LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 22: 1850-53

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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LONDON, 1850-1853
“Ill.”—The black dog.—Anecdote by Mr. James Traill.—Death of Wordsworth.—Lockhart’s portrait.—Mr. Elwin.—No duellist.—Changes of faith.—Letter to Mr. Hope.—Letter to Mrs. Hope.—Murchison.—Lord John Russell deer-stalking.—“A wauf bit body.”—Anecdote of Lamartine.—Dinner with Landseer.—Rackets by gaslight.—Dandies for the Queen.—Junius and the Ghost.—Lord Lyttelton as Junius.—Letter to Mrs. Hope.—The Quarterly troubles.—Quarterly on Junius. Stories of the wicked Lord Lyttelton.—Mr. Gladstone “much shocked.”—The Dandies at Windsor.—Eastern and Western Churches.—Rum and half a pig.—Mr. Hope received into Church of Rome.—Lockhart’s letter to him.—To Mrs. Hope.—The Rev. Moses ——.—French tour.—Lord Peter “hot and heavy.”—Croker’s illness.—Scandal about a saint.—Birth of Mrs. Maxwell Scott.—Walter’s illness.—“Esmond.”—Reconciliation with Walter.—Walter’s death.—Letter to Mrs. Hope.—Kindness of Mrs. Hughes.—Letters to her.—Miniature of Walter.

The year 1850 opens, in the diaries, with the one word “Ill,” covering several weeks. There are few entries of importance, and scarcely any letters of much interest. Lockhart’s social career was practically over, owing to his persistent bad health. He had always detested being made a lion of, and when this occurred now, the lion was accompanied by the Black Dog. Mr. James Traill writes thus:—

Lockhart had a great mixture of shyness and
dislike to be made much of. He was averse to displaying himself, and had a certain proud modesty about him which made him, above all things, hate to be ‘shown off.’

“I remember an amusing instance of this. Our uncle William Whately of course knew him very well, although they were never, I fancy, very intimate or dear friends.

“At the time I speak of—it was after I left Oxford, and I must, I think, have been about twenty-four years old—Lockhart rarely dined out in general society: but Whately, on the score of old acquaintance, succeeded with some trouble in persuading him to dine with him one night, promising that there would be no party, only my father, if he could get him! who, as you know, never dined out of his own house: Mr. Christie, who after all never came, and myself. On these conditions Lockhart accepted the invitation. You know what a dear kind-hearted and hospitable man William Whately was, but you will also remember how fond he was of rubbing shoulders with great people, and he could not resist the temptation, notwithstanding his promise, of showing off Lockhart as a lion to some of his grand acquaintances: so he asked a largish party to meet him—some two or three big legal guns, and some of his wife’s relations of the —— family.

“I came from Blackheath before the appointed hour. Lockhart arrived punctually to time. By-
and-by one and then another guest was announced. Lockhart got disgusted—took me by the arm and led me to the great bow window overlooking St. James’s Park, and steadily kept his back to all new arrivals.

“‘What does all this mean, James? Whately promised there should be no one here. I am very much annoyed. Remember you are not to leave me, and you are to go down to dinner with and sit next me.’ When dinner was announced, he linked his arm in mine, and we marched down together, and he took his seat in the middle of the long table: he talked only to me throughout the greater part of the dinner, and addressed no one else, being evidently much put out. At the end of dinner, however, he relented, and finally made himself very agreeable; but he never dined there again.”

This is the last apparition of the Black Dog which we have to chronicle, and it must be admitted that his coming was not without excuse, as Lockhart had announced his unfitness for society.

On April 23, he chronicles the death of Wordsworth. His early admiration for the poet never faltered, though he found the Prelude trying, misdoubted Wordsworth’s philosophy, and, as early as 1825, had laughed at the sage’s self-absorption and total disregard of the merits of his great contemporaries. He also records, “Dies F. M. Reynolds. Miserrimus. Host of Hook’s window-smash, Cole-
ridge beginning the smash.” In spring he sat to
Sir Francis Grant, whose portrait of Lockhart is at Abbotsford. It has been finely reproduced in mezzotint in a private plate.

