my 
lifetime, have had my good things. Hence tny frame is 
brittle — -yours strong as brass. I never knew any ailment 
you had. You can go out at night in all weathers, sit 
up all hours. Well, I don't want to moralize, I only 
wish to say that if you are inclined to a game at Double 
Dummy, I would try and bolster up myself in a chair 
for a rubber or so. My days are tedious, but less so 

Hoax and Confession. 


and less painful than my nights. May you never know 
the pain and difficulty I have in writing so much ! 
Mary, who is most kind, joins in the wishj 

C. Lamb. 

Confession of Hoax. 

I do confess to mischief. It was the subtlest diabo- 
lical piece of malice heart of man has contrived. I 
have no more rheumatism than that poker, — never was 
freer from all pains and aches ; every joint sound, to 
the tip of the ear from the extremity of the lesser toe. 
The report of thy torments was blown circuitously here 
from Bury. I could not resist the jeer. I conceived 
you writhing, when you should just receive my congra- 
tulations. How mad you'd be ! Well, it is not in my 
method to inflict pangs. I leave that to Heaven. But 
in the existing pangs of a friend I have a share. His 
disquietude crowns my exemption. I imagine you 
howling, and pace across the room, shooting out my 
free arms, legs, &c., / \ / f^ this way and that way, 
with an assurance of not kindling a spark of pain from 
them. I deny that Nature meant us to sympathize with 
agonies. Those face-contortions, retortions, distortions, 
have the merriness of antics. Nature meant them for 
farce, — not so pleasant to the actor, indeed ; but Gri- 
maldi cries when we laugh, and 'tis but one that suffers 
to make thousands rejoice. 

You say that shampooing is ineffectual. But per se it 
is good, to show the introvolutions, extravolutions, of 
which the animal frame is capable, — to show what the 
creature is receptible of, short of dissolution. 

Chap. xv. 


Pretended Palinode. 

Chap. xv. 

You are worst of nights, an't you ? 
'T will be as good as a sermon to you to lie abed all 
this night, and meditate the subject of the day. 'Tis 

Good Friday. 

* * » # ♦ » 

Nobody will be the more justified for your endurance. 
You won't save the soul of a mouse. 'Tis a pure selfish 

You never was rack'd, was you ? I should like an 
authentic map of those feelings. 

You seem to have the flying gout. You can scarcely 
screw a smile out of your face, can you } I sit at 
immunity, and sneer ad libitum. 

'Tis now the time for you to make good resolutions. 
I may go on breaking 'em, for anything the worse I find 

Your doctor seems to keep you on the long cure. 
Precipitate healings are never good. 

Don't come while you are so bad. I shan't be able to 
attend to your throes and the dummy at once. 

I should like to know how slowly the pain goes off. 
But don't write, unless the motion will be likely to make 
your sensibility more exquisite. 

Your affectionate and truly healthy friend, 

C. Lamb. 

Mary thought a letter from me might amuse you in 
your torment. 










S -^ 





Conversation Sharpe. 

Chap. xv. 


tion Sharpe. 

April 2^tk. — Breakfasted with Richard Sharpe by- 
appointment. He gave me verbal advice about my 
intended tour in Italy, and which he is to reduce to 
writing. A very gratifying two hours' chat with him. 
He is commonly called " Conversation Sharpe." He 
has lived in the best society, and belongs to the last 
generation. In his room were five most interesting 
portraits, all of men he knew — Johnson, Burke, and 
Reynolds by Reynolds, Henderson by Gainsborough, 
and Mackintosh by Opie. I will not pretend here to 
put down any part of his conversation, except that he 
mentioned the Finstermunz Pass as the very finest spot 
in the Tyrol, and that he recommends my going to 
Laibach. He spoke of a philosophical work he means 
to publish, but I do not think he will ever have any 
higher fame than that of being " Conversation Sharpe." 
He certainly talks well.* 

Wordsworth to H. C. R. 

Rydal Mount, Kendal, April 26th, 1829. 
My dear Friend, 

Dora holds the pen for me. A month ago the 
east wind gave me an inflammation in my left eyelid, 
which led, as it always does, to great distress of the eye, 
so that I have been unable either to read or write, 
which privations I bear patiently ; and also a third, full 
as grievous — a necessary cessation from the amusement 

* He was a partner of Samuel Boddington, and had acquired wealth in 
business. He once obtained a seat in Parliament, made a single speech, and 
was never heard of afterwards. Wordsworth held him to be better acquainted 
with Italy than any other man, and advised me to ask his advice concerning 
my journey. — H. C. R. 

Wordsworth on Old- Age Travelling. 


of composition, and almost of thought. Truly were we 
grieved to hear of your illness, first, from Mr. Quillinan, 
and this morning from your own account, which makes 

the case much worse than we had apprehended 

I enter thoroughly into what you say of the manner in 
which this malady has affected your locomotive habits 
and propensities ; and I grieve still more when I bear 
in mind how active you have ever been, in going about 
to serve your friends and to do good. Motion, so 
mischievous in most, was in you a beneficent power 

indeed My sister-in-law. Miss Joanna 

Hutchinson, and her brother Henry, an ex-sailor, are 
about to embark, at the Isle of Man, for Norway, to 
remain till July. Were I not tied at home I should cer- 
tainly accompany them. As far as I can look back, I 
discern in my mind imaginative traces of Norway : the 
people are said to be simple and worthy — the Nature is 
magnificent. I have heard Sir H. Davy aflSrm that 
there is nothing equal to some of the ocean inlets of 

that region It would have been a great 

joy to us to have seen you, though upon a melancholy 
occasion. You talk of the more than chance of your 
being absent upwards of two years. I am entered my 
sixtieth year. Strength must be failing ; and snappings 
off, as the danger my dear sister has just escaped 
lamentably proves, ought not to be long out of sight. 
Were she to depart, the phasis of my moon would be 
robbed of light to a degree that I have not courage to 
think of. During her illness, we often thought of your 
high esteem of her goodness, and of your kindness 
towards her upon all occasions. Mrs. Wordsworth is 

Chap. xv. 

worth on 


Dr. Yoimg. 

Chap. xv. 


On hit 




Dr. Young. 

still with her. Dora is my housekeeper, and did she not 
hold the pen, it would run wild in her praises. Sara 
Coleridge, one of the lovelfest and best of creatures, is 
with me, so that I am an enviable person, notwithstand- 
ing our domestic impoverishment. I have nothing to 
say of books (newspapers having employed all the 
voices I could command), except that the first volume of 
Smith's " Nollekens and his Times" has been read to 
me. There are some good anecdotes in the book : the 
one which made most impression on me was that of 
Reynolds, who is reported to have taken from the print 
of a halfpenny ballad in the street an effect in one of 
his pictures which pleased him more than anything he 
had produced. If you were here, I might be tempted 
to talk with you about the Duke's settling of the Catholic 
question. Yet why? for you are going to Rome, the 
very centre of light, and can have no occasion for my 
farthing candle. Dora joins me in affectionate regards ; 
she is a stanch anti-papist, in a woman's way, and 
perceives something of the retributive hand of justice 
in your rheumatism ; but, nevertheless, like a true 
Christian, she prays for your speedy convalescence. . . . 

Wm. Wordsworth. 

April 2gth. — Dined at the Athenaium. Hudson 
Gurney asked me to dine with him. He was low- 
spirited. His friend. Dr. Young, is dying. Gurney 
speaks of him as a very great man, the most learned 
physician and greatest mathematician of his age, and 
the first discoverer of the clue to the Egyptian hiero- 
glyphics. Calling on him a few days ago, Gurney 

Two Days with Lamb. 


found him busy about his Egyptian Dictionary, though 
very ill. He is aware of his state, but that makes him 
most anxious to finish his work. " I would not," he 
said to Gurney, " live a single idle day." 

May Zth. — Went by the early coach to Enfield, being 
on the road from half-past eight till half-past ten o'clock. 
Lamb was from home a great part of the morning. I 
spent the whole of the day with him and his sister, 
without going out of the house, except for a mile before 
dinner with Miss Lamb. I had plenty of books to 
lounge over. I read Brougham's Introduction to the 
Library of Useful Knowledge, remarkable only as com- 
ing from the busiest man living, a lawyer in full practice, 
a partisan in Parliament, an Edinburgh Reviewer, and 
a participator in all public and party matters. 

May <^th. — Nearly the whole day within doors. I 
merely sunned myself at noon on the beautiful Enfield 
Green. When I was not with the Lambs, I employed 
myself in looking over Charles's books, of which 
no small number are curious. He throws away all 
modern books, but retains even the trash he liked 
when a boy. Looked over a " Life of Congreve," one 
of Curll's infamous publications, containing nothing. 
Also the first edition of the " Rape of the Lock," with 
the machinery.* It is curious to observe the improve- 
ments in the versification. CoUey Gibber's pamphlets 
against Pope only flippant and disgusting — nothing 
worth notice. Read the beginnings of two wretched 

* The poem was first published in two cantos ; but the author, adopting the 
idea of enlivening it by the machinery of sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and sala- 
manders, then familiar topics, enlarged the two cantos to five. 

Chap. xv. 

Visit to the 
Latnbs at 



Croker a Club Despot. 

Chap. xv. 

The porch 

of the 



novels. Lamb and his sister were both in a fidget to-day 
about the departure of their old servant Becky, who had 
been with them many years, but, being ill-tempered, had 
been a plague and a tyrant to them. Yet Miss Lamb 
was frightened at the idea of a new servant. However, 
their new maid, a cheerful, healthy girl, gave them 
spirits, and all the next day Lamb was rejoicing in the 
change. Moxon came very late. 

May loth. — All the forenoon in the back room with 
the Lambs, except that I went out to take a place in 
the evening stage. About noon Talfourd came : he had 
walked. Moxon, after a long walk, returned to dinner, 
and we had an agreeable chat between dinner and tea. 

May nth, Rem.* — A general meeting at the Athe- 
naeum, at which I rendered good service to the club. 
The anecdote is worth relating, mainly because it is 
characteristic of a man who played an important part 
in public life. I speak of the Right Honourable Wilson 
Croker, for many years regarded as really master, though 
nominally the Secretary, of the Admiralty, who was 
one of the most active of the founders of the Athenaeum 
Club. He was one of the Trustees of the House, a 
permanent member of the Committee, and, according 
to common report, the officious manager and despot, 
ruling the club at his will. I had been told in the 
•morning that the Committee had meant to have a neat 
portico of four columns— the one actually erected — 
but that Croker had arbitrarily changed the plan, and 
the foundations were then digging for a portico of two 
columns, not at all becoming so broad a space as the 

* Written in 1852. 

The Question put. 


front comprises. At the meeting, after the report had 
been read, Dr. Henderson made an attack on the Com- 
mittee, reproaching them for their lavish expenditure. 
This suited my purpose admirably, for on this I rose 
and said, that so far were the Committee from meriting 
this reproach, that, on the contrary, a mistaken desire 
to be economical had, I believed, betrayed them into 
an act which I thought the body of the proprietors 
would not approve, and on which I would take their 
opinion. I then began to state the point about the 
portico, when Mr. Croker interrupted me, saying I was 
under a great mistake — that there never was any inten- 
tion to have any other portico than the one now pre- 
paring. This for a moment perplexed me, but I said, 
" Of course the chairman meant that no other portico 
had been resolved on, which might well be. Individual 
men might be deterred by his opposition, but I knew," 
raising my voice, " that there were other designs, for I 
had seen them." Then Mr. Croker requested me, as an 
act of politeness, to abstain from a motion which would 
be an affront to the Committee. This roused me, 
and I said that if any other gentleman would say he 
thought my motion an affront, I would not make 
it ; but I meant otherwise. And then I added ex- 
pressions which forced him to say that I had certainly 
expressed myself most handsomely, but it would be 
much better to leave the matter in the hands of the 
Committee. "That," I said, "is the question which 
you will, in fact, by my motion, submit to the meet- 
ing." There was then a cry of " Move, move," and a 
very large number of hands were held up for the 

Chap. xv. 






Young Incledon. — Flaxman's Works at 

Chap. xv. 

Incledon s 

motion. So it passed by acclamation, I was thanked 
by the architect, and everybody was pleased with what 
I had done. 

May \2th. — On the Bury coach met young Incledon, 
the son of the famous singer, with whom I had 
a long chat. He is about to go on the stage, at 
the age of thirty-eight, having been unfortunate in 
farming, and having a family to maintain. He has 
accepted a very advantageous offer from Drury Lane, 
and will come on the stage under the patronage of 
Braham, who means to abandon to him his younger 
characters. His dislike to the profession is extreme, 
and amounts to diseased antipathy ; it partakes of a 
moral and religious character. 

Rem* — He had always avowed this horror of a 
theatrical life, though it used to be said by his Suffolk 
friends, that his voice was equal to his father's. I 
have no knowledge of his subsequent history, nor 
do I recollect hearing of his carrying out this inten- 

May \$th. — Drove with my niece and grand-niece to 
see Lord Bristol's new house. A fine object, certainly, 
even in its progress. The only work of art it yet 
contains is a noble performance by Flaxman, " Athamas 
and Ino."-f- It will be the pride of the hall when set up. 
It is more massive than Flaxman's works generally are, 
and the female figure more embotipomt. The propor- 
tions of the head and neck of Ino are not, I fear, to 
be justified. There is vast expression of deep passion 

* Written in 1852. 

f It is still there, but looks very cold and uncomfortable, as does the house. 

Lord BristoVs. 


in all the figures. The beautiful frieze of the " Iliad" 
is placed too high to be easily seen, but that of the 
" Odyssey " below, is most delightful. There are some 
compartments not from the " Odyssey," nor, I believe, 
by Flaxman. 

Chap. xv. 

E E 2 


Tour in Germany. 

Chap. xvi. 


The Rhine. 



June \Afth. — Rose at five, though I had gone to bed 
at two. My kind friends, the Colliers, made coffee for 
me, and at'seven I left them and proceeded to Antwerp 
by steamboat. I did not on this occasion leave England 
with the holiday feeling which I have had for many 
years on beginning my summer excursions. Now I 
have given up my chambers, and I set out on a journey 
with no very clear or distinct object. I have a vague 
desire to see new countries and new people, and I hope 
that, as I have hitherto enjoyed myself while travelling, 
I shall be still able to relish a rambling life, though my 
rheumatic knee will not permit me to be so active as I 
have hitherto been. 

The rich variety of romantic scenery between 
Coblenz and Bingen kept me in a state of excitement 
and pleasure, which palled not a moment. Sentiment 
was mingled with the perceptions of beauty. I re- 
collected with interest my adventures on the Rhine 
in 1 801, my walk up the Lahn valley, my night at 
St. Goar, &c., &c. I had, besides, the pleasure of 
interesting conversation. 

I wished to see an interesting man at Mainz — 

Frankfort Friends. 


Hofrath Jung.* I found him a very old man, nearly 
blind, and with declining faculties. He is seventy-six. 
But to me he is a most interesting man. His family, I 
have since heard, would be a source of anxiety to him, 
did he not live in a voluntary dream of sentimental 
piety. He himself introduced me to his daughter, who 
has been many years bedridden, suffering from nervous 
complaints. I was permitted to sit with her a quarter 
of an hour. She also interested me deeply. With him 
I took a walk for nearly two hours in the avenue 
beyond the gates. He is one of the cheerful and 
hopeful contemplators of human life. He believes 
practically that everything is for the best — that the 
German governments are all improving — and that truth 
is everywhere making progress. This progress he 
likens to the travelling in penance of certain pilgrims, 
who go'^two steps forward and one back. They get on. 
June 2'i^rd. — Arrived at Frankfort, and remained 
there, at the Weidenbusch, till the 9th of July. I had 
the satisfaction of finding myself not forgotten by my 
old friends, though so many years have elapsed since 
my last visit. Souchays, Myliuses, Schuncks, Brentanos, 
Charlotte Serviere — the old familiar names, and the 
faces too — but these all changed. Von Leonhardi has 
become enfeebled. " Philosophy," he said, " is gone by 
in Germany, and the love of civil and religious liberty 
is out of fashion. The liberty of the press the Germans 
are not ripe for yet." My old acquaintance Christian 
Brentano has become a pietist, and all but a fanatic. 
De Lamennais is his hero now. 

* Su p. 107. 

Chap. xvi. 



and old 



Heidelberg Friends. 

Chap. xvi. 

healing art. 


A dinner at 
the Castle. 

Bene eke. 

Among the curiosities of literature I fell in with, 
was a treatise on medicine by a Dr. Windischmann, 
" Ueber etwas das der Heilkunst Noth thiit" i.e., " Of 
Something that the Art of Healing Needs." It treats, 
first, of the ordinary modes of cure ; secondly, of 
magnetic cures ; and thirdly, of cures by means of 
faith and prayer. The author a Professor at the 
Prussian University at Bonn — and the English suppose 
the Germans are all infidels ! 

July (^th. — I proceeded to Heidelberg, where I spent 
twelve days very pleasantly. My enjoyment was en- 
hanced by a very agreeable incident. My arrival having 
been announced, a dinner given at the Castle, by 
Benecke, to our common friends, was postponed, that I 
might be a partaker. Under a shed in a garden at this 
delightful spot, a party of more than a dozen assembled ; 
and the day was not one to be forgotten with ordinary 
festive meetings. 

Here I found my friend Benecke in his proper place. 
Removed from the cares and anxieties of commerce, 
he can devote himself to philosophical speculation. His 
religious doctrines, though they have not the assent of 
the great body of Christian believers, are yet such as 
excite no jealousy on the part of the orthodox, and at 
the same time occupy his whole soul, have his entire 
confidence, and nourish his warm affections. He is 
conscious of enjoying general esteem. 

My time at Heidelberg, as at Frankfort, was chiefly 
employed in visits to old friends, which afforded me 
great pleasure, though I cannot here enter into par- 

Schlosser. — Paulus. 


Among the eminent persons whom I saw was Thi- 
baut, head of the Faculty of Law, my protector and 
friend at Jena in 1804. He seems dissatisfied with all 
religious parties, and it is hard to know what he would 
like. I thought of Pococurante: ^^ Quel grand homme^' 
says Candide, " rien ne lui platt." Thibaut is a great 
musical amateur, and all his leisure is devoted to the 
art. But of modern music he spoke contemptuously. 
Being a Liberal in politics, he is an admirer of the 
political institutions of our country ; but as to fine art, 
his opinion of our people is such, that he affirmed no 
Englishman ever produced a musical sound worth 
hearing, or drew a line worth looking at. Perhaps he 
was thinking of colour, rather than outline or sculpture. 
I saw also, on two or three occasions, Hofrath Schlosser, 
the historian, — a very able man, the maker of his own 
fortune. He is a rough, vehement man, but I believe 
thoroughly upright and conscientious. His works are 
said to be excellent.* He is a man of whom I wish to 
see more. 

Benecke took me to Mittermaier, the jurist. I feel 
humbled in the presence of the very laborious pro- 
fessor, who, in addition to mere professional business 
as judge, legislative commissioner, and University pro- 
fessor, edits, and in a great measure writes, a law 
journal. And as a diversion he has studied English 
law more learnedly than most of our own lawyers, and 
qualified himself to write on the subject. 

Twice I had a tete-a-t^te conversation with Paulus. 

* His voluminous " History of the Eighteenth Century" was translated into 
English by the Rev. D. Davison. 

Chap. xvi. 







Baron von Stein, 

Chap. xvi. 


Baron von 

There is something interesting in this famous anti-super- 
naturaHst. He is in his old age inspired by a disin- 
terested zeal against priests and privileged orders, and 
is both honest and benevolent. He declaims against 
our Catholic emancipation, because the Government 
neglected to avail themselves of the opportunity of 
taking education out of the hands of the priests. As 
to the state of religion, he says that there is little 
right-down orthodoxy left in Protestant Germany. He 
was a fine strong man, of great bodily vigour.* Both 
he and Hofrath Schlosser thought constitutional liberty 
not in danger from the French ultras. 

July 22nd. — Returned to Frankfort, A very fine 
morning. Darmstadt looked invitingly handsome as I 
rode through. At Frankfort, I had the pleasure of 
seeing the famous Prussian minister, Baron von Stein, 
who was outlawed by Buonaparte. A fine old man, 
with a nose nearly as long as Zenobio's, which gives his 
countenance an expression of comic sagacity. He is 
by no means in favour at the Court of Prussia. I was 
glad of an opportunity of telling him that I had written 
in his praise in the Quarterly Review.-\ 

* The Homiletische Correspondenz, in an article on Paulus's " Life of Christ, " 
gives an account of his interpretation of the miracles, which is certainly as low 
as anything can be imagined. He does not scruple to represent the feeding of 
the 5000 as a picnic entertainment. He refers to essence of punch in con- 
nection with the turning of water into wine. Jesus Christ is represented as a 
good surgeon, who could cure diseases of the nerves by working on the imagi- 
nation. The Ascension was a walk up a mountain on which was a cloud. 
Such things are common enough among avowed unbelievers, but that they 
should be thought compatible with the ministerial office, and also a Professor's 
Chair at a University, and by Protestant governments, is the wonder! — 
H. C. R. 

f See p 288. 

Jena. — Knebel and his Family. 


I called on Madame Niese, the Protestant sister of 
Madame Schlosser. Though herself somewhat a zealot 
in religion, the conversion of Madame Schlosser to 
Roman Catholicism has caused no alienation of affection 
between the sisters. By-the-by, Paulus told me that he 
had taken pains to dissuade some Catholics from going 
over to the Protestant religion. 

Jtily 2^th. — Left Frankfort, and after travelling two 
nights reached Weimar on the 26th, early. Very soon 
proceeded to Jena in a hired chaise. A dull drive. It 
used to be a delightful walk twenty-eight years ago. 
But I remarked, with pleasure, that the old steep and 
dangerous ascent, the Schnecke, is turned, and the road 
is made safe and agreeable. Found my old friend Von 
Knebel but little changed, though eleven years older 
than when I last saw him. His boy, Bernard, is now 
a very interesting youth of sixteen. I have not often 
seen a boy who pleases me so much. Went early to 
bed, sleeping in my delightful old room, from which the 
views on three sides are charming. 

July 2()th. — Set out on an interesting excursion of 
three days. Frau von Knebel and Bernard accompanied 
me in a drosky to Gumperda, near Kahla, in the Duchy 
of Altenburg. There Charles von Knebel is feudal lord 
of a Rittergut in right of his wife, a widow lady, whom 
he married a few years ago. Gumperda lies about three 
and a quarter leagues from Jena, in a valley beyond 
Kahla, and the ride is through a very fine country. I 
received a very cordial welcome from Charles von 
Knebel. The mansion is solitary and spacious. We 
had tea in a hanging wood, half way up the sides of 

Chap. xvi. 

yena and 

Visit to 

Knebel' s son 



Baronial Court, 

Chap. xvi. 

