Dragonfly

POH Transcripts - 1850

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Tuesday. Jan. 1. 1850.__New Year’s Day!  This morning my mother was going to make a custard.  She turned it over to me to try my hand at something new to me, observing, however, “That it required experience to know the exact moment when to take it off the fire.”  She was right.  I let it stay a few seconds too long, and turned it to a curd.

Mem. - it eats very nice, nevertheless.

Friday. Jan. 4.__ The Joneses from Uffculme surprised us by an unexpected visit.  They came into Exeter to dine with the Folletts – brother of the late Sir William.

Sat. Jan. 9. 1850.__At last an agreeable change in the weather.  For the last fortnight we have had a cutting easterly wind, and the country has been bound up in ice.  Fine weather for skaters and Esquimaux, perhaps, but I prefer something more genial.  I have been keeping the fire warm, and reading.  I have gone through the “Perambulation of Dartmoor,” by the Revd. Mr. Rowe, of Crediton, which has made me long to be touring in that wild region.  Also the “Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society,” in which there are several very interesting papers.  Also Cottle’s Bristol Life of S.J. Coleridge, &c. &c.

A Letter of mine, respecting the “Farming Interest,” and signed Jan Chawbacon, written in the Devonshire dialect, is printed in Woolmer’s Gazette to-day.

Tuesday. Jan. 22.__Made out the pedigree of “Duke of Otterton,” compressed into the size of the pages of the Gentleman’s Magazine.  Owing to my tedious illness my article on “The Dukes of Otterton,”  has been more than six months in hand.

Thursday. Jan. 24.__Made out the pedigree of “Yonge of Puslinch.”

Sat. Jan. 26.__ And the pedigree of “Upton of Upton.”

Friday. February 1. 1850.__ Got up for breakfast – the first time for the last three months.

Laid an etching ground to engrave the brasses in the Otterton church to the memory of the Dukes.

Sat. Feb. 2._  Traced the subject of one of the brasses (to Sarah) on the etching ground in white chalk.

“Moderation” is in Woolmer.

Monday. Feb. 4.__Used the etching needle on the plate, representing the brass in Otterton to the memory of “Sarah, praeclarissima uxor Roberti Duke.”  After my illness, however, I find my hand very shakey and unsteady.  Worked at it for two hours.

Parliament opened last Thursday.  The Queen was not in London, but the speech was read by commission.

Tuesday. Feb. 5.__Etched 2 hours, and the 2 yesterday = 4.

Wed. Feb. 6.__Etched 2½ hours, & the 4 before = 6½, and finished the plate.

Friday. Feb. 8.__Put nitric acid on the plate: - proposition, one part acid to two of water.  It was only on half an hour, but bit very vigorously.   Stopped out what was corroded enough, to wit, the crests, mantling, outer border, & figures.

Sat. Feb. 9.__Put on the acid again.  On 20 minutes; and the former 30, together = 50.  Cleared off the plate, and thickened the letters, &c., with the graver.  Took two impressions.

Sunday. Feb. 10.__Finished reading the New Testament right though.  I never read it regularly through before.   Truly this is the Book of Books.

Monday. Feb. 11.__Laid the ground, and prepared to etch the fellow brass to the former, being to the memory of Richard Duke.  Worked at it for 4 hours.

Tuesday. Feb. 12.__At it an hour and a half and completed it.  This, with the 4 yesterday, = 5½.  Put on the acid.  It was on 3¾ hours, and this to produce only the same effect as was produced on the other plate in ½ an hour.  Such is the uncertainty of “biting in.”  The acid was out of the same bottle, and the proportion of water the same.   But this must probably be accounted for from the fact that the weather was much colder to-day than last Friday.

Thursday. Feb. 14.__Put the acid on the second time.  The weather is milder, and 20 minutes produced the required intensity.  Cleaned the plate, and printed some impressions.

Monday. Feb. 18.__Went over to the workshop of Mr. Parrot, carpenter, opposite Bouverie Place, and worked three hours, filing the two plates down to the margin of the work, soldering tacks by their heads to their backs, and mounting them on wooden blocks the height of the type.

Thursday. Feb. 21. __At last, after many delays owing to my illness, my article on “The Dukes of Otterton,” which has been some six months in hand, is finally completed.  Made it into a parcel, with the blocks and engravings, and sent it to Mr. J.G. Nichols, 25 Parliament Street, London.  Perhaps he wont print it.

Friday. Feb. 22.__Heard of the Burnleys’ safe arrival in S. Australia.  They sailed from Plymouth on the 18th of last August, and arrived at Port Adelaide on the 4th of November, having made the voyage in 78 days.  This is the shortest passage on record, the average run being from 100 to 120 days.  It is now done in 34 days – 1892.

Sat. Feb. 23.__My quatrain on “Love” is in Woolmer.

Finished engraving my new card plate for visiting.  It is done to imitate my hand writing.  I have seen cards in this style which had a tolerably good effect.  The acid as before – two to one.  On the plate two hours and a half.  Sent the plate to Mr. Owen Angel of Fore Street, Exeter, for some proofs.

Monday. Feb. 25.__The proofs won’t do.  The acid was on too long, and the letters are blotty.  Never mind.  Try again.

Tuesday. Feb. 26.__Laid a ground on another plate.  Etched, and then finished with the graver, another autograph.

Wed. Feb. 27.__The papers mention that on last Valentine’s Day in London 22.000 letters above the daily average were delivered; and the whole amount delivered that day was 102.800.

They also mention that Great Britain has 6.000.000 of square miles of colonial territory belonging to her.  Also, that in New South Wales, in 1848, 286.322 sheep, and 33.642 head of horned cattle were boiled down for the tallow.  Also, that the number of letters delivered last year in Great Britain & Ireland amounted to 337.500.000.

Thursday. Feb. 28.__Am not pleased with the impressions of my second attempt at engraving my cardplate.  Don’t care – I’ll try a third.

Friday. March 1. 1850.__Laid the ground, traced, etched, cleaned off, and went over with the graver, another plate.  The acid on 1½ hour:  proportion, 1 nitric acid, to 2 parts water.  The whole process took me 4 hours.  Also, with the same acid, etched my name, and the year 1845 (when I bought it) on my steel “scraper,” used in engraving.  The same strength of acid bit much more vigorously on the steel, as compared with the copper.

Sunday. Mar. 3.__Read the first 40 chapters of Genesis.

Monday. Mar. 4.__In Woolmer of last Saturday is my notice of the arrival of the Burnleys in Australia, and my quatrain on “Hate.”

It is mentioned that there were 564 “Trees of Liberty” in Paris, for there was a great planting of trees by the republicans when they turned out Louis Philippe.  So many trees, however, were found to obstruct the public thoroughfares, and Louis Napoleon, the President, ventures to sanction the removal of some of them.  In some instances the people resisted it.  They have all now been cut down but 37; and amongst them was one planted in 1793.

Thursday. Mar. 7.__Resumed needlework.  Bound my Workbag with a red and black silk cord.

Wed. Mar. 13.__ Went out to Liverydole to see the new Almshouses.  They form a fine row of buildings.  The old chapel, or red Heavitree stone, still remains, but will probably come down soon.  I enquired the spot where the stake was found to which Bennet was supposed to have been chained, when he was burnt here three hundred and eighteen years ago.  The place pointed out is immediately within the doorstep of the small wing attached to the east end of the range of buildings.  The man described the stake as being about the size of one’s leg – that an iron ring was driven on to its top, to prevent its splitting – and into this top end, so fortified, an iron spike with a loop or eye at one extremity, was driven home, leaving only the eye out, and that this was secured by a pin going through it and the stake too.  When the old Almshouses were cleared away last year, and this relic was turned up, there was much talk in the neighbourhood concerning the finding of “Bennet’s Stake.”  In order to preserve it from destruction, Lady Rolle had it carried to Bicton.

Thursday. Mar. 14.__Went to Heavitree churchyard  - where I have not been for three years.  The new church is certainly handsome; and it is to be hoped they will soon raise the required funds to build the new tower.  Had a look at the Hutchinson monuments in the northwest corner.  They are much out of order.  Uncle Tom’s is leaning on one side, and almost out of the ground; and Uncle William’s tombstone is cracked in half.

Sat.  Mar. 16.__The long pending case of “Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter” has been terminated by the decision of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council, which pronounced judgment last Friday.  It reversed the decision of Sir H.J. Fust, in the Arches Court, which was in favour of the Bishop – the present being against him.

Engraved the Hutchinson crest on the tea-caddy silver tea spoon.  Rather bungling, though a first attempt in this style.

The Bishop refused to institute the Rev. Mr. Gorham to the living of Brampford Speke, near Exeter, because he held opinions contrary to what the Bishop held to be orthodox.  It was on the subject of Baptismal regeneration.  “The doctrine held by Mr. Gorham,” said Lord Longdale, the Master of the Rolls, when reading the Judgment, “appears to us to be this – that baptism is a sacrament generally necessary to salvation, but that the grace of regeneration does not so necessarily accompany the act of baptism that regeneration invariably takes place in baptism; that the grace may be granted before, in, or after baptism; that baptism is an effectual sign of grace, by which God works invisibly in us, but only in such as worthily receive it – in them alone it has a wholesome effect; and that, without reference to the qualification of the recipient, it is not in itself an effectual sign of grace.  That infants baptised, and dying before actual sin, are certainly saved; but that in no case is regeneration in baptism unconditional.”