Of Lockhart’s portraits known to me, this is the most pleasing. The mouth, though possibly too small, is beautifully modelled, and lacks the curl of scorn which many persons observed in it, including Mr. James Traill, who says, “it mostly had a sarcastic or rather cynical expression.” This appears in the rather unlovely likeness which hangs, with others of the Shepherd and of Professor Wilson, in the Old Saloon of Mr. Blackwood in George Street, Edinburgh. The sardonic expression is, of course, emphasised in Lockhart’s caricatures of himself.

In June he notes, “Mr. Elwin breakfasts here,” namely, the learned, and by no means too friendly editor of Pope. Mr. Elwin now, or soon afterwards, shared with Lockhart the burden of editing the Quarterly Review, and succeeded him in that post. It is understood that Lockhart made an objection (manifestly humorous), to a clerical aide-de-camp, because a man in orders could not “go on the ground,” if necessary. The days of duelling editors were over in England, and even Miss Martineau does not hint that Lockhart, as editor of the Quarterly, was ever challenged to mortal combat. In his youth a gentleman had a case of pistols just as he had a dressing-case. In “Vanity Fair” Rawdon
Crawley is already almost, but not quite, an anachronism when he wants to fight Lord Steyne.

On August 8, Lockhart went to Bingen, where he met his son; it was one of many fruitless errands. The young man was living in various Continental towns, occasionally visiting London, as it were incognito.

The following letter touches on Walter’s affairs, and indicates Lockhart’s attitude in the difficulties of Anglicans at that period. His son-in-law, followed by his daughter, was about to go over with Manning to the older creed. It cannot be denied that, in taking this step, and in this alone, Mr. Hope gave pain to his father-in-law. But gossip, as in Miss Martineau’s essay, has immensely exaggerated Lockhart’s feelings on the subject. He was not prejudiced against the ancient faith; and, in his essay on the Presbyterian Wilkie, commends him for a similar want of prejudice. When abroad, Lockhart associated a good deal with Catholic priests; he admired their learning and took pleasure in their conversation. We shall find him, at Rome, procuring a medal of Pio Nono and a rosary for his infant grandchild, of whom he was extremely fond,—Mary Monica, now Mrs. Maxwell Scott. This is not exactly the conduct of a bigot. But Lockhart’s motto in these matters was . He disliked conversions, changes of creed, though—as between Presbyterianism and the Church of England—he,
like most Scots educated in England, and interested in the historical suffering loyalty of the Scottish Episcopal Church, was fairly indifferent. Enfin, he preferred that Englishmen should remain in the English communion; he regretted Mr. Hope’s difference of opinion, but he respected his motives, and, of course, retained in the fullest degree his old affection for him.

These ideas are explicitly stated in the following letter:—

Sussex Place, September 28, 1850.

Dear Hope,—Please return the enclosed, which will show you that I have disbursed abundantly and lately. I cannot doubt that Walter received money some days ago, at latest; but I can’t help it if he has not. The letter you sent me is most insane, or most wicked, or both. He has kept me in a most painful state—but a step of decided rebellion now would, I really believe, put an end to all further interferences on my part. I wrote to him yesterday—the fourth since I had a line from him.

“I am very sorry to hear it confirmed that H. Wilberforce has taken that rash step, and trust Manning will not. The Church of England is in a most difficult and critical position, but it is not, I think, the duty of any individual to act as an individual under such circumstances. He should abide to the last moment that he does not find himself forced to do something which conscience forbids, before he declines to take part with the
body. Surely no private clergyman has a title to claim the initiative before so many bishops. The clergy and laity, if wise, would understand that their ends can be attained in one way only—that is, by altering the complexion of the majority in the House of Commons; and, if they would act in that direction with the zeal they throw away on polemical pamphlets, the power inherent in the Church party might, I still believe, effect very much—especially conjoined, as it would be in the next General Elections, with such a general energy of the landed interests, who now begin to suffer, as every Whig acknowledges, in a manner that has not been shown in recent times.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The letter which ensues is a good example of the gossip with which Lockhart entertained his daughter. Lord John Russell did not shine, it seems, as a sportsman:—

Sussex Place, October 4, 1850, Friday.

Dear Cha,—I return the note about dogs,1 for which I hope success. I know nothing of the channel through which information had reached Mr. B. Smith. No word from Germany, and of course no news is ill news—very bad indeed they seem to me. I have exhausted my reasonings and appeals of every sort—and despair. While this

1 Probably Dandie Dinmonts for the Queen.

state of miserable uncertainty continues I can have no heart for moving. The only resource I find is to try to be busy about something else.

