1838

6 February:  … I called at Moxon’s but met no one – and then at the Athen: where I dined but I had no time to read more than the papers of the day. After dinner I walked to Mr Hayes not having seen my old friend Mary Hayes for a long time. Of course she is a partisan of the Canadians & of all other ultra radicals opinions. I returned to the Athen: where I read Lord Brougham’s praised Canada speech – very spirited & very clever even eloquent in its exposure of the needless delays of the Ministry & other insignificant points but not one sentence did he utter which ought to influence the vote of anyone or could assist in forming a judgement whether the Bill ought to pass. For the speech assumed everything that ought to be proved. Again indeed perpetually must one say of Brougham Eloquentiae satis. Sapientiae parum. Milman said today that Sydney Smith said, “It is a capital hit in the country to abuse anyone as a Unitarian – The Squires think it is something to do with poaching – To be sure the orthodox say it is something analogous, was my remark – The Un: is an unqualified person to presume to sport on a Christian manor.


16 March Friday: An idle day – I was reading at home in the forenoon but I left my card at Milnes with a civil note about his poems –I dined at Hays whom I had not dined with for many years – an agreeable dinner. The company a Mr & Miss Lindley of the Adelphi, intelligent persons old friends of Miss H:  and young Mr Wainewright a clever talking man with somewhat of pretension in his oratory – remarkably like my nephew – rather commonplace radicalism but on the whole agreeable enough – My old friend Mary Hays is in her 79th year but anxious about the safety of her money vested in the Louisiana bonds of which I have some – I think at all events they will last her time – Mine perhaps I ought in prudence to dispose of – I walked home late and read in bed as usual.


27 May:  . . . I never met with so interesting a statement of the objectionable character of Christianity – its polemical side – its depreciation of the natural goodness of man – but this is the essence of orthodox Christianity – the Unitarian view differs little from Goethe’s. I dined at the Athen: and then walked down to Camberwell and took tea with the Hayes’s – In bed early.


11 November:  I had at breakfast Captain Jones and Moxon, both for the first time and Layard – They managed tho’ unlike, to find matter to talk about till near one – Then I kept within looking over papers and reading Slick etc till past 5 when I walked out & went to the Hayes – My old friend Mary H: is what she always was a fanatical lover of the Yankees. She is old and therefore one tolerates, what would in a younger person offend – After 2 hours of polemical chat de omnibus – I went to the Athen: where I went on reading Oliver Twist which is now published in the form of a novel. I also wrote a long letter to Mrs. Clarkson urging her to lose no time in collecting materials for her husband’s life.