CollectionLady Augusta Murray
Record TypeCommonplace Books
TitleLady Augusta Murray's commonplace book
Datec. 1802-1805
DescriptionCommonplace book in which Lady Augusta Murray has written notes on state of mind and sentiments, in the form of notes, maxims, proverbs, riddles and anecdotes.

Volume front and back boards are parchment, onto which pen and ink sketches have been made directly. Volume front board bears a sketch of a mountain village and body of water with figures in a boat. Volume back board bears a cartoon of a man with large teeth.

Front inner board bears short diary entries for events on the dates 5 July 1804 and 10 July and a description of the quartering of the arms of the writer's father. Front inner board bears continuation of a list of books listed in the final pages of the volume, and an address for Mr Phillimore of Lincoln's Inn.

f1r – Address for Mr James Martin, purveyor of Scotch muslins.
f1v: Note of mines in Hungary and Poland.
f2r: Ejaculation / exclamation to God about a hateful woman. Historical note on General Laudohn's visit to Prussia.
f2v: Prose on the subject of an anguished mind and tormented heart.
f2r: Botanical notes. Prose on the subject of the love, perception and illusion.
f3v – f9v: Maxims, proverbs, notes and anecdotes on the subject of love, separation, vanity, folly and futility, disappointment, perception and illusion, the passing of time, the holding of opinions, sacrifice, betrayal, joy, attachment, fortune, distress and misery, regret and remorse, resignation, self-preservation, masculinity and femininity, imagination, feeling, sentiment and romanticism.
f10r – f14r: Proverb on the subject of the heart's plunging into apathy. Notes on historical personages. Note of Lord Lyttleton's thoughts on a man's behaviour after ceasing to love.
f10v: Prose and verse on the subjects of detachment, despair, lamentations, experience, seriousness, asperity, decisiveness, hope, fear, melancholy, broken heartedness, desire, gaiety, defects, judgement, reason.
f14v: Anecdotes about Mr de [?] Biase and Sir Hercules.
f15r – f21v: Notes on the subject of decision, intellectual life, ignorance, remorse, guilt and regret, vanity, folly and futility, time, fear, pleasure, self-governance, grief, loss and mourning, sorrow and forlornness, a beloved, jealousy, torment, love, pleasure, mischief, degradation and wretchedness, fortune, stillness and frenetic activity, fate, hope, disappointment and delusion, imagination, exhaustion, detachment and resignation, secret emotions, forgiveness, wisdom, riddles, love lost, passing of time, honour, forsakenness, the soul, worry, loyalty, hope, contradictions, sentiment, unhappiness, pretence, pain, fatigue.
f25v: Notes on the will and faithlessness. Poem about a vine.
f26r: Notes entitled "X her 30th 1800" explaining that the writer has endeavoured to eradicate love from the heart, but that it cannot silence its claim, and the conflict of reason that results. The prose is cut off in the middle of a petition.
f26v: Poem on wretchedness, sorrow, love lost, ignorance.
f27r: Notes on the poet Dante.
f27v: Notes on the recognition of the French Republic. Proverbs on imagination, sorrow, anxiety, feelings.
F28r: Maxims on expression, argument, friendship, nature, faithfulness, the passing of time, interior thoughts, nobility, self-forgetfulness.
F30r – f31r: Riddles. Notes on what it is to be a man.
F31v: Notes on disposition and attitude, contradiction, love, sensibility.
32v: Comical poem about a parson and Lord Boringdon. Poems and maxims about the will.
33r: Notes on whatever is received, received according to the capacity of the recipient, injustice, attitudes to Bounaparte.
F33v: Notes on changing one's mind and shifting principles, character.
F34r – f36r: Riddles and notes on mixed emotions: relationships, vanity, self-will, abandonment, rage, passion, faithfulness, love, poverty of spirit, despair, hope, comfort, triviality, praise, charms, hidden thoughts, love and suffering, endurance, desire. Quotation attributed to Shakespeare.
F39r: Prose on the subject of memory, reflection, the exercise of authority, sin.
F39v – f40r: Note on the fall of Troy. Prose on the subject of emotional extremes, repentance, cunning, sadness, self-governance Quotation attributed to Shakespeare.