A German 



the mountain. I afterwards walked with my host to 
the summit, from which the view is extensive and inte- 
resting. I retired early to bed, and read Doring's very 
unsatisfactory " Life of Herder." 

July ydth. — C. von Knebel farms of the Duke of 
Weimar the chase of a forest, i.e., he has a right to the 
deer, &c. In this forest a hut has been erected for the 
use of the foresters, and my friends planned that we 
should dine there to-day, in order that I might see the 
neighbourhood. After a pleasant drive, we roamed 
about the forest, and I enjoyed the day. Forest scenery 
wearies less than any. 

July 3ij-^. — Interested in attending the Court, of 
which my friend is the Lord. A sensible young man 
sat as judge, and there was a sort of homage. The 
proceedings were both civil and criminal, and so various 
as to show an extensive jurisdiction. The most impor- 
tant cases were two in which old people delivered up 
all their property to their children, on condition of 
being maintained by them. The judge explained to the 
children their obligation, and all the parties put their 
hands into his. The following were some of the punish- 
ments : — One man was sentenced to a day's imprison- 
ment for stealing a very little wood. Others were 
fined for having false weights. One was imprisoned 
for resisting gens-d'armes. Another for going into a 
court-yard with a lighted pipe. The only act which 
offended my notion of justice was fining a man for 
killing his own pig, and selling the pork in fraud of the 
butcher. The proceedings were quite patriarchal in 
their form. A few days of such experience as mine to- 

Empress Josephine. 


day would give a better idea of a country than many 
a long journey in mail coaches. One of the domestics 
of Charles von Knebel took an oath before the judge to 
be a faithful servant. This Court seems a sort of court 
of premise instance. The barons in Saxony, I was 
assured, are rather desirous to get rid of, than to main- 
tain, their higher jurisdiction, from which there is an 
appeal to the Ducal Court. 

Frau von Knebel (Junr.) related some interesting 
particulars of her early life. She was educated at 
Nancy, at an establishment kept by Madame la H. 
Among the pupils were princesses, and most of the 
young ladies were of good family ; but there were a 
few of low birth. Not the slightest distinction, how- 
ever, was made. They were taught useful things, such 
as cooking in all its branches. And certainly Frau von 
Knebel, though her life has been spent chiefly in courts, 
is a most excellent manager and housewife. She was 
maid of honour at the Baden Court, and there used 
to see the members of Napoleon's Court. She was 
terribly afraid of Napoleon. Of Josephine, on whom 
she attended, she spoke with rapture, as equally kind- 
hearted and dignified. Josephine was several times in 
tears when Frau von Knebel entered the room. 

On the 2nd of August I went over to Weimar, and 
had an interview with the poet. Goethe is so great 
a man that I shall not scruple to copy the minutest 
incidents I find in my journal, and add others which I 
distinctly recollect. But, fearing repetition, I will post- 
pone what I have to say of him till I finally leave Jena. 
I continued to make it my head-quarters till the 13th. 

Chap. xvi. 

Early life 

of C. von 




Knebel. — Voigt. 

Chap. xvi. 


Frau von 

I saw, of course, most of my old acquaintance. A 
considerable portion of my time was spent in reading 
poetry with Knebel, and, after all, I did not fully impress 
him with Wordsworth's power. My journal gives the 
following account of the day before that of my 
departure : — Rose at six, and the morning being fine, 
I took a delightful walk up the Haus-berg, and, start- 
ing on the south side by way of Ziegenhain, ascended 
the famous Fuchsthurm, a lofty watch-tower of great 
antiquity. It has alsq modern celebrity, for Buona- 
parte went up for military purposes, and it was called 
Napoleonsberg. This occupied me nearly three hours. 
I read an essay by Schleiermacher on the establishment 
of a University at Berlin. After breakfast I had a long 
chat with Knebel. He informed me of his father's life. 
He was in the service of the last Margrave of Anspach, 
and was almost the only nobleman whom the Margrave 
associated with after he was entangled with Lady 
Craven, whom Knebel himself recollected. He did not 
give a favourable account of her. But the Margrave 
was a kind-hearted man, and a good prince. His people 
loved him. I dined with Voigt, and returned early to 
Knebel, with whom I had in the evening a long and 
interesting conversation. It is but too probable that 
I have now seen for the last time one of the most 
amiable men I ever knew, and one most truly attached 
to me. He is eighty-five years of age. 

I saw. on several occasions Frau von Wolzogen. She 
was in the decline of life, and belonged to the com- 
plainers. She appeared in the literary world as the 
author of a novel, entitled " Agnes von Lilien," which was 

Correspondence of Goethe and Schiller. 


ascribed to Goethe ; and she is now remembered as the 
author of a " Life of Schiller," whose wife was her sister. 
She belonged to the aristocracy of Jena, and her house 
was visited by the higher classes, though she was not 

During my stay at Jena I had leisure for reading, 
early and late. Among the books I read with most 
interest was the " Correspondence of Goethe and Schil- 
ler." This collection is chiefly interesting from the 
contrast between the two. A delightful effect is pro- 
duced by the affectionate reverence of Schiller towards 
Goethe ; and infinitely below Goethe as Schiller must 
be deemed in intellect and poetical power, yet as a 
man he engrosses our affection. Goethe seems too 
great to be an object of love, even to one so great as 
Schiller. Their poetical creed, if called in question, 
might be thought the same, but their practice was 
directly opposed, Schiller was raised by Goethe, and 
Goethe was sustained by Schiller : without Schiller, 
Goethe might have mournfully quoted Pope's couplet, — 

" Condemn'd in business, as in life, to trudge. 
Without a second, and without a judge." 

Schiller was not, indeed, a perfect judge, for that 
implies a superior — at least one who can overlook ; but 
his was an inspiring mind. Goethe was able to read 
himself in Schiller, and understood himself from the 
reflection. The book will be invaluable to future his- 
torians of German literature at this its most glorious 

August 2nd. — A golden day ! Voigt and I left Jena 
before seven, and in three hours were at Weimar. 

Chap. xvi. 

dence of 

Goethe and 

Visit to 


Visits to Goethe. 

Chap. xvi. 

home life. 

of Goethe. 

Having left our cards at Goethe's dwelling-house, we 
proceeded to the garden-house in the park, and were 
at once admitted to the great man. I was aware, by 
the present of medals from him, that I was not for- 
gotten, and I had heard from Hall and others that I 
was expected. Yet I was oppressed by the kindness 
of his reception. We found the old man in his cot- 
tage in the park, to which he retires for solitude from 
his town house, where are his son, his daughter-in-law, 
and three grandchildren. He generally eats and drinks 
alone ; and when he invites a stranger, it is to a tete-i- 
tete. This is a wise sparing of his strength. Twenty- 
seven years ago I thus described him : — " In Goethe I 
beheld an elderly man of terrific dignity ; a penetrating 
and insupportable eye — ' the eye, like Jove, to threaten 
or command' — a somewhat aquiline nose, and most 
expressive lips, which, when closed, seemed to be making 
an effort to move, as if they could with difficulty keep 
their hidden treasures from bursting forth. His step 
was firm, ennobling an otherwise too corpulent body ; 
there was ease in his gestures, and he had a free and 
enkindled air." Now I beheld the same eye, indeed, 
but the eyebrows were become thin, the cheeks were 
furrowed, the lips no longer curled with fearful com- 
pression, and the lofty, erect posture had sunk to a 
gentle stoop. Then he never honoured me with a look 
after the first haughty bow, 7iow he was all courtesy. 
" Well, you are come at last," he said ; " we have waited 
years for you. How is my old friend Knebel ? You 
have given him youth again, I have no doubt." In his 
room, in which there was a French bed without cur- 

His Hotise and Rooms. — Conversatiojt. 


tains, hung two large engravings : one, the well-known 
panoramic view of Rome ; the other, the old square 
engraving, an Imaginary restoration of the ancient pub- 
lic buildings. Both of these I then possessed, but I 
have now given them to University Hall, London. He 
spoke of the old engraving as what delighted him, 
as showing what the scholars thought in the fifteenth 
century. The opinion of scholars is now changed. In 
like manner he thought favourably of the panoramic 
view, though it is incorrect, including objects which 
cannot be seen from the same spot. 

I had a second chat with him late in the evening. 
We talked much of Lord Byron, and the subject was 
renewed afterwards. To refer to detached subjects of 
conversation, I ascertained that he was unacquainted 
with Burns's "Vision." This is most remarkable, on 
account of its close resemblance to the Ziieignung (dedi- 
cation) to his own works, because the whole logic of 
the two poems is the same. Each poet confesses his 
infirmities ; each is consoled by the Muse — the holly- 
leaf of the Scotch poet being the "veil of dew and 
sunbeams" of the German. I pointed out this resem- 
blance to Frau von Goethe, and she acknowledged it. 

This evening I gave Goethe an account of De La- 
mennais, and quoted from him a passage importing that 
all truth comes from God, and is made known to us by 
the Church. He held at the moment a flower in his 
hand, and a beautiful butterfly was in the room. He 
exclaimed, " No doubt all truth comes from God ; but 
the Church ! There 's the point. God speaks to us 
through this flower and that butterfly ; and that's a lan- 



Burns and 

Goethe on 
the Church. 


Goethe on Napoleon's Taste. 

Chap. xvi. 


Goethe on 


tions with 

guage these Spitzhiihen don't understand." Something 
led him to speak of Ossian with contempt. I remarked, 
" The taste for Ossian is to be ascribed to you in a great 
measure. It was Werter that set the fashion." He 
smiled, and said, " That's partly true ; but it was never 
perceived by the critics that Werter praised Homer 
while he retained his senses, and Ossian when he was 
going mad. But reviewers do not notice such things." 
I reminded Goethe that Napoleon loved Ossian. " It 
was the contrast with his own nature," Goethe replied. 
"He loved soft and melancholy music. 'Werter 'was 
among his books at St. Helena." 

We spoke of the emancipation of the Catholics. 
Goethe said, " My daughter will be glad to talk about 
it ; I take no interest in such matters." On leaving him 
the first evening, he kissed me three times. (I was 
always before disgusted with man's kisses.) Voigt never 
saw him do so much to any other. 

He pressed me to spend some days at Weimar on 
my return ; and, indeed, afterwards induced me to pro- 
tract my stay. I was there from the 13th of August till 
the 19th. 

I cannot pretend to set down our conversations in 
the order in which they occurred. On my return from 
Jena, I was more aware than before that Goethe was 
grown old ; perhaps, because he did not exert himself 
so much. His expression of feeling was, however, con- 
stantly tender and kind. He was alive to his reputa- 
tion in England, and apparently mortified at the poor 
account I gave of Lord Leveson Gower's translation of 
" Faust ; " though I did not choose to tell him that his 

Goethe's Nature Sketching. 


noble translator, as an apology, said he did it as an 
exercise while learning the language. On my mention- 
ing that Lord Leveson Gower had not ventured to 
translate the " Prologue in Heaven," he seemed sur- 
prised. " How so .'' that is quite unobjectionable. The 
idea is in Job." He did not perceive that that was 
the aggravation, not the excuse. He was surprised 
when I told him that the " Sorrozvs of Werter " was a 
mistranslation — sorrow being Kummer — Leiden is suf- 

I spoke with especial admiration of his " Carnival 
at Rome." " I shall be there next winter, and shall be 
glad if the thing give me half the pleasure I had in 
reading the description." — "Ay, mein Lieber, but it 
won't do that ! To let you into a secret, nothing can 
be more wearisome {ennuyant) than that Carnival. I 
wrote that account really to relieve myself. My lodg- 
ings were in the Corso. I stood on the balcony, and 
jotted down everything I saw. There is not a single 
item invented." And then, smiling, he said, " We poets 
are much more matter-of-fact people than they who are 
not poets have any idea of ; and it was the truth and 
reality which made that writing so popular," This is 
in harmony with Goethe's known doctrine : he was a 
decided realist, and an enemy to the ideal, as he relates 
in the history of his first acquaintance with Schiller. 
Speaking this evening of his travels in Switzerland, he 
said that he still possessed all that he has in print 
called his "Acteustiicke'' (documents); that is, tavern- 
bills, accounts, advertisements, &c. And he repeated 
his remark that it is by the laborious collection of 

VOL. ir. . V V 

Chap. xvr. 

at Row 

a realist. 


Goethe on Byron. 

Chap. xvi. 


Marlowe s 

with Byron. 

Goethe on 

facts that even a poetical view of nature is to be 
corrected and authenticated. I mentioned Marlowe's 
" Faust." He burst out into an exclamation of praise. 
" How greatly is it all planned !" He had thought of 
translating it. He was fully aware that Shakespeare 
did not stand alone. 

This, and indeed every evening, I believe, Lord 
Byron was the subject of his praise. He said, " Es sind 
keine Flickwortcr im Gedichte." (There is no padding 
in his poetry). And he compared the brilliancy and 
clearness of his style to a metal wire drawn through a 
steel plate. In the complete edition of Byron's works, 
including the " Life " by Moore, there is a statement 
of the connection between Goethe and Byron. At 
the time of my interviews with Goethe, Byron's " Life " 
was actually in preparation. '.Goethe was by no means 
indifferent to the account which was to be given to the 
world of his own relations to the English poet, and was 
desirous of contributing all in his power to its com- 
pleteness. For that purpose he put into my hands the 
lithographic dedication of " Sardanapalus " to himself, 
and all the original papers which had passed betAveen 
them. He permitted me to take these to my hotel, 
and to do with them what I pleased ; in other words, I 
was to copy them, and add such recollections as I was 
able to supply of Goethe's remarks on Byron. These 
filled a very closely-written folio letter, which I de- 
spatched to England ; but Moore afterwards assured 
me that he had never received it. 

One or two of the following remarks will be found as 
significant as anything Goethe has written of Byron. 

Ejuiui the Mother of the Muses. 


It was a satisfaction to me to find that Goethe preferred 
to all the other serious poems of Byron, the " Heaven 
and Earth," though it seemed almost satire when he 
exclaimed, " A bishop might have written it ! " He 
added, " Byron should have lived to execute his voca- 
tion." — "And that was?" I asked, "To dramatize 
the Old Testament. What a subject under his hands 
would the Tower of Babel have been !" He continued : 
" You must not take it ill ; but Byron was indebted for 
the profound views he took of the Bible to the ennui he 
suffered from it at school." Goethe, it will be remem- 
bered, in one of his ironical epigrams, derives his 
poetry from ennni (Langeweile) ; he greets her as the 
Mother of the Muses. It was with reference to the 
poems of the Old Testament that Goethe praised the 
views which Byron took of Nature ; they were equally 
profound and poetical. " He had not," Goethe said, 
" like me, devoted a long life to the study of Nature, 
and yet in all his works I found but two or three pas- 
sages I could have wished to alter." 

I had the courage to confess my inability to relish 
the serious poems of Byron, and to intimate my dis- 
satisfaction with the comparison generally made be- 
tween Manfred and Faust. I remarked, " Faust had 
nothing left but to sell his soul to the Devil when he 
had exhausted all the resources of science in vain ; but 
Manfred's was a poor reason — his passion for Astarte." 
He smiled, and said, " That is true." But then he fell 
back on the indomitable spirit of Manfred. Even at 
the last he was not conquered. Power in all its forms 
Goethe had respect for. This he had in common with 

F F 2 

Chap. xvr. 

Ennui the 
Mother of 
the Muses. 

in Manfred, 


Goethe on Byron. 

Chap. xvi. 

On Byron s 

Vision of 


Carlyle. And the impudence of Byron's satire he felt 
and enjoyed. I pointed out " The Deformed Trans- 
formed," as being really an imitation of " Faust," and 
was pleased to find that Goethe especially praised this 

I read to him the " Vision of Judgment," explaining 
the obscurer allusions. He enjoyed it as a child might, 
but his criticisms scarcely went beyond the exclama- 
tions — " Too bad !" " Heavenly !" " Unsurpassable !" 
He praised, however, especially the speeches of Wilkes 
and Junius, and the concealment of the countenance of 
the latter. " Byron has surpassed himself." Goethe 
praised Stanza IX. for its clear description. He re- 
peated Stanza X., and emphatically the last two lines, 
recollecting that he was himself eighty years of age. 
Stanza XXIV. he declared to be sublime : — 

" But bringing up the rear of this bright host, 

A spirit of a different aspect waved 
• His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast 

Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is paved ; 
His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd; 

Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved 
Eternal wrath on his immortal face. 
And where he gazed a gloom pervaded space." 

Goethe concurred in my suggested praise of Stanzas 
XIII., XIV., XV. Indeed Goethe was in this hke 
Coleridge, that he was by no means addicted to con- 
tradiction. This encourages those who might not 
otherwise venture on obtruding a sentiment. He did 
not reject the preference I expressed for Byron's satiri- 
cal poems, nor my suggestion that to " Don Juan " a 

* Byron himself denies that "Faust" suggested "Manfred." See a note 
in the " Works," Vol. IX., p. 71. 

Samson Agoitistes." 


motto might have been taken from Mephistopheles' 
speech aside to the student who asked his opinion of 
medicine : — 

" Ich bin des trockenen Zeugs doch satt. 
Ich will den iichten Teufel spielen." 

Byron's verses on George IV., he said, were the 
sublime of hatred. I took an opportunity to mention 
Milton, and found Goethe unacquainted with " Samson 
Agonistes." I read to him the first part, to the end of 
the scene with Delilah. He fully conceived the spirit 
of it, though he did not praise Milton with the warmth 
with which he eulogized Byron, of whom he said that 
"the like would never come again ; he was inimitable." 
Ariosto was not so daring as Byron in the " Vision of 

Goethe said Samson's confession of his guilt was in 
a better spirit than anything in Byron. " There is fine 
logic in all the speeches." On my reading Delilah's 
vindication of herself, he exclaimed : — " That is capital ; 
he has put her in the right." To one of Samson's 
speeches he cried out, " Oh, the parson ! " He thanked 
me for making him acquainted with this poem, and 
said, " It gives me a higher opinion of Milton than I 
had before. It lets me more into the nature of his 
mind than any other of his works." 

I read to him Coleridge's " Fire, Famine, and 
Slaughter;" his praise was faint. I inquired whether he 
knew the name of Lamb. " Oh, yes ! Did he not write 
a pretty sonnet on his own name .-'" Charles Lamb, 
though he always affected contempt for Goethe, yet was 
manifestly pleased that his name was known to him. 

Chap. xvi. 


Goethe -on 


Goethe on Schiller. 

Chap. xvi. 



Goethe on 

I informed Goethe of my possession of Wieland's 
bust by Schadow * He said, " It is like a lost child 
found. The Duchess Amelia sent for Schadow to do it, 
and when done gave it to Wieland. He died when the 
French were here, and we were all away. Wieland's 
goods were sold by auction, and we heard that the 
bust was bought by an Englishman. Vestigia nulla 
retrorsum." I related to him how I had bought it at 
the recommendation of Flaxman, who deemed it " a 
perfect work." Goethe then said, " You must be sensible 
that it ought to be here. A time will come when you 
can no longer enjoy it. Take care that it comes here 
hereafter." This I promised. And I have in my will 
given it to the Grand Duke, in trust, for the public 
library at Weimar. Goethe expressed to me his 
pleasure that I had retained so lively a recollection of 
Weimar at its " schme Zeit^' when Schiller, Herder, and 
Wieland all lived. I remember no other mention of 
Herder, nor did I expect it. Goethe spoke of Wieland 
as a man of genius, and of Schiller with great regard. 
He said that Schiller's rendering of the witch-scenes in 
"Macbeth" was "detestable." "But it was his way; 
you must let every man have his own character." This 
was a tolerance characteristic of Goethe. 

I have already mentioned Goethe's fondness for 
keeping portrait memorials, and can only consider it 
as an extreme instance of this that I was desired to 
go to one Schmeller to have my portrait taken — a head 
in crayons, frightfully ugly, and very like. The artist 
told me that he had within a few years done for Goethe 

* Vide p. 108. 

Goethe on H. C. R. 


more than three hundred. It is the kind of Andenken 
he preferred. They are all done in the same style — full- 
face. I sat to Schmeller also for a portrait for Knebel 
— a profile, and much less offensive. 

In this way I spent five evenings with Goethe. When 
he took leave of me, it was very kindly, and he re- 
quested me to write every three or four months, when I 
came to an interesting place. But this I did not ven- 
ture to do. I went upstairs and looked over his rooms. 
They had little furniture, but there were interesting 
engravings on the walls. His bed was without curtains — 
a mere couch. I saw much of his daughter-in-law ; he 
is said to have called her, " Ein verriickter Engel" (a 
crazy angel), and the epithet is felicitous. 

Goethe, in his correspondence with Zelter, has filled 
a couple of pages with an account of this visit. He 
speaks of me as a sort of missionary on behalf of 
English poetry. He was not aware that I had not the 
courage to name the poet to whom I was and am most 
attached — Wordsworth ; for I knew that there were 
too many dissonances of character between them. As 
Southey remarked to me, " How many sympathies, how 
many dispathies do I feel with Goethe ! " * 

* This correspondence of Goethe with Zelter continued to within a few 
hours of Goethe's death. Indeed these oldest friends died within so short a 
time of each other, that neither heard of the other's death. Goethe used to 
give to Zelter an account of all that occurred to him in the way of gossip, 
books, visits, &c., and in my visit to Heidelberg, in 1834, I met with the ex- 
tract which I now translate. It is in the fifth volume of the " Correspondence." 
After mentioning Mucewitz, the Polish poet, Goethe proceeds : " At the same 
time there was an Englishman with us, who had studied at Jena at the begin- 
ning of the century, and who had since that time pursued German literature in 
a way of which no one could form an idea. He was so truly initiated into the 
grounds of merit in our situation, that if I had wished to do so, and as we are 

Chap. xvi. 

Five even- 
ings with 

Goethe on 
H. C. R. 


A t Court. — Weimar. 

Chap. xvi. 

[In 1832 Mr. S. Naylor, Junr., sent to Mr. Robinson 
the following extract from a letter written by Frau 
von Goethe to himself This extract can have no place 
so suitable as here : — ] 

" If it be possible that the glowing forms of Italy 
have not wholly obliterated in him the pale image of a 
Northern, tell him (this him is Robinson), that we all 
look for him with longing, and regard him as a literary 
missionary, who will bring us the right articles of faith." 