“The Christies are here again, and I dined there yesterday—only themselves. Murchison called—he had been at I know not how many great lords’ houses, and on mountain-tops without end, in Scotland and the North of England, and was going to join the ——s in Hants—I suppose at Lady Featherstonehaugh’s—the usual winter quarter. He gave a funny account of Lord J. Russell at the Black Mount. There was such a day for the harts as does not come once in thirty years—a still day after a storm, when they separate into twos or threes, and don’t herd as usual. Johnny was alone to use the rifle—he had been dressed, by Mrs. William Russell’s directions, in perfect style, and was mounted and attended suitably. The ranger took him, without almost any fatigue, within twenty-five yards of fourteen fine harts in succession, and the result was no harm to one. The old ranger told Sir Roderick, ‘What could make the Queen choose sae wauf a bit body? If ye could tie up a stag by the head and let him come and fire away for a forenoon, maybe he might hit at last.’ Next day ——1 himself killed a fine animal, and reports great sulks in the Premier, who would not try again. But he seems to have done better afterwards at some other place. —— has, however,

1 Name indecipherable.

a grievance. It seems he wrote to propose himself for Drumlanrig, and got no answer. I could only suggest accident, &c., &c., but suppose he had no such acquaintance as to warrant an offer, and that the good Duke was nettled for once. —— in dudgeon deep meanwhile. Oh, to think of a bearded man exposing himself to such chances!—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.

P.S.Brougham brings this good anecdote. Normanby, who worshipped Lamartine in his power, has cut him latterly; but called a week ago, and found Monsieur Lamartine seated at his writing-table, with a grand portrait of himself over the fire en face. Lord Normanby said something about the glorious physiognomy. Lamartine paused and took snuff, and then said, ‘Oui, cest Byron, plus l’homme d’état!

Here is more gossip, following an account, omitted, of the old anxieties:—

Sussex Place, January 11, 1851.

Dear Hope,—I trust the supper and ball, and Peter’s dancing, may be taken as final comfort; but I shall be glad when I see again Cha’s handwriting. I have not heard lately from any of the western relations, but indeed I seldom do unless when there is something to ask. I have no news as to Walter.


“I dined out once lately with Sir E. Landseer. He has been building, and, among other things, a dining-room, which he is decorating with panels of his own work—stag scenes, &c., in the oblong ones, and Highland cataracts in the uprights that balance them—all very beautiful, though unfinished. One day the plaster will be picked off the walls and sent to galleries, God knows where. The dinner was good, but very queer and conceited, a mixture of finery and the fast school. Marrow-bones and sausages, fried herrings and kidneys, vis-à-vis with turtle and Strasburg pâté. Beer and punch cross hands with champagne and Badminton cup. The only other plebeian was Swinton. We had Lords Abercorn, Ossulstone, Mandeville, and Ed. Russell, and they all called the knight ‘Lanny,’ and he called them ‘Ossy,’ ‘Many,’ ‘Ned,’ Abercorn only ‘Marquis’—I suppose he being the only one that pays. All dog, and horse, stag, and Queen for talk; utter boobies; awful eaters and drinkers; and when I left them at half-past ten, they were all starting for some place where a new American game of rackets is played by gaslight, Lanny and all. How they could play rackets with such loads of pie and beer I don’t conceive. It used to be hard morning work in my day.

“I fancy Russell is to bring in a Bill against the new English Sees, but not meddling with Ireland.”

The following letter opens with the procuring
of pups of the famous old Dandie Dinmont breed for
Her Majesty.

