7 February: … The walk home was as agreeable as the morning walk – On my way I read the Edinburgh Review – an interesting number – Horace Walpole is admirably appreciated and there is a pleasing article on Madame Epinay the friend of Rousseau at the Heritage. I walked home by Peckham and took tea and chatted an hour with Mrs Hays at the Fenns – a pleasant chat – but Mrs H. I was sorry to hear has again to seek out a residence – she will try to find a family with whom she can reside at or near Islington. I had an agreeable walk back and walked straight to Mrs Smith – With her I found Aders just arrived from the country – I read to Mrs S. and her brother a canto of Tasso, but I was sleepy and could not enjoy it. I read the Edinburgh Review again at night.
31 May: I called this morning on my friend Miss Hayes at Peckham – She was recovering from a fit of illness and looked poorly – I had a short walk with her – She has procured apartments at Kentish Town for the sake of being near her friends. Poor Miss H is not comfortable nor can easily be made so – She is sociable but has not the art of making herself so agreeable to society in general as might be expected from her powers of conversation. She talks perhaps too well for she is made a preacher. She is respected but found tiresome – even her best friends are afraid of having too much of her. I called at Mawman’s – no answer. I dined at J. Collier’s and took tea at home – Received today a call from Souchay. He brought me a letter from Paulina Serviere with a bundle of papers which I have not yet had time to look over being documents in support of a claim made by a number of poor people in Germany to the inheritance of a General Kohler which was the subject of enquiry in the public newspapers 12 years ago. I suspect there will be found no hopes for these poor people. At all events I can do nothing in the business. I called at night on Aders on this business.
25 August Wednesday: . . . Tomorrow I shall have business to dispatch but I shall still begin tomorrow. I shall during the summer weeks have still amusement in visiting my friends. Miss Hayes is come into the neighbourhood. Mrs Smith is here too &c &c.
30 August: [In Morley, I: 234-35] This morning nearly as good as yesterday – 7 hours over Coke-Litt; I dined with Collier and having borrowed the new Edinburgh Review was amused by it for an hour over my tea – I then walked out and called on Miss Hayes who is removed to Pentonville. She wants society and I shall feel it a duty to be pretty frequent in my calls. But alone she rather bores tho’ she is a sensible as well as very excellent & worthy woman and her improved health & spirits render her society less burthensome than when she was more sentimental. She tells me that poor Mary Imlay, who it was said died in Ireland – and about whose death I never heard anything said – in fact died, not in Ireland, but in England, & by her own hand! She hung herself!!! Poor Godwin. How sadly visited he has been in his own family for the errors in speculation which his early works may have disseminated. He is a man of deep sensibility and must have suffered grievously from such a catastrophe. Mrs G. too must have felt, for she is not without feeling! It is said she was never married – but was kept and abandoned by her keeper – or rather left destitute at his death – she was relieved by a charitable subscription and taken out of a prison – on which she came up to town with her young children, met with Godwin at Somerston & became, certainly towards him a meritorious wife tho’ towards others I doubt both her sincerity and her integrity. …
5 September: This morning also at home over law – Thomas Stansfeld called whom I had not seen for some time – He is the same he always was. I dined with Ant: Robinson. Mrs R. is still at Hackney and her situation is unaltered. A.R. does right in detaining her where she is, but being a most anxious scrupulous man wants the judgement of his friends to sanction what he does. An agreeable chat with him.
I called after tea on Miss Hayes – Her brother with her. She was in good spirits and indeed she seems to have lost much of her complaining ways – She gains by the accession of good humour in every way.
From thence I proceeded to Basil Montagu. Several persons there – Mrs Horace Twiss & Carlisle inter alia He is an interesting man – his significant face and the deep and sentimental tone of his voice assure you there is much in the man even when he says very little. She is a lady-like little woman: I like Twiss when I look at his wife and think he must have merit to have been able to get her.