The day after my arrival at Weimar, I met the 
Chamberlain of the Duchess Dowager (the Court were 
away). He said, " You must call. The Grand Duchess 
knows you are here. Go with me now." I objected, 

accustomed to do towards foreigners, there was no casting a mist before his 
eyes. From his conversation it resulted that, for twenty years and more, highly 
cultivated Englishmen have been coming to Germany, and acquiring correct 
information concerning the personal, assthetical, and moral relations of those 
who may be called our forefathers. Of Klopstock's ' Verknocherung ' 
(Ossification) he related strange things. Then he seemed a kind of missionary 
of English literature, and read to me and my daughter, together and apart, 
single poems. Byron's ' Heaven and Earth ' it was very agreeable to become 
acquainted with by the eye and ear at once, as I held a second copy in my hand. 
At last he drew my attention to Milton's ' Samson Agonistes," and read it with 
me. It is to be remarked that in this we acquire a knowledge of a predecessor 
of Lord Byron, who is as grand and comprehensive [grandios U7id umsichtig) 
as Byron himself. But, to be sure, the successor is as vast and wildly varied as 
the other appears simple and stately." 

In a later letter, speaking of Handel's "Samson," Goethe remarks — I 
quote from memory — that a literary friend had, in the preceding summer, read 
Milton's " Samson" to him, and that he never before met with so perfect an 
imitation of the antique in style and spirit. 

I have not the slightest recollection of having mentioned Klopstock at all, 
and cannot think what he referred to. Voigt says he never knew Goethe 
forget anything, so perfect was his memory to the last, and that, therefore, I 
probably did speak about Klopitock. - H. C. R. 

TJic Grand Duchess. 


that I was not dressed. "That's of no consequence. 
She will be sure not to see you." And a message being 
sent, the Chamberlain was desired to invite me to 
dinner. I was engaged with Goethe, but knew that 
these invitations are commands. Next morning a like 
invitation came, and again on Monday. On the last 
evening of my stay at Weimar, wishing to accept an 
invitation to a party elsewhere, I asked the Chamberlain 
how I could avoid being invited by the Dowager. " You 
must ask the Grand Duchess for leave to quit the 
country," he said. Such is Court etiquette ! 

These three dinners do not supply much matter for 
these Reminiscences. The Grand Duchess Louise, a 
Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, was a woman highly and 
universally esteemed. Of her interview with Napoleon, 
after the battle of Jena, I have already given an account. 
She says my narrative* is quite correct, and added one 
circumstance. Napoleon said to her : " Madam, they 
will force me to declare myself Emperor of the West." 

I was received by her with great cordiality. She either 
recollected me, or affected to do so. She was above 
seventy, looking old, and I thought remarkably like 
Otway Cave. The conversation at table was unreserved 
and easy. One day there was a popular festival in the 
town — Vogel-Schiessen (bird-shooting). Here the Grand 
Duchess attended, and it was the etiquette for all who 
were known to her, to stand near her, till she had seen 
and saluted them, and then each one retired. At these 
dinners there was a uniform tone of dignified courtesy, 
and I left her with an agreeable impression. Yet I 

• Vide pages loi, 102. 

Chap. xvi. 



The Grand 

Dinner at 
the Grand 


Leipzig and Dresden. 

Chap. xvi. 

The Court 
on ducal 

SchlegeV s 



could not but feel low when I recollected the change 
that had 'taken place since 1804, when the Duchess 
Amelia, Graf Einsiedel, Fraulein Geckhausen, and Wie- 
land, were present. My journal refers to but one sub- 
ject of conversation — the marriage of the Duke of St. 
Albans with Mrs. Coutts. That a duke should marry 
an actress, who had preserved her character, was termed 
noble at the Duchess's table. 

August i^th. — This certainly belongs to the uninte- 
resting days of my journey. I was travelling through 
a dull country in a close carriage with uninteresting 
people. But I had been so much stimulated at 
Weimar, that the change was not altogether unpleasant. 
I was glad to rest. Arrived at Leipzig soon after five. 
Went to the theatre, where was played Schlegel's 
translation of "Julius Caesar." I saw it with pleasure, 
though the actors appeared to me by no means good. 
Cassius was grave, Brutus sentimental, Caesar insig- 
nificant. But that was not altogether the fault of the 
actor. Portia wa^s petite. I could recall the English in 
most of the scenes, and thought the translation admir- 

August 20th. — Reached Dresden towards evening, 
and fixed myself for a few days at the Hotel de Berlin. 
During these days I was frequently at the famous 
picture gallery, but, conscious of my want of knowledge 
in fine art, I shall merely say that I paid my homage to 
the " Madonna di San Sisto,"* which still in my eyes 
retains its place as the finest picture in the world. But for 
me the great attraction of Dresden was Ludwig Tieck, 

* Vide page 45. 

Ltidwig Tieck. 


who was then among the German poets to Goethe 
" proximus, longo sed proximus intervallo." Tieck and 
his wife Hve in the same house with Grafinn Finkenstein, 
a lady of fortune. I was received with not only great 
politeness, but much cordiality. He recognized me at 
once. A large party of ladies and gentlemen came to 
hear him read. He is famous for his talent as a reader, 
and I was not surprised at it. His voice is melodious, 
and without pretension or exaggeration he gave great 
effect to what he read. 

Next day I dined with him. Herr von Stachelberg 
and others were there. The conversation general and 
agreeable. In politics we seemed pretty well agreed. 
All friends to Greece. A triple alliance, between Eng- 
land, France, and Austria, talked of. Thank God ! the 
governments are poor. Tieck showed me his English 
books, and talked of Shakespeare. Not only does he 
believe that the disputed plays are by him (most 
certainly " Lord Cromwell "), but even some others. 
He calls Goethe's very great admiration of Byron an 
infatuation. The " Hebrew Melodies " Tieck likes, but 
not " Manfred." In the evening read with pleasure, in 
the Foreign Review, an article on the German play- 

August 2'^rd. — At the Catholic Chapel from eleven 
till twelve. The music delighted me beyond any I 
ever heard. At six went to Tieck again, with whom I 
spent four hours most agreeably. He read his prologue 
to Goethe's " Faust," which is to be performed on 
Thursday, and also his translation of " The Pinner of 

* By Carlyle. 

Chap. xvi. 


Dinner at 
L. Tieck s. 

Tieck' s 

prologue to 



Ticck on English Classics. 

Chap. xvi. 


Wakefield."* It is a sort of dramatized ballad. The 
Pinner is a loyal subject of King Edward, thrashes 
traitors and everybody he meets with, and is a match 
for Robin Hood. We had a deal of literary gossip. 
Tieck's literary opinions seem to me for the most part 
true. He appreciates our 'classics, Richardson and 
Fielding. But he likes even Smollett's " Peregrine 
Pickle." He loves Sterne, Of Lamb he spoke warmly. 
He expressed his great admiration of Goethe, but freely 
criticised him. He thinks Goethe's way of turning into 
poetry real incidents, memoirs, &c., has occasioned the 
composition of his worst pieces. 

August 24//^. — Another charming three hours with 
Tieck, with whom I dined. I have made up my mind 
to stay till after Thursday. I shall thus disturb my 
original plan ; but I shall be a gainer on the whole. 
Tieck is, indeed, far from being Goethe's equal, but I 
enjoy his company more. Accompanied Bottiger to the 
Grafinn von der R , a sort of patroness, aged seventy- 
five. The poet she patronized was Tiedge, author of 
" Urania," a didactic poem.-j* He was more like Tieck 
in name than in any other respect. The Countess 
is a character, and honoured me with a particular 
account of her infirmities. She is, without doubt, a 
very estimable person, and I am glad to have seen her. 
At seven I returned to Tieck, and heard him read 
Holbein's capital play, "The Chattering Barber," to 

* " A Pleasant Conceyted Comedie of George-a-Greene : The Pinner of 
Wakefield." London, 1599. 4to, An anonymous play " sundry times 
acted by the seruants of the Earl of Sussex." It has been attributed to John 
Heywood and to Robert Greene. 

t Christopher Augustus Tiedge. Born 1752. Died 1841. 

Goetlie's Eightieth Birthday. 


which he gave full effect. He read also a little comedy, 
"The Pfalzgraf." 

August 2$th. — Preparing for my departure. Had no 
time for sight-seeing, but in the evening heard Tieck 
read " Richard H." Felt low at leaving the place. 
The trouble of getting off, the apprehended solitude, 
annoyances at the custom-house, search of books, &c,, 
all trouble me. 

August 26th. — A family dinner-party at Tieck's. 
Returned early to my room, where I read a most 
delightful iV(3w//<? by him, "The 15th November," On 
that day a dyke burst in Holland, and a family were 
saved by a sort of idiot, who, having suddenly lost all 
his faculties, except that of shipbuilding, built a ship 
from a kind of miraculous presentiment. Nothing can 
exceed the beauty of the representation, however im- 
probable the story may be. W. Schlegel has said that 
the only four perfect narrators he knows are Boccaccio, 
Cervantes, Goethe, and Tieck. I returned to Tieck's 
at six. A large party were assembled to hear him 
read the " Midsummer Night's Dream," which he did 
delightfully. I prefer his comic reading to his tragic. 

August 2'jth. — This day terminated what I consider 
my preliminary German journey. Dined with Tieck ; 
the family all alone. A very interesting evening. 
"Faust" was performed for the first time in Germany, 
in honour of Goethe's birthday. To-morrow, the 28th, 
. he will be eighty years old. I greatly enjoyed the 
performance. The prologue, by Tieck, was a beautiful 
eulogy on Goethe. The house was crowded. Faust 
was played by Devrient. He looked the philosopher 

Chap. xvr. 

"The \^th 

Faust per- 
formed in 
of Goethe's 



Chap. xvi. 



On the 

well, and his rich and melodious voice was very- 
effective ; but he pleased me less when he became the 
gallant seducer. Pauli was Mephistopheles. He was 
too passionate occasionally, and neither looked nor 

talked enough like the D . The scene with the 

student was very well got up. In general, however, the 
wise sayings were less heeded than the spectacle. The 
Blocksberg afforded a grand pantomime, Margaret 
was rendered deeply affecting by Mademoiselle Gleig. 
After the play, I found at the poet's house a number 
of friends, congratulating him on the success of the 
evening's undertaking. Like performances took place 
in many of the larger towns of Germany in honour of 
the great poet. 

On the 28/// of August I set out on my Italian tour. 
I passed through Teplitz and Carlsbad (Goethe's 
favourite resort) to Ratisbon. At Carlsbad, I ventured 
to introduce myself to the not-yet-forgotten famous 
metaphysician, Schelling. I had been a pupil of his, 
but an insignificant one, and never a partisan, I 
believe he did not recollect me. He talked with some 
constraint during our walk in the Wandelbahn, but 
meeting him afterwards at dinner, I found him commu- 
nicative, and were I remaining at Carlsbad, his company 
would be very pleasant to me. The most agreeable 
part of his conversation was that which showed me I 
was wrong in supposing him to have become a Roman 
Catholic. On the contrary, he spoke in a tone of 
seeming disappointment both of Schlegel and Tieck for 
their change. He spoke of the King of Bavaria as a 
benevolent, liberally inclined, and wise sovereign. Far 

On Bavarian Government. 


from being, as it was once feared he might be, the tool 
of the Jesuitical party, he is aware how dangerous 
that party is. He is, nevertheless, religious, and all his 
ministers are Roman Catholics ; not because they are 
Catholics, but because his Protestant States do not 
supply the fitting men. The Minister of the Interior is 
a convert, but he has brought to the ministry the liberal 
po.tions of his Protestant education. Though taking 
more interest in public matters than Goethe, Schelling 
yet said Goethe was right in disregarding politics, 
conscious, as he must be, that the composition of one 
of his great works would be a blessing for ages, while 
the political state of Germany might be but of short 
duration, Schelling regards Tieck as hardly an appre- 
ciator of Goethe. He spoke of Uhland and Graf 
Platen, author of the " Verhdngnissvolle Gabel" and 
other satirical works, as the best of the new generation 
of poets, I shunned philosophy, but remarked that 
England showed no inclination to receive the German 
philosophers. He answered that at present nothing 
had appeared suitable for translation. He spoke of 
Coleridge and Carlyle as men of talent, who are ac- 
quainted with German philosophy. He says Carlyle is 
certainly the author of the articles in the Edinburgh 

At Ratisbon, I embarked on the Danube for Vienna, 
passing those fine town.s, Passau and Linz, Vienna 
had little to attract me. I had a letter of introduction 
to the celebrated preacher Veit, a Jesuit, whose sermons 
had produced a great effect upon the Vienna populace. I 
called on him at the monastery, a sort of public school, 

Chap. xvr. 

Veit, the 


Vienna. — Veifs Preaching. 

Chap. xvi. 


of which he was the head. He had the appearance 
more of a man of the world than of an enthusiast, and 
his language was perfectly liberal. He said, " I believe 
firmly in all the doctrines of the Church. The Church 
never errs, but Churchmen do err. And all attempt to 
compel men by violence to enter the Church is contrary 
to the Gospel." His main objection to the Protestants 
is their ascetic habits. He spoke of Pascal as a pietist, 
using that word in an unfavourable sense. He declared 
himself an anti-ultramontanist, and assented to a remark 
of mine, that an enlightened Romanist in Germany is 
nearer to a pious Protestant than to a doctor of Sala- 
manca. Veit wishes to travel, and to learn English. It 
would, he says, be worth while to learn English if only 
for the sake of reading Shakespeare. This interview 
was less remarkable than the sermon I heard him 
preach in the crowded church of the Rigoristen (the 
order of which he is the head). His manner is singular. 
He half shuts his eyes, and with little action speaks in 
a familiar style, in a tone of mixed earnestness and 
humour. The discourse was quite moral, and very 
efficient. Its subject, pharisaic pride. The style was 
occasionally vehement. He introduced the story of the 
Lord of a manor going in a plain dress to the Hall 
on a rent-day, when his steward was feasting the 
tenants. He slipped in unperceived, and was jostled by 
the greedy company to the bottom of the table. When 
the steward saw him, he saluted him with reverence, and 
reproached the people with their ignorance. Then the 
preacher, changing his tone, exclaimed, " Ihr seid die 
wahren Krdhivinkler'' (ye are the real Gothamites) ; and 

Veifs Action in tJie Pulpit. 


producing a huge crucifix from the bottom of the pulpit, 
he cried out in a screaming voice, " Here's your God, 
and you don't know him ! " The manifest want of logic 
in the application of the tale did not prevent its having 
effect. Every one seemed touched, for it was the 
upstart pride of the citizens he managed to attack. 
He brought Huntington to my recollection, but wanted 
his perfect style. 

Chap. xvi. 

VOL. 11. 

G G 







From Vienna I proceeded, through Styria and Car- 
niola, to Trieste, and after a digression to Fiume, to 
visit my old friend Grafton Smith, entered Italy at 
Venice, the rich, but / say the romantic. I had but 
a sort of feverish pleasure there, and have no wish to go 
again. And yet the St. Mark's Place, and the Duomo, 
built with barbaric pomp, the ducal palace, and the 
Rialto, and the canals, and Palladio's churches, are worth 
a pilgrimage, and I am almost ashamed of what I have 
written. But I could not help thinking of the odious 
Governments. I must here translate one of Goethe's 
Venetian epigrams : " Laboriously wanders the pilgrim, 
and will he find the saint ? Will he see and hear the 
man who wrought the miracles .-' No ! Time has taken 
him away, and all that belongs to him. Only his skull 
and a few of his bones are preserved. Pilgrims are we — 
we who visit Italy. It is only a scattered bone which 
we honour with faith and joy." This is perfect as to 
thought ; the magic of the verse I cannot give. 

On the I'jth of November I entered Rome. 

[In the following account of Mr. Robinson's stay in 
Rome and elsewhere, the extracts will have especial 



regard to what is of personal interest, and will not 
include even a mention of all the places visited by 
him. It was in connection with this journey that he 
wrote to Miss Wordsworth : " That thing called one's 
self, loses much of itself when travelling, for it becomes 
a mere thing with two eyes and two ears, and has no 
more individuality than a looking-glass." And Mr. 
Robinson says in a letter to his brother, December 1 7th, 
of this year, " I never was more busy in my life. I 
have Rome as well as Italian to learn. Every fine day 
I visit one or more of the curiosities of this wonderful 
city. It is itself a little world, and comprehends within 
its walls a greater number of objects of high interest — 
either historical memorials or works of fine art — than I 
have ever seen in all my former journeys put together. 
But do not imagine that I am going to give you an 
account of what there is to be seen in Rome — the 
subject is so immense. I will, however, give you some 
account of what occurs to me there."] 

On the 20th I went in search of a few acquaintances 
whom I expected to meet. I found a very obliging 
friend in the Wurtemberg minister, Kolle, whom I first 
saw at Nicolai's in Berlin ; I owe him a great deal. 
On calling upon Alexander Torlonia, to whom I had 
shown attentions in England, I found he had either 
forgotten me or affected to do so.* I took an oppor- 
tunity, a few days after, to say to his half-brother : 
" I am delighted to find that my memory is better 
than I feared — at least it is better than your brother 

♦ This \vas^the young Italian whom, with his tutor, Mr. Robinson introduced 
to the Wordsworths in 1816. See p. 18. 

j<rjQ.r-"<.-jj G G 2 

Chap. XVII 


Torlonia s 




Chap. XVII, 



Alexander's. We were a week together, and I 
recollected him in an instant ; but although he is the 
younger man he cannot recollect me." I believe I 
was understood. 

November 2^th. — Carried Mrs, Benecke's letter of 
introduction to one of the most amiable of men, Kast- 
ner, the Hanoverian Minister to the Court of Rome. 
And as our English bigotry did not permit us to have 
a Minister, he supplied the office of master of the 
ceremonies to all the English. He was a man of taste, 
and most kind in his behaviour, — not at all a politician. 
He was considered to have an undignified manner, but 
was loved by every one. He was fond of talking Eng- 
lish, and his English was very amusing, though the 
tales told of him in this respect were possibly apocry- 
phal. It was said, for instance, that he declared he 
had taken a young lady under his protection because 
she was so dissolute and abandoned. He made for me 
a selection of plaster casts of antique gems, of which 
I am proud. He was Evangelical in his religious views, 
and partook of Benecke's opinions of Goethe. But 
virtu was more his pursuit than politics or speculation 
of any kind. 

November 2$th. — When I passed through Florence I 
was told by a stranger that he had been travelling with 
Miss Burney, a younger sister of Madame d'Arblay : 
he gave a promising account of her, and I begged him 
to introduce me. On my telling her of being well 
acquainted with her brother, the admiral, my vanity 
was a little hurt by finding that she had never heard 
of me. She informed me that she had set out on 

Miss Burney. 


this journey with a female friend, who had deserted 
her at Dover, not daring to cross the water in rough 
weather. " I could not," said Miss Burney, " afford to 
lose the money I had paid for my journey (board 
included^ all the way to Milan. So I ventured alone, 
without servant or acquaintance. My travelling com- 
panions were all respectable, and I shall soon be at 
Rome." I said we should be sure to meet there, and 
offered her my services when we should meet again, 
which she accepted at once. I had not forgotten her, 
when to-day on coming home I found upon my table 
a letter from Ayrton to me, introducing Miss Burney. 
"Who brought this.?" said I to our landlord. "The 
lady." — " What lady ?" — " The lady who is occupying 
the rooms below." — " Is she at home ? " — " Yes." I went 
down, and was received by her with a hearty laugh. 
She told me that, bringing many letters from England, 
she had separated them into bundles, and not opened 
those addressed to Rome until now. Our irregular 
introduction to each other was now legalized, and we 
became well acquainted, as will appear hereafter. Our 
acquaintance ripened into friendship, which did not end 
but with her life. She was a very amiable person, of 
whom I think with great respect. She at once con- 
fessed that she was obliged to be economical, and I 
made an arrangement for her which reduced her ex- 
penses considerably. I had before this time found that 
the German artists dined at a respectable, but cheap 
restaurant in the Corso, and I occasionally saw ladies 
there — Italian, not English. There were several rooms, 
one of them small, with a single table, which our party 





CJuvalier Bunsen. 


Mr. and 
Mrs. Finch. 


could nearly fill. This I frequently engaged, and I intro- 
duced Miss Burney to our party. She became our pet, 
and generally dined with us. When I was engaged else- 
where, there were several proud to take her. Our party 
had increased. Mrs. Payne had given me a letter of intro- 
duction to Mr. Finch — a character — and to-day my old 
friend KoUe offered to introduce me to him. Mr. Finch 
was married to a lady who at once claimed me for an 
acquaintance. She was a Miss Thompson, who used 
to attend the Attic Chest meetings at Porden's.* She 
had two sisters residing with her, as well as a nephew, 
a young M.D. — Dr. Seth Thompson. 

This same day was rendered further remarkable by 
an introduction, through the Chevalier Kastner, to one 
who has a European reputation, and whose acquaint- 
ance I still enjoy. This was the Chevalier Bunsen, a man 
of whom I do not think it becomes me to say more than 
what appertains to my personal intercourse with him. 
I was not at first aware of his eminent qualities. My 
journal describes him as "a fair, smooth-faced, thick- 
set man, who talks, though he does not look, like a man 
of talents." He was in the habit of receiving, once a 
week, at his house, his German friends, and on another 
day his English friends, his wife being an English lady 
— a Miss Waddington. Chevalier Bunsen very cour- 
teously said to me, " I consider you both German and 
English, and shall expect you both days " — a privilege 
I did not hesitate to avail myself of. Whatever my 
fears might be of feeling alone at Rome, I felt myself, 
in a week, not encumbered, but full of acquaintance. 

* Vide Vol. I., p 376. 

Tfiorwaldsen and Gibson. 


On the 30th I was introduced to Thorwaldsen in his 
studio, and conceived a higher opinion of him as an 
artist than of Canova. I heard him give an account 
of some of his works, especially the scheme of a series 
of colossal figures, for which a church has been since 
built at Copenhagen — the objection raised by some of 
the bishops that they tend to idolatry being overcome. 
Before the portico and in the pediment were to be 
placed, and probably now are, St. John the Baptist, and 
the various classes of the human race receiving instruc- 
tion ; in the vestibules, the aybils and prophets ; in the 
nave, the apostles ; Christ before the head altar. Many 
of these I possess in engravings, as I do casts in minia- 
ture of the triumphs of Alexander. What I have to say 
personally of Thorwaldsen I shall say hereafter. 

On this day I first saw Eastlake, now the President 
of our Royal Academy, and Gibson, the sculptor. At 
this time Rome was my study as no other place could 
ever be. I read what I could get, — Forsyth, one of the 
few books which is a voice, not an echo, the style 
proving the originality ; and " Rome in the Nineteenth 
Century," a pert, flippant book, the only claim to origi- 
nality being that, in a commonplace way, it opposes 
common notions ; but being written smartly, and with 
great labour, it has a certain popularity. 

