Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was een Schotse advocaat, rechter, dichter en schrijver, vooral bekend door zijn historische romans, zoals Ivanhoe. Van 1825 tot 1832 hield hij een dagboek bij.
January 31. — I thought I had opened a vein this morn-
ing and that it came freely, but the demands of art have been
more than I can bear. I corrected proofs before break-
fast, went to Court after that meal; was busy till near one
o'clock. Then I went to Cadell's, where they are preparing
to circulate the prospectus of the magnum, which will have
all the effect of surprise on most people. I sat to Mr.
Graham till I was quite tired, then went to Lady Jane, who
is getting better. Then here at four, but fit for nothing but
to bring up this silly Diary.
The corpse of the murderer Burke is now lying in state
at the College, in the anatomical class, and all the world
flock to see him. Who is he that says that we are not ill to
please in our objects of curiosity ? The strange means by
which the wretch made money are scarce more disgusting
than the eager curiosity with which the public have licked
up all the carrion details of this business.
I trifled with my work. I wonder how Johnson set
himself doggedly to it — to a work of imagination it seems
quite impossible, and one's brain is at times fairly addled.
And yet I have felt times when sudden and strong exertion
would throw off all this mistiness of mind, as a north wind
would disperse it.
" Blow, blow, thou northern wind." *
Nothing more than about two or three pages. I went to
the Parliament House to-day, but had little to do. I sat
to Mr. Graham [schildert Scotts portret] the last time, Heaven be praised! If I be
not known in another age, it will not be for want of pictures.
We dined with Mr. Wardlaw Eamsay and Lady Anne — a
fine family. There was little done in the way of work
except correcting proofs. The bile affects me, and makes
me vilely drowsy when I should be most awake. Met at
Mr. Wardlaw's several people I did not know. Looked over
Cumnor Hall by Mr. Usher Tighe of Oxford. I see from
the inscription on Tony Foster's tomb that he was a skilful
planter, amongst other fashionable accomplishments.
* As You Like It, Act ii. Sc. 7.