23 September Thursday: I spent the forenoon entire in law – except that I wrote a short letter to Miss Williams introducing Mrs Naylor – I continued reading on Pleading with more assiduity than progress. I dined at the Colliers and took tea in the Evening in chambers. I then called on Miss Hayes – an agreeable chat with her – Since she has laid aside sentimentality she is far more agreeable – She gave me an account of a new acquaintance a Mrs [blank space] an Attorneys wife – a democrat and philosophe who lately permitted her unmarried daughter of about 20 to travel for more than a year alone with a friend of the family about 40 – I was almost hurt to find we men of 40 are considered so innocent – This Abelard however turns out to be an old acquaintance of mine – LeMaitre, the pop-gun traitor – according to the foolish imputation of the period of alarm under Pitt’s administration – Le M. is a married man and Miss [blank space] has a sweetheart neither of whom have taken exception to the journey. Le M: I hear is going to America – There was a time when Miss H. would have gone on such an excursion – She is sobered and so am I, but I feel no disgust or contempt for those who can bid defiance to the customs of the world.
3 October: … I dined alone at C’s and then went to the City – The Robinsons being all at Robinson Kitchener’s [sic] I followed them there and took tea – Then Hab & I took a walk – We had a long conversation <about the affair of E. and Thornton> and the Evening being fine we strolled to Pentonville – I called on Miss Hayes and chatted with her half an hour – On our return we lounged into a new and large chapel. The preacher spoke with great animation in rather too screaming a voice and with a haggard Methodist look, but the expressive changes of his voice in the course of a dialogue in very plain but impressive language shewed skill in the art of speech. Before I heard that he was Raffles of Liverpool I thought he was no common man. I supposed [sic] with S. R. and we talked about the <affair of E. and Thornton>
12 October: … I called on Hundleby – dined alone at the Colliers and after lounging over his books took tea with Ant: Robinson. I made a short visit and then called on Miss Hayes – She talked on personal matters <her attachment to MrFrend> from which <she is now> entirely recovered – I concluded the day by a few games of backgammon with Mr Howell.*
2 November: … I paid Hundleby his very moderate bill £12.10.0. This occupied me great part of the morning – I dined at the Colliers took tea at home and then called on Miss Hays – a pleasant chat tho’ she reproached me for my gaping & yawning on my last call. She has written me on the subject in a way I did not vastly like. She is jealous of attention and rather captious and so is rendered rather troublesome at times. This would make her an uncomfortable inmate as perhaps it alienated her lover from her <MrFrend> but she is an estimable woman tho’ somewhat precise and old maidish and querulous – all enemies to love.
7 November Sunday: My morning was broken upon by a call from Ant: Robinson – We talked about his wife whose condition is unchanged, about Thomas Holcroft whom he wishes to befriend and a Mr Hayton, a Cumberland young man whom he wishes to recommend for the purpose procuring a certificate as Conveyancer. I called on Mrs Randall She had been and was still poorly – I left my card at Mr Hayes in Doughty Street – I dined in the Hall at the Bar Mess and took tea at chambers, for the first time on a Sunday – reading newspapers &c – I then called on Miss Hayes and made a two hours visit – I feared I should be sleepy but I escaped – I concluded the Evening looking over papers and reading Clarissa which affords me a quiet pleasure.
27 November: … I dined in Wardour Street – took tea at home and then called on Miss Hays to shew her a very interesting letter from Mrs Fenwick I received a few days since giving an account of the late storm at Barbadoes – a letter worth printing. The cutting of my hair and walking to Mrs Randall who was in bed occupied me till late.
10 December: Another forenoon at home reading law &c – I dined early with the Colliers – took tea at home and then called on Mrs Hays. The usual subjects of conversation with her – of which there is no variety and they rather fatigue me – On my return I called at Walter’s – Heard that Mrs W. some time back has been seised with labour when at her sister’s house and was delivered there – but she and the girl were both doing well – such an incident must have shortened her sufferings as well as saved her great anxiety & fear. Bought a plaster bust of the Venus of Canova of an Italian. These very cheap works must surely in time spread a correct taste throughout the country. Thus for 3 or 2 schillings the most perfect forms in existence are circulated in every direction.
21 December: … I took tea with Ant: Robinson after dining with Colliers as usual – He is better in spirits than I have known him for a long time – I also called on Miss Hayes.
* Looked over Ballantyne's house in Serjeant's Inn fleet St. Dissatisfied as I am with my present chambers and aware that I ought to live in a better place I cannot make up my mind to take this. The sitting room a small and uncomfortable place on the 1st floor - the ground floor room too small for anything and in short very little accession of comfort and certainly a great one of expense eventually tho' the house is cheap and respectable.