December 6th. — A stroll in the Isola Tiberina. How 
filthy a spot ; yet how magnificent a plate it has supplied 
to Piranesi ! " Sir," said a king's messenger to me one 
day, " don't believe what travellers tell about Rome. It 
is all a humbug. Rome is more like Wapping than any 
place I know." — " That man is no fool," said Flaxman, 






Gibson, the 



likened to 


The Sights. 

Chap. XVII. 


in antique 


Tower of 
the Capitol. 


who laughed on my repeating this. " Of course he could 
not understand, perhaps he did not see, the antiquities ; 
but some of the finest are in places that resemble 
Wapping in general appearance." 

On the 7th I first saw the marbles of the Capitol. 
The most noticeable part is the gallery of busts, 
arranged in classes. That of the philosophers afforded a 
trial of skill to Miss Burney and myself in guessing. " In 
general," says my journal, " each head seemed worthy 
of its name," but not one Plato among many there 
satisfied me. Had I taken my philosophy from the 
head of any master, I must have been an Epicurean. 
Democritus is really grinning ; I took him for a slave. 
Cicero and Demosthenes express passion rather than 
thought. Cicero, however, reminded me of Goethe. 
The same day I saw Guido's " Aurora," the first picture 
that made me heartily love fresco painting. We went 
also to the Barberini Palace. Here are the " Andrea 
Corsini," by Guido, and a " Fornarina " by Raphael, 
offensive to me in spite of myself; and the far-famed 
Cenci. Kolle, a dogmatist in art, declared it to be 
neither a Cenci nor a Guido. Without its name, he 
said, it would not fetch ;^io. In defiance of my monitor, 
I could not but imagine it to be painfully expressive of 
sweetness and innocence. What did Shelley hold the 
picture to be when he wrote his tragedy t 

December loth. — Ascended the tower of the Capitol. 
That would be enough for any one day. A panoramic 
view — ancient Rome on one side, and modern Rome on 
the other. The same evening I had another glorious 
view, from the top of the Coliseum, by moonlight. 

Year's Retrospect. 


Afterwards a party at Lord Northampton's. Having 
had a lesson in the forenoon from Cola, and seen 
the Palazzo Doria, my journal notes this as a day 
of an unparalleled variety of enjoyment, and with 

December i$th. — Mr. Finch related anecdotes of Dr. 
Parr. At a party at Charles Burney's, being called 
on to name a toast, he gave the third Greek scholar 
in Europe. Being called on to explain who this 
might be, he said, " Our excellent host. The first 
Greek scholar is my friend here" (indicating Person). 
" Don't blush, Dicky. The second, modesty does not 
permit me to name." Now and then Parr's rudeness 
was checked. Asking a lady what she thought of his 
Spital sermon, she answered, " My opinion is expressed 
in the first five words of the sermon itself, 'Enough, 
and more than enough.' " He was out of humour for 
the rest of the evening. 

At the close of the year I wrote in my journal : " The 
old year is dying away with enviable repose. I do not 
know when I have spent a more quiet New Year's Eve, 
as I do not recollect when I have passed a year of more 
intense and varied personal enjoyment. But it has 
brought a great calamity into my brother's house — the 
loss of my nephew's only child, Caroline. She died from 
the effects of an attack of scarlet fever. She was one of 
the most fascinating creatures I ever saw, and was doated 
on both by parents and grandfather." The sentiment 
expressed in those few sentences is associated with a 
religious service in the church of Gesu in the evening. 
Whether owing to the music itself, aided by the edifice. 


Dr. Parr 

Close of the 


Overbeck. — Ranch. 







or to the power of the Italian voice, I know not, but 
the choir seemed to me to express an earnest, not a 
merely formal, service. 


I raay say in general of the winter season I passed in 
Rome, that my days were divided between the not dis- 
cordant occupations of studying the topography of the 
city, with Nibbi in hand, and the language of Italy, with 
the aid of Dr. Cola ; and that my evenings were seldom 
disengaged. The parties of the Prussian Minister and 
of Lord Northampton were of weekly occurrence ; occa- 
sional dinners and frequent evening gatherings at the 
houses of other friends prevented my time from ever 
hanging heavily. 

Jatiitary yth. — This evening, at Bunsen's, I was struck 
by the appearance of a tall man with lank hair and 
sallow cheeks. I pointed him out to a German as the 
specimen of an EngHsh Methodist. He laughed, and 
exclaimed, " Why, that is the Roman Catholic convert, 
Overbeck, — a rigid ascetic and melancholy devotee." 
Rauch, the great Prussian sculptor, was also there. I 
chatted with him, but have no recollection of his person. 

Jmiuary 22nd. — Westphal, a German scholar, whom I 
met at Lord Northampton's parties, took me to a very 
interesting spot, which all Germans of taste should hold 
sacred — the Kneipe, or pot-house, in which Goethe made 
those assignations which are so marvellously described 
in his Roman Elegies. The spot in which I ate and 
drank was one of the vaults in the Theatre of Marcellus ; 
the stone wall was black with the smoke of centuries. 

Bon Mot of Byron's. 


and a wooden table and wooden benches formed all the 
furniture of the den. The contrast between such a 
Spelunca — Goethe's own appellation — and the refined 
taste which could there conceive and give form to crea- 
tions which will be the delight of cultivated minds in 
all ages, was to me a lesson of humanity. The German 
artists ought here to place an inscription, which, though 
unintelligible to the many, would be most instructive 
to the few ; — a new lesson, certainly, in archaeology, but 
in conformity with the lesson taught by Niebuhr and 
his followers, who delight to have that which is in com- 
mon in ancient and modern institutions. There might 
be a reference to the Elegy in which Amor trims the 
lamp, and thinks of the time when he rendered the 
same service to his triumvirs : — 

"Amor schiiret die Lamp'indess und denket der Zeiten, 
Da er den niimlichen Dienst seinen Triumvim gethan." 

February 2nd. — At Finch's. He repeated a retort 
uttered in his (Finch's) house by Lord Byron. Ward had 
been a Whig, and became Ministerial. " I wonder what 
could make me turn Whig again," said Ward. " That 
I can tell you," said Byron. "They have only to 
re- Ward you." 

Febrtmry 2ist. — At one of the most remarkable 
dinners I ever partook of. It was at Prince Gargarin's, 
the Russian Minister. But it was the eye, not the 
palate, that was peculiarly gratified. The apartments 
were splendid, and the dining-hall illuminated by eighty- 
nine wax lights. The peculiarity of the dinner lay in 
this — that there was nothing on the table on which the 
eye of the gourmand could rest. In the centre of the 



Bvron to 


Minister s 



Dinner d la Rtisse. 


Cat- nival. 

long table (the guests being twenty-six in number) 
were a succession of magnificent plateaux, beautiful 
figures of nymphs in chased gold, urns, vases of flowers, 
decanters in rich stands, with sweetmeats in little 
golden plates, &c. &c. A servant between each couple. 
At every instant was your servant whispering in your 
ear the name of some unknown dish. There was no 
harm in taking a dish at a venture, for the moment 
you paused your plate was whisked away, and another 
instantly offered. There was great variety, and every- 
thing was of first-rate excellence. So of the wines. 
I named my own bottle, and drank of it in a large 
tumbler, every kind of rich wine being offered at the 
proper time. I sat between two Russian Princesses, 
with whom it was my severe task to keep up a conver- 
sation. The company consisted chiefly of Russian 
subjects, and I was the only Englishman there. Many 
of the former had names " which nobody can read and 
nobody can spell." A few beautiful women were there, 
including the belle of the season. 

February 2yd. — This was the last day of the Carni- 
val, which began on the lOth. I was pelted from the 
balcony of a Palazzo, and looking up to discover my 
assailant, recognized Mrs. Finch, who beckoned to me 
to join her. I did so, and took a note of passing 
objects, not expecting to rival Goethe in so doing. 
Here they are — the produce of a few minutes. A 
fellow with a wig of paper shavings ; another all paper, 
save his old hat, which had candles, soon to be lighted ; . 
a rich devil, with crimson tail ; a Turkish coachman ; 
lawyers with paper frills and collars; a conjurer; a bear; 



a man covered with bells ; a postilion with a huge whip ; 
several carrying men pick-a-back, one with a machine, 
which on a jerk opens like a ladder, and rising to the 
first floor, conveys flowers to the ladies. The race was 
poor. I noticed balls witR spikes, which hanging on 
the necks of the wretched horses, must have inflicted 
the more torture the faster they ran. The fun peculiar 
to the close of the Carnival was the blowing out of each 
other's lights, with the cry of " Senza moccolo." With 
exemplary obedience, at a given signal, the Carnival 
ends, and the crowds disperse. At eleven the theatre 
was closed, that the festivity should not encroach on 
the sacred day that followed — Ash Wednesday. 

March i6th. — We reached Naples, and, as at Venice, 
found high enjoyment on our first arrival. A walk 
along the noble street, the Toledo, passing the Royal 
Palace. A view of the bay from Santa Lucia — that bay 
which surpasses every other bay in the world, as all 
travellers agree — not as a bay simply, but including its 
matchless islands and unique Vesuvius. Then the line 
of palaces, the Chiaja, more than a mile long, fronting 
the bay. To pass away the evening, after the excite- 
ment of seeing all this for the first time, we went to a 
popular theatre. 

March \Zth. — As Rome is beyond all doubt incom- 
parably the most memorable place I ever saw, no other 
rivalling it in my imagination, so is Naples decidedly 
the second. And the efi*ect of going to the one after 
the other is heightened by contrast. Rome is the city 
of tombs, of solemn and heroic recollections, in which 
everything~reminds you of the past to the disadvantage 






Places to 
have seen. 

of the present, and altogether as Httle sensual and 
epicurean as can be in its essential character. Naples, 
on the .contrary, is the seat of voluptuous enjoyment — 
as Wordsworth happily designated it, " Soft Parthe- 
nope." The affluent seem to have nothing to do but 
saunter about, sip ices, and be gallant. I have seen it 
but for a short time comparatively, and would gladly in 
my old age visit it again. 

H. C. R. TO Mrs. Collier. 

Florence, ydth July, 1830. 
. . . ... I reached Naples on the 17th of 

March. It has not quite put Rome's nose out of joint, 
and that is all I can say. So astonishing and so 
delicious a spot (a broad one though, for it includes the 
environs and almost excludes the city) certainly no- 
where else exists. Vedi Napoli e imiore, they say. They 
are right. But I would recommend everybody, before 
he dies, just to make the circuit of Sicily. And, on 
second thoughts, it may be as well to come to England, 
and rave about this paradisiacal hell, for seven years 
before he dies the death of a philosophic hero, by 
throwing himself into the crater of Vesuvius. I have 
told you before to read Forsyth, and it is only in the 
faith that you will obey me, that I in mercy spare you 
an enumeration of all the wonders of my last journey. 
I merely say that from my bed, without changing my 
position, I could see the lurid light from the burning 
mountain, — that I made the usual excursions to the 
Phlegrsean fields, saw the passage into hell through 
which .^neas went, and even beheld Acheron itself and 



the Elysian fields. To be sure, that same Virgil did 
bounce most shamefully. Would you believe it ? The 
lake of Avernus is a round muddy pond, and the 
abode of the blessed looks not a bit better than a 
hop-garden. So Cumae, and Baiae, and Ischia, and 
Capua are all like gentlemen's seats, with none but 
servants kept there to show them to visitors. Vesuvius 
is but an upstart of yesterday. All Naples and the 
country around betray the fire that is burning beneath. 
Every now and then a little shake of the earth reminds 
the people of their peril. Peril did I say i* — ^There is 
none. St. Januarius is a sufficient protection. 

To Mrs. Masquerier H. C. R. writes : " I have made 
an excursion through Salerno to Paestum, including 
the finest water excursion to Amalfi. I thought of 
Masquerier all day. Such rocks — such temples — such 
ruffians ! I believe, after all, the ruffians would have 
delighted him most, that is, provided he could have 
found means to draw them without having his throat 
cut while at the work. Such wretches for us common 
people — such glorious creatures for you artists ! I have 
traversed Pompeii. I have ascended Vesuvius." 

In a letter to his brother, H. C. R. says : " Many a 
volume has been written about this disinterred town 
(Pompeii). It was buried by a shower of dust, and 
therefore without difficulty is being brought to light. 
The most striking circumstance is the small size of the 
buildings. They are like baby houses. But very in- 
teresting indeed is the detail of a Roman house. The 
very ovens in the kitchens — the meanest of conveniences 






TJie TJieatre, 




San Carlo 

The Molo. 


— the whole economy of domestic Hfe — baths, temples, 
forums, courts of justice, everything appertaining to a 
town of small size and rank. Not furniture only, but 
also food contained in metallic and wooden vessels. 
There are also fresco paintings, curious rather than 
beautiful. My last excursion was to Vesuvius. More 
than half a century ago you read about this in the 
' Curiosities of Art and Nature,' one of my books. In 
spite of the exaggerations of schoolboy fancy, the excur- 
sion surpassed my expectations. The picturesque line 
round the rim of the outer crater, with the fine sunset 
views on all sides, and, when night drew on, the rivulets 
of fire which gradually brightened, or rather the vein- 
like currents which diversified the broad surface, and 
the occasionareruptions from the cone round the inner 
crater, all delighted me." 

I followed the custom of the country in going to the 
opera at the San Carlo Theatre, probably the noblest 
in the world. The Scala, at Milan, alone produced 
the like effect on me. This theatre at Naples is so 
placed that, on occasion when the back is open, Vesu- 
vius may be seen from the royal box in front. When 
this mountain is the background to the dancing of the 
Neapolitan peasants, the scene is incomparable, — save 
by a scene which I shall soon mention, and from which, 
perhaps, the idea in the present instance was taken. 

Before leaving Naples, I must mention briefly the 
sight to be generally beheld on the space before the 
sea, called the Molo, where the Lazzaroni are fond of 
assembling. Here may often be seen a half-naked 
fellow, who spouts or reads verses from a MS. pf un- 

The Lazzaroni. 


imaginable filth, and all in tatters. It is Tasso. There 
is, I understand, a Tasso in the Neapolitan dialect. Or 
it may be some other popular poet, to which an audience 
of the lowest of the people is listening gravely. And I 
do not recollect having ever heard a laugh which would 
imply there was anything by which a well-bred man 
would be offended. Goethe has eloquently defended 
the Lazzaroni, and even eulogized them for their 
industrious habits ; which is by no means the irony 
one might imagine. Certainly, I saw nothing to make 
me think ill of the Lazzaroni. If offended they are 
ferocious, but they are affectionate, and are said to 
be honest to an exemplary degree. They will be 
praised for their piety or derided for their superstition 
by men who would not differ as to the facts they so 
variously designate. I know not whether the extreme 
poor of London, and, indeed, of any part of England, 
all things considered, are not more to be pitied. I 
say this of the extreme poor ; and out of this extremity 
of poverty it is somewhat less difficult for the English- 
man than the Neapolitan to make his escape. The 
Neapolitan professor of poetry receives from his pupils 
their Jwnoraria in farthings. 

An arrangement had been made that Richmond * 
and I should accompany Von Sacken and Westphal 
to Sicily, on their way to Greece ; and on the 6th of 
April we set out on our journey to Sicily, which ought 
to be the finale, as it would be the crown and com- 
pletion, of every Italian tour. 

* An American clergyman, with whom H. C. R. had fallen in by the way. 

Chap. XVII. 

Reciter or 



Journey to 




Letter on 



A letter on 

H. C. R. TO W. Pattisson and Sons. 

Florence, July 17, 1830. 
My dear Friends, 

Many thanks for your very kind and most 
acceptable joint and several letter. I must place you 
at the very head of my correspondents for promptitude 

in reply and for variety of information 

I had a delightful tour in Sicily. Go, run for the 
map, or you won't understand me. There, you see the 
northern coast, between Palermo and Messina. Here 
are all the magnificent scenes of this most glorious 
island. Palermo unites every charm which mere nature 
can give. The five days' journey a-muleback to Mes- 
sina is over mountains, sea-shore, and valleys, of which 
the perfume is so strong that a lady with weak nerves 
would be oppressed. After two days at Messina, we 
proceeded to Taormina. What think you of a theatre 
so built that, the back scenes opening, the spectators 
could see Mount Etna ! This real fire is better than 
the real water at Sadler's Wells. Then to Catania, 
built amid masses of black lava. Etna I did not dare 
ascend. Richmond went, and was rewarded with 
noble views. Then to Syracuse — an awful place. 
This city of two millions of men is shrunk into a 
mean town on a tongue of land. Not a spot worth 
seeing by the bodily eye, but to the eye of memory 
how glorious ! I was taken to a dirty cistern ; seventy 
women were washing, with their clothes tucked up, 
and themselves standing in a pool, — a disgusting scene. 
" What do you bring me here for .?" — " Why, sir, this is 
the Fountain of Arethusa " ! ! ! Oh, those rascally poets, 



again say I. Plato did right to banish the liars from 
his republic. The day before I was in good humour 
with them, for I saw the very rock that the Cyclop 
hurled at Ulysses. To be sure, the cave is not there 
now ; but iHimporte. I saw the ear of Dionysius — a silly 
story of modern invention ; but it is the finest quarry 
in the world. Continuing my ride, I came in four days 
to Girgenti. I must refer you to some book of travels ; 
enough for me to say that, having one day seen these 
miracles of art with a guide, Richmond and I separated 
on the next, and each alone spent two hours under the 
pillars of these Grecian temples, at least 3,cxx) years old. 
In front, the sea ; behind, a rich valley under mountains. 
This city had fourteen temples. The ruins of two are 
mere rubbish, but colossal ; those of two others consist 
of the columns entire. Then we went on to Selinunte. 
Here lie sixty columns on the ground, like so many 
sheaves of corn left by the reaper : an earthquake threw 
them down. And then I saw Segeste, a temple in a 
wilderness. Not a living thing did we see but wild-fowl. 
Then we went to Alcamo (having omitted to go to 
Trapani and Marsala, which are not worth seeing). You 
may serve a friend by giving him this account. We 
were thirteen days in riding over somewhat more than 
400 miles ; and we rested seven days on the way. 
I was, besides, a week at Palermo, All the stories 
about banditti are sheer fable, when asserted of the 
present times ; and, except on the north coast, the 
accommodations are good. 

May 20th. — (Rome.) I went to my old apartments in | 

H II 2 




Rome. — Bunsen. 





on the 

watch for 


Polemics in 

Krahl leav- 
ing Rome. 

the Piazza di Spagna : little as I liked Brunetti, I pre- 
ferred to bear "the ills I had, than fly to others that I 
knew not of." From the Thompsons I heard an anec- 
dote too rich and characteristic to be lost. Mr. Severn* 
had sent to the late Exhibition a painting of Ariel on 
a bat's back — " on a bat's back I do fly " — and had put 
over the head of Ariel a peacock's feather. It was re- 
jected ; first, it was said, for its indecency. At length 
the cause was confessed ; Cardinal Albani, the Secretary 
of State, had discovered in it a satire on the Romish 
Church. He interpreted the picture to represent an 
Angel astride over the Devil, but perceived in the 
peacock's feather the emblem of Papal vanity. 

May 2()th. — An interesting talk with Bunsen about 
the embarrassments of the Prussian Government, pressed 
as it is between the extreme liberality of Gesenius and 
Wegscheider, at Halle, and the intolerance of those 
who support the established religion, such as Gerlich, 
whom, however, Neander, though orthodox, does not 
support. Bunsen's remedy is, "Let Gesenius be re- 
moved from Halle, where he does harm, to Berlin, where 
he will have his equals." Wegscheider (who does not 
go so far as Paulus) would be hissed at Berlin, were he 
to advance there what he promulgates at Halle. 

June 2nd. — With a numerous party of Germans, at a 
Trattoria beyond San Giovanni, in honour of a success- 
ful artist, Krahl, leaving Rome. A cordial though 
humble supper, at six pauls (3^-.) each. I was touched 
when I heard the familiar sounds from my Btirschenzeit, 
when a vivat was sung to the " Scheidenden Bruder,'* 

* The friend and biographer of Keats. 

The Pope at a Fete. 


the departing brother, &c. A laurel crown was put on 
his head. Nothing affects me so much as partings. 

H. C. R. TO T. R. 

Rome, June 26th, 1830. 
On the 1 0th of June v/e saw a sight, in its way one 
of the most remarkable ever seen — the procession of 
the Pope at the fete of Corpus Domini. It was got up 
with great splendour. You of course know that this 
fete celebrates the great mystery of transubstantiation. 
All that is of rank in the Roman Church unites to do 
homage to the bread-God. The Piazza of St. Peter is 
environed by a tented covering, which is adorned with 
leaves and flowers ; and the procession, issuing from the 
great door of the cathedral, makes the circuit of the 
square, and re-enters the cathedral. All the monastic 
orders, canons, and higher clergy — all the bishops and 
cardinals — attend, but the great object is His Holiness. 
He is chaired, and most artfully is the chair prepared. 
The Pope is covered with an immense garment of white 
satin, studded with golden stars. His robe hangs in 
folds behind him, and is made to lie as if his feet were 
there — he acts kneeling. In like manner you see under 
the satin what you take to be his arms ; and upon what 
look like his hands stands the Monstrance, within which 
is the Host. On this the Pope fixed his eye intently, 
and never once turned it aside, while his lips moved as if 
he were absorbed in prayer, and not noticing the people, 
all of whom, as he drew near, threw themselves on their 
knees. I was at a window, and therefore without offence 
could keep my position. Behind His Holiness were 


Fife of 



The Holy 


part in the 



The Popes "Make-up. 



Goethe on 
such things. 

Fite of 
Flowers at 

carried two immense fans of peacock's feathers ; and 
the Roman nobihty followed in gala dresses. Indeed, all 
were in gala dress — spectators as well as actors. It was 
certainly an imposing sight ; though, placed as I was, 
I could see very clearly that the Pope was sitting most 
comfortably in an arm-chair, with his hands in his lap, 
and no otherwise annoyed than by the necessity of 
keeping his eyes fixed, as schoolboys do, or try to do, 
without winking. After the procession had passed I 
ran into the cathedral. It was nearly full, and it was 
an awful moment when the benediction was given. I 
was out of sight of the chief performer, but on a sudden 
the thousands who filled the cathedral, except a few 
heretics, were on their knees. You might have heard a 
mouse stir. On a sudden every one rose, and triumphant 
music rang out. God's representative had given his 
blessing to the faithful ; of which representative Goethe 
says, "There is not a relic of primitive Christianity 
here ; and if Jesus Christ were to return to see what his 
deputy was about, he would run a fair chance of being 
crucified again." Mind, Goethe says this, not I ; and 
I repeat it more for the point of the thing than for its 


On the Y'jth and id>th of Jtine I made an excursion 
of great interest with a young German artist — we went 
to Genzano to see the Feast of Flowers. This is one of 
the most primitive, simple, and idyllic feasts ever seen in 
Italy. Genzano, as you will see in my account of my 
journey to Naples, is one of the mountain towns beyond 
Albano, and under Monte Cavo. It is an ancient Latin 
city. Its situation is romantic. I went the first day to 

Fete of Flowers. 


