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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 4: 1815-17
John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie, 18 October 1816

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
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Produced by CATH
Burnbank, Oct. 18, 1816.

My dear Christie,—I have been tossed about the country a good deal these six weeks past, which is the only excuse I can think of, at this present, for not writing to you sooner. I wrote to Hamilton, however, touching the business of your last letter, so that I think myself, in some sort and manner as it were, almost out of your debt. I have more need to make an apology to Traill, which I beg you will do for me in the meantime, and say I mean to do so shortly myself. Last week I spent in Edinburgh, not that I am a member of the Caledonian Hunt, which then assembled there—nor that I am a knowing one on the turf, though the Musselburgh races were held—nor a lover of dancing, though there were balls every night—but I went in to officiate at the funeral of an aged female single cousin, on which occasion I had the satisfaction of witnessing a facsimile of Mrs. Bertram of Singleside her obsequies, the parallel holding good even as to the legacies.1 Kean was in Edinburgh, however, and that part of the gaieties I much enjoyed. Of four characters in which I saw him, Othello was my favourite, but neither Macbeth nor Richard were of the number. Murray, the manager, with whom I am a little acquainted, is a very gentlemanlike person; and in truth well entitled to be so

1 In “Guy Mannering.”

by his birth, as he is grandson to
Murray of Broughton, the Chevalier’s secretary in ’45.1 He wished to show Kean every attention in his power, but was given to understand that Mr. Kean accepted of no invitation wherein ‘his friends’ were not included—meaning two of the most despicable of Murray’s own candle-snuffers, with whom Kean got drunk every night during his stay. Were I in your shoes I would fain see Kean off the stage, and I daresay you might easily manage it. Hamilton has been ill of a quinzey, and is looking as ghastly as a spectre.

“In about three weeks I shall be in Edinburgh for good, and I intend passing advocate the first week of the term, Q. F. F. Q. S. You have thrown out two literary hints this summer, neither of which has been neglected by me—one concerning reviewing, and the other touching a periodical paper. The latter is a project whereon I have long loved to dwell—even since the days of our meditated Western Star, &c., Bristol Mustard Pot, &c. &c. I think there are among my acquaintances several individuals who could contribute richly to such a thing, but it is necessary to have a stock-in-hand before we begin. Let me hear what your notions are at more length. I have a friend in this neighbourhood, by name Hodgson, an extremely accomplished man, and a great dabbler in writing

1 John Murray of Broughton, the Judas of the Royal cause. See Lockhart’sScott,” i. 242-245.

some years ago, though now the quiet minister of a very small parish, who was applied to by
Murray (Albemarle Street) not long ago, with a view to an undertaking of this sort—who, though he declined at the time, has been thinking a good deal of it ever since, and is anxious to see such a thing set afoot. The worthy baronet might contribute a few Greekified things—Taffy a few Cambrian sketches. You might be ‘the young fellow in town’ of the club—and I myself might depict Scottish men of this day. Oxford is a rich field common to us all and untouched.—Yours ever,

J. G. L.

“Direct your next to me at Glasgow—40 Charlotte Street.”