Mr. Gorham, therefore, restricts the spiritual efficacy of baptism to those only who “worthily receive it,” and that baptismal regeneration is not unconditional.  This the Bishop thought to be contrary to the doctrine of the Church.  But the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which is not composed of ecclesiastics, and I believe may be composed of heretics and infidels, has thought otherwise.  Let’s see the end.

Exeter. Mar. 1850.  London.

Thursday. Mar. 21. __Our tenant, the Revd. C. Webber, at Sidmouth, having died, his widow has determined to go, though they engaged the house till the 7th of next May.  To-day she sent the halves of three £5-notes, the rent till the 7th of May now being £15; and intends to leave to-morrow.

Friday. Mar. 22.__Mrs. Webber left the house at Sidmouth this morning, and Bingham went down in the afternoon; mother and self remaining here for a few days.

Sunday. Mar. 24.__The splendid weather has changed to severe.  During the greater part of March we have had a clear sky and a hot sun.  The wind has been so gentle as scarcely to be felt.  To-day a strong north-wester  with a succession of snow storms.

Monday. Mar. 25.__Weather clearer and finer again;  but cold.

Tuesday. Mar. 26.__Mother and self drove into Exeter, from Mount Radford, to shop.

Thursday. Mar. 28.__Started for Middlesex, and mother for Sidmouth.  Was rather more than four hours and a half on the rail.  There were traces of much snow on the ground all the way between Bridgwater and the Oxford junction: but none beyond that to London.  As we passed Slough we saw Windsor Castle, and the royal standard flying in the turret of the Round Tower – the Queen being there at present.  Took a cab at Paddington and drove to Hampstead – a high and dry, and I imagine, healthy place.  Ensconced myself immediately in a lodging in Heath Street.

Hampstead, Middlesex. Mar. & Ap. 1850.

Friday. Mar. 27.__ Good Friday.  The day being fine, though cold with an easterly wind, multitudes of Londoners came out to enjoy the fresh air on the Heath.

Sunday. Mar. 31.__Read the Bible an hour or two.  Read the prayer book.  Took a walk on Hampstead Heath.  It is really a beautiful place.  So many ups and downs, that it may be compared to human life, but with this important difference – that the “downs” are not reverses.  There are so many hills and dales – so many trees – so much grass and broom and heather and furze, that the scenery has the romantic appearance of some wild part of a nobleman’s park.  Perhaps the proximity of this Heath to such a place as London, may contribute to render the aspect of it more rural and striking – from the very contrast.

Monday. April 1. 1850.__Finished reading “Dunallan” by Grace Kennedy.  It is a kind of religious novel, tolerably well written, but heavy in many parts, and meager in the dialogues.  The best style occurs in Lord Dunallan’s letter to his wife, written when he was going abroad on his mission.  In this the language is good, & the style above most of the other parts.  This letter is only about 80 or 90 pages long!

Wednesday. Ap.3.__Began embroidering Coat of Arms in my workbag.

Thursday. Ap. 11.__Been at Hampstead a fortnight.  All the days have passed alike, each day generally finding me at some hour or other enjoying the fresh air on the Heath.  The summer is the “season” here.  Plenty of visitors will arrive when the weather gets warmer.  Now I am living alone, I find on calculation, that I consume one pound of bread a day, or there about.  The understood allowance for an adult, is three half quarterns, or three two-pound loaves a week; so that I eat my quantum.  But I don’t consume above a pound, or a pound and a half of meat a week, finding that a vegetable diet, or mostly so, agrees with me best.  Thus, bread is my “staff of life.”

Tuesday. Ap. 16.__Such weather!  Blowing hard from the south-west,  cold and boisterous, and lots of rain.  We must expect this until May.

Thursday. Ap. 18.__Such weather!  A clear, bright, sun shiny day, as beautiful as may be imagined.

Finished reading “Kathleen: or the Secret Marriage.”  This work was evidently written by a person who had had no education, and who apparently lived among the perlieus of the low London Theatres.  The style is common-place, the language unclear, the tautology frequent, and the grammar bad.  During the first half the writer harps over and over again upon the same topics and the same scenes, and I was getting so tired of it that I was going to throw the book away; but having nothing else at hand to amuse myself with, I went on.  The scene is, however, transferred from Scotland to Ireland; and immediately the action is improved and variety introduced.  Plots and counterplots thicken; and the incidents are interesting.  Perhaps the incidents are even too many, for some confusion entangles the winding-up.  The miserable illustrations are quite theatrical in their style.

Friday. Ap. 19.__Read Goldsmith’s “Traveller.”  No poet could build his fame upon this.  It is a plain, descriptive poem, but nothing more.  Read also his “Deserted Village.”  This is better; but it is full of too much false philosophy about rich people and great people being tyrants, &c.  Because a rich man comes to the vicinity of a country village, and erects a mansion, and encloses a park, and lives sumptuously, the surrounding district becomes impoverished, the peasantry dwindle, and every thing becomes wretched.  I should rather have thought that a rich man coming to such a place, and necessarily spending a great deal of money in the neighbourhood, would have improved the condition of the population around, and promoted comfort.  But poetry is not prose; and perhaps it sounds mighty fine in iambics to hurl denunciations at the great.  I don’t know how the little would get on if it were not for the great.

Sunday. Ap. 21.__Read 59 chapters in the Bible.  Last Sunday I read 63.  They were these:

The last 14 in Deuteronomy                            14

Joshua                                                 24

Judges                                                 21

In the New Testament                                    4

63

 

To-day they were these:-

Ruth                                                      4

First Book of Samuel                          31

Second Ditto                                       24

59

 

Monday. Ap. 22.__Read several of the poems of Thomas Gray, who died 1771.  His “Elegy, written in a Country Churchyard” is certainly good, and is justly admired.  The “Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College” is passable enough; but I think better of “The Bard.”  There are some fine lines here, and forcible language.

There are a number of little phrases which run current in our language, and which we hear daily in conversation.  These contain either wise saws or self-evident truths, or something of that sort; and from their general use we find them perpetually in everybody’s mouth.  They are for the most part culled out of the pages of our most approved writers.  But from hearing them so often, and learning them

Hampstead, near London. 1850

from hearsay, and not by reading them in the works of those who wrote them, it is often difficult to say who are their real authors.  “Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise.”  This is one of those sentences which one is always hearing quoted.  I have myself heard it scores of times, and perhaps used it as many; but if any person had asked me who wrote those words, most likely I should have said Shakspere, for he has given more pithy statements to our language than anyone else.  However, I see that they occur at the end of Gray’s “Ode on a distance prospect of Eton College.  “The short and simple annals of the poor,” is a line frequently quoted:  it occurs in the “Elegy.”  And “the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,” which is found in the next stanza but one.  Again: -

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

These lines are often quoted by persons who do not know where to find them.  They occur in the “Elegy.”  “The noiseless tenor of their way,” is in the same; but it is usually quoted “the even tenor of their way.”  “Ruin sieze thee ruthless king” and “weave the warp and weave the woof” are found in “The Bard.”   These lines are noted as examples of alliteration.  Whilst on this subject I will go to the Latin.  Here is a verse well known: -

“Incidit in Syllam, cupiens vitare Charibdim.”

I was once asked (it was by Sir George Gibbes, at Sidmouth) where these words were to be found, and I confidently answered “in Virgil’s Aeneid” – not that I remembered them, as occurring there, but only because I thought it likely.  But I was wrong: and the truth is I believe their author is not known.  Sir George laughed, for I answered just as he had expected.  He told me he had often been amused at the confidence with which they had been given to Virgil when he had put the question to others.  He said he suspected their author was not to be assigned to the Augustan age, but that they were probably written in the middle ages, several centuries after Virgil’s time.  Perhaps, indeed they are not above four or five hundred years old

Hampstead.  April 1850

Thursday, Ap.25. __This morning about ten o’clock an open carriage and four, containing some of the Queen’s children, attended by two ladies (probably Lady Lyttleton and the nurse) went by my windows.  They were going to take an airing on Hampstead Heath.  On returning, they walked the horses down the street, and dragged the wheel at the steepest part.  There were four children – the eldest, I presume the Princess Royal.  They are rather fat, with round faces, and not striking for personal appearance.  I had not seen them before.  There was one outrider in a plain black coat, & black cockade in his hat.  The postillions were in black coats too, quite plain.  The two footmen, in the hind dickey, had on drab great coats, for the wind and cold, though the morning was fine.  I am told they often drive this way.

Friday, Ap.26.__So the Pope has at last returned to Rome.  He entered the city and repaired to the Vatican on the 12th Instant.  I believe he brought his fall and his exile entirely upon himself; and if he has gained by his experience, he will govern with greater wisdom in time to come.