Aricia, also a delightful mountain town, where I stayed 
with simple-hearted excellent people. We spent the 
next day in strolling in a romantic country, and in the 
evening we went to the fete. Two long streets were 
paved with flowers. The whole ground was covered 
with boughs of box, and the centre was covered with 
the richest imaginable carpet of flower-leaves. These 
were arranged in the form of temples, altars, crosses, 
and other sacred symbols. Also the Austrian, French, 
and Papal arms were in the same way formed, "like 
chalk on rich men's floors."* Poppy-leaves, for instance, 
made a brilliant red, which was the border of all the 
plot-grounds, or frameworks ; and various flowers of 
rich yellows, blues, &c., were used for the appropriate 
heraldic colours. The procession, of course, was not to 
be compared with that of the Pope and cardinals on 
Corpus Donmti, but it was pretty. Children gaudily 
dressed, with golden wings like angels, carried the signs 
of the Passion ; priests and monks in abundance ; ban- 
ners, crosses ; and, borne by a bishop with great pomp, 
the Monstrance, before which all knelt, except a few 
foreigners. All that was wanting to render the sight 
interesting was — not a belief in the value of such shows, 
but a sympathy with the feelings of others. 

The great principle of the Catholic Church is to keep 
the faithful in subjection by frightening them ; and at 
the same time there is an endeavour to make the shows 
as interesting as possible. 

* ' ' Like forms, with chalk 
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast night." 

Wordsworth's Sonnet. I. Personal Talk. Vol IV. p. 219. 



Illumination of St. Peter's. 


Feast of the 
Vigil of 
St. Peter 

St. Paul. 

The illumi- 
nation of 
St. Peter's. 


June 2%th. — In the evening, the Feast of the Vigil 
of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It is much celebrated, 
and usually detains many foreigners in Rome, on 
account of the famous illumination of the exterior of 
Saint Peter's. I accompanied Gotzenberger* and a 
Madame Louska, a German artiste with whom he was 
intimate. There are peculiar ceremonies on this day, 
all of which are noted down in the books of the Church. 
And the church itself too was in full dress. I de- 
scended into the subterranean church. A very curious 
sight in this crypt. Here are numerous low passages, 
only now and then open ; to-day to men only. There 
are many very old statues, some Grecian and Roman — 
turned Christian. Among others, a head of Saint Peter 
manifestly clapped on to the body of a Roman Senator. 
After a bad supper at a Trattoi'ia, we went to see the 
first illumination, which had begun at eight. " A 
sight," as I wrote to my brother, " followed, which is 
worth a pilgrimage, being unforgetable." Imagine Saint 
Paul's blazing in the air, graceful lines running from the 
Ball to the Stone Gallery, of a pale yellow flame. The 
clock strikes nine, and instantly the first illumination is 
lost in a blaze of lurid light. A regular corps of work- 
men are stationed at intervals about the dome, and 
effect the change with marvellous celerity ; and there 
are added fireworks from the adjacent Castle of Saint 

My last days before I left Rome for the summer, 
were spent in reading Goethe about Rome.f It was 

* A German artist. See p. 379. ' 

t " Italianische Reise." Vol. XXIII Goethes Werke. Also " Zweiter Au- 
fenthalt in Rom." Vol. XXIV. 

Goetfie on Rome. 


when he was himself about to depart that he wrote the 
wise sentence, " In jeder grossen Trenniing liegt ein 
Keim von Wahnsinn. Man muss sick huten ihn nach- 
denklich ausznbreiten und zii pflegen!'^ It was when 
he had written the first volume of his works — in the 
opinion of many, his best works — that he wrote, " Wie 
wenig Spur Idsst 'man von einem Leben zuruck!"-\ 
Goethe was not a vain man. He thought little of what 
he actually did, compared with the possibilities of his 

After spending a few days at Siena, where it is said 
the best Italian is spoken, and where certainly it seemed 
to me that even the servant-maids had an agreeable 
pronunciation, we arrived, on the 15th of July, at 
Florence. When Mr. Finch heard of my wish to spend 
the summer months in this favourite place of resort, he 
said, " There are living, in a genteel part of the town, 
two elderly ladies, highly respectable, who let their best 
apartments, but not to entire strangers. Nor are they 
particularly cheap ; but there you will be at your ease. 
Niccolini, the dramatic poet, is their intimate friend. 
He visits them regularly twice a day ; but seldom, if 
ever, breaks bread in the house. Such are Italian 
habits. Every evening there is a conversazione, attended 
by from six to ten friends ; and this particularly re- 
commends the house to you." (This indeed led me to 
resist all attempts to detain me at Siena.) Accordingly, 
my first business, after taking coffee, was to go to 

* " In every great separation there lies a germ of madness. One must 
thoughtfully beware of extending and cherishing it." 
f " How little trace of a life does one leave behind him." 

Chap. XVII. 



H. C. R.'s Life in Florence. 



H. C. R.'s 
hosts in 

Daily life 
at Florence. 

the drama- 
tic f Get. 

Mesdames Certellini, 1341, Via della Nuova Vigna ; and 
I was, without any difficulty, at once installed, having 
a large sitting-room, and a bed-room beyond, in the 
piano secondo. I was pleased at once with their un- 
pretending manners, and I had a confidence in their 
integrity in which I was not disappointed. I paid five 
pauls a day for my room, and the servants were to cook 
for me, Niccolini was with us for two hours in the 
evening, with whom I immediately entered into discus- 
sion on German literature, of which he was as much an 
opponent as I was a decided partisan. 

In a letter to my brother, dated August 15, I wrote : 
" This has been my daily life since I came here, I 
spend my mornings, from six till three, in my room 
reading Machiavelli and Alfieri. Political works are my 
favourite reading now. At three I dine. In the after- 
noon I lounge over the papers at the Reading-room, 
a liberal institution, kept by M. Vieusseux,* a man to 
whom Tuscany owes much. From six to nine he is at 
home, and, as I brought a letter to him from Mr, Finch, 
I generally step in. There I see a number of the most 
distinguished literati in Italy, all Liberals, a large pro- 
portion of them Neapolitans and Sardinians, From nine 
to eleven there is always a conversazione at home, Nic- 
colini, the dramatic poet, is the intimate friend of the 
house, and never fails. We talk on politics and on 
poetry, and never want subjects to dispute about. You 

• Jean Pierre Vieusseux, a native of Leghorn, born of a Genevese family. 
He was the founder not only of the Reading-room above mentioned, but also 
of several critical and literary periodicals of very high repute. A brief account 
of him will be found in the Conversations Lexicon. 

Count Pecchids Works. 


will smile to hear that I am under the necessity of de- 
fending Catholic emancipation in a country in which none 
but the Roman Catholic religion is legally recognized. 
I have endured the heat very well. My breakfast 
throws me into a perspiration. At evening parties the 
gentlemen are allowed to take off their coats and their 
neckcloths. The other evening I burnt my hand by 
heedlessly putting it on the parapet of a bridge ; yet 
it was then eight o'clock. I was returning from a play 
performed by daylight, — the spectators sitting in the 
open air, but in the shade." 

ytily 22nd. — I was instructed by reading Pecchio's* 
" History of the Science of Political Economy." He 
taught me that the Italian writers had the merit of 
showing the effect of commerce, agriculture, &c., on the 
moral state and happiness of a country ; while English 
writers confined their inquiry to the mere wealth of 

* This Pecchio I afterwards knew at Brighton. He was fortunate in marry- 
ing an estimable English lady, who survives him in retirement at Brighton. 
He was a worthy man, of quiet habits, and much respected. His opinion 
was, that though the science of the Italians had not supplied the want of 
liberty, it had mitigated many evils : evils as often proceeding from ignorance 
as from the love of power and selfishness. — H. C. R. 

Giuseppe Pecchio was born at Milan in 1785. The occupation of Lombardy 
caused him to vmte a political work, in connection with his own country ; and 
an attempt at insurrection, in which he was implicated, led to his spending 
some time in Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. He wrote works on the latter 
two countries. He also visited Greece, and helped to write ' ' A Picture of 
Greece in 1825." The work to which H. C. R. refers, is doubtless one 
entitled " Storia delta Economia publica in Italia" in which an account is given 
of the substance of the principal Italian works on pohtical economy. In 
1823 Pecchio visited England, and, after his return from Greece, in 1825, 
settled in this country. In 1827 he married a lady at Brighton, and lived 
there till his death, which took place in 1835. During his residence in 
England his mind was active in observing the English people, and the results 
were given in several works, which were highly esteemed both for their 
ability and their spirit. 


Pecchio s 



Chap. XVII. 

Niccolini s 

on Catholic 

nations. Beccaria and Filangieri are their prime writers, 
economists as well as philanthropists. 

July 2T,rd and 24th. — I read these days a little known 
work by Niccolini, a tragedy — Nabucco — being, under 
Oriental names, the history of Buonaparte in his 
domestic relations. It is, like all his tragedies, decla- 
matory, without passion or character. Niccolini made 
no secret of his liberal opinions ; but he was an anxious, 
nervous, timid man, and unfit for action. His tragedy of 
" The Sicilian Vespers," though made as little political 
as possible, being a domestic tragedy, could not but 
contain passages capable of a dangerous application. 
He told me that, on the publication, the French Minis- 
ter said to the Austrian Minister at Florence, " Monsieur 
, ought I not to require the Grand Duke's Go- 

vernment to suppress it .'' " — " I do not see," said the 
Austrian Minister, " that you have anything to do with 
it. The letter is addressed to you, but the contents are 
for me." Niccolini's dramatic works all belong to the 
Classical school. He is a stylist, and very hostile to the 
Romantic school. He blamed (as Paulus, at Heidelberg, 
had done) our Government for Catholic emancipation. 
" Give the Romanists," he said, " full liberty : that they 
have a right to ; but political power on no account. 
They will exercise it to your destruction when they 
can." I confess that I am less opposed to this opinion 
now than I was when I heard it. 

Reading and society were the prime objects of inte- 
rest during my Florence summer ; I shall therefore, 
with one exception, pass over journeys and sights 
without notice. 

Countess Testa. 


Among the frequenters of our evening conversazioni ^harj 

were a Countess Testa and her brother Buonarotti, a 
judge. They inherited this great name from a brother 
of Michael Angelo ; and the judge possessed in his 
house a few graphic and literary memorials of the great 
man. They were less fortunate in their immediate 
ancestor. Their father was one of the very bad men 
of the last generation. He was a partisan of the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety in 1 794. But though a ferocious 
fanatic, he did not add to this the baseness of profiting 
by his cruelty, or combine the love of gold with the 
thirst for blood. He had no rapacity, and was as 
honest, in a certain narrow sense of that word, as 
Robespierre himself. When the French Revolution 
broke out, he caught the infection, abandoned his 
family, and wrote to his wife that he released her from 
all obligations ; he would be no longer an Italian, but a 
Frenchman, and would have a French wife. So far, he 
kept his word. He never returned, nor did he ever see 
his wife or children any more. 

He was in prison after the fall of Robespierre, and 
narrowly escaped deportation. He subsequently took 
part in the famous conspiracy of Babeuf, the object of 
which was avowed to be the abolition of property. 
His life was spared, on the merciful suggestion that he 
was insane, and he lived many years at Brussels as a 

My political reading was interrupted by a proposal 
to be one of a party in a pilgrimage to the nearest of 
the three Tuscan monasteries. We set out on the 2nd 
of August, drove to Pelago, about fifteen miles, and 


ants of a 
brother of 

Visit to 





ejected from, 


thence walked to the Benedictine monastery, which has 
been an object of interest to Enghsh travellers, chiefly 
because one of our great poets has introduced its name 
into a simile : — 

"He called 

His legions, angel-forms, who lay entranced, 

Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks 

In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades, 

High over-arched, embower." * 

It must be the delight which the sound gives to every 
ear susceptible of the beauty of verse, that excites a 
curiosity concerning the place, the name of which is so 
introduced. But as far as expectation is raised, that 
can only suffer disappointment from the visit, for with 
the present appearance of the valley the description 
does not in the least agree. I could see but one little 
stream in it. It is by no means woody, and all the 
trees now growing there (I presume that twenty years 
have produced no change) are pine or fir-trees, and of 
all trees the least adapted to arched bowers are the fir 
and larch. 

We reached Florence between eight and nine, and I 
went straight to Vieusseux, impelled by mere curiosity, 
as if I had a presentiment of the marvellous news I 
was about to hear : news, of which I wrote next day in 
my journal, that it had affected me more than any I 
had heard since the fall of Napoleon ; and looking back 
now upon what had then occurred, though the imme- 
diate consequences were other than I had expected, it 
is impossible to contemplate them without a mixture 
of sorrow and shame. One Englishman only was 

* "Paradise Lost." Book I., 300-304. 

Bourbons Expelled from France. 


in the reading-room, a language-master (Hamilton), 
"Any news?" I asked. — "None to-day." — "I have been 
at Camaldoli three days." — " Then you have not heard 
the^r^^^ news V — " I have heard nothing." — " Oh" (with 
a voice of glee) "the King of France has done his 
duty at last. He has sent the Chamber of Deputies 

about their business, abolished the d d Constitution 

and the liberty of the press, and proclaimed his own 
power as absolute king." — "And that you call good 
news .''" I felt indignant, and never would speak to 
the man afterwards. I went upstairs ; Vieusseux was 
alone, and in evident affliction. He gave me an account 
of the ordinances which Charles X. had issued ; but 
nothing had been heard of what took place aftenvards. 
"And what will the end be?" — "I know what the 
result will be," answered Vieusseux. " It will end in 
the driving of the Bourbons out of France — perhaps in 
three days, perhaps in three weeks, perhaps in three 
years ; but driven out they will be." They were driven 
out at the moment he was speaking, and they have not 
yet returned. Are they driven out for ever ? 

At Madame Certellini's were Niccolini, Fieri, and 
others of my acquaintance, sitting in silence, as at a 
funeral ; all alike confounded at the intelligence. 

Heat and anxiety kept me awake at night. 

August ^th. — Next day was lost to all ordinary occu- 
pations ; nothing thought or talked of but what we 
expected to hear every hour ; each man, according to his 
temperament, anticipating what he hoped, or what he 
feared. I had no doubt that we should hear of bloody 
transactions. The reports were ludicrously contradictory. 

Chap. XVII. 

Grief of 

The new 


the only 



Sensation caused by Revolution. 

Chap. XVII. 

The news 
at Rome. 

August Jth. — Between ten and eleven I was in my 
bedroom, when, hearing my name, I went into my sitting- 
room. There was Niccolini, pale as ashes. He had sat 
down, and exclaimed, in sentences scarcely distinguish- 
able, " Tutto ^ Jinito." I was enough master of myself 
to reply, " Che ! Jinito ! Tutto h cominciato !" for I re- 
collected in a moment the commencement de la fin. He 
went on to inform me what he had heard from the 
Austrian Minister in a few short sentences, that after 
three days' fighting at Paris, La Fayette was at the head 
of the National Guards ; a provisional government was 
established ; the king had fled, nobody knew where. Of 
the impression of this news in Italy I have alone to write. 
I went to the Reading-rooms. Both rooms were filled 
with company. An Englishman came to me laughing, 
and said, not altogether meaning it, " Look at all these 
rascals : they cannot conceal.their joy, though they dare 
not speak out. I would shoot them all if I were the 
Grand Duke." — "You would have a good deal to do, 
then," I answered in the same tone. I came home and 
wrote two letters to Rome, that is, to Mr. Finch and 
to Richmond. Neither of them had heard of anything 
more than the ordinances. Richmond ran about reading 
my letter, and was threatened by the police with being 
sent to prison, as a spreader of false tidings. Mr. Finch 
drove out in his carriage, and read my letter to all 
his friends. As far as he could learn, no other informa- 
tion of these events arrived that day at Rome. Such 
is the effect of fear. Mr. Finch wrote and thanked me 
for my letter. His letter was very characteristic. He 
said his great friend, Edmund Burke, would have ap- 

Walter Savasre Landor. 


proved of the event, and he blessed God that he had 
lived to know of this triumph of rational liberty. Not 
long after, Mayer wrote to inform me of Finch's death, 
saying that the reception of the news I forwarded to 
him was his last pleasure in this world. 

August — Met to-day the one man living in 
Florence whom I was anxious to know. This was 
Walter Savage Landor, a man of unquestionable 
genius, but very questionable good sense ; or, rather, 
one of those unmanageable men, — 

" Blest with huge stores of wit, 
Who want as much again to manage it." 

Without pretending now to characterize him (rather 
bold in me to attempt such a thing at any time), I will 
merely bring together the notes that I think it worth 
while to preserve concerning him during this summer ; 
postponing an account of my subsequent intercourse with 
him. I had the good fortune to be introduced to him 
as the friend of his friends, Southey and Wordsworth. 
He was, in fact, only Southey *s friend. Of Wordsworth 
he theft professed warm admiration. I received an 
immediate invitation to his villa. This villa is within 
a few roods of that most classic spot on the Tuscan 
Mount, Fiesole, where Boccaccio's hundred tales were 
told. To Landor's society I owed much of my highest 
enjoyment during my stay at Florence. 

He was a man of florid complexion, with large full 
eyes, and altogether a leonine man, and with a fierceness 
of tone well suited to his name ; his decisions being 
confident, and on all subjects, whether of taste or life, 
unqualified ; each standing for itself, not caring whether 




Death of 

W. S. 

His Tuscan 



Landor at Flvrence. 

Chap. XVII. 

Landor in 

His gift of 

Landor s 

it was in harmony with what had gone before or would 
follow from the same oracular lips. But why should 
I trouble myself to describe him .'' He is painted by a 
master hand in Dickens's novel, " Bleak House," now 
in course of publication, where he figures as Mr. Boy- 
thorn. The combination of superficial ferocity and 
inherent tenderness, so admirably portrayed in " Bleak 
House," still at first strikes every stranger — for twenty- 
two years have not materially changed him — no less 
than his perfect frankness and reckless indifference to 
what he says. 

On Atigtist 20th I first visited him at his villa. There 
were his wife, a lady who had been a celebrated beauty, 
and three fine boys and a girl. He told me something 
of his history. He was from Warwickshire, but had a 
family estate in Wales. Llanthony Priory belonged to 
him. He was well educated — I forget where ; and Dr. 
Parr, he said, pronounced him one of the best Latin 
verse writers. When twenty-one, he printed his Latin 
poem of " Gebir." He was sent to Oxford, from which 

he was expelled for shooting at the Master, Dr. . 

This was his own statement at a later day, when he 
repeated to me his epigram on Horse-Kett, a learned 
Professor so nicknamed, — 

" ' The Centaur is not fabulous,' said Young. 
Had Young known Kett, 

He had said, ' Behold one put together wrong; 
The head is horseish; but, what yet 
Was never seen in man or beast, 
The rest is human ; or, at least, 
Is Kett." 

His father wished him to study the law, saying, "If 

Land or on the Italians. 


you will study, I will allow you £l^o, or perhaps ;^400, 
per annum. If not, you shall have £\20, and no more ; 
and I do not wish to see your face again." Said Landor, 
" I thanked my father for his offer, and said, ' I could 
take your ;^350, and pretend to study, and do nothing. 
But I never did deceive you, nor ever will.' So I took 
his ;^I20, and lived with great economy, refusing to 
dine out, that I might not lose my independence," He 
did not tell me, then or afterwards, the rest of his 

Though he meant to live and die in Italy, he had 
a very bad opinion of the Italians. He would rather 
follow his daughter to the grave than to the church with 
an Italian husband. No wonder that, with this turn of 
mind, he should be shunned. The Italians said, " Every 
one is afraid of him." Yet he was respected univer- 
sally. He had credit for generosity, as well as honesty ; 
and he deserved it, provided an ample allowance was 
made for caprice. He was conscious of his own infir- 
mity of temper, and told me he saw few persons, 
because he could not bear contradiction. Certainly, I 
frequently did contradict him ; yet his attentions to me, 
both this and the following year, were unwearied. 

He told me of having been ordered to leave Florence 
for insolence towards the Government. He asked for 
leave to return for a few days on business. The Minis- 
ter said a passport could not be given him, but that 
instructions would be given at the frontiers to admit 
him, and his continuance would be overlooked if he 
wished it. He has remained unmolested ever since. 

Among the antipathies which did not offend me, was 

I I 2 

Chap. XVII. 

I.andor's ill 
opinion of 

Liindor and 



In Italy on 


Landof's- hitolerance. 



Landor s 

His views 
on art. 

Goethe s 

son a 



his dislike of Lord Byron, which was intense. He 
spoke with indignation of his " Satire " on Rogers, the 
poet; and told me the story — which I afterwards heard 
at first hand from Lady Blessington — of Lord Byron's 
high glee at forcing Rogers to sit on the cushion under 
which lay that infamous lampoon. Of his literary judg- 
ments the following are specimens : — Of Dante, about 
a seventieth part is good ; of Ariosto, a tenth ; of Tasso, 
not a line worth anything, — yes, one line. He declared 
almost all Wordsworth to be good. Landor was as 
dogmatic on painting as on poetry. He possessed a 
considerable collection of pictures. His judgment was 
amusingly at variance w^ith popular opinion. He thought 
nothing of Michael Angelo as a painter ; and, as a 
sculptor, preferred John of Bologna. Were he rich, he 
said, he would not give i^ 1,000 for " The Transfiguration," 
but ten times as much for Fra Bartolomeo's " St. Mark." 
Next to Raphael and Fra Bartolomeo, he loved Peru- 
gino. He lent me several volumes of his " Imaginary 
Dialogues," which I read with mixed feelings. I am 
ready to adopt now the assertion of the Quarterly Review 
on the whole collection : " We know no one able to 
write anything so ill as the worst, or so well as the best. 
Generally speaking, the most highly polished are those 
in which the ancients are interlocutors ; and the least 
agreeable, the political dialogues between the moderns." 
On the 22nd of August I was surprised by the sudden 
appearance of Richmond ; and, while with him in the 
Hall of Niobe, heard my name called out in German. 
The voice came from the son of Goethe, who was on 
his way to Rome. He and Richmond breakfasted with 

Goethe's Son. 


me the next day. Goethe was very chatty ; but his 
conversation on this day, and on the 31st, when he took 
leave of me, left a very unpleasant impression on me. 
I might have been rude, if my veneration for the father 
had permitted me to be perfectly free towards the son. 
I kept my temper with difficulty towards a German 
who reproached the princes of his native land for their 
" treachery towards Napoleon," whom he praised. I 
could allow him to abuse the marshals of France, but 
not the German Tugendbund and General York, the 
King of Prussia, &c. &c. The King of Saxony alone 
among the princes was the object of his praise ; for he 
alone " kept his word." 