F40v: Verse entitled "Alas poor country". Prose on the subject of emotional extremes. ?Riddle.
F41r – f42r: Maxims on guarding virtue, secrets. Dialogue labelled "Mr Lewes's Alphonso". Quotation from the Lord Chatham on the King.
F42v: Quotation on goodness, wisdom, happiness and moderation "copied from Mr Stewarts Letter". Notes on man and nature.
F43r: Quotation attributed to Shakespeare. Notes on flattery.
F43v: Title: "Dirge in Cymbeline by Collins". Verse. Verse attributed to "Beattie's Poem on Christianity".
F44r: Summary dialogue between Sir Ralph and Sir James on the subject of conquest. Notes on the court of Saladin.
F44v: Rhetorical question on the subject of reaction purporting as truthfulness.
F45r: Verse on the subject of love, beginning "Plaisir d'aimer besoin d'une âme tendre".
F45v – f47r: Verse entitled "The Felon – by Mr Lewis".
F47r: Verse beginning "John Donn his former name forsook", attributed to Camden.
F47v: Verse entitled "On truth". Verse on the subject of a lover mistreating another.
F48r: Verse beginning: "No 'twas not love in Laura's Bow'r", annotated "Charles Stewart sent me these lines – Brighton February 19th 1802".
F49v: Text entitled "Mr [?]Helmot approaches Garrick for not having called on Lord Camden after he was made Chancellor".
F50r: Riddle; phrase "His pardon may pillow my Bier, but never soothe my living rest."
F50v: Fantasy prose entitled "The old Hag in a red cloak [?...] to the Author of the Grime white Woman."
F54r: Poem entitled "Between Dover & Calais – 1792", likening a rough journey to the passions, grief and sorrow after love.
F56r: Verses reflecting on sorrow, aging, blame, love, friendship, sentiment.
F56v-57r: Text on the subject of nobility entitled "De l'Encyclopedie", text on the nobility of the Murrays, Dukes of Atholl, Stanleys Earls of Derby and Lord of Mann and Cliffords Earls of Cumberland.
F57v: Verses beginning "Then thus the Goddess-born : Ulysses, hear a faithful speech, that knows not art, nor fear" [?from Pope's Homer].
F58r: Words of tribute to an adorable princess.
F59r – f59r: Political poem. "Song by Mr Canning on Mr Pitt".
F60v: Verses entitled "To Augusta by Lord A.H. August the 2nd 1802", on the subject of ten years of doom, sorrow, suffering and woe endured and the hope that remains of love and calling her wife. –SO HE KNEW HER IN 1792
F61r: Prose and maxims on the subject of affection, its reproof, the virtuous heeding of counsel, patience, character, tardiness, mischief, misfortune, conduct, understanding, feelings, the metaphor of a shipwreck as applied to the soul.
F62v: Quotation from Machiavelli's history of Florence – he who does not do good, fears no evil.
F63r-f65v: Maxims and notes on the subject of impertinence, temperance and intemperance, wiles, governance, longing, sorrow, misery, fate, fortune, truthfulness, boldness, danger, communication between the sexes, consternation, wretchedness, regret, darkness, dismay, deception, prejudice, poor counsel, agony.
F65v: Quotation attributed to Donn, "Her pure and eloquent blood spoke in her cheeks".
F66r: Entry dated June 27th 1803 meditating on time as healer, and ending "Every letter you write me, - Every visit I pay x brings me back to the 10th of February". Note beginning "Don't imagine this reparation – a mere worldly generosity – is my whole soul".
F66v: Entry dated July 9th 1803, on a cruel fate which has imposed perpetual pain on the author, expressing her loss of pleasure in things and her abandonment to hell and torments, stating that she is "condemned to endure agonies of mind sharpened in some nameless forge". The author addresses the writer of a letter, received this day, which was calculated to exacerbate hopelessness. Description of a "desolating wind of persecution" and its effect on the devoted soul. The author states "I am reconciled to my lot, a lot of eternal and hopeless misery".
F67v: Short maxims and ejaculations on the subject of misery and mournfulness, some expressed using pathetic fallacy, citing Gray's Elegy, the Apothecary in Juliet and Southey's Madoc.
F68r: Notes on reason and human nature, one attributed to the Life of Alexandre Quinte-Curce.