The letter also contains an unaccustomed wail over the difficulties in his Editorship, which bad health now made grievous to Lockhart. The article on Junius to which he refers is of singular interest. It has been erroneously attributed, in the “Dictionary of National Biography,” to Mr. Croker. The author attempted to show that the wicked Lord Lyttelton was Junius. Dates (in my humble opinion) do not bear out this theory. Junius tells his publisher that he dreads a Bill of Attainder, which indicates a Peer rather than a Clerk in the War Office, like Francis. But this may have been an ingenious blind. The reviewer supposed that Lord Lyttelton’s famous ghost, with its fulfilled warning of his death in three days, was a parting practical joke. Lyttelton had startled the House of Peers by a great harangue (November 25, 1779): on the Thursday morning he announced to Rowan Hamilton that the ghost had warned him during the previous night: he died, suddenly, just before midnight on the Saturday. The reviewer, like Scott, held that he committed suicide,—how is not suggested—and that intending to die, he invented the ghost and the warning, as a final jeer at the world, and a puzzle to Dr. Johnson.1

1 I have examined all the evidence in Blackwood’s Magazine, and am convinced that there is no case for the theory of suicide. Lyttel-

Sussex Place, February 7, 1851.

Dear Cha,—I return Murray’s note. He means well, I believe, but in short I am always worried near death before I can get out a No. by the tempers that are to be managed. The truth is that John Murray is sick of Croker, and Croker is now in a most impracticable state—exceedingly jealous that he is supposed to be falling off in his mental vigour, which I see no signs of, though his bodily condition is certainly alarming. These annoyances are more added to domestic affliction than I am well able for—but I am better now than I was when J. M. wrote to you.

“Yesterday I had at dinner here Gleig, who proposed himself; Fergusson, Sir J. Wilson, William and Frank Scott, who slept here, and is also to dine and sleep this night. He kindly brought me a pair of most charming pepper pups four months old, of clear descent from the Abbotsford race and inimitably varmint. He and I conveyed them this morning to Landseer, who is to carry them to Windsor to-morrow in person, and so there is an end of that bother as far as we are concerned.

P.S.—The article Junius in the Quarterly Review has made a sort of sensation here, and many are at

ton’s own death-bed wraith appeared, so contemporary testimony reports (in the Scots Magazine of the following month and in Reynolds’sMemoirs”), to a friend at a distance. The reviewer did not go into the very curious evidence as to the spectres.

least staggered. I was not convinced, but thought the writer showed such research and ingenuity, and treated a delicate topic with such inoffensiveness, that I ought not to refuse him a fair field. He is a Kentish gentleman, by name
Coulton,1 and I never saw him till yesterday, when his manners made a very favourable impression. Henry Cheney remembers well the old Lord Mount Norris, son of the wicked Lord Lyttelton’s sister, Lady Valentia, who was Lyttelton’s heir-at-law, and inherited, inter alia, from him an estate near Badger, in Salop. Cheney says Lord Mount Norris was full of stories about the bad uncle who had been good to him. Lord Lyttelton latterly could bear neither solitude nor darkness; often his little nephew, awaking in the night, found his uncle by his side on his bed, and was told that he could not remain in his own room, it was so full of horrors. At all times he had a blaze of wax-candles in his own bedroom all night. This last circumstance I recollect Sir Walter Scott mentioning thirty years ago or more, so he could not have had it from the Cheneys, whom he first and alone knew at Rome in 1832. It is a shocking story certainly. Lord Lyttelton and Gladstone are both much shocked with the article, and Lord Lyttelton has offered access to his family papers. I suppose the wicked lord’s reputation would, in his family’s opinion, be mended by his identification with Junius, which, in any other man’s case, would

1 I read it Carleton; the copyist, “Coulton.”

come to moral damnation, in his already reached, and which here could only add an intellectual prestige by way of circonstance attenuante.

J. G. Lockhart.”

Psychical observers will admit that Lord Lyttelton’s state of mind, as thus reported, prevents his ghost-story from being “evidential.” His own death-wraith, seen by Mr. Andrews, is a more touching example of a familiar phenomenon.

Here is announced the arrival of the Dandies at the Castle, whence Macaulay dated his famous letter:—

February 11, 1851.

Dear Cha,—Sir Edwin Landseer called on Sunday. He had taken the doggies to Windsor the day before, and on being introduced told the Queen that they were in their basket in the corridor. She instantly ran out and began to open the hamper. Landseer said, ‘Take care, Madam, they have been dressed with a little oil and brimstone.’ ‘Pooh,’ said she, ‘what signifies that?’ and so she took them out and caressed both so skilfully that they began to run about after her, and she went for the children, who joined in the enjoyment of the new playthings, as did Prince Albert when he came in by-and-by for luncheon. After that the Queen said she knew not which to choose, both were so charming, and Landseer said it was designed to place both at her feet. She said it was too much,
but she would give Mr. F. Scott in return a couple of pups of whatever kind he chose from her own stock. I was asked by Landseer to write this to Frank, and did so yesterday. So ends the little play of Pepper and Mustard. We gave them, before delivery, the names of Master Ettrick and Miss Yarrow. Their papa is a handsome dog at Borthwickbrae.1

