July 11th, 1847 (Tuesday)
July 11, 2009
[Singleton went to Ireland to help his brother fight for a Parliamentary seat in the General Election of 1847. The diary entries between June 12th and July 5th were written up retrospectively on his return, grouped under the general date and heading June 12th. For the purposes of this online publication they have been split up into their respective dates]
Here I cannot help setting down an incident which occurred after my return to England. On Sunday July 11th, Sewell and I were walking up and down the terrace walk, which he had got made, during my absence, at the south front of the house. The unfortunate martens, who had been dispossessed from their quiet retreats in the angles of the windows, had made fresh ones in the great projecting cornice traversing the top of the house. Near one of these which had been lately completed, sat a cock-sparrow, the picture of impudence. I knew very well by the airs he had put on him, and from an observation of the dishonest and burglarious principles of his species, that he had driven away the builders of the nest from their rightful property and their home.
I therefore said, – ‘Sewell, I can set no bounds to my indignation against that rogue of a bird up there. He would not take the trouble of making a nest for himself, but has secured a comfortable berth without labour, by sacrificing the helpless and innocent. It is the triumph of vulgar force against gentility and justice.’
To which Sewell replied, – ‘My dear Singleton, that sparrow must evidently be a Trustee.’