F68v: Verses on fate, doom, parting, torments, despair, malignity, meanness. Quotation attributed to Johnson, on Milton.
F69r: Verses on being despised, grief, woman's effect on the heart.
F69v: Thoughts on marriage, examining the soul for its motivations and convictions and expressing its pain, and sorrow at the absence of a man. Short verse of praise for a beautiful, angelic woman.
F70v: Verses attributed to Cowper, beginning "The Voice is but an instrument on which the man may play what tune he pleases".
F71r – f74r: Verses and sage observations on the subjects of knowledge, friendship, indifference, fame, cynicism, men, possibility, deception, appearances, slyness, forlornness, flattery, candour, frivolity, pride, snobbery, dejection, manners, understanding and fate. Entry on f74v on a series of inhospitable houses and the author's dejection and desire to avoid company is dated July 19 1803.
F75r: Entry dated "Xber 17th 1803" stating that Archibald has promised to be governed by her will and hoping that wisdom will be their guide. Sage remark on the irrelevance of comparison.
F75v – f76v: Sage remarks on holding confidence with another, vigour, confusion, darkness and bewilderment, quotation attributed to Milton beginning "I fled and cried not Death". Prose on sleep, dreaming and reflection, enthusiasm, sentiment.
F77r: Notes on succession from Knights Hospitaliers to Knights of Malta. Notes on the subject of a superior mind, who has within it the cure for its own grief.
F77v: Verse attributed to Pope, beginning "Born to no pride, inheriting no strife", sage phrase on pity and charity.
F78r: Verse attributed to Cowper, beginning "I would not enter in my list of friends" shunning the man who needlessly kills small creatures. Verse on a traveller's warm welcome at an inn.
F78v: Sage observation on men who exude gravity and yet are conceited. Verse beginning "Is it because each tie is gone" on the subject of indifference to love and hate. Lamentation stating that the author have the whole soul to a man's care, relying on him, and which was wounded.
F79r: Quotation attributed to Charles Fox on the subject of pride, with critical notation. Prose on the subject of being assailed by influences. Short verse on a butterfly and flower said to be translated by d'Israeli, from "Commire a Latin poet".
F79v – f80r: Prose on the subject of teaching her son to rely on anyone and sage advice on the lessons learned in life. Phrase "The expiration of my last hope seems a pang more bitter than that of my last breath can ever be".
F80v: Verse attributed to Milton, "on his wife", beginning "Her face was veil'd yet to my fancied sight". Verse attributed to Cunningham, beginning "Oh what is't to me that the grasshopper sings". Short phrase favouring love over pity as comfort in disgrace.
F81r: Patriotic verse beginning "Champions of Britain's cherish'd rights ye stand". Explication of the degree of assent required to give the soul to a man. Quote attributed to Cervantes, "I sit down to write what I think not to think what I shall write".
F81v – f82r: Sage observation on aimability, novelty and attachment in the interplay between a man and a woman. Notes on station in life and fulfilment of duty in one's small area of influence having more purpose than the studies of a cosmopolitan person. Notes on a man who ought never to have married, since he burdened his family with all his vexations, while maintaining a cheerful disposition to the outside world. Thoughts on loving and using one's gifts and on the passing of time.
F82v: Thoughts on love, pardoning, self-reproach, melancholy, a mother's loss, ruin and guilt.
F83v: Notes on the depravity of a man's licentious passions, and his masculine pride [?from John Thelwell's "The Daughter of Adoption", 1801]
F84r – f86r: Couplet invoking romance and the summer's sea [?from Matthew Prior's Henry and Emma]. Prose beginning "is her love to be more ruinous than her hate", telling of a tumultuous relationship involving extremes of emotions and sacrifice, and the woman's response to being deprived of love and affection. Short resolution, stating that the author will not be degraded and shall accept a man's bounty, having lost his love. Reflection, "Love, gratitude, & unsuspecting confidence (3 cardinal vices in this wise World) have degraded me from my rank in society". Phrase beginning "But all is deceitful – "the exulting demon of the storm". Reflection on the disappointment of a woman no longer considered an equal by a male lover, who "banqueted upon the offal from another's table", a love "rival".
