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Went to the play with Hobhouse. Mrs. Jordan 'superlative in Hoyden, and Jones well enough in Foppington. What plays! what wit!-helas! Con'greve and Vanbrugh are your only comedy. Our society is too insipid now for the like copy. Would 'not go to Lady Keith's. Hobhouse thought it odd. 'I wonder he should like parties. If one is in love, and wants to break a commandment and covet anything that is there, they do very well. But to go out amongst the mere herd, without a motive, plea'sure, or pursuit-'sdeath! "I'll none of it." He 'told me an odd report,-that I am the actual Conrad, the veritable Corsair, and that part of my travels are supposed to have passed in privacy. Um!'people sometimes hit near the truth; but never the 'whole truth. H. don't know what I was about the
year after he left the Levant; nor does any one-nor ' nor-nor-however, it is a lie-but, "I doubt the
equivocation of the fiend that lies like truth!"
'I shall have letters of importance to-morrow. "Which, * or **? heigho!-** is in my
* in my head, * * in my eye, and the sin
gle one, Heaven knows where. All write, and will be answered. "Since I have crept in favour with 'myself, I must maintain it;" but I never "mistook my person," though I think others have.
** called to-day in great despair about his mis'tress, who has taken a freak of * * * He began a ' letter to her, but was obliged to stop short-I finished 'it for him, and he copied and sent it. If he holds ' out and keeps to my instructions of affected indiffer
ence, she will lower her colours. If she don't, he 'will, at least, get rid of her, and she don't seem 'much worth keeping. But the poor lad is in love
if that is the case, she will win. When they once 'discover their power, finita e la musica.
Sleepy, and must go to bed.
'Tuesday, March 15th. 'Dined yesterday with R., Mackintosh, and Sharpe. 'Sheridan could not come. Sharpe told several very ' amusing anecdotes of Henderson, the actor. Stayed 'till late, and came home, having drank so much tea, 'that I did not get to sleep till six this morning. R. 6 says I am to be in this Quarterly-cut up, I presume, as they "hate us youth." N'importe. As Sharpe was passing by the doors of some debating society (the Westminster Forum) in his way to dinner, he ( saw rubricked on the walls, Scott's name and mine— "Which the best poet?' being the question of the evening; and I suppose all the Templars and would 'bes took our rhymes in vain, in the course of the 'controversy. Which had the greater show of hands, 'I neither know nor care; but I feel the coupling of 'the names as a compliment,-though I think Scott 'deserves better company.'
'W. W. called-Lord Erskine, Lord Holland, &c. ' &c. Wrote to ** the Corsair report. She says 'she don't wonder, since "Conrad is so like." It is
odd that one, who knows me so thoroughly, should 'tell me this to my face. However, if she don't know, ' nobody can.
'Mackintosh is, it seems, the writer of the defensive letter in the Morning Chronicle. If so, it is very 'kind, and more than I did for myself.
'Told Murray to secure for me Bandello's Italian 'Novels at the sale to-morrow. To me they will be 'nuts. Redde a satire on myself, called "Anti-Byron,"
and told Murray to publish it if he liked.
object of the author is to prove me an Atheist and a 'systematic conspirator against law and government. Some of the verse is good; the prose I don't quite ' understand. He asserts that my "deleterious works" have had "an effect upon civil society, which requires, &c. &c. &c." and his own poetry. It is a 'lengthy poem, and a long preface, with a harmonious 'title-page. Like the fly in the fable, I seem to have 'got upon a wheel which makes much dust; but, unlike the said fly, I do not take it all for my own 'raising.
'A letter from Bella, which I answered. I shall 'be in love with her again, if I don't take care.
'I shall begin a more regular system of reading
Thursday, March 17th. 'I have been sparring with Jackson for exercise this 'morning; and mean to continue and renew my acquaintance with the muffles. My chest, and arms, ' and wind are in very good plight, and I am not in flesh. 'I used to be a hard hitter, and my arms are very long
for my height (5 feet 8 inches). At any rate, exer'cise is good, and this the severest of all; fencing ' and the broad-sword never fatigued me half so much.
'Redde the "Quarrels of Authors" (another sort of 'sparring)—a new work, by that most entertaining ' and researching writer, Israeli. They seem to be an 'irritable set, and I wish myself well out of it. "I'll 'not march through Coventry with them, that's flat." What the devil had I to do with scribbling? It is 'too late to inquire, and all regret is useless. But, 'an' it were to do again,-I should write again, I suppose. Such is human nature, at least my share ' of it;—though I shall think better of myself, if I
have sense to stop now. If I have a wife, and that wife has a son-by anybody-I will bring up mine heir in the most anti-poetical way-make him a lawyer, or a pirate, or-anything. But, if he writes too, I shall be sure he is none of mine, and cut him 'off with a Bank token. Must write a letter-three 'o'clock.
'Sunday, March 20th.
'I intended to go to Lady Hardwicke's, but won't. 'I always begin the day with a bias towards going to 'parties; but, as the evening advances, my stimulus 'fails, and I hardly ever go out-and, when I do, always regret it. This might have been a pleasant one;-at least, the hostess is a very superior woman. 'Lady Lansdowne's to-morrow-Lady Heathcote's, Wednesday. Um !-I must spur myself into going to some of them, or it will look like rudeness, and it is better to do as other people do-confound them! 'Redde Machiavel, parts of Chardin, and Sismondi, and Bandello-by starts. Redde the Edinburgh, 44, just come out. In the beginning of the article on "Edgeworth's Patronage," I have gotten a high 'compliment, I perceive. Whether this is creditable 'to me, I know not; but it does honour to the editor, 'because he once abused me. Many a man will re'tract praise; none but a high-spirited mind will ' revoke its censure, or can praise the man it has once ' attacked. I have often, since my return to England, 'heard Jeffrey most highly commended by those who 'know him for things independent of his talents. I 'admire him for this-not because he has praised me
(I have been so praised elsewhere and abused, alter'nately, that mere habit has rendered me as indifferent I to both as a man at twenty-six can be to anything),
'but because he is, perhaps, the only man who, under 'the relations in which he and I stand, or stood, with regard to each other, would have had the liberality to act thus; none but a great soul dared hazard it. 'The height on which he stands has not made him giddy a little scribbler would have gone on cavilling to the end of the chapter. As to the justice of 'his panegyric, that is matter of taste. There are plenty to question it, and glad, too, of the opportunity.
'Lord Erskine called to-day. He means to carry 'down his reflections on the war-or rather wars-to 'the present day. I trust that he will. Must send to Mr. Murray to get the binding of my copy of his pamphlet finished, as Lord E. has promised me to 'correct it, and add some marginal notes to it. Anything in his handwriting will be a treasure, which 'will gather compound interest from years. Erskine
has high expectations of Mackintosh's promised History. Undoubtedly it must be a classic, when ' finished.
'Sparred with Jackson again yesterday morning, ' and shall to-morrow. I feel all the better for it, in spirits, though my arms and shoulders are very stiff 'from it. Mem. to attend the pugilistic dinnerMarquess Huntley is in the chair.
'Lord Erskine thinks that ministers must be in peril ' of going out. So much the better for him. To me ( it is the same who are in or out; we want some'thing more than a change of ministers, and some day 'we will have it.
I remember*, in riding from Chrisso to Castri
* Part of this passage has been already extracted, but I have allowed it to remain here in its original position, on account of the singularly sudden manner in which it is introduced.