On my arrival at Rome, a few weeks afterwards, I 
heard that he had that day been buried, the Germans 
attending the funeral seeing in him the descendant of 
their greatest man. 

September 21st. — Read to-day a disagreeable book, 
only because it was the life, by a great man, of one 
still greater — by Boccaccio, of Dante. I did not expect, 
in the voluminous conteur, an extraordinary degree of 
superstition, and a fantastic hunting after mystical 
qualities in his hero. He relates that Dante's mother 
dreamt she lay in of a peacock, and Boccaccio finds 
in the peacock four remarkable properties, the great 
qualities of the " Divina Commedia :" namely, the tail 
has a hundred eyes, and the poem a hundred cantos ; 
its ugly feet indicate the mean ^^ lingtia volgare;" its 
screaming voice the frightful menaces of the " Inferno " 
and " Purgatorio ; " and the odoriferous and incor- 
ruptible flesh the divine truths of the poem. 

Chap. XVII. 


His death. 

on Dante. 


Spence. — At Rome. 







October i6th. — I was to have returned to Rome with 
Schmidt ; but he was prevented, for the time, by the 
arrival of the Spences, the parents of the lady whom 
he afterwards married, and is now living with, in pros- 
perity, in Tuscany. I was much pleased with the 
Spences, who are now in the first line of my friends. 
We knew each other by name, having a common 
friend in Masquerier, of whom he spoke with great 
regard. Spence is known to the world most advan- 
tageously, as the joint author, with Kirby, of the 
Text-book in English on Entomology ;* and also, but 
not with like authority or repute, as an ingenious writer 
on Political Economy. His first pamphlet, which made 
a noise, and for a time was very popular, was entitled 
" Britain Independent of Commerce." He was, and is, 
a man of remarkably clear head and good sense. He 
rather affects hostility to metaphysics and poetry ; " be- 
cause," he says, " I am a mere matter-of-fact man." 
But, with all that, he seems to like my company, who 
am ignorant of all science — and that shows a freedom 
from narrow-minded attachments. 

November i6th. — (Rome.) I was at Bunsen's for the 
first time this season. The confusion which prevailed 
over all Europe, in consequence of the last French 
Revolution, had rendered everything uncertain. The 
accession of the Whigs this winter, and the threatened 
changes in Germany and Italy, made all political specu- 
lations hazardous, and diplomatists were at fault ; but 

* "An Introduction to Entomology; or, Elements of the Natural History 
of Insects. With a Scientific Index. By the Rev. William Kirby and 
William Spence, Esq." 4 Vols. Several editions of this valuable work have 
been published. Professor Oken translated it into German. 

Bunsen. — Thorwaldsen. 


the popular power was in the ascendant, and liberal 
opinions were in fashion. This evening, Bunsen related 
an anecdote on the circumstances attending the " Ordi- 
nances," lending to show that very serious consequences 
arose from the French Minister, Polignac, having dwelt 
so long in England, as to confound the English with 
the French sense of a material word. In a military 
report laid before him, on which the Ordinances were 
issued, it was stated that the Paris troops were 15,000 
effectives ; and he understood, as it would be in 
English, that these were effective. But, unless the 
words ^^ et prhentes" are added, it means in French 
that the number stated is what ought to be there ; that 
is, the rated number. The troops were not actually 
there, and the issue of the conflict is well known. 

November 2<^th. — I had been introduced to Thor- 
waldsen, a man not attractive in his manners, and 
rather coarse in person. Kolle had taken me to his 
studio. He was at work on his figure of Lord Byron. 
I thought it slim, and rather mean ; but I would not 
set up for a judge ; nor was it far advanced. The 
terms on which he undertook the work for the sub- 
scribers — a thousand guineas — were thought creditable 
to his liberality. 

December 2nd. — On the 30th of November died 
Pius VIII., which threw Rome into an anomalous 
state for an uncertain time. I accompanied a small 
party to see the body lying in state — a sight neither 
imposing to the senses, nor exciting to the sensibility. 
On a high bed, covered with crimson silk, lay the 
corpse in its priestly robes, with gloves, and diamond 




Death of 
Pius VIII. 


Death and Funeral of the Pope, 


The Pope 

lying in 


Funeral of 
the Pope. 

H. C. P. 

robbed in 
the street. 

ring, &c. The people were allowed to pass through 
the apartment indiscriminately ; and, within an en- 
closure, priests were chanting a solemn service. After- 
wards I saw the body in a chapel at St. Peter's, lying 
in state on a black bier, dressed in the episcopal robes 
and mitre. The face looked differently — the forehead 
overhanging — but it had then a mask of wax. The 
feet projected beyond an iron railing, for the faithful 
to kiss, 

December 12th. — I was at St. Peter's again when the 
funeral rites were performed. The music was solemn 
and affecting. I do not recollect seeing where the 
body was deposited for the present. It is placed in 
its last abode on the burial of the next Pope. This 
is the custom. 

I must now go back to December 2nd, In the 
evening, about eight, on my way to attend the weekly 
party at Bunsen's, I went down a back street to the 
left of the Corso, I was sauntering idly, and per- 
haps musing on the melancholy sight of the morn- 
ing, and the probable effect of a new sovereign on the 
Romish Church, when I felt something at my waist. 
Putting my hand to the part, I found my watch gone, 
with its heavy gold chain ; and a fellow ran forward, 
I ran after him, and shouted as loud as I could, " Stop 
thief!" I recollected that " Stop thief" was not Italian, 
but could not recollect the word " ladrone ;" and the 
sense of my folly in calling " Stop thief" made me 
laugh, and impeded my progress. The pickpocket 
was soon out of sight, and the street was altogether 
empty. It is lucky, indeed, that I did not reach the 

Roman Police. 


fellow, as there is no doubt that he would have 
supported the dexterity of his fingers by the strength 
of his wrist, and a stiletto. In the meanwhile, my 
hat was knocked off my head. I walked back, and, 
seeing persons at the door of a cafe, related my mishap, 
and my hat was brought to me. At Bunsen's, I had 
the condolence of the company, and was advised to 
go to the Police ; which I did the next day. I related 
my story ; and though I gave a hint, as advised, that I 
was willing to give fifty or sixty dollars for my lost pro- 
perty, I was listened to with gentlemanly indifference. I 
could hardly get an intimation that any concern would 
be taken about the matter : only my card was taken, I 
supposed, in case the thief should wish to restore the 
watch to me of his own accord. I was told that, for 
a fee, persons made it their business to take a descrip- 
tion of the watch to watchmakers, &c. ; but, when I 
offered to leave money at the office, I was told I must 
see after that myself. I soon saw I could have no 
help there. I did give a couple of dollars to a sort 
of agent, who was to make inquiries, which profited 
nothing ; and this raised my loss to somewhat more 
than £40. 

However, this same evening, another incident took 
place which was a source of great pleasure to me, not 
only during my residence in Rome, but long afterwards. 
Madame Bunsen said to me, " There is a lady I should 
like to introduce to you." I answered, impertinently, 
" Do you mean me to fall in love with her } " She was 
certainly very plain ; but a tall person, with a very intel- 
ligent countenance, and, indeed, a commanding figure. 

Chap. XVII. 

TAe Roman 

Hon. Mi Si 


Miss Mackenzie. 



Landor on 

H. c. /e. 

H. C. R.'s 
bust by 

should have secured her from the affronting question. 
" Yes, I do," she replied ; and she was right. This was 
the Hon. Miss Mackenzie, a descendant of the Earl of 
Seaforth, in Scotland. She was of a family long pro- 
scribed as being adherents of the House of Stuart. 
Her father was restored, I understood, to the Barony- 
only of Seaforth, and had been Governor of one of the 
West India islands. I found, however, that her distinc- 
tion at Rome did not depend merely on her family, 
but that she had the reputation of being a woman of 
taste and sense, and the friend of artists. I was, there- 
fore, gratified by an invitation to call on her next day. 
On my calling, she received me laughing. " You are 
come very opportunely," she said ; " for I have just 
received a letter in which you are named. It is from 
Mr. Landor. He writes : ' I wish some accident may 
have brought you acquainted with Mr. Robinson, a 
friend of Wordsworth. He was a barrister, and, not- 
withstanding, both honest and modest — a character I 
never heard of before : indeed, I have never met with 
one who was either.' " This, of course, fixed me in 
Miss Mackenzie's favourable opinion, and the intimacy 
ripened quickly. Through her I became acquainted 
with artists, &c., and in some measure she supplied 
the loss of Lord Northampton's house, which was not 
opened to parties during the season, in consequence of 
the death of Lady Northampton. 

December 2,rd. — Among my acquaintances was a sculp- 
tor, Ewing, whom I wished to serve ; and understanding 
he originally worked in small, making miniature copies 
of famous antique statues, I intimated a wish to have 

H. C. R.'s Bust by Ewing. 


something of that kind from him ; for which he ex- 
pressed himself gratefully. He, however, ultimately 
succeeded in inducing me to sit for my bust, which he 
executed in marble. The bust has great merit, for it 
is a strong likeness, without being disgusting* 

December 2^th. — To relieve myself from the unen- 
joyable Italian reading, which was still a labour, I 
occasionally allowed myself to read German ; and at 
this time Menzel's '^Deutsche Literatur" afforded me 
much amusement. It is a piquant work. In a chapter 
on the German Religionists, he classifies the different 
bodies subjectively : calling the Roman Catholic 
system " Sinnenglauben" from the influence of the 
senses ; the Lutheran scheme, " Wortglauben " (word- 
faith) ; and the religion of the Pietists, " Gefuhlsglau- 
ben" (faith of the feelings). It was thus I was 
employed at the close of the year at Rome, in the 
vain attempt to master a language and literature for 
which I was already too old. 

H. C. R. TO T. R. 

January 2'jth, 1831. 
I have been within the walls of five Italian houses, 
at evening parties : at three, music, and no con- 
versation ; all, except one, held in cold dark rooms, 
the floors black, imperfectly covered with drugget, 
and no fire ; conversation, to me at least, very dull — 
that may be my fault ; the topics, theatre, music, 
personal slander ; for religion, government, litera- 

* This bust is now in the possession of H. C. R.'s niece, Mrs. Robinson. 




parties in 



Italian Receptions. 




lodging at 


bered by his 

ture were generally excluded from polite company. If 
ever religion or government be alluded to, it is in a 
tone of subdued contempt ; for though at Florence I 
saw many professed literati, here I haVe not seen one ; 
and, except at one house, of which the mistress is a 
German, where tea was handed round, I have never 
seen even a cup of water offered ! 

January ^otk. — I heard, partly from Miss Denman, 
and partly from the artists, where Flaxman lived when 
he came to Rome, and that it was in a sort of chocolate- 
house, formerly kept by three girls who were so elegant 
as to be called "the Graces ;" but I was informed that 
they lived to be so old, that they became " the Furies." 
One I had heard was dead. I ordered some chocolate, 
and inquired of one of the women whether she recol- 
lected an English sculptor, Flaxman, living with her 
many years before. " No," she did not. I pressed my 
questions. At length she asked, " Was he married } " 
" Yes." Then came the conclusive question, " Had he 
a hump ? " I give the strong word, for she said, " Non 
gobbo?" and on my saying, "Yes," she clasped her 
hands, and exclaimed, " Oh, he was an angel ! — they 
were both angels." Then she ran to the staircase, and 
cried out, " Do, sister, come down, here 's a gentleman 
who knew Hiimpy." She came down, and then all 
kinds of questions followed. Was he dead } Was she 
dead .-' Then praises of his goodness. " He was so 
affectionate, so good, so generous — never gave trouble — 
anxious to be kind to everybody." But neither did 
they recollect his name, nor did they know anything 

Flaxman. — A New Pope. 


of him as an artist They only knew that he was 
" Humpy," and an " Angel." I never heard Flaxman 
mentioned at Rome but with honour. I heard there 
was, in a shop, a portrait of him in oils, but I was 
unable to find it. 

H. C. R. TO T. R. 

yanuary 2'jth, 183 1. 
Since the incarceration of the Cardinals, the city 
has been only a little more dull than usual. On the 
1 2th of December, the day before their imprisonment, 
I went to look at their miserable little lodgings ; 
very few have fireplaces, and some not even stoves. 
You know that the election is by ballot, and that 
two-thirds of the votes must concur. Twice a day the 
ballot papers are examined and regularly burnt. And 
idlers are to be seen every day after eleven o'clock on 
the Monte Cavallo, watching for the smoke that comes 
from an iron flue. When it is seen, they cry, " Ecco il 
ftcmo ! No Pope to-day." It is quite notorious that 
there are parties in the Sacro Collegio, and hitherto their 
bitterness is said to have gone on increasing rather than 
diminishing. The profane are, as it happens, very 
merry or very wrathful at the delay — so injurious to 
the city. During the widowhood of the Church, there 
can be no Carnival, and that must, if at all, be now in 
less than a fortnight. The leaders, Albani and Bar- 
netti, are the objects of daily reproach. The lampoons 
or pasquinades during the conclave have been famous 
for centuries. I have seen several, and shall bring a 
few home with me as curiosities ; but I have found little 



Choice of a 
new Pope. 


Election of Pope. 




On the 


wit in them. The most significant is a dialogue be- 
tween the Santo Spirito and the City of Rome. The 
Santo Spirito proposes successively all the leading 
cardinals. The City has objections to all. At length 
the Santo Spirito is tired out, and gives the choice to 
the City, which fixes on an old man in a state of dotage. 
And he is chosen only on condition that he should do 

Every day the food that is carried in to the cardinals 
is examined, that no secret letters may be sent. Indeed 
all possible precautions are taken, as if the cardinals 
were as corrupt as the electors of an English borough. 
The other day, objecting to a sensible abbe, that I 
could not comprehend how the Emperor of Austria, 
&c., should have a veto on the act of the Holy Spirit 
(for all the pretensions of the Catholic Church, like 
those of the Quakers, rest on the assumption of the 
direct and immediate interference of the Holy Spirit), 
he answered, " And why should not Providence act by 
the instrumentality of an emperor or king V^ 

In the meanwhile, in consequence of this delay, the 
lodgings are empty, and the foreigners unusually few. 
One innovation has been permitted — the theatres are 
open, and the ambassadors give balls. But a real Car- 
nival — that is, masking — would be almost as bad as a 
Reformation. However, there is a current prophecy, 
according to which the election ought to take place 
to-morrow. We shall see 

February 2'^rd, 183 1. 
Four days afterwards, 31st January, 183 1, while 

Coronation of Pope. 


chatting with a countryman in the forenoon, I heard 
a discharge of cannon. I left my sentence unfinished, 
rushed into the street, already full of people, and ran 
up Monte Cavallo. It was already crowded, and I 
witnessed in dumb show the proclamation of the new 
Pope from the balcony of the palace. No great interest 
seemed really to be felt by the people in the street, but, 
when I talked with the more intelligent, I found that 
the election gave general satisfaction. Bunsen, the 
Prussian Minister, and in general all the Liberals, con- 
sider the choice as a most happy one. Cardinal Cap- 
pellari has the reputation of being at the same time 
learned, pious, liberal, and prudent. The only draw- 
back on his popularity is his character of monk. This 
makes him unpopular with many who have no means 
of forming a personal judgment. There was, however, 
one consequence of the election, independent of the 
man — it assured the people of their beloved Carnival. 
The solemn procession from the Quirinal to St. Peter's 
presented nothing remarkable ; but on Sunday, the 6th, 
the coronation took place — a spectacle so august and 
magnificent, that it equalled all my imaginings. So 
huge an edifice is St. Peter's that, though all the 
decently dressed people of Rome had free entrance, it 
was only full, not crowded, I was considerate enough 
to go early, and so lucky, that I had even a seat 
and elevated stand in an excellent situation, and wit- 
nessed every act of sacrifice and adoration. All the 
cardinals and bishops and high clergy attended His 
Holiness, seated aloft. The military, the paraphernalia 
of the Roman Church, made a gorgeous spectacle. Nor 





of Pope. 


Legations in Insurrection. 



Sic transit. 


tion in the 

was the least significant and affecting object the burn- 
ing tow, which flashed and was no more, while the 
herald cried aloud, " So passes away the glory of the 
world," — a truth that is at this moment felt with a 
poignancy unknown to the Roman hierarchy since it was 
endowed with the gift of Constantine, The Pope was 
consecrated a bishop, he administered mass, he received 
the adoration (the word used here) of the cardinals, who 
kissed his slipper, hand, and face. The bishops were 
admitted only to the hand, and the priests advanced no 
higher than the foot. 

The excitement of this most imposing of solemnities 
had scarcely subsided when another excitement, suc- 
ceeded to it, which lasted during the remainder of my 
abode at Rome. Almost immediately the report was 
spread that the Legations were in a state of insurrec- 
tion. My journal, during the greater part of the 
next three months, is nearly filled with this subject. 
It is not possible now to recall to mind the fluc- 
tuations of feeling which took place. I gave to my 
acquaintance the advice of my friend Bottom, " But 
wonder on till truth makes all things plain." In the 
little anxiety I felt I was perhaps as foolish as the 
Irishman in the house a-fire, " I am only a lodger." 

H. C. R. TO W. Pattisson, Esq., and his Sons. 

Florence, i^th June, 183 1. 
I suspect you, with all other English- 
men, are so absorbed in the politics of the day, and 

Italy. — Revolutionary Movements. 


have been so for so long a time, as to be scarcely aware Chap.xvif. 
of the stimulating situation in which I have been placed, 1831. 
arising out of a state of uncertainty and expectation 
almost without a parallel. You have perhaps heard that 
the larger part of the subjects of the Pope renounced j 
their allegiance, and that the Government, being utterly i 
worn out, subsisting only by the sufferance of the great | 
Catholic powers, and retaining the allegiance of the 1 Amtrian 
capital merely by the subsistence it afforded to its idle 1 p-oteawn. 
population, seemed on the brink of dissolution. Rome 
was left without troops, and the Government without 
revenue. For weeks we expected the enemy. Had he 
come, there might have been a riot of the Trasteverini 
(a sort of Birmingham Church-and-King mob), who live 
beyond the Tiber, but there would have been no resist- 
ance. In imbecility, however, the insurgent Government 
rivalled the Papal, and, as you have perhaps heard, the 
Italian revolution was suppressed with even more ease 
than it was effected. The truth is, that but for the 
intervention of Austria, the Italian Governments (with 
the exception of Tuscany) had contrived to render 
themselves so odious to the people, that any rebellion, 
supported by the slightest force, was sure to succeed. 
A single Austrian regiment, however, was enough to 
disperse all the revolutionists in the peninsula the 
moment they found that the French would not make 
war in their behalf 

I find an insulated incident on Wednesday, the i6th 
of February. Breakfasting at the Aurora, and drinking 
milk in my chocolate, I was requested to sit in the back 



of milk in 



The Faith in Relics. 




St. Peters 





Soirie at 
Verne t's. 

part of the room, where it could not be seen that I was 
drinking a. J?rohidited article. 

February 2'jth. — At the San Pietro in VincuHs, I was 
amused by seeing a sweet child, five or six years old, 
kiss with a childish fervour the chains of St. Peter. 
The good priest, their ciistode, could not suppress a 
smile. This led to a few words on relics between 
me and him. He belonged to the honest and simple- 
hearted. " Is it quite certain that these are really 
St. Peter's chains.?" I asked. "You are not called 
on to believe in them,", he answered ; " it is no article 
of faith." — " But do you permit the uneducated to 
believe what you do not yourselves believe.''" — "We 
do not disbelieve. All we can possibly know is this : 
for ages beyond human memory, our ancestors have 
affirmed their belief. We do not think they would 
have willingly deceived us. And then the belief 
does good. It strengthens pious feelings. It does 
no harm, s.urely." This is what the priests are perpe- 
tually falling back on. They are utilitarians. I could 
get no farther with this priest. He asked questions 
of me in return ; and seemed to lose all his dislike of 
the Anglican Church when I told him, to his astonish- 
ment, that we had not only bishops, but archdeacons, 
canons, and minor canons. On this he exclaimed, with 
an amusing earnestness, " The English Church is no bad 

March \ph. — Mayer took me to a soiree at Horace 
Vernet's, on the Pincian Hill — ^the palace of the French 
Academy. It was quite a new scene to me. Nothing 
like it had come before me at Rome. French only was 

Horace Vernet. 


spoken, and of course the talk was chiefly on politics and 
the state of Rome. I found the young artists by no 
means alarmed. Twenty high-spirited, well-built young 
men had nothing to fear from a Roman mob in a house 
built, like the Medici Palace, upon an elevation. It 
would stand a siege well. Horace Vernet was, beyond 
all doubt, a very clever man ; yet I doubt whether any 
picture by him could ever give me much pleasure. He 
had the dangerous gift of great facility. I was once in 
his studio when he was at work. There were a dozen 
persons in the room, talking at their ease. They did 
not disturb him in the least. On another occasion I 
saw a number of portraits about : they seemed to me 
execrable ; but they might be the work of pupils. 
Vernet's vivacity gave me the impression of his being 
a man of general ability, destined to give him a social, 
but an evanescent, reputation. 

H. C. R. TO T. R. 

Rome, April 2nd, 183 1. 
During the last month the news of the day and 
Italian reading have shared my attention. I have had 
little to do with religious ceremonies. I did, however, 
witness the blessing of the palms ; and I have heard 
the Miserere once. Branches of the palm are peeled, 
and the peel is cut, and plaited, and braided, and curled 
into all sorts of fantastic forms. Each cardinal, bishop, 
and priest holds one, and there is a long detail of 
kissing. The solemn step of the procession, the rich 
dresses of the cardinals, and the awful music, would 
have made a stronger impression if I had not witnessed 

K K 2 



facility at 
his work. 

//. C. R.'s 
tion 0/ the 


Landor on Mary Lamb. 

Chap. XVII. 