Wed. May 1, 1850.__The First of May, but as unlike a May Day morning, as anything I ever remember.  The wind is northeasterly – as it has been for the last fortnight – cold, cutting and cheerless; the sky overcast with heavy, lead-colour clouds, and rain is falling.

Th.May 2.__I am told that there was a thick white frost on the ground this morning.  So the Poet Laureat, William Wordsworth is gone.  He died last Tuesday, and I believe he was 80 years old.  He married a Miss Hutchinson.  I query who will be the next Laureat?  I should not be surprised if the office were to fall into disuetude.  Perhaps there is not a fitter person living than Alfred Tennyson for such an appointment.

Yesterday morning the Queen had another child.  This, I believe, is the seventh.  It is a prince, and was born at 17 minutes past eight in the morning.  The following bulletin was issued at ten o’clock.

“Buckingham Palace, Wednesday, May 1. Ten A.M. 1850

“The Queen was safely delivered of a prince at 17 minutes after eight o’clock this morning.  Her Majesty and the infant prince are well.

“James Clark M.D.

“Charles Locock M.D.

“Robert Ferguson M.D.”

Report says that it will be christened Arthur, after the Duke of Wellington who is 81 years old yesterday.

Monday. May 6.__Terrific weather.  Wind north-east – miserably cold.  Blowing and raining like fury.

Received a letter informing me that cousin the Rev. John Hutchinson of Hansford, Staffordshire, is made Canon and Precentor of Lichfield Cathedral.

Thursday. May 9.__Some of the Queen’s children, in an open carriage and four, as on the 25th of April, have just passed again.  The weather has cleared off this morning, but the air is very cold.  There were three children, two girls and a boy, the eldest looking not much above six years old.  The boy had on a cloth overcoat and a Scotch skull cap, with the strings behind – not the pancake-shaped “bonnet o’ blue”.

Friday. May 10. __Again this morning the royal carriage has driven through Hampstead for the Heath, and returned again after being there half an hour.  It is a nice place for an airing.  There were two girls in it to-day, and one lady – probably Mrs. Lilly, the nurse.

Saw the first swallows of the season to-day, although it is very unsummerlike weather.  There were several skimming about over the western slope of Hampstead Heath.  Last year I saw the first on the fourth.

Hampstead. May 1850.

Sunday. May 12. __The new moon of last night has made a favourable change in the weather.  Walked this afternoon to the pretty village of Westend, a mile west of Hampstead church.  It consists of a green, a pond of water, and a few houses.  It is a rural and a picturesque spot.  The fine weather brought a swarm of smokey Londoners up to the Heath to breathe a little fresh air.

Monday. May 13. __ This morning again, soon after ten o’clock, the Queen’s children were taken up to the Heath.  There were three girls to-day in the carriage, and a lady with them.

The Bishop of London held a confirmation to-day at Hampstead, and the place was all in a bustle.

Tuesday. May 14. __ To-day a man committed suicide by jumping off the Duke of York’s Column at Carlton House Terrace.  He was a French musician, earning a good salary in the orchestra of one of our theatres.  This is the first time that such an act has been committed at this column.  Some years ago there was a great rage for jumping off the Monument – so much so that they were obliged to rail it in like a birdcage.  If the Duke of York’s Column becomes a favorite resort for self-destroyers, they will have to rail that in too.  I was once up this column, I think in the autumn of 1836, just before I went to America.  It was then quite new.  It is curious that the shaft of this column looks larger in the middle than at the ends.  This is especially striking when it is looked at from Regent Street.  It is not so in reality – it is only an optical illusion.  In fact, it looks fat in the middle.  I was up on the Monument on Fish Street Hill about the same time: and I have also been up it since it was railed in.  The fee for ascending each is sixpence.   I have heard my father say that one day when he and his elder brother Thomas were up the Monument when they were young men, that they began pulling pieces of paper out of their pockets and letting them fly, just for the fun of watching their progress over the roofs of the houses.  In doing this, Uncle Tom, without being aware of it, drew out a bank note with some old letters.  The note fell down upon the platform of the column on which they were standing, and the wind was carrying it towards the edge.  My father saw it and, jumping forward, put his foot on it just as it was going between the railings.  They then stooped down and saved it.  A moment later and it would have sailed over the houses.

Saturday. May 18.__Finished my workbag, bearing the inscription “Peter Orlando Hutchinson” on one side, and “His Work-Bag 1849” on the other.

Sunday. May 19. __ Finished reading the Old Testament.  This is the first time I ever read it regularly straight through without hiatus or interruption.  But it is the right way in order to get a comprehensive view of the whole, historically and chronologically considered.  But I regret that the history ends with the seventy years captivity.  From the time of Cyrus, when the captivity ended, to the coming of Christ, a space of 500 years, we have a total blank.  Do the Jews attempt to supply this deficiency by the Talmud, or by tradition?  I never saw the Talmud.  Now for the New Testament.

Monday. May 20. __ Whit Monday, or Whitsun Monday, as it is often called.  A fine day, but a cool easterly wind.  Went down the path-fields towards St. John’s Wood.  Whole streets of houses are everywhere springing up out of the ground like mushrooms.  London will cover all Middlesex soon.

Tuesday. May 21. __ The most summer-like day we have had.  Went to the western slope of the Heath, and sat down to enjoy the hot sun and the view.  Discovered Windsor Castle with my two-lense telescope, though the horizon was hazy.  I had heard that Windsor Castle was visible from Hampstead Heath.  The smoke of several towns is discernible in this direction, and the spire of Harrow Church rises conspicuously in the middle distance from the top of the hill on which it stands.

Hampstead, Middlesex. May 1850.

Friday. May 24.__The Queen’s birthday.  I think her Majesty is 31.  Her birthday, however, was “kept” nearly a fortnight ago, on the 13th.

Went to the pretty village or hamlet of Northend.   Then went to the west side of the Heath, where I sat down and commenced operations.  I had come with heavy pockets charged with an ample luncheon.  This I discussed, and enjoyed a rural meal.

Monday. May 27. __ Finished reading “Legends of the Isles, and other poems,” by Charles Mackay, 1845.  I like the Legends best, as I know something of the Western Isles of Scotland.  The poetry, however, is mediocre, though much of it is pleasing.    But there are no words or metaphors therein, such as will burn the pages of the volume to cinders.  This is what I would meet with.

Tuesday. May 28. __ The Emperor of China, Tau Kwang, died on the 5th of February, in the 69th year of his age, and the 30th of his reign.  He is succeeded by Sze-hing, his fourth, and only surviving son, aged only 19.

On the 22nd Instant, at Berlin, a man tried to kill the King of Prussia.  He fired a pistol nearly within arm’s length of the king’s breast.   The king, by a sudden impulse, stepped aside, and the ball took effect, by wounding him in the right arm.  I believe the man’s name is Lefeloge.  He is taken.

June 1.1850.__Splendid weather at last.  For ten days the weather has been delightful, but up to that point it was a prolongation of winter.

Sunday. June 2. 1850.__Finished reading the Bible straight through, both the Old and New Testaments, without interruption.  I have never gone through it regularly before.  It is, indeed, an extraordinary and most interesting volume, both as a history and as a revelation.  The following epitome I jotted down as I went on:

 

Genesis, which contains Li chapters, comprises a narrative extending from the creation to the to the death of Joseph – a space of about 2280 years.

Exodus, of Xli chapters, commences at Joseph’s death .  It is here related how the Israelites left Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, pitched at the foot of Sinai, and made the tabernacle.  Seventy-five persons arrived in Egypt, and in the space of about 400 years, they had increased to 3.000.000: - at least, I make them three millions according to the following calculation   We are told that 600.000 men, besides women and children, departed out of Egypt.  If, then, we take the 600.000 grown men, and add to them as many women for their wives, we shall have 1.200.000 men and women.  If we say three children to each father and mother, this is surely a low average.  By this estimate we have 1.800.000 children, and these added to 1.800.000, the number of their parents, the total is exactly 3.000.000 souls.

Leviticus has XXVII chapters, and is almost entirely made up of new laws, and ordinances, delivered from the mountain.

Numbers, XXXVI chapters.  The people are numbered, and divided into different tribes and orders.  The number of men, of 20 years old and upwards was 603.550 [I.46.]  The tribe of Levi was numbered subsequently, and the males above a month old amounted to 7.500. [III.22.] The sons of Aaron are appointed to the priest’s office, and the tribe of Levi to the service of the tabernacle.  The people murmur for flesh; and quails are sent them, which lie two cubits deep on the ground.  They leave Sinai.

Deuteronomy. In the XXXIV chapters various laws are enjoined.  They approach the promised land.  Moses sees it from Mount Nebo and dies.  He finished writing these five Books only a short time before he died.  The two kings Sihon and Og, whose territories lay on the east side of Jordan, are destroyed, and the tribes of Reuban and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, are located thereon.  During the forty years that the children of Israel were in the wilderness, neither their clothes nor their shoes wore out.  Only Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, were permitted to enter the promised land, of all who were numbered.  See Num. XIV. 29 & sec.

