4 March Friday: A fine day so that I was able to get rid of old engagements by taking a pleasant walk to Clapton – I had had a letter from Miss Hayes asking me to call on her – I found her very infirm rather than very ill – She was sitting in an arm chair which she finds very inconvenient. She wants to have a new one made according to her fancy and me to take the old one and pay the difference. I at once said I would take the old one & and pay for new – and afterwards I introduced Mrs Henry Rutt to her, and when the new chair is made she is to send to the Rutts and they will pay. I have a pleasure in rendering this petty service to my old friend – It will last but a short time. She is very weak and life is a burthen to her. She is 83 years old. I called first on Mrs H: Rutt and invited myself to dine – most kindly received – Mr Rutt was coming home to dine. After dining at 3 and introducing Mrs R: to Miss Hayes I took a walk with Mrs R: to upper Clapton and called on old Mr R: on our return. The Rutts accompanied me to the Kents to tea and I spent a very pleasant evening there, walking home late, or rather running for I had left keys at home.*
24 March: A busy day being my last before my journey I had many things to do – I called on Ridout whom I had not seen for a long time – He as friendly as ever. Next on Kenyon, an interesting chat. I have lent him my book on Goethe for Miss Barrett Next on Miss Denman – Afterwards on L’Evesque. Met Robert Baldwin. Let me not forget to invite him to one of my parties. He says he shall like to play whist with us. Then at the Athen: where I wrote a number of letters. Mary Hayes had written an over grateful letter for my readiness to take her old armchair and pay for a new one for her – I wrote to her in answer and also to Mrs Rutt begging her to see to the payment of the chair. I wrote also to J: P: Collier about the copy of Wordsworth’s new vol he is to have, and to Miss Bayley etc. I took dinner at home and I divided the evening between Gooden who has given me a single sovereign for the Hospital and the Levesques with whom I played a couple of rubbers. In bed very late being occupied packing up &c.
3 May: … I had a kind letter from Ed: Foss today which I have answered – he will come and see me soon. I have also had a letter from Mrs Rutt. My chair has been sent from Clapton which did belong to Miss Hays which I take, paying £4/11/e for a new one which has been made for her. I went to the Russell Institution and ended the day by dining with Curteis. A party of 16 – a very capital dinner of course, but it would have been a sadly dull one if Fraser had not been there, with whom I was glad to have a chat. Placing myself between him and Kenyon I was well off. Home late.
5 May: I went early to the Univ: Coll: Committee – nothing particular. I then walked to Quillinan’s where were the Wordsworths & made arrangements for their coming to me. They being busy I left them soon and came back with the intention of going to see the Rutts at Clapton & Miss Hays but was detained too late. …
6 May Friday: I received this morning after writing the Mems on the other side, a letter from my niece containing an account of my brother having been attacked as he had been before on returning from Lynn – had been bled etc but was better – It was supposed that the cause was eating turtle soap (mock) on an empty stomach and riding afterwards. This frightened me the more because I had just sent off notes to Wordsworth and other friends viz the Cargils & Westons to breakfast with me on Monday and poor Thos’ death took place after a like appointment for Wordsworth – Strangely enough I had the unread letter from my niece unread when I put the letters into the post and did not begin to read it till I was at Kenyon’s – He advised my persisting in the appointment and pointed out the favorable points in the letter.
I went on to ask Mrs Reid to my breakfast – she could not come at which she almost cried and I availed myself of this to ask Trotter – Mrs R: engaged me to dine with her this day. After this I got out to walk to Clapton and see Miss Hays – Was forced back when at Islington and was so wet that I thought it prudent to go to bed. There I mused myself by looking over books about the Univ: Coll: for tomorrow’s General Meeting. I dined with Mrs R: and Miss Sturch and Miss Aikin and Erasmus Darwin were there and a few other persons, mostly very dull. But Miss Bayley also there. After 10 I went to Kenyon’s where I found a large party – among others, a Scotch lady, a clever woman, a Miss Sterling Graham who told us an excellent story of her having taken in Jeffery by personating an old women who came for advice – This lady made herself known to me as a person who had shown her attentions when travelling on the outside of a stage to Cambridge from Norwich – I took her and her brother at beyond midnight to my inn where I got them beds. I recollected the occurrence at once – This led me also to receive a general invitation to the Miss Allens in Wimpole St on the Sunday evenings. Came home late with Fellows.
8 May Sunday: After writing the Mems on other side and reading Haldanes on the Responsibility of Man – a Calvinistic book – very uncomfortable – I set out to walk to Clapton but was driven back by a shower. I staid at home against my will by indisposition, that is, indigestion, from some unascertained misappropriation of luxury at Miss Coutts. But I was relieved from anxiety by a note from my brother – he is apparently quite recovered. A hamper came last night – I made a call on Mrs Austen A friendly invitation to dine with Plomer Ward which I shall decline – I then called on the Gordhans in Queen Square and John P: of Melbourn came back with me, for I was not quite well. I took pudding and tea after medioins and in the evening was well enough to call on Mr Hunter, He read me extracts which conclude. I recollect only that returning homeward from the west I met Pryme who had been calling. He came back and sat with me while I took lunch preparatory to going to Clapton. Had an omnibus part of the way. There I called on poor old Mrs Hays rather say Mary Hays. She is very infirm, but was enjoying something like ease in the new chair which I have paid Mrs Rutt 24/11/7 for I afterwards called on Mrs Rutt & took ten with her and her husband. Mrs R: accompanied me to call on Mrs Procter, whom I found in a sort of garden house on their farm.
23 June 23: … I spent the forenoon at home I dined early at home and then I took an omnibus to Clapton. I called at Mr Hen: Rutt’s and chatting first with H:R: and W: Kent I want on to the Procters with whom I chatted. Mr & Mrs Futvoys were there – I was glad to hear that at all events things are not worse – P: is doing business on a smaller scale and the disease among the cattle is diminishing, but still he must be in a very pitiable state. I drove back also in an omnibus after a short call on Miss Hays, and I concluded the evening at the Russ: Institution. At night I went on reading the unintelligible commentaries of Ulrici.
8 July: … I dined at the Athen: & then I came eastward – I found the L’Eyesques had company with them. Then I called at Young’s also not at home – Then at Hunter’s– he not at home chatted with his eldest daughter – She is become a rank Puseyite – going further than her father can in that direction but still led by him. I concluded the evening by a call on the Austens. They are expecting Henry Layard’s return with some apprehension & on his department on his arrival will depend every thing. I doubt very much whether he will be able to settle down into a respectable member of society. Miss Longdill called to enquire about Miss Hays and wanting to translate some German book – I could not receive her very cordially considering that she has not been kind to her aunt in her troubles.
5 October Wednesday: … I then dined in Colman St and then I took an omnibus to Hackney having had a letter from Mrs Hays. She wants to raise a little money and I have advised her to sell out her £600 3 percents and buy Long Annuities She may thus obtain an income of £40 instead of £17 per ann: and have a sum for her present wants. She wished to sell out her Louisiana Stock which I have dissuaded her from. After a short chat with the old lady, who is very infirm and will not long suffer these embarrassments (and who informed me that her brother John had recently failed on the Corn Exchange as well as her nephew Mr Hill) I called on the Procters – They were going to town to attend the funeral of Godly, an event of great comfort to their mother who confesses she has not had a happy day for more than 30 years. I then went to the Kents and Rutts with whom I spent a very agreeable evening. They are excellent and happy people and it does one good to see them. Walk home late.