A supper to 

Landor on 

' ' Mrs. 
Leicester s 

the coronation. The Miserere is unhke all othSr music. 
It is sung without any accompaniment of instruments, 
and is deeply affecting, and every now and then start- 
ling. I was so much touched that I should have 
believed any story of its effect on those who are not 
nearly so insensible to music as you know me to be. 

April yth. — A supper given to Cornelius in the Villa 
Albani. Gotzenberger was the impresario. The eating 
bad ; but I sat next Thorwaldsen. There were many 
persons of note, amongst others Bunsen ; and in all 
there were sixty present, to do honour to a man who 
did not afterwards disappoint the expectations formed 
of him. 

W. S. Landor to H. C. R. 

April, 1 83 1. 
It is now several days since I read the book you 
recommended to me, "Mrs. Leicester's School ;" and I 
feel as if I owed a debt in deferring to thank you for 
many hours of exquisite delight. Never have I read 
anything in prose so many times over, within so short a 
space of time, as " The Father's Wedding-day." Most 
people, I understand, prefer the first tale — in truth a 
very admirable one — but others could have written it. 
Show me the man or woman, modern or ancient, who 
could have written this one sentence : " When I was 
dressed in my new frock, I wished poor mamma was 
alive, to see how fine I was on papa's wedding-day ; 
and I ran to my favourite station at her bedroom 
door." How natural, in a little girl, is this incongruity 

Thorwaldsen. — Leavmir Rome. 


— this impossibility ! Richardson would have given his 
"Clarissa," and Rousseau his "Heloi'se," to have imagined 
it. A fresh source of the pathetic bursts out before us, 
and not a bitter one. If your Germans can show us 
anything comparable to what I have transcribed, I 
would almost undergo a year's gurgle of their language 
for it. The story is admirable throughout — incompar- 
able, inimitable 

Yours, &c., 

W. Landor. 

May Otth. — In the evening, I was with my friend Miss 
Mackenzie. She asked me whether I had heard any 
reports connecting her in any way with Thorwaldsen. 
I said she must be aware that every one in a gossiping 
world took the liberty of talking about the private 
affairs of every one ; that I had heard it said that 
it was understood that Thorwaldsen was to marry her; 
and that the cause of the contract being broken re- 
flected no dishonour on her. She smiled, and desired 
me to say what that cause was understood to be. I 
said, simply that he had formed a connection with an 
Italian woman, which he did not dare to break. She 
threatened his life, and he thought it was in danger. 
Miss Mackenzie said she believed this to be the fact, 
and on that ground Thorwaldsen begged to be released. 
She added, that he was very culpable in suffering the 
affair to go on so long. 

I left Rome early on the morning of the 6th of May. 
Goethe says, in his " Italian Journey," that every one 
who leaves Rome asks himself, "When shall I be 






On leaving 


Florence. — W. S. Landor. 








able to come here again ? " There is great unity of 
effect produced by Rome. It is the city of tombs and 
ruins. The environs are a pestiferous marsh, and on 
all sides you have images of death. What aged noble- 
man was it who preferred his dead son to any living son 
in Christendom .-* Who is there who does not prefer 
the ruins of Rome to the new buildings of London and 
Paris } 

May 2\th. — (Florence.) I was glad to renew my 
acquaintance with W, S. Landor, which lasted with 
increased pleasure during my second residence at 
Florence. My evening walks to Fiesole, and returns 
after midnight, were frequent and most delightful, 
accompanied by a noble mastiff dog, who deserves 
honourable mention from me. This dog never failed 
to accompany me from Landor's villa to the gate of 
Florence ; and I could never make him leave me till 
I was at the gate ; and then, on my patting him on 
the head, as if he were conscious his protection was 
no longer needed, he would run off rapidly. The 
fire-flies on the road were of a bright yellow — the 
colour of the moon, as if sparks from that flame. I 
would name them "earth-stars," as well as "glow- 
worms," or " fire-flies." 

May 2yih. — I made my first call on a cJiaracter, 
whose parties I occasionally attended in the evening. 
She was one of three remarkable Italian women men- 
tioned by Lady Morgan — all of whom I saw. She 
was an old woman, more than seventy years of age, 
but a very fluent talker. Her anti-Buonapartism 
pleased me. This was the Marchioness Sacrati. In her 

On Queen Caroline. 


youth she was handsome. Her husband left her poor, and 
she obtained a pension from the Pope, in the character 
of a vedova pericolante (" a widow in danger ") ; it 
being suggested that, from poverty, her virtue might 
be in peril. This is a known class ; perhaps, I should 
say, a satirical name. She lived in stately apartments, 
as suited her rank. I saw men of rank, and officers, 
and very smart people at her parties, but very few 
ladies. She herself was the best talker of the 
party — more frequently in French than Italian. It 
happened that, one evening, I went before the usual 
hour, and was some time with her tete-i-tete. It 
was a lucky circumstance, for she spoke more freely 
with me alone than she could in mixed company ; 
and every word she said which concerned the late 
Queen was worth recollecting. For, though the 
Marchioness might not be an unexceptionable witness, 
where she could have a motive to misrepresent, yet 
I should not disbelieve what she said this evening. 
Something led me to ask whether she had been in 
England, when she smiled and said, " You will not 
think better of me when I tell you that I went as 
a witness for your Queen." — " But you were not sum- 
moned } " — " Oh, no ! I could say nothing that was of 
use to her. All I could say was that, when I saw 
her in Italy, she was always in the society that suited 
her rank ; and that I saw nothing then that was 
objectionable. She requested me to go, and she was 
so unhappy that I could not refuse her." — "You saw, 
then, her Procureur-G/n&al, Monsieur Brougham." — 
" Oh, yes ! That Monsieur Brog-gam was a grand 




About Lord 


and the 



Queen Caroline and the Counsel. 



About Lord 

coquinr — " Take care, Madame, what you say ; he is 
now Chancellor." — " N'importe ; c'est un grand coquin," 
— " What makes you use such strong language ? " — 
" Because, to answer the purposes of his ambition, he 
forced the Queen to come to England." — " Indeed ! " — 
" The Queen told me so ; and Lady Hamilton confirmed 
it. I said to her, when I first saw her, * Why are you 
here .''' She said, * My lawyer made me come. I saw 
him at St. Omer, and I asked him whether I should 
go to England. He said. If you are conscious 
of your innocence, you must go. If you are aware 
of weaknesses, keep away.' " The Marchioness raised 
her voice and said, "Monsieur, quelle femme, meme 
du bas peuple, avouera a son avocat qu'elle a des 
foiblesses .'' C'etoit un traitre ce Monsieur Brog-gam." 
I did not appear convinced by this, and she added, 
"One day I was alone with him, when I said, 'Why 
did you force this unhappy woman to come here .-'' He 
laughed, and replied, ' It is not my fault. If she is 
guilty, I cannot make her innocent' " 

I also asked her whether she knew the other 
lawyer. Monsieur Denman. The change in her tone 
was very remarkable, and gave credibility to all she 
said. She clasped her hands, and exclaimed, in a 
tone of admiration, " O, c'etoit un ange, ce Monsieur 
Denman. II n'a jamais doute de Finnocence de la 
Reine." Though the Marchioness herself did not, at 
first, intimate any opinion on the subject of the 
Queen's guilt or innocence, yet she spoke in terms 
of just indignation of the King, and of her with more 
compassion than blame. 

Austria in Italy. 


It was some weeks after this that I, being alone with 
Madame Sacrati, she again spoke of the Queen, and, to 
my surprise, said she was convinced of her innocence, 
but inveighed against her for her coarseness, and insin- 
uated that she was mad. This reminds me that dear 
Mary Lamb, who was the very contrast, morally speak- 
ing, to Madame Sacrati, once said, " They talk about 
the Queen's innocence. I should not think the better of 
her, if I were sure she was what is called innocent." 
There was a profound truth in this. She, doubtless, 
meant that she thought more of the mind and character 
than of a mere act, objectively considered. 

June i^^th. — I heard to-day from Niccolini an account 
of his dealings with the Grand Duke. When his " Na- 
bucco " was published, by Capponi, the Emperor of 
Austria requested the Grand Duke to punish Niccolini 
for it. The Grand Duke replied to the Austrian Min- 
ister, "It is but a fable ; there are no names. I will 
not act the diviner, to the injury of my subject." 
Niccolini was Professor of History and Mythology, in 
the Academy of Fine Arts, under the French. The 
professorship was abolished on the Restoration, and 
Niccolini was made librarian ; but, being dissatisfied 
with the Government administration of the academy, 
he demanded his dismission. The Grand Duke said, 
" Why so } I am satisfied with you." He had the 
boldness to reply, "Your Highness, both must be satis- 
fied." And he did retire. But when the professorship 
was restored, he resumed his ofiice. 

During the latter part of my residence in Italy, I 
was more frequent than ever in my attendance at the 


Guilty or 
innocent f 



The Italian Drama. 



turn on 

they are 



authors of 


theatres. And one remark on the Italian drama I must 
not omit ; indeed, I ought to have made it before, as it 
was forced on me at Naples. There, every modern 
play, almost without exception, was founded on inci- 
dents connected with judicial proceedings — a singular 
circumstance, easy to explain. In Naples especially, 
but in all Italy, justice is administered secretly, and 
the injustice perpetrated under its abused name con- 
stitutes one of the greatest evils of social life. Even 
when this is not to be attributed to the Government, 
or the magistrate, in the particular case, the bad 
state of the law permits it to be done ; and secrecy 
aggravates the evil, and perhaps even causes unjust 
reproach to fall on the magistrate. Now, it is be- 
cause men's deep interest in these matters finds no 
gratification in the publicity of judicial proceedings, 
that the theatre supplies the place of the court of 
justice ; and, for a time, all the plots of plays, domestic 
tragedies, turned on the sufferings of the innocent falsely 
accused — such as the " Pie voleuse ;" on assuming the 
name and character of persons long absent, like the 
" Faux Martin Guerre ; "* the forging of wills, conflicting 
testimony, kidnapping heirs, the return of persons sup- 
posed to be dead, &c., &c. — incidents which universally 
excite sympathy. Our reports of proceedings in courts 
of justice, while they keep alive this taste, go far 
towards satisfying it. In other respects, the Italian 
stage is very imperfectly supplied with a Repertoire. 
The frigid rhetoric of Alfieri has afforded few subjects 

* " Histoire du Faux Martin Guerre. Vol. I. Causes C^lfebres et Interes- 
santes. Recueille's par M. Gayot de Pitaval a la Haye. 1735." 

Italian Politics. 


for the stage, and Niccolini still fewer. Gozzi is for- 
gotten ; and Goldoni, for want of a better author, is still 
listened to. Nota is an inferior Kotzebue, who has 
been a few times translated and imitated ; and French 
comedy is less frequently resorted to by the Italian 
playwrights than German sentimentality — much less 
than by the English dramatists. So that there is not 
properly an Italian stage. The opera is not included in 
this remark ; but that is not national. 

At this time, the sanguine hopes entertained by the 
friends of liberty, a short time before, in Italy, had 
subsided ; and the more discerning already knew, what 
was too soon acknowledged, that nothing would be 
done for the good cause of civil and religious liberty by 
the French Government. 

I occasionally saw Leopardi the poet, a man of ac- 
knowledged genius, and of irreproachable character. 
He was a man of family, and a scholar, but he had a 
feeble frame, was sickly, and deformed. He was also 
poor, so that his excellent qualities and superior talents 
were, to a great degree, lost to the world. He wanted 
a field for display — an organ to exercise. 

To refer once more to politics. The desire to see 
Italy united was the fond wish of most Italian politi- 
cians. One of the most respectable of them, Mayer — 
not to mention any I was at that time unacquainted 
with — used to say, that he would gladly see all Italy 
under one absolute sovereign, national independence 
being the first of blessings. 

But this was not the uniform opinion. A scheme 
of a Confederation of Italian states was circulated in I 

Chap. XV 1 1. 



> politics. 





Italian Schemes for the Future. 

Chap. XVII. 

On the 



the Spring, according to which there was to be a union 
of Italian monarchies, consisting of nine states, of 
which Rome should be the capital, each independent 
in all domestic matters, and having a common revenue, 
army, customs, weights and measures, coins, &c. These 
were to be Rome, Piedmont, Lombardy, Venice, Liguria, 
Ravenna, Etruria, Naples, and Sicily. The fortresses 
of the Confederation were to be Venice, Alessandria, 
Mantua, and Syracuse. To purchase the consent of 
France to this arrangement, many Italians were willing 
to sacrifice Savoy and Nice. 

There was more plausibility, I thought, in the Abbe 
de Pradt's scheme. He would have reduced the number 
to three, consisting of North, Central, and South Italy. 
Could this ever be, there would be appropriate titles 
in Lombard- or Nord-Italia, Toscan-Italia, and Napol- 
Italia. Harmless dreams these — that is, the names. 

H. C. R. TO Mr. Pattisson and his Sons. 

Florence, June 14, 1831. 

I really think it fortunate for my 

reputation that I am out of the country. I should have 
lost my character had I stayed there. I was always a 
moderate Reformer ; and, now that success seems at 
hand, I think more of the dangers than the promises. 
I should never have been fit for a hustings orator. My 
gorge rises at the cant of the day ; and finding all the 
mob for Reform, I begin to suspect there must be some 
hitherto unperceived evil in the measure. And it is 
only when I go among the anti -Reformers, and hear 
the worse cant and more odious impostures of the old 

//. C. R. on Political Reform. 


Tory party, that I am righted, as the phrase is, and join 
the crowd again. 

To THE Same. 

Turin, September 13, 1831. 

I infer, rather than find it expressly 

stated, that in your family are pretty nearly all the 
varieties of opinion now current in England. Jacob 
appears to me to have taken for his oracles Lord Lon- 
donderry, Mr. Sadler, and Sir R. Inglis, the Oxford 
member. William writes like a hopeful and youthful 
Reformer ; and you, with something of the timidity and 
anxiety of old age {I may call you old, you know, 
without offence, by my six months' seniority), you are 
afraid of the consequences of your own former prin- 
ciples. To tell the truth, I am (and perhaps from the 
same' cause) pretty much in the same state. Now that 
the mob are become Reformers, I am alarmed. Indeed, 
I have for years perceived this truth, that it seems to be 
the great problem of all institutions to put shackles 
as well on the people as on the Government. I am so 
far anti-democratic, that I would allow the people to do 
very little ; but I would enable them to hinder a great 
deal. And my fear is, that under the proposed new 
House of Commons, there will be no check on popular 

On my way back to England, I spent nearly a fort- 
night at Paris, During this fortnight, the most inte- 
resting occurrence by far, and which I regret I cannot 
adequately describe, was my attendance in the Salle 
St. Simonienne, at the service — or, shall I say the per- 



Timidity of 


System of 
checks a 



St. Simoniics : 




A ttemptcd 
for Chris- 

fonnance ? — of that, the most recent substitute for Chris- 
tian worship. This was, and still remains, the last and 
newest French attempt to supersede Christianity. In 
my journal, I speak of it as " very national, very idle, 
very ridiculous, possibly well-intentioned on the part of 
its leaders, whose greatest fault may be unconscious 
vanity." I go on in my journal : "And I dare say des- 
tined to be very short-lived, unless it can contrive to 
acquire a political character, and so gain a permanent 
footing in France. In this I was not a false prophet. 
But the doctrines of these fanatical unbelievers were 
mixed up in men's minds with the more significant and 
dangerous speculations of Fourier, closely allied to 
politics, and absorbed by them. Alfieri wisely says, 
addressing himself to infidels, " It is not enough to cry 
out, * It is all a fable,' in order to destroy Christianity. 
If it be, invent a better." The St. Simonites could not 
do this. In my journal I wrote, " They have rejected 
the Christian Revelation, that is, its supernatural vehicle, 
but their system of morals is altogether Christian ; and 
this they dress out with French sentimentality, instead 
of miracles and prophecy." I might have added, had 
I thought of Germany at the time, "The German 
anti-supernaturalists substituted metaphysics, critical or 
ideal, in the place of sentimentality." 

It was on Sunday, tJie \st of October, that I was 
present at their fonctioji, ecclesiastical or theatric. Their 
salle was a neat theatre ; the area, or pit, filled with 
well-dressed women ; the scena occupied by the members 
of the society, who face the area. In the centre were 
two truncated columns ; behind these, three arm-chairs; 

Their Church Service. 


in the centre one the orator, his assistants at his side ; 
in front, three rows of galleries. I went early, and had 
a front seat. When the leaders came, the members 
rose. " Why so .'" I asked of a plain man near me. 
" Cest le Pape, le Chef de VEglise" he answered, with 
great simplicity. His Holiness, youngish and not gen- 
teel, waved his hand, rose, and harangued for an hour 
or more. I heard distinctly, and understood each word 
by itself, but I could not catch a distinct thought. It 
seemed to be a rhapsody — a declamation against the 
abuses of our political existence — a summary of the 
history of mankind, such as any man acquainted with 
modern books, and endowed with a flow of fine words, 
might continue uttering as long as he had any breath in 
his body. For the edification of the ladies and young 
men, there was an address to Venus, and also one to 
Jupiter. The only part of the oration which had a 
manifest object, and which was efficient, was a sarcastic 
portrait of Christianity — not the Christianity of the 
Gospel, but that of the Established Churches. This 
was the studied finale, and the orator was rewarded 
by shouts of applause. 

After a short pause, he was followed by a very pale, 
smock-faced youth, with flaxen hair. I presumed that 
he delivered his maiden speech, as, at the end of it, he 
was kissed by at least ten of his comrades, and the 
unconcealed joy of his heart at the applause he gained 
was really enviable. His oration was on behalf of " La 
classe la plus nombreuse et la plus pauvre" which he 
repeated incessantly, as a genuine Benthamite repeats, 
" The greatest good of the greatest number." It was an 

Chap. XV 1 1. 





S^. Simonian Conference. 



On charity. 


False report 

of Goethe's 


exhortation to charity, and, with a very few alterations, 
like those the reader might have made in correcting the 
proofs at the printing-office (such as the motive being 
the love of Christ, instead of the love of one's neigh- 
bour), would have suited any of the thousand and one 
charity sermons delivered every six months in every 
great city, in all churches and chapels. Now in all 
this, as there was nothing remarkable, so there was 
nothing ridiculous, save and except that the orator, 
every now and then, was congratulating himself on 
" Ces nonvelles idees^ After this short oration, there 
followed a conference. Two speakers placed themselves 
in chairs, in the front of the proscenium ; but they were 
of a lower class, and as I expected something like the 
street dialogues between the quack and the clown, or, 
at the best, what it seemed to be, a paraphrastic com- 
mentary on the " novelties " of the young gentleman, I 
followed the example of others, and came away. So I 
wrote twenty years ago. My impression was a correct 
one. St. Simonism was suppressed by the Government 
of Louis • Philippe, Its partisans were lost, as I have 
already intimated, in the sturdier and coarser founders 
of what has not been simply foolish but, in various 
ways, mischievous, namely, Communism or Socialism. 
I left Paris on the 4th of October, in the morning, 
and, travelling all night, reached Calais the next morn- 
ing. At Meurice's Hotel, I heard of the death of 
Goethe. At the age of eighty-two, it could not be 
unexpected, and, as far as the active employment of 
his marvellous talents is concerned, was not to be re- 
gretted. He had done his work ; but though not the 

Reported Death of Goetlie. 


extinction, yet, to us, the eclipse of the mightiest intel- 
lect that has shone on the earth for centuries (so, at 
least, I felt) could not be beheld without pain. It has 
been my rare good fortune to have seen a large pro- 
portion of the greatest minds of our age, in the fields 
of poetry and speculative philosophy, such as Words- 
worth, Coleridge, Schiller, Tieck, but none that I have 
ever known came near him. 

On the 6th of October I crossed the Channel, and 
on the 7th I reached London, too late to go to any of 
my friends. Having secured a bed at the Old Bell, 
Holborn, and taken a late dinner there, I went to the 
Procters', in Perceval Street, where was my old friend 
Mrs. Collier, and the cordial reception I met with from 
them cheered me. I returned to my inn, and was 
awakened in the morning by the shout of the vociferous 
newsmen, " The Lords have thrown out the Reform 



Goethe the 

vian of 





L L 


The Lords throw out the Reform Bill. 

.Ch. XVIII. 


Bill thrown 

out of the 


O ' Connell 

before the 



October lOth. — For the last three days there has been 
a succession of agreeable feelings in meeting with my 
old friends and acquaintance. Indeed these meetings 
will for some time constitute my chief business. In 
the evening, I stepped into the Athenaeum to inquire 
the news, there being a general anxiety in consequence 
of the important occurrence of the night before, or 
rather of the morning. The Lords rejected the Reform 
Bill by a majority of forty-one. The fact is in every 
one's mouth, but I have not yet met with any one who 
ventures to predict what the Ministry will do on the 

I breakfasted with William Pattisson, and accom- 
panied him to Westminster Hall. He was engaged 
in an appeal to the Lords, O'Connell on the other 
side. I shook hands with O'Connell, and exchanged 
a few words with him. I was pleased with his speech 
before the Chancellor. It was an appeal against the 
Irish Chancellor's setting aside certain documents as 
obtained by fraud. With great mildness of manner, 
address, and discretion in his arguments, O'Connell pro- 
duced a general impression in his favour. 

Lamb at Enfield. 


October \2th. — Finished the evening at the Athenaeum 
and at Aders'. I found Mrs. Aders in some agitation, as 
one of her friends had been in danger of being seriously 
hurt on the balcony of her house by a large stone flung 
by the mob in the afternoon. There had been an immense 
crowd accompanying the procession with the addresses 
to the King on account of the rejection of the Bill by 
the Lords. At the Athenaeum, I chatted with D'Israeli 
and Ayrton. Ayrton says, on authority, that a com- 
promise has taken place, and that the Bill is to pass 
the Lords, with only a few modifications to save their 

October i6t/L — Breakfasted at home, and late, so that 
it was between one and two when I reached Lamb, 
having ridden on the stage to Edmonton, and walked 
thence to Enfield. I found Lamb and his sister board- 
ing with the Westwoods — good people, who, I dare say, 
take care of them. Lamb has rendered himself their 
benefactor by getting a place for their son in Aders' 
counting-house. They return his services by attention, 
which he and his sister need ; but he feels the want of the 
society he used to have. Both he and Miss Lamb looked 
somewhat older, but not more than almost all do whom 
I have closely noticed since my return. They were 
heartily glad to see me. After dinner, I was anxious 
to leave them before it was dark, and the Lambs 
accompanied me, but only for a short distance. Lamb 
has begged me to come after dinner, and take a bed 
at his house ; and so I must. The evening fine, and I 
enjoyed the walk to Mr. Relph's. The beauty of the 
sky was not, indeed, that of Italy ; but the verdure was 

L L 3 





Affluence of 


Rammohun Roy. 



