vrijdag 30 januari 2015

Sir Walter Scott -- 31 januari 1829

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.

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