“I have received lately two or three pamphlets about ‘the Holy Oriental Church,’ which made me suspect something like what you mention. But there was a very queer article in the Revue des Deux Mondes a few months ago, ‘On the Ecclesiastical Affairs of the West from a Russian Point of View,’ written by a Sclavon, and asserting the claims of the Eastern Church to supersede the Popes of Rome, and the likelihood of this being ere long acknowledged, in consequence of the feebleness of the Papacy and the death of Anglicanism, and the worse than death of the German schism in all its branches. He says that when, for the first time after so many centuries, ‘an orthodox emperor’ knelt at the shrine of St. Peter, the effect was felt by the Romans of every class so as to prove their sense of Nicholas’s ecclesiastical position and prospects.

“In remuneration of my helping her with an epitaph for the Colonel, Mrs. Charles Ellis has sent me a gift of six bottles of forty-year-old rum, and the elder widow has announced as about to arrive

1 Near Harden. Then the seat of Mr. Elliot Lockhart.

half of a pig: so much for widows this week—nothing like them.

“Did Hope ever see ‘The Forester,’ by the woodman at Arniston? A new edition has just come out, and my copy is much at his service. I fancy it contains the best rules about sale of wood in Scotland, and might be useful to you.—Affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On April 6, Lockhart notes, “Letter from Hope. He and Manning have this day been received into the Church of Rome.” His letter to Mr. Hope has been published in Mr. Hope’s Biography, but cannot be omitted in this place. The affair made absolutely no difference in Lockhart’s intercourse with his children, as Miss Martineau, that inveterate blunderer, declares in her sketch of Lockhart’s life.

Sussex Place, April 8, 1851.

My dear Hope,—I thank you sincerely for your kind letter. I had clung to the hope that you would not finally quit the Church of England, but am not so presumptuous as to say a word more on that step as respects yourself, who have not certainly assumed so heavy a responsibility without much study and reflection. As concerns others, I am thoroughly aware that they may count upon any mitigation which the purest intentions and the most generous and tender feelings on your part can bring. And I trust that this, the only part of your conduct
that has ever given me pain, need not now or ever disturb the confidence in which it has been of late a principal consolation for me to live with my sonin-law.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

To Mrs. Hope, when she followed her husband, Lockhart wrote thus:—

May 12, 1851.

Dear Cha,—I shall say nothing more but that I hope and pray what you have done may prove beneficial to your comfort and happiness. This is my only concern. It can in no way affect my feelings to Hope, nor, most surely, towards you.

“In case you have any country folks that would like to see Northumberland House or Syon, I send tickets, and have more, if wished for, at your command.

“We had a Protection party—the Stanleys, Eglintons, &c., &c., but pleasant enough on the whole. The great Lord and Lady themselves most kind.—Yours ever affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Here follows a characteristic line to Milman:—

Sussex Place, Regent’s Park,
April 26, 1851.

Dear Dean,—I fear you have decidedly cut me as Editor of the Quarterly Review. But if not,
there is a book by the
Rev. Moses ——, which would, I think, form a capital subject for you. He is a clerk in English orders—a Polish Jew by birth—and his book is in letters to all sorts of grandees, the Duke of Manchester, Archbishops of Canterbury, York, and Dublin, Bishop of Chester, &c., &c. A more impudent, silly, and ignorant book never appeared; and he seems to be, in every sense, a lewd fellow of the baser sort. The folly of our Ashleys, &c., in patronising hoc genus of charlatan, richly deserves a little castigation. In short, never was a more thorough humbug.

“To do the thing effectively would require learning, as well as a sense of the ridiculous. Therefore, unless you could handle this Moses, or point out some one else able and willing to do so in true style, I see no chance of my getting the sort of article that is wanted.