The Book of Joshua contains XXIV chapters.  Moses is succeeded by Joshua, who leads the people over Jordan.  Manna ceased.  The land is gradually subdued, and the original inhabitants, descended from Ham, are destroyed, except some Jew who become servants and bondmen to the conquerors.  The names of the tribes subdued were the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.  The Jebusites inhabited the site of Jerusalem and its neighbourhood, and were not entirely exterminated till David’s time, when that king took their city and made it his residence.  The bones of Joseph, brought out of Egypt, are buried.  Joshua dies, aged 110.

Judges has XXI chapters.  The Israelites continue to subdue the country.  They are governed by Judges – Othniel, Deborah, the Prophetess, Tola, Jaer, Jephtha, &c.  The deeds of Samson narrated.

Ruth occupies but IV chapters.  The story of the Book is this:  There was a famine in the land.  Elimelech, with Naomi his wife, and his two sons, remove from Beth-lehem-Judah to the Land of Moab, where the famine did not rage.  The father dies there, and the sons, having married Moabitish women, die there also.  The mother, Naomi, then proposes to return to Judah, and Ruth, one of her daughters- in-law, all being widows, determines to leave her country, and go with her.  She gleans in the cornfields of Boaz, a lineal descendant of Abraham.  Boaz finally marries her, and David is descended from them.

First Book of Samuel, XXXI chapters.  Samuel is dedicated to God’s service.  The Israelites fight with the Philistines.  The Israelites capture the Ark, which was made at the foot of Mount Sinai.  Eli, hearing of it, falls back and breaks his neck.  The Israelites desire to have a King to rule over them.  Samuel anoints Saul.  He subsequently anoints David.   Saul kills himself.

Second Book of Samuel, XXIV chapters.  David becomes King of Judah, and Ish-bosheth, a son of Saul, is made King of Israel.  Ish-bosheth is slain, and David is elected King over both divisions of the kingdom.  David drives the Jebusites out of Jerusalem, and builds his capital city on the site.

First Book of Kings, XXII chapters.  David dies and Solomon succeeds.  He builds the Temple, anno circa 1012 B.C.  He is succeeded by his son Rehoboam, whose oppressions cause the tribes to revolt from him, and elect kings of their own, thus dividing the kingdom into two – those of Israel and Judah.  Elijah and Elisha live at this time.

Second Book of Kings, XXIV chapters.  Elijah is taken up into heaven, and leaves his mantle to Elisha.  Here are related the acts and deeds of a series of kings, as well of Israel as of Judah.  The shadow goes back 10 degrees on the dial of Ahaz.  Hilkiah finds the Book of the Law (the Pentateuch) in the Temple.  Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, takes Jerusalem, and leads the Jews into captivity.

Chronicles, chapters XXIV and XXXVI.  The two Books of the Chronicles contain the same historical events as the two Books of Kings.  The first begins with numerous genealogies.  David’s death occurs at the end of the first Book, & Solomon’s accession at the beginning of the second.  Then we have the assault and capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, as before, and an account of the carrying away the Jew into captivity.

Ezra, X chapters.  Cyrus, king of Persia, who lived 526 years B.C., in the first year of his reign issues a proclamation, in which it is ordered that the golden vessels and other spoils of the Temple, carried away by Nebuchadnezzar and his captains, shall be restored; and that the Temple shall be rebuilt, together with the walls of Jerusalem.  Ezra, the priest, one of the captive Jews in Assyria, is sent to Jerusalem on this occasion.

Nehemiah, XIII chapters.  Artaxerxes, the king, sends Nehemiah, his cup bearer, one of the captive Jews, to Jerusalem, with authority to forward the work, and many of his countrymen return with him.

Esther has X chapters.  Esther, and her uncle Mordecai, are among the Jewish captives in Assyria.  On the occasion of a great feast, Ahasueras, the king of Persia, the worse for wine, sends for his wife Vashti, whose beauty was far-famed, that he might shew her to his assembled guests and nobles.  Vashti declines to come.  Ahasueras, angry at this refusal, puts her away, and selects Esther, whom he makes his queen in Vashti’s stead.  Mordecai is advanced; and Esther’s influence gets the oppression suffered by her countrymen much lightened.  [In the modern town of Hamadan, in Irak, there is a mosque, said to be built over the tombs of Esther & Mordecai.]

The Book of Job, XLII chapters.  Of Job we know little, except that he was a rich and a pious man, dwelling in the Land of Uz.  His faith is first tried by the loss of his children, his flocks, herds, and other possessions.  Next, he is stricken with boils.  Three of his friends come to condole with him, and most of the chapters are filled with the dialogues that pass between him and them.  But Job’s constancy finds favour.  He is cured of his afflictions: and before he dies he is made twice as rich as he had been previously.

Psalms, CL. The psalms, being considered the work of David, perhaps might have been placed with advantage as near their author as possible.  With the Book of Nehemiah ends the historical part of the Old Testament, and after this might have followed the psalms.   Or they might have come after the Book of Esther, which is in some degree historical.  From the time of Nehemiah to the coming of Christ, a period of 500 years, we have no account.  The psalms, themselves, are not chronologically arranged – some that he had made before he was king being placed after some that he composed when he had been several years on the throne.  Prefixed to most of them are the words “A Psalm of David:” but to some are prefixed “A Psalm of Asaph.”

Proverbs, XXI chapters.  The works of the son come well after the works of the father.

Ecclesiastes, XII chapters.  This book, as well as the Proverbs, I believe was written by Solomon for the benefit of his son.

Song of Solomon, VIII chapters.  I scarcely know whether to like the style of the similitudes  here used by Solomon.  They are too fleshly.

Isaiah has LXVI chapters.  Isaiah prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Jeremiah, LII chapters.  Jeremiah began to prophesy about 70 years after Isaiah, namely in the reign of Josiah, the great-grandson of Hezekiah.  He lived till the time of Zedekiah, witnessing the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the deportation into captivity of the latter kings of Judah.

Lamentations of Jeremiah, V chapters.  These Lamentations were poured out by the prophet amid the ruins of his city, and on witnessing the afflictions borne by the people.

Ezekiel has XLVIII chapters.  This prophet was contemporary with Jeremiah, but whereas Jeremiah dwelt in Jerusalem, Ezekiel was among the captives in Assyria.  [His tomb is shewn in the modern town of Kefih, in Irak.]

Daniel, XII chapters.  Daniel was among the prisoners taken by Nebuchadnezzar from Jerusalem to Babylon, where his name was changed to Beltashazzar.  He lived in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar, kings of Babylon, and unto the third year of Cyrus.  He witnessed the capture of Babylon by Darius, king of Persia.  The chapters in Daniel are not arranged in a chronological order, to agree with the events mentioned.

Hosea, XIV chapters, prophesied during the reigns of the same kings of Judah as did Isaiah.  Hosea seems, also, to have dwelt in Jerusalem.

Joel, III chapters, apparently lived at Jerusalem.  We are not informed as to the exact period in which he lived.

Amos has IX chapters.  This prophet was cotemporary with Isaiah, and Hosea.  He prophesied at Bethel, in Israel.

Obadiah consists of but I chapter.  We are not told when he prophesied.

Jonah has IV chapters.  Jonah was sent to prophesy against Nineveh; but not liking his mission, he thought to escape, by taking ship at Joppa to flee to Tarshish.  During this voyage he is cast into the sea, and swallowed by a whale.  But he subsequently obeys the command, and goes to Nineveh.  It is not expressly said when he lived.

Micah, VII chapters.  Micah lived in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and was therefore cotemporary with Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos.  Perhaps it would have been as well if the prophesies of all those who lived at the same time, had been put near each other in the arrangement of the Bible, instead of separate.  Christ’s coming is foretold in the Vth chapter.

Nahum, III chapters.  Like Jonah, he prophesies against Nineveh.

Habakkuk, III chapters.  He foretells the destruction of the Chaldeans.

Jephaniah, III chapters.  He prophesies in the reign of Josiah, son of Amon, king of Judah.  He foretells the desolation of the Jews, and of the neighbouring nations.  He apparently lived at Jerusalem.

Haggai, II chapters.  Haggai prophesied in the second year of Darius.  He directed the people to the rebuilding of the Temple, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and lived about the time of Nehemiah.

Zechariah has XIV chapters.  He began, like Haggai, to prophesy in the second year of Darius.

Malachi, IV chapters.  His era is not mentioned.  All these prophets corroborate each other in their prophesies.  They agree in foretelling the destruction and dispersion of the Jewish people for their sins, and a restoration of a remnant of them at last.  Christ’s coming is frequently foretold.  Many other noted prophets lived in these times; but their prophecies were either not committed to writing, or they have not come down to us.  Sufficient, however, have been preserved for the purpose intended.

