Thursday, May 24, 2007

J. G. Lockhart's Club Gossip

To Sir Walter Scott
March 25th, 1829.

My Dear Sir,--There is no reason to expect a duel every day, and all has been very quiet since Saturday. The letter was utterly forgotten till this recalled it to remembrance. Ergo there was no sort of call on the Duke, after beating Buonaparte, to go to war with a Booby. But he could not stand the fling at the fair. His correspondence seems admirable every way, and the whole affair was gone thro' in excellent taste. The Duke and Hardinge trotting out--the two peaceful Lords tumbling down in a coach and four. The Duke had no halfpence, and was followed and bothered for some time by the Tollman on Battersea Bridge when Hardinge fished out some silver, or a groom came up. There were various market-gardeners on the road who, when Lord Winchilsea's equipage stopped, stopped also and looked on. One of them advised a turn-up with Nature's weapons. The moment all was done, the Duke clapped spurs to his horse, and was back in Downing Street within the 2 hours--breakfasted--and off for Windsor, where he transacted business for an hour or so, and then said: "By the bye, I was forgetting: I have had a Field day with Lord W. this morning." They say the King rowed Arthur much for exposing himself at such a crisis. Such is the gossip of the Club. . . .
Yours affectionately,

-from The Private Letter-Books of Sir Walter Scott edited by Wilfred Partington (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930) p. 41.

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