“Have you seen Moses, or shall I send him? He would, at least, amuse an evening hour—if you ever spend a quiet evening at this time of the year.—Ever yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On July 15, Lockhart went abroad with his friend “Lord Peter.” They visited the Loire—Blois, Loches, Amboise, Nantes, Tours—and returned to Folkestone on August 21. In September Lockhart notes, “Very unwell.” In October he went to Milton Lockhart, Abbotsford, and Ashestiel, returning to town on November 1.


Here is a brief note about the little French expedition:—

Paris, August 1, 1851, 5 p.m.

Dearest Charlotte,—I have just had your letter, being the first scrap of writing of any sort since my start, as this is the first of my meddling with the pen. I am glad that you are so nearly done with London, and thank you for all your other news. Mine are nothing! I have certainly felt much better ever since I got across the Channel—eat more and slept fairly, and even enjoyed some sights; but it is all owing simply to the cessation of that eternal infernal round of notes and worries, amidst which I had been latterly driven, I really think, very near the edge of insanity. I left no instructions about letters, either with Murray or with Martha—in fact, took special care not; but I should like to hear from you again, and think you may address Poste Restante, Tours, with a pretty considerable likelihood of my receiving the missive about the middle of next week. To-morrow we go to Fontainebleau—spend Sunday there—get to Orleans on Monday, and mean to give two or three days to Blois and its environs; after which comes Tours aforesaid.

“My companion is awfully hot and heavy, and will not or cannot walk at all; nor has he almost the slightest curiosity about anything but what he is to get for dinner, and so forth. But he is very
kind always, and now and then very amusing, and we shall do very well.

“I admired two signs to-day: Objets de religion et fantaisie, and ; also, the aristocratic airs of the concierge at St. Germain, who was most politely communicative about all things included in the splendid view, till I pointed to a particular house in a particularly fine situation, when he said, with a shrug, ‘Ah! quelque château bourgeois! je n’en scais rien.’ This was the palace of some Rothschild near Malmaison.—Ever affectionately yours,

J. G. Lockhart.

Peter sends love to you both.”

In London Lockhart found Croker very ill; he had fits of an alarming sort, and spoke of giving up his long connection with the Quarterly. So the year closes darkly enough, though Croker survived his old associates. His temper in illness caused, one may surmise, many of the tracasseries of which Lockhart complains.

In January 1852 Lockhart records visits to Molesey to inquire for Croker. “Croker too ill to see; sad scene.” On February 6, “This evening my son Walter, I hope, goes abroad again.” In March Croker was better, as may be gleaned from the following note:—

March 24, 1852.

Dear Hope,—Some years ago I rashly put into
Quarterly Review (article on Curzon’s book) a story which Croker had just told at table here about Madame de Sévigné’s having written that St. Vincent de Paul was an agreeable man, but trichait aux cartes.

“Lately, that odious —— has re-quoted this from the Quarterly Review, and thereupon an anonymous Catholic writes very courteously for a reference to the page in Madame de Sévigné.

“I applied yesterday to Croker, who I thought might have a well-indexed copy of Sévigné. Here is his reply. I am a good deal vexed, but if you could give me the means, I should be anxious to apologise as to St. Vincent de Paul, and state the real story (valeat quantum) in an exact manner. If you or Badeley can’t help me I despair.—Contritely meanwhile,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On May 7, Lockhart’s note is—“The Duke of Wellington’s last ball, and the last time seen by me.”

He had not yet, it is plain, entirely withdrawn from society when in fair health. In July he visited friends in Scotland, returning on August 23.

On October 2, he notes—“Charlotte, a girl” (Mary Monica, Mrs. Maxwell-Scott), and, in what ensues, he congratulates Mr. Hope:—

October 7, 1852.

Dear Hope,—I am grateful for your frequent bulletins, and very much comforted by them. I
spare you my daily budget of congratulations, as I dare say you have duplicates from
Lady Gifford, Kathy Morritt, Aunt Anne, &c., &c

“I met Monsignor Manning the other day, and he enlightened me about Monsignor Grant, who is, it seems, Bishop of, inter alia, Kent. I suppose your selection of St. Monica has also reference to the history of Kent. At all events, Mary Monica sounds charmingly.