 

The New Testament

 

The Four Gospels are, in fact, four brief biographies of Christ, detailing both his acts and his doctrines.  They corroborate each other very satisfactorily.  The Gospels do not agree with each other in the chronological arrangement of the events narrated.  The Pedigree of our Saviour given by St. Matthew traces his descent through a different line of ancestors from the Pedigree given by St. Luke: and the numbers of the generations differ.  St. Matthew has 27 generations from David to Christ; and St. Luke has 42: and while St. Matthew gives 40 generations from Abraham to Christ, St. Luke gives 55, being 15 more.  St. Matthew only traces back to Abraham, but St. Luke goes back to Adam, where the number of generations from Adam to Christ is 75.

The Acts of the Apostles occupy XXVIII chapters.  They detail principally the labours and the wanderings of St. Paul.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, of XVI chapters, was addressed to them from Corinth.  His style is argumentative, syllogistic, and logical.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians, the First of XVI, and the Second of XIII chapters, were written from Philippi.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, of VI chapters, was written from Rome.  He accuses the foolish Galatians of having fallen away from the true faith.

St. Paul’s Ephesians, of VI chapters, was addressed to them from Rome.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, of IV chapters, was written at Rome.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, of IV chapters, was likewise written at Rome.

St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians, comprising V chapters, was from Athens.  In the IVth. chapter is a striking, though brief, account of the resurrection.

St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, of III chapters, is also from Athens.

St. Paul’s First Epistle to Timothy, who was created the first Bishop of Ephesus, containing VI chapters, was from Laodicea.

St. Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy, of IV chapters, was from Rome, when he was brought before Nero the second time.  St. Paul counsels him as a father advises his son.

St. Paul’s Epistle to Titus, ordained the first Bishop of the Cretians, containing III chapters, was written from Nicopolis.

St. Paul’s Epistle to Philemon, of only I chapter, was written from Rome.

St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, of XIII chapters, is interesting, as being addressed by a former Jew to the once chosen people, so soon after they had crucified the Messiah.  The style is logical and forcible.  It was from Italy.

The General Epistle of James, to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, contains V chapters.  In ch. V.v.16 occur the words, “Confess your faults one to another.”  It is said that on these words the Roman Catholics instituted the pernicious practice of auricular confession.  Thus can good advice be corrupted.

The First Epistle General of Peter, contains V chapters.  From his saying “The church that is at Babylon saluteth you,” we might infer that it was addressed from that city.

The Second Epistle General of Peter contains III chapters.

The First, Second, and Third Epistles of John containchapters V., I., & I. The style in these Epistles, and even many verbal expressions in the language, much resemble what we observe in the Gospel of St. John.

The General Epistle of Jude containsbut I chapter.

The Revelation of St. John the Divine has XXII chapters.  This Revelation was witnessed by St. John in the island of Patmos, one of the Cyclades.  At one period this island was used by the Romans as a place of banishment for their culprits.  The Revelation is a vision of things past, and to come – at once striking, mysterious, and sublime.

------------------------------------ • ------------------------------------

 


 

(June 1850-Sept 1851)

Wednesday. June 5. 1850 __Still splendid weather.  Out on the Heath again, enjoying the view, and basking in the sun.

Tuesday June 11. __Finished reading The History of Hampstead, Middlesex, written by J.J. Park, 8vo, 1818.  The first record of this place is in a charter of King Edgar, anno 978.  But I believe that Edgar died in 975, and it is suspected that this document is spurious, and that it was forged by the Monks of Westminster.  The manor belonged to the abbot of Westminster for many centuries, to the dissolution in Henry the Eighth’s time.  It then passed into lay hands.  The present Lord of the Manor, Sir Thomas Wilson, Baronet, got it by his father (I think his father) marrying an heiress.  The Watling Street passed, from London, over the Heath.  Some antiquaries contend that it passed along the Edgware Road; but surely this is too far west of old London.  That the present High Street of Hampstead occupies the line of an ancient road, I am convinced from appearances.  Moreover, appearances lead me to the conclusion that the old line, in ascending the hill, did not follow Heath Street, which is now the principal thoroughfare, but that it ran straight on up Holly Hill.  This last is more difficult of ascent, but I am convinced it is the original line.  They both again unite upon the summit, near the pond, and then the old road went on to Hendon and St. Albans.  It is well known that the ancient Britons did not study to make their roads so straight and so direct, as their conquerors the Romans did: and it is also well known that they lost no opportunity of carrying their roads over every elevated ridge of ground, if it was possible, in order to get a view of the country.  It is not likely that they would be insensible to the advantage of passing over a hill 400 feet high so near London, where the estuary of the Thames is visible, and where they could look over portions of eight counties.  Perhaps the present Edgware Road occupies the line of a Roman way; but I am inclined to think that the British Watling Street ran over Hampstead Heath.

Sunday, June 23. __ Splendid weather!  This afternoon went on the Heath to enjoy the view.  Hundreds of Cockneys had come out to bask in the sun and take tea on the grass.  There was a gentle air from the northeast which blew the smoke of London away, and I never before saw the city under such favourable circumstances.   All the eastern part, and as far west as the Strand, can be seen from Hampstead Heath; but the intervening trees shut out Westminster.  St. Paul’s rose majestically over everything; and looked set amongst a forest of spikes – to wit, church steeples.  The extreme distance was a little hazy, but the hills beyond Woolwich, and the houses dotted over them, were easily descried.  Amongst the maze of buildings, and a tinge of smoke, I could not discover either the Tower of London or Greenwich Hospital.  A good glass would probably do it; but I had only my two-lense telescope.  However, the estuary of the Thames, studded with vessels, was very plain.  Towards the west, I looked at Harrow, and the great Round Tower of Windsor Castle.

Friday, June 28. __The weather has been broiling hot for a week or ten days.  To-day somewhat cooler.

Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.  There was a review in Hyde Park.  I presume the Artillery were there; for the booming of great guns resounded over the Hampstead hills about one o’clock.

An infernal traitor, named Robert Pate, struck the Queen in her carriage yesterday evening.  The Queen, with three of her children and Lady Jocelyn, had gone in an open carriage to Cambridge House, Piccadilly, to enquire after the Duke of Cambridge, her uncle, who was unwell.  On coming out of the gate, about 20 minutes past six, a man stepped forward and struck the Queen on the hand with a cane or stick.  It flattened Her Majesty’s bonnet and made a mark on her face.  The miscreant was siezed and rather roughly handled by the indignant by-standers and was then taken by the police.  I wish I had been there; I would have made his pate ache for a month.  He is a retired Lieutenant of the 10th Hussars.

To-day Colonel Mackeson arrived from India by steamer in charge of the great diamond, the Koh-i-noor, or Mountain of Light.  This diamond, which, by conquest, has come into the possession of Great Britain, has been brought from Lahore.  It was found in the mines of Golconda in 1850.  It is the largest known diamond in the world, except, perhaps, the Brazil diamond of Portugal.  It originally weighed 800 carats, but has been cut down to 279.  The

Hampstead, July. 1850

man who cut it, instead of getting paid for his work, was fined 10.000 marks.   It is worth two millions sterling, and will be a good addition to the Queen’s jewelry.  The great Pitt diamond, sold to the Regent Orleans for the sum of £25.000, only weighs 130 carats: and the diamond in the sceptre of the Emperor of Russia weighs under 200.

Tuesday, July 2. 1850 __Sir Robert Peel died last night from injuries sustained by a fall from his horse.  Last Saturday evening he was riding up Constitution Hill, when his horse stumbled and threw him to the ground.  He was taken up insensible, and conveyed to his residence in Whitehall Gardens.  I think he was born in 1788, which makes him now 62.  This sad event has struck everyone with a great shock.  I only have seen Sir Robert Peel three times -  once in the House of Commons, once on horseback in Whitehall Gardens, and once in the Marquis of Northampton’s drawing-room.

Sat. July 6. __The “strawberry feast” at Lord Mansfield’s at Can Wood near Hampstead.  A great number of noblemen’s and gentlemen’s carriages past through Hampstead during the afternoon to go there and return.

Tuesday, July 9.__ The Duke of Cambridge, son of George III, died last night, at his residence in Piccadilly.  The following bulletin has been issued:-

“Cambridge House, July 8, 1850.

“18 o’clock, p.m.

“His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, after passing a tranquil day, expired somewhat suddenly, and without suffering, at 20 minutes before 10 o’clock.

“Francis Hawkins, M.D.

“Thomas Watson, M.D.

“Richard Bright, M.D.

“Robert Keate, ch.

“Henry Stanhope Illingworth, ch.

“Edward H. Hills, ch.”

The Duke was 76.  I have seen him frequently; and my profile sketch of him in my sketch book, No. 7, is a good likeness.  He was noted for talking loud, either in public, at a concert, for instance, or in a private room, and laughing to as to be heard above every other sound.  I have remarked this both in public places, and in Lord Northampton’s drawing-room, and thought that he was either crazy, or ought to have known better.

Wednesday, July 10.__ Last night I heard the bell of Hampstead Church, and I could hear some of the church bells in London, tolling for the Duke of Cambridge.  They tolled from midnight till one in the morning.

Thursday, July 11. __The royal carriage drove by through Hampstead with the princess Royal, the princess Alice, and a lady in waiting.  They were in black, on account of the death of their great-uncle.  They had on broad brim straw hats with silk or black crape with long ends round them.

