170 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
could tolerate. He had a well-known story then to the fore, which W. H. Brookfield (1809-1874), who was a very constant guest, told me he had indulged in five times that day already, and undertook that he should repeat it for my benefit a sixth time, which he did. Then Carlyle raved about the degeneracy of the modern English without any facts in justification, and contributed nothing that I could find to the information or pleasure of the society. He, however, executed a performance with great seriousness which was decidedly funny, by hopping gravely on one leg up and down within the pillars of the portico, which he had discovered to be a prompt way of warming himself in the then chilly weather.
It is difficult to select events out of the very many that were then interesting to me. One was a visit to Mr. Webb at Newstead Abbey, the old home of the poet Lord Byron, which he had recently purchased. Mr. Webb had been a first-class African sportsman, of whom mention will be made in the next chapter in connection with the identification of Dr. Livingstone's remains. The mementoes of Lord Byron at Newstead Abbey were well cared for, and most touching to me, for I had in my youth an unlimited admiration of his works ; so I drank greedily with my eyes all that I saw connected with him. I will here anticipate very many years, and mention a tragedy that occurred only two autumns ago to Lord Byron's grandson and representative, Lord Lovelace. My niece, who has managed my home since the death of my wife, spent a few summer weeks with me in the pretty village of Ockham. The night before leaving it to return