September 18 .—Wrote five pages of the Tales [of a Grandfather]. Walked from Huntly Burn, having gone in the carriage. Smoked my cigar with Lockhart after dinner, and then whiled away the evening over one of Miss Austen's novels. There is a truth of painting in her writings which always delights me. They do not, it is true, get above the middle classes of society, but there she is inimitable.
Walter Scott enjoyed Jane Austen's novels, as this entry from his Journal indicates. John Gibson Lockhart, in his "Memoirs of Sir Walter Scott" records being with Scott (1831), and his mentioning Miss Austen:
'...Among some other talk, in returning, he [Scott] spoke with praise of Miss Ferrier as a novelist, and then with still higher praise of Miss Austen. Of the latter he said—" I find myself every now and then with one of her books in my hand. There's a finishing-off in some of her scenes that is really quite above everybody else...'