His Creed. 

English, and the succession of handsome houses, and 
the population of affluent people, quite peculiar to 
England. No other country can show anything like it. 
These covered ways and shady roads, with elegant 
houses at every step, each concealed except in its 
immediate neighbourhood — how superior to the flaring 
open scenery of the vaunted Vale of Arno ! 

October lyth. — Went to Highbury by way of Perce- 
val Street. I arrived late at Mr. Bischoff's, having 
mistaken the dinner-time by an hour. Of little mo- 
ment this. I found a large party assembled to see the 
famous Brahmin, Rammohun Roy, the Indian Rajah. 

Rem.* — Rammohun Roy published a volume entitled 
"The Precepts of Jesus," closely resembling a work 
for which a Frenchman was punished under Charles X., 
it being alleged that to select the moral parts of the 
Gospel, excluding the supernatural, must be done with 
the insidious design of recommending Deism. That 
Rammohun Roy was a Deist, with Christian morals, is 
probable. He took care, however, not to lose caste, for 
the preservation of which the adherence to precise 
customs is required, not the adoption of any mode of 
thinking. He died in the year 1833, and I was 
informed by Mr. Crawford, who was acquainted with 
the Brahmin's man-servant, that during the last years 
of his life he was assiduously eniployed in reading the 
Shasters — the Holy Scriptures of his Church. Voltaire 
says somewhere, that were he a Brahmin, he would die 
with a cow's tail in his hand. Rammohun Roy did not 
deserve to be coupled with the French scoffer in this 

* Written in 1851. 



way. He was a highly estimable character. He be- 
lieved as much of Christianity as one could reasonably 
expect any man would believe who was brought up in 
a faith including a much larger portion of miraculous 
pretensions, without being trained or even permitted, 
probably, to investigate and compare evidence. He was 
a fine man, and very interesting, though different from 
what I expected. He had a broad laughing face. He 
talked English very well — better than most foreigners.* 
Unfortunately, when I saw him, he talked on European 
politics, and gave expression to no Oriental sentiment 
or opinion. Not a word was said by him that might 
not have been said by a European. This rather dis- 
appointed me ; so after dinner I played whist, of which 
I was ashamed afterwards. 

October 22nd. — At the Bury Quarter Sessions, I was 
invited to dine at the Angel by the Bar, but I refused 
the invitation, and only went up in the evening ; then, 
however, I spent a few hours very agreeably. Austin 
was the great talker, of course. Scarcely anything but 
the Reform Bill talked of much. Praed, the M.P., and 
new member of the circuit since my retirement, was 
the only oppositionist. He spoke fluently, and not ill 
of the Bill. 

Rem.-\ — Praed died young. In one particular he was 
superior to all the political young men of his time — in 
taste and poetical aspirations. His poems have been 
collected. I am not much acquainted with them, but 

• To a high-caste Hindoo, bred at Calcutta, English was almost a mother 
f Written in 1852. 

Ch, xviii. 



Landor oti Flowers. 

Ch. xvhi. 


Bristol riot. 



they are at least works of taste. Praed had the manners 
of a gentleman. 

W. S. Landor to H. C. R. 

Florence {received October, 1831.] 

Miss Mackenzie tells me that she 

has lost some money by a person in Paris. If she had 
taken my advice, she would have bought a villa here, 
and then the money had been saved. It appears that 
she has a garden, at least ; and this, in my opinion, is 
exactly the quantity of ground that a wise person could 
desire. I am about to send her some bulbs and curious 
plants. Her sixty-two tuberoses are all transplanted 
by the children : I have not one of these delightful 
flowers. I like white flowers better than any others ; 
they resemble fair women. Lily, tuberose, orange, and 
the truly English syringa, are my heart's delight. I do 
not mean to say that they supplant the rose and violet 
in my affections, for these are our first loves, before we 
grew too fond of considering, and too fond of displaying 
our acquaintance with, others of sounding titles. . . . 

W. S. Landor. 

November ist. — Read the papers at the coffee-house. 
Sad account of a riot at Bristol, It is to be feared very 
bloody — a proof that the mob are ready to shed blood 
for the Bill. For what would they not shed blood } 

November ^th. — I rode to Ipswich by an early stage, 
a new one to me. I found the Clarksons as I expected. 
Mrs. Clarkson thinner, but not in worse health than 
three years ago ; and Clarkson himself much older, and 
nearly blind. They received me most kindly, and we 

Visit to Clarkson. 


spent the whole afternoon and evening in interesting 
friendly gossip. 

November 6th. — I did not stir out of the house to-day. 
It was wet, and I enjoyed the seclusion. I sat and read 
occasionally, and at intervals chatted with Mr. and Mrs. 
Clarkson. Mr. Clarkson gave me to read a MS., drawn 
up for his daughter-in-law, containing a summary of 
religious doctrines from the lips of Jesus Christ. The 
chapter on future punishments particularly interested 
me ; but I found that Mr. Clarkson had, contrary to his 
intention, written so as to imply his belief in the 
eternity of future punishments, which he does not 
believe. He was anxious to alter this in his own hand, 
and with great difficulty made the necessary alteration 
in one place. 

November loth. — Read this morning, in the July 
Quarterly Rez'iew, a most interesting, but to me humi- 
liating, article on the inductive philosophy — Herschel's 
"Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy" sup- 
plying the text. It is an admirable and, even to me, 
delightful survey of the realms of science ; the terra 
incognita appearing, if possible, to be the most curious. 
It is remarkable that the more there is known, the more 
it is perceived there is to be known. And the infinity 
of knowledge to be acquired runs parallel with the 
infinite faculty of knowing, and its development. Some- 
times I feel reconciled to my extreme ignorance, by 
thinking, if I know nothing, the most learned know next 
to nothing. Yet, — 

" On this thought I will not brood, 
. . . . it unmans me quite." 

Ch. xviii. 

Eternity of 
future pun- 

Study of 


Landor on the Lake Poets. 


Baptism of 




Landor on 

the Lake 


On Eli a. 

I never can be a man of science, but it is something to 
have a disinterested love of science, and a pleasure in 
the progress which others make in it. This is analogous 
to the baptism of desire of the liberal Catholics, who 
give the means and possibility of salvation to those 
who, though not actually baptized, desire baptism, and 
would, if they could, be members of the Church in which 
alone salvation is to be found. 

November \^th. — Took tea with Miss Flaxman and 
Miss Denman. They were in low spirits. Mr. Thomas 
Denman is very dangerously ill, and Miss Flaxman has 
had a bad fall. However, we fell into interesting con- 
versation, and they showed me Flaxman's notes written 
in Italy. His criticisms on the works of art in Italy are 
a corroboration of the common opinion ; but he speaks 
of a great work by one Gaddi as one that, with a little 
less hardness and deeper shade, would have been far 
superior to any of Raphael's Holy Families. 

W. S. Landor to H. C. R. 

November 6th, 1831. 

I grieve at the illness of Coleridge, 

though I never knew him. I hope he may recover ; 
for Death will do less mischief with the cholera than 
with the blow that deprives the world of Coleridge. A 
million blades of grass, renewable yearly, are blighted 
with less injury than one rich fruit-tree. I am in 
the habit of considering Coleridge, Wordsworth, and 
Southey as three towers of one castle ; and whichever 

tower falls first must shake the other two 

Since I saw you, I have read in the New Monthly 

His Love for Lamb. 


Magazine the papers signed " Elia." Mr, Brown lent 
me the book. The papers are admirable ; the language 
truly English. We have none better, new or old. 
When I say, I am " sorry " that Charles Lamb and his 
sister are suffering, the word is not an idle or a faint 
one. I feel deep pain at this intelligence — pain certainly 
not disproportioned to the enjoyment I have received 
by their writings. Besides, all who know them per- 
sonally speak of them with much affection. Were they 
ever in Italy, or are they likely to come } If so, I can 
offer them fruits, flowers, horses, and Parigi, To those 
who are out of health, or out of spirits, this surely is a bet- 
ter country than England. I love green fields, and once 
loved being wet through, in the Summer or Spring. In 
that season, when I was a boy and a youth, I always 
walked with my hat in my hand if it rained ; and only 
left off the practice when I read that Bacon did it, 
fearing to be thought guilty of affectation or imita- 

I have made my visit to Miss Burney, and spent 
above an hour with her. She is one of the most agree- 
able and intelligent women I have met abroad, and 
spoke of you as all who know you must speak. 

I look forward with great desire to the time when 
you will come again amongst us. Arnold, who clapped 
his hands at hearing I had a letter from you, ceased 
only to ask me, "But does not he say when he will 
come back } " My wife and Julia send the same 


W. S. Landor. 

Ch, xviii. 

Ifa/y as a 



The Wordsivorths 

Ch. xviii. 

M 'ords- 

fears of 

Miss Wordsworth to H. C. R. 

Friday, December ist, 183 1. 
Had a rumour of your arrival in England reached 
us before your letter of yesterday's post, you 'would 
ere this have received a welcoming from me, in the 
name of each member of this family ; and, further, 
would have been reminded of your promise to come to 
Rydal as soon as possible after again setting foot on 
English ground. When Dora heard of your return, 
and of my intention to write, she exclaimed, after a 
charge that I would recall to your mind your written 
promise, " He must come and spend Christmas with us. 
I wish he would ! " Thus, you see, notwithstanding 
your petty jarrings, Dora was always, and now is, a 
loving friend of yours. I am sure I need not add, that 
if you can come at the time mentioned, so much the 
more agreeable to us all, for it is fast approaching ; but 
that, whenever it suits you (for you may have Christmas 
engagements with your own family) to travel so far 
northward, we shall be rejoiced to see you ; and, what- 
ever other visitors we may chance to have, we shall 
always be able to find a corner for you. We are thank- 
ful that you are returned with health unimpaired — I 
may say, indeed, amended — for you were not perfectly 
well when you left England. You do not mention 
rheumatic pains, so I trust they have entirely left you. 
As to your being grown older — if you mean feebler in 
mind — my brother says, " No such thing ; your judgment 
has only attained autumnal ripeness." Indeed, my 
dear friend, I wonder not at your alarms, or those of 
any good man, whatever may have been his politics 

agitated by Reform Terrors. 


from youth to middle age, and onward to the dedine of 
life. But I will not enter on this sad and perplexing 
subject : I find it much more easy to look with patience 
on the approach of pestilence, or any affliction which it 
may please God to cast upon us without the interven- 
tion of man, than on the dreadful results of sudden and 
rash changes, whether arising from ambition, or ignorance, 
or brute force. I am, however, getting into the subject 
without intending it, so will conclude with a prayer that 
God may enlighten the heads and hearts of our men of 
power, whether Whigs or Tories, and that the madness 
of the deluded people may settle. This last effect can 
only be produced, I fear, by exactly and severely exe- 
cuting the law, seeking out and punishing the guilty, 
and letting all persons see that we do not willingly 
oppress the poor. One visible blessing seems already 
to be coming upon us through the alarm of the cholera. 
Every rich man is now obliged to look into the bye- 
lanes and corners inhabited by the poor, and many 
crying abuses are (even in our little town of Ambleside) 
about to be remedied. But to return to pleasant Rydal 
Mount, still cheerful and peaceful — if it were not for 
the newspapers, we should know nothing of the tur- 
bulence of our great towns and cities ; yet my poor 
brother is often heart-sick and almost desponding — and 
no wonder ; for, until this point at which we are arrived, 
he has been a true prophet as to the course of events, 
dating from the " Greaf Days of July " and the appear- 
ance of " the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the 
Bill." It remains now for us to hope that Parliament 
may meet in a different temper from that in which they 






Samuel Rogers. 



ivorth s 



Rogers on 
Gibson and 

parted, and that the late dreadful events may make 
each man seek only to promote the peace and prosperity 
of the country. You will say that my brother looks 
older. He is certainly thinner, and has lost some of 
his teeth ; but his bodily activity is not at all diminished, 
and if it were not for public affairs, his spirits would be 
as cheerful as ever. He and Dora visited Sir Walter 
Scott just before his departure, and made a little tour 
in the Western Highlands ; and such was his leaning to 
old pedestrian habits, that he often walked from fifteen 
to twenty miles in a day, following or keeping by the 
side of the little carriage, of which his daughter was the 
charioteer. They both very much enjoyed the tour, 
and my brother actually brought home a set of poems, 
the product of that journey. 

December ^th. — My morning was broken in upon, when 
reading Italian, by calls from Jacob Pattisson, Shutt, 
and Mr. Rogers ; the last stayed long. Rogers spoke 
of two artists whom he knew in great poverty — Gibson, 
now in Rome, a rich man and sculptor of fame, my 
acquaintance there, and Chantrey, still richer, and of 
higher fame in the same art. Chantrey, not long since, 
being at Rogers', said, pointing to a side-board, "You 
probably do not recollect that being brought to you by 
the cabinet-maker's man ? " — " Certainly not." — " It was 
I who brought it, and it is in a great measure my 

Rem?'' — Rogers is noted for his generosity towards 
poor artists. I have often heard him relate anecdotes 

* Written in 1852. 



which ought not to be forgotten, and will not. They 
will be told more elaborately, as well as more correctly, 
than I can pretend to relate them. One only I set down 
here briefly. I heard it first, a few years since, and 
several times afterwards. One night he found at his 
door Sir Thomas Lawrence, in a state of alarming 
agitation, who implored him to save the President of 
the Academy from disgrace. Unless a few thousands 
could be raised in twenty-four hours, he could not 
be saved ; he had good security to offer ; drawings 
he would give in pledge, or sell, as might be required. 
Rogers next day went to Lord Dudley Ward, who 
advanced the money, and was no loser by the trans- 

December ytk. — (Brighton.) Accompanied Masquerier 
to a concert, which afforded me really a great pleasure. 
I heard Paganini. Having scarcely any sensibility to 
music, I could not expect great enjoyment from any 
music, however fine ; and, after all, I felt more surprise 
at the performance than enjoyment. The professional 
men, I understand, universally think more highly 
of Paganini than the public do. He is really an 
object of wonder. His appearance announces some- 
thing extraordinary. His figure and face amount to 
caricature. He is a tall slim figure, with limbs which 
remind one of a spider ; his face very thin, his forehead 
broad, his eyes grey and piercing, with bushy eyebrows ; 
his nose thin and long, his cheeks hollow, and his chin 
sharp and narrow. His face forms a sort of triangle. 
His hands the oddest imaginable, fingers of enormous 
length, and thumbs bending backwards. It is, perhaps, 


The Royal 

Academy in 





Portraits by Sir Joshua, 

Ch. xviii. 

H. C. R.'s 



in a great measure from the length of finger and thumb 
that his fiddle is also a sort of lute * He came forward 
and played, from notes, his own compositions. Of the 
music, as such, I know nothing. The sounds were won- 
derful. He produced high notes very faint, which 
resembled the chirruping of birds, and then in an 
instant, with a startling change, rich and melodious 
notes, approaching those of the bass viol. It was diffi- 
cult to believe that this great variety of sounds pro- 
ceeded from one instrument. The effect was heightened 
by his extravagant gesticulation and whimsical attitudes. 
He sometimes played with his fingers, as on a harp, and 
sometimes struck the cords with his bow, as if it were a 
drum-stick, sometimes sticking his elbow into his chest, 
and sometimes flourishing his bow. Oftentimes the 
sounds were sharp, like those of musical glasses, and 
only now and then really delicious to my vulgar ear, 
which is gratified merely by the flute and other melo- 
dious instruments, and has little sense of harmony. 

December I'^th. — ^Accompanied the Masqueriers to a 
Mr. Rooper's, in Brunswick Square. We went to 
look at some paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds. One 
of Dr. Johnson-f- greatly delighted Masquerier. He 

* H. C. R. correctly describes the lute. Many persons either confound 
it with the flute, or imagine it to warble in some way, as Pope did. It 
is a guitar. Paganini, from the length of his fingers, as H. C. R. justly 
explains, could use the bow and strike the strings with the fingers of his bow- 
hand at one and the same time ; or, to speak technically, could combine the 
colarco and the pizzicato. 

\ Dr. Johnson. This portrait was originally painted for Mrs. Thrale, but 
rejected by Dr. Johnson because Sir Joshua had given, the Doctor considered, 
unnecessary prominence to his defective eye. After some time and much 
solicitation, Dr. Johnson allowed Mr. Malone to become the purchaser of it. 

Paintings by Sir Joshua. 


thinks it the best he has ever seen of Johnson by Sir 
Joshua. The Doctor is holding a book, and reading 
like a short-sighted man. His blind eye is in the 
shade. There is no gentility, no attempt at setting 
off the Doctor's face, but no vulgarity in the portrait. 
That of Sir Joshua, by himself, * is a repetition of 
the one so frequently seen. He has spectacles as broad 
as mine. There is also a full-length of the Lady 
Sunderlin,-f* a fine figure and pretty face. She was the 
wife of Richard, Lord Sunderlin, elder brother of Ed- 
mund Malone. Mr. Rooper showed us some interesting 
books, and volunteered to lend me a very curious collec- 
tion of MS. letters, all written by eminent persons, 
political and literary, all addressed to Mr. Malone, and 
a great many on occasion of his Life of Windham.;}: 
There is one by Dr. Johnson, a great many by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, Kemble, Lord Charlemont ; and 
notes by an infinity of remarkable people. I have 

The portrait was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, South Kensington, 
1867 : No. 556. 

* Of Sir Joshua by himself, Malone writes in his diary (Sir James Prior's 
Life of Malone, p. 435), "I hope my children, if I should have any, will care- 
fully preserve that memorial of his friendship, which he has bequeathed me." 

Mr. Malone died unmarried A.D. 1812, leaving his pictures and papers to his 
brother, Lord Sunderlin, who died childless in 1816. Eventually his widow, 
Philippa Dorothea, daughter of Godolphin Rooper, Esq., of Berkhampsted 
Castle, Herts, became possessed of them, and bequeathed them to her youngest 
nephew, the Rev. T. R. Rooper, for many years resident at Wick Hall, 
Brighton. They are now in possession of his son, the Rev. W. H Rooper, of 
Ouseley Lodge, Old Windsor. 

t Lady Sunderlin (No. 623 National Portrait Gallery, South Kensington, 
1867). A picture of rare merit. Description in Catalogue — " Full length, 
standing in a wood. White dress. Painted in 1788." 

J "A Biographical Memoir of the Life of the Right Honourable William 
Windham." Ixjndon, 1810, 8vo. 

Ch. xviii. 



portrait of 




Hazlitt mtd Boswell compared. 

Ch. xviii. 

Epigram on 
Dr. Parr. 


tions of 

yet merely run over one half the collection. It inte- 
rested me greatly. 

December 14th. — I was employed in the forenoon 
looking over Mr. Rooper's MS. letters belonging to 
Malone : some by Lord Charlemont curious. Some 
anonymous verses against Dr. Parr were poignant. The 
concluding lines are not bad as an epigram, though very 
unjust. They might be entitled — 

, To half of Busby's skill in mood and tense, 
Add Bentley's pedantry without his sense; 
Of Warburton take all the spleen you find, 
And leave his genius and his wit behind ; 
Squeeze Churchill's rancour from the verse it flows in. 
And knead it stiff with Johnson's heavy prosing ; 
Add all the piety of Saint Voltaire, 
Mix the gross compound — Fiat Dr. Parr. 

Spent the evening pleasantly at Copley Fielding's, 
the water-colour painter, a man of interesting person 
and very prepossessing manners. He showed me some 
delightful drawings. 

December i6th. — To-day I finish'ed Hazlitt's "Con- 
versations of Northcote." I do not believe that Boswell 
gives so much good talk in an equal quantity of any 
part of his " Life of Johnson." There is much more 
shrewdness and originality in both Northcote and Haz- 
litt himself than in Johnson ; yet all the elderly people 
— my friend Amyot, for instance — would think this an 
outrageous proof of bad ta.ste on my part. I do believe 
that I am younger in my tastes than most men. I can 
relish novelty, and am not yet a laudator temporis acti. 

December 20th. — Went to the play, to which I had not 
been for a long time. It gives me pain to observe how 

Jeremy Bentham. 

my relish for the theatre has gone off. It is one of the 
strongest indications of advanced age. 

Rem* — It was not altogether, however, the fault of 
my middle age. I believe that, even now, could Mrs. 
Siddons or Mrs. Jordan revive, my enjoyment would 
revive too. Power, however, gave me more pleasure 
than Johnstone ever gave me, though Johnstone was 
thought perfect in Irish characters. 

December 26th. — I found my way to Fonblanque's, 
beyond Tyburn Turnpike, and dined with him, self- 
invited. No one but his wife there, and the visit was 
perfectly agreeable. Indeed he is an excellent man. 
I believe him to be not a mere grumbler from ill- 
humour and poverty, as poor Hazlitt was to a great 
degree, but really an upright man, with an honest dis- 
gust at iniquity, and taking delight in giving vent to 
his indignation at wrong. His critical opinions startle 
me. He is going to introduce me to Jeremy Bentham, 
which will be a great pleasure. 

December ^ist. — At half-past one went by appoint- 
ment to see Jeremy Bentham, at his house in Queen 
Square, Westminster, and walked with him for about 
half an hour in his garden, when he dismissed me to 
take his breakfast and have the paper read to him. I 
have but little to report concerning him. His person is 
not what I expected. He is a small man.-|- He stoops 

* Written in 1852. 

f I should have said otherwise from the impression he left on me, as well as 
from the effect produced by his skeleton, dressed in his real clothes, and with 
a waxen face, preserved by his own desire. — H C. R., 1852. [It is now located 
at University College, London.] 



Jeremy Bentham. 



very much (he is eighty-four), and shuffles in his gait. 
His hearing is not good, yet excellent considering his 
age. His eye is restless, and there is a fidgety activity 
about him, increased probably by the habit of having 
all round fly at his command. He began by referring 
to my late journey in Italy, and, by putting questions 
to me, made me of necessity the talker. He seems not 
to have made Italian matters at all his study, and, I 
suspect, considers other countries only with reference to 
the influence his books and opinions may have had and 
have there. He mentioned Filangieri as a contemp- 
tible writer, who wrote after himself; and said he 
had the mortification of finding him praised, while he 
himself was overlooked. I gave him my opinion as to 
the political character of the French Ministry, and their 
purely selfish policy towards Italy, which he did not 
seem to comprehend. He inquired about my profes- . 
sional life ; and spoke of the late Dr. Wilson (whom I 
recollect seeing when I was a boy) as the first of his 

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