10 January Friday: Called on Miss Hays – She wanted to see me about her matters with her brother – She is querulous and uncomfortable – She is dissatisfied with ordinary people and does not know how to make herself acceptable to superior persons – She would soon wear me out. Dined in Colman St. Then at the Surrey Institution. I went afterwards at the Masons – I was left alone with Mrs Ann Mason – After a walk with Miss M: and her mother – The daughter I had not seen for years – She has been in France and is improved by her residence – Three of Mrs M’s daughters are married – Her sons have fair prospects so that her trouble are now at an end – and she has comfort at last after great trials!
4 February Tuesday: After walking down to Westminster and disposing of a motion of course I called on Miss Hays & took a short walk with her. Her <querulous> habits render <conversation with her very tiresome> I dined in the Hall and then walked to Camberwell. I then accompanied Hundleby to his Whist Club at Mr Witt’s – a gentlemanly pleasant man – Several hours agreeably spent – Curtis and I walked back late.
23 February Sunday: I wrote a letter to Biddell on the subject of her cause. A painful subject, but the letter was a debt of civility on my part. I called on Miss Hays on my way to Hackney – I found her not in good spirits. She talks of leaving the house in which she is <on account of an> anonymous <letter she has received which she thinks may proceed from some of the family>
29 April Tuesday: A morning of lounging, by no means unpleasant – First I made calls of business with E: Nash on Keymer about French funds etc. Leaving her at Wedd’s I stepped over to Islington – Mrs Hays not at home – I then called on Mrs Barbauld – No reproaches for my long delay in calling – She was looking brisk & comfortable – She is quite recovered from the winter’s indisposition which was alarming. I also called on Miss Aikin – She too is improved in health and we had a lively conversation. This morning was very fine and I was thrown into a tender and happy mood by the beauty of the day and these pleasing calls.
2 May: … Dined with Geo:Wedd. Walked with William Pattisson – Met there Mrs Mary Hays – Mr & Mrs Bennett – She is occasionally melancholy even to disease – I was not aware of the malady and her mildness pleased me – A Mr Shooter – Mrs Talfourd, two Miss Rutts. The conversation well enough – Talfourd came late and I stole away soon after that I might see Esther Nash. She was to go to Lymington early in the morning. She informed me of the interview she had had with Mr Wedd about my sister and in consequence I wrote to my brother before I went to bed.
10 May: … I lounged at the Surrey I: Sale – Came home, had a conference with an attorney, a Mr Freeman. Alarmed afterwards at the opinion I gave, as usual – Dined in Colman St and then in spight of rain walked to Mrs Barbauld – She was going out so that after an hour’s chess I returned in very violent rain – Called by the way on Miss Hayes with whom I made arrangements for a visit to her brother & then went to Aders – I staid there till 10 and then came home – I began Lucian in Franklin’s translation and I read then and next morning three articles. Neither The Dream, nor Prometheus, nor The Philosopher, or Tyranus, tho’ pleasingly translated afforded me much entertainment. The Greek humour is I fear unenjoyable but – and that is much and creditable to the Translator – I was not fatigued neither – The thoughts are sensible – Nothing however to gratify a speculating humour.
18 May Sunday: An idle but by no means an unpleasant day – I lounged over this journal etc till past 11 when I went to Miss Hays. Tho’ unwell, she kept her appointment and accompanied me to her brother Thomas’s at Bermondsey. We partly rode, partly walked, but miscalculated our time. We arrived there at ½ past one. I therefore took an hour’s stroll in the narrow lanes and among the wharfs of the Thames to and beyond the church at Rotherhithe. An amusing because a novel scene. Buildings, people, all as it were foreign to me. We had a quiet family dinner – The object of my visit was to see how Mr Hays house had been injured by his neighbours warehouses which had caused from their weight his house to sink down on the side next the warehouses so that the floors form an opinion on that spot. We took early tea when I accompanied Miss H: as before thro’ the town in a hackney coach walking over the fields.
9 June Monday: I went early to Court and loitered away my time looking after bail etc – Came home at 2 when I wrote in this book – I wrote a letter to Miss Hays on her affairs. I learned from Broderick that his child has derived great benefit from Whitlaw the man I saw at Kent’s who professes to cure scrofula Etc, by the use of vegetables – recollecting the man that I judged him to be a quack from his conversation I have little desire to consult him because cancer seems to be a disease sui generis, not like scrofula – but it may be desirable to ascertain whether he professes to cure cancer specifically.