Friday, July 12. __The National, and other schools in London, often send their children up for a day’s enjoyment on Hampstead Heath.  To-day no less than nine omnibuses or vans full of children passed through the town on their way up there to have a day’s amusement.  They were in their holiday clothes, and were carrying a multitude of little flags of various colours and devices – royal standards, union jacks, and others, apparently stamped on handkerchiefs.  In the evening, they returned; and a most vociferous cheering & noise they made as they went down the hill.

Yesterday, the scoundrel Robert Pate, who assaulted the Queen on the 27th ultimo, was sentenced to seven years transportation, in the Central Criminal Court, London.  His father was formerly a corn factor of Wisbeach, and has a considerable fortune.  The worn-out plea of unsound mind was attempted to be established by his friends in his excuse; but they could make nothing of it.

My mother is 72 to-day.

Hampstead, Middlesex. July. 1850

July 16, Tuesday. __The Duke of Cambridge was buried to-day, under Kew Church.  His son, now Duke of Cambridge, is unmarried; and perhaps his marriage has not been encouraged, as the public marriage of a prince, must tax either his parents or the country to a considerable amount, but I have heard that he has several children by Miss Fairbrother, an actress.

The pregnancy of the young Queen of Spain has caused much solicitude amongst her people for some months – her friends and the supporters of her government, anxious for some reasons, while her enemies and the rival candidates for her throne, anxious for others.  At last, on the 12th Instant, she gave birth to a prince – but it died soon after.  If all accounts are true, it would be easier to say who was the mother of that infant, than who was the father of it.

The inhabitants of the western side of London have been much opposed to having the grand Exposition of Art next year in Hyde Park: but the government has nevertheless decided that it shall be so.  In drawing up their Report, whilst discussing the subject of a site, the Commissioners mention the areas of the Parks round London.  I copy them:-

Regent’s Park............................................................. 403 acres

Hyde Park ..................................................................            387  -

Kensington Gardens ..................................................            290  -

Greenwich Park .........................................................            174  -

Victoria Park .............................................................160  -

St. James’s Park ........................................................   83  -

Green Park ................................................................   71  -

The long-talked-of Park in Battersea Fields is yet to be begun.  I have heard that it is in contemplation to make a new one on the north side of the Regent’s Park, taking in Primrose Hill.  I should like to see this done, for all the other parks near London are too flat.

Hampstead, July. 1850

Sunday, July 21. __After breakfast, read the Proverbs of Solomon.  Went out and had lunch.  Came back and read Ecclesiastes.  Took a walk down to Child’s Hill on the Heath.  Returned and had tea, and read the Song of Solomon, and XXV chapters of Isaiah.

Tuesday, July 23.__ Yesterday I read Goldsmith’s “Traveller,” and to-day his “Deserted Village.”  Goldsmith’s philosophy, as expressed in his “Deserted Village” is most mistaken, but in his dedication of the poem to Sir Joshua Reynolds, he does not expect that everyone will coincide with him in his opinions.   He is one of the old school, and thinks that there is nothing like the “good old times”, scarcely remembering that those times were times of ignorance and superstition and violence and oppression.  He thinks too, that the increase of civilization, refinement, and the growth of luxuries, productive of incalculable evils, even to the poor.  He should remember two things:- first, that the procurement of these luxuries for the wealthy employs and supports many hands who would otherwise beg bread; and secondly, that no luxuries, properly used, are hurtful to the consumers, for everything on earth was given us for a good purpose, and it is for us not to abuse God’s gifts.  He also cries out upon the baneful influence of wealth; but methinks he ought to ask himself who feed the hungry in times of scarcety? who come down with the most ample subscriptions if a fire burns twenty families out of their houses? who is it that support all the shops of a town, by purchasing the goods they contain? who employ masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, labourers, and all known artificers whatsoever?  Is it the rich do this or the poor?  And who bought his own books, and saved him from nearly starving – the rich or the poor?  I confess myself unable to comprehend the confined views of such reasoners.  But I think I have commented on Goldsmith’s philosophy before.

Hampstead, July & August. 1850.

Tuesday, July 30. _ Walked from Hampstead to Highgate through the fields in a line from the Well Walk to Highgate church – and a beautiful walk it is.  Hampstead has decidedly the advantage over Highgate in respect to view and variety and cheerfulness.  In the large field on the crown of the hill in this walk there is a large mound covered with old fir trees having much the appearance of a barrow or tumulus.  Some boys, whom I found there, told me it went by the name of “The Clump.”  From this point, in the direction towards Charing Cross, or there about, on an intervening hill, there appears to be another.  Perhaps some mighty warriors fell here within sight of London more than a thousand years ago, whilst repelling some invader who may have come up the Thames in his war galley.

Thursday, Aug.1.__Whenever I walk about Hampstead, the children greet me with “Please to remember the Grotto,” at the same time holding out an oyster shell to receive any halfpence I may give them, and pointing to their “grotto” built of shells heaped up in the form of a bee-hive, and hollow.  Of an evening these “grottos” are generally lit up with a candle.  I have had my pockets emptied of copper lately.  Formerly it used to be said that oysters were in season only when there was a letter r in the month – that is, beginning with September, and ending with April.  But when I was in London four or five years ago, the oyster season was held to commence on the 4th of August, which was the great day for “grottos.”  Now, however, I learn that they are caught all the year through, and that they are in season whenever you can get them.  I am not aware of the origin of this custom among the children in London and its vicinity.

Thursday, August 8.__Sent down Woolmer’s Gazette, as usual, to the Revd. Francis Jones, Master of Uffculme School, who married my cousin Marianne Roberton.  Cut out the lines beginning “it has been said when ladies run away”,&c., alluding to two elopements recently in Sidmouth, and inserted a quatrain referring to the opening of his school the other day for the winter half year.  As thus:-

“Come little boys my feast is ready now,

All in the schoolroom spread with so much pains;

For beef and pie I’ll give you books enow,

For sugar sticks I’ll give you sugar canes.”

Last Tuesday Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild made an attempt to take his seat in the House of Commons.  Some two years ago or more the infidels of London elected him; but as the form of the oath prevented his swearing by it, Lord John Russell, also member for London, and his colleagues, undertook to bring in a bill to alter the oath or to substitute another, so as to admit Jews.  This Lord John has done, but the bills have been either defeated in the Lords, or continually postponed in the Commons.   The Jew bill of this year has recently been withdrawn, owing to the late period in the session; so the Baron, getting impatient, was resolved to take a bold step.  He entered the House and went through the oaths until he came to the words “on the true faith of a Christian,” which has been the stumbling block.  On getting so far he stopped and said “I omit those words, as not binding on my conscience;”  and then, putting on his hat he concluded by saying

Hampstead, August. 1850

“So help me God.”  Several members contended he had a right to take his seat, but the Speaker requested him to withdraw – a mandate which he obeyed.  A warm discussion followed.  The affair has so far ended in the House pledging itself to bring in a bill and seriously consider the matter early next session.  People are now beginning to suspect that Lord John Russell has never been sincere after all, in his professions respecting this Jew, or his desire to bring him in.

Monday, Augt.12. __ So the “Gorham Controversy” has terminated, and the Rev. G.C.Gorham preached for the first time at Bramford Speke, near Exeter, yesterday.  He was inducted at the Court of Arches, I think last Tuesday, after the fiat of the Archbishop of Canterbury: so that he has fought his way into the diocese of Exeter, in spite of the opposition of the bishop of that diocese, and with nothing from him but opposition up to the last moment.  The bishop has even written a letter to the church wardens of Bramford Speke, warning them of their new pastor, and telling them to note down any heretical sentiments he may utter in his pulpit.  Mr. Gorham took possession of his living on Saturday.  He arrived at the church door, where the keys were given to him by the officiating curate, the Rev. Bircham Houchen.  Mr. Gorham entered the church, and tolled or rang one of the bells.  So the account runs.

After all, it is satisfactory to reflect that our eternal salvation is not involved in the question.  The bishop contends that in baptism regeneration is unconditional and certain; but Mr. Gorham insists that it is only conditional, and only efficacious in worthy recipients.  Whichever way it is decided, this truth remains – “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  Which is nearest to the kingdom of heaven?  a baptised person, who is a horrible profligate, or an unbaptised person who keeps the commandments and has a perfect heart?

Hampstead and Paddington. August 1850.

Th.Aug.15.__The Queen prorogues parliament in person to-day.

Wed.Aug. 21.__The Queen and Prince Albert go to Ostend to pay a short visit to the King of the Belgians.