“Though I have seldom made money by a book, I have suggested not a few books by which others have got lots of cash. I wish you would find some steady Catholic, or Puseyite of the deepest shade, to do a dictionary ecclesiastical in one thick volume, like Dr. Smith’s of classical history, &c. I am confident it would, if well done, be a neat little fortune to the artist; and, by-the-bye, he should, like Dr. Smith, call in the aid of artists properly so called. The ignorance of Mrs. Jameson in her three volumes about Sacred Art is quite shocking; but what else can be said of any female historian of any class?

“I am to dine to-morrow, pro miraculo, with the Davy, that is, if no blundering kinsman drops in from foreign parts.

“I hope Cha is well enough to receive my love.—Yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

“Paul1 is gone; but I have not yet seen the maiden who reigns in his stead. I had all but re-

1 The unapostolical with the black eye.

lented—he had showed such signs of grace for two or three weeks—but on Sunday last all was as bad as ever, so exit Paul!”

On November 7, Lockhart notes—“Walter ill,” the beginning of a malady destined to be fatal. Walter was at Versailles, and his intention was to travel, by his father’s desire, to Rome. On November 12, Lockhart writes—“Ill. Read Thackeray’sEsmond.’”

He did not appreciate “Esmond,” and makes the curious, and to all appearance erroneous reflection, “His Marlborough is mainly meant for Wellington, which could never have been the case, one hopes, had he known the Duke would be dead ere the book could be published.” Greater contrasts in manner and conduct than Marlborough and the Duke could hardly be. But this is “How it strikes a contemporary.”

Ill as Lockhart was, Walter’s malady called him, with his brother William, to Paris, on December 23, whence he wrote thus to Mrs. Hope:—

Paris, December 28, 1852.

Dear Charlotte,—I know that Walter wrote to you since I saw him first, but I think you will like to have my report also. I certainly have been much and agreeably disappointed. He walks ill, but ascribes this to the remains of the weakness caused by the illness at Spa, and it has so rapidly diminished during the last ten or fourteen days,
that he and the doctor both anticipate its disappearance ere long. He is thinner and darker, but not otherwise changed as to physique externally, and I think the little oddities of gesture that struck
Hay and Ellis must have also worn off a good deal. From living so much among foreigners he has caught some tricks of that nature, and perhaps irritability of nerves made them more noticeable.

William and I dined at Versailles with him yesterday, and we have met either there or here every day; to-morrow he takes for packing, and on Thursday will dine with us here, and start for Chalons afterwards. His plan of travel is written out by Hay, and seems to involve little fatigue—all railway or boating or sailing, except, I think, some nine hours of diligence. I hope, therefore, that the journey may be accomplished without damage, and if so, it must have advantages—two great ones anyhow—removal to a better climate, and emancipation from alarms of a certain sort, from which I find he never was free in Belgium more than in France. Hay’s address is 33 Via Gregoriana, Rome, and, I daresay, he will have provided a lodging not far from that for your brother.—Yours affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”

Lockhart left Paris, and Walter started for Italy, on Old Year’s Day. He remarks, “This last a most unhappy year. Walter seems better disposed, re-
pentant and affectionate. Let us hope for a great and lasting change.”

The greatest change and most lasting was at hand.

Here is Lockhart’s comparatively hopeful letter:—

Sussex Place, Monday, January 3, 1853.

Dear Charlotte,—I wish all good for you and yours from 1853, which figures I now first combine.

“I arrived here on Saturday night, having left William at Hôtel des Bains for a few days of hot bath. He will, I believe, go right from thence to Milton without pausing here. He was very kind indeed about the Paris trip, and his calmness made him very useful. Amid the very many troubles that perplexed me out of life while there, we at last contrived to see the young man and his attendant off in the train for Lyons, at nine on Thursday night—he having, as usual, deferred to the very last moment what might far better have come off two or three days sooner. But the wonder is, that such a pair ever did get off at all!! Such confusion—all blunder about everything!

“He is certainly better in health, and to the last spoke of his views and purposes in a satisfactory way enough—but, alas! the weakness of character is so obvious that hope can find but slender footing! Let us try. We can do no more.

“I have seen no one here but Joanna A——
for a moment yesterday, and she had no news but politics, in which interest is now dead, and will be so, I suppose, until Easter. I think it is generally anticipated that
Gladstone will be the means somehow of breaking up the Aberdeen compound—that is, people granting him sufficiency of crotchet, grant him also some real principle—a high compliment as times go.

“I envy the hearing of Miss M. M——’s prattle and rattle.