11 June Wednesday: A day of more enjoyment than a party of pleasure usually gives. It was spent in an excursion to Richmond. Knebel & I went and returned in a steam-boat – the day on the whole favourable tho’ it was cool. Our voyage down took us about 4 hours he will probably go to Gottingen – I introduced him to Jardine. He gave him a letter to a professor there and I also wrote for him a letter to Thelwall at Amsterdam and Pickford at Heidelberg This incident occupied me pleasantly this forenoon – I hope to have Dr D’s acquaintance hereafter – He went off next day to Holland. I afterwards walked to Islington – Miss Hayes was not home but I chatted little with Mrs Thornthwaite – I sent Knebel to see the Charity Children at St Pauls and I called on Mr Howell who had given me the ticket – I went down to Westminster where I had nothing to do – I dined in Castle Street. My brother Hab. Came today – Knebel being in possession of my bed Hab was not with me, but he took tea with me – Also Naylor came whom I had not seen a long time – I called also Mrs Fordham a short time – Esther Nash was just come. I chatted with them.
16 June: I had engagements this morning which obliged me to leave Knebel to himself after we had breakfasted together – I walked to Westminster where I found I had nothing to do. I then called on Miss Hays and was glad to find she had made arrangements for having a security made to her ….. which his attorney was to do, and so I was relieved from a business which I thought might perplex me. I called on Rolfe and sent Brittain into the City on business. After dining in the Hall I called on Mrs Fordham and took tea with her after a walk with her in the Temple garden – I then called on Anthony Robinson and chatted with Dyer and Cooper there – and so I got rid of some little engagements which had accumulated since Knebel’s being here.
9 July Wednesday: A very agreeable day – I went to B. R. in the City with a brief of Talfourd’s which Mr Shepherd took a note in for me – and being so released I took the stage to Greenwich – a beautiful ride – There I found my friend Ms Hayes very comfortably established at Vanburgh: Castle – a house built by the famous architect and tho’ whimsically built yet a pleasing object – It stands near one of the entrances to the park – A Mrs Browne keeps a school there and Ms H: praises the people much for kindness and personal civilities – her nieces Mrs Bennett and Mrs Francis are near her and she sets out with a prospect of enjoyment. I lounged with her for two hours in the park and then I strolled into the town – dined at a small house giving me a fine view of the river and I then lounged about the park till tea time reading DelaMennais – I crossed the Heath to Mr Benicke’s who was unluckily from home. I however reached my chambers in time to have tea prepared for me by Britain and I concluded the Evening by a call on the Lambs returned from their holiday – The beauty of the day and of the country afforded me great pleasure but indeed some languor afterwards.
9 November: … Then to Greenwich where I called on Miss Hays – Found her looking well and in good spirits – but not quite so well satisfied as she was. At 5 I was with Mr & Mrs Kay whom I visited for the first time in their new house – K: being appointed Clerk of the Works to the hospital his house gloriously situated – in a garden – near a palace. I was alone – an agreeable evening and a late but fine walk home.
21 December Sunday: Read the 3rd oration of Irving – It does not please me – A coarse address to the fears of men in a frightful picture of Hell is not the way to convert a doubter. Set out at 11 on my walk – Left my card at Alsager’s, again engaged in a musick party – Then enjoyed a fine stroll to Benicke’s with whom I chatted an hour He accompanied me to the Park, having to leave a parcel at the Royal Observatory – and I left my card at Kay’s. Before four I was at Mr Brown’s where I dined by invitation with Miss Hays – rather a dull but not an unpleasant afternoon – Mrs B: is apparently an amiable woman – Both Mrs Hays and Mrs Aders think highly of her as a schoolmistress – The husband seems a mighty insignificant man – his occupation is keeping his wife’s accounts – but they are attached like lovers to each other – Miss Tuck Mrs B’s sister is a worthy woman too, but Mrs Hays wants society a little more intellectual. There are 2 sons of whom I saw little – The elder has the air of a forward sprig of law – a student coming to the Bar – I suspect I shall not be edified by his acquaintance.
28 December: … I walked to Greenwich – The day tolerable – I called at Kay’s with whom I had intended breakfasting – They were going to Chapel I then called on Mrs Hays for an hour and afterwards walked to Benicke’s. There I met with the Sievekings, Jenkins etc and an agreeable day we had – Benicke spoke very highly of Swedenborg without speaking as a disciple or believer – his works have profound thoughts and very beautiful passages. A ride back with the Sievekings. Read within these 2 days last number of the Pamphleteer All tracts about the state of Europe – not edifying.