F86v – f87v: Poems and proverbs on the subject of wishing, intelligence, restlessness, the passing of time, confusion, anger, hate, gloominess, suspicion, conspiracies.
F88r – f88v: Maxims and prose on hope, indifference and melancholy. Passage relating the interior life of a melancholic and caustic man.
F89r: Passage relating a woman aspiring to conjugal and maternal love and the tears she shed over a men. Short message of advice on how a man should ignore the faults of a friend.
F89v: Description of a man whose heart is too cold even to sin, and whose heart is cold and has no love of virtue. Notes on a man who demands recognition, and that people fulfil obligations and duty.
F90r: Prose on the subject of repugnance being a proof of natural morality, and the impossibility of not believing that the object of love is good. Prose on the difference between animals and humans, being that animals act on instinct and men by choices.
F90v – f91r: Notes on misfortune and sorrow. Prayer for happiness. Phrase beginning "A Race outlandish fills the throne" [? from Robert Burn's Lines on Stirling].
F91v: Reflection on the affects of solitude.
F92r: Short description of a man full of regret. Extract on beauty [? From Rowe's Fair Penitent]. Notes on slander, abuse, prejudice and ill nature, censoriousness, idleness, vanity and mischief.
F92v: Notes on a woman's flight of imagination, a resort from a querulous impassioned mind. Poem beginning "My days are distinguish'd with tears".
F93r: Proverb. Notes on a man's weaknesses proceeding from a powerful and enterprising mind.
F93v – f96r: Observation on capriciousness, on listening and keenness to please, on vanity, desires, guilt, coquetry, flattery, badness. Anecdote about the late Lord Chatham saying that "the press was like the air, a chartered libertine". Reflections with hindsight on being seduced and the sentiments, and bad fortune, ridicule and wounding, anger, and the heart's difficulty in adapting to the changing nature of a relationship, citing one Lady and a man called XX.
F96v – f98v: Character observations and proverbs on weak-mindedness, deception, mental afflictions, trials of the imagination, vanity, doubt, dismay, apprehensions, pretension, sorrow, poor judgement, the overwhelming passing of time, unrequited consecration, the pursuit of happiness, ill temper, sadness, indifference, grief, pity, love lost, solitude, natural justice, a woman's intuition, wisdom and weakness, memory and remembrance, jealousy, mistrust, suspicion, humiliation, regret, confusion.
F99r – f99v: Prose relating to the longing for a love to return and how faith in a good outcome contrasts with the unhappy reality in which the writer finds herself. She states that she desires to live in the past – the only place out of the reach of fortune – because the present brings only sorrow, yet remembrance too brings sorrow.
F100r: Notes on Mr Pitt's views on Bonaparte dated Monday 24 April, given on the occasion of Mr Fox's motion on the defence of the country.
F100v: Notes on indifference and despair. Summary of Lord Bacon's views on the relation of writing, writing and speaking to the making of a man, questioning whether thinking should not also have been mentioned. Maxim stating that utility is the best action where there is no divine or human law to forbid it.
F101r: Maxim relating imbecility to malice. Exhortation relating to property and public liberty.
F101v – f102v: Reflections on human reason, wisdom and verses on the subject of perception of self, suffering, remembrance, a metaphor of the person as pilot who ventures out, the clouding of the mind, the contrast between men's acting agreeably while in company but in a discontented way to their wives.
F103r: Maxim on how good counsel is freely given yet easily thrown away. Verse beginning "Those ears, alas! For other notes repine" [?by Gray]. Phrase: "What graces are left to adore Virtue, -if Vice wears those of Augusta".
F103v: Notes on the evils of absence and loss.
F104r: Notes on the longing of love to find an object. Note dated June 4 1804, in which the writer states that her heart is so affectionate that if only her loved one were to see it, he would be compelled to do her justice and renounce the whole world for her. She writes that her love is not a product of nature, but of singular attraction to one person.
F104v: Note stating that the sentiment on which she based her happiness has itself become the source of her misfortune. Note on the opinion of an author that nothing is more poetic than a heart at 16 years old, about the optimism of youth.
F105r: Observations and reflections on passion, enthusiasm, sentiments, character, spirits, secrets, confidence, tenderness, grace, timidity, virtue, charm, weakness, strength, love, egoism, self-love, generosity, the soul, happiness, vanity, affections, foolishness, duties, gloominess, despondency, hopelessness. Note on the pride and sullenness of "Marco" (f108v).