“Give my respects and wishes of the season to old Peter and the rest, and with love to Hope I rest—Yours ever,

J. G. Lockhart.”

On January 7, Lockhart’s diary bears—

Walter ill en route, and again at Versailles.” He himself reached Versailles on January 10, too late. His son was dead.

A letter to Mrs. Hope displays Lockhart’s usual thoughtfulness for others. He would not let her leave Scotland to be with him. There is no need to dwell on his emotions in this tragic event. It was, happily, the last of his many great bereavements. He had still much to suffer in the body, but his heart was not again to be wrung by kindness forgot, or by the deaths of his dearest.

Sussex Place, Wednesday, January 19, 1853.

My dearest Charlotte,—I got home again late last night, after a very cold and stormy passage
from Boulogne. Mr. Holt went by the more rapid course of Calais, as he had to be in Wales this day early—and what a turbulent life his is! But he was most kind to me, and most useful; indeed without him I could never have got through the infinite diff1culties which the French law imposes in the case of a foreigner dying in that country. We had several days of most distressing work with officials at Versailles, and my head still swims with the recollection of those scenes.

“Your poor brother sleeps close by the entrance of the Versailles Cemetery, on the left hand at entering, and a modest stone will ere another week passes mark the spot. The very hour of his burial was also that of the Mayor’s wife, which all the town attended; and when we had just laid the coffin in the grave, all the sextons, &c, had to go and assist at this lady’s interment. I could not detain Holt, who had much to do elsewhere, and therefore was obliged to remain alone by the grave for two hours in the rain, until the people were at liberty to complete their work. . . .

“I thank Hope for his very kind notes to me, and also to William about me. Be assured that I am physically quite as well as I have been for a long time past, and that my mind is perfectly calm and composed. It is not at the moment that great afflictions tell most on me, and at present, so far from desiring either to go to Milton, or to have William or you here, it is, I feel, much better for
me that I am alone entirely now, and likely to be so for some weeks to come. I would not for the world have you leave Scotland on my account—by no means; our meeting is much better to be deferred till you come up in your usual course. Hope may be forced to come sooner by Holt’s business matters—but as to that I know nothing. I am not desirous to have it known that I am here, and shall keep it as secret as I can, except as to
Christie, Ferguson, and Murray. I have a world of letters from old friends, all meant in true affectionateness, but which I can’t answer now.

“It is a consolation that forgiveness and reconciliation preceded the abrupt close of that unhappy career. Even during his last delirium he never ceased to hold conversation with me as if present, and seemed to be constantly drawing comfort from the sense that we had exchanged estrangement for a renewal of natural feelings. The doctor did not suppose him to have suffered much pain. All the people of the hotel appeared to have taken a very warm interest in his case, and no doubt he returned to them as a sort of friends, when he found himself smitten at Fontainebleau.

“My dear and now only child, bear up and learn to endure evil, which is the staple of this mortal life. Kiss your babe and accept my blessing on her and you both.—Ever truly yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

There are two letters to the kindest of women, Mrs. Hughes, who had sent him a miniature of Walter as he was in his happy and graceful boyhood.

Sussex Place, January 24, 1853.

My dear Mrs. Hughes,—I do not need to be told of your sympathy in the misfortunes of my poor house, but I am not the less sensible and grateful.

“Accept my cordial thanks, dear friend of better days, and when you see your son, give him also my warm respects.—Ever yours truly (and his),

J. G. Lockhart.”
Sussex Place, July 24, 1853.

My dear Friend,—I have received your packet, and am gratified to have what it contained, for the resemblance is strong, and of the best period of that short, unhappy life. I beg to thank Miss Twining (or whoever has done the copy so skilfully under her or your eye), and shall always keep it near me.—Very poorly, but very truly yours,

J. G. Lockhart.”

The miniature is referred to again here:—

Sussex Place, February 24, 1853.

Dear Cha,—I have got Mrs. Hughes’s picture, and am not sorry to have it by me, though
it breaks my heart to recall the date. It is of the sweet, innocent, happy boy, home for Sunday from Cowie’s; and really, for a lady, the likeness is fairly done. O God! how soon that day became clouded, and how dark its early close. Well, I suppose there is another world; if not, sure this is a blunder. . . .

J. G. Lockhart.”