Th.Aug.22.__Left Hampstead, and went to Cambridge Place, near the Paddington Station.  Oh, the bugs!  I have encountered bugs in London before, and I have encountered them still more in America, but I never encountered so many as I have here.  I was told in America that the bugs bred in the timber of the country, and it is vain to try and exterminate them from the houses, built as they mostly are of wood.  I am not aware how much truth there is in this.  All I know is, they swarm there.  I never heard of a way of getting rid of them.  Some drive them away by sprinkling the pillow with essential oil of lavender, or by putting some strong smelling herbs in the bed, the scent of which they do not like; but this is not destroying them.  It is merely dismissing them to go and multiply still more.  Instead of practising this principle of repulsion, the principle of attraction seems never to have been tried.  To destroy wasps and flies we decoy them with a bottle of syrup, in which they drown themselves; and to get rid of cockroaches, we either used similar means, or give them beetle wafer, which they readily devour, but which contains poison.  The question then arises – cannot we also attract bugs to their destruction?  The plan seems never to have been tried, simply I suppose because no one has discovered what they like.  If something could be discovered which would attract them more strongly than the victim lying in his bed could attract them, a grand discovery for the comfort and credit of London would be made.

Paddington, August,1850.

Monday, Aug.26.__Louis-Phillipe, ex-king of the French, died at 8 o’clock this morning, at Claremont, surrounded by his family, at the age of 76.  Strange vicissitudes of fortune he has seen!  An acknowledged Duke – then a disguised traveller in Norway – a Swiss schoolmaster – an American wanderer – a king – and lastly an exile!  I never had an opportunity of seeing him.  As one of his brothers, the late Duc de Montpensier, lies buried in Westminster Abbey, where there is a white marble recumbent figure to his memory, it was thought that the ex-king would be buried there too.  But it is said he is to be interred at Weybridge; and the following is the inscription on the coffin:-

“Louis Philippe,

Roi des Français,

Né à Paris, 6 Octobre 1773,

Mort à Claremont (Comté Surrey, Angleterre)

Le 26 Aôut, 1850.”

Tuesday.Aug.27.__The bugs were too strong for me.  To-day I left Cambridge Place, and removed to No.1. Stanley Street, a new street scarcely finished.

Wednesday, Aug.28.__Finished the last volume of an Historical Novel called – anything you please – Joanna and De Breos – Forbidden Love and its Guerdon – The Aber Tragedy – or anything else.  The two first volumes I wrote four or five years ago in London, and then threw the work aside.  Being alone during the past summer at Hampstead, I thought I might as well finish it, even if it is never published.  Aside – There is a good deal of writing in these volumes.  The manual labour is considerable, setting aside the head work.  If you don’t think so, just try.  If you do it in six months, it will be a good six months’ work.

To-day the electric telegraph wire was laid down across the Channel.

Hampstead, September. 1850.

Tuesday. Sep.24.­­__Went into London after breakfast to see a gentleman in Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, though I did not feel much up for the excursion, for I was bilious and qualmish and out of order.  I am afraid I take after my mother in this bodily frailty.  I entered a café to have some dinner; but I had not been there five minutes before the closeness of the room and the smell of hot meat turned my stomach before I was helped.  I found I could not stand it; so I put on my hat and hurried out for fear of worse consequences.  I recovered a little on getting into the fresh air; but I was still so uncomfortable, that I got back to Hampstead again, and could touch nothing till tea time.

Thursday. Sep.26.__A desperately rainy morning.  I had an appointment in London, otherwise I would have willingly shunned the journey: but appointments are pledges that cannot be receded from, - so I went.  It held up a little in the afternoon.  Mem: - I managed to discuss a good dinner to-day.

Sunday.Sep.29.__Finished reading to the end of Judges.  Took my last walk on Hampstead Heath.

Monday.Sep.30.__Was in London all day.

Tuesday.Oct.1.__Left Hampstead for Sidmouth.  Went down through Belsize Lane to the Paddington Station, and took the Express Train at 10 minutes before 10.  Had a pleasant journey to Exeter, in four hours and a half, or there about.  Picked up Henry and Sibella Jones at the Tiverton Road Station, they having been at Uffculme.  They were on their way to Sidmouth, so we got on the coach together.  Found Mother and Bingham well; and Sidmouth improved in buildings and shops since this time last year.

Sidmouth, Devon, Oct. 1850

Thursday. Oct. 10.__Spent the evening with Henry and Sibella Jones at No.7, York Terrace.

Friday.Oct.11.__Mr. H. Johnson took my portrait at Mr. Heineken’s with his apparatus, the one that Mr. H. Took with his yesterday not being satisfactory.

Sunday. Oct.13.__ Got letters from Fanny, at Shipton House (as they have named it.) on their land near Salisbury, South Australia.  This is their first letter to us dated from their young abode, she, Burnley, and John Lawrence, their man, being very busy getting it up, and in a habitable state.  They send me home £6.14., being one year’s rent of Section 18 at Alexandrina, Encounter Bay – and this is the first I have received.

Wednesday.Oct.16. __Mr. Kinnon and self planted several spruce firs at the end of The Terrace, and in the garden.

Monday.Oct.21.__Went up on Sidmouth church tower.  Measured the height on the west side.  From the door-stop to the top of the parapet it was 74 feet 6 inches, or there about.  Also took the inscriptions on the six bells.

Tuesday.Oct.22.__Went into Exeter by the Mail.  When we were within a mile and a half of Ottery, the horses ran away and we were turned over.  John Hook, marker at the Billiard Room, jumped off, and broke one of his legs very badly just above the ankle. We then ran on nearly a quarter of a mile, and were all pitched into a garden on the left side.  If we had been thrown against a house or a wall, our brains must have been dashed out on the spot.  I lighted on the hedge upon my back, and unhurt.  A woman, made a grasp at the luggage to save herself, but by mistake caught hold of the guard’s key bugle, and then flew over me.  Dr. Marsh’s groom had his green livery coat torn from the skirts up to the collar, and presented the most ludicrous appearance.  Every body was more or less hurt but myself.  When we were all righted, and ready to proceed, one of the passengers, a lady, was so fearful, that no intreaties or arguments from the coachman or passengers could make her take her place.  It is said that a joke will prevail where a sober argument will sometimes be urged in vain.  I tried it.  “Madam,” said I, “you never heard of a coach being turned over twice in one day.”  The remark was convincing.  Everybody burst out laughing, and the lady got in.

Friday.Oct.25.__Spent the evening with the Revd. Henry Fellowes, Vicar of Sidbury, and his family, now at Fort Cottage, since his vicarage was burned a few weeks ago.  Talked over plans for a new house, and took with me a plan which he had asked me to draw for him.  I recommended John Ebdon, as his builder, whom I have known for 25 years.  The last house and furniture were ensured in the sum of £700.

Sunday.Oct.27.__Dr. Cullen called on me to offer his congratulations on my escape from the coach last Tuesday.  My narrative is in Woolmer.

Tuesday. Oct.29.__Went up into the Tower again, especially to take a plaster cast of the Latin inscription on the fourth bell, which appears very ancient, and is difficult to decipher.  It runs in the manner following:- +Est mihi collatum ihc istud nomen amatum At first I thought the word in the beginning was Cst, an abbreviation for Christ, but I now think it is merely Est.  The second word, and the fourth, I have not yet been able to decipher.  However, I will pour over the casts.

Passed the evening with Mr. Heineken, to have some music.  Took the casts of the inscription to him.

Sidmouth. Oct.& Nov. 1850

Thursday. Oct.31.__Assisted in planting the privet hedge in the garden.  Read Miss Mary Molesworth’s 2 volume Novel of “Claude, or the Double Sacrifice.”  Also wrote a review on it for the Exeter Gazette.  This work, though only a novel, is causing a great stir in Sidmouth.   About two years ago the authoress was down here on a visit to Gen. Slessor’s family; and she has now amused herself in her book by many severe personalities played off upon the inhabitants amongst whom she visited.  Their wrath is much excited.

Friday.Nov.1.1850.__ Finished the new urn-stand - the wood-work, the flowers, and nailing on the blue gymp-edging.

Tuesday.Nov.5.__ Went from Sidmouth to Heightley Cottage, Chudleigh.  Took the same conveyance off which I was pitched a fortnight ago.  Left my plaster casts of the inscription on the bell at Dr. Oliver’s, for him to try and decipher.  Great preparations for an anti-popery demonstration are being made in Exeter for to-night.  The recent aggressions of Rome in the appointment of an archbishop of Westminster, and other popish dignitaries, seems to have aroused all England.  Went by South Devon Rail to Newton where my aunt’s carriage was waiting for me.  Got to Heightley by five.

Tuesday. Nov.12.__Took a drive in the carriage through Chudleigh, and then by the old Teignmouth road up near Ugbrook Park, and round the picturesque and romantic hills.

