1813

March 8 & April 16 I met at the house of MHays at Black-Heath a law student who has signed ^since^ acquired a name, which tho’ eclipsed by that of his younger brother, is still of suffnote to be mentioned by me here, And that the more because he never crossed my path but once afterwards – And what he was when I saw him at this time is so much at variance with what he afterwards became that it deserves to be stated – he was a law student, who had been in the army – named John Austen– He brought with him if not military at least pugnacious Fhabits, for I had, I thought, never met with so disputatious a talker – He professed to be a political economist – And was vehement & dogmatic ^in that assertion of Malthus’s principles^ – Wedd Nash & Mord Andrews were exceedingly displeased with him at the first meeting I less so And I thought well of his powers – We did not become acquainted – And I saw little or nothing of him until he came in the Year [blank space in MS] to Norw Norwich as Junior – It was in the City Court He was the 4th Man barrister in the Hall And therefore according to a rule recently proclaimed laid down by the bar that two counsel must be employed in every appeal – he was entitled to a brief – I called to him “Here Austen is a brief for you” – If a thunder bolt had fallen he could not have stood more aghast – He came [?] I put the brief into his hand & pointed outthe very common question he had to ask – But he could not utter a word – I put the question for him – A very easy one Now this has happened to many an able & even eminent man before And I should have thought nothing of it But when the Attorney offerd him his fee, he rejected it with indignation as if he had been insulted – And then I said to himself – There is no help for him …