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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 21: 1842-50
John Gibson Lockhart to Maria Edgeworth, 28 August 1847

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
London, August 28, 1847.

My dear Miss Edgeworth,—Peccavi—but not from anything so bad as undervaluing your great and constant kindness to me and mine. It had been settled that Lady Davy, my girl, and I were to go about this day to Spain for a three or four months’ tour; but after we had begun to rub up our Castilian vocables, and even to think of trunks, and cases, and mule-saddles—behold a little romance that had been going on unsuspected by me, and perhaps hardly suspected by the hero, or at least by the heroine, was suddenly ripened by this Spanish announcement, and in a few days’ time I found it all settled that our château en Espagne must make way for a house in Charles Street, Berkeley Square, and another in Fife! But perhaps you will understand me. I had been so awfully vexed and mortified about certain premature and luckily falsified announcements of autumn 1846, that I was determined not to make any announcements at all on this occasion, and in fact I never quite convinced myself that the thing was certain until I signed the contract. It was all done in railway time—but no matter; the acquaintance had been gradual, and the feeling was sincere and deep, and on both sides, I am satisfied, well bestowed. So let us hear no more about my foolish silence!
Moreover, I was far from well, and the row of eating and drinking through a new tribe, and trousseaux, &c., really bothered me out of half my wits. Charlotte has been there eight days, the wife of a highly distinguished man, exceedingly loved in his family, and immensely admired in society, and considered as having every chance of the very highest honours in his profession. Though only thirty-five, he has already laid by a sufficient independence; his practice is very great, his connections, natural and acquired, of the most respectable kind. To conclude, he is a handsome fellow, and Lady Davy hardly yet forgives us for having seized on her favourite cavalier.

“They are now at the Duke of Buccleuch’s pretty villa at Richmond, and move thence in a few days towards Scotland. Mr. Hope’s elder brother having two places, he rents one of them (Rankeillour, near Cupar Fife), and is much attached to it. His business being chiefly that of a Parliamentary Counsel, he can be there near six months in the year—and there I hope to inspect them presently. I have already dined twice with them in their retreat, and if they be not most happy they are the cleverest of actors. In a word, I have every reason to be satisfied and gratified; and I believe there really is not a father in London, of almost any rank, who would not have been glad indeed to bestow his daughter on James Hope. My boy is now Walter Lockhart Scott, Lieutenant in the 16th Lancers
at Brighton, and I think doing well since he was indulged with the cloth of his choice. Thus you see my domestic cares are much lightened—for the present, at all events. I suppose children’s children will by-and-by come to provide new objects of concern and interest.

“As soon as I am well enough to work as usual, I must now begin the abridgment of the Life of Sir Walter Scott; your suggestions on that head are laid by as valuable guidance when I do come to the job, and if you can add to the number with the kind frankness that belongs to you, most thankfully shall I endeavour to profit by such advice as yours is ever sure to be.

“Now let me hear that you have forgiven me, and write to Mrs. James Hope your congratulations on her most fortunate wedding—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”