F107v - f108r: Prose on the subject of boredom, monotony, regret, humility. A cry made to a son who is passed between mother and father.
F108v – f109r: Entry dated June 8 1904, stating that the author's "heart & soul, life & person, hopes & prospects" belong to another despite her will, and stating that the object of her love has only to "remove the weight" of his oppression, and stating that they shared 12 years' affection. The author begs the object of her love not to betray or vilify the devoted heart of a faithful wife which was "ever consecrated" to him. The writer appeals to nature and her essence to justify her love.
F109r – f117v: Prose beginning "if nature owns a monster in a human form" on betrayal. Notes on sadness, struggle, character, enjoyment, reserve, love, conversation, weakness, monotony, lamentation, impertinence, self-possession, passion, love, chastity, purity, virtue, faithfulness, mistrust, simplicity, resignation, endurance, temptation, forsakenness, madness, propriety, duty, matrimony, longing, absence, sullenness, shrewdness, indolence, faults, contradiction, memory, thoughtfulness, fearing, doubting, hoping, destiny, uncertainty, conflict, regulating the feelings, self-consciousness, susceptibility, mental turmoil, disappointment, weariness, fraudulence, vanity, inconsolableness, melancholy, indignation, distress, fortitude, ruin, despair, restlessness, anxiety, regret, tumultuousness, solitude, misanthropy, female idealism, fear, repentance, bereavement, fate, misery, pain, memorise, mortification, loss, wretchedness, an exhortation to a man to marry another, darkness.
F118r: Notes on the fleetingness of joy, and on the treasure to be had in motherhood, when the child is the uniting pledge of mother and father.
F118v – f119v: Sage notes on knowing one's own merits, resolve, frugality, daringness, indolence, the weaknesses of husbands and wives in love and their trouble communicating and reciprocating affection, with advice.
F120r: Notes on victory over grief, a quotation attributed to Milton, regret, fortitude, pain, disordered love. A quotation on wisdom and virtue attributed to Shakespeare. Verse on Addington.
F121r – f121v: Thoughts on how a man left her due to caprice and satiety, but she ceased to love him only because he had left her. Quotation on the sadness of monotony and hopelessness, and how subjective fear clouds our judgement, and how one arrives thus at a state of dismay, said to be "copied from my favourite author – July the 6th 1804". Notes on memory.
F122r – f122v: Quotation attributed to Fontenelle. Notes on courtesans, government, populace, politics, and the national character of Russians, and qualities and vices.
F123r – f124v: Entry dated August 1 1804, using the metaphor of an idle wind to describe the state of desolation. Entry dated August 4, on receiving news of you, and stating "my heart, my mind, memory & hope all all repose on you", and describing a state of woe caused by her "unmeasurable, inextinguishable love, - & even a blasphemous devotion of soul", which is unable to possess the object of its love. Note on the frightfulness of nature.
F123r: Note comparing a man to a vicious animal. Note on his presence which was like the mildew of heaven.
F124v: Verse beginning "He who reigns, but climbs to care" [? From Mérope by Voltaire].
F125r: Verse on the deluded heart which is soothed by flattery, attributed to the Earl of Essex. Verse on grief and solitude, attributed to Mason. Exclamation on the misery and suffering in the world.
F125v –f126v: Sage observations on character and feelings, vanity.
F127r: Quotation attributed to Plato, on listening to the voice of experience. Observations on character, politeness, dignity. Couplet on woman's bitter tongue [? From The Wanton Wife of Bath]
F127v – f113v: Quotations and sage notes on injustice, virtue, vice, forgiveness, motherhood, being a wife, love, fraternity, submission, kindness, poverty, sorrow, ugliness, flattery, enmity, conflict, cruelty, misery, desolation, death, conduct, folly, sentiments, sacrifice, failure, intimacy, social norms, self-love, brokenness, bigotry, hypocrisy, power, womanhood, charms, character, sycophancy. [? Quotation from La Fontaine's The Village Pastor and his Children]. Historical note on Frederick of Prussia. "M.'s present account of France". [? Quotation from a speech of Curren on bigotry]. Quotation attributed to Dryden.