Saturday.Nov.16__ I finished reading “Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation.” – 6th Edition.  This work has been much talked of, but won very little approval by those who pay greater deference to the Mosaic account of the creation, and the peopling the world with aquatic and land animals, than to the new theories of philosophers, however learned in physiological and geological studies they may be.  The

Heightley Cottage, Chudleigh. – Nov. 1850

work cannot be otherwise than hurtful, when it tends to materialism, and runs into speculations, not only independent, but in some cases opposed to the inspired account to the formation of all things.  The theory is that of “development,” or progression; a theory, however, which is not new, inasmuch as Lord Monboddo and Monsieur Lamarck have already propounded it to the world, though with less particularisation.  That men originated from monkeys, and monkeys, by development, from the inferior animals, is not in accordance with what we read in the Bible; yet we here have another stickler for such a notion.  Did God say – Let us make man after our own image – out of a monkey?  The work is anonymous;  but Sir Richard Vyvyan, Bart., M.P. for Helston in Cornwall, has been suspected of being the author.  Sir Richard’s younger brother Edward, I have known intimately for twenty years; and I one day asked him whether he was aware or not of the correctness or not of this suspicion?  He told me he did not know.  He said his brother had never confessed to the authorship in his hearing, nor had he (Edward) particularly asked him about it.

Sunday. Nov.17.1850.__ My birth-day.

Tuesday.Nov.19.__To-day there was a hedgehog walking about on the Lawn.  I went close to it, but it showed no fear.  When I put my hand on its back and stroked it, the only movement it made was, to withdraw its head between its fore feet,  preparatory to closing; but on removing it, the little animal resumed its confidence and walked about as before.  It would not eat bread which I offered it.  After running on the lawn for half an hour, it went away towards Chudleigh Rock.

Heightley Cottage, Chudleigh,. Nov.1850.

Wednesday.Nov.20.__Finished the “Explanations” to the “Vestiges,” and some reviews thereon:  but I may say, with Byron – “I wish he would explain his Explanations.”  The theory of “development” is the more preposterous the more it is reflected on; and that slugs merged into fish, fish into reptiles, reptiles into land animals, and monkeys, the most human of the marsupials, into man, is a theory directly opposed to scripture.  Sir Richard (if Sir Richard) is an advocate of the “nebular hypothesis” – an hypothesis not militant to the Bible, and one I have been hitherto disposed to adopt.  But though its opponents have put before me one or two difficulties, it is not without hesitation that I reject it.  The assertion that the human foetus, in embryo, passes through the state of all the lower animals progressively, is more amusing than convincing.

Sunday.Nov.24.__A boisterous day.  Half a gale of wind from the southwest and incessant rain.

Tuesday. Nov.26.__Went to Newton in the carriage, and took the box for the Burnleys in Australia.  Put it on the rail for Mr. Wilcox, at Plymouth, where it will be put on board Dec.1.

Wednesday. Nov.27.__Had an hour or so at Hebrew, a language which I am beginning to reconnoitre, to see whether I will decide on undertaking to study it in earnest.

Saturday. Nov.30.__Took a drive in Ugbrook Park -  a beautiful Park, for which nature has done a great deal, but which is falling into great neglect, owing to the absence and poverty of Lord Clifford.  What a pity so many of our nobility live too fast.  The day of retribution is sure to come.

Finished reading “Glimpses at the Dark Ages” and its sequel.  The author jeers at the age of chivalry, and cries up the age of commerce.

Heightley and Teignmouth.  Dec.1850

Tuesday. Dec.3.__ Went to Teignmouth in the carriage.  Called on the Rev. Mr. Cresswell, heretofore of Sidmouth; and on the Misses Cousins, whose house we formerly occupied.   Took a turn round the Den, and then went to the Harbour to see what was going on among the shipping.  Returned to Heightley by five to dinner.

Thursday. Dec.5.__ Drove to Torquay.  Lunched with Aunt Stares and Ann.  Took a ramble on the St. Marychurch road, and on the hill of the two ruined round towers.  The country about here is beautiful.  The weather was splendid for the time of year.  Got back by five.

Monday. Dec.9.__Accompanied Mary Roberton in the carriage to Exeter.  Left her to return to Chudleigh, whilst I took the Sidmouth coach, after having had half an hour’s chat with Dr. Oliver, and got home to dinner.  I have made Dr. Oliver’s acquaintance at a remarkable time.  I first called on him on the 5th of November, when Exeter was making extraordinary preparations for burning “Old Pope,” and also the Cardinal Archbishop and the twelve new Romish Bishops; and the country is everywhere in an uproar, roused by this act of “Popish aggression”.  Considering that Dr. Oliver is a Roman Catholic, the circumstance was a little amusing; but our topics of conversation were antiquarian.

Wednesday. Dec.11.__Put my name to the Petition shortly to be presented to the Queen on the subject of the “papal aggression.”  The fact of the Queen’s father having died at Sidmouth, and she having here some time ought to have been more dwelt on.  Her residence here is only alluded to in a parenthesis.

Sidmouth.  Dec.1850.

Thursday. Dec.12.__Mild beautiful weather.  Gardened for a couple of hours.  Spent the evening at Mr. Heineken’s.

Friday. Dec.13.__Tried my hand at setting up type.  Some fourteen years ago or more I set up and printed a small book;  but I thought I had nearly forgotten to find my letters in the case.   At first I was puzzled; but after half an hour I began to feel more at home.  My subject was my antiquarian “Notes on Sidmouth No. III,” in Harvey’s Directory.  My review of “Claude,” I shall leave for him to do.  Worked for six hours.  I am told that compositors are paid 7 pence per thousand letters; but this includes corrections and making up the pages.  The N quadrant is then taken as the average width of a letter, and from this the calculations are made.  My lines to-day comprised about 55 letters or N quadrants.  To earn 7 pence, therefore, Ii must set up 18 lines and somewhat more than a fifth.  At the rate I proceeded, I fear that my day’s wages would be but slender.  The distributing the type back again into the cases is a most troublesome thing to do, though I believe it is also included in what is required of the compositor.  I willingly shunned this task.

Sat. Dec.14.__Spent the evening with the Walkers at Lime Park.

Monday. Dec.16.__Finished reading “The Midnight Sun,” a tale by Frederick Bremer, and translated by Mary Howitt.  There is a paucity of incident in this tale, by which the interest fails to be kept up.  It is about a visit to the mountain of Avatara, somewhere above Torneo, from the which the sun at midnight on the longest day may be seen – hence the name; and about the heir to an estate being long lost, and afterwards coming to light.

Sidmouth. Dec.1850.

Tuesday. Dec.17.__Spent the evening at the Felloweses, now at Fort Cottage until the Vicarage at Sidbury is built.

Friday. Dec.20.__Gardened for a couple of hours.  Piano an hour.  Hebrew an hour.  Finished W. Hone’s “Mysteries,” and ancient customs.

Sat. Dec.21.__ Shortest Day!  It is cheering to think this day is over.

Tuesday. Dec.24.__Christmas Eve.  All day to-day the town was in a din with sundry noises: - The church bells were continually ringing, and the mummers were blowing their horn, first down one road, then up another.  As usual, they composed a company of five or six boys, one being in a Turkish or some Eastern costume, and the rest for the most part in blue naval uniforms.  This, however, is not constant, and of course the dresses will vary, so as to suit the drama enacted.  The great naval hero personified is Lord Nelson, and when the piece is of a military character, the Duke of Wellington plays the chief part.  I know not what dramas the ancient mummers played, but the wars of Napoleon Bonapart’s time furnish incidents for almost all the performances of our modern mummers at Sidmouth.  As soon as it was dark out came the carol singers, mostly little girls of ten or twelve years old.  Now and and then we have a set of young men and women who sing in part, which is certainly more euphonious to the ear, for the children generally sing all in unison, which is very grating.  The ancient carols were, of course, always of a religious nature, but this evening I heard some that did not seem to be so, either in words or tune.  Later in the evening, or rather throughout the night, the church singers went round.  In times gone by we used to regale them with hot spiced drink when they came to our house in Coburg Terrace, but of late we have somehow omitted this.  We did not omit this evening to burn the ashen faggot, but alas for it size! one might have put it into one’s pocket.

Wed. Dec.25.__Christmas Day.  A mild day, like October, and very fine with the exception of a shower or two.  This evening I took a turn on the promenade on the beach.  The quietness of the night was agreeably broken by the distant sounds of several parties of carol singers.  One party up towards Witheby was very melodious, and seemed to have horns and ophiclides with them:  another party, near Denby Bow or Place, which afterwards came to Coburg Terrace, and which I enriched with two pence, sang very nicely in part, first, second, &c, though they were but young girls.  The tunes were of a hymn-like character, and the words appropriate to the season.  But the old tune, which I can remember for twenty-five years nearly in Sidmouth, runs thus:-

 

(line of music)

 

The new tunes are mostly sung by the children who have had some instruction at the Sunday schools, but those who have not had this tutorage keep to the old one.  I questioned a party of mummers as to whom they personated?  One said “I am the Duke of Wellington:” another “I am Tipoo;” (I suppose of Saringapatam) and then said another “I am the Prince of Orange!” and then came “Old Father Xmas,” a little smooth-faced boy.  A strange medley.

Sidmouth, 1850 and 1851.

Monday. Dec.30__Spent the evening at Mr. Heineken’s.

Tuesday. Dec.31.__Last day of the year.  Wonderfully mild weather.  Garden for an hour or two – coat and hat thrown aside, and quite in a perspiration.  My Ave Anne Nove! appears this week in Woolmer, and my Notes on Sidmouth, No. IV. in Harvey’s Directory.

 

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