F132r – 132v: Notes on the subject of passion, hypocrisy, hope, peace.
F133r – f139v: "On the death of Mr Hare by the Duchess of Devonshire". Quotations on worldliness, famine, disputation. Quotation attributed to Waller, beginning "Her look & mind at once were lofty". Quotation labelled "Prior's character of the indifferent". Verse and couplets on beauty, insipidness, villainy. Quotations on virtue attributed to Milton. Poem beginning "Canst though forget the silent tears". Notes on character, obstinacy, fortune, wisdom, knowledge, human nature, selfishness, sadness, communication, expressiveness, dejection, decisiveness, reason, attraction, persuasiveness, harmony, time as healer, sensibility, the nature of books.
F140r – f140v: Poem entitled "The Mother, to her sleeping Child".
F141r – f142v: Poem entitled "A la Dsse de Sussex". Descriptions of men's intrigue, character, reputation, honesty, rashness, violence, pleasure.
F143r: Text entitled "From Lord Archd Hamilton to Prince Augustus on his birthday with a 1 Pound bank note January 13th 1805", exhorting him to use the note wisely and to make each year in which he lives the one in which he acts the best.
F143v: Notes on the difference between rage and strength. Verse entitled "To Augusta, Lord A. H. January 27th 1805" wishing her birthday joy and speaking of the union of marriage [? by Lord Archibald Hamilton, 1770-1827].
F145r – f162v: Notes and poetry on love, desire, passion, forgiveness, genius, morality, conscience, sagacity, naivety, tedium, unhappiness, darkness, sickliness, wit, bravery, suspicion, misery, impudence, misfortune, turmoil, happiness, smiles, relationships, childbirth, motherhood, dreams, shabbiness, contempt, triumph, allure, sadness, temper, sensibility, sensations, utility, pleasure, emptiness, hope, forbearance, firmness, steadfastness, the passing of time, waiting, obstacles, indifference, virtues, depression, desolation, fate, torments, adversity, good sense, pride, doubt, evils, contempt, expectation, disappointment, despair, imagination, fancy, errors, guilt, regret, selfishness, misapprehension, fame, curiosity, rumour, suffering, justice, falsehood.
F163r f163v – Notes on natural history and history.
F164r: Verse attributed to Mr Cumberland, on Lord Nelson's death.
F164v: Verse attributed to Mr Sheridan on the death of Mr [?]S's Brother.
F165r: Noes on faults, desolation, inferiority, broken-heartedness.
f165v: Poem on Lord Nelson, attributed to Mr Fresham.
f166f – f168r: Notes and poems on peculiarity, perplexity, refinement, verse, beauty, grief, saintliness, pride, death. Riddles.
f168v: Notes on chess.
f169r: Poem beginning "Where the stream of Solofrena" on the subject of an oriental game of chess.
f170r: Notes and verse on suffering, ignorance, absence of a child.
f170v: Satirical poem about "Paull". Note on the truthfulness of a man's word.
f171r: Notes on sensibility, detachment, wretchedness, suffering, another woman.
f171v: Poem attributed to Mr Hughes, on Lady B.
f172r: Note on Methodists, calling them ignorant, mad and a threat to Church and State.
f172v – f173r: Notes and poetry on common senses, suffering, counsel, the problem of evil. Text labelled "Prologue to 'Not at home'".
f173v – f174r: Notes and verse on patriotism, homesickness, political liberty, chivalry, opinion, love.
f174v: Blank page.
f175r: Text reading "For four months my Boy promises to ask nothing – for one month never asks to sit up", signed Augustus Frederick of Sussex, 30 May 1802.
f175v – f176v: Blank pages.
f177r – f186v: List of books, presumably owned by Lady Augusta Murray, entitled "List of my books". Text is back-to-front. Continuation on interior of back board.
f187 – Loose newspaper cutting insert, containing an abstract of a speech of Mr Curran made in the Massey vs. Marquis of Headport trial in Ireland. Reverse lists sales at auction.
Extent1 volume (372 pages)
Physical DescriptionVolume, covered in parchment
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Creditpublished with the kind permission of SeeAbility; the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society; and Guy